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Old 2013-12-19, 15:54   #67
Flatlander
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Old 2013-12-19, 17:05   #68
LaurV
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Nice post Flatulander!
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Old 2013-12-23, 18:06   #69
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Here's another mission I would like to see flown. It (probably) takes two launches.

The first mission lands several seismometers on the lunar surface to complement the ones left behind in the Apollo era. Ideally there should be at least four, one at each vertex of an regular tetrahedron but then at least one would be on the dark side and we'd need a comsat to listen to what it has to say. Perhaps the spacecraft bus carrying the sub-probes could stand in. Otherwise, at least five at the visible vertices of an octahedron (slighty distorted so that all are visible from earth except perhaps at times of extreme libration).

The other mission contains nothing but dumb missiles, likely made of tungsten to get the mass up and the volume down, in high lunar orbit. They would be of various masses and fitted with rockets of varying power so that a wide range of impact velocities, momenta and kinetic energies are available. This half of the mission could take a long time to get there if necessary. The launcher should be optimised to getting as much mass into high lunar orbit as possible without worrying about journey time.

When everything is in place, start practising tomography and get a good 3-d picture of the lunar interior. Try not to hit anything important and/or of sentimental value.
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Old 2013-12-23, 19:59   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Here's another mission I would like to see flown.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman
at least one would be on the dark side and we'd need a comsat to listen to what it has to say.
"Back side" we must eliminate that other term for the sake of scientific literacy.

An Earth-Moon L2 halo orbiting comsat is on many peoples' wish lists: for people on the far side, for radio telescopes on the far side, your idea, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman
The other mission contains nothing but dumb missiles,
Thinking off the cuff, why not leave them in the highly eccentric orbit that is a result of the orbital transfer? Taking the slow boat over there should leave them in an orbit that almost touches L1. From there, the nudge to make it an impactor might be much smaller than from a circular high orbit.

There are objects to shipping explosives to space in quantity. But using high explosives either in place of or with the tungsten might be fun (blasting a new crater on the front side when the moon is above the horizon for Jodrell Bank and the Keck's, would garner some attention of the lay community.)

My 10 pesos.
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Old 2013-12-23, 20:15   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Here's another mission I would like to see flown. It (probably) takes two launches.

The first mission lands several seismometers on the lunar surface to complement the ones left behind in the Apollo era. Ideally there should be at least four, one at each vertex of an regular tetrahedron but then at least one would be on the dark side and we'd need a comsat to listen to what it has to say. Perhaps the spacecraft bus carrying the sub-probes could stand in. Otherwise, at least five at the visible vertices of an octahedron (slighty distorted so that all are visible from earth except perhaps at times of extreme libration).

The other mission contains nothing but dumb missiles, likely made of tungsten to get the mass up and the volume down, in high lunar orbit. They would be of various masses and fitted with rockets of varying power so that a wide range of impact velocities, momenta and kinetic energies are available. This half of the mission could take a long time to get there if necessary. The launcher should be optimised to getting as much mass into high lunar orbit as possible without worrying about journey time.

When everything is in place, start practicing tomography and get a good 3-d picture of the lunar interior. Try not to hit anything important and/or of sentimental value.
Why not throw Moon rocks at the Moon? That would accomplish your seismographic tomography goal and offer a test-bed for the development of a Lunar space elevator that could afford to misdeliver a few loads:
Quote:
A lunar space elevator is similar in concept to the better known Earth-based space elevator idea, but since the Moon's mass and rotational speed are much lower than the Earth's, the engineering requirements for constructing a lunar elevator system can be met using currently available materials and technology. The primary difference in the design of a lunar elevator is that the cable, or tether extends considerably farther out from the lunar surface into space than one that would be used in an Earth-based system. However, the main function of a space elevator system is the same in either case; both allow for a reusable, controlled means of transporting payloads of cargo, or possibly people, between a base station at the bottom of a gravity well and a docking port in outer space.

A lunar elevator could significantly reduce the costs and improve reliability of soft-landing equipment on the lunar surface. For example, it would permit the use of mass-efficient (high specific impulse), low thrust drives such as ion drives which otherwise cannot land on the Moon. Since the docking port would be connected to the cable in a microgravity environment, these and other drives can reach the cable from low Earth orbit (LEO) with minimal launched fuel from Earth. With conventional rockets, the fuel needed to reach the lunar surface from LEO is many times the landed mass, thus the elevator can reduce launch costs for payloads bound for the lunar surface by a similar factor.
Instead of LEO to Moon, just get loads from the Moon and then drop them at trajectories that will land them back there. That way the Moon won't be too polluted with terrestrial sources. Then the need for refined, lighter loads that hit at high velocity may not as necessary if we have plenty of (albeit lower velocity) mass to sling around. If some of all that material gets piled up for building material or shielding: bonus.
Quote:
In 2005 Jerome Pearson completed a study for NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts which showed the concept is technically feasible within the prevailing state of the art using existing commercially available materials.[6]

In October 2011 on the LiftPort website Laine announced that LiftPort is pursuing a Lunar space elevator as an interim goal before attempting a terrestrial elevator. At the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), LiftPort CTO Marshall Eubanks presented a paper on the prototype Lunar Elevator co-authored by Michael Laine.[7]

