Author Topic: Astronomy/space exploration thread  (Read 77948 times)

Offline Jimi James

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Offline The Unbound

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #526 on: July 07, 2011, 06:47:26 AM »
Three Ways to watch the final liftoff of the Space Shuttle Discovery....tomorrow.

So, the very last shuttle flight (Atlantis) is scheduled to launch tomorrow. All of the above are still serviceable ways to follow it, if you want to.

Also, the shuttle will apparently carry, among other things, iPhones.
Steady on.

Offline Indefatigable

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #527 on: July 07, 2011, 10:23:43 AM »
Weather reports suggest the launch is likely to be scrubbed.  Next likely window is Sunday.  I hope the BBC decide to screen it live like they did the first Shuttle-Mir docking.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/rainy-weather-likely-to-delay-nasas-atlantis-shuttle-launch-friday/2011/07/07/gIQAP8B51H_blog.html
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Offline Flagg

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #528 on: July 07, 2011, 12:10:58 PM »
Good fucking riddance. Maybe we can get a machine that won't blow ass.

Offline The Daft Punk

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #529 on: July 07, 2011, 08:17:57 PM »
I'll just leave this here...

Harder.Better.Faster.Stronger
~~~~~~~~
"Until a man is 25, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial arts monastery in China and studied real hard for 10 years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."
- "Snow Crash", Neal Stephenson

Offline Flagg

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #530 on: July 07, 2011, 09:41:13 PM »
Misleading. The costs for AC include transportation infrastructure, electricity, maintenance, shipping, and numerous other things that are loosely connected to providing adequate climate control for our troops. Frankly if we weren't providing adequate AC to our troops people would be complaining about that.

Now if the point is that NASA has a shit budget, then I agree, it should be at least double what it is now so maybe we can get more unmanned projects launched and have a real plan for going back to and setting up permanent settlement on the moon.

Offline The Daft Punk

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #531 on: July 07, 2011, 10:12:50 PM »
It was meant to just draw attention to how low of a priority NASA is. Obviously AC in Iraq is important, but not as important as the continued manned exploration of space.
Harder.Better.Faster.Stronger
~~~~~~~~
"Until a man is 25, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial arts monastery in China and studied real hard for 10 years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."
- "Snow Crash", Neal Stephenson

Offline Indefatigable

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #532 on: July 08, 2011, 09:56:02 AM »
Just seen her go.  Had a bit of trouble getting the vent hood off, had to hold the countdown at T-31 sec for about two minutes.  Good launch when she did go.  Awesome sight, as ever.

The way finding is going, you'll be lucky to get any manned spaceflight at all.  Chances are, the next man on the Moon will be Chinese.  From the only nation stupid enough to abandon its space programme, you have my sympathy.
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Offline Indefatigable

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #533 on: July 19, 2011, 07:39:21 AM »
Atlantis undocked for the final time early this morning.  Everything going according to plan, should be a safe landing.  They left a flag on the station for the next manned American spacecraft to collect and take home.  I hope I'll see it before the station is supposed to deorbit in 2020.  Not quite sure what will collect it, whether some sort of revival of Orion or something new.  I just hope I'll see it.  Meanwhile ESA is supposed to be working on a manned version of the ATV, so we might see an alternative to Soyuz up there in about five years.
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Offline Torlek

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #534 on: July 19, 2011, 07:28:03 PM »
Atlantis undocked for the final time early this morning.  Everything going according to plan, should be a safe landing.  They left a flag on the station for the next manned American spacecraft to collect and take home.  I hope I'll see it before the station is supposed to deorbit in 2020.  Not quite sure what will collect it, whether some sort of revival of Orion or something new.  I just hope I'll see it.  Meanwhile ESA is supposed to be working on a manned version of the ATV, so we might see an alternative to Soyuz up there in about five years.

