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The thread for space cadets!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by hobbsyoyo, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    So this thread is about anything space related that anyone wants to post about. Airplane discussions are also welcome.

    6 Years and Thousands of Posts Later EDIT:

    I'm fine with this becoming a general science thread so long as people are fine with me redirecting any general science discussion back into space topics.

    This is also my apology to the amazing CFC community for jacking almost every thread I've posted in to blabber on about rockets. I'll try to stop that and if I have something to say on the subject in reply to another thread, I'll just link here with my response to leave you all alone.

    Starting off:
    Anyone interested in talking about the Soviet moonshot?

    Here's a tidbit:
    Their lander (the LK) was only big enough for one man, and they put a winch and cable in it to drag the cosmonaut back inside in case he was incapacitated.

    Here is a side-by-side drawing
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  2. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I had this up for 30 seconds and already had to link to it once....am I hopeless?
     
  3. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    Also, when they tried to test launch the N-1 (USSR moon rocket), it blew up on the pad, leading to the biggest man-made non-nuclear explosions in history (6-7 kt).

    And they kept the whole thing a secret...
     
  4. PlutonianEmpire

    PlutonianEmpire Socially Awkward Goofball

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    I went to Space Camp in Huntsville when I was a teen. :)

    Pretty cool, albeit awkward, since
    Spoiler tmi :
    I had no clue about what was good communal shower etiquette, and how to keep swimming trunks from stinking up. :blush:
     
  5. Crezth

    Crezth Gaslight-Punk

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    A megawatt version of this would allow for real, repeatable, sustainable interplanetary travel. It's exciting in ways I cannot even describe just to think about it.

    I'm an aerospace engineering student and I love space. :<
     
  6. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    Crezth, I'm at Missouri University of Science and Technology for AE.

    Where are you? If you don't mind me asking?

    @Plutonian Empire
    My parents promised me space camp but never delivered...:(
     
  7. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    VASIMR! Someone else knows about it!

    I'm trying to focus my studies to learn about it.
     
  8. Crezth

    Crezth Gaslight-Punk

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    University of Cincinnati. I'm starting on my Master's Degree next Fall.
     
  9. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    Congrats!
     
  10. PlutonianEmpire

    PlutonianEmpire Socially Awkward Goofball

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    I remember hearing and getting excited about it in high school. :)

    Pretty cool. :)

    Aww. :(

    But hey, flying alone all by myself was pretty cool. And it was before 9/11 too. :)

    Plus, hot babes at the layover airport too. :groucho:
     
  11. Crezth

    Crezth Gaslight-Punk

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    Thanks. I've done a couple quarters of research specializing in dynamics and controls so far - stuff having to do with helicopter systems analysis and social network analysis and data mining, which is a bit beyond the pale for what people usually think when I tell them I'm a rocket scientist since I'm an unbearable - but my real passion is in space exploration and I hope sincerely to get involved with it someday.

    I've done some (very) minor contract work with NASA so far and am currently doing research this semester on a NASA grant, again on systems analysis. I'm crossing my fingers to get a job with them once I have my academics behind me. A man can dream. :D
     
  12. LucyDuke

    LucyDuke staring at the clock

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    I'd be interested to hear some space dudes' opinions on Mars to Stay. Is that too sci-fi? In terms of budgets alone, wouldn't a permanent settlement require a hell of a lot more resources and support than a return trip? Obviously permanent settlement is better in terms of awesomeness, but would it really be feasible before we decided to just send some visitors?

    (I've been reading Red Mars and getting impatient that we're not on our way yet. :))
     
  13. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    You had to post this as I'm off to the grocery store. I am faced with a dilema.

    Answer the question and piss off my wife
    Go to the grocery store.

    I love my wife. Get back ASAP
     
  14. Crezth

    Crezth Gaslight-Punk

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    No, it's possible. The main thing about Mars isn't going there - we could do that right now and there are a number of ideas for there-and-back-again - it's going there twice. Once you have that capability, then the possibility is very distinct for a permanent settlement. Costly at first, but there you have it - the vital infrastructure is established.

    I wouldn't recommend it before we did a there-and-back-again, simply to reduce the number of unknowns in planning. But I say we have permanent residents on Mars by 2050 barring calamity.
     
  15. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    The early human missions, if any, would probably be one-way. Unlike the moon with it's week gravity, mars is a planet, and to take off and return to earth would require an actual launcher (large, powerful, expensive). They will be colonists, not just astronauts.

    The early missions to mars will probably be increasingly complex robotic explorations - which of course have started already.

    The unimaginable expense, and our modern attitudes towards the preservation of human life will probably prevent manned missions to mars until high levels of safety and survival can be assured. A tragic death would damage the tenuous public and political (and therefor budgetary) support that exists these days.
     
  16. Crezth

    Crezth Gaslight-Punk

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    Erm... definitely not. We could start a there-and-back-again right now. It'd take dozens of Saturn V's worth of fuel and a rocket we'd have to build in space, but it's possible. Expensive, too.

    Keep in mind that Mars' atmosphere is much thinner than our own and its gravity less by a nontrivial degree.* You're not exactly comparing apples here. Yes, Earth and Mars both "planets," but what does that mean?

    The idea that the "first wave" will be colonists is more than just a little silly to me. The capability for establishing a permanent base right off the bat presumes that we're going to solve a lot of problems blind before we even send anyone over to say "Alright, looks good."

