Topic: Space Nerds

This place needs a little Space Dementia.

Recently a private company achieved what so far only a few governments have been able to do - launch a spacecraft into orbit and return it safely to the earth. SpaceX launched its Dragon capsule on its Falcon 9 rocket last week and accomplished all its mission objectives without problems.

Why is this important? It marks a milestone in the commercialisation of space travel. More people looking into getting up there, especially into low earth orbit, means NASA and the others get to spend more resources on breakthrough technologies and less on doing stuff they're doing already for way too much money.

Technologies like SKYLON. A British venture (picture me now beaming with pride) that is a Single Stage To Orbit spaceplane, which takes off from a runway, accelarates to hypersonic speeds using air-breathing engines and then switches to a rocket engine (burning oxygen and hydrogen). It then goes into LEO, releasing satellite payloads or other stuff like supplies or personnel to the ISS, and then it goes through reentry and lands on a runway like the shuttle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon

And video animation!

Exciting stuff.


And yeah, next year marks the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's spaceflight. That's 50 years that us lovely animals with opposeable thumbs have been going into space (and 30 years since we've been using the shuttle transportation system). Oh, they grow up so fast.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Space Nerds

SpaceX has done good, no doubt about that, although the fact they ARE the first highlights how hard this stuff actually is. The number of failures are many, and the powerpoint presentations promising the solar system are legion. Going by history, I'll pay attention to SKYLON when they're fully funded and bending metal smile

I write stories! With words!
http://www.asstr.org/~Invid_Fan/

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Re: Space Nerds

Ok. I volunteer.

I figure if every DIFtard chips in $900,000 i'll have just enough to build a space-worthy Airstream 31' Classic Ltd powered by 32 ASM-135 ASAT missiles. Just shoot me at the nearest exoplanet with supplies.

I'll be your ambassador and i am ready to go!

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Re: Space Nerds

Oh, good.  'Cause there's plenty of planets wouldn't let you dock without a decent...ambassador on board.  Now, we get a mechanic, get her up and running, hire a good pilot maybe a cook; live like real people.  Small crew, them that feel the need to be free, take jobs as they come, ain't never have to be under the heal of nobody again.  I already know what I'm gonna call 'er; got a name all picked out.

Now, about the money; anybody know someone willing to fence a priceless artifact?

Re: Space Nerds

Matt Vayda wrote:

Oh, good.  'Cause there's plenty of planets wouldn't let you dock without a decent...ambassador on board.  Now, we get a mechanic, get her up and running, hire a good pilot maybe a cook; live like real people.  Small crew, them that feel the need to be free, take jobs as they come, ain't never have to be under the heal of nobody again.  I already know what I'm gonna call 'er; got a name all picked out.

Now, about the money; anybody know someone willing to fence a priceless artifact?


There are no words to express the love I feel at this moment.

I'll be in my bunk.

Well looky there...there are.

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
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Re: Space Nerds

Matt Vayda wrote:

Oh, good.  'Cause there's plenty of planets wouldn't let you dock without a decent...ambassador on board.  Now, we get a mechanic, get her up and running, hire a good pilot maybe a cook; live like real people.  Small crew, them that feel the need to be free, take jobs as they come, ain't never have to be under the heal of nobody again.  I already know what I'm gonna call 'er; got a name all picked out.

Now, about the money; anybody know someone willing to fence a priceless artifact?

This post makes we wish we had some sort of rep system, so I could give you some.

"ShadowDuelist is a god."
        -Teague Chrystie

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Re: Space Nerds

Matt has won the thread.

Also Brian, for his truly unprecedented restraint.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Invid wrote:

Going by history, I'll pay attention to SKYLON when they're fully funded and bending metal smile

Definitely... at the moment they really need funding. Their first major challenge is to make a full scale prototype and prove the concept of their heat exchanger works, the key to making the two-in-one engine work.

The folks at Reaction Engines also have a concept for a mission to Mars which is pretty cool (though I'm not sure why they advocate the ludicrously more expensive method of launching 3 simultaneous missions).

There are some other advanced propulsion concepts. VASIMIR is an electro-magnetic thruster which promises a very cheap way of pushing stuff around in orbit, and will soon be tested on the ISS.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasimir

Then there's some sort of fancy laser-propelled concept, which sounds pretty far off but could be something interested. Reminds me of an 80s anime called Odin, where much of the space travel in our solar system was being done along these laser highways.

Weight and costs are major obstacles that we'll need to overcome to fully get out there. Moving away from solid and chemical fuel rockets is definitely the way to go.

Otherwise... we're going to need some help from outside:


For another first milestone, the shuttle Discovery is going to be taking up the first humanoid robot, called the Robonaut in February (or whenever they sort out the leakage problems and clear it for flight).. which will also mark Discovery's final flight.

