* Posts by Spherical Cow

531 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Aug 2018


SpaceX grounds Falcon 9 carrying first private lunar lander

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Re: Why is the lunar regolith sticky?

What shape would a giant space cow be??

New SI prefixes clear the way for quettabytes of storage

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Re: This is getting silly now

Perhaps not surprising, as it's one hundred hundred, which is nice and neat.

NASA's cubesat makes it to the Moon to test orbit for human visitors

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Plan B

Just curious, if the CAPSTONE test shows that NRHO is unfortunately not stable enough, what is Plan B for Gateway? Is there a Plan B?

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

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There are some Scandinavian governments doing pretty well.

Cygnus cargo ship makes it to ISS with blanketed solar panel

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Re: the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia

Virginia is in the middle of the US's atlantic coast.

Catching a falling rocket with a helicopter more complex than it sounds, says Rocket Lab

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There was no problem with catching the rocket. The rocket's telemetry glitched so they didn't know exactly where it was, and they decided not to try catching it. I have high hopes for the next one.

California wildfires hit CTRL+Z on 18 years of CO2e removal

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Re: All in perspective...

The problem with air being 0.041% CO2 now is that it should be 0.028%. It's a big difference.

Founder of zero-emissions truck venture Nikola found guilty of $1b fraud

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This one runs

Nikola does have a working electric truck now, but it's not a ground-up build, just a conversion of someone else's truck.


NASA's Lucy probe dodges space traffic around Earth in gravity-assist flyby

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Re: major three C, P, and D

“Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.”

Collapsed Arecibo telescope to be replaced by school

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Tony Hawk-Eye-on-the-Sky?

US Dept of Energy injects more particles of cash into tokamak fusion reactors

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The difference between a torus and a taurus is that one is doughnut-shape and the other is spherical (at least, I assume it is).

Japan space agency blows up eight satellites aboard Epsilon rocket

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Re: Yup, space is still hard

It does matter how many: if none are being made, the chance of failure is zero.

UK politico proposes site for prototype nuclear fusion plant

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Re: A centre for industrial decline?

"10th June or 6th November"

11th June or 6th November?

10th June or 6th October?

Micro molten salt reactor can fit on a truck, power 1k homes. When it's built

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Well I'm not going to lick it.

India's Mars Orbiter Mission loses contact, burns all fuel, deemed 'non-recoverable'

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If you can send a fuel tanker all that way you may as well send a new probe with better instruments.

NASA, SpaceX weigh invoking Dragon to take Hubble higher

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Re: Insufficicent

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so.

Japan taps industry to build safer, more secure nuclear energy future

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Re: 1.2 million kilowatts

1.2 gigawatts is not quite enough for time travel, you need 1.21 gigawatts for that ;-)

Scientists overjoyed after DART smashes into asteroid Dimorphos, contact lost

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Re: Megalomaniac Plan

The Moon is gradually getting further away from Earth... omg your torch trick worked!

Japanese boffins build solar-powered, remote-controlled cyborg cockroach

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Have they considered putting dark sunglasses on the cockroaches?

China to launch space tourism by 2025, says industry veteran

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Re: suborbital "space" tourism?

The article definitely says "sub-orbital" not "orbital".

"China’s space tourism operators will lift off for first time in 2025 at between $280k-$400k per sub-orbital seat, according to the founder of Beijing-backed commercial launch service provider CAS Space, Yang Yiqiang."

Boffins spot baby planet forming around young star – and that's rather cool

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Re: Earworm

Is that where Baby Shark lives?

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Re: Torys

Au contraire, jake. Everything is connected and everything influences everything else, which means the Universe wouldn't be what it is today without British politics. Of course the difference would be negligible... but not zero.

Blue Monday for Blue Origin as rocket bursts into flame

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What about when the booster hit the ground? While I haven't seen the footage of that yet, I'm willing to bet that if it was still intact-ish before impact it would certainly have burst into flame at that point.

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Re: It's going to hurt sales

Difficult to tell whether the retros fired, it was behind a rise in the ground.

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Re: They must of

- So its "must of" as in must've

But... the apostrophe in must've is a placeholder for the missing ha. It's not of and never has been (despite your regional mispronunciation).

