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Everything posted by Aanker

  1. Thanks Majorjim! The Ekranoplan wasn't a direct source of inspiration but I can see where you're coming from haha.
  2. CSC CTA-1 "Titan" A2E2 There's no need to scale down your ambitions. Introduction The Consolidated Space Cargo CTA-1 (Carrier, TransAtmospheric) "Titan" A2E2 SSTO is the latest delivery system offered by the CSC group to space pioneers who desire heavy lifting capabilities for their orbital projects. The Titan carries two fully fueled "orange" tanks to at least a 100 km altitude orbit and thus satisfies most cargo needs. Download https://kerbal.curseforge.com/projects/csc-cta-1-titan-a2e2-ssto-take-two-orange-tanks-to User information As with any advanced SSTO, basic SSTO experience is recommended for usage. 1. User manual a. Liftoff i. Press "1" to activate atmospheric engine mode and start the engines. ii. Most of the runway will be needed for takeoff, execute rotation during the last 1/3 of the runway stretch. iii. Maintain a pitch of around 10-15 degrees. b. Cruise and ascent i. Maintain 10-15 degree pitch. ii. Allow acceleration to supersonic speeds before leaving troposphere. iii. Maintain atmospheric flight mode for as long as possible at higher altitudes, but do not wait until deceleration begins at extremely high altitudes. iv. Press "2" to switch to non-atmospheric engine mode, gentle pitch adjustments to avoid excessive drag. v. If a proper ascent has been executed, a stable orbit at 100 km altitude should be achievable. c. Orbital operations i. On the top surface of each of the two cargo bays is an extendable solar panel ii. Press "3" to open the cargo bay doors; detach the tanks manually. *Each tank has an in-built probe core, RCS thrusters and a limited supply of RCS fuel for extraction from the main vehicle and transport to any nearby craft. d. Deorbit and descent i. Make certain to shift fuel forward for a stable flight experience during descent. ii. Low landing speeds are recommended, use as much of the runway as possible. Images
  3. That's not... Entirely true... In fact thermal radiation (infrared) at temperatures as low as 45 degrees C can cause so-called erythema ab igne, which is a skin condition characterized by expansive rashes in exposed areas. Resting a laptop in one's lap, sitting too close to the fireplace or using heating pads for too long can cause the condition. This is not a burn, although burn injuries can also cause cancer (in rare cases). In rare cases, erythema ab igne can cause squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin. It should be noted that repeated, long-duration exposure is required, such that the rash becomes chronic and does not heal.
  4. Are we sure this cryovolcanism is still present, though? For all we know, they could be ancient remnants of past, dwindling activity.
  5. Life needs order, cells established through the bilipid membrane are the most basic elements of order available in organics. And by extrapolation, life does appear to be an exclusive extension of organic chemistry, at least until evidence surfaces that indicates otherwise. The 'carbon molecule' lego box is simply unrivalled. Let's suppose that life develops through a chain of critical events: A, B, C, D. At the moment we seem to know A (organic molecules are common and widespread throughout the solar system) and D (the earliest forms of life on Earth were simple prokaryotic cells consisting of organic molecules). We can guess our way to B, and have shown the spontaneous formation of nucleotides and other important cell components in experiments. C is largely unknown, although we have some models such as the RNA world hypothesis. Both B and C seem to be organic chemistry exclusive. The Earth is abundant in other elements, yet H, C, O (and N) dominate the biosphere. Our expectations of life elsewhere should thus reasonably work from the assumption that it will consist of the same fundamental molecules we find on Earth. Until there is evidence that the steps necessary for the formation of life can be completed with other compounds than carbon-based molecules + water, I think the working model in this thread (Fe, Cu... For blood colour) isn't too far off. As far as blood goes, obviously not all life on Earth has blood. But for intelligence, where a large neural network is required to sustain complex circuits, blood is an imperative. Oxygen cannot diffuse freely more than a few milimetres before the tissue in question needs to rely on blood. Blood itself contains electrolytes, water and energy while generating an osmotic gradient for cells throughout the body. It is also a coolant, which is important for our neatly encapsulated and enclosed organs beneath several layers of fat. And it helps deliver cells, antibodies and peptides of the immune system to locales of infection and inflammation. Blood is supreme.
