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    Space, science, stabbing, the usual.

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  1. Okay, after reading a bit more of the report: All Great Observatories get R&D, though technically none are actually selected. IROUV (I'm going to insist on calling it this) is to be a flagship circa 2045, so hopefully that gives NGRST plenty of time. I guess I we can justify fancy ground based RV surveys to find a lot of planets/make direct imaging be more about characterization than detection in the interim. It's cool that it gets the highest priority, but seeing as the 2000 and 2010 highest priority telescopes are still on the ground... Both FIR and X-ray missions are supposed to get probe class craft, presumably one in 2030 and one in 2040. (Probe class being something in between Explorer and Flagship with a 1/decade cadence). I don't have a good handle on which previous missions are FIR. There are still a fair number of X-ray telescopes up, though they're all getting old. (Hitomi getting all of one science observation hurts) Some missions outside of NSF/NASA get mentioned (eg: VRO, Athena), and there's discussion of need for collaborations/data archives and curation. "mid-scale" ($4 million to $120 million) for various ground-based instruments with an emphasis on 4-10 m class. While not hugely specific, considerations of diversity, sustainability, and outreach are mentioned. GMT and TMT are supported as the highest priority ground based programs, though they waver a bit as to the TMT being in Hawaii or the Canary Islands. Various gravitational wave, CMB, radio, neutrino, and balloon projects. I'm a bad person to comment on these, and will defer to someone else. Recommend that SOFIA end operations in 2023 (ow). Solar physics is mentioned as important, though no specific programs are recommended for or against.
  2. JWST being JWST along with NGRST getting somewhat downs-coped to keep costs in line probably factor into IROUV's size and timeframe. I feel bad for the FIR and X-ray proposals, though. (Probably probe-class missions in 10 years.)
  3. It's a bug in version 1.12.2. You can work-around with the advanced part selection (select the arrow at the upper left corner of the parts menu). I'll suggest going to sort by tech level and then selecting tech level 2. Also linking an earlier thread where this problem occurred:
  4. It's just a visual thing, and might no longer accurately describe what those parts look like, given the various revamps that have happened since it appears to have been added (2013).
  5. Sorting by manufacturer (Jeb's) does appear to work, as does sorting by tech level (2). And yes, the advanced construction training mission is bugged since you don't get an LV-T45 in the obvious place.
  6. It should end up being rather longer on the outbound leg, since November+December+January+February is 122 days, but might be worth messing with GMAT or something for exact trajectories.
  7. I want to say that number of stages is not amenable to an analytic solution, so you need to iterate over a few designs. For a two (or I suspect N) stage design you can figure out the optimal fuel distribution with some constraints. There are some somewhat messy formulae in the stage sizing link in my signature that are hopefully related. (In general you want larger mass ratios in the high Isp stages, but can easily hit TWR limits)
  8. Not without a lot more effort. I'd need a catalog with parallaxes that's complete out to 15 or 20 pc (possibly some sort of combination of several -- there are a fair number of stars that aren't in Hipparcos or Gaia) There are enough jumps that I'd probably want some sort of algorithmic approach instead of throwing this into Excel and manually noting the distances less than ~7 light-years.
  9. Things may be better connected than I thought, though there's a possibility of winding paths and limited hubs. After fiddling a bit with the data in a 10 pc catalog, I get the following: Sol with Alpha Centauri, Barnard's Star, and Luhman 16 (brown dwarf) Alpha Centauri with Sol, Barnard's Star, and Luhman 16 (brown dwarf) Barnard's star with Sol, Alpha Centauri, Luhman 16 (brown dwarf), WISE J085510.74-071442.5 (brown dwarf), Wolf 359, Lalande 21185, Sirius, UV Ceti, Ross 154, Epsilon Eridani, HD 217987, Ross 128, EZ Aquarii, Procyon, Tau Ceti, YZ Ceti, and Luyten's Star Luhman 16 with Sol, Alpha Centauri, Barnard's Star, WISE J085510.74-071442.5 (brown dwarf), Sirius, Ross 248, 61 Cyg, Goombridge 34, Kruger 60, and maybe DENIS J104814.6-395606 The nearest stars that are going to take actual effort to find a route to are Struve 2398, DX Cancri, and Epsilon Indi.
  10. Presumably you get something like the oddness of 2300 AD's stutterwarp, where there are limited routes that tend towards long chains with a few hubs, and a handful of system are inaccessible. Also, for the purposes of this, it matters a fair amount of brown dwarfs etc are usable for jumps.
  11. The dunking on hope thing is because a great deal of cynics (hi!), are people who have had the optimism metaphorically beaten out of them by various projects failing, under-delivering, or being outright scams. (relatedly, SpaceX really should scale back their claims at some point because they end up disappointing people despite doing a lot) The high risk part of Europa Clipper is the SLS rather than the payload, which makes it sort of the opposite of the space telescope we're mostly talking about.
  12. Well, that's what the paper says. It's entirely possible that this "atmosphere" is a surface-boundary exosphere, given the low particle density.
  13. Well, you'd need to build a mirror fabrication facility of some sort in orbit. This feels like something that might be interesting in (or after) the 22nd century, but in the present it's worth considering why mirrors for ground-based telescopes are only made in certain places and then moved via truck, train, and/or boat. Segmented mirrors are already used for several large ground-based telescopes, with the first being Keck I in 1993. It's not as simple as you describe because it turns out that you need to carefully shape and align the mirrors if you care about image quality (you do). The mirror shape thing can get you extra problems, since instead of a normal parabolid or the like, you end up with multiple weird off-axis shapes. I want to say that the Giant Magellan Telescope has 2 different shapes for its primary mirrors, and JWST has 3. @Kerbaloid I don't think your sarcasm is landing.
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