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The Space / NASA thread

Ugh, these blind fucking MORONS are literally going to be the death of us all.



Once again, fuck everything.

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ANo wonder David Attenborough joked about shooting him.
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This is going to be the Trump presidency's one lasting legacy. Coming up with such bullshit lies to pander to the corporations they purportedly are against. And know one will do anything because none of the fucking idiots that voted for him care about this little thing called fucking TRUTH.  In years to come they'll point to this administration's naked ignorance as the tipping point that led to our eventual extinction. There are people not even born yet who will suffer because this fat ignorant cunt was elected to office by a bunch of other fat ignorant cunts (and some, I assume, are good people).



I hope there is a hell...and I hope these fuckers burn for eternity.

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AIt's getting to the point where I seriously wouldn't care if Trump had a a fucking heart attack.
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And then you remember he hasn't even been sworn in yet and his 4-year term has yet to start.





Becoming a Cave Hermit's looking pretty good right now.

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Honestly.  Forget about Mars.  Forget about the moon.  It's time to recolonize the US.

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A[quote name="Codename" url="/community/t/154426/the-space-nasa-thread/90#post_4177531"]Ugh, these blind fucking MORONS are literally going to be the death of us all. 

Once again, fuck everything. 
[/quote]

Yeah.


I'll say that, speaking from the inside, a lot of us here are conflicted. Climate Change is the asteroid headed for Earth, and we just elected a guy who is not going to do shit about it. If it just affected the US then we deserve it, but we're in uncharted territory where a minority of voters in the United States just put the lives of over a billion people worldwide in jeopardy. The climate doesn't give a fuck about borders.

That being said.

A lot of folks at NASA feel that our job should be exploration. Most days, I'm one of them. This doesn't mean I DON'T want us doing Earth monitoring, to the contrary I'd be thrilled with the establishment of a new agency charged with Earth Climate Monitoring as it's primary purpose, and funding NASA properly to go explore instead of carving our tiny budget into a million pieces.

This is the problem - I don't think it should be NASA's job to do space-based Earth monitoring, but since that's how it's currently being done I don't want to see it cut (because you know these fuckers certainly aren't going to open a new agency or charge NOAA with it in exchange). I'll lay this one at the feet of the Democrats - they have somehow completely ceded space exploration to the Republicans, and that's fucking insane. Democrats should have pushed to offload the Earth Monitoring stuff to NOAA or elevated it to its own Agency, while still funding NASA appropriately. Instead we're scraping for pennies and nothing is getting appropriately funded on any front.

So, this is NOT the way to do it. But long term, NASA should not be the agency responsible for Earth Climate Monitoring.

It's like we're being presented with a sick joke of a choice: I can get the space faring species I want, but only if we completely destroy the Earth first.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flint View Post
 

Is the 60W thrust enough to do anything practical with? If nothing else, could we use this for probes and satellites?



The greatest force in the universe is compound interest.

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A[quote name="flint" url="/community/t/154426/the-space-nasa-thread/90#post_4177408"]Is the 60W thrust enough to do anything practical with? If nothing else, could we use this for probes and satellites?
[/quote]

That's the input power. The output force is on the order of single mN's per KJ. WAY less than even our ion drives produce, but also way more than a solar sail. That's why finding out how scalable it is is vital. If it's just a matter of how much electricity you can pump into the thing and it scales linearly, then maybe we can use it for course correction and unmanned probes. If it scales exponentially with input, it opens the entire solar system to humans. Since we don't know HOW it works, we can't make any predictions so experimentally tweaking different design features like the power input, driving antenna, driving frequency (why microwaves? Same effect with radio or other spectra?), cavity dimensions, and on and on... is crazy important.
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A[quote name="Overlord" url="/community/t/154426/the-space-nasa-thread/90#post_4177790"]
The greatest force in the universe is compound interest.  
[/quote]

This is why ion drives/Hall effect thrusters are where it's at. This thing could be better or worse, but so far ion drives are where the money is. Or isn't, because no one is funding them either.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post


That's the input power. The output force is on the order of single mN's per KJ. WAY less than even our ion drives produce, but also way more than a solar sail. That's why finding out how scalable it is is vital. If it's just a matter of how much electricity you can pump into the thing and it scales linearly, then maybe we can use it for course correction and unmanned probes. If it scales exponentially with input, it opens the entire solar system to humans. Since we don't know HOW it works, we can't make any predictions so experimentally tweaking different design features like the power input, driving antenna, driving frequency (why microwaves? Same effect with radio or other spectra?), cavity dimensions, and on and on... is crazy important.


I'm no fancy big city rocket scientist. But surely you just build a bigger one? Smile

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A[quote name="flint" url="/community/t/154426/the-space-nasa-thread/90#post_4177799"]
I'm no fancy big city rocket scientist. But surely you just build a bigger one? Smile
[/quote]

Likely lots of tiny ones clustered together, but I like the cut of your jib sir!
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post


This is why ion drives/Hall effect thrusters are where it's at. This thing could be better or worse, but so far ion drives are where the money is. Or isn't, because no one is funding them either.