There's two American prospects that are looking very strong right now, Dragon and CST-100. Between the two, I'm favoring manned Dragon being the first to the station though CST got a big boost yesterday when NASA signed an agreement with ULA that should increase the pace on man-rating the Atlas V which is probably the best suited booster to loft the CST. Both these should be flying by 2015 or so, probably closer to 2017.
The rework of Orion is looking like it will probably go ahead but not to the ISS, just beyond Earth orbit. It's problem is it still lacks a booster. The SLS will probably never make it out of congress's design process, which is a horrible idea, in an acceptable form and Delta IVH, the only EELV with enough oomph to loft an Orion, is not planned for man-rating yet.
I wouldn't put a lot of stock in ESA talk about making a manned ATV. They've been talking about that since '07 and nothing's come of it. Also not sure how much stock I put in Russia's PPTS concept though they seem to have more solid concepts down for it's Rus-M booster.

A lot of people are bemoaning the retirement of STS, and in all reality the girls could've kept flying for a few more years, like it's the end of NASA. That's not the right attitude to have. Things are happening and while there isn't a unified single plan, read: government effort, it's past time low Earth orbit was opened to commercial operators. There will be US ships flying again, probably with less of a gap in capability than there was between Apollo and STS. They just won't be NASA run. There's a new space race on to get that flag, we'll see who wants it more: SpaceX or Boeing.
The battle of modern programming is one waged between the engineers trying to craft a bigger,better idiot-proof program and the universe trying to breed bigger, better idiots.  So far, the universe is winning.

Offline Indefatigable

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #535 on: July 20, 2011, 05:09:59 PM »
There's two American prospects that are looking very strong right now, Dragon and CST-100. Between the two, I'm favoring manned Dragon being the first to the station though CST got a big boost yesterday when NASA signed an agreement with ULA that should increase the pace on man-rating the Atlas V which is probably the best suited booster to loft the CST. Both these should be flying by 2015 or so, probably closer to 2017.
The rework of Orion is looking like it will probably go ahead but not to the ISS, just beyond Earth orbit. It's problem is it still lacks a booster. The SLS will probably never make it out of congress's design process, which is a horrible idea, in an acceptable form and Delta IVH, the only EELV with enough oomph to loft an Orion, is not planned for man-rating yet.
I wouldn't put a lot of stock in ESA talk about making a manned ATV. They've been talking about that since '07 and nothing's come of it. Also not sure how much stock I put in Russia's PPTS concept though they seem to have more solid concepts down for it's Rus-M booster.

This looks interesting, and I shall be watching developments closely.  Curious that they're considering using Atlas, but then good designs last.  "Congressional design" sounds like a very bad idea.  I'm trying to imagine a spacecraft designed by Parliament, or even a governmental committee.  The manned ATV looks like being another Hermes, something that could probably have been made to work, but there was just not the will to do so.  All the same, I wouldn't mind seeing at least a partial British effort in manned spaceflight.  Prospero is still up there somewhere, but only because they cancelled it when it was practically on the launchpad, so the quickest way to get rid of it was upwards.

Quote
A lot of people are bemoaning the retirement of STS, and in all reality the girls could've kept flying for a few more years, like it's the end of NASA. That's not the right attitude to have. Things are happening and while there isn't a unified single plan, read: government effort, it's past time low Earth orbit was opened to commercial operators. There will be US ships flying again, probably with less of a gap in capability than there was between Apollo and STS. They just won't be NASA run. There's a new space race on to get that flag, we'll see who wants it more: SpaceX or Boeing.

Now that I agree with.  NASA certainly did not stop with the end of Apollo and Skylab.  It seems to be a sort of generational change.  If you look at the last few shuttle crews, they were almost all veterans.  Whenever the next wave of spaceflight starts, we'll almost certainly have a new generation of astronauts to fly in them.  I also agree that we need some commercial operators up there, especially if that drives competition.  Competition always seems to speed things up.

Also, remembering the X-Prize, I've occasionally wondered whether there should be a Y-Prize for the first commercial spacecraft to orbit the Earth.  SpaceShip 1 isn't actually capable of surviving an orbital re-entry, but there were plenty of other projects going for the prize, some of which would have had full orbital capability.  Not that we've heard much of SpaceShip 1 (V.S.S. Enterprise  :-\ ) recently, Branson's probably waiting for the economy to pick up so that he'll have space tourists to carry.
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Offline Torlek

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #536 on: July 20, 2011, 06:32:28 PM »
Curious that they're considering using Atlas, but then good designs last.