And another wow moment for you. Voyager 1, launched in 1977, is approaching the edge of our Solar System. It's now a staggering 10.8 billion miles away from our Sun! It's such a long way away now that even if it did want to come home, it would take another 30 years. The mind boggles at just trying to imagine how many football fields that is.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Space Nerds

redxavier wrote:
Invid wrote:

Going by history, I'll pay attention to SKYLON when they're fully funded and bending metal smile

Definitely... at the moment they really need funding. Their first major challenge is to make a full scale prototype and prove the concept of their heat exchanger works, the key to making the two-in-one engine work.

There's a saying a guy in the space newsgroups has that I think fits: "Extraordinary boosters require extraordinary funding." I wish them well, but expect to never hear about them again smile

Then there's some sort of fancy laser-propelled concept, which sounds pretty far off but could be something interested. Reminds me of an 80s anime called Odin, where much of the space travel in our solar system was being done along these laser highways.

Ah, yes, one of the worst anime ever made, and a favorite of mine. It's so clear what the creators were trying to do, and they manage to fail every step of the way. It would be perfect for Down in Front but it's probably too far outside their normal viewing pattern to really understand the horror and the reasons for it smile

I write stories! With words!
http://www.asstr.org/~Invid_Fan/

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Re: Space Nerds

I'm super excited, in a few weeks time I will travelling to Florida to watch Endeavour's last launch. This will be the second to last shuttle launch. We both celebrate our 30th this year too.

So who else has seen a launch?

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Space Nerds

have you guys heard about this film?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12808771

Extended Edition - 130 'Doctor Who Series 10'
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Re: Space Nerds

redxavier wrote:

I'm super excited, in a few weeks time I will travelling to Florida to watch Endeavour's last launch. This will be the second to last shuttle launch. We both celebrate our 30th this year too.

So who else has seen a launch?

Saw the last launch from too far away with too much cloud cover; going to try to find a better spot for Endeavour.  I live about an hour from the Cape; lemme know if you want to try to link up.

Re: Space Nerds

Sounds cool Matt! I'm just looking at what else I can do around Orlando that week. It's my first trip to Florida. I was thinking of going to the Universal Studios resort - is it worth it?

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Space Nerds

Not sure; I've only been living there for about eight months, and it's been at least a decade since I've been to any of the theme parks.

Re: Space Nerds

ShadowDuelist wrote:

This post makes we wish we had some sort of rep system, so I could give you some.

We actually do, but it's turned off.

You know, to keep your e-peens relatively deflated.

"Most people don't even know what sysadmins do, but trust me, if they all took a lunch break at the same time they wouldn't make it to the deli before you ran out of bullets protecting your canned goods from roving bands of mutants."

-- http://stilldrinking.org/programming-sucks

Re: Space Nerds

Sorry I've missed this thread up to this point, but I was at a wedding this weekend.

See this guy?

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/68222main_young_current_portrait_full.jpg

He was there, too.




Know where else he's been?

http://www.honeysucklecreek.net/images/images_Apollo_16/AS16-115-18552.jpg

Yeeeah.

Re: Space Nerds

Did you ask him if the moon was a cool guy in person?

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Oh wow. That must have been great. Were you 'star' struck? I confess I wouldn't know whether I'd bombard him with questions or remain mute and look like a cat had my tongue. For a guy who got a reprimand for taking a sandwich up on Gemini 3, he sure didn't stop let that stop him from going places - twice to the moon and the first shuttle mission.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Space Nerds

I didn't talk to him, I asked my friend the groom to introduce us (Young was a guest on the bride's side), but it didn't happen.

Re: Space Nerds

Still, you were in the same room! That's very cool.

Endeavour's launch been delayed 10 days, a result of a traffic jam at the ISS over the late April period (the Russians are sending a supply ship called the Progress around the same time). Can you believe it? Two weeks before the launch and each team is hoping the other blinks first. Oh bless them... Americans and Russians working together in peace and harmony.

The UK now has a space agency. The imaginatively titled UK Space Agency formally came into being a few days ago. We Brits now can begin to take further pride in our complete lack of space presence. Here's the blurb from the site:

The UK's thriving space sector contributes £7.5bn a year to the UK economy, directly employs 24,900 and supports a further 60,000 jobs across a variety of industries.

I wonder how that compares to NASA? The space industry is said to be one of the few industries in the UK that is currently growing. Yeah, we seem to be knee-deep in shite at the moment.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Space Nerds

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/Apollo_15_Lunar_Rover_and_Irwin.jpg

Fun fact, that is my Great Uncle James B. Irwin. I never got to meet him myself though he died when I was One, but holy shit I'm related someone cool.

The Wobbling Warrior

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Your uncle was Jim Irwin? Jesus.

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Usually when I tell people that they tell me I'm a lying sack of shit.

not sure why.

The Wobbling Warrior

Re: Space Nerds

It's your general sack of shitdom, it's easy to append "lying" to.

<- Down in Front cares

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Space Nerds

Well done everyone. We've been going into space for 50 years now! Go on, give yourself a slap on the back.

So another 50 years from now (when I'm 80), what do you think we'll be doing out there? Will we have developed the technology that allows us to cheaply and quickly travel around our solar system? Will we have landed on Mars? Will we have gone to Titan and seen what lurked beneath the ice on Europa?

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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