  6. Eh don't know about that. The NASA spaceplanes were all launched from B-52s, their pilots and the early astronauts all had a military background, and the trainer jets used by astronauts are military grade material. Rockets don't look particularly militaristic because there's little room for that kind of aesthetic from a practical standpoint. But ignoring the intimate relationship between air forces and space exploration is a bit revisionist. If anything we need more military stuff in the base game. Not necessarily weapons but the kind of second-hand B-52 style gear you would expect an upstart space program to receive from its peers. That said there's still the Mk1 inline cockpit and other parts which could be associated with military origins.
  7. Physical torture is an immoral and ineffective way of obtaining valuable information, because the victim will often lie or provide irrelevant information to avoid pain. Just because the torture method itself is very painful does not mean it rivals modern interrogation techniques. Interestingly, I seem to recall that pure psychological torment (as employed by the infamous Stasi) is far more successful, but still grossly abhorrent. Besides, torture breeds resentment towards the organization exercising it, this is counterproductive to someone interested in achieving stability.
  8. In medicine at least, the probability of causality is determined by Hill's criteria (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford_Hill_criteria). Here are a few of them: Strength. As proven by statistical analysis, results correlate significantly (p<0.05). Consistency. The results have been verified repeatedly through multiple independent works. Temporal relation. Cause->Effect. Proportionality. We expect an increased amount or magnitude of the cause to proportionally lead to a greater or more frequent effect. Probable mechanism. There is an understood theoretical mechanism potentially underlying the data. And so forth and so on. We'll start with these. How many have we cleared?
  9. The old explanation was about sensory neuron feedback and gradual amplification of input. There are mechanisms at the synaptic terminals which provide both positive and negative feedback, and, presumably this would have been a case of the former. At least that's how I remember it. It's also an important mechanism for neuralgic pain where hypersensitivity arises in damaged tissue.
  10. Prions are proteins. The prion protein (PrP) is the normal form which then undergoes misfolding into PrP(Sc), Sc for Scrapie. PrP(Sc) may directly convert normally folded prion proteins into the misfolded form, so there is no breakdown or cleavage involved here. Beta amyloid (in Alzheimer's) is an oligopeptide breakdown product through beta secretase of the amyloid precursor protein. Both normal PRP and APP appear to have physiological roles in the body, and APP breakdown occurs in healthy people. Some people may live their entire lives without being struck by either disease (CJD certainly being very rare and occuring mostly spontaneously in a few unlucky people), but age is definitely a factor. In the case of Alzheimer's the brain does clear out APP breakdown products, but we know that f.e. a lack of sleep may impede this process, amongst other factors.
  11. An unusual topic in the day to day buzz of astronomy going on around here: http://www.nature.com/news/autopsies-reveal-signs-of-alzheimer-s-in-growth-hormone-patients-1.18331 The gist: Human Growth Hormone (hHG) recipients who died prematurely in CJD were found on biopsy to have beta amyloid plaques (characteristic of Alzheimer's disease) in their brains. While CJD - a prion disease - is known to be transmissible via contaminated hHG from human cadavers, it does not give rise to beta amyloid plaques. Instead, it appears that the hHG donator may have had Alzheimer's and unwittingly contaminated the extracted hHG with plaques, which then seeded the younger hHG recipients. The implications: hHG is not really used anymore in growth hormone deficient patients. Instead, a recombinant form ensures maximum safety and does away with any chance of contamination by prions. However, if Alzheimer's may be transmissible in this way just like CJD, it is conceivable that it may be transmissible in another, similar way. CJD may arise after prion contaminated instruments are used in brain surgery. Proteins are much harder to remove than bacteria and viruses, so surgeries performed in those with amyloid plaques could potentially result in instrument contamination and transmission to the next patient. Some notes on Alzheimer's: a neurodegenerative disease usually presenting later in life (but possibly arising from insidious changes many years before the first symptoms). The cause of Alzheimer's is not completely understood, but appears to be related to beta amyloid protein, which forms toxic intraneural particles or large extracellular plaques. Amyloid spreads successively though the brain until cognitive function is severely impaired.
