* Posts by Spherical Cow

422 posts • joined 10 Aug 2018


Scientists took cues from helicopter seeds to invent tiny microchips that float on wind

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How does the data get from the scattered tiny sensors back to the researcher?

China discloses new space tech: Coloured cargo labels to replace beige ones taikonauts found fiddly

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Even luggage evolves into crab form.

NASA hopes VIPER rover will search for water in Moon's Nobile crater in 2023

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24km in 100 days is a lot for a rover, especially as it will spend some time stationary for drilling etc.

To put that in perspective, the rover will need to move the length of a brontosaurus every couple of hours!

Space tourists splash down in Atlantic Ocean after three days in orbit

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Re: Two hundred million?

That rather depends on which three.

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Re: Every breath you take...

While I appreciate the joke, Sting sang that.

SpaceX successfully sends four amateurs into orbit for three-day tour

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Re: Wow!

There is a toilet. We don't know much about how it works but we do know it's on the ceiling, as is the big window. The cupola is next to the crapola.

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I find it refreshing that they spent time enjoying the moment rather than ego-vomiting all over Twittagram.

UK gives military's frikkin' laser cannon project a second roll of the dice

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Re: Not interested...

Hang on I need to go convert that...

...ok done. 15kg at 15m/s, yes that would hurt.

The day has a 'y' in it, so Virgin Galactic has announced another delay

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Er, balloons can't go to space? Not even the unaffordable ones.

Blue Origin sues NASA for awarding SpaceX $3bn contract to land next American boots on the Moon

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Biting the hand that feeds you?

When Scarlett Johansson sued Disney their response was to cut all ties with her. Nobody was surprised by that response.

It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit affects the relationship.

US govt calmly but firmly tells Blue Origin it already has a ride to the Moon's surface with SpaceX, thanks

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Re: Go Fever

The sooner they launch the sooner they discover problems the sooner they start fixing the problems. They've already shown how comfortable they are testing to destruction.

Russia's ISS Multipurpose Laboratory Module launches after years sitting on a shelf, immediately runs into issues

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Re: No problem!

ICYMI there is an Android port of the game called Alite (sic). Enjoy!

United, Mesa airlines order 200 electric 19-seater planes for short-hop flights

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Surely biofuel is the obvious choice for aircraft. You don't even need to make any changes to the planes, existing planes can run on biofuel of suitable quality. BP are working on this: https://www.bp.com/en/global/air-bp/news-and-views/views/what-is-sustainable-aviation-fuel-saf-and-why-is-it-important.html

Sweat-sipping wearable aims to charge electronics without couch potatoes lifting a finger

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Obvious solution

"The reason we feel sweatier on other parts of the body is because those spots are not well ventilated," Yin explained.

The obvious solution is to increase ventilation to those areas. I believe the Scots are centuries ahead of the rest of us in that regard.

Euro space boffins hatch comms satellite hijack plan to save Earth from extinction

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Re: Launchers?

If the situation is desperate I bet they could do it in a couple of days.

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Re: Just to see what happens

However... when the impactor changes the moon's orbit it must change the direction/speed of the asteroid-moon system as a whole. At least a little bit.

Richard Branson uses two planes to make 170km round trip

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Bezos did post a non-snarky, nice even, congratulatory tweet just after Branson's flight.

11-year-old graduate announces plans to achieve immortality by 'replacing body parts with mechanical parts'

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I for one

welcome our new pre-teen overlord.

NASA readies commands to switch on Hubble's back-up hardware

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Elon's ships are not (yet) set up for space walks, robotic arms, etc. It will be a few years until he can help with Hubble's current problem, which could be too late.

Taikonauts complete seven-hour spacewalk, the first for China since 2008

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Didn't Gene Roddenberry just shift discrimination from different races to different species, once different species become known? I don't think Gene suggested discrimination would stop.

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... and New Zealand?

Jeff Bezos names the fourth person for the first New Shepard flight: Wally Funk

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Kittens in spaaaace!

That does sound fun.

Intrepid squid mission may help in kraken riddle of why zero-g makes astronauts sick

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Re: So how do they keep the squid in water?

But they don't want to stimulate gravity: the whole point of the experiment is to find out how the squid's relationship with bacteria changes in zero g.

Spacey McSpaceface: Artemis takes shape ahead of '2021' launch – but first you need to name the crash-test dummy

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The dummy will survive the test...

... so long as they don't dress it in a red shirt.

Your spacesuit ran into a problem and needs to restart

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Re: There Are Three Things

Your vinyl suit will need some kind of flexible joints. Without those, the pressure in the suit will make it impossible for the occupant to bend/move their limbs.

Honda links arms with JAXA to prepare humans for life in outer space with 'circulative renewable energy system'

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To be a truly circular system they need to do something with the carbon breathed out by the humans. Growing food is one obvious option but needs big infrastructure.

Baby Space Shuttle biz chases dreams at Spaceport Cornwall

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E'll be there drekly.

Wyoming powers ahead with Bill Gates-backed sodium-cooled nuclear generation plant

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Re: Thankfully, the world is simple

"...when you do not count nuclear as a renewable"

Um, it's not? There is a finite amount of uranium in the ground.

Roam if you want to: China’s Zhurong rover begins trundling on Mars

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Re: Nothing there...

They picked an excellent area to land, very safe. The rover can now drive to other locations.

