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The Science, Technology and Futurism Thread
Quote:

Originally Posted by billylove
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The new launch abort system is a HUGE reason why the shuttles are being mothballed.

AND... maybe we could just be...

Blasted into space from a giant air gun
Quote:

While humans would clearly be killed...

Or not. OOPS.
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I dunno, shooting a large quantity of rocket fuel out of a gun seems like a bad a idea.
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That doesn't seem like a better idea than lifting payloads with lasers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAdj6vpYppA
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Quote:

Originally Posted by billylove
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They are way too dangerous. Way too expensive. They are a huge liability. NASA cannot afford another shuttle disaster.

Also, read up on this http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/317642main_F...C-OrionLAS.pdf

The new launch abort system is a HUGE reason why the shuttles are being mothballed.

I see what you are saying, I just find it hugely disappointing that a single shuttle disaster could hurt their funding so much. You'd think that the public would understand the basic concept that SPACE=DANGER , especially after decades of films like Alien, Sunshine, ETC all featuring space disasters

We're never going to really explore the final frontier until we stop acting so scared of our own shadow when it comes to NASA
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2 lost shuttles, crews. Several near misses, several scrapped launches, and several delayed launches.
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Princess she/he/it doesn't even try to think before posting anymore.
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That's also my last response to PK posting. I quit.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by billylove
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2 lost shuttles, crews. Several near misses, several scrapped launches, and several delayed launches.

I meant that a single new shuttle disaster could spell such trouble for NASA. I was born in the year of Challenger, so yes, I know they blew up more than once.
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You know, i'm really enjoying this technology that allows me to block morons from my message board experience.
Thank you, science!
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Actually such "guns" that would be able to carry humans have been (is?) on the drawing board. But these use a several mile long vacuum barrel and electromagnets to propel the payload. In this case you don't have the sudden accelleration.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Bean
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I dunno, shooting a large quantity of rocket fuel out of a gun seems like a bad a idea.

Especially since it's guranteed to heat up upon exiting our atmosphere. But so does any rocket/shuttle fuel.
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Scientists first efforts in building Soundwave begins...
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Not to be Too picky, but that is Ravage, not Soundwave......

ETA: ....and isn't this the point in the movie were Science goes horribly wrong? A robot based on one of the most efficient killers on Earth? Excellent.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JXN1138
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Not to be Too picky, but that is Ravage, not Soundwave......

I know...they're starting with the tapes first, then the player.
Also, you wont care about its actual name when its chasing your ass.
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If they are really on the ball, they will give it a maw full of bone crushing teeth.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JXN1138
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If they are really on the ball, they will give it a maw full of bone crushing teeth.

Hell, halfway through the project some student will probably install laser beams on the damn thing.
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Watched Nova: Hubble's Amazing Rescue.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/hubble/

Great episode on probably the greatest feat of NASA in recent years.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by DARKMITE8
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Especially since it's guranteed to heat up upon exiting our atmosphere. But so does any rocket/shuttle fuel.

Quote:

Originally Posted by billylove
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That doesn't seem like a better idea than lifting payloads with lasers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAdj6vpYppA

I dunno, it might be worth it just to hope something goes horribly awry. Can you imagine how awesome 2 tons of space rocket fuel exploding out of a mile long gun going 6km/second would look? Best. flamethrower. ever.

Also, I loooove the dudes with big fishing nets running to catch the falling prototype in that vid
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bitches Leave
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Actually such "guns" that would be able to carry humans have been (is?) on the drawing board. But these use a several mile long vacuum barrel and electromagnets to propel the payload. In this case you don't have the sudden accelleration.

I've had friends who have done an actual mathematical analysis of this (in their free time, yes they're nerds), and it's possible, but you'd need an entire nuclear power plant devoted just to launch.
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How would re-entry work on a vehicle sent into space by an external laser cannon propulsion system? Would it just function like the old crew capsule on the rockets? Parachute? Land in the ocean?

How would you use this to take building materials into space? This tech seems like it is good for sending relatively small payloads into orbit one way, and not much else. Or am I missing something?

Editited for clarity......
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It seems the laser generator would need to be mobile (extremely moble) or else they'd have to do the parachute/land in the ocean bit. Don't know how far it will get (the design, I mean). In the video, it says that they've already changed the design for an actual craft to include some helium propulsion and using microwaves instead of a laser, with a satellite generating the energy.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by billylove
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2 lost shuttles, crews. Several near misses, several scrapped launches, and several delayed launches.

Versus how many successful missions with no incident? Just asking, 'cause I really don't know!
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Lots of info here on major incidents and accidents.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_a..._and_incidents

In flight accidents
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# 1986 January 28: structural failure after lift-off: The first U.S. multiple in-flight fatalities. The Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after lift-off on STS-51-L. Analysis of the accident showed that a faulty O-ring seal had allowed hot gases from the shuttle solid rocket booster (SRB) to weaken the external propellant tank, and also the strut that held the booster to the tank. The tank aft region failed, causing it to begin disintegrating. The SRB strut also failed, causing the SRB to rotate inward and expedite tank breakup. Challenger was thrown sideways into the Mach 1.8 windstream causing it to break up in midair with the loss of all seven crew members aboard: Greg Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Michael J. Smith, and Dick Scobee. NASA investigators determined they may have survived during the spacecraft disintegration, while possibly unconscious from hypoxia; at least some of them tried to protect themselves by activating their emergency oxygen. Any survivors of the breakup were killed, however, when the largely intact cockpit hit the water at 200 mph (320 km/h). See Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

