What's happening in space (that's interesting)


#2572

Beautiful! I’m imagining that’s cat satellite :)


#2573

To be used to launch rockets from the upper atmosphere…


#2574

Amazing!


#2575

From that article:

Nifty! Presumably works sort of like how a figure skater can change speeds during a spin.


#2576

If they’re talking about the entire payload being whipped around, I don’t see it working. The g forces required would be immense compared to a normal launch, plus you’re dealing with g forces on two vectors instead of just 1.


#2577

That’s no moon


#2578

Ohhh I hope it really is a moon! Would be so cool. Wonder how long til they get Hubble time on it.


#2579

Some positive Musk news for once: SpaceX successfully makes first Vandenberg landing


#2580

My impression is that they’re intended to use the centrifuge as an energy storage device, and then use some kind of electrical launch system. (I’m gonna guess a rail launcher of some kind.) My workplace does this–we use an enormous amount of power for 6-8 seconds of experiment. Between experiments, we spend a few minutes spinning up a huge flywheel on a motor/generator to store the energy needed for the “shot”. Regardless, if they can only generate 4800 kph, which is about 1.3 km/s of delta-V, that’s quite far from the ~9.5 km/s they’ll need to achieve orbit.


#2581

There is a slingatron concept, that actually does spin the payload itself. (article selected at random).

It’s been deemed impractical for various reasons over the years, but seems to get some renewed interest occasionally. I think the existence of ever-smaller solid-state electronics has rekindled interest, since it becomes more theoretically possible to build a useful payload that can withstand the g forces.


#2582

This is super cool


#2583

We could see the Falcon 9 landing in SF which was pretty amazing, especially since I hadn’t quite realized (but suspected) that’s what it was.

— Alan


#2584

Am I the only one still blown away that they’re landing a booster and using it again.


#2585

No, I am too. That was science fiction when I was a kid, and even then I would see it in a movie and think, “They’ll never be able to do that.” We still aren’t climbing right back in and taking off again, but at this point I can’t say we never will.


#2586

Space is really, really empty.
If the Moon Were Only 1 pixel - A Tediously Accurate Scale Model of the Solar System
http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html

And apropos of nothing but cool nonetheless:

Edit: One more thing.
Moons can have moons. They are called moonmoons. No, seriously. Moonmoons.


#2587

Damnit Moonmoon…


#2588

Huh.

The rocket had taken off for the International Space Station (ISS) when it suffered a problem with its booster.

The crew had to return in “ballistic descent mode”, Nasa tweeted, which it explained was “a sharper angle of landing compared to normal”.


#2589

This is crazy, glad they made it back to earth in one piece.
Will be interesting to see the fallout, I’m assuming there won’t be anyone to replace the current ISS crew for a while, it’ll probably have to be empty for some time. Commercial crewed flights are still a long ways off and I don’t see Souyz program bouncing back any time soon either.


#2590

Russia’s quality sure is stellar lately. I mean that and holes in modules. WTF.


#2591

I’ve seen this on every report about the accident, but forgive me if this is an ignorant question: isn’t every capsule return a ballistic descent? Does it mean they didn’t use parachutes? (They did.) That the retros didn’t fire? (Not sure about this one.)