* Posts by Spherical Cow

260 posts • joined 10 Aug 2018


SpaceX is about to launch its first Starlink internet satellite sporting a sun visor following complaints by astronomers

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Re: Seebeck effect

How is the cool side staying cool?

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Re: Solution?

He could even send up a constellation (or "array") of many radio telescopes with enough total receiving area to add up to, say, a square kilometre. I'm not sure what you'd call it though.

SpaceX Crew Dragon docks at International Space Station

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Re: this is only half the trip

Musk has said he's more worried about re-entry than launch. Something about the Dragon being asymmetrical which might cause a spin which might allow hot plasma into the emergency Draco thruster vents.

After 30 years of searching, astroboffins finally detect the universe's 'missing matter' – using fast radio bursts

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Re: I can lend you a tape measure if you like.

Volume is measured in grapefruit (or for really big things Olympic swimming pools).

Watch SpaceX's Starship SN4 prototype accidentally self-destruct in a rocket test burn

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That's a big bang!

In the compilation video watch the Proton M from 2013, camera 4. Start at 31:17. Wait for the shock wave to arrive.

Turns out Elon can't control the weather – what a scrub: Rain, clouds delay historic manned SpaceX-NASA launch

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"Flying at a different time may have prevented the crew capsule from reaching orbit"

...from reaching the correct orbit, Shirley.

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon cleared to hoist real live American astronauts into space

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S'ok. ISS will still be there.

Well, that's something boffins haven't seen before: A strange alien streaks around Jupiter

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Re: That far away ?

Atmospheric friction at L4???

UK takes a step closer to domestic launches as Skyrora fires up Skylark-L

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Re: Top Gear?

Am I the only person to suspect that everything went exactly to plan? The "failure" was deliberate and the spectacular and amusing RUD was intended (so I'd better call it a RSD instead).

India opens its space industry to private companies

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That all sounds great! Except for the bit about "ending the government's coal mining monopoly". The last thing this planet needs is more coal mining.

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An orbital spacecraft is just an ICBM which goes sideways fast enough to keep missing the ground as it falls.

Two weeks before the first US commercial crew launch, NASA spanks more cash on an autumn Soyuz seat

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Nice simulator.

Bloody tricky at the end though.

Psst... Wanna buy some stock in a spaceplane company? Virgin would like a word

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Front row seats to re-entry?

Is HDEV now transmitting from the Cygnus? Because there's still a feed going. Could be (briefly) interesting.

Russia admits, yup, the Americans are right: One of our rocket's tanks just disintegrated in Earth's orbit

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Re: Hopefully time limited

It's already been up for nine years and it spends most of its time much higher than 400. These fragments are going to be around for a while.

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Why was this useless thing still up there since 2011? With an apogee of 3,606 km and perigee of 422 km it wouldn't have taken much oomph to de-orbit itself, if someone had given it the capability. That's pretty crappy design.

There's a black hole lurking within 1,000 light years of Earth – and you can see stars circling it with the naked eye

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Re: 1,000 light years away is a bit too far ...

tbh twenty metres up would be enough. It's not the fall which gets you...

Virgin Galactic takes another step towards blasting Richard Branson into space

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Re: Priorities?

Mandate that airlines must use biofuel. Ticket prices will go up a bit but not a lot, and we can all enjoy guilt-free holidays again. The biofuel industry will ramp up to meet increased demand as soon as demand is increased.

Bye, Russia: NASA wheels out astronauts, describes plan for first all-American manned launch into orbit since 2011

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Re: All auto?

Well, the first stage can already park itself.

Bezos to the Moon: Blue Origin joins SpaceX and Dynetics in a three-horse lunar lander race

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"I wouldn't want to be the poor SOB trying to climb a rope all the way back up that monster, let alone doing it with a sackful of moon rocks over his shoulder"

I'd tie the sack of rocks to the bottom of the rope then pull it up after me.

ATLAS flubbed: Comet heading our way takes one look at Earth, self-destructs into house-sized chunks

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Re: That's not a comet...

> ... wipe out your supplies of Tea, Coffee, Wine and Beer!

I brew my own :-)

How's your night sky looking? The Reg chats to astroboffin Mark McCaughrean about Starlink and leaving a mark

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winking dots

I watched the ISS fly over my house last night. I always get a big thrill from seeing it. Smaller satellites give a smaller thrill, but there's always a thrill no matter how small they are.

There's no accounting for taste.

Kepler telescope is dead but the data lives on: Earth-sized habitable zone planet found after boffins check for errors

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Re: Age?

"Tidal locking could still leave a habitable zone between the hot and frozen hemispheres."

A tad windy though.

NASA makes May 27 its US independence day from Russian rockets: America's back in the astronaut business after nearly nine years

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Re: Thanks To A South American Immigrant

You don't need to adjust ratios per capita ;-)

Do you want to be an astronaut when you grow up? Yeah, you and 12,000 others: NASA flooded with folks hoping to visit Moon, Mars

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Re: That degree...

@Chris G

You should check Dolph and Brian's credentials.

Hailing frequencies open, sir... America's Space Force hurls its first military comms satellite into Earth's orbit

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First launch under the name Space Force but really just a continuation of an existing project. Space Force has yet to do the first thing of their own.