# 2003 February 1: structural failure during re-entry: The Space Shuttle Columbia was lost as it reentered after a two-week mission, STS-107. Damage to the shuttle's thermal protection system (TPS) led to structural failure in the shuttle's left wing and, ultimately, the spacecraft breaking apart. Investigations after the tragedy revealed the damage to the reinforced carbon-carbon leading edge wing panel had resulted from a piece of insulation foam breaking away from the external tank during the launch and hitting shuttle's wing. Rick D. Husband, William McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel B. Clark, and Ilan Ramon were killed. See Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Near-fatalities
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1985 July 29: STS-51-F: Space Shuttle in-flight engine failure: Five minutes, 45 seconds into ascent, one of three shuttle main engines aboard Challenger shut down prematurely due to a spurious high temperature reading. At about the same time, a second main engine almost shut down from a similar problem, but this was observed and inhibited by a fast acting flight controller. The failed SSME resulted in an Abort To Orbit (ATO) trajectory, whereby the shuttle achieves a lower than planned orbital altitude. Had the second engine failed within about 20 seconds of the first, a Transatlantic Landing (TAL) abort might have been necessary. (No bailout option existed until after mission STS-51-L (Challenger disaster), but even today a bailout--a "contingency abort", would never be considered when an "intact abort" option exists, and after five minutes of normal flight it would always exist unless a serious flight control failure or some other major problem beyond engine shutdown occurred.[3])

1999 July 23: STS-93: main engine electrical short and hydrogen leak: Five seconds after liftoff, an electrical short knocked out controllers for two shuttle main engines. The engines automatically switched to their backup controllers. Had a further short shut down two engines, Columbia would have ditched in the ocean, although the crew could have possibly bailed out. Concurrently a pin came loose inside one engine and ruptured a cooling line, allowing a hydrogen fuel leak. This caused premature fuel exhaustion, but the vehicle safely achieved a slightly lower orbit. Had the failure propagated further, a risky transatlantic or RTLS abort would have been required

And here's a complete history listing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...huttle_flights

Roughly 128 total missions.
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Not to sound callous or agree with Princess Kate, but space is a frontier. How many frontiers have we conquered with no loss of life? It's going to happen, and we can't let that deter us. Make us more cautious, yes, but not stop us. It's even more frustrating when you consider that the in-flight accidents essentially could have been avoided but were caused by PR and bean counting.
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Rolling out the big boy for a test flight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIwgJ...eature=related

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For the first time in more than a quarter century, a new vehicle is sitting at Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Ares I-X flight test vehicle arrived at the pad atop of a giant crawler-transporter at approximately 7:45 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

The crawler-transporter left Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 1:39 a.m., traveling less than 1 mph during the 4.2-mile journey. The rocket was secured on the launch pad at 9:17 a.m.

The vehicle is scheduled to launch at 8 a.m. on Oct. 27. This test flight of the Ares I-X rocket will provide NASA an early opportunity to test and prove hardware, models, facilities and ground operations associated with the Ares I launch vehicle.
Category: Science & Technology

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wydren
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Not to sound callous or agree with Princess Kate, but space is a frontier. How many frontiers have we conquered with no loss of life? It's going to happen, and we can't let that deter us. Make us more cautious, yes, but not stop us. It's even more frustrating when you consider that the in-flight accidents essentially could have been avoided but were caused by PR and bean counting.

Thanks, and yes, that is all I am saying. Losing life in the pursuit of space travel is not the worst possible outcome.
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Found this while perusing Digg:

Happy birthday smallpox! See you in hell, fucker!

Yeah science!

It's odd. But they have a link on that page to a photo of a smallpox victim and it struck me: I had no idea what the hell it looked like before. Out of sight, I guess.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc Happenin
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Found this while perusing Digg:

Happy birthday smallpox! See you in hell, fucker!

Yeah science!

It's odd. But they have a link on that page to a photo of a smallpox victim and it struck me: I had no idea what the hell it looked like before. Out of sight, I guess.

With h1n1 rolling around, the anti-vaccinators are running wild spreading false rumors and blowing vaccine fears way way way out of proportion.
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Blastoff!
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches...-day-wrap.html
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Good video here.

http://gizmodo.com/5391819/high-res-...res-i+x-launch
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Yeah I watched that live earlier. Always great to see NASA get new stuff off the ground.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by billylove
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2 lost shuttles, crews. Several near misses, several scrapped launches, and several delayed launches.

Which I think only underlines how goddamn lucky we were with the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, not how unsafe the shuttle program is.
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So the Singularity Summit 2009 happened in NYC last month, and videos of all the talks have been uploaded to Vimeo:

Here are all of them at a glance: http://vimeo.com/siai/videos/sort:date

Some good ones:
Peter Thiel on Macroeconomics and the Singularity: http://vimeo.com/7339317
Ray Kurzweil's first talk: http://vimeo.com/7322310
Ray Kurzweil addresses criticisms of his arguments: http://vimeo.com/7337535

No matter what you think (I'm skeptical of the timeframes that Kurzweil talks about, but I still love thinking about this stuff), there are some heady ideas being explored here.
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Some of the words flew right over my head and the numbers seem staggering, but I like the cut of this article's jib:

Need to get around in space? Use a BLACK HOLE for your spaceship!

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc Happenin
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Some of the words flew right over my head and the numbers seem staggering, but I like the cut of this article's jib:

Need to get around in space? Use a BLACK HOLE for your spaceship!

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Just watch out for the 'event horizon' as portayed in that article.
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