Japan reverses course on post-Fukushima nuclear ban

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The new reactors are being designed by proper engineers, not El Reg commentards, and I am 100% certain they are aware of the existence of earthquakes.

p.s. MMS not Richter ;-)

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Re: saving energy

What's the point of glowing in the dark for a day or two? It would be far more useful to glow in the dark for a night or two.

Commercial space station Orbital Reef's design phase passes NASA review

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Flying cars IN SPAAAACE!

I like the idea of the single-person suitless space craft. Zipping around in one of those would be fun!

Scientists find gasses from Earth in rocks from early Moon

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Summing up does not mean deliberately omitting the most important bit.

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Space Ping-Pong

Formed on Earth, then knocked into space by a huge impact to become part of the moon, then knocked into space again by another impact sending them back to earth: that's pretty amazing stuff! I just hope the next exchange happens after I'm gone.

US military fuels eVTOL research with $75m contract

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Re: Medic!

or as a staff car for moving officers around.

Scientists unveil a physics-defying curved space robot

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It's just using friction.

Sit on a swivel office chair with your feet off the floor. Stick your arms out and slowly rotate them left then suddenly jerk them right, you'll spin slightly to the left on the chair. Repeat many times and you can turn yourself all the way around.

Watching the video it is obvious the robot is doing the same thing. This has nothing to do with curved space and everything to do with overcoming friction at slow vs fast speeds.

Intel, Amazon, and SpaceX asked to tuck into DARPA's Space-BACN

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Don't be fooled by the cute name.

Internet in the sky... it is Skynet! Obvious icon is obvious.

NASA's six-mile-wide orbital telescope is 1/6th built

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[checks back of envelope]

They've completed one sixth of a six mile wide telescope so... it's one mile wide now??

Clean up orbit first, then we can think about space factories, says FCC

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Re: Big problem with limited solutions

Small things in low orbit will get rid of themselves soon enough. Big things in high orbits are tracked. So if you want to know where to cast your net, the answer is somewhere in between.

India’s latest rocket flies but payloads don't prosper

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Re: Is an ellipse…

It went titsup... did it then come titsdown? I suppose it did, with a premature re-entry.

Virgin Galactic delays commercial suborbital flights again

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Re: They still haven't started yet?

"Question is, how much money do they have left to burn?"

The article mentions $1.1 billion in cash and securities, plus $300 million to come from selling more shares.

Boffins put supercomputer on the scent of a perfect landfill deodorizer

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You can, you just need the right combination of incense sticks in the right proportions, which is what they are calculating.

US regulators set the stage for small, local nuclear power stations

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More *reactive*

The article does NOT say "more radioactive" as many commentards above seem to have assumed.

The article says "more reactive" which is a different thing entirely.

Perhaps the article has repeated a typo, or maybe it means what it says: more likely to react with, say, oxygen or some other common reactant.

Experts warn transition to private space stations won't happen anytime soon

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Re: Medical experiments

No need for a joystick, I just tilt my phone to fly.

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Re: Medical experiments

Did you know Elite has been ported to Android? The app is called Alite (sic).

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Re: A quick glance at YouTube


SpaceX crewed flight to ISS delayed by damaged rocket

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Re: Science brings us together

Since you wrote that post, Russia has announced they are pulling out of the ISS.

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Once the crewed launch limit has been reached they could still use the capsules for lots more cargo missions. It wouldn't take much effort to remove the seats and screens (which could then be reused).

Hush now: Baby talk has common features across languages and societies

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Re: Tap, tap

I also had a cat who said Hello (Eh-Oh) as a greeting. He had a vocabulary of several distinctively different sounds for use in particular situations.

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

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Depends on how many big expensive space telescopes have been launched in other planetary systems ;-)

Copper shortage keeps green energy, tech ventures grounded

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Aluminium is not "a terrible conductor". It is a reasonable conductor, which is why it is used in overhead power lines (and also because copper is heavier and too stretchy).

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That's a lot

425kg of copper in one vehicle! Presumably that vehicle is a truck, because it just doesn't sound reasonable for a family car to have to lug around nearly half a tonne of copper.

These centrifugal moon towers could be key to life off-planet

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Re: practical but heavy

I was about to suggest a mercury bath bearing similar to those used in some old lighthouses, but then I remembered the vacuum on the Moon will cause the mercury to evaporate if the bearing doesn't have a really good seal.