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(Yahoo)   Unknown craft all set to do non-existent mission for none of your god damn business   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 20
    More: Unlikely, U.S. Air Force, x-37b, Air Force Base, unmanned spacecraft, space planes, spaceflights, telemetry, craft  
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15231 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Sep 2012 at 6:28 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-27 06:44:49 AM
3 votes:
I realize its probably doing dull and tedious experiments (like automated docking and materials testing), but I still want to believe its actually dropping tungsten rods-from-God on targets in the desert.

/Someone tell them to get working on the X37-C already.
/The CST-100 is nice, but this thing seems far more advanced as a program.
2012-09-27 02:04:02 PM
2 votes:

BigBooper: Didn't one of the space shuttles get hit by fleck of paint on one mission? if I remember right, it hit the windshield, and left a scary big crater in it.


That happened more than you think: Apparently, at least up until 1995 or so, they had to replace at least 45 window panes on the various shuttles due to impact damage from orbital debris.
2012-09-27 07:37:14 AM
2 votes:
2.bp.blogspot.com

Ian Fleming was ahead of his time.
2012-09-27 06:47:21 AM
2 votes:

david_gaithersburg: ""testing." For instance, the coming October mission will focus on testing the vehicle's capabilities as well the cost-effectiveness.."

You know what's really cost effective? Not building these toys in the first place!


Luddites are so cute when they're worked up.
2012-09-27 02:33:41 PM
1 votes:

threadjackistan: They would probably have enough time to at least move to another compartment


On the shuttle, there is no other compartment. You can't seal the flight deck off from the mid-deck, though if it was a Spacelab mission they might have been able to evacuate to that.

What they would have had to do, for a small hole, is to simply cover it with something. Duct tape would have worked. It doesn't have to be a *PERFECT* seal, just good enough to slow the loss to a minimum while they work out a procedure to permanently seal it.

The big problem isn't necessarily sealing up the window, as it is sealing it up with something that won't burn through during reentry.
2012-09-27 01:25:03 PM
1 votes:

BigBooper: So here's a question, If something like that happens, and you have a intact ship in orbit with a dead crew, would NASA try to retrieve it?


Short answer: They'd certainly want (and be expected to) try to retrieve the crew if it were possible to do so.

Long answer: It would greatly depend on the nature of the damage. Remember, this damage would have to have been severe enough to kill the crew in such a time frame that they would be unable to react to the damage, activate emergency life support, suit up long enough to repair what's wrong, etc. Such damage would very likely leave the orbiter unflyable, and possibly unreachable if the damage and/or escaping gas caused the orbiter to tumble in its orbit.

NASA would certainly look into the possibility of retrieving the spacecraft (and landing it through remote control and/or automation, I doubt anybody would want to be on board for that attempt.) The possibility of succeeding would necessarily be remote to very unlikely, but they'd certainly be motivated to want to try, if only to deorbit the spacecraft in a controlled way.
2012-09-27 12:42:54 PM
1 votes:

zedster: way south: I realize its probably doing dull and tedious experiments (like automated docking and materials testing), but I still want to believe its actually dropping tungsten rods-from-God on targets in the desert.

/Someone tell them to get working on the X37-C already.
/The CST-100 is nice, but this thing seems far more advanced as a program.

nah, word is they are using it as an easy to upgrade spy sat. Instead of launching a new satellite with a 10+ yr life span that will have outdated hardware within 2yrs they can just land this thing and throw in new modules


I've heard that rumor too, altho one would normally think the cost of a replaceable sat would be less than that of a reused platform.
Then again, being able to closely examine the equipment on return would help to make future satellites last longer.

/I also think the military is relishing in the rampant speculation of the public.
/All of the scientists pondering what they might be doing is probably giving them ideas for what to do next.
2012-09-27 12:37:46 PM
1 votes:

phyrkrakr: So, as far as taking care of the space debris problem, how do you deorbit stuff? Would this thing be able to do anything about space debris? It would be nice if we could start cleaning up the mess that's up there, even if it's by an inefficient or time-consuming process. Every little bit, and all that.


The problem is one of scale at this point - we have SO much orbital debris - not just current, working machines, but old, obsolte and failed machines, plus boosters and other stuff.

One viable idea would be to grab this material and re-use it in orbit as materials for space stations or newer orbit to orbit ships.

But to answer your specific question: Orbital mechanics is pretty bizzare. To de-orbit, you need to slow the object down -meaning reducing it's orbital speed. So doing will let the planet grab it and try to move it into a faster, lower orbit, but without further speed adjustments, the oribit simply decays into the atmosphere where it hopefully burns up. Bigger objects are and have been problems as the mass is simply too large to be burned up.

Blowing stuff up, if you used a BIG enough bang, might send SOME debris out of earth orbit, but it's not very likely as the Delta V [Change in orbital velocity] is quite large - most of it says in a sort of expanding cone where the detonation serves as the frustrum of a sort of curved [due to orbital mechanics] expanding cone - think of it as an orbital shotgun blast.

