* Posts by Andrew Newstead

300 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Sep 2008


If anyone finds an $80M F-35 stealth fighter, please call the Pentagon

Andrew Newstead

Re: I could have understood not mentioning it if it was a Starfighter

“B” variant actually.

As one mission returns to Earth, three more make for the Moon

Andrew Newstead

It was planned that way, they kept the capsule in the water longer to see if the re entry had damaged it in ways they weren’t expecting and had compromised it’s seakeeping ability.

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

Andrew Newstead

Re: You also get the problem ....

The original planning for SSPS by Philip Glaser and Gerard K O’Neil in the 1970’s proposed building the satellites from materials mined on the moon and launched to geostationary Earth orbit by electromagnetic rail launcher. The argument was that it would be more economical and less disruptive than launching massive rockets from Earth. The concept still has merit.

LG debuts thin malleable screens made from contact lens material

Andrew Newstead


This would make Heads Up Displays on visors or other eye ware quite easy to do now. Standby for the (possible) resurrection of Google Glass?

Boeing's Starliner launch pushed back again... to April 2023

Andrew Newstead

Re: "visiting spacecraft traffic at the space station"

The problem is that there are only so many docking ports available that Starliner can use and these may all be occupied for weeks at a time.

Airbus auctions off bits from retired A380 superjumbo jet

Andrew Newstead

The party may not be over yet

Some rumblings were heard from Airbus recently that suggests that the A380 may not have had it’s day. Work is being done on the feasibility of restarting production on an updated version of the aircraft as a number of airlines are grabbing the laid up A380s quite quickly.

Scientists overjoyed after DART smashes into asteroid Dimorphos, contact lost

Andrew Newstead

Re: There goes the prime directive... Murica Successfully Saves the world AGAIN with a bomb

Hmm, I don’t think you’ve actually looked into this. The plan is to observe the movement of the asteroid after the impact has taken place with an object of precisely known mass and velocity. Observations will be done using telescopes and radar. There is an expected result but we don’t know if “real life” matches the prediction, hence doing the experiment.

Sun sets on superjumbo: Last Airbus A380 rolls off the production line

Andrew Newstead

Re: Pretty agile for a big bugger

Avtur, avgas is for piston engines prop jobs.

Pretend starship captain to take trip in real space capsule

Andrew Newstead

Re: Uhura to orbit

Unfortunately Nichelle Nichols is not well nowadays.

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user

Andrew Newstead

Re: The endless story

I had an instructor when I was an apprentice that had a saying for this, “You design anything to be idiot proof but you can’t design it to be twat proof”!

Virgin Galactic pals up with Rolls-Royce to work on Mach 3 Concorde-style private jet that can carry up to 19 people

Andrew Newstead

Re: It's a shame that Reaction Engines missed out on this

Royce’s have been putting money into Reaction engines and investigating the use RE’s precoolers with conventional Jet engines. It wouldn’t surprise me to see that technology being involved in this project.

Trump's Make Space Great Again video pulled after former 'naut says: Nope

Andrew Newstead

Re: Nuts

There was a Brave New World miniseries in the eighties starring Keir Dullela.

Have you ever seen one of these, son? Ricoh spins off 360° camera boffins to debut neuralyzer-shaped snapper

Andrew Newstead

Re: Prosumer ??

Not so prosumer, their high end DSLRs are as good as anything from Canon and Nikon and their lenses are superb.

'An issue of survival': Why Mozilla welcomes EU attempts to regulate the internet giants

Andrew Newstead

Hmmm, I’ve not seen any of that.

Bear insistent on playing tonsil tennis with you? Just bite its tongue off

Andrew Newstead

Re: But he didn't take the bear spray

That’ll kill all birds in a one mile radius!

UK Space Agency cracks open its wallet, fishes out a paltry £2m for Brit plans to return to orbit

Andrew Newstead

Not quite

The last all British rocket that launched a British satellite (in fact the only one) was Black Arrow. That lives in the Science Museum in Kensington. The rocket you’re thinking of is a Blue Streak.

