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


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39 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

(hint: if you absolutely have to use PP during a talk / brief - don't put words on the screen: images and videos are much more powerful if you are presenting verbally) 

Great. Now convince everyone else in the industry of it.

 

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The Space Shuttle was originally intended to consist of a small orbiter and a large booster, both crewed, making the system fully reusable. It of course didn't turn out this way, but during the era when this design was the favored concept at NASA, it was realized that this would open up the potential use of launch sites other than KSC or Vandenburg AFB. As Space Shuttle development was public, politicians and even regular citizens put forward their own proposals for launch sites.

Two proposals were for sites near none other than Brownsville, Texas, including one that may very well be at Boca Chica!

You can read more about it, and see the map with all of the proposals, here- http://spaceflighthistory.blogspot.com/2015/03/where-to-launch-and-land-space-shuttle.html

Washington and Oregon each had three, including one alarmingly close to Seattle.

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Fungus fact: (get it?) some live as deep as 1700m below the sea floor. 

Quote

Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Chytridiomycota have been observed in sediments ranging in depth from 0 to 1740 meters beneath the ocean floor

 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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1 hour ago, Hyperspace Industries said:

Aluminum used to be really expensive, as in the super rich would use aluminum cutlery instead of regular rich people's silverware.

That’s because it was hard to refine before cheap electricity. It takes so much power it was often called “Frozen Electricity “. 

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1 hour ago, StrandedonEarth said:

That’s because it was hard to refine before cheap electricity. It takes so much power it was often called “Frozen Electricity “. 

I didn't think it was the cost of the electricity (at least not when it was used as a rare metal), but it wasn't until the whole process of discovering that alumina would melt in cryolite (and the whole mixture would be sufficiently conductive to allow electrolysis) that allowed aluminum to even be considered an industrial metal.  It is still one of the most common elements on the planet (after things like silicon and oxygen.  Not sure about carbon), but the electricity cost still dominates the cost to make it.

When I hear "use excess electricity to make hydrogen" I think "why waste perfectly good methane on an energy sink when there is always a need for aluminum?".

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39 minutes ago, wumpus said:

didn't think it was the cost of the electricity

I didn’t mean to imply that the cost of electricity made it rare, but the difficulty of refining it at all before plentiful electricity made electrolysis on an industrial scale possible. 

Edited by StrandedonEarth
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Aluminium metal was unknown. Roman writer Petronius mentioned in his novel Satyricon that an unusual glass had been presented to the emperor: after it was thrown on the pavement, it did not break but only deformed. It was returned to its former shape using a hammer. After learning from the inventor that nobody else knew how to produce this material, the emperor had the inventor executed so that it did not diminish the price of gold.[4

 

(from Wikipedia) 

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7 hours ago, wumpus said:

I didn't think it was the cost of the electricity (at least not when it was used as a rare metal), but it wasn't until the whole process of discovering that alumina would melt in cryolite

The electricity was as rare as cryolite back then, due to lack of the powerplants.

Ad the cryolite feature was discovered when they realized that even the electricity is not enough.

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1 hour ago, Jacke said:

"Thomas the Tank Engine GOES TO GULAG!!!"

The N1 used 4 locomotives
http://www.starbase1.co.uk/vlcsnap7835325b.jpg
it looks like they moved the locomotives to the rear before raising it
http://www.starbase1.co.uk/pages/n1-launch-site.html

now I believed the falcon 9 ejector/ launcher was internally powered probably by an cable as it just has to travel couple of hundred meters. 
 

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Moscow's Polytechnical Museum are either penny-pinchers or very inventive, but they did give one tow truck driver the time of his life.

Spoiler

Yep, that's an RDS-1 mockup

 

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2 hours ago, DDE said:

 

So as a Minnesotan, I am already familiar with the environment of Mars. I even know how to put on a special suit to survive outside. 

 

Today I found out that you can observe cosmic rays or radioactive decay with extremely simple household items. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0031-9120/47/4/429/pdf Perhaps a useful tool to have around during the next supernova.

Edited by cubinator
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Fun fact!

The M109 is an American 155 mm turreted self-propelled howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s to replace the M44. It has been upgraded a number of times, most recently to the M109A7. The M109 family is the most common Western indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions. The M109 has a crew of four: the section chief/commander, the driver, the gunner, and the ammunition handler/loader. The chief or gunner aims the cannon left or right (deflection) and up and down (quadrant). The British Army replaced its M109s with the AS-90. Several European armed forces have or are currently replacing older M109s with the German PzH 2000. Upgrades to the M109 were introduced by the U.S. (see variants below) and by Switzerland (KAWEST). With the cancellation of the U.S. Crusader and Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, the M109A6 ("Paladin") will remain the principal self-propelled howitzer for the U.S. for the foreseeable future until the new M1299 will enter service. The M109 was the medium variant of a U.S. program to adopt a common chassis for its self-propelled artillery units. The light version, the M108 Howitzer, was phased out during the Vietnam War, but many were rebuilt as M109s. The M109 saw its combat debut in Vietnam. Israel used the M109 against Egypt in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and in the 1982 and 2006 Lebanon Wars. Iran used the M109 in the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s. The M109 saw service with the British, Egyptian and Saudi Arabian Armies in the 1991 Gulf War. The M109 also saw service with the U.S. Army in the Gulf War, as well as in the Iraq War from 2003 to 2011.