    *Not meant to discredit the notion that we'd need a way to get back, but it's not as bad as you presume.
     
  17. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I actually do feel (and cite Robert Zubrin's works for this) that the first wave could very well be colonists with proper robotic preparation in advance, as Glassfan noted.

    I also feel that the colonists will not, nor will they want to, come back. It'll be a one way trip for them. This seems very odd to us now, but it's how colonozation across the oceans always worked. Of course, some people do come back and traders cycle back and forth. But the majority will go one-way. But I could also see the first few trips going and coming back, a la Columbus. But some could go and stay behind while others go back. It could go a bunch of different directions really.

    No, actually a permanent settlement could cost less resources than a two-way trip. But this presuposes that equipment is sent to allow for the manufacture of consumables and construction equipment, which discounts the difference. So I guess it's actually pretty close either way.

    The Red, Green and Blue Mars series is really good. It's a good look into a possible future, with plenty of calamity. I also supsect Robinson was seriously high when he wrote it. Some passages ramble on like a stoner talking about something 'deep'. Not that am I knocking smoking some rope. I just feel he was probably high. ;)
     
  18. Crezth

    Crezth Gaslight-Punk

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    The reason I'm skeptical (amidst other things, such as "proper robotic preparation") is because there is for real no reason to colonize Mars...

    ...at least not in the sense that we as a culture are commonly attuned to thinking about "colonization." You know, the pursuit of a virgin new world with arable land and rights to property. Whatever. Point being that it won't be colonization as we know it for any of the reasons that we have done it historically. At first, virtually the only benefits would be scientific. So, yeah, I guess you could start out by making a colony of scientists. This isn't really colonization as we know it.
     
  19. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I tried reading Red Mars and I couldn't get into it. The characters just seemed too 1-dimensional or something..

    The prospect of colonizing Mars excites me though, so I got maybe a third through.

    That's actually what they are sort of planning, at least behind the scenes.

    I recently watched a documentary about NASA & Mars.. I think it was even on nasa.gov. I ended up spending a lot of time on there right after Curiosity landed. IIRC there is only one mission they have drawn up and planned (in the sense that they have the blueprints but no funding or approval) that *doesn't* require them to assemble a giant spacecraft in Earth's orbit.

    That's the thing.. If you want to send people to Mars you're going to have to bring a lot of crap. First of all, you will need to either bring a return vehicle or a habitat of some sort that they can live in, and that would include all the life support systems they'd need to survive, along with which comes a lot of other crap. You also need to either bring fuel or bring something that can produce it. All that crap would be impossible to launch from Earth. The weight of the fuel required to achieve terminal velocity would just make it impossible.. So, if there's only 1 spacecraft carrying everything, you'd need to assemble it in orbit.. no way around it in a 1-stage mission to Mars

    And that's what NASA was planning on doing when Bush (I think it was Bush) started that "Humans on Mars in 20 years" or whatever initiative, or whatever the hell that was. NASA came back with plans, a budget.. They were going to use the ISS extensively and build a large spacecraft in Earth orbit.. I forget the other details, but I believe there was a return vehicle involved, as letting people stay on Mars for a couple years (it's a couple years between good openings when you can send spacecraft to Mars IIRC) would be too risky.

    So what happened was .. a lot of interest groups got involved. All sorts of side-projects got tacked on to the mission, everybody wanted to be involved, it involved more and more of the ISS, everybody's & their uncle's pet project was getting added on, etc. So it went way overbudget, and then the economy kind of started to suck and the plans were scrapped.

    But a bunch of guys at NASA had another proposal. Instead of building a giant spaceship in Earth's orbit, they propose sending 2 missions to Mars instead, only the second one of which would be manned. The first mission would land a fuel factory on the surface, as well as a return vehicle. It would be launched straight from Earth. The second mission would have the Mars mission screw, and they'd return after a couple months on the surface in the return vehicle which by then hopefully had enough fuel to return home.

    The reason this sort of thing wasn't initially considered was because (and again, IIRC) the technology to launch a bunch of people from the Earth and send them to Mars didn't exist.. The only way to do it would have been from orbit - you just needed that much fuel. I forget the exact reason - maybe it wasn't the technology, but a question of materials, or some other reason.. Can't remember..

    If a mission took place in the next 20 years, that's probably how it would play out. The less complex, the better, and you can't really get less complex than that without getting into "future technology 6" type stuff.

    I also seem to remember a 2nd version of the mission with 3 launches from Earth - one of them leaving a habitat on the surface, with other modules.. In that particular version a couple astronauts would stay behind, and then you could have another mission later to relieve them, bring more modules, etc., until the place starts slowly growing into a sort of colony.

    That's how I see it happening, but you just have got to get started.. Maybe once the economy starts being awesome again NASA's gonna get more funding and there will be more enthusiasm about human exploration and colonization of Mars... or when China starts sending more crap into outer space and America starts competing at full capacity again.

    As for why we care that the mission isn't launched from Earth's orbit - it would be incredibly complex and expensive to build a giant spaceship in space... We have tons of experience launching crap from Earth and it would be many times cheaper to do it that way instead
     
  20. PlutonianEmpire

    PlutonianEmpire Socially Awkward Goofball

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    On top of that, the larger you build the ship in orbit, the higher the risk of collisions with space junk, I believe. Dunno how much though.
     

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