Israeli Moon probe crashes at the last minute but SpaceX scores with Falcon Heavy launch

Andrew Newstead

Re: Budget limits time

Just for the record, it's looking like Beagle 2 actually made it to the surface intact, according to images made by one of the orbiting spacecraft recently. What seems to have occurred is that the craft failed to deploy properly and was not able to bring it's communications antenna online.

Brit rocket boffins Reaction Engines notch up first supersonic precooler test

Andrew Newstead

The Helium is cooled by the LH2 fuel that is being fed to the engine at that time, effectively pre-warming the cryogenic fuel before combustion and the heat from the heat exchanger being dumped overboard.

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

Andrew Newstead

Re: Ah, the carefree days of yore

Does it do the howl?

NASA names the date for the first commercial crew demo flight

Andrew Newstead

Re: Prediction

Daisy, Daisy...

Andrew Newstead


"I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you..."

Hi there, Hubble, glad to hear you're doing okay

Andrew Newstead

The telescope was designed to be serviceable and eventually retrievable by the Space Shuttle. That limited the altitude at which it was deployed to allow the shuttle to get to it.

One of the last things that was done on the final shuttle servicing mission was to attach a docking collar to the telescope base which would allow a future visiting space craft to attach itself to the scope. What this craft would be doing was not explained in too much detail, except to state that a rocket engine on the craft could change the telescope's orbit or de-orbit it in a controlled manner (important as much of the mirror would make it through re-entry and it's very massive). It's not a great stretch to conceive of a "service module" that could take over the navigation and pointing functions of the telescope and be attached to it when we see the gyros and momentum wheels on the telescope starting to fail again. This would also maintain the orbit. When the module is used up then it could be replaced with a second unit.

Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

Andrew Newstead

Re: Apollo 7

First flight of Saturn 1B with a crew, first flight of a 1Bwas an unmanned engineering test of a Block 1 CSM in February 1966 and there were another 2 launches before Apollo 7.

Blueprint of modern construction can be found in a tech cluster... of 19th century England

Andrew Newstead

Re: Shropshire

Aah, Bird on the Rock Tea Rooms. Know them well. Their cream teas are epic!

Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

Andrew Newstead

Re: SpaceX is known for blowing past its deadlines

Er, no actually. I'm fascinated by the landings of the first stages, can't get enough of that.

Andrew Newstead

Re: Typical Muskery

I think there has been some design, something is actually being built in Los Angeles.

The Reg chats with Voyager Imaging Team member Dr Garry E Hunt

Andrew Newstead

Hope for us yet!

It's stories like these that give me hope for us as a species. Coming up with incredible missions of discovery and keeping them going and fixing things on the other side of the Solar System as problems happen in the most inhospitable environments possible, absolutely inspiring!

I remember seeing Dr Garry Hunt on the Sky at Night and Horizons and I always felt proud that we had a Brit on the project.

Thanks Dr Hunt for what you did, you kept a late teen/young twenty something fascinated for years and thanks El Reg for bring this interview to us, much appreciated.

Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts

Andrew Newstead

I don't know, I've had a few willing to go the 12 rounds with me.

Andrew Newstead

I had one like that when I was techying at a teacher training college. An arts lecturer (8-D) was always having problems with his machine that never seemed to manifest themselves when I got there. He was convinced it my "Aura" that fixed the fault, we put it down to "finger trouble".

Now you can tell someone to literally go f--k themselves over the internet: Remote-control mock-cock patent dies

Andrew Newstead

Re: Oh, doughnuts!

WD 40?

Leatherbound analogue password manager: For the hipster who doesn't mind losing everything

Andrew Newstead

Re: User-generated obfuscation

That's the pig pen cypher, originally used as a Masonic code.

Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Andrew Newstead

Puts it on the correct side for Japanese (and Brit, and Aus...) drivers.

Woman sues NASA for ownership of vial of space dust

Andrew Newstead

Re: So... uhm...

That's the idea.

Andrew Newstead

Re: So... uhm...

