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About p1t1o

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    Just some guy, y'know?

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  1. 3 major things - size, lateral thrusters, solar panels. Solar panels dont make any sense for a kill vehicle. Molniya-1 is significantly larger and Im not seeing any lateral thrusters, or at least they are not very large, making it far less likely to have much in the way of high-divert capability. You couldnt say that one was *definitely* this or that, but the smaller one looks nothing like a comsat and Molniyas does. Its a bit moot though as the IS-A kill vehicle would maneuver directly towards its target, it would not loiter in orbit for a long time - it couldnt, without a long term power supply - so nobody is going to be staring at it with a telescope trying to figure out what it is. Put one inside a Moniya though... *** Better question, if you were not so familiar with the Hubble telescope, and were searching the sky for weapons...which one of these would stand out?
  2. Where do you get your news from?

    BBC news is excellent and well-respected, also very good for real-time reporting. Snopes.com is an excellent and highly regarded source for debunking myths and rumours. A good place to go if you see something suspect and are not sure about it. A good place to check out regularly anyway. As for other sources, I take them all with a pinch of salt. Best advice I can give is - it is more likely to be true the more sources agree, but I dont really mean 2 websites - huge numbers of website get their info from the same places anyway, and dont take anything said in a blog seriously. I mean like a website and a newspaper and a magazine-related-to-the-subject, that would be a reliable combination.
  3. Cool! But those wouldnt exist if someone didnt think it was worth checking out those identities... If I wanted to put a surreptitious sensor in space, I'd put it on an actually functioning comsat and call it a "science experiment" or some jazz. Err, well to be fair, yeah it looks like a kill vehicle, look at all those divert thrusters and that is definitely a warhead. But I do think it would at least be a challenge to spot that from the ground.
  4. So every time I see the thread title "Do you BELIEVE there is life outside of Earth?" over on the Science forum, I read it in Cher's voice to the tune of "Life After Love". AND. NOW. SO. DO. YOU. It doesnt go away.... funny.
  5. Underwater weapons

    I didnt mean to imply that drones are not effective, only that we've had drones for a lot longer than we've had "drones" if you know what I mean, which means that becoming paranoid about the rise of "drones" is worse than pointless. And the comparison to skynet - we have the capability to build skynets army today, it didnt have access to weaponry any more dangerous than that we already have. (ok they had plasma rifles in the 40W range, but thats just another infantry weapon, not a game changer like timed explosive ammunition, say). What we saw in the movies was the cleanup of the last 1% of living humans, it was the nukes that won the war. Sophisticated, autonomous, robotic weapons are nothing new, is my point. With their superiority over a standard model T-101 combat mechanoid as an amusing aside Anyhoo...a little OT.
  6. Quick! Do something!

    Welp, this is definitely 2017... https://boingboing.net/2017/11/15/there-is-now-a-ferry-mcferryfa.html +1 for "Excession" but I have a sneaky feeling we should keep it for a real one.
  7. Underwater weapons

