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Everything posted by CatastrophicFailure

  1. Achievement unlocked: TechnoRedneck Haveta schlep the tractor 50 miles to the dealer for some work next weekend, figured I’d get it loaded up and take a quick test drive for coffee. Could maybe scooch it a little farther back but it rides rock solid. Some guy nearly drifted right into us gawking.
  2. That makes sense. Odd that the patch would say America rather than some permutation of US.
  3. @DDE what’s up with “Steve Rogers’s” coat there? I’m guessing that shoulder patch says “America” in Cyrillic?
  4. A ring of 6 engines PLUS grid fins PLUS RCS thrusters… roll authority should be the least of their worries.
  5. I’ve gotta wait til Sunday to even get tested. Loads of fun.
  6. Dental sedation is finally a thing. They can knock you out to varying degrees to minimize the (mental) trauma.
  7. Oh, did you get the one that says to prop it up on a “rock or something?”
  8. Didn’t Elon say recently they were going to stretch Starship, possibly starting with 24? That could be the tank issue right there, no cargo space really lost (actually gained) if they put another tank in the nose and add another barrel section, too.
  9. Just dipped below freezing and it’s supposed to stay that way until late next week. Now, some of y’all are prolly laughing at that but people around here are all…
  10. This. NASA’s “acceptable” risk for crew is something like chance of LOCV of less than 1 in 250. Starship can achieve this by simply flying 250 times in regular operation (not counting special experimental versions along the way), heck, the requirement could even be 250 safe flights in a row and Starship could realistically do this in a reasonable time frame. The shuttle could have demonstrated reliability like this too, at least in theory, but it never had a realistic chance of the needed flight cadence (requirement for people on board notwithstanding). Starship could theoretically make enough flights in a single year. And still come in cheaper than developing an independent LAS the old way. @Jacke You asked if I’d get on a rocket with a 1% chance of failure? HECK. YES. For the chance of getting that experience that so few have that is an extremely low risk. And there’s plenty of others who would accept that risk, too, even if you are not among them. The more Starship flies, the lower that risk becomes. When SpaceX is truly serious about putting a hundred or a thousand people at a time on board, as in rocket’s on the pad ready to go, that risk will have been retired down to a much, much smaller number. It’s not black/white either/or, even the most ardent SpaceX fanbois acknowledge it’s gonna be some time before anyone rides this thing uphill. That does not, however, mean never.
  11. An LAS is, in general, a reasonable thing to include on a rocket. In any kind of capsule—Dragon, Mercury, Soyuz—including one is certainly non-trivial but it’s also not exceedingly difficult, as long as your lifter can manage the mass. Likewise, simply wearing pressure suits, like after Challenger and that Soyuz, is a very reasonable design change. Creating some kind of EDL abort system for a capsule, well… for all intents and purposes, is impossible, the capsule is your abort system. They actually did study shoving a capsule with abort motors into the shuttle’s payload bay, which would have given it the odd distinction of having a lifeboat during every single phase of flight, including reentry, but since that would have killed pretty much any payload capacity it never went anywhere. Anywho, it’s all about managing the risk again, and reducing it to an “acceptable” level. Starship can accomplish this either by demonstrating sufficient reliability with real flights (which the shuttle never could) before launching people, or by including it’s own independent abort system a la that shuttle “capsule in the cargo bay.” Realistically, we might see some kind of hybrid system, since Starship itself is also capable of aborting from a failing Superheavy. I could have sworn that even before upping to nine engines Musk said that Starship would have a TWR greater than 1 on the pad, and could fire its own engines to abort within a fraction of a second. This was one reason the RVac was designed to be able to fire at sea level, too. It certainly can now with those nine. So, question becomes, how many successful launches (and landings) does the system need for that to be reliable enough? Also, a note on those zip lines: remember, the shuttle and Apollo were boarded after being fully fueled, so you’d have an entire ground crew up there, too. Those zip lines to APCs or Apollo’s bunker are exactly what you’d need for evacuating that ground crew, even if the flight crew were already buttoned up inside, if a fire broke out on the pad, very much like that Soyuz incident. If memory serves, the fire was going on for several minutes between the “oh, crap!” moment and the Big Boom.
  12. Three more on Soyuz MS-10, which used a backup abort system, and a hair’s breadth of three more on Apollo 12 if not for the steely-eyed missile man. And any kind of abort system at all might have saved the challenger crew. The trouble with the Shuttle (aside from the whole design being inherently dangerous from the get go) is that it could never fly enough to gain and demonstrate the required reliability to be reliable enough. Starship not only has a real possibility of doing so, but it needs to. It won’t work otherwise, since it needs to have that crazy-high launch cadence to get anywhere BLEO. A dozen flights a year won’t cut it, it needs dozens or even hundreds, and has a far better chance of actually doing so.
  13. This. Like… obnoxiously stuck. Like… listening to it on repeat over an over an over again is no longer good enough so now I’m going through the entire YouTube Music list of cover versions over an over an over stuck. plz kill me now
  14. Right, but until recently, there’s been a feeling that they didn’t quite want to acknowledge Starship, and not without some validity.
  15. FunFact: each individual is actually a colony of four different sub-kinds of genetically identical but specialized critters: gas bag, guts, stingers, and… gonads… Also, they’re left- or right-handed. They probably just busted him for not having a license.
  16. Right. But the question is, exactly how much risk of ruining the scientific process actually exists? I'm asking. We agree that it's non-zero, right? Ok, there is a nonzero risk that I'll be struck by lightning when I go outside to feed the chickens. Now, obviously that risk is so exceedingly low that it doesn't warrant that I take any special precautions. So what is the real risk here? The risk of life on Mars AND the risk of a bug on the ship AND the risk of surviving the trip AND landing in the right place AND being compatible with the environment and so on, and so on. That all seems like an extremely low risk to me. And that's assuming SpaceX somehow intentionally blunders into the worst possible place right off the bat, which itself is unlikely. There's all sorts of measures they could take, and likely will, short of waiting on sample returns, in order to further reduce that risk. Those sample returns are a risk, too, especially if the results come back inconclusive, or worse, negative for life. Because in either case there will always be someone arguing "we can't do things yet, there might still be life and we just haven't found it yet." I think Tater said, that the best way to actually find evidence of life on Mars is to get boots (and a proper lab) on the ground and go looking for it. Or, more likely, randomly blunder into the right place after years of living there and searching. Here's also the thing, if there is/was life on Mars, there almost certainly is/was life everywhere it's even remotely possible. Europa, Enceladus, Titan, heck, the Moon... if life is just one other place it's likely to be freaking everywhere, just like it is on Earth. So even if (and that's a very big if) the Martian biosphere is somehow compromised, it's less destroying an entire world and more stepping on a single plant. That is, unfortunate, but not of the gravity some would make it out to be. That's no excuse to go barreling through the cosmos strip-mining everything as we go along just for the lulz, but neither is it a valid reason to just sit here on our thumbs with analysis paralysis. And, of course, this is all assuming Martian life is life as we know it, and not something so entirely alien that we've been looking right at it this whole time without recognizing it. there's a reason The Face looks so done with our crap...
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