* Posts by Vulch

589 publicly visible posts • joined 28 May 2008


Musk tells advertisers to 'go f**k' themselves as $44B X gamble spirals into chaos


Re: dollars over sense

elect him president of Mars

That's just nominative determinism, as predicted by no less than Wernher von Braun in his book "Project Mars: A Technical Tale" over 20 years before his muskiness was even born.

SpaceX celebrates Starship launch as a success – even with the explosion


Re: Self destruct

There are images from weather radar in the region showing the second stage debris coming down in a line north of Puerto Rico and Anguilla.

SpaceX's Starship on the roster for Texas takeoff


Re: Is it just me

Many weren't that complicated and were things SpaceX had already identified and were either working on or had completed. The 57 required for this flight (the other six were longer term) were completed in September, see this tweet from His Muskiness for the list.

Russia hustles to fill impending void left by the ISS


Once upon a time

Russia planned to have a "power tower" module on the ISS, but in the end it never launched and they're wired into the NASA side instead. If they've still got bits of it in storage like they did for Nauka then it might actually get launched nearly on schedule.

Larry Ale-ison institute invests in Oxford pub linked to Tolkien, CS Lewis


Re: Licensing authorities should regularly inspect it

"You're only buying three beers in this round but there are five seats at your table, we'll be charging you for five beers"

Brits sign Axiom Space deal for human spaceflight in name of science


The general idea is the sponsors will decide the objectives and nominate someone to fill the seat and do the relevant research. Alternatively someone like Richard Garriott might decide he wants another trip up to the station and pay for a seat.

Scripted shortcut caused double-click disaster of sysadmin's own making


Re: Are you sure

Once upon a time I had a SCSI drive with removable disc packs. To format a disc pack you needed to answer three prompts chosen randomly from a pool of six. Three of the pool questions needed a 'Y' to proceed, the other three needed 'N', so you actually had to check the prompt before clicking through.

Vodafone claims first space-based 5G phone call – no modifications needed


Re: Size Matters

Also it's all very well being able to put down a spot beam, but the tighter the spot is the fewer phones are actually in the coverage area. At the limit the entire spot is focussed on Auntie Mabel chatting to Cousin Doris and a mile away there's a damaged hiker trying to dial the 9's and unable to get a connection. Starlink on the other hand is providing service to the entire National Park with its ginormous footprint.

BOFH: What a beautiful tinfoil hat, Boss!


Re: I need --->

Hmmm, there's probably enough unsecured laptop cameras in Bean Counter Central to run SCORPION STARE. Could make a game of it, each turn you get to pick two cameras, winner is first to three statues?

BOFH: Zen and the art of battery replacement


Danger of escalation alert

and 1,000W grid stacked core wound motor on it

Whatever one of those might be, it's 4 times the permitted power for an e-bike unless it's registered with DVLC with all the associated faff needed for a motorbike. Don't want to attract the attention of a head office jobsworth who might deny the claim.

India takes second punt at soft lunar landing with launch of Chandrayaan-3 mission


Re: All well and good..... @Raj

A lot of it appears to be disguised subsidies to UK companies. It tends to go along the lines of "Hello Foreign Aid Recipient, here's X currency units. Use it to buy Y widgets at Z currency units each from Thingies Ltd based in MarginalConstituencyShire, England" rather than the brown envelopes many people imagine.

Ariane 5 to take final flight, leaving Europe without its own heavy-lift rocket


Hacking a Foosball table scored an own goal for naughty engineers


"Is Siberian Hamster!"

BOFH: Cough up half a grand and we'll protect you from AI


Re: Quite ironic

At one company I was employed by I landed up being designated "Company Drug Pusher" as the admin lady had taken the required first aid course when we got large enough to need one, and as such she was no longer allowed to give people drugs of any kind. This meant the packets of aspirin, paracetemol and ibuprofen moved to one of my desk drawers and I let her know if they were getting low so she could buy replacements on petty cash.

Australia to phase out checks by 2030


Re: They still exist?

As long as they aren't Parisiens.

Eco warriors sue FAA over Starship fallout, claim watchdog is lost in space


Parked car

The car with damage was known to be well within the danger area, and had been deliberately left there as it was being used as a remote camera platform to cover the launch.

