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  1. #2826
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    As they get closer to Mars will they not converge closer together?
    Presumably within 7,000 km or so.

  2. #2827
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    SpaceX has launched the argentinian satellite SAOCOM-1B. This flight has a lot of extraordinary events.

    It is flight 100 of the Falcon rocket. A lot more than the total flights of ULA. Approaching the number of consecutive successful flights of ULA soon.

    Very important, this was a polar flight. There have been no polar flights out of Florida since the 1960ies. Back then a US rocket exploded and debris hit Cuba, killing a cow. Major political implications, probably the most expensive cow ever from the damages the US government has paid. Recent advances in self destruct methods have made a reevaluation possible. The risk for SpaceX rockets is now well below the threshold that allows to use that trajectory again. The Airforce range has now given permit to use that flight corridor again.

    Another remarkable fact is that this flight was allowed at this time. There is a Delta IV Heavy on the pad with a top national security payload. Launch of a Falcon rocket in this situation never got range approval. SpaceX was ready for 2 launches but range permit was not given. After several delays of the Delta launch, the last one requiring a turn around time of a week or more this ruling was changed and SpaceX was allowed to do its launches, with the SAOCM-1B launch passing very close to the Delta pad. Explanations how that change of policy happened have not given by the Airforce and also not by SpaceX. Seems the standing of SpaceX has improved a lot, even with national security payloads on the line.

    A spaceflight now article touching on these events.

    SpaceX poised for back-to-back launches Sunday at Cape Canaveral – Spaceflight Now


    It was also one of the rare launches with the rocket returning to the launch site for landing instead of landing on a drone ship.

    Space News thread-48380511427_eeafd03bd7_k-jpg

    Also remarkable, this flight was done without the standard hotfire test SpaceX is doing regularly. It is the fourth flight of this booster. You can see it is qute sooty. The dirt is burned in and can not easily be removed so they stopped removing it at all.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  3. #2828
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    Factoid.

    The tank walls of the new SpaceX Starship is 4mm. If you scale up a beer can to that size its wall thickness would be near 40mm. 8-10 times that.

    Actually the calculation was done with soda cans but I thought beer can is more appropriate for this forum.

    Space News thread-up072902-jpg

  4. #2829
    Thailand Expat Latindancer's Avatar
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    WTF ? 4 mm ain't much at ALL, for something that size. What kind of material or alloy are they using ?

  5. #2830
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    What kind of material or alloy are they using ?
    The one on the photo is 301 stainless steel. For the latest build they switched to 304L. All off the shelf stuff the steel mills produce as standard products. Pretty much the stuff they make stainless steel pots from, the type you use in your kitchen. They calculate with the safety margins NASA wants for manrated rockets.

    They are working on their own custom alloy, just slightly better for their purpose and will switch to that soon.

    The design pressure for flight will be 6 bar, the tanks are tested to 8.4 bar as the required safety margin.
    Last edited by Takeovers; 02-09-2020 at 04:32 PM.

  6. #2831
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    But.....but.....I can see DENTS in it !

  7. #2832
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    The tank walls of the new SpaceX Starship is 4mm. If you scale up a beer can to that size its wall thickness would be near 40mm. 8-10 times that.
    That is amazingly thin.


    And how much highly flammable propellant is it gonna be holding?

  8. #2833
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    But.....but.....I can see DENTS in it !
    The dents disappear the moment it is pressurized. They reappear when the pressure is gone. They are still working on the welding methods and parameters. But steel this thin will always have some dents. BTW the dents are much amplified by the shiny steel surface. If it were painted white you won't see them. Source: I once ground my own telescope mirror. You can see with your eyes surface faults as small as 1/10 000mm, using some tricks.

  9. #2834
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    Well, that's OK then.


    At a VERY rough guess, it will hold at least 60,000 gallons......pressurized.

    You won't ever get me to sit on top of it when someone lights it.

    I had a bad enough experience down the local creek at age 17, when my mate and I bought some chemicals and mixed them together, and he came very close to blowing off his hand.

  10. #2835
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    You won't ever get me to sit on top of it when someone lights it.
    That's ok. They only need 1 million people who want to go to Mars. Though if things go well, there will also be flights LA-Shanghai and other routes available. Business class price for 30 minutes flight time. They only need to convince the FAA that it is safe.

