Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:Dumbing Down? (Score 1) 44

This is not reddit. It is, however, a place for nerds. The sort of nerds who assume that their extensive programming/clerk typist skills translate to expertise in politics, literature, religion, science, math, statistics, and nearly every other field of human endeavor. And are old enough and arrogant enough to shout down anyone who disagrees. From their mom's basement, while carrying on a heated discussion about how "Jedi" is a real religion.

Comment Re:Velcro? (Score 1) 18

YEs, you are mistaken. The velcro was supposed to be limited to small patches with some separation as to prevent fire from propagating from one patch to the next if it caught fire. But it was so useful that they more-or-less carpeted the interior with it.

      Teflon was implicated in the initiation of the fire, since it cold-flows and can cause shorts, and start the fire. Once it gets going, particularly in nearly 17 psia pure oxygen (vice the in-flight 5 psia), the velcro practically explodes.

      Had the same fire started in-flight there was a remote possibility that they could have vented the cabin and put it out, and maybe survived, but the high pressure on the ground, not a chance, even aluminum can burn in those circumstances and the only reason it didn't was because the capsule burst from over-pressure before it got going.

Comment Re:CUBEsat? (Score 2) 22

That's a pretty minor distinction. I was an industry advisor for what might have been the first 3-high cubesat. The only important restriction is that it fit in the ejection canister.

      The basic single 4.5" cubical satellite is *very limited* in capability due to lack of any viable attitude control and very low power available. It's tough to do anything useful even in low Earth orbit. That would be crippling for an interplanetary mission.

      I expect someone may have worked out the numbers, but for a Mars relay you have more-or-less no attitude control and need a fair bit of power for at least several hours. It's going to take a pretty big battery+an decent array to run rad-hard electronics for any length of time. None of this "guts of a FRS radio" telemetry stuff, that will fry very quickly beyond the Van Allen belts. Also, no or inconsequential albedo heating, so it will need big heaters to keep going for any length of time.


"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard