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Everything posted by NGTOne

  1. I've toyed with the idea of building ion-powered spacecraft before, but I never really bothered with them because of the low TWRs and the need to wait for my batteries to recharge between burns. But today, I finally built and launched an ion-powered Jool probe (see below) because of a window that coincidentally opened up right after an Eve mission. Flying it is actually more engrossing than I had thought it would be, and designing it forced me to do things a bit differently. Anyways, what I'm wondering is: a) Do many people bother with ion-powered spacecraft? Feel free to comment on your own experience/experiments with them. Of those who do, does anyone have any tips for building bigger ones (for manned interplanetary missions)? And, of course, a pic of the ship in question as it's leaving Kerbin (the Jool rendezvous burn is ongoing):
  2. Where did you get those ion engine particle effects?
  3. The first 3 modules of the Bright Future I mission: the GEM (Gilly Excursion Module) at the bottom, the CRM (Crew Return Module) in the middle, and the HLM (Habitat and Laboratory Module) at the top. All launched in one go to save some headaches and make design a little easier. When it's finished, Bright Future I will have a crew of 6-9, and will be the first step in establishing a permanent colony on Eve.
  4. Well, at least I'm still flying half a plane... Smashed it into the runway while I was testing how low I could be and safely drop the marker beacons (it's meant to look for colony sites on Eve). The control surfaces almost completely cancel the yawing effect of, you know, only having half a plane. And it still flies, too. Almost better than before the crash For reference, those girders are meant to be the centerline.
  5. Problem is, after Apollo, the Americans won the Space Race, hands-down - there was no more POINT to it from an international prestige point of view. While you're right, there was a lot of potential (they'd even almost finished work on an upgraded Saturn V for further missions), the willingness to do it had come and gone with the political winds. Rather a shame if you ask me.
  6. I honed my design skills first using MechJeb, then when one of the new versions came out, I just... stopped using it. I kind of miss the DV readouts, though.
  7. I remember there was a plugin to do this somewhere, but I can't find it and I'm not even sure it's available for 0.23. Anyone know anything about it?
  8. It's way denser, and MUCH safer. It's stable at room temperature, and doesn't tend towards exploding with little provocation. And you can get a lot more bang out of the same-sized tank (or the same bang out of a much smaller tank).
  9. Target: Venus "Ground" Activities: Hovering/powered flight in upper (1 ATM) Venusian atmosphere Propulsion: Classical bipropellant engine in space, RTG-powered propellor in atmosphere, gas-based buoyancy system (think "blimp") for hovering Goals: Investigate atmospheric properties of Venus, including weather patterns and wind patterns, and determine suitability of upper Venusian atmosphere for aerostat-based colonization
  10. Personally, I'm rather a fan of the microwave-discharge ion engines they used on the Japanese Hayabusa probe. 26,000 hours of near-continuous operation FTW.
  11. That mobile mining rig is cool. I can imagine it being a PITA to corner with that massive fuel tank - is it?
  12. OK, so Voyager's out - I wonder if there's anything closer to home (and that nobody really cares too much about) that's still active (or dormant, rather than dead)? One of the old lunar probes/rovers, maybe?
  13. Titan, on the other hand, might make for a good target for aerial exploration. The atmosphere is about 150% as dense as Earth's, and the gravity is a lot lower. A human with a hang glider could fly using swim flippers. A glider that used a rocket engine (or an ion engine or something, I dunno) for occasional "kicks" to boost its speed could fly for a REALLY long time. There's also this: Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey (ARES)
  14. 559: After two years of tensions, HWOTK takes a sudden turn for the comical when both sides decide to try and build bomb-powered rockets. The stock of nuclear weapons is quickly used up, with the only casualties being a few unlucky test pilots.
  15. The thing a lot of people overlook about a concept like this is that the object ITSELF would destabilize L4/L5, by adding a third body to the equation. Some new equilibrium would have to be established, but that means the object might not be stable in its initial location. The reason this doesn't happen much in our system is because the Trojans are so small relative to the mass of Jupiter.
  16. And that's exactly the right philosophy to have - "build it and they will come" has been the credo of every new field and endeavour since ever, from the exploration of the Americas to the Gold Rush to Las Vegas.
  17. Tell me about it. Personally, I think the future of space travel, both scientific and economic, lies with the private sector - a university or other research agency (or some coalition of such) builds a science package, then contracts with a private launch supplier to put their package (be it a rover, probe, whatever) in orbit/on whatever trajectory they want. Even NASA is slowly switching to this model (CCDev is the best example, I SUSPECT that the rest of their payloads will follow by 2030, except for the VERY largest).
  18. Mach 3 at 150 meters? As if. AA guns of ANY type are out of the question - NO weapon mount EVER developed tracks that fast. As for missiles, if they managed to get a lock ("flying below the radar" is still a thing), Mach 3 is roughly the speed at which the SR-71 Blackbird flew. You know what the standard evasive procedure for it was? "Hit the gas". It out-RAN missiles. An aircraft like this, though preposterous in every POSSIBLE respect, would actually be nigh-impossible to intercept using even modern technology. Best interception profile? Rig up large explosive landmines along the flight path, triggered by the shockwave - bury the detonator a distance from the actual mine, and pray to whatever deity you believe in that the plane will fly low over it. With a little luck, you'll either a) starve it of air, or fill it with so many holes that it won't matter, and in both cases, pray even harder that it doesn't land on something important.
  19. On a more serious note, it looks a great deal more maneuverable than both the current-generation American and Russian suits. I mean, the ultimate goal is a fully maneuverable, nonrigid (with the possible exception of the helmet) suit, but that's unlikely at best. And suit ports are most definitely the way forward - easier to put on and take off, don't track dust inside, etc.
  20. Here you go, but it hasn't been maintained since 0.20. Your mileage may vary.
  21. In Canada, we don't hit complex numbers in high school (unless you're in an advanced class). In the States, I don't know if anything beyond algebra and trigonometry is covered in high school (though this is dependent on the district).
  22. Is the bill available online somewhere for public perusal? Or is there a news article on the subject? I would very much like to see a source on this - might be a good advancement for NASA and US space policy in general after decades of political crap. The reason NASA has so many white elephants and so much bloat, by the way, is because that's the only way to prevent their funding from being cut FURTHER. Allow me to explain: Let's say the Federal Department of Government is budgeted $2,000,000 for this fiscal year. The Department's entire expenses, up to about a month before the end of the FY, amount to $1,000,000. Now, we could say it's laudable that they're cutting costs, right? Only problem is, that means that the Powers That Be will slash their budget next year to $1,000,000, because that's "all they need". So, how to defeat this (and avoid risking running out of money next year)? Simple: spend, spend, spend. Spend every penny of that money, so your budget doesn't get slashed further. Welcome to bureaucracy.
  23. This year, an aerogel using graphene clocked in at 160 g/m^3, about 0.13x the density of air at sea level. [source]
  24. Not to mention latency. Firing a signal up to GEO and back actually makes for a noticeable (by computers, anyways) increase in ping time as opposed to terrestrial fiber, because of speed-of-light delay and the limited throughtput capacity of the sat. Plus the transmitter power has to be a lot higher (part of the reason the Iridium constellation orbits so low - they're meant to work with satphones and other low-power transmitters, which would get lost in the background static by the time the signal hit GEO).
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