Any drive that doesn't require propellant is going to be "where it's at," is it not?

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A[quote name="Overlord" url="/community/t/154426/the-space-nasa-thread/90#post_4177809"]
Any drive that doesn't require propellant is going to be "where it's at," is it not?  
[/quote]

Only if it's scalable. It'd be the most bitter irony if milliNewtons of force is all this thing can ever put out. Like the Casimir effect. Real, but haven't figured out a way to harness it into anything useful yet.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post


Only if it's scalable. It'd be the most bitter irony if milliNewtons of force is all this thing can ever put out. Like the Casimir effect. Real, but haven't figured out a way to harness it into anything useful yet.


The force that's been documented would already be substantial enough to be imminently useful for a variety of purposes (basically, anything beyond Mars).

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A[quote name="Overlord" url="/community/t/154426/the-space-nasa-thread/90#post_4177817"]
The force that's been documented would already be substantial enough to be imminently useful for a variety of purposes (basically, anything beyond Mars).  
[/quote]

There's a scalability assumption baked into that back of the napkin hack, though. Hall effect thrusters provide significantly more thrust than this thing, are provably scalable, and work. Don't get me wrong I'm hoping we figure out the underlying mechanism that's giving this thing thrust, optimize the shit out of it, and end up blowing open the doors to the entire solar system. But the fact is that we've already got a technology that can do that right now, and we're not funding it or trying to utilize it at all. So why this would be different I'm not sure.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post


There's a scalability assumption baked into that back of the napkin hack, though. Hall effect thrusters provide significantly more thrust than this thing, are provably scalable, and work. Don't get me wrong I'm hoping we figure out the underlying mechanism that's giving this thing thrust, optimize the shit out of it, and end up blowing open the doors to the entire solar system. But the fact is that we've already got a technology that can do that right now, and we're not funding it or trying to utilize it at all. So why this would be different I'm not sure.


Ion drive/Hall effect thrusters are ultimately a dead-end.  As is anything that requires a fuel, unless that fuel is incredibly energy dense (anti-matter, dilithium crystals, etc.).

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post

I'll lay this one at the feet of the Democrats - they have somehow completely ceded space exploration to the Republicans, and that's fucking insane. Democrats should have pushed to offload the Earth Monitoring stuff to NOAA or elevated it to its own Agency, while still funding NASA appropriately. Instead we're scraping for pennies and nothing is getting appropriately funded on any front.


If this engine works, and you guys prove it in the next few months (so the article says anyway) with some kind of practical demonstration out in space...



...it's going to be the Trump administration that gets the credit in the history books. "Bravely focusing NASA funding on exploration and away from less political earthbound concerns."



I'm with commodorejohn. You're just going to open a portal into hell or something.

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ATrump on Space:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/artic...W_SPC_NEWS#
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ABuzz Aldrin evacuated from Antarctica. Good to see he's still adventurous.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canad...ws_central
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I hope he gets better quick. 2016 isn't over yet and the Reaper hungers...

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AThoughts, [@]Analog Olmos[/@]?

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-cong...losed#tabs
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A[quote name="Bluelouboyle" url="/community/t/154426/the-space-nasa-thread/120#post_4227489"]Thoughts, [@]Analog Olmos[/@]?

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-cong...losed#tabs[/quote]

Literally the only thing this administration might do that I can get behind.

The Mars shot is a great idea that's about 200 years too early. Not because we CANT do it, but because if we put all of our resources into Mars without having a permanent human presence off the earth first, we will step foot on Mars, pat ourselves on the back, and then cancel the program and never leave earth again in our lifetimes.

I've said this before, but the ISS is coming down in a decade. Maintaining a continuous human presence in space (something we've done for 16 years now) is the capability we MUST preserve if our future in space is going to be a reality. A lunar base with continuous staffing, like the ISS, is the best next step to take.
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AI'd totally be on board with that...

If I didn't know that any moon base built by this administration would just serve as a sanctuary for the rich and powerful while the rest of us eat eachother alive fighting for the last sources of clean water on a war and climate ravaged earth in a few decades' time...
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AWell, there's always the possibility that Bannon intends to use it as a platform to preserve the Master Race while he initiates WWIII down below.
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Ah, but those rich Lunacrats will get what's coming to them. Years spent living in low gravity will turn their bone marrow into poison.

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AA return to the Moon by 2020, privatise low earth orbit and limit NASA to deep space exploration. Very ambitious space plans...

