Phoenix Aerospace

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About Phoenix Aerospace

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer

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  1. Fitting with the whole cubesat theme, I suggest making a small modular xenon tank and accompanying modular ion thruster. I think that it'd be awesome to have a minimalistic ion-powered interplanetary probe in the style of your satellites.
  2. Ideas (easiest to hardest): -Make graphene with scotch tape. -Home-made cloud chamber. (try taping a magnet to the top!) -Open a CRT monitor and replicate Thompson's experiment. (deviation of electrons) -Play around with triboluminesence. -Related to above, create x-rays with scotch tape. (requires vacuum chamber) -Get some Am-241 out of a smoke detector and replicate Rutherford's experiment. (involves radioactive material)
  3. To answer the first question, it's already happened. To answer the second, in order to reduce climate change to pre-industrial levels, we'll probably have to do some pretty drastic stuff. Needless to say, it won't be pretty, and it may very well entail a period of significant economic and technological stagnation in exchange for survival. - Complete conversion to sustainable power sources - Extensive, UN-imposed restrictions on industrial and household carbon emissions - Global one-child or no-child policies - Euthanasia of a large portion of humanity to lower population to sustainable levels - Massive geoengineering by the means of geological carbon-trapping - Dispersing reflective aerosols in the upper atmosphere - Deployment of space-based mirrors to redirect sunlight - Re-tooling economies to free population from excess consumption - Genetic modification of crops, trees, algae in order to increase carbon absorbtion
  4. The D2K is my primary station resupply vehicle, able to deliver three kerbals to a space station in LKO, as well as a not insignificant amount of fuel. Un-refuelled, it's able to fly by the moon, and orbit Minmus. For landing, the D2K uses two parachutes in addition to its engines. At under 40 parts, even my potato of a laptop can run it without a problem. Get the .craft here: Action groups are as follows: (1) switch RAPIER mode, (2) toggle solar panels, (3-7) open/close pairs of intakes, (8) open/close all intakes. Throttle back at 29-30km. Keep air-hogging to 40 km before switching modes. Other than that, it flies just like any other air-hogging rocket. You should be 45 degrees around 8 km. From there on, tilt over and try to gain as much horizontal speed as possible while keeping your vertical velocity between 125 and 250 m/s. The most efficient altitude for gaining speed is generally around 20-28km. Any higher and the D2K flames out, any lower and there's too much drag. Downloadable version has the Kn-2 RCS removed and replaced with KW, at a small cost to the final delta-v. If you have the mod, feel free to add them back in. Mods required: Mechjeb, ALCOR, KW Rocketry. FAR compatible.
  5. 1- Not going ahead with Orion. Whatever happened to "Mars by 1965, Saturn by 1970?". 2- Failing to recognize the scientific benefits while allocating funding. 3- Cancelling Dyna-Soar, Blue Gemini, and MOL, therefore forcing the Air Force into the Shuttle program. I'm against militarization of space, but sometimes it's a case of too many cooks ruining the soup... 4- Getting rid of Big Gemini. That thing was basically the Orion capsule, but in 1960. 5- Cancelling the original Apollo mission plans (whatever happened to the plans for a permanent moonbase?). 6- Not going ahead with NERVA/NTRs in general. 7- Cancellation of the Saturn Applications Program. I want my manned Venus flyby, dammit. 8- Cancelling Saturn all together, turning the Shuttle into a jack-of-all-trades instead of a pure crew transfer/station resupply vehicle and using saturn for HLLV. 9- Slashing the Shuttle's budget, forcing NASA to knowingly follow an intrinsically unsafe design. 10- Using the Shuttle as a replacement for expendable rockets and therefore skipping safety precautions before launch in risky conditions (Challenger. 'Nuff said.). 11- Giving the responsibility of direction to bureaucrats with unrealistic expectations of funding and even more unrealistic expectations of scheduling, not to mention very little knowledge of how space travel actually works. 12- Giving said half-baked ideas to the professionals, having them tell you that they'll need a little more money and/or time, and then being pissed off when the mission doesn't go through (Bush/Obama administration and Constellation, I'm looking at you. You too, Nixon.). 13- Bureaucrats using NASA as a bargaining chip to make themselves seem "tough on taxes" while coddling the 632.8 billion dollar baby that is the military. 14- The public at large being in no way bothered by this or willing to act.
  6. Pardon me, but the orbital dock from version 3.6 does not seem to be visible within the editor. The part.cfg appears to be normal, and the part seems to load normally. According to the debug menu, the part's assets are all present within the game. In addition to EL 3.6, I have FAR, KW Rocketry, KAS, Kethane, Mechjeb, and KSP Interstellar installed. Thank you in advance for any help.
