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Fun Fact Thread! (previously fun fact for the day, not limited to 1 per day anymore.)


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8 hours ago, Hyperspace Industries said:

The statistics are in!

In other news: Apollo 12 commander Pete Conrad's first words when stepping on the moon were, "Oooh, that's soft." (The transmission is a litte hard to hear, so I may be a little off.)

From the transcript-

"Off the *uninterpretable* [pad?], is that soft and queasy. Hey, that's neat. I don't sink in too far. I'll try a little- boy, that sun's bright. That's just like somebody- shining a spotlight on your hand."

His words upon fully getting down the ladder were "Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me. I'm going to step off the pad."

Another fun quote by Alan Bean (Apollo 12 Lunar Module Pilot), during suit donning for the first EVA- "Those rocks have been waiting four and half billion years for us to come grab them".

https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a12/a12trans.html

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It seems like Jeb likes stomach clipping, because when I go 15+ G he's always smiling.

Bill, however, is more likely to do part clipping, because all my crafts where Bill is have these, and not the others.

What about Bob and Valentina?

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The Redstone engine thrust and chamber pressure were higher, namely, 78,000 lbf vs 56,000 lbf and 317 vs 220 psia. For comparison some data and illustrations of the V-2 engine are in Chapter 9. Here are some of the other changes, when compared to the V-2: It had a new type of large diameter (flat surface) injector, a concept that was originated a few years earlier by the General Electric Company, as seen in Fig. 7.3-3. It was a stainlesssteel forging with machined internal circular grooves at the face, radial internal fuel supply passages, and a bolted-on dome to distribute the oxidizer flow through axial holes to alternate circular grooves. Alternate rings had drilled holes for fuel injection and for oxidizer injection, and the flat rings were brazed into the face of the grooves. The flat surface of all of the rings formed the face of the injector as seen from the combustion chamber. The hole pattern in the rings had doublet self-impinging pairs of liquid jets, as depicted in Fig. 4.3-13. Extra film-cooling holes were placed at the periphery of the injector. The thrust chamber and nozzle entrance did have three sets of film-cooling holes in the wall (as in the V-2), but the locations were not the same, and the percent of fuel used for film cooling was much less. The chamber geometry was cylindrical and not pear shaped. The new thrust chamber gave better combustion efficiency and performance than the V-2 engine even though the relative chamber volume was less (L of 60 in. vs 90 in. for the V-2). The engine control system was more sophisticated. The gas generator used hydrogen peroxide with a solid catalyst bed, which is shown in Fig. 4.5-2, instead of the liquid permanganate solution of the V-2. There were two different versions of the Redstone engine, with a key difference in the fuel piping.

The first hot firing of the new large thrust chamber (with a pressurized test stand feed system) occurred in January 1950, which at 75,000 lb was then the highest rocket thrust in the United States. Your author was the designer and the development engineer for this TC. It was part of the job to inspect the chamber and injector for discoloration or burned spots immediately after a test run. To do this, I had to stand on a short ladder with a flashlight in hand and squeeze through the tight 15.5-in.-diam nozzle into the chamber. There were fumes in the chamber from the denatured (poisoned) alcohol, and I quickly became drunk and got a big hangover from breathing these fumes all on company time. Needless to say, I used a fresh air supply on my next inspection.

Now George Sutton is the world's foremost engine-eer.

Edited by DDE
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The Earth doesn’t rotate once every 24 hours.

The Solar day might last for 24 hours, but during that time the Earth has moved just under a degree (on average) around the Sun (365 days, 360 degrees) so the Earth has to rotate 361 degrees on its axis so the Sun is in the same place in the sky again; this is known as the solar day for obvious reasons. The time taken to rotate once on its axis is known as the sidereal day, which on Earth is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.091 seconds long- this is the orbital period required for a geosynchronous orbit which maintains a fixed longitude above the planet.

Geostationary orbits are just geosynchronous orbits with 0 inclination, so their latitude is also fixed; since they are effectively stationary in the sky they’re very easy to point at, making them very useful for communications (including satellite TV) which is also why you’ll typically see all the satellite dishes in one area pointing in the same direction they’re all aimed at the same satellite.

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South Africa has created one astronaut and one space tourist. For some reason our handbooks are filled with mentions of the tourist (Mark Shuttleworth) who had the net worth needed to go on the shuttle. 
 

Much less common is the story of our true astronaut, Mike Melville, a guy from Joburg (the english pronunciation of Johannesburg) test pilot of spaceship 1 from virgin “scaled composites” galactic, which he flew twice. 
 

He’s going strong at 81 years old. 

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6 hours ago, DDE said:

Now George Sutton is the world's foremost engine-eer.

Another interesting story from the development of that same engine:

Quote

A humorous (although it was not thought so at the time) anecdote involving a materials selection for the Redstone engine occurred during its first test. In front of Army generals and corporate executives, the first engine test resulted in an explosion which destroyed the engine. It seems the designer had selected alloy steel for the LOX dome which, at an operating temperature of -290F (-179C), was well below the ductile-to-brittle transition of the steel. Startup shock fractured the dome and resulted in the explosion. From then on, LOX domes were made from aluminum alloys.

From: Materials for Liquid Propulsion Systems

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A card gap test involves putting a propellant flask next to a bit of explosive, with X cards in between, this acting as impromptu units of shock sensitivity. The propellant in question apparently was IsoButylene Adduct of N2F4 (IBA), which was then mixed with N2O4 to produce a rather prickly mixture (tested to 96 cards before everyone gave up).