Just to make sure there's no confusion here. This Atlas has little to nothing to do with the Atlas that launched Mercury capsules. The last rocket that was an evolutionary derivative of those was the Atlas II in the '90s. The Atlas V is an evolution of the Atlas III which was pretty much a complete redesign and uses a Russian engine. The V's only been flying since 2002.

Quote
Also, remembering the X-Prize, I've occasionally wondered whether there should be a Y-Prize for the first commercial spacecraft to orbit the Earth.  SpaceShip 1 isn't actually capable of surviving an orbital re-entry, but there were plenty of other projects going for the prize, some of which would have had full orbital capability.  Not that we've heard much of SpaceShip 1 (V.S.S. Enterprise  :-\ ) recently, Branson's probably waiting for the economy to pick up so that he'll have space tourists to carry.
Branson's little venture is still humming along. Scaled Composites is currently working on a series of manned glide tests for the Spaceship 2 (Enterprise and her eventual sister Voyager) and they should be working up to engine firings later this year. I predict she'll be going suborbital by this time next year though passenger flights might not start until 2013. There's no commercial orbit prize beyond NASA's CcDev process that's shepherding the CST and Dreamchaser. Then there's the commercial resupply contracts for the ISS that will start next year. Dragon may even start unmanned resupply in October/November if NASA and the Russians approve combining their second and third test flights. However, Google is sponsoring a Lunar X-Prize for private groups/companies to build a lunar lander-rover combo. Not quite the same as manned spaceflight but interesting as it would be the first non-government craft to leave Earth orbit.
The battle of modern programming is one waged between the engineers trying to craft a bigger,better idiot-proof program and the universe trying to breed bigger, better idiots.  So far, the universe is winning.

Offline Indefatigable

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #537 on: July 21, 2011, 04:14:11 AM »
And the Shuttle programme comes to an end with a perfect landing.  Always a relief when that happens.  Watched it live, it was just before 11:00 our time.  End of an era, but let's hope a new one begins in a few years.  I'm crossing the Atlantic again next year, hoping to visit KSC Atlantis will still be there, so I'll get the chance to see her.
If I'd written the last episode of Voyager, it would have ended in a similar way.
Just to make sure there's no confusion here. This Atlas has little to nothing to do with the Atlas that launched Mercury capsules. The last rocket that was an evolutionary derivative of those was the Atlas II in the '90s. The Atlas V is an evolution of the Atlas III which was pretty much a complete redesign and uses a Russian engine. The V's only been flying since 2002.
Didn't quite think that one through, but I was thinking of the name more than anything.
Quote
Branson's little venture is still humming along. Scaled Composites is currently working on a series of manned glide tests for the Spaceship 2 (Enterprise and her eventual sister Voyager) and they should be working up to engine firings later this year. I predict she'll be going suborbital by this time next year though passenger flights might not start until 2013. There's no commercial orbit prize beyond NASA's CcDev process that's shepherding the CST and Dreamchaser. Then there's the commercial resupply contracts for the ISS that will start next year. Dragon may even start unmanned resupply in October/November if NASA and the Russians approve combining their second and third test flights. However, Google is sponsoring a Lunar X-Prize for private groups/companies to build a lunar lander-rover combo. Not quite the same as manned spaceflight but interesting as it would be the first non-government craft to leave Earth orbit.
Hmm, it'll be interesting to see.  We'll wait for developments.
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Offline Indefatigable

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Re: Astronomy/space exploration thread
« Reply #538 on: August 25, 2011, 08:15:05 AM »
Soyuz blows up

Pretty much self-explanatory.  The Soyuz-U was carrying Progress M-12M to the ISS.  Failure happened at 'around five minutes' or about the same time as third-stage ignition.  No sources seem to agree on whether the third stage exploded or it was a self-destruct from the ground after the stages failed to separate (or perhaps something else).
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Offline TNC

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