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Comment Re:Story lacks all detail (Score 3, Informative) 63

From a post by Matthew Ross: http://spacefellowship.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?p=38466#p38466

"Both of those were "LLC-style" hops where the mod flies gently up to about 55 meters and then gently back down.
Since both of those went well, we decided to do a "boosted hop," where instead of gently flying up and down, it goes full throttle for about three seconds, coasts to apogee at low throttle, falls quickly back down and then throttles up before touching down"

A 5 second serch on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed_loop

"A closed-loop control system is one in which an input forcing function is determined in part by the system response. The measured response of a physical system is compared with a desired response. The difference between these two responses initiates actions that will result in the actual response of the system to approach the desired response."

So, engine generates thrust X, desired target of which is X+Y. Throttle is increased until measured response is X+Y. At which point the throttle is maintained or decreased, depending on what part of the flight profile the vehicle is in.

Comment Re:How?? (Score 1) 63

And as a bonus, part of the group AA belongs (the Commercial Spaceflight Federation?) to is trying to establish multiple markets for commercial enterprise. If they can give away a couple science payloads, and then later have a relatively cheap offering (sub 7-figure) for one-off or repeat experiments in the same flight profile, they demonstrate a new market. It's actually rather difficult for universities to get payloads to near-space. Year(s) waiting times mean that sometimes students and staff never see their projects take off (literally).

Comment Re:I tried second life (Score 2, Insightful) 67

As someone who has tried three or four times now to "get it" I have to concur with your assessment. Either you have to know and incredibly active social network of people already in, so that you can be guided and have shit explained to you, or you're stuck with the non-intuitive nature of the UI, world and environments.

Not to mention the furries, the sex clubs and the walking dildos. Or the assholes who setup content bombs that pop you.

Second Life is user created, but it has all the unattractive qualities of a fan-fic slush pile and MUSH combined, graphics that are from the mid-90s, and performance of a P90 trying to play DOOM3.

The first thing they really need to nail is the UI for just plain interacting. Then they need to nail the "base" avatar creation. As is, you can spend hours creating your first avatar and it will still look like shit, whereas in most other virtual worlds, you fiddle with a few sliders and have a respectable-looking avatar.

I'd love to find a reason to stay, but Second Life doesn't seem to want to "get it" to the idea of bringing new people in who want a world on par with the other virtual worlds they are already interacting in. If aesthetics/content/performance don't matter, then I could use IM and "myspace" much more effectively in networking than Second life will ever be. If they do matter, then they need base content and performance that is of peer-quality to the current state of the industry.


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