    I am not familiar with gallons. It will hold about 1100t of methane and liquid oxygen. That's the second stage. The first stage will hold about 4000t.

  11. #2836
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Though if things go well, there will also be flights LA-Shanghai and other routes available. Business class price for 30 minutes flight time. They only need to convince the FAA that it is safe.
    wow!!

  12. #2837
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    wow!!
    Very many doubt it is achievable. Especially the convincing the FAA part.

  13. #2838
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    Vacuum engines are big. On the left the sea level version, on the right the newly released first picture of a vac engine. They will probably go even bigger in the future. Just for some gain of efficiency.

    Space News thread-raptor-vac-jpg

  14. #2839
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    Space News thread-rocket-engines-jpg

    The two engines at the top appear to be fairly similar. The overall difference seems to be the exhaust cone.

    Do you know why, is it the fuel used that's different?

  15. #2840
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    It is the same engine, the Raptor. Maybe with some minor modifications. The difference is the big nozzle. It makes it much more efficient in vacuum.

  16. #2841
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  17. #2842
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    It is the same engine,
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by knowsitlike View Post
    China seems to have launched a secret reusable space plane | New Scientist
    The xinhuanet statement is pretty enigmatic:

    "JIUQUAN, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- China successfully launched a reusable experimental spacecraft with a Long March-2F carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China Friday.

    After a period of in-orbit operation, the spacecraft will return to the scheduled landing site in China. It will test reusable technologies during its flight, providing technological support for the peaceful use of space.

    Friday's launch was the 14th mission of the Long March-2F carrier rocket. Enditem"

    China launches reusable experimental spacecraft - Xinhua | English.news.cn

    Waiting to see if the "spacecraft" meets expectations.

    However they have been defined:

    Twice around the earth emitting "beep, beep .... or cruising up to recognisable space object and waggling it's tail.

    Last edited by OhOh; 06-09-2020 at 09:39 AM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  18. #2843
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    Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020: Andromeda Galaxy image wins top prize

    Published

    20 hours ago

    Nicolas Lefaudeux has been named overall winner of the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020, for his image of the Andromeda Galaxy.

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTNICOLAS LEFAUDEUX

    The photo, taken in Forges-les-Bains, Ile-de-France, beat thousands of amateur and professional photographers from around the world to win the £10,000 prize.

    "To most of us, our closest neighbouring galaxy Andromeda can also feel so distanced and out of reach, yet to create a photograph that gives us the impression that it is just within our physical reach is truly magical, and somewhat appropriate as we adjust after such socially distanced times," said competition judge Ed Robinson.

    In order to obtain the tilt-shift effect, the French photographer used a 3D printer to create a device that held the camera at an angle to the telescope.

    The blur seen at the edges gives the illusion of closeness, when in reality the galaxy is two million light years away.

    Here are other category winners from this year's awards, with descriptions from the competition organisers.



    Aurorae category: The Green Lady, by Nicholas Roemmelt from Germany

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTNICHOLAS ROEMMELT

    On a journey to Norway, "the lady in green" unexpectedly appeared for Roemmelt, making the whole sky burn with green, blue and pink colours.



    Best Newcomer category: Waves, by Bence Toth from Hungary

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTBENCE TOTH

    This image shows the central region of the California Nebula (NGC 1499).



    Our Moon category: Tycho Crater Region with Colours, by Alain Paillou from France

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTALAIN PAILLOU

    The Tycho crater is one of the most famous craters on the Moon.

    This picture reveals the incredible beauty and complexity of our natural satellite.

    The blue shows a high titanium oxide concentration and the red shows high iron oxide concentration.



    Our Sun category: Liquid Sunshine, by Alexandra Hart from the UK

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTALEXANDRA HART

    This surface is about 100km thick and the ever-boiling motion of these convection cells circulates, lasting for around 15 to 20 minutes.

    They are around 1,000km in size and create a beautiful "crazy paving" structure.



    People and Space category: The Prison of Technology, by Rafael Schmall from Hungary

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTRAFAEL SCHMALL

    The star in the centre of the image is the Albireo double star, surrounded by trails of moving satellites.



