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About DerekL1963

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  1. DerekL1963

    Science or Cool

    That's not atypical of NASA's PAO though... They're past masters at spinning even the tiniest connection into a breathless "this would never have happened without NASA megabucks!" narrative.
  2. DerekL1963

    Science or Cool

    Certainly. And that's what's driving the 'passion' many people have for 'space' - they're fanboys of the spectacle (or more accurately of the personality), not interested in space per se. They literally don't care what's under the fairing, only that $BILLIONAIRE has DONE IT AGAIN! Once the launch is over, they're off to fanboy over other things.
  3. DerekL1963

    For Questions That Don't Merit Their Own Thread

    Hot water drills don't use steam jets - they use hot water to heat a probe body that then melts it's way through the ice. If Martian water is in the form of large bodies of ice, which they almost certainly aren't, then this would be useful.
  4. DerekL1963

    For Questions That Don't Merit Their Own Thread

    You're a few years out of date... AIP for submarines has made great strides in the last couple of decades. They certainly aren't as fast as nukes, but the better ones can currently stay submerged for over a week while doing 4-5 knots. Probably not, since the only sensible way to drill through any thickness of ice is with a hot water drill. Heat the water directly in an externally fired boiler, and you'll only need a fairly small generator for the pumps. Nah, ain't worth it.
  5. DerekL1963

    NASA CLPS program

    There are 9 very cool illustrations of space craft. Other than Lockheed, none of the companies have (AFAIK) flown any hardware of note. Nor are these contracts to produce hardware, they're contracts to (essentially) write proposals.
  6. DerekL1963

    2001: A Space Odyssey rocket launch

    It wasn't portable - it was a massive fixed installation, very visible and very identifiable from the air. Footage/images of V2 launching vertically would have been available too.
  7. I dunno. From various sources, Armstrong-Aldrin-Collins were noticeably not as friendly with each other as other crews... But they're often held out as proof that any three astronauts [in that era] could form a crew and successfully complete a flight. All three have military backgrounds, and one of the things the military teaches you is how to submerge such differences (at least while on duty). Then there's the intense competitiveness to get a flight, and a reluctance to do anything that might jeopardize that. Etc... etc... I dunno what standards to use to judge, as the situation is not a normal one. I will say this however, the guy I worked best with in MCC, the guy that given a choice I'd choose to partner with me on a task - was a guy I absolutely loathed when we were off the boat.
  8. Deke! is a decent read IIRC, it's been a few years though... But I read them for scholarly purposes, not entertainment and that skews my perception. Armstrong's, if you're speaking of First Man, is dry/dull because it's a scholarly biography rather than a popular autobiography like the others you list.
  9. DerekL1963

    NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    No, not at all. There's plenty of experts in the matter who speak Russian and have long experience watching both the Soviet and Russian programs. Not to mention we're not talking about one-off publicity statements, we're talking official statements of intent made by persons in a place to make said statements and and ongoing repetitions of such statements over a period a time. We're also talking mockups and prototype hardware being built, and then the program silently vanishing. We're also talking partially built hardware languishing for years at a time. We're also talking Russian authorities in active negotiations with Western authorities. Etc... etc... etc...
  10. Try reading what I wrote Mike: He was the backup commander for Apollo 8, and that's why (via Deke's "backup crew-skip two-flight crew" system) he was commander of 11. That rotation system wasn't strictly adhered to, but it's generally the first place to look when the question "why did x fly [Gemini|Apollo] y?" comes up. I'd second Rizzo's recommendation to read Cernan's autobiography (though Cernan was a bit of a publicity hound). You should also read Deke! (Deke Slayton's autobiography) for further insight into the crew assignment/rotation system during Gemini and Apollo. The big caveat is, as I said above, folks who aren't Deke (such as Cernan) are giving their viewpoint (which may or may not reflect reality) and Deke himself was generally reticent to discuss details of why someone was or wasn't chosen for a particular flight. On that particular topic... Apollo 1 has been mentioned as big influence on who flew what mission, but another (less recognized) influence was the deaths of Elliot See and Charles Basset - the prime crew of Gemini 9. That shook up the rotation of the late Gemini missions and affected who got backup and flight crew experience. Stafford was promoted to prime, getting his 2nd flight. Cernan was also promoted to prime, getting his first flight. Lovell went from backup commander of Gemini 10 to backup commander of Gemini 9 (and thus flew as commander on Gemini 12). Aldrin made the same shift from backup pilot on 10, to eventually flying 12. (If you do the math, backing up 10 was a dead end - because there was not going be a Gemini 13.) The big beneficiary here was probably Aldrin - with no Gemini flight experience, when does he get slotted into Apollo?
  11. As to the first claim, being a military pilot in the 1950's was a fairly dangerous way to make a living - Armstrong is one of thousands (tens of thousands?) to have piloted a plane that "killed other men". (Sometimes many of them.) As to the second... absent citations, I call bovine exhaust. That makes the nonsensical assumption that at the time he was assigned as backup Commander for Apollo 8 it was known for certain that Apollo 11 would be the first landing (as opposed to further testing of the LM in a repeat of 9 or 10). Nor is there any evidence that the Administration (or even NASA HQ for that matter) meddled in flight crew assignments. Basically, whoever is peddling that nonsense is full of unprintable words that would get me banned from the forums. The only person who knows for certain why Neil Armstrong was assigned to Apollo 8 (and subsequently to Apollo 11 by rotation) is Deke Slayton. And to the best of my knowledge he took his reasons to his grave. With only a few exceptions he was fairly reticent about his reasons for crew assignments.
  12. DerekL1963

    NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    The Russians have announced any number of plans over the last thirty odd years. Very few have produced anything more than a press release.
  13. DerekL1963

    What did you do in KSP today?

    What mod do those modules come from?
  14. DerekL1963

    Solid Fuel Tanks plz

    Nit: The USAF has used liquid fueled final stages (actually a PBCS) since the MMIII (LGM-30G) was deployed in 1970. The Navy absolutely loathes liquid fueled missiles, so US SLBMS have always used a hot gas powered PBCS. (First flown on Poseidon in 1971.)
  15. DerekL1963

    Player achievements!

    Pretty much this. Give players a list of ticky boxes to tick off - and they'll soon see that as the only "right and proper" way to play the game. (Due to the conditioning from other games where progress/ability to "win" is linked to achievements.)