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Old 10-07-12, 06:56 PM   #1
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Dragon is in Orbit

Now we wait for Wednesday AM for the docking with the International Space Station.
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Old 10-08-12, 12:44 PM   #2
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For those who might not get the reference:

http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2012/10...n-reach-orbit/

Well done to SpaceX.
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Old 10-08-12, 01:02 PM   #3
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Yeah, private space!

I worked with some of the guys at Orbital Sciences at Vandenberg back in the day. They were busy turning old ICBM boosters into launch platforms (see also Taurus and Pegasus). They were a smart bunch. Sometimes, I miss aerospace.
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Old 10-08-12, 01:53 PM   #4
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Also, this represents an end to our dependence on the Russians to get our goodies up to the International Space Station.
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Old 10-08-12, 02:01 PM   #5
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Also, this represents an end to our dependence on the Russians to get our goodies up to the International Space Station.
And, possibly more importantly, getting stuff back FROM the ISS.
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Old 10-08-12, 06:33 PM   #6
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And, possibly more importantly, getting stuff back FROM the ISS.
I don't know. Just throw it out the window and it will make its way back to Earth, won't it?
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Old 10-08-12, 11:03 PM   #7
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I don't know. Just throw it out the window and it will make its way back to Earth, won't it?
Not in any recognizable or usable form.
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Old 10-09-12, 01:18 AM   #8
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Not in any recognizable or usable form.
Picky, picky.
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Old 10-09-12, 08:52 AM   #9
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 10-09-12, 09:08 AM   #10
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I don't know. Just throw it out the window and it will make its way back to Earth, won't it?
They need to figure out how to throw some magnets out the window to collect all the space junk floating up there and get it to burn up on the way back down.
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Old 10-09-12, 09:16 AM   #11
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They need to figure out how to throw some magnets out the window to collect all the space junk floating up there and get it to burn up on the way back down.
I know some engineers and professors that were working on that problem when I was in college. They have several feasible (and a few less than feasible) ideas. The problem is getting the money to actually get them launched.
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Old 10-09-12, 10:05 AM   #12
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The last one I heard about involved shooting just enough gas at the space junk to slow it down and cause it to de-orbit itself. Perhaps Couch after a couple of burritos.
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Old 10-09-12, 10:26 AM   #13
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But isn't the problem that so much of it is so freaking small that it can cause damage but would be hard to hit on purpose? Seems like you'd need a net or something to collect large amounts of it and then have enough drag to get it all to slow down.
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Old 10-09-12, 12:26 PM   #14
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But isn't the problem that so much of it is so freaking small that it can cause damage but would be hard to hit on purpose? Seems like you'd need a net or something to collect large amounts of it and then have enough drag to get it all to slow down.
There is a fair amount of that. One of the prospects I saw was using an aerogel trap, similar to what was used for the comet dust capture mission.

I personally like the small, solar powered laser option. It's uses a small laser (3 -5 W, I think), with a good size capacitor. The original specs only allowed for a firing once every 3 days or so, but that's plenty, given how long it takes to adjust orbits and move into position. Really small debris, like mentioned above, would be simply vaporized. Larger debris would be fired on in such a way that it vaporizes a small amount, creating thrust to de-orbit the debris. Quite clever, really. Multiple pulses could be used over a few days to get the de-orbit time down.
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Old 10-10-12, 08:26 AM   #15
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It's chocolate vanilla swirl ice cream for everyone! Dragon is at the International Space Station!
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Old 10-10-12, 08:55 AM   #16
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I'm not sure how I feel about having our spaceflight needs going private. Though I guess with the bloat at NASA, this might end up saving money (with many NASA bigwigs getting their cut along the way of course).
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Old 10-10-12, 09:17 AM   #17
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I'm not sure how I feel about having our spaceflight needs going private. Though I guess with the bloat at NASA, this might end up saving money (with many NASA bigwigs getting their cut along the way of course).
I think that it will free up NASA to do the pioneering that they do so well. Look at this as similar to the first airlines that took over from the early government airmail planes. And it's better than depending on another country for our day to day access to space.
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Old 10-10-12, 09:29 AM   #18
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True, and the sooner we can get those space lasers to shoot down space junk the better. Actually, getting space lasers for any purpose is just awesome.
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Old 10-10-12, 09:43 AM   #19
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I'm not sure how I feel about having our spaceflight needs going private. Though I guess with the bloat at NASA, this might end up saving money (with many NASA bigwigs getting their cut along the way of course).
Bloat? NASA? I don't know where you get your news, but NASA's budget is one of the smallest line items on the US federal budget, and there is a big return on investment, with a fair amount of technology that winds up fairly quickly in the public sector (unlike the military, which costs thousands time more, and often never gets the tech boost in the commercial world).

I'm ok with private industry heading into space, though. Just thought you might want to double check your news sources.
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Old 10-10-12, 11:39 AM   #20
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Bloat might not be the right term, but they do almost always run into significant cost overruns from the initial estimate (like all government construction projects), and a lot of the inventions they're credited with (Tang, Velcro, Memory Foam) was invented by other people for them. I guess they've always contracted stuff out, this is just moreso.
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Old 10-10-12, 11:53 AM   #21
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Now I want some Tang. Thanks!
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Old 10-10-12, 11:56 AM   #22
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Not that I have anything against spending money on space travel and I realize that to get a lot of this stuff done it requires big pockets for the first bit of research and only the government can do that without the immediate expectation of a return.

For some reason, I never liked tang, and (completely unrelated) I never tried yoohoo because the idea of milk at room temperature (even sterilized), just grosses me out.
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Old 10-10-12, 12:16 PM   #23
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Now I want some Tang. Thanks!
You know what goes good with Tang™? Space Food Sticks™!
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 10-10-12, 12:41 PM   #24
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mmmm... freeze-dried ice cream.
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Old 10-10-12, 12:47 PM   #25
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mmmm... freeze-dried ice cream.
I used to love that stuff as a kid. I wonder if that's what the astronauts got or if they managed to get the real stuff up them them still frozen.
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