    Planets, Comets and Asteroids category: Space Between Us, by Lukasz Sujka from Poland

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTLUKASZ SUJKA

    This image shows the close alignment of the Moon and Jupiter that happened on 31 October 2019.



    Skyscapes category: Painting the Sky, by Thomas Kast from Germany

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTTHOMAS KAST

    Kast was searching for clear skies in Finnish Lapland to capture the beauty of a polar night when he encountered these polar stratospheric clouds.



    Stars and Nebulae category: Cosmic Inferno, by Peter Ward from Australia

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTPETER WARD

    NGC 3576 is a well-known nebula in southern skies, but it is shown here without any stars.

    Software has been used to just show the nebula, which has been mapped into a false colour palette. The scene takes on the look of a celestial fire-maelstrom.

    The image is intended to reflect media images taken in Australia during 2019 and 2020.



    Young category: The Four Planets and the Moon, by Alice Fock Hang from Réunion, France

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTALICE FOCK HANG

    Fock Hang photographed a planetary alignment, showing Venus, Mercury, the star Antares, Jupiter and Saturn seen over the Indian Ocean.



    Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation: Dark River, by Julie F Hill from the UK

    IMAGE COPYRIGHTJULIE F HILL

    Dark River is a sculptural work that maps, or mirrors, the Milky Way celestial entity using one of the largest images ever made of its central areas, showing around 84 million stars.

    The image was obtained with the Vista survey telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile and contains nearly nine billion pixels.

    Winners of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 will be displayed in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, from 23 October 2020 to 8 August 2021.

  19. #2844
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    I like th aurora.

  20. #2845
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    Pretty amazing news announced last night.

    Phosphine, a gas that on Earth is only produced by living things, or made in factories, has been found in the clouds of Venus, around 50-60km above the hellish Venetian surface. As there aren't factories on Venus, it currently leaves only one other known source.


    Is there life floating in the clouds of Venus? - BBC News

    Astronomers see possible hints of life in Venus's clouds | News | Al Jazeera

  21. #2846
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    To be fair, Venus is hotter.



    (sorry)


    If/when alien microbes are found and sampled, the main question is if their DNA is completely alien to anything found on Earth.

    If so, it indicates that life has come to be from at least 2 unrelated sources in 2 unrelated locations, hinting at independent life existing throughout the universe.

  22. #2847
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    Scientists have discovered a rare molecule in the clouds of Venus, which suggests colonies of living microbes could be thriving in the oxygen-free environment high in the planet's atmosphere.


    While the surface of Venus is far too hot to sustain life, with a mean temperature of around 464C (867F), astronomers have speculated that life could survive high in the planet's atmosphere where conditions are much more moderate.




    Now an international team of astronomers led by Professor Jane Greaves of Cardiff University have announced the discovery of phosphine gas in these high clouds, a molecule which is produced on Earth by microbes that live in similar oxygen-free environments.


    The discovery offers a potential explanation for the mysterious dark streaks on the surface of Venus, detected by the Japanese space agency JAXA, which bizarrely absorb ultraviolet light.


    These dark streaks could be colonies of microbes, surviving in a pleasant 30C (86F) temperature of the high clouds, although the clouds themselves are incredibly acidic - made of about 90% sulphuric acid.


    Signs of alien life detected on Venus | Science & Tech News | Sky News

  23. #2848
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    NASA is taking this quite seriously. Administrator Jim Bridenstine is talking about possible probes to send to Mars.

    There is speculation that microbes were brought to Venus by Soviet Venera probes. In that case it would just be a veneral disease. But this is not very likely. We have extremophile microbes on Earth that survive sulphuric acid but not at the concentrations present in the clouds of Venus.

    Very exciting news. Lots of scientists will try to come up with alternative theories for the existence of Phosphine. But until now Phosphine was regarded as a very good indicator for biologic activities on rocky planets.

  24. #2849
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    We have extremophile microbes on Earth
    This one's a tough foker.


    We’ve found that D. radiodurans not only enjoys living in the cores of nuclear reactors, but it can survive exposure to everything from toxic chemicals and corrosive acids to extreme heat above the boiling point of water, subzero temperatures in the Antarctic, and the vacuum of space.

  25. #2850
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    Interplanetary STDs.... that's a new one!


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