No, they are only claiming ownership of the materials that they spent the money on to retrieve and bring back to Earth. If you go and collect your own samples then that is a different matter.

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

Andrew Newstead

Re: Surprise Sighting

That one was going up to the air museum at east Fortune, near Edinburgh The one at Filton was flown in..

Sysadmin wiped two servers, left the country to escape the shame

Andrew Newstead

Started learning my more serious computing with a Sinclair QL (when they were being sold cheap at Dixons). The first lesson with a QL was backup everything because the microdrives were finicky as hell!

I ended up having 3 or more copies of everything I was using. Still paranoid even now.

Prof Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred alongside Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin

Andrew Newstead

Re: Britain's highest honour?

It has been said that Hawking was offered a knighthood but turned it down as a protest over the state of funding in UK science at the time.

Seen from spaaaaace: Boffins check world's oceans for plastic

Andrew Newstead


Fancy a viaduct? We have a wrought Victorian iron marvel to sell you

Andrew Newstead

Just up the road...

Thanks for this article. I live just to the west of this in Derby. A thing that you might be interested to know is that Derby also has a good industrial museum as well as Nottingham. Situated in the old Silk Mill building, considered to be the first factory in the world! Well worth a visit.

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

Andrew Newstead

Re: Speaking of carbon paper...

I keep some stashed away for model making projects, It's damn useful for tracing patterns onto sheet plastic.

Fender's 'smart' guitar amp has no Bluetooth pairing controls

Andrew Newstead

Forget Rickrolling the artist, do the stadium!

A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again

Andrew Newstead

Observing for your self

A simple bit of astronomy and travel can show you the Earth has a curved surface. Spot the pole star in your sky, note where it is in relation to the northern horizon. Travel a fair distance south and make the same observation again and see if it changes. If you are in the northern hemisphere then the the pole star will get closer to the northern horizon and on the equator the pole star will be on the horizon and will disappear over the horizon as you travel further south. This can only happen if the surface of the planet is curved.

And before you ask, yes I have carried out this test when I went on holiday from the UK to Crete a few years ago ago and got a definite change in position of the star patterns. If you accurately measure the angles involved you would be able to calculate using some simple trig the actual diameter of the Earth.

Supermicro is, like, totally harnessing green energy sources to churn out servers, dude

Andrew Newstead

Re: coal gas

Ah the natural gas conversion. That was help start me down the electronics path. The fitters doing the conversions had lots of cable and battery holders they were scrapping off, every lad (and it was lads) in the street ended up with boxes of kit which we used to cobble up all sorts of circuits. The shocker circuits using some of the old transformers were fun...

SpaceX delivers classified 'Zuma' payload into orbit

Andrew Newstead

Re: Mars Orbit?

As I understand it there will be no circularisation burn, just lobbing the Car into a Holman transfer.

Andrew Newstead

Mars Orbit?

Come on Reg, you should know better! The Tesla roadster is not being sent into orbit around Mars, it is being launched into a solar orbit that goes out as far as Mars' orbit around the Sun.

Everyone is getting this wrong!

Apple embraces El Reg! iOS 11 is now biting the hand that types IT

Andrew Newstead

Re: What do you expect?

Tribalism. History is full of examples of humanities' tendency for forming antagonistic cliques around concepts or physical items claiming their superiority, this is just another one.

OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

Andrew Newstead

Same reason we build hi-rise buildings, to get more accomodation into a smaller footprint. In this case Apple frees up space to fit the larger battery needed for the display.

Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails

Andrew Newstead

Re: Tension, apprehension, And dissension have begun.

"Tenser said the Tensor" - damn, I'm not going to get that out of my mind for the rest of the day...

Must re-read The Demolished Man again soon.

Hotter than the Sun: JET – Earth’s biggest fusion reactor, in Culham

Andrew Newstead

Re: scaling up is the answer?

Not to mention that the Moon is quite rich in Thorium.

Astroboffins spot tiniest star yet – we guess you could call it... small fry

Andrew Newstead


Any large black monoliths spotted?