Space Exploration,astronomy & Cosmology

Discussion in 'Taylor's Tittle-Tattle - General Banter' started by StuBoy, May 26, 2020.

  1. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss First Team

    Oh god yeah. I dont think the naysayers over here will bother them at all.

    Its because Elon Musk is seen as a face of capitalism and provides easy click bait when his projects seemingly fail. The reason why they fail is because they are expected to, in that his belief is that you learn more by frequent testing that will ultimately fail rather than putting all your eggs in the one basket of a big test that is expected to succeed. Its why NASA has said it would have taken them 50 X more budget to build a self landing rocket than Space X and why they now outsource much of their work, because a group of smaller competing companies will provide greater efficiency and output than one giant bureacratic organisation like NASA.
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  2. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    SLS boosters have been assembled. This is the Artemis programme to launch the Orion vehicle to the Moon.

    Speaking of which Roscosmos and the Chinese are set to co-operate on creating a lunar base. The fiftieth anniversary of the launch of Vostok 1 a calculated risk in itself is coming up this April.

    Like Armstrong Gagarin was very humble. They both suffered in their own ways for the price of their fame. That legacy will endure for centuries indeed as long as there are humans in existence. This documentary was first broadcast on BBC4 several years ago and features interviews with his friends and family providing an insight to the man himself.

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  3. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Looks like the plan for SpaceX is to cyro-proof and static fire SN11 this week with a launch next week. Amazing turn around if they pull this schedule off after SN10's demise so recently.

    Then after SN11 it looks like we will be entering a different yet interesting phase. I have read elsewhere that the next Starship, SN15, is not expected to fly until June even though it is not far off being assembled, there seem to be a few reasons for this. Firstly, SN15 is the next major upgrade, so they will need more time to check systems and finalise construction (I think for example they will be adding a load more heat shield tiles to it). However, more interestingly the next couple of months will be focused on the construction of the new orbital launch pad along with testing and a possible first flight of BN1 and/or BN2. These being the massive booster that is going to get Starship into orbit and then return itself to Earth for reuse (much like the Falcon 9 does). That is going to be one help of a sight for saw eyes. Additionally they need to do final testing on the SN7.2 tank, and test it to destruction. This tank uses stainless steel 3mm think, thinner than the 4mm they use. It's all about shaving off that weight in spaceflight!
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  4. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Sounds like special effects from another of the interminable Paranormal Activity franchise films. :D

    Great channel for sky watchers. Discusses Dione, analysis of the first sample tested by Perseverance on Mars and so on. NASA also conducted a successful test of the SLS. For the required time needed to send Orion into Earth orbit.

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  5. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Yes, apart from a little bit of excess fire on some thermal protection material, looks like SLS aced it yesterday. Which is good news in my opinion. At the same time SpaceX were stacking their first BN1 booster. Ironic that the two biggest rockets in the world were undergoing key milestones at more or less the same time yesterday.

    As for the test flight of SN11 which should have been this week, it's delayed until next week when they can do another static fire. They haven't been able to get road closures from the authorities this week, hence the delay. Probably because it's spring break and lots of students want to use the road to get to Boca Chica beach! Tourists as well as SpaceX bring in the $$$ down there too...
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  6. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    Or deliberate?
  7. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    I did wonder if SpaceX were doing it deliberately.
  8. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    A more than admirable choice from Joe Biden. Has flown into space, understands the workings of NASA and it's importance to the state where he was elected several times as Senator. The programme instituted under Trump will remain the same as Biden promised in his message of continuity regarding space exploration. Nelson was also instrumental in getting the funding for the SLS in the Senate.
  9. sydney_horn

    sydney_horn Squad Player

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  10. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    I think the reaction in the 'space community' to him is rather mixed. A politician who 4 years ago when Jim Bridenstine was appointed said politicians shouldn't be made NASA administrators, he has also been very lukewarm to commercial space ventures too. The crew on his spaceflight (interestingly the one before the Challenger disaster) nicknamed him 'ballast'. It was more or less a publicity stunt. I don't think he will be as dynamic as Bridenstine was, but then again people weren't sure about him when he was appointed 4 years ago. However, the nominee for assistant administrator Pamela Melroy is an excellent choice indeed, veteran of 3 shuttle flights I think.

