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Everything posted by Codraroll

  1. Never mind the tiles. The real treasure buried at the bottom of the sea would be the Superheavy grid fins. Those cost an absolute fortune to manufacture, and may have survived the explosion somewhat intact. They're probably stuck several meters deep in the mud, in mile-deep seas halfway to Florida, though ...
  2. The same number of destroyed engines as 8 Proton flights, regardless of failure or success. And yes, this was a testing and development flight. That runs the risks of losing the hardware somewhat earlier than the best-case scenario (which in this case would also involve losing the hardware), but at least something new is learned and steps are taken to build a new, functional rocket design. You know, development. Functional space agencies do that sometimes.
  3. Wouldn't be a surprise. Pretty much all Russian rocketry since the fall of the Soviet Union are "localized" Soviet designs, in some cases with new stickers.
  4. Yeah, things seem to have played out a lot smoother than the last time. But it would be nice to see confirmation.
  5. Now I want to see pictures of the launch pad. Hope it survived better than last time. The fact that all engines lit up indicates that there wasn't too much of a carnage there, at least.
  6. That last glimpse we got of the Ship might have been its explosion. Wonder why that happened. It might have meant things weren't exactly as nominal as they seemed throughout the launch, separation, and second stage burn.
  7. First stage RUD after separation! Pretty, though!
  8. All engines shining in a pretty pattern like the LEDs in a flashlight. This might go as intended! But edit: My scrub prediction was wrong. I feel a little disappointed in the midst of all the elation
  9. I'm going to bet safe and say scrub. That'd at least leave me with the small satisfaction of being right, amidst all the other disappointment. If not scrub, then I guess it will make it up real high, but perhaps not to the intended orbit. Engine-outs are still a major risk.
  10. Two questions immediately spring to mind here. The first is, how? Granted, there's a vacuum in space and a lack of gravitational force and all that, but the pressure differential in a tank is "just" 1 atm more than it would be on the ground, where we've had pressurized hydrocarbon tanks for very, very long. I can't see gravity - or the lack thereof - affecting the process that much either. Sure, there's less pressure at the top of a tank in gravity, but also more at the bottom. And if you go down to the molecular scale, what could possibly be going on to cause excessive boil-off? Neither the tank material or the gas/liquid would be any more prone to diffusion than on the ground. Hydrocarbons are big molecules, and tank walls are made to be vapour tight. Does the tank material age faster in space than previously assumed? If so, the ISS would have been in big trouble long before now. Are valves and flanges somehow less vapour tight in space? Again, the ISS doesn't seem perturbed by it. And there have been multiple instances of small-scale spacecraft operating fine in space for years before using their engines - and hence, their fuel - without any unexpected issues. The second is, assuming they have found out that boil-off is worse than previously thought, how did they find that out now? I mean, they haven't conducted an experimental test of large tanks filled with fuel in space yet (small tanks have been tested and found adequate for Mars trips already, as demonstrated by the multiple spacecraft that have landed there without succumbing to boil-off problems). Any calculations, simulations, or theoretical exercises they could have run to evaluate the feasibility of orbital fuel depots, surely NASA would have also run decades ago? The discovery on hitherto unknown boil-off problems would have required SpaceX to run an unprecedented research project on the subject. In that case, I presume we would have known about it earlier. I mean, it could be that they have discovered something new, but from existing knowledge, I don't understand what or how that could be.
  11. This message is brought to you by Scissors, Inc.
  12. Yes, but these numbers are about the safety of manufacturing the vehicles, not travelling with them.
  13. Dragging in the link in an off-topic response to the justified criticisms of the neo-Soviet death cult in other threads is whataboutism, however.
  14. Again with the whataboutism. Are you really incapable of formulating other arguments?
  15. Wasn't it only a year or so ago that they moved the maiden launch from 2023 to 2025? It seems that the odds of this thing ever flying can, in the most charitable way, be described as "technically non-zero". Wait, found it. Seems like the date they gave last November was "not before 2025". I guess 2028 qualifies.
  16. Might as well say "just China" there, because they are the ones to do all the lifting. The Russian space program has become too fraught with budget cuts and corruption to produce anything but Powerpoint presentations and visionary brochures. What's left is essentially repurposed for the military (as there is a certain lack of other customers). Crewed spaceflight isn't likely to go anywhere after the ISS, certainly not to the Chinese space station, which orbits at a too low inclination for the Russians to reach it. The latest Chinese statements on a lunar program have dropped all mentions of Russian hardware. Anything Russia could feasibly assist with, China has the means to do alone. Expect Russia to keep issuing promises of a lunar program, however. Promises are inexpensive and can be produced in much greater quantities than hardware or flight-hours.
