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About Mitchz95

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    Senior Rocket Scientist

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  1. The sheer scale of these impacts breaks my brain whenever I think about them.
  2. With the advent of truly reusable launch vehicles, two things are very likely to happen over the next decade or two: 1) Launching stuff into space is going to be way cheaper than ever before. 2) There's going to be a LOT more stuff in orbit. We all saw the concerns about what effect Starlink would have on astronomy. Even if Starlink itself turns out to be not a big deal, we know Kuiper is coming soon and presumably lots of other mega-constellations will follow. With these in mind, it seems likely that we'll soon have both the desire and the ability to launch space telescopes more commonly, and to higher orbits as well. So does this mean ground-based telescopes, like the controversial one planned in Mauna Kea, obsolete in the near-term?
  3. So there wasn't a livestream this time? Disappointing, I was waiting for one and missed it. But hey! Starhopper hopped!
  4. Not sure if it counts as a trailer, but this is concept footage for the Three-Body Problem animated series being developed by YooZoo Entertainment. It looks very true to the spirit of the books, so I'm incredibly excited! Be warned, it pretty heavily spoils the first two books of the series.
  5. The Dark Forest theory argues that any civilization with a sense of self-preservation must immediately exterminate any others they encounter, for fear that the other will do the same to them. Covert infiltration of a technologically-inferior civ might be a stopgap, but depending on how different their physiology is, understanding and befriending them may be impossible a lot of the time. And even if we pull it off, how can we be sure they won't change their mind and annihilatate us a century down the road, too suddenly for us to respond to?
  6. How much faster could Dragonfly get to Titan if it launched on a Starship and refueled in orbit? Eight years is a long time to wait.
  7. As cool as this is, I'm almost more intrigued by the fact that the star itself wasn't discovered until 2003 despite being twelve light-years away. Could that mean there may be other dwarf stars lurking in the vicinity, maybe even closer than Alpha Centauri, that we've overlooked?
  8. I apologize if this is a dumb question. I was reading about the Indian anti-satellite missile incident from March, and it occurred to me that if space debris' orbits naturally decay over time, it might be possible to speed up the decay by putting additional stuff in their way to slow them down. Anything solid is going to shatter it, of course, and there's way too much debris to account for all the stuff in orbit, so you'd need something fairly gentle and indiscriminate. Such as gasses. Here's what I mean: instead of a kinetic/explosive missile, you launch a bunch of gas canisters on a suborbital trajectory, and detonate them in the path of the debris you're trying to deorbit. The debris flies through the gas and slows down ever so slightly, maybe enough to make a difference over time. Would this be at all practical? Flying through a thin cloud of gas wouldn't fragment a dead satellite, would it?
  9. On average, how much physical damage does a supernova do to the planets orbiting it? Are they physically shattered/vaporized, or "merely" have their surfaces melted but remain mostly intact?
  10. "Captain's log, stardate 2713.5. In the distant reaches of our galaxy, we have made an astonishing discovery: Earth-type radio signals coming from a planet which apparently is an exact duplicate of the Earth. It seems impossible, but there it is."
  11. I wouldn't have thought gas giants could form in red dwarf systems, what with the star being so small.
  12. I think the public would absolutely accept a Phobos mission, so long as it was promoted as a prelude to landing on Mars. And can you imagine the kinds of pictures the astronauts would send home? The surface of an asteroid, with a giant red planet dominating the sky above them... it would be a scene straight out of classic sci-fi.