Virgin Galactic goes where it's gone twice before, for the first time in two years

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Re: I didn't know El Reg was US-chauvinist

"Karman himself put his eponymous line at a different height."

Kármán proposed that 100 km be the designated boundary to space, because the round number is more memorable, and the calculated altitude varies minutely as certain parameters are varied.

Boffins improve on tech that extracts DC power from ambient Wi-Fi

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Re: Body heat power

> The inside of a comfortable human is 310K and the outside is about 295K

In the country where I live, for a couple of months each year the outside can be as high as 320K which is higher than the inside (thank goodness for sweat).

I suppose you could have a watch strap which works with thermal gradient in either direction, but what happens on days when inside and outside are the same temperature?

Blue Origin sets its price: $1.4m minimum for trip into space

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Re: Some alternative zero g experiences

But when floating in an indoor skydiving thingy you experience 1g, not zero g. So that doesn't work.

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Re: "One wonders what good that money could do"

... and the benefits they have brought.

Is your main concern climate change? Yes? Good, it should be! Luckily, jet fuel is just kerosene of high purity, and it can easily be made from vegetable oil (at a slight increase in ticket price, which I am happy to pay).

p.s. I wouldn't suggest biofuels for all vehicles because that would compete with land for food. Ships can use hydrogen, cars can use batteries, trucks can use either batteries or hydrogen, aeroplanes need very high energy density with low storage weight which means hydrocarbons which means biofuel.

Firefly Aerospace's Blue Ghost lunar lander set to ride a SpaceX Falcon 9 to the Moon

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Good value

150kg to the Moon's surface for just $93m seems like a bargain!

ESA signs off on contracts for lunar data relay and navigation

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When an average-size satellite comes down on Earth it's no big deal because the atmosphere neatly burns it up before it hits anything. Lunar satellites coming down will hit the surface hard and fast. Better hope they don't hit a populated base!

NASA's first asteroid sample on its way to Earth after OSIRIS-REx boosts for home

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Re: Boffin Arghhhh

Firstly: have you seen the colour of El Reg's banner? Tabloid red!

And (b) it is a proud tradition to honour boffins and boffinry here.

China sprayed space with 3,000 pieces of junk. US military officials want rules to stop that sort of thing

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Re: very large mouse-traps

"I haste to add that the very large mouse-traps fail to trap regular mice. Well, they do work, sort of, on very large mice"

Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exis...

IBM says it's built the world's first 2nm semiconductor chips

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Re: Sounds like it is time for a new standard

African or European flea?

The Starship has landed. Latest SpaceX test comes back to Earth without igniting fireballs

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Re: A pedant notes...

The point is SpaceX have proved they can re-use the same launcher many many* times which is awesome.

*counting in Troll. Anyone for a game of Thud?

Origami... in spaaaaace: Inflatable folded objects discovery brings new meaning to blowing up buildings

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Triangles in Minecraft?? Heresy!

On a dusty red planet almost 290 million km away... NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flies

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Re: Pretty sure Linux in space isn't new...

The SpaceX Dragon capsule runs on Linux.

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Re: Well done!

Attempting a landing on top risks damaging the rover.

Elon Musk's SpaceX bags $3bn NASA contract to, fingers crossed, land first woman on the Moon

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Re: On merit?

If Apollo astronauts (and before that, test pilots) had been chosen on merit, by now there would already have been some women on the Moon and this conversation wouldn't be happening.

NASA now has lots of suitable astronauts who have *all* been chosen on merit, some of them are women, so why not pick one of those?

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In the words of former NASA Administrator, Michael D. Griffin:

The goal isn't just scientific exploration.

... It's also about extending the range of human habitat out from Earth into the solar system as we go forward in time. ... In the long run a single-planet species will not survive. ... If we humans want to survive for hundreds of thousands or millions of years, we must ultimately populate other planets. Now, today the technology is such that this is barely conceivable. We're in the infancy of it. ... I'm talking about that one day, I don't know when that day is, but there will be more human beings who live off the Earth than on it. We may well have people living on the moon. We may have people living on the moons of Jupiter and other planets. We may have people making habitats on asteroids ... I know that humans will colonize the solar system and one day go beyond.

Fridges... in... Spaaaaaaace: Engineers book ride on the Vomit Comet to test astro-refrigerator

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Re: Fridges in Space

Q. What's worse than Boris Johnson?

A. Mouldy Boris Johnson.

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"you'd have to pump the heat away from the peltier without disturbing the air around the fridge"

I'd have thought the answer is to deliberately disturb the air with a small fan.

Ice, ice maybe? Astrobotic will ride SpaceX's Falcon Heavy to the Moon in 2023 and drop off NASA's water-hunting rover

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Re: Ice Rocks

G&T is good cold, certainly... but I never sully it with ice. The G, the T, and the glass are all kept in the fridge so there's no need to add ice.

Satellite collision anticipated by EU space agency fails to materialize... for now at least

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Re: Dyson will do it

Vacuums IN SPAAAACE oh wait

DARPA adds RISC-V to its Toolbox: Defense researchers can get special access to SiFive chip designs

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Re: SiFive

correct horse battery staple

Scientists stumped by strange X-rays from Uranus

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Re: Not to be confused with ...

The article says "the main source of radiation does indeed come from the Sun" which means the Sun actually does shine out of Uranus.



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