    Indeed, high velocity is not rally compatible with water. Schkval is an outlier, and even then, considering its power, it "only" reaches a couple hundred knots or so. *** Modern weapons are very advanced, surprisingly so. It always "amuses" (for want of a better word) me when people rave about how drones are going to end us all, or how armed robots are super-scary. Torpedos are literally tiny robot killers, you release them and they speed away, find and identify targets and attempt to kill them. AA missiles are literally tiny robot aircraft which do the same, highly autonomous. Each have capabilities orders of magnitude greater than their manned counterpart. Some AG missiles will search an area for a defined target or targets using multiple sensors (many weapons are turning up now with combined radar and IR sensor suites), send imaging data back to base for final ID (including high speed footage from the last second or so before impact to aid BDA) or even manual re-targetting and can abort to a safe area should a target not be located. Some weapons can attack multiple targets or loiter at altitude for one to turn up. Some weapons have multiple deployable warheads and can decide themselves how best to employ them. We already have terminators among us, its just they dont look like the ones from the movies - because ours are more efficient killers. Who would win in a fight? A T-101 model combat mechanoid or an autonomous, supersonic, brimstone missile with imaging millimetre radar, search algorithms and a 14lb shaped charge warhead capable of defeating modern MBT armours? The reason Skynet wins is because of its control over nuclear weapons, not because terminators and other robot killing machines are particularly scary or unusual. /weird random rant
  8. Why? Just register it as a civilian satellite and dont tell anyone. I wouldnt be surprised at all if this is done already.
  9. Disguises are precisely what is used when stealth is required in space today. Also chaff, active decoys, jamming etc. I dont see any reason why you couldnt do what you suggest with some degree of success. Its not too far a stretch of the imagination to think that there might be some "communications satellites" up there right now that are in fact for something else.
  10. What is the inverse of rotation? This comes from a/the discussion about how bicycles stay upright and how two opposed wheels with opposite rotation still have a gyroscopic effect. A forward vector can be cancelled out completely with a vector in the opposite direction, however with rotating objects, when you take two of them rotating in opposite directions, some things cancel out but there are still terms left over - hence two wheels rotating in opposite directions still have a gyroscopic effect. Lets consider the wheel, all points on the rim are constantly accelerating inwards at a rate proportional to the speed of rotation. This occurs in equilibrium, a steady state, no points change distance from any other point. It stores angular momentum. Unless energy is removed, it will continue forever. So what is the opposite of that? What arrangement of masses and velocities can directly and completely oppose the angular momentum of a wheel? Is there one? Does the question make sense in this universe? The only thing that comes close in my mind is one of those sprinklers where water enters a spinny thing, shoots out the ends making it rotate? Its the only example I could think of with constant outwards acceleration, but even this isnt in equilibrium as the water leaves the system entirely. And it still looks quite a lot like a wheel.
  11. Random Science Facts Thread!

    This was baking my noodle for a while, how could two opposing wheels still have a gyroscopic effect? Then I thought about what you said. I was thinking "If you consider the pair of wheels, and you look at each point on one wheel and its counterpart point on the other, then all the vectors cancel out to zero, so what gives hmm?" But if you consider the acceleration of each point of the wheels, both points in the pair are accelerating inwards, when you combine them they DOUBLE! Is that a fair assessment of why two oppositely-rotating wheels still have a gyroscopic effect? (then I started thinking - so how can you cancel out the constant inwards acceleration of all of the points on a wheel? Then I started trying to imagine an inverse wheel, or an inside-out wheel and my mind started to hurt so now Im going to have a bath)
  12. If it occludes a bright object, like a star, it will be as obvious to a telescope as an iridium flare. You wont get much data from a single occlusion, but what you would do, if you were so inclined, is look very intensely at that area with all of your other sensors.
  13. Indeed one can never predict how one would react in such extreme situations. May none of us ever find out.
  14. These books are very interesting. Its funny how simple they can be - when all you want to do is kill and you are not limited in any way, there isn't too much to learn. Or at least its not too technical, compared to other martial arts publications: One memorable page was a killing technique (for a person already on the ground) which was literally "Jump in the air as high as you can, knees to chest, and stamp with both feet on his sternum." Yup, that'd do it. Honestly, even if my life depended on it, I think I might be too skweemish to do that...
  15. Im going to go ahead and politely challenge that idea, any supporting data? I can accept that it can work that way for icebergs, but I have never heard of RAM being "too efficient" and RAM-protected vehicles being visible because of the "hole" they leave in returns. It doesnt even make sense for aircraft or spacecraft as there is no reflective background. I even have a hard time believing that RAM protected ships, with a sea background, do not still have a significant radar return. Radar stealth has never been about invisibility, it has always been about merely reducing the range at which the return you give is reasonably detectable. Why do stealth craft have "stealth shapes"? Because they still reflect radar and they want to reflect as much of it as possible away from the emitting sensor.