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/do...war-234829
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APresident 45 would put us back on the moon, then claim it was the first moon landing since all the other ones were faked.
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A[quote name="Bluelouboyle" url="/community/t/154426/the-space-nasa-thread/120#post_4229066"]A return to the Moon by 2020, privatise low earth orbit and limit NASA to deep space exploration. Very ambitious space plans...

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/do...war-234829[/quote]

This is impossible.

Shows the administration has zero fucking clue what tech we have, what the development and certification timeline for even OTS tech is, and is possibly more out of touch with reality than I feared on even my worst day.

For reference:

Their plan is to have NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, and whoever else compete to get back to the moon by 2020. That's 3 years from now.

SpaceX has been trying to get humans into LOW EARTH ORBIT for 6 years.

Rockets are relatively easy compared to the life support and control systems and redundancies required for a crewed vehicle. That's why lots of companies have rockets but no one can get to ISS with humans except the Russians.

Fucking Christ, it's been over a decade of relying on the Russians, we still don't have even human test flights of any of the 3 capsules in development, but these assholes think we can be on the moon in 3 years.

Fuck. Off.

Learn about what it takes to actually make this shit happen, spend the money to let us do our jobs, and then don't change your goddamn minds every 4 years and MAYBE we can be on the moon in 8 years if we get someone to build a lander for some change I found in my couch.
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ADo they actually want to land humans on the moon by 2020, or just orbit it?

I doubt even orbiting it in 3 years would be possible.
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The state of humanity's progress on space related issues since 1969 is pretty fucking embarrassing as a species.



Get Project Orion up and running, treaties be damned.

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AMaybe the Trump administration are planning on going to the Moon the Soviet way? One way ticket saves a lot of money.
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They want it by 2020 so they can use it in Drumpf's re-election bid. I doubt dead astronauts are going to help him.



This administration thinks it can skip the "work" step in any process and jump straight to the rewards.



Our space program is like our ground program; we've neglected the boring work of building infrastructure. Personally, I'd focus on one of the space elevator designs and a permanent assembly plant / space station to go with it. Of course, I'd be booted out of office before ground was even broken... Smile



I just look at it as: if you're going to spend billions, try to set us up for next 100 years. But hey, I'd also fund the replacement of roads in cities w/ underground automated electromagnetic taxis... and get voted out of office again. Smile

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ASpaceX NEEDED this to go off without a hitch today, and so far so good. This isn't over till we have her by the tail on Wednesday morning, but both the launch and 1st stage recovery were beautiful.

Re: the 2020 moonshot thing, here's the issue:

I've spent the last 3 years beating a head against a wall because the level of risk our commercial partners want to accept is logarithmically out of step with what NASA accepts as an institution. Put another way, we all agree on the % risk, but their faith in models vs NASAs demand for actual testing is a source of friction. We at NASA have actually had colleagues and friends die when modeling would have given a green light, so we believe in 'trust but verify.'

The thing is - this is a cultural issue. Space is hard. And NASA and the federal government have decided on a level of risk to life that's appropriate. But there's nothing anywhere that says we couldn't change our risk threshold.

We could decide, as a society, that getting back to the moon in ~5 years is worth 50 billion dollars and about 8 lives. We could skip a bunch of testing and jump right to crewed missions, with the acceptance that in all likelihood we're going to kill about 2 crews as a result. And I promise you every astronaut would still volunteer to go.

This is a cultural decision we need to just decide on. When I hear people griping about NASA "not taking risks," it's not risks of investment, or capital, or research. It's fucking lives. We have a threshold we need to meet to risk people's lives. If we want to move that threshold as a society, then let's have that conversation.

But the idea that a private company can "take more risks" is flatly untrue if they're flying our astronauts (because NASA astronauts fly because we SAY they can fly, so the same risk threshold must be met), and if a private company wants to take more risk with their own folks, then they have to accept that people are going to die. I'm not saying it's not worth it, I'm saying let's talk plainly about what "taking more risk" means and decide if that's what we want to do. Look no further than Virgin Galactic for the most recent loss of life in a space venture. We can get anywhere you want to go with enough risk taking and enough $$$$, but let's be transparent about the human cost before flogging NASA for being "risk averse."
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I've always found our attitudes about the risk of space travel to be naive. How many people do you think died during the course of human history exploring the ocean? It has to be an astronomically (ha!) high number. But any time we lose someone while reaching for the stars, our reaction is to pull back like frightened children. It's as if people didn't realize that strapping human beings to a rocket and shooting them off the planet might be a wee bit dangerous.



I'm all for developing systems to reduce the risk in lives to the lowest realistic level. But space is inherently dangerous. We're a nation that tosses lives aside by the thousands and kills millions for specious wars. We're a nation that loses more lives daily to guns and cars than have ever lost their lives exploring space. When someone sacrifices their life to help us expand our reach beyond all limits of human history, we should honor that sacrifice by redoubling our effort to make it matter, rather than shrink from the stage from fear of bad optics.

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