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Comment: Re:GPS on Mars (Score 1) 104

by Vulch (#47405683) Attached to: ESA Shows Off Quadcopter Landing Concept For Mars Rovers

As a proof of concept running a quadcopter is a lot easier, but for an actual Mars landing it wouldn't be too difficult to build one with rockets instead of rotors. Hobbyist quadcopter autopilots will run a wide variety of motors with a few tweaks to parameters, rotors to rockets is a larger step but not beyond the realm of a reasonable software project.

Comment: Re:Excuse the pedantry... (Score 2) 90

by Vulch (#45756483) Attached to: Smooth, 6.5 Hour Spacewalk To Fix ISS Ammonia Pump

What counts as the start and end point of an EVA varies depending on what Agency is reporting it and who wrote the press release. The start can be anything from the start of decompression, reaching vacuum, opening the hatch or stepping outside, and the end stepping back in, closing the hatch, starting recompression or returning to atmospheric pressure in the airlock. In this case it's 5.5 hours outside, but there will have been more time spent inside but in vacuum at the start checking the suits are working properly (especially after the water leak last time) and at the end making sure there's no ammonia been brought back inside.

Comment: Re:Not-so-accurate source (Score 1) 487

by Vulch (#43922657) Attached to: BBC Clock Inaccurate - 100 Days To Fix?

No, "programmer hours" versus "staff days". As everyone who has worked in a large organisation, public or private, knows it is vitally important to have numerous committee meetings and consult all stakeholders to make sure all possible solutions have been investigated and a clear approach decided before any programmers get involved.

Comment: Re:Sorry, little retro rockets won't work for that (Score 4, Informative) 520

by Vulch (#43061587) Attached to: Neil deGrasse Tyson On How To Stop a Meteor Hitting the Earth
the momentum of the propellant from the rocket pushes against the asteroid, countering the thrust of the rocket

Only if you let it. The Gravity Tractor idea usually uses two ion engines aimed so the exhaust goes either side of the body being towed. The tractor stays in place and there's no unwanted momentum transfer.

Comment: Re:My heart is still a fireball (Score 2) 129

by Vulch (#42398539) Attached to: Gerry Anderson, Co-Creator of <em>Thunderbirds</em>, Dies
He may not be missed by the current generation

In the UK at least there are a lot of Grandads happily watch Thunderbirds with their grandsons, and thanks to some strong female characters quite a few Grandmas and granddaughters tutting about having to watch but enjoying it never the less.

There aren't that many 45 year old series still bear watching.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.