    In other news, Glynn Lunney passed away the other day, former flight director in the early days of NASA and through the Apollo era.
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  11. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Does this mean that Trump's order to cease earth atmospheric/climate research also still stands.
  12. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The continuity refers to the space exploration programme Bwood. All of the other mad policies of the fruitcake and dimwit regarding abandoning climate change protocols and sucking the teats of the fossil fuel companies will be reversed. Any idiot who thinks climate change is a myth like COVID has all the intelligence of a gnat. Quite concerning then that people like this can ascend to the highest office. A sad reflection on political systems around the world. Decisions not made on logic, rationality and the common good but political dogma, pride and ego.

    The decision is good StuBoy in that he has the ear of high ranking politicians which is always nice in order to secure funding where NASA often has to face a hostile climate in Washington regarding funding for it's initiatives.
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  13. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    After the sounds of Mars the sound of Venus and the probe itself in this case Venera 14. Venus was once thought to be a fertile twin of Earth covered in jungle and abundant in life. That turned out to be a misplaced fantasy in the mold of Schiaparelli's canaliculi on Mars and possible Martian civilization. Venus due to orbital mechanics is fairly easy to approach every eighteen months with a probe. The US and USSR sent out several most not even escaping Earth orbit. It was Mariner 4 on remote flyby that first gave an indication of the temperatures on Venus.

    Eventually the Soviets landed a series of probes titled Venera on the surface using a complex system of heat shields and parachutes onto the surface through the low thick dense atmospheric layers. Number 9 and 13 relayed data back to the orbiter stage then back to Earth with the latter lasting almost two hours in terrible conditions of high surface winds, temperature and pressure. A later Magellan probe used radar to penetrate the thick sulphuric acid cloud cover and showed a landscape of extant volcanoes.

    It has been surmised there is an issue with the core of the planet in convecting heat compared to the mantle of the Earth. No tectonism and no forces creating a magnetic field around the planet. Nonetheless the planet subject to the same rate of atmosphere stripping as Earth maintains it by virtue of the continual vulcanism as measured by SO2 levels over time.Due to being closer to the Sun any water has been lost and split into the constituent elements and this has left a geologically dry planet which may explain a difficulty in subducting crust. The heating phase also resulted it is speculated in massive amounts of water vapour in the atmosphere which is a potent greenhouse gas and led to a runaway greeenhouse effect. The heating over time has also caused carbonate bearing rocks to release CO2 exacerbating the situation.

    Perhaps in millenia to come we could reintroduce water to the planetary surface to soak up the CO2 as on Earth and engineer a more suitable atmosphere conducive to eventual exploration.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
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  14. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    If Mars is hard, Venus is an absolute nightmare!

    In Starship news, looks like SN11 is going to try both a static fire and flight tomorrow if it can. They had to change out a component in one of the raptor engines.
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  15. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    SN11 crashed in fog. Seems to have been a good launch but the feed cut out in the landing burn so not clear yet how close to the ground it was when it went boom.
  16. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    I would guess very very very close.
  17. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Just catching up on all this now as have been otherwise engaged today. To me, at the moment based on what I have seen I'd say out of the 4 test flights so far this is the most concerning mishap. It would appear that not only did they have an issue going up with a Raptor engine, but they also had problems igniting it again too. All evidence seems to suggest SN11 exploded before it even had a chance to touch down, which the other 3 managed to attempt to some extent. I have heard a rumour the FTS (flight termination system) may have ignited for some reason causing the big explosion above the pad.

    Unfortunately due the foggy conditions we were denied what would have been some epic footage. Encouraging that they have the confidence to launch in such conditions and be happy to just rely on the telemetry data, but I can't help think conducting these prototype tests in good visibility would be more beneficial, but what do I know!

    SN15 is up next, with an array of improvements, I suppose you could call it Starship Mk II. They need to think about sticking one of these landings soon though, because not only is it stalling forward progress, but one day one of these will land on all their ground equipment causing much more lasting damage. Once the fog clears and they get on site, it will be interesting to see if the debris caused any major damage. Certainly some of the tank watching fan boys and their YouTube channels will be nervous about some of their expensive remote operated equipment until they can get in there themselves and see too. Looks like judging by the footage some cameras had close calls!