Upgrades to the cannon, ammunition, fire control, survivability, and other electronics systems over the design's lifespan have expanded the system's capabilities, including tactical nuclear projectiles, guided projectiles (Copperhead), Rocket Assisted Projectiles (RAP), FAmily of SCAtterable Mines (FASCAM), and cluster munitions (the Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition, DPICM).

The M109 was developed by the Ground System Division of United Defense LP (now BAE Systems Land and Armaments).

In January 2016, the U.S. Army test-fired hypervelocity projectiles originally designed for use by U.S. Navy electromagnetic railguns and found that they significantly increased the gun's range. The Army is looking into using the M109 Paladin firing the HVP for ballistic missile defense, as traditional missile interceptors are expensive and gun-based missile defense used for point defense would use artillery at a much lower cost per round.[4][5] The HVP is capable of being fired out to 50 nautical miles (58 mi; 93 km) from a conventional cannon. It weighs 68 lb (31 kg) with a 46 lb (21 kg) flight body containing its guidance and warhead—less powerful, but more agile to hit small, high-speed targets. Modifications will be needed for the Paladin to effectively shoot the HVP, possibly including different propellant to achieve higher velocities, automated reloading systems to fire quickly enough to defeat salvo launches, improved barrel life, and a new fire control and sensor system.[6] During a test of the Air Force's Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) on 3 September 2020, an HVP fired from an Army Paladin howitzer successfully intercepted a BQM-167 target drone simulating a cruise missile.[7][8]

The newest M109 version for U.S. service is the M109A7, formerly known as the M109A6 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM). The M109A7 shares common chassis components with the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) such as the engine, transmission, and tracks. This creates commonality with other systems and maximizes cost-savings in production, parts inventory, and maintenance personnel. The M109A7's on-board power systems harness technologies originally developed for the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon; the electric drive is faster than the previous hydraulic system, and the automatic rammer more consistently rams the round into the gun for consistent velocities and better accuracy. It features a 600-volt on-board power system to accommodate additional armor and future networking technologies as they become ready. The M109A7 can sustain a one-round per-minute rate of fire and a maximum rate of fire of four rounds per-minute.[17] Weighing 78,000 lb (35,000 kg), the M109A7 is 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) heavier than its predecessor, and it has the capacity to grow to 110,000 lb (50,000 kg). Even with the weight increase, the M109A7 can travel faster than previous versions at 38 mph (61 km/h) and is more maneuverable than a BFV.[18] Prototypes of the vehicle underwent government testing in preparation for a Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) decision. The testing included RAM, mission and ballistic hull and turret testing. The M109A7 was slated to begin LRIP by 2013. The U.S. Army planned on procuring a fleet of 580 sets of M109A7 howitzers and M992A3 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles (FAASVs).

In October 2013, the Defense Acquisition Board approved the decision to start M109A7 production. The FY 2014 budget called for $340.8 million in Paladin funding, which would be two dozen vehicle sets at $14.4 million per vehicle. The Army plans to buy 133 vehicles in 66 one-half vehicle sets starting in 2014, although one M109A7 howitzer and two supporting M992A3 ammunition carriers will be destroyed during tests. A Full-Rate Production (FRP) decision planned for February 2017.[19][20] On 31 October 2013, BAE received a $668 million contract to begin LRIP of the M109A7.[21] The first M109A6 and M992A2 vehicles were disassembled and reassembled to M109A7 and M992A3 standard as part of LRIP beginning in summer 2014.[22] LRIP deliveries began in April 2015.[23] The contract for FRP was signed in December 2017 with 48 vehicles slated for construction.[24] The Army plans to upgrade 689 Paladins to A7-standard.[25] The Army is looking to increase the capabilities of the M109A7. By introducing the new XM1113 rocket-assisted projectile (RAP),[26] it can reach 40 km (25 mi) from the current 39-caliber barrel, and a planned barrel extension to 58-caliber can increase its range to 70 km (43 mi). An additional XM1113 improvement over the legacy RAP round is the replacement of the high explosive, TNT, with an insensitive munition that is less volatile and less prone to unplanned detonation.[citation needed] The Army is also working on an autoloader to increase sustained rate of fire to 6–10 rounds per minute.[26] Another part of the effort is the use of a new super-charged propellant to fire the shells, which required redesigning the howitzer to handle higher pressures.[27] These improvements are being developed under the Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) program, which upgrade the design so much it was re-designated the M1299; one battalion of vehicles is planned to begin a year-long operational assessment in 2023, and the autoloader is planned to be ready in 2025.[28]

Edited by Admiral Fluffy
Yes, this is the wikipedia page for the M109 howitzer.
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4 hours ago, Admiral Fluffy said:

Yes, this is the wikipedia page for the M109 howitzer.

After having dealt with a few copy-paste applicant tests too many, I'm weighting what the measured response should be.

 

Edited by DDE
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