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Comment: Re:Combo vehicles will never be more than curiosit (Score 1) 33

by MichaelSmith (#46738143) Attached to: AT Black Knight Transformer Hits the Road and Takes a Hop

In retrospect I think STS would have worked better as sort of a winged Apollo service module. Consider an Apollo command module in the expanded rescue configuration as the shuttle flight flight deck. Hatch through the heat shield like the Gemini wet lab. The CM could eject and land on its own in pretty much any failure scenario.

Of course, an Apollo stack did one or two repair missions on Skylab. It was short on storage space in comparison to STS.

Comment: Re:Combo vehicles will never be more than curiosit (Score 1) 33

by MichaelSmith (#46732613) Attached to: AT Black Knight Transformer Hits the Road and Takes a Hop

The shuttle was highly specialised and quite delicate. It could only accelerate at four gravities and in the challenger disaster, fell completely to bits when turned sideways against its direction of travel. An airliner would have at least held together and an apollo command module wouldn't have cared much at all. Apollo could aerobrake at 11 gravities and because of its triangulated structure could actually take a lot more of a beating than its occupants. It could land anywhere on earth, in smaller places than even a helicopter would require. The shuttle was limited to a few very long runways.

Because of its modular architecture, Apollo could have been extended for deep space missions. Attach an extended service module for long duration. Maybe build a skylab type module as a cruise stage habitat.

But my main point is that shuttle was limited to low earth orbit by its poor aerobraking capabilities, while Apollo flew to the moon and would have coped with missions to near earth asteroids. That makes it a better space craft.

Comment: Re:Automation (Score 2) 325

by MichaelSmith (#46730331) Attached to: Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Do you not think that the database would have those particular license plates listed so that no tickets would be issued?

Depends on where you are I suppose. In my state I have worked with people who set these things up, and in an official capacity with our state road authority. I know these exceptions don't exist.

Comment: Cochlear implant for me please (Score 1) 509

by MichaelSmith (#46712037) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

I'm not deaf but I would love to hack one up to feed in data from interesting types of sensors. And screw you lot with your "five senses only" culture.

BTW I worked with a guy who's young son has a cochlear implant. The boy tended to break the antenna connector on the embedded receiver while tearing around at school, leading to expensive surgery to replace it. His dad told me that the current unit could be made to work for a while by squeezing his son's head in such a way as to re-seat the antenna connection...

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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