  12. With IR imaging, not if it's essentially a bright IR torch.
  13. Again, discussing the scientifically calculated drawbacks of putting humans somewhere is a convenient detraction from the whole point of putting humans somewhere. It's an emotionally motivated wish to explore and accomplish great things in person or through someone else. We're not robots and shouldn't attempt to reason as such, besides, being a robot is boring.
  14. Not at all on the same magnitude as manned landings. I don't even think I need to back that up with hard evidence, lol. Everyone knows people landed on the Moon, hardly anyone knows a probe went to Titan. End of story for this argument. The Apollo Moon landings defined a nation. If NASA hadn't done it, the Russian equivalent might have been what we thought of whenever someone said "space travel". Now it's NASA. That's what inspires kids.
  15. If it's an argument from practical, political considerations, then sure, enacting expensive policies now to send a human on a dangerous mission to Mars tomorrow makes little sense. But all nations need prestigeous flagship programs to attract skilled scientists and draw the attention of the financial and political world, which is why a long-running plan to put human footprints on Mars is a sensible endeavour. If history has taught us anything, it is that nations willing to "take the next step" have been the most successful.
  16. There isn't a solid entirely rational argument for why we should let humans explore Mars, or any other place. But then, there isn't a solid entirely rational argument for why we should send a probe there (why do science? It's a waste of resources when we could all live happily like Stone Age people), congratulate our relatives on their respective birthdays or, you know, live at all. The whole 'there is no rational argument' argument isn't an argument at all because it doesn't state what we should do, it merely repeats value void facts, of no interest to your average empathic, emotional normal human being. Since we are human and live in human societies, it just makes sense to deal with it and not try to artificially reason like some cynical genius whose ultimate conclusion - taken to its extreme - means that there is no justification for anything. We should try to go to Mars because it makes us feel good, will inspire others and generally contribute to the morale of society. There, I said it. Only when discussing the when and the how should we involve so-called rational arguments. Fortunately most humans don't think this way.
  17. And again, we should assume the EM Drive works according to known or mostly known physics (i.e., ion propulsion) before jumping to conclusions and assuming new mechanics are at play, let alone pull the device before the Tribunal of Crimes Against the Laws of Physics.
  18. Guys, it's billions of years into the future. No need to panic. You can still go to the grocery store tomorrow, and the day after that, to buy your favorite flavour of nachos.
  19. Well, the light also has to go through our own atmosphere. I'm sure the 'night sky' and the milky way in particular all look brighter from a spacecraft facing away from both the Earth and the Sun.
  20. I guess the only major difference in principle between ablation and other reaction mass power is the method that drives the reaction mass to exhaust velocity. In f.e. a chemical rocket, it is the chemical reaction (well, I guess specifically temperature and pressure) whereas with ablation it is some direct energy source that shoots off the material (i.e. a laser or, as I merely speculated here, microwaves or some thermo-electric-magnetic interaction thingy).
  21. The question is, if the device is losing mass (detectable or not, at the moment), would it make for a viable method of propulsion anyway?
  22. Suppose that the device is ablating. Since we are talking micronewton scale thrust, and I assume that (in the case of outgassing) most of the thrust would be provided by the velocity of the outgoing reaction mass, a very tiny amount of material would have to be ejected to produce thrust over the course of the experiment, no? Could that mass be essentially immesurable with the present equipment? Assuming ablation is happening, can we calculate roughly how many weight units of copper (?) have been lost over the course of the experiment, given force and time measurements from - say - Tajmar's experiment?
  23. How much has ablation been investigated as a potential source of thrust? Suppose that the microwaves somehow cause ablation of the chamber such that it spews out a few massive particles? Like a laser ablative drive, but with microwaves.
  24. Or you can hit spacebar and hope the second stage makes it on its own! Oh wait...
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