  17. To be fair, China can also run into significant roadblocks in development. It's hard to tell what challenges they have yet to overcome, with their slightly more opaque PR strategy than virtually any other country out there. But yeah, at the time scales involved, one cannot entirely rule out India either. The probability is very small, but they are learning and have put some impressive milestones behind them already. If they are lucky with the roadblock roulette while China and the US aren't, they might be able to cobble something together.
  18. Arguably, the Moon landing was more about a demonstration of capability than about the results. The capability to pull off a feat like that, with all it involves of technology, essential resources, and project management, resulted in more tangible results than the flags and footprints. But of course, the flags and footprints created a big moral boost too. Oh, I wouldn't say "the same". The US is still developing capable rockets and have pulled off some rather impressive robotic space missions, much of it using the lessons learned from the lunar program. Contrast the sorry and ever-shrinking mess that remains of the Soviet space program these days. It's been decades since any meaningful innovations on the rocketry front (the last of which was left derelict and destroyed when its hangar collapsed due to a lack of maintenance), or any successful missions beyond Earth orbit. The US didn't start spaceflight until Von Braun got involved, and they managed to design new types of rockets and successful missions after he retired. Contrast again how the Soviet space program stagnated after Korolev died. Exactly, that's one such mechanism. If Dear Leader makes all the big decisions, and he discourages his underlings from giving him bad news, inevitably the big decisions will be made based on false information. Mao gave history some spectacularly awful examples of that in action ("Now that food production is up to hundreds of tons per acre, we don't need as many farmers anymore! Let's melt down the farming tools to make steel!"). And if the whole system is set up like this, with a pyramid of bosses who only promote those who please them, things will go pretty bad pretty fast.
  19. There's also the question of whether the Soviet Union had the money for that effort at that stage. The old "if only they had received more funding" exercise tends to assume the funding was feasible in the first place, with all the other expenses that were racking up and the inefficiency of the processes that gathered revenue. With the inefficiency of the Soviet economy, and all the military programs that competed for what little money there was, the space program might never have had any real chance. See also: present day. Ahh, the lesson that every authoritarian state only ever seems to learn in hindsight. The tendency to dismantle the mechanisms that can unmask a lie and correct the course of the national politics, really tends to be the downfall of Dear Leaders everywhere. Yet somehow, after their successor re-erects those mechanisms and the country starts prospering again, a new Dear Leader thinks he can secure his tenure forever by dismantling them again. The outcome is usually the opposite. See also: present day.
  20. That desperate attempt to budge the front line hadn't been employed yet at that time, if I'm not mistaken. He's more likely to have been inspired by the rocket that crashed his birthday party the year before, and wanting to do something similar in return. And yeah, it's not a particularly clever measure, likely to offer no actual advantage and costing a fortune, but considering the overall situation, that's entirely on brand.
  21. And they've caught a lot of flak for letting two retirees publish a contrarian working document (calling it an "article" would be too generous - it never went through quality control, never mind peer review) through their official channels, abusing the name and reputation of the institution to give credence to their bogus work.
  22. Current events are very tragic, but they made me look at the map and realize something interesting. So, there once was this Jesus fellow, who allegedly was born in the town of Betlehem, did a bunch of stuff, travelled the land for years, before one day, fatefully, he rode into the city of Jerusalem whereupon he was arrested and crucified by the Romans. All famous events chronicled in this big book. With my cursory knowledge of the stories, I had assumed that these places were, well, not a lifetime of travel apart, but certainly in different corners of Judea or Samaria or whatever the land was called as a Roman province back then. A hundred kilometers, at least, like the distance from Nazareth to Jerusalem. Certainly a few days' travel. Then I had a look at the map and realized that Betlehem is more-or-less a suburb of Jerusalem (politics notwithstanding, and there's a lot of politics going on). Along the shortest road and in fair weather, it'd take you less than two hours to walk the nine-or-so kilometers between the places of Jesus' birth and death. If Jesus was of a sporty persuation, he could feasibly have nipped out for a short jogging trip to visit the ol' manger in the hours between The Last Lunch and The Last Supper. Given the significance of the events to the story of the book in which he was the main character, one would think these monumental places would be further apart. It'd be like learning that Hogwarts was located two streets east of Privet Drive.
  23. The big question is, was it the same subcontractor that supplied the radiator?
  24. Quite on the contrary, the glacier was definitely there, and used as the quickest and easiest way to get over the mountain (being "ice rivers", glaciers flow along the parth of least resistance down the mountainside, after all). Occasionally, items were lost on the ice, which is why we find them when the ice melts away. Had there not been a glacier there, you'd have expected to find all sorts of bits of vegetation as the ice retreated as well. But alas, even the remains of old horse dung stand out. The reason why 1850 is used as a baseline is because that's roughly when things started to change rapidly. In the preceding 2000 years, the global average temperature changed by about 0.5 °C. In the 170 years since, we've seen three time that. There's a famous XKCD that illustrates the point quite clearly.
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