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Two people can operate the card-gap apparatus, and three operators is optimum. But when LRPL did this particular job (the feather-bedding at Picatinny was outrageous) there were about seven people on the site —two or three engineers, and any number of rocket mechanics dressed (for no particular reason) in acid-proof safety garments. So there was a large audience for the subsequent events. The old destroyer gun turret which housed our card-gap setup had become a bit frayed and tattered from the shrapnel it had contained (The plating on a destroyer is usually thick enough to keep out the water and the smaller fish ). So we had installed an inner layer of armor plate, standing off about an inch and a half from the original plating. And, as the setup hadn't been used for several months, a large colony of bats —yes, bats, little Dracula types —had moved into the gap to spend the winter. And when the first shot went off, they all came boiling out with their sonar gear fouled up, shaking their heads and pounding their ears. They chose one rocket mechanic —as it happens, a remarkably goosy character anyway—and decided that it was all his fault. And if you, gentle reader, have never seen a nervous rocket mechanic, complete with monkey suit, being buzzed by nine thousand demented bats and trying to beat them off with a shovel, there is something missing from your experience. 

 

Edited by DDE
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52 minutes ago, DDE said:

A card gap test involves putting a propellant flask next to a bit of explosive, with X cards in between, this acting as impromptu units of shock sensitivity. The propellant in question apparently was IsoButylene Adduct of N2F4 (IBA), which was then mixed with N2O4 to produce a rather prickly mixture (tested to 96 cards before everyone gave up).

 

Sounds like Ignition? 

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10 hours ago, Hyperspace Industries said:

On sputnik 9, a russian space dog who’s name translates to “blackie” accompanied a dummy named Ivan Ivancovich in a vostok capsule test, Ivan ejected, and the doggo survived. 

This flight, officially designated Korabl-Sputnik 4, also carried the first guinea pigs (cavia porcellus) to reach orbit.

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Eris was once the minor planet discovered further away than any other. Then they discovered one even farther out... which was named "FarOut". Then they discovered one even farther out than that... which was named "FarFarOut" 

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5 hours ago, NFUN said:

Eris was once the minor planet discovered further away than any other. Then they discovered one even farther out... which was named "FarOut". Then they discovered one even farther out than that... which was named "FarFarOut" 

Yes. the trans Neptune objects are an close parallel to the asteroid belt around 170 years ago, first they found an new planet as in Ceres then they found more and more smaller stuff and it piled up faster and faster. 

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1 hour ago, Admiral Fluffy said:

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus was one of the earliest internet hoaxes. I have added a link for your amusement.

Those early 20's Tree Octopus hats were the berries.  Especially on a dish like that. 

Only a maroon would let a pal buy one for his moll. 

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The Chicxulub meteor created a crater several miles deep, before it even hit the ground- it was so big that the atmosphere couldn’t move out of the way and got compressed in front of it, punching a hole in the ground before the meteor itself hit. The impact itself created a wall of rock several miles high that rippled outwards like a liquid at several times the speed of sound; it also threw  debris so high that some of it has been hypothesised to have landed on the Moon- so there might be little bits of dinosaur up there.

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1 hour ago, jimmymcgoochie said:

The Chicxulub meteor created a crater several miles deep, before it even hit the ground- it was so big that the atmosphere couldn’t move out of the way and got compressed in front of it, punching a hole in the ground before the meteor itself hit. The impact itself created a wall of rock several miles high that rippled outwards like a liquid at several times the speed of sound; it also threw  debris so high that some of it has been hypothesised to have landed on the Moon- so there might be little bits of dinosaur up there.

Err... the debris didn't brake, would "dinosaur bits" (assuming any large part of this hypothetical dinosaur individual survived that particular event) survive impact?

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5 minutes ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Err... the debris didn't brake, would "dinosaur bits" (assuming any large part of this hypothetical dinosaur individual survived that particular event) survive impact?

Depends on your definition of “little bits”- though it would probably just be tiny fragments rather than a whole T-Rex.

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In 1939 the Soviets hauled home a Type 95 Ha-Go tank captured in the combined-arms "border incident" at Khalkhin-Gol. The testing arm at Kubinka marked a grand total of three technologies worthy of "borrowing":

scale_600

Turret turning mechanism, turret bearings design, and this "rivet" on the aft end of the tank, which is actually a button similar in function to an electric doorbell. This was a clever alternative to the usual way of getting a tank crew's attention - banging on the outside with a wrench; the Type 95 didn't have a radio or an intercom (presumably the commander would communicate with the driver by kicking), and neither would small infantry units.

The Soviets adopted the button, albeit not as concealed, for the IS series of tanks and SPGs (except for the IS-3, from which it was removed for some reason), and it also appears on T-34s of Czechoslovak post-war manufacture.

The Western Allies began impromptu adoption of externally mounted field telephones patched into the intercom circa 1943, not sure where they got the idea.

Spoiler

cPzwipW_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&

Talking next to a gas turbine exhaust. Oh joy.

 

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5 hours ago, DDE said:

Western Allies began impromptu adoption of externally mounted field telephones patched into the intercom circa 1943, not sure where they got the idea

March 25, 2003, a massive dust storm rolled through the Tigris and Euphrates watershed bringing a soaking rain.  An infantry lieutenant whose nylon sleeping bag was soaked had the bright idea using the exhaust from my tank to dry his gear. 

... 

1500 degrees and nylon.  Any guesses as to what happened? 

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29 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

March 25, 2003, a massive dust storm rolled through the Tigris and Euphrates watershed bringing a soaking rain.  An infantry lieutenant whose nylon sleeping bag was soaked had the bright idea using the exhaust from my tank to dry his gear. 

... 

1500 degrees and nylon.  Any guesses as to what happened? 

Kaboom?

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