  7. Hello. I was playing around with your Mass Driver, and it seems as if it does not play nice with Ferram Aerospace research. Now, I'm no programmer (well, not a good one, at least), but it seems that due to the way FAR calculates drag, the Mass Driver is vastly overpowered compared to when it is used in the stock version of the game. I recommend that you lower the values for acceleration so that the Mass Driver is back to a reasonable level of balancing (or better yet, allow us to change the acceleration in the .cfg), and release a separate version for us FAR users. In addition, I encountered a bug where, after launching a craft from a pad placed next to the Mass Driver via Kerbtown, the craft is simply teleported to the end of the Mass Driver and left to free-fall. On several occasions, I also noticed that this left the craft unable to be staged, or to have parts activated, either through the spacebar, action groups, or drop-down menus. I have several other mods other than Kerbtown, Mass Driver, and Mechjeb; namely Procedural Fairings, Firespitter, Kethane, and B9, but nothing that I think would cause conflicts with either Mass Driver, Kerbtown, or FAR. Thank you for your consideration. Imgur album further detailing my misadventures:
  8. Could you possibly provide a download for this? I'd love to try it out.
  9. LV-T45 all the way. It has fair ISP in both in a vacuum and atmosphere. Its TWR is terrific. The thrust vectoring helps for control on probed rockets, or for very heavy ones that lack RCS. It's useful for first stages on small rockets, upper stages on larger ones, and for liquid strap-ons. You can even cluster them with LV-T30s to make a composite engine more powerful (and many times more efficient) than a Mainsail. All hail the LV-T45!
  10. Huh. I should really read more about this stuff, then.
  11. I agree with you totally. Hydrogen is perfectly innocuous so long as it doesn't come into contact with air, and even if it does, it requires a precise mixture in order to explode, as well as a relatively powerful ignition source. We use hydrogen for our High Altidude Balloon flights, and we have not yet had one single incident with the gas. Also, airships use air-filled bladders as ballast in order to control height. Pump more air in = More weight = Less lift. Though I guess they would compress the gas cells, and that that would somewhat impact lift...
  12. This is a discussion thread, in which we will discuss the viability of the Launch Loop, or in more technical terms, the Lofstrom Loop; an obscure design for a permanent space launch platform which could dramatically reduce costs for spaceflight. For those not "in the loop" (pun unintended), the Launch Loop is a large structure consisting mainly of a long, flexible tube. This tube, approximately 10cm in diameter is in fact composed of two nested tubes, one inside the other. The outer tube, or the stator, drives the inner tube, or the rotor, by the means of linear induction motors, which may or may not be superconducting in nature. This tube is joined together at the ends, in order to form a loop, one half is affixed to the ground, and the other is secured by the means of a long tether. When the rotor is accelerated, it generates a strong centripetal force. This has the curious effect of lifting the tethered half of the loop off the ground. Once it reaches the limit of the tether, at 80 kilometers above the ground, the loop takes on the shape of a rough parallelogram, with the top measuring roughly 2000 kilometers. Payloads are lifted to the top of this loop by elevator, and grapple onto the madly spinning rotor using electromagnets. At a comfortable rate of 2gs, this accelerates the payload to orbital speeds, where it is released. At apogee, the payload would then fire its own thrusters to circularize its orbit. Pros and cons of a Launch Loop Pros Can launch large volumes of material. A large loop could launch up to 6 million tons per year. Costs are lower than conventional rockets, or even space elevators. Space elevators would cost anywhere from 3,000$ to 1,600$ per kilo, wheras a launch loop could bring costs down to 300$ to 3$ per kilo. By comparison, launch on an existing Proton rocket costs approximately 4,300$ per kilogram. Higher launch rate than conventional rockets (up to several per hour). Can be built with current or near-future materials. Requires no new high tensile strength materials. Depending on energy source and erection area, can be more environmentally friendly than conventional rockets. Payloads spend less time in radiation-heavy Van Allen Belts. Main structure is situated at an altitude free of space debris. Cons If the linear induction system fails, particularly in the unstable turnaround sections, the rotor may collide with the stator. Due to the accumulated kinetic energy, this would release roughly 1.5 petajoules of energy; roughly equvalent to the detonation of a nuclear weapon. Requires precise electronic control over linear induction elements in order to compensate for weather effects. The necessity for expansion joints in the rotor presents severe engineering challenges. Requires the vehicles to have their own engines for circularization. So, despite the difficulties, would you still consider this a viable method for space access? Why?
  13. Try the How To forum. Ask a mod to move this thread, and I'm sure you'll be able to find help.
  14. Hey, can anybody tell me where to download the newest dev build? When I try to use the download link on the OP, I get the old ISA_MapSat 3 version. Am I missing something?