    EDIT: It certainly seems the FTS did activate as SN11 was coming down outside the required corridor it needed to. Also looks like 2 of the 3 Raptor engines had issues as well.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
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  18. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    So a further edit to this. It now seems the FTS did not activate, at least not intentionally. Looks like the engine issue I mentioned caused the thing to explode from the inside. The engine relight ruptured a line, blowing the engine and blowing apart the aft of the vehicle. The debris field seems to be scattered far and wide.
  19. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

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  20. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

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  21. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Also sixty years since Gagarin flew into space on a 50/50 mission of survival. Jumped from the skies as the parachute method of landing a capsule had not been developed before charming the entire world with his smile and charisma. Then sadly passing away in his prime after being confined to a desk job and used as a Soviet ambassador. He lies buried in the wall of the Moscow Kremlin.

    Starman by Jamie Doran is well worth a read. Here is Yura interviewed on the BBC. Had Alexei Leonov been a steelworker rather than from a family of intellectuals Leonov would have been first in space.

    The amazing Eric 'Winkle' Brown flew a huge number of differing aircraft types and sadly passed away a couple of years ago. An amazing test pilot he survived piloting the innovative but often lethal Me163 and met Gagarin.

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  22. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Yes indeed it is 60 years since this historic moment. It was remiss of me not to mention this too. Leonov was the first man to walk in space though right? Ed White was the first American, but again the Soviets beat them to it.
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  23. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

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  24. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    NASA award the contract for the lunar lander to SpaceX.

    It is understandable that giant corporations will get the biggest contracts but also raises that question who in the long run will benefit in the deep future from space exploration. Will it be as portrayed in many science fiction films these corporations from Outland to Alien and governments or the humble individual wherever they may be by that time ?

    A recent long term study into the effects of low gravity exposure on cardiac muscle has concluded despite regular exercise in space low g environments cause atrophy to the heart. Evolution has fine tuned this pump to deal with our planets gravity and our own physical size and raises the need to consider the creation of artificial gravity on long term missions.
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  25. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    In non-football, and bigger ;-) , news, confirmation just came in that Ingenuity has successfully flown on Mars. There are pictures of it too! The first flight on another planet, just amazing.
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  26. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    Incredible really given that the atmosphere on Mars is just 1% the density of Earth's.
  27. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    The Soviets set a large number of firsts in space. Their ultimate success was Mir and establishing a permanent human presence in space after they chose to divert their attention from the Moon with NASA having achieved the first manned landing. There is a philosophical tradition in Russia almost mystic in nature such as the Cosmists which permeates into science fiction and film with many pioneering sci-fi films made there which sadly are hardly known. And persons like the great Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Hald Polish and half Russian he pioneered and formulated many decades before they actually happened space elevators, rocket stages, airlocks, colonies in space as part of his cosmism. He also authored numerous papers on rocketry and astronautics.

    Monument to Tsiolkovsky and the Conquerors of Space in Moscow:

    Ingenuity flying on Mars. A seminal moment in space exploration as no doubt we send more advanced vehicles and autonomous robots around the Solar System in the decades to come. Unfortunately most of the world has not fathomed this:

  28. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Pilot of the Apollo 11 command module at and one point the loneliest human in existence Michael Collins of a distinguished Irish-American family has passed on at the age of 91 from something that will be licked in the future for certain cancer. A tremendously humble man and very thoughtful too as recent documentaries covering the historic mission have shown. Anyone who has been in space is profoundly moved by the sight of Earth. Ashes to ashes, stardust to stardust.

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  29. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    It seems like there is decent chance SpaceX will attempt another Starship test flight today, things are progressing in preparation. Seems like the weather will be the big determining factor.

    The flight window will remain open for just over the next 6 hours.

    SN15 is an upgrade in many areas to its predecessors, so it will be interesting to see if it can stick the landing this time.
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  30. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Well they finally nailed the landing! Impressive work from SpaceX and SN15.
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  31. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

  32. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Incidently what's really forgotten about that sculpture is that it's made from titanium and it was an excellent source of USSR propaganda - 'we' (in the West) and learnt from Soviet metallurgy and material science after the collapse of the USSR how to obtain and 'work' such vast amounts of that metal...
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  33. Heidar

    Heidar Reservist

    Only just realised this thread exists. Love it.

    I recently gave a presentation to my company about planetary geophysics and geology (unrelated to what I actually do now, sadly...)

    I think I inadvertently made them all feel insignificant.
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  34. MIlton Dammers

    MIlton Dammers Reservist

    Perfect landing I think. Could be wrong but it looks to me like the may have executed the flip-back-to-vertical maneuver at a slightly higher altitude this time, thus giving it more time to set itself for landing. They also re-lit an additional raptor in case extra thrust was needed.
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  35. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Starship SN15 back on a suborbital pad now, ahead of a potential re-flight....

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