BEHOLD! Japan's Hayabusa2 probe left human imprints on ASTEROID SAND

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Re: Sand? Distant places?

More importantly: wormsign?

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That was a big hit!

I'm impressed that a 5m rock was moved several metres, presumably by not much more than a blast of sand. I know the gravity is low but the impactor must still have packed a hell of a punch to do that.

Corona coronavirus hiatus: Euro space agency to put Sun, Mars probes in safe mode while boffins swerve pandemic

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Re: Why bother putting them into safe mode?

You need a screen, a keyboard, and a mouse to control a satellite*. And a whole heap of clever computer stuff and some very impressive antennae etc as well but they don't have to be in the same place as you, and that's the point: you could work from home just as well as at the office.

*most people anyway, there are some who have other ways to do what's needed.

Bad news: Coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the world. Good news: Nitrogen dioxide levels are decreasing and the air on Earth is cleaner

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It was only a matter of time.

No joy for all you Rover McRoverface fans: NASA's next Mars bot is christened Perseverance

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Re: Needs two names

Everyone will call it Kate for short.

If you're struggling to keep new year resolutions, try NGTS-10b, a mere 1,000 LY away. One year is just 18 hrs

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I suspect planets like this are rare because they don't last long when orbiting so close to their suns. Solar winds and tidal forces must be intense.

Galileo got it wrong – official: Jupiter actually wet, not super-dry: 'No one would have guessed that water might be so variable across the planet'

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It's all done with solenoid valves.

My garden sprinklers don't all come on at once, they come on section by section. Apparently the Jupiterians use a similar irrigation technique.

Private equity ponies up £2m to help launch satellites from sunny Shetland by next year

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Re: Ideal

If your criteria are "desert" and "polar orbit" then Antarctica fits the bill. It does have certain non-trivial disadvantages however.

Jeff Bezos bungs $10bn at climate change after chump change for Oz bush fires

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Re: A rich man...


Keeping their riches to themselves is the worst thing rich people can do. Money helps no-one when sitting in an offshore account. Rich people can help the world by spending their money so it goes back into the economy.

Ever dream of being an astronaut? Now’s your chance. NASA wants new people for the Moon and Mars

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Re: Height

While checking for "overall good health" they probably look at your BMI (yes it's a stupid measurement but it still gets used a lot).

Astroboffins agog after spotting the first repeating fast radio burst that pings every 16 days from another galaxy

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Re: How far away is this ?

In the article:

"The researchers recorded 28 bursts from the object codenamed FRB 180916.J0158+65 – some 500 million light-years away – from September 2018 to October 2019."

Raw sunlight is going to cause our asteroid belt to spin itself to death by YORPing – but not for another six billion years

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Re: Can you get the spinsies from a jump to the left?

But it's the photonic thrust that really drives you insane.

Verity Stob is 'Disgusted of HG Wells': Time, gentlemen, please

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Re: Screenwriters with a thin education, and tasked to appeal to the widest audience....

Bod was odd.

Billionaire pulls out of reality telly show that was supposed to find him a date to take aboard Musk's space loveboat

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Re: View of the Sun's polar regions

Yes, but only at night.

Finally, that cruel dust world Mars proves useful: Helping scientists understand Earth's radio-scrambling plasma

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Re: "Phenomenon" is singular, "phenomena" is (are?) plural

Just don't tell the Governors General.

Remember that 2024 Moon thing? How about Mars in 2033? Authorization bill moots 2028 for more lunar footprints

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It's hard to document the shortage when you can't string the words together.

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Re: Are we there yet?

So, the astronauts' main job will be to put coins in the slot and press buttons? What if a coin is rejected and they are a bit slow getting it out of the change drawer and putting it back in the slot? If an item gets stuck should they shake the rocket or buy another item in the hope of knocking down the stuck one?

Geoboffins find the oldest matter on Earth: Ancient stardust created before the Solar System formed

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Re: Glue


They aren't finished yet. Right now they may be sitting in a terrestrial laboratory, but one day they will be part of a new and entirely different solar system.

Pack your bags! NASA's latest exoplanet hunter satellite finds its first Earth-sized world in a habitable zone – and it's only 100 light years away

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Re: How many planets?


This isn't Boeing very well... Faulty timer knackers Starliner cargo capsule on its way to International Space Station

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Re: "This particular Starliner mission"

I can count them on the fingers of one finger.

Happy Artemis Day everybody! NASA preps its monster rocket for testing

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Thumb Up

Re: Embarrasing Moment Incoming...

Metaphorical fireworks only, I hope. But seeing them both standing erect on launch pads next to each other would be amazing! (Regardless of the relative costs)

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Re: Also SpaceX

It seems SpaceX launches with successful stage 1 recovery are now so common they don't rate a mention. I think that's a pretty good measure of success in the high risk field of rocket engineering: to become so routine you are no longer newsworthy.

100 mysterious blinking lights in the night sky could be evidence of alien life... or something weird, say boffins

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Big Brother

Re: re:blinking out of existence

I shudder to think what it will look like when this lot goes too far.

OK. We're off. Water ice found just below the surface of Mars. Good enough for us. Let's go. Impulse power, Mr Sulu

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Re: "Spacecrafts" ?

When one person starts pluralising unnecessarily, everyone else will follow like sheeps.



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