* Posts by E-Penguin

11 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Feb 2011

Rosetta comet chaser due to wake up for final rendezvous on Monday


Re: Mission and craft is ESA, not NASA...

NASA's DSN antennas will be picking up the first signal but it is certainly an ESA mission, controlled from ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany.

Julian Assange: I'm quite happy to sleep on Ecuador's sofa FOREVER


99.97%? Really?

I'd like to see the workings-out on that particular statistic.

Software bug halts Curiosity: Nuke lab bot in safe mode


That's what safe mode is for...

The rover can't know what was in the file that didn't execute, maybe it was something critical, so to be on the safe side it goes into safe mode. It's a design feature that has saved many a spacecraft. This is "fail safe" as opposed to "fail operational" where it carries on working regardless.

UK chancellor dishes extra £60m to European Space Agency


ESA is not EU

Galileo is an EU project, not an ESA project. ESA is not the "Space Arm" of the EU. The two organisations are unrelated but collaborate on certain projects.

Even after the increase, £240 million a year is peanuts, considering the total size of the UK's annual budget (£682 billion for 2012).

Boffins zapped '2,000 bugs' from Curiosity's 2 MILLION lines of code



Had nothing to do with Metric vs Imperial. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beagle_2#ESA.2FUK_inquiry_report

Reg man the most-flamed recruiter in the UK?


coffee people?

"Wake up an smell the coffee people."

Are these people made of coffee, or are they merely responsible for the delivery thereof?

LOHAN team buried under ballockets


No atmosphere, eh?

Of course there's atmosphere up there. A balloon is a lighter-than-air vehicle, thus it requires air to be lighter-than, otherwise no lift.

If there's enough air to hold a balloon up, there's enough air to use for a bit of drag for stabilisation; only a small force is required. Nobody's looking to create aerodynamic lift to hold the rocket up.

Also, the "rocket on the top with no other stabilisation" is a failure waiting to happen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pendulum_rocket_fallacy

Flight stabilisation is needed. It's Big Fin or Gimballed Rockets. A rail isn't going to help at all once the rocket leaves the rail.

Can you handle LOHAN's substantial globes?


Really Long Fins

are what's needed then. No complex control surfaces or accelerometers. Drop the plane horizontally, light the 1st stage and let the long fins shift the centre of aerodynamic pressure back far enough for it to stabilise in a vertical attitude. Jettison the Really Long Fins with the first stage.

There should be plenty of air still about at 196 brontosauruses up.

Actually, what we're after is a lot of drag, so maybe use feathers, like the object used to play badminton. Seems only right for LOHAN to ride a big (shuttle)cock...

Reg readers ponder LOHAN's substantial globes


Hanging a weight on the back of the plane won't do anything...

... to the initial attitude at release. Heavier things don't fall faster than light things. Have we learned nothing from Galileo?

Gravity will act at the centre of mass and won't provide any turning force.

Horizontal launch with actively-controlled rockets to bring it to vertical is the way to go, like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus_%28rocket%29

You could knock up a simple control system using an Arduino nano, a couple of tilt switches and a pair of servos, and to hell with roll rate.

Natty Narwahl: Ubuntu marine mammal not fully evolved

Thumb Up

well I don't think it's all that bad...

Just upgraded to 11.04, with the Unity interface, and it seems nice enough. Definitely an improvement on the beta, with the non-hideable launcher bar. If I want to do much more than surf the interwebs I just go into bash and type stuff anyway...

I particularly like the way it handles maximised windows on my netbook, putting the close/minimise/maximise gadgets up at the top, saving precious screen space.

Wii Countdown conundrum brands family 'SH*THEADS'


word bank?

"Vocabulary" would be a fine addition to the mother's "word bank"...