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Comment Re: It's more than Ideal Gas laws (Score 1) 239

Coefficients of expansion
Aluminum    ÂÂ12.3
Acrylic        Â42
Rubber, hard    Â42.8    (10-6 in/(in degF))
Steel        Â6.7

Rubber expands almost 7 times faster than steel and nearly 4 times greater than aluminum. Are you sure Columbia isn't just a liberal arts college?

Comment Re: It's not the gas... (Score 1) 239

It's refreshing to watch everybody grapple with the nuances of basic physics principles, only to discover they don't understand them so well.

1) was the same pressure gauge used for both measurement? If not, who calibrated the precision instruments used by the referees?

2) 1 ATM = about 14.7 PSI at STP. Where was it the patriots were playing?

3) 1 ATM = about 14.7 PSI at STP. These balls were inflated to 27.2 PSI with a properly calibrated pressure gauge, otherwise the quarterbacks are grappling flopping pigskins.

4) height above MSL (mean sea level) also affects the gas chemistry, and gas mixture does drastically impact pressure. Inflating tires with (relatively) inert nitrogen is now all the rage. What if somebody was inspired to use a unconventional mixture?

It's terrific that people are trying hard to puzzle out the mechanics. Perhaps some trust will come out of this with future climate change discussions.

Comment Re: GPS launches also go from Canaveral (Score 1) 219

That is a beautiful thought. Any of those remote telemetry stations in military bases? Had NASA been in charge of GPS, we wouldn't have destroyed the plans of the original satellites, nor the higher precision add-ons. We are out of spare GPS satellites and a replacement has yet to be launched.

Come to think of it: where are the GOES weather satellite replacements as well?

Comment Re: Collosal waste of money (Score 1) 219

Bird -

You like weather forecasts, right? Weather satellites freed fleets of aircraft and ground stations from creating a patchwork image of cloud cover.

You like eating, right? We have satellites measuring the health of forests AND FARMS, which help us estimate crop yields and can set the market costs even before meat, fruit and vegetables reach the processors.

You like television, right? Television programs use to be relayed across the country and compressed so much that the east coast thought Hollywood could only do film and the west coast knew the easterners for the worthless, blurred colorless taped programs. Direct TV wouldn't exist without NASA.

You like telephones, right? Can you imagine the effort it took for a secretary to place a long distance call? Ma Bell took its sweet time innovating, didn't she?

I wouldn't call the space program "worthless" by any truthful measure!

Comment Re: Ground Control... (Score 1) 219

Who wants a half heartedly designed pacemaker? Those must be as cheap as hearing aids. But, more to your point, it takes many people at different periods in their careers to usher in truly ground breaking discoveries. The redundancies serve as classes so that should two, three or more emergencies arise, there are adequate people to assist.

Perhaps the best reason is having experienced people taught in NASA's laboratories increase their value in the commercial enterprises desiring their skill and experience. Frankly, NASA should earn a headhunter's fee when outplacing any if their engineers.

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