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Submission + - SpaceX does it again and there is one more thing 1

JoeSilva writes: Tonight SpaceX successfully launched two satellites towards Geosynchronous Orbit. There's already a video of one deployment.

Word is the launch went very smoothly and bodes well for their next launch in three weeks, as they work to fulfill what is now a very full launch manifest.

In addition Elon had one more thing to share: "Upgrades in the works to allow landing for geo missions: thrust +15%, deep cryo oxygen, upper stage tank vol +10%"

Comment Layz working for me (Score 1) 154

Due to a disabled partner i've had to work from the living room Lay-z-boy a fair amount. They don't make the model we have any more (pity), the closest now looks to be The Carlyle Low Recliner/. Get a board that spans the arms and is deep enough, makes a fine desk to hold a laptop, though you will need to hold up your arms a bit maybe. Workout while you code.

FYI if you run into back issues or just want to relax even more get a LapDawg X4 and set it up to hold your laptop above your chest at an angle while lying on the floor, with a pillow behind your head. Best to have an Ottoman to prop up the feet. Worked great when I was recovering from a bulging lumbar disc and been great to stop that from coming back.

Comment Re:Strange? (Score 1) 144

Solitons, or at least soliton-like equations. That's my bet.

Einstein was working in that direction but the math for non-linear equations was not up to it back then and even now it's not clear exactly what set of non-linear equations, in three space dimensions + time + whatever else, gives Solitons that behave exactly like the observations. Also from what I have read he was not taking into account the strong and weak nuclear forces. Plus back then quarks were unknown?

Perhaps string theory is another sort of approximation that makes the math easier, but it might be too approximate to fit the observations. Time will tell but smells to me going from a zero dimensional particles to a one dimensional strings, vibrating in N dimensions, is the wrong approach. Feels to me better to take on that three spatial dimensions etc and find what works.

In a way it feels to me not unlike Wolfram's explorations into cellular automata, emergent behavior that we can not predict, only catalog and compare. That's discreet math but hey, not a bad analogy?

There has been some explorations into continuous automata, which looks like another sort of approximation, maybe more relevant to soliton-like phenomena.

I have not studied any of this deeply, just an intuitive feel.

Some references for the curious:


Comment Repurpose the pork and the rest will follow (Score 1) 78

The problem with our space program is not the goal(s). No, not at all that. It is the short sighted edicts from certain key members of congress (and their staff) forcing NASA to build the slow motion train wreck pork rocket to nowhere that is the SLS (Senate/Shelby Launch System).

If the vast resources on that program, especially the ones in said senators district, were re-purposed to manage and support a multi-vendor fix price milestone based competition like commercial cargo and commercial crew to station but this time with the goals to:

1: Provide deep space launch services

2: Develop and deploy deep space habitats and propulsion systems

3: Deliver logistics to these mobile outposts

We would have a sustained and robust infrastructure to explore the asteroids, the comets, Mars, Venus, etc.

NASA has tremendous talent and resources that can do so much more if only the policies and direction were in line with the fact that launching to LEO or even GEO is now a road well traveled, and beyond GEO is not such a leap if we just leverage what we have so far and build on that.

No need for a big fracking rocket done the old way as if it was never done before, with cost plus and an army of oversight.

Now when we get to needing new stuff like in space nuclear rockets and reactors, building really big outposts, or outposts on new worlds, we'll be in uncharted territory.

The in space outposts are not such a big leap from ISS except:

1: Extra stresses due to propulsion
2: Way more radiation beyond LEO
3: Long duration may require artificial gravity (spinning)
4: If something goes wrong your on your own, it's a long way from home

All these are solvable we just need to put the resources on them for real and make it happen.

Yep we need those resources set lose to address these issues now. Not a decade or two from now when SLS grinds to a halt giving us a rocket we can't afford.

Comment Similar beginning, for sure try Python (Score 1) 466

Back in the school days it was List and C for me too.

They also taught some machine/assembly languages, Fortran, Cobol, Ada, and one functional programming language they called "FP".

Since then I've been paid to work in C++ and then Java when that came along, plus a smidgen of perl and bash/csh scripts. Java cleaned up the syntax and brought us closer to pure OOP (hey there smalltak!). It also gave us a very nice class library. Others have built some very useful frameworks in Java. You might find Java interesting but for rapid development no.

Last year I had the opportunity to learn and use Python (urgently!) on the job. That was a very rewarding experience and I think it makes for a great rapid development language. The syntax is clean. The semantics are powerful. Just like Perl and shell scripting it's interpreted so you can try things out very quickly.

So do try Python but (and you know everyone has a big but), to really achieve rapid development you need to leverage good code libraries and frameworks. Start with the standard python stuff, a good way to go is "Dive Into Python" which is available free online.

Javascript for rapid development? Not convinced, have not tried it beyond some very simple browser funness.

If performance with Python will not meet your needs, maybe Java. And if that is not good enough (shiver) back to C++.
There may be an interpreted language leveraging the JVM, dunno but it might be a good way to go too.

Best and do enjoy the journey.

Comment It's about experience surviving beyond LEO (Score 4, Interesting) 444

I think the mining idea misses the point. This NASA plan is all about gaining experience surviving outside of low earth orbit.

1: Surviving without the massive radiation shield that earth's magnetosphere provides.
2: Surviving without an option for quick Earth return.
3: Surviving without near instantaneous communication with ground control, Major Tom.
4: Surviving extended exposure to zero-g (muscle and bone loss)

Well #4 has already been worked out a lot at ISS though the amount of exercise needed is significant (less mission time) and not perfect (still need to get strong again when back on earth).
Shall we start debating the need for artificial G via rotation?

Also #2 has been somewhat worked over with ISS, specifically the need for lot's of spare parts, redundant systems, and design for easy repair. What's not so well covered is, wetware repair. MedBay anyone? Is there a doctor in the house?

Comment Binocular Vision overrated? (Score 1) 124

I've had Strabismus (wall eyed version) my whole life. Maybe I'm missing something (you insensitive clod) but I get the impression this 3D Imagery stuff is just a gimmick, as I seem to do just fine judging distance without it. Still it probably gave a survival advantage at one time else why bother? Maybe it was just advantages to have a backup eye and the binocular ability came along from that, anyone know of research on that?

Comment Maybe another way to do it? (Score 2, Interesting) 161

I totally agree with kebes's comments and this reminds me, back when I was working with a team developing DNA Sequencers (I was doing the software, though hardware and Physics have always been an interest), I got to alternative ways to sequence DNA and one of them was nano-scale MRI. At the time there was some research on micron scale MRI of live samples and looking at some papers the equation for spatial resolution was dependent on temperature so it seemed to suggest one could maybe get to nano scale by greatly cooling the apparatus in addition to shrinking the sample/coils/probe.

Has anyone else looked into this? Is it really feasible?


Submission + - space.com pawnd

JoeSilva writes: I went looking for cool space news. Instead I got a good laugh at their hacked main page with proclaims proudly "Hacked by Body", and goes on to note "Arabian 1337 h4x0r Ownz j00 f00!". ROFL!!!

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