The real serious problem is the small stuff - nuts, bolts, wrenches, etc. They are darn hard to find on radar, and will be very difficult to pick up even if we invent some serious technologies.

The speeds involved can be thousands of miles per hour...woof!
2012-09-27 10:16:39 AM
1 votes:

TheGogmagog:
The China idea of being able to drop bombs from space is kinda interesting. Obviously you would have guidance, would the bombs be too small to detect falling, or would you not have time to react? I'm guessing the stealth bomber or drones would be much more effective at this.


the beauty of dropping a weapon from low earth orbit is that it doesn't need to be a bomb, there's more than enough potential energy from that height to destroy your target, all you need is something heavy ie a tungsten rod with a basic guidance system.
2012-09-27 09:15:20 AM
1 votes:

SquiggsIN: MooseUpNorth: SquiggsIN: along this line... why do ships have deflector dishes in star trek?

There's dust in space. It's very, very sparse, but if you're going fast enough, that one fleck of dust in your path can pretty much ruin your day...

You don't understand the theoretical physics behind a warp drive, do you? (and it seems you didn't read the rest of my post that basically sums it up)


You do realize that the Star Trek ships DO travel in normal speed, and at very high speeds, right? Just because they aren't going "faster than light" doesn't mean running into an asteroid or whatever at full impulse power won't hurt them, especially if the shields aren't up.
2012-09-27 08:55:56 AM
1 votes:
blog.nexcerpt.com


images.wikia.com

images-mediawiki-sites.thefullwiki.org
2012-09-27 08:52:24 AM
1 votes:

MuonNeutrino: In such a case, you wouldn't have to worry about dust to any greater extent than a stationary vessel would, since relative to your local environment you *are* actually stationary.


What happens when you try and contract an area of space that has something in it?
2012-09-27 08:52:04 AM
1 votes:

way south: I realize its probably doing dull and tedious experiments (like automated docking and materials testing), but I still want to believe its actually dropping tungsten rods-from-God on targets in the desert.

/Someone tell them to get working on the X37-C already.
/The CST-100 is nice, but this thing seems far more advanced as a program.


nah, word is they are using it as an easy to upgrade spy sat. Instead of launching a new satellite with a 10+ yr life span that will have outdated hardware within 2yrs they can just land this thing and throw in new modules
2012-09-27 08:46:11 AM
1 votes:

MooseUpNorth: SquiggsIN: (and it seems you didn't read the rest of my post that basically sums it up)

The rest of your post is based on a faulty premise, that space is a perfect vacuum. It's not. It's only _almost_ a perfect vacuum. There is dust in deep space. A single fleck of dust is more than enough to fark you up if you're going fast enough.

Even in TV 'reality', dust was specifically cited by the people involved in producing TNG as the reason for the deflectors.


You're missing his point. The closest thing as we understand it to star trek's warp drive is the Alcubierre drive, in which the 'travelling' craft doesn't actually move, but rather the space behind and in front of the craft is manipulated such that it arrives at its destination without actually moving relative to its own local patch of space-time. In such a case, you wouldn't have to worry about dust to any greater extent than a stationary vessel would, since relative to your local environment you *are* actually stationary.

That said, even in that case they'd still want deflectors for when they're travelling on impulse, as those are (iirc) nothing more than fusion rockets.
2012-09-27 08:26:44 AM
1 votes:

MythDragon: A large chunk of crap which stays in orbit forever that you have to track so you don't get all explodey from hitting it, or small chunks of crap falling back to earth and burning up or flying out into deep space where it becomes someone else's problem.


3.bp.blogspot.com

ORBITAL MECHANICS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!!!
2012-09-27 08:18:40 AM
1 votes:

www.myfacewhen.net
Sometimes the military keeps secrets to maintain a strategic or tactical advantage.
Sometimes pinheads get upset and whine about not being told every freaking thing.
2012-09-27 08:18:22 AM
1 votes:
Anyone who thought the US was going to just stop going into space with the shuttle program being canceled is dillusional. There is no way the DoD is going to give up that capability, not when they,ve been operating on a "print as much money as we want" budget since WWII.

We're still doing the same work, but now the DoD can just get right to what they want without dealing with silly cell culture experiments and public hounding.

Killing specific targets from space a la smite from god is and always will be the end game for the DoD/CIA/Whoever.
2012-09-27 08:14:51 AM
1 votes:

gregory311: Haven't you seen Star Wars? When Luke blew up the Death Star, it simply disintegrated and there was nothing left to further obstruct space.


*grin* Look at the scene where the Falcon comes out of hyperspace near 'Alderaan' again.
2012-09-27 07:43:15 AM
1 votes:
imageshack.us

"I am government man. Come from the government. The government has sent me."
2012-09-27 06:53:17 AM
1 votes:
lcars24.com
 
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