In August 2012, Liftport announced that the project may actually start near 2020.[8][9][10][11]
One thing I would like all the Google cars that run around with Call of Duty game playing minders scarfing up rocks on the Moon to do is be on the lookout for Earth rocks that may have landed on the Moon in the past.
Earth rocks on the Moon
Quote:
When a large body strikes Earth, impact debris can be accelerated to orbital speed and achieve Earth orbit. Four billion years ago Earth was probably surrounded by debris ejected in this way. (The Moon itself is a big piece of Earth that sundered when a Mars-sized planetestimal hit 4.5 billion years ago.) During the Period of Heavy Bombardment, the Moon was considerably closer to the Earth than it is now, perhaps 3 times closer. This placed the Moon in an ideal position to sweep up some of the terrestrial debris.

Because the Moon lacks weather or tectonic activity, that debris might still be there. While some has undoubtedly been destroyed by subsequent impacts of asteroids or comets on the Moon, some might have survived in the lunar soil. A recent study by Univ. of Washington graduate students John Armstrong and Llyd Wells, in collaboration with Guillermo Gonzalez at Iowa State, suggests that as much as 20,000 kg of Earth material could cover every 100 square kilometers of the Moon.

David McKay, an astrobiologist at NASA's Johnson Space Center, notes that "the Moon was in a unique position to be a collector of ejecta from Earth. If we look in the right places, we could find a reservoir of materials for study."

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2013-12-23 at 20:37
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Old 2013-12-23, 20:29   #72
chalsall
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Originally Posted by jasong View Post
lol, no, we want someone on OUR side doing that.
Interesting how you frame this discussion with regards to "sides". Aren't all "humans" on the same side against the "aliens" (or incoming energy...)?

Would you agree that it would be a /really/ good idea to get a "backup copy" of the human race (independently viable) established off earth sometime soon?

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Originally Posted by jasong View Post
I think the optimal situation would be for a country that isn't the United States, but is allied with us, doing something similar. Then everybody can get excited about it without American politics being a big problem.
Already happening. Oh, except for the USA thing....
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Old 2013-12-23, 21:03   #73
ewmayer
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Actually, in space (or in a frictionless environment of any kind) flatulence might prove a valuable propulsion mechanism.

[Mission control to astronauts: Stop farting around up there, you guys!]
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Old 2013-12-23, 22:13   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Actually, in space (or in a frictionless environment of any kind) flatulence might prove a valuable propulsion mechanism.

[Mission control to astronauts: Stop farting around up there, you guys!]
Spoiler alert! You must have watched Gravity 3D. Giving away everything, you! ;-)
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Old 2013-12-23, 22:31   #75
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batalov View Post
Spoiler alert! You must have watched Gravity 3D. Giving away everything, you! ;-)
You guys have of course thought about sex in zero gravity, right...

She'll wrap her legs around you... You'll do your thing... She'll respond accordingly...

Sorry, I have to go... The wife is in orbit....
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Old 2013-12-23, 22:57   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
You guys have of course thought about sex in zero gravity, right...

She'll wrap her legs around you... You'll do your thing... She'll respond accordingly...

Sorry, I have to go... The wife is in orbit....
I recommend a short story by Rudy Rucker: "Rapture in Space". It is in a collection named "Semiotext(e) SF".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotext%28e%29_SF
Quote:
Semiotext(e) SF is a science fiction anthology released in 1989 and edited by Rudy Rucker, Peter Lamborn Wilson and Robert Anton Wilson. It includes short stories and other works by the likes of J. G. Ballard, William S. Burroughs, Kerry Thornley, William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, and others.
USA ISBN 0-936756-43-8 UK ISBN 1-873176-81-3


w00t! We are in luck! Rudy's stories are online!

Rapture in Space- Link is ~20 down the page.
http://www.rudyrucker.com/transrealb...tories/#_Toc24


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Old 2013-12-24, 00:24   #77
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
You guys have of course thought about sex in zero gravity, right...
To quote a long-ago pal who quoth thusly after having hooked up with a girl after several years of abstinence: "Blew 'er across the room, dude."

And for my next 0G docking maneuver...

@Serge: Have not seen Schwergewicht: The Max Schmeling Story, so any spoilerage is entirely unintended.

Technical note #1: In order for a safe (i.e. not one-shot-only-then-you're-dead) Vakuumfurzantriebsystem one would need a safe way of venting the gases into the void while preserving at least a decent fraction of their impulse. A kind of "pass-through airlock for farts". I await a selection of trial designs for such from the engineering staff on my work desk by week's end.

Technical note #2: This one is in form of a question to the members of the aforementioned Ingenieurstab -- Neglect for now the need for a fart-airlock for safe venting and assume a simple bare-buttocked venting into space. Would the human nether orifice provide for a sufficient converging-diverging nozzle geometry so as to allow for acceleration of the flow to supersonic speeds, or are we dealing with an effectively converging-only nozzle and thus a Mach-1 upper limit? Is the result variable by person, and if so, should maximal "personal Mach number" be a factor in selection to the astronaut training program?
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