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Comment: Re:What do you mean "may be"? (Score 1) 235

by Hadlock (#48463997) Attached to: Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

The rocket motor on the Zvezda module has only fired twice, the second time happening 7 years after the first time. Resupply ships dock with the ISS and just before they leave, they boost the orbit until they have just enough fuel left to deorbit. Since the ISS' orbit degrades approx 1-2 km/month they boost it anywhere from 50-100km using resupply ships. The ATV has boosted the ISS numerous times.

Comment: Re:What would happen? (Score 3, Informative) 235

by Hadlock (#48432407) Attached to: Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

It was designed with a 10 year service life, then re-rated for 20 years. Current plan is 2024 but after that is really stretching things and major modules need to be replaced due to stressed placed on them by boosting the orbit (the ISS is actually in the upper atmosphere and loses about 2km (1 mile) altitude per month due to atmospheric drag. It gets reboosted by Soyuz and Progress spacecraft periodically.
Yes you could keep it going indefintiely but eventually the safety factor drops below an acceptable point. Based on what's there right now, that safe point is 2024-2030.
A next generation space station could possibly exceed a 25 year design life, but really, 25 years is pretty damn good given this was the first try since Space Lab for the US. For the Russians this is old hat, their segment(s) are just repurposed MIR 2 parts.

Comment: Re:Why such a short lifetime ? (Score 1) 235

by Hadlock (#48432265) Attached to: Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

It's not like we had hundreds of years of heritage in designing these things. We have yet to have a satellite collide with a human-populated space station. I'm sure we'll learn a lot about what to do/not not do with space stations in the years after that first event. Designing a space station module to survive multiple tens of thousands of MPH impacts with space debris, satellites, micrometeorites, etc for not just 10 years but 100 years is asking a bit much, don't you think?
We've only been building "semi-permanent" space station modules for 10-15 years. It's not like you can just ship 3 tons of bricks, some cement, mortar and trowels and tell the astronauts to build something "roughly airtight and space station-y looking" and hope for the best for 100+ years.

Comment: What do you mean "may be"? (Score 4, Interesting) 235

by Hadlock (#48432237) Attached to: Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

Russia announced that they were planning to end their involvement with the ISS in 2009 or so. This is nothing new. They've been telegraphing their displeasure with the ISS program for half a decade or more, and their lack of willingness to continue with it past 2020. The portions they're sending up to the ISS will be detached and converted in to a separate space station shortly after 2020. This is not "news", this is "established fact". Maybe it's more noteworthy the second time that they publish this through official channels?
The ISS will be a 20 year old international experiment at that point, yes the US and Russian halves of the ISS share a common "atmosphere" but mechanically they're completely separate space stations capable of detaching at any time. Most of the Russian segment of the ISS is made from leftovers from their MIR 2 project. It's no surprise that they're wanting to separate from the ISS. Those space station modules have a finite lifespan and most of them will be nearing their operational limits around 2020, with a maximum lifespan of 2030. Either we replace them with new modules or deorbit the whole thing. Russia has decided to replace them with new modules and go their own separate way. They've been talking about this for a looong time. The ESA has been talking about teaming up with the Russians moving forward, rather than NASA on the next space station. China ended up building their own space station after being turned down by the Americans. We're not making a whole lot of friends in the aerospace field with the ISS these days. The New ISS may be everyone - (minus) America next time around, due to our overwhelming fear of sharing orbital technology with the Chinese (who aren't allowed inside NASA buildings, just ask any Chinese aerospace engineer).

+ - Apple Swaps "Get" Button for "Free" To Avoid Confusion Over In-App Purchases

Submitted by lazarus
lazarus (2879) writes "Apple is falling in line with the European Commission's request that app sellers do more to stop inadvertent in-app purchases.
Following Google's lead, Cupertino has removed all instances of the word "free" within its iOS and Mac app stores (with the exception of its own apps, like iMovie), and replaced them with the term "Get."
The new label clarifies what users can expect when downloading an app. Apps previously labeled as "Free" will now have a "Get" label. If those apps include in-app purchases, a small gray "In-App Purchase" label will appear below the "Get" button."

Comment: Re:Wikr (Score 1) 93

by lazarus (#48427849) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

Re: FBI. That may be true (albeit difficult to do). However, that would be the end of their business, so it would be somewhat pointless to ever agree to that (they have already declined such a request). For reference here is their guidelines for law enforcement requests:

And the report of them denying an FBI request:

Comment: Wikr (Score 1) 93

by lazarus (#48425959) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

Wikr is what I use. Right now it's only available as an iOS and Android app. You specify how long you want your messages to exist for and the countdown starts when the receiving party views the message. Slightly clunky, but very very secure:

From the website:

  ID and device info are cryptographically hashed with multiple rounds of salted cryptographic hashing using SHA256.
  Data at rest and in transit is encrypted with AES256.
  No password or Password hashes leave device.
  Messages and media are forensically wiped after they expire.

  In contact with encrypted messages/media only.
  Never in contact with passwords of private encryption keys.
  Deletes messages on delivery.
  Interacts with only hashed ID and device info.

Comment: May 2015 (Score 5, Interesting) 519

by Hadlock (#48423865) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

Due to several sources closely linked with the Rosetta program, Philae will be getting a whole lot of sun come May 2015 due to the position of the comet as it adjusts it's precession around the sun and moves that particular part of the comet in to near-constant daylight. Expect more news at that point from Philae. You heard it here first, folks.

Comment: 20M drilling project on very fist lunar mission (Score 5, Insightful) 69

Did these guys just say "hey let's do a lunar sample return mission! high five!" and throw together a kick starter? They don't even have a target launch vehicle chosen yet. Not only do they want to do a return sample mission (something China has been working on for 15 years) but they want to drill a 60 ft hole in the moon while they're at it. This is, to use a pun, lunacy. The logistics involved of entering lunar orbit, let alone landing are incredible. And they want to throw a 60' drilling apparatus on there that will work flawlessly? Not even the ESA can get their 8" drill to work on the comet correctly and that's just ice.
Good luck with that.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"