SpaceX's second attempt at orbital Starship launch ends in fireball


Re: Complexity ≠ Reliability

The plumbing isn't too bad on Super Heavy, the Raptors are directly connected to the bottom of the methane tank and a spider/octopus arrangement feeds them oxygen. One of the major problems with the N1 was the wiring, many, many individual wires carrying analogue sensor information running from each engine to the control unit and inevitably some of them got connected to the wrong terminals resulting in perfectly good engines being shut down because of sensors on other engines showing fault conditions. The individual Raptor engines each have their own control units built in and talk to the central controller(s) via digital data buses.

Smallsats + solar sails = Photos of exoplanets at 1970s digital camera resolution


Re: Proper sailing spaceship????

You can't tack properly with a solar sail as there's no way to emulate a keel. Wind powered ships rely on being able to balance the forces caused by the wind against those caused by the water, a light sail at best can have the forces go perpendicular to the light source, never towards it.

Student satellite demonstrates drag sail to de-orbit old hardware


Just the batteries is more

AA batteries apparently weigh between 23g and 31g depending on chemistry, alkaline being lighter than NiMH. That puts 65 of them somewhere between 1.5kg and 2.0kg

Space mining startup prepping to launch 'demo' refinery... this April


Re: I thought this was about 2023 BU

I believe the standard is as described by Messrs Flanders and Swann.

SpaceX tells astronomers: Fine, we'll try to stop Starlink spoiling stargazing sessions


Needs a constitutional amendment before he could stand.


Re: Get a Hubble...

The blokes in sheds still discover a fair chunk of asteroids and comets, particularly ones that are coming from odd directions. The stuff in orbit may be very Shiney (tm) and looking a long way out, and the professional observatories on the mountain tops do their bit, but there are lot of sheds with roll-back roofs dotted all over the globe.

FAA grounds all US departures after NOTAM goes down

Black Helicopters


A "Who, me?" in about a decade...

Europe's USB-C deadline: Lightning must be struck from iPhone by December, 2024


Re: Site radios?

I believe it only applies to devices where the battery is normally (or has to be as it's not removeable) charged while in the equipment, professional level power tool batteries are usually removed for charging so will be able to use their standard charging stations.

Look! Up in the sky! Proof of concept for satellites beaming energy to Earth!


Re: You also get the problem ....

It's a trade-off. If the satellite is in LEO it's only in sight of each ground station for a short time each day and the beam has to be actively steered. Losses are greater if it's in GEO, but the satellite is always line of sight to the ground station and beam adjustments are minimal.

NASA reassigns Venus boffins to save short-staffed asteroid interceptor


Re: metallic core of a failed protoplanet

Basically yes. Most simulations of Solar System formation have several largish (up to the size of the Moon) bodies forming in the asterid belt and either colliding with each other or being ejected following close misses with each other and Jupiter. The asteroids we see there now are the debris left over from the collisions.

Parody Elon Musk Twitter accounts will be suspended immediately, says Elon Musk


Re: Free Speech!

Ten years ago...


NASA details totally doable, not science fiction plan for sending Mars rocks to Earth


Re: China's Moon Mining is a better idea

NASA has yet to land a rocket in reverse

Except for several Surveyors and Lunar Modules on the Moon, both Vikings, Phoenix and InSight on Mars. Arguably Curiosity and Perseverance as well.

NASA, SpaceX weigh invoking Dragon to take Hubble higher


Re: why stop there?

Which would involve a plane change from the Hubble orbit inclined at 28.5 degrees to the ISS orbit of 51.6 degrees as well as the altitude adjustment. You'll be needing multiple Falcon 9 launches just to get the fuel into orbit for each leg of the journey.

NASA sees our space future as both government and privately run


Re: Slow EU decision making

Also, after the International Solar Polar Mission got chopped in half ESA got very cautious about being too involved in NASA projects that may get dropped at short notice.

NASA's Space Launch System rocket is on track for August 29 liftoff


SpaceX upgrades Starlink to reflect less light, can't launch without its Starship


Re: Less per lauch?

They are a lot heavier, not just a bit. The ones currently in orbit are between 250kg and 300kg, the earlier ones didn't have the laser links so were lighter. The v2 satellites are 1250kg so 4 or 5 times more massive than the current ones, they're also twice as long so don't fit the fairing when flat and would have to be stood on end for launch on an F9.

NASA: Mars rocks won't make it back to Earth until 2033


Followed by Elon in 2030 saying "I've got 20 tonnes of samples here, where would you like them?"


Costs too much in fuel. Coming straight in can use the atmosphere to slow down, Earth orbit means they'd need to take the fuel for that to Mars and back.

A character catastrophe for a joker working his last day


Re: Nothing so severe

Back in my student days one of the porters came into the refectory and shouted loudly for Mike's brother Isaac...

Is the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope worth the price tag?


Re: And the answer to the question is

LUVOIR is the current project name, Large Ultra Violet, Optical and Infra Red. Intended for launch on an SLS or a SpaceX Starship depending on cost and availability.

Dmitry Rogozin sacked as boss of Russian space agency Roscosmos


Re: Sunflower

There is informed speculation that he will shortly be appointed Administrator of the Temporarily Occupied Territories in Ukraine.

ESA's 2030+ roadmap envisions Europeans on the Moon and Mars


Re: If ESA was smart

Equatorial sites will be a boon for rapid orbital refuelling. Launching from KSC gives you one window a day for tanker launches to a particular destination, a launch site on the equator gives you a window every orbit.

BOFH: HR's gold mine gambit – they get the gold and we get the shaft


Re: Out of all these...

Would probably know which side his bread was buttered as well...

Seriously, you do not want to make that cable your earth


Re: almost whoops

Under the raised floors at the ITV station I worked at were like that. Studios built and wired for 405 lines monochrome, rewired for 625 monochrome, rewired again for 625 colour, new studio built with all the extra wiring for that, sound rewired for stereo, franchise lost and studios demolished before rewiring for full digital was required.. Can't pull the old cables out until the new has been shown to work, can't pull them out then as there's too much weight on top of them. Nothing quite with enough layers to stop the floor tiles going back down, but close...

NASA's InSight doomed as Mars dust coats solar panels


Re: Big Fan

And said little helicopter is also suffering from dust accumulation on its solar array.

Chinese drone-maker DJI suspends ops in Russia, Ukraine


The article is repeating a mis-conception, for your 100 or 150K USD you get a complete *system*, not one drone. The system comprises a control centre, launch rail, five or so actual drones, and a truck to carry everything. Subtract the likely cost of the truck and control centre electronics and the choice of drone components makes more sense.

COVID-19 contact tracing apps were suggested as saviors. They sometimes delivered


Re: technical feasability

The first version used a centralised and not anonymous data store, Big Brother knew who you were and where you'd been. Google and Apple didn't allow that sort of app access to the low-level API so it chewed battery and I think had problems running in the background. They then switched to the anonymous decentralised model which helped with both. When chased for up to date source in their GitHub repository the developers stated that regularly updating was too difficult, and issues were either ignored or dismissed. At that point I decided I was never going to install the software and lost interest in following the development.

ESA: Fly me to the Moon, just not on a Russian rocket


Crew flights delay

Crew 4 was being held up by Axiom 1, that in turn was being held up by the wet dress rehersal for SLS which encountered numerous problems and delays. NASA didn't want launches from HLC-39A while SLS was still out on NSHLC-39B, but eventually blinked.

OneWeb turns to SpaceX for satellite launches


Re: How much does SpaceX charge?

67 million USD for a standard launch. Discounts available for booking multiple flights.

Volcano 'shredded' submarine cable, vastly complicating repair job


Maxar Technologies: The eye in the sky tracking invasion of Ukraine


Re: Image quality

They're not hugely better. The USA limits commercial image providers to 30cm resolution, but when you get down to 15cm resolution atmospheric effects start blurring the results. That's one reason photo-reconnaisance from aircraft still has a place, less atmosphere to peer through.

Three major browsers are about to hit version 100. Will websites cope?


Re: The real question!

Ultimate Dark Mode:

“Every time you try to operate one of these weird black controls that are labelled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up black to let you know you’ve done it."

D. Adams.

He ain't heavy, he's my brother: Bloke gives away SpaceX ticket because he was over weight limit


Re: Obviously didn't want to go

Might need to make it both legs to lose that much weight...

Ceefax replica goes TITSUP* as folk pine for simpler times


Re: Pedantic - slightly inaccurate

Presfax? ITV had something similar but it used a different run-in code at the start of each data line so it could go out to the transmitters and let OBs see the feed, domestic decoders would barf on the run-in code and assume the packet was corrupt.