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Thread: Falcon X

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomeat View Post
    Wouldn't it be possible to make a light sail that could travel through our solar system(and beyond) and also have the form of a huge, near parabolic antenna for a relatively low powered transmitter that could send stuff it picks up with the same super sized parabolic sail it uses to transmit and accelate. Assuming it could be kept away from gravitational force of planets it should always be pointing perfectly to the sun, so all is needed is a tiny servo motor to offset the transmitters angle in the focus point to track earth for transmissions or the direction it wants to receive from, alternately.
    There is no reason for the sail to be parabolic. To make it so adds complexity and cripples the effect of the sail and will cause the spacecraft to tumble. It ceases to be both a sail and a useful antenna.
    "Assuming it could be kept away from gravitational force of planets". Have you have been reading the fictional works of Tytower? And some people wonder why I was on his case about his theories of gravity which are not just wrong, they're corrupting. Lets start with keeping away from gravity.... You're 2 million light years from Andromeda Galaxy and it's gravity has influence on you. You're not ever getting away from the effect of gravity.

    And gravity does not "suck you in". Not black holes and not planets. Consider the largest object in the solar system, the Sun. It's the most difficult place to get to in the solar system. It's the largest object and yet nothing is "sucked" into it.
    So a solar sail has no need to stay away from planets unless it will directly hit them or be dragged down by their atmosphere.

    A solar sailing spacecraft does not just sail down wind. Like a boat you want to be able to go to specific places and to get there, you might need to take an abstract course.
    The example I used above. The most difficult place to get to in the solar system is the sun. And yes, it is possible to solar sail into the sun.

    Of course you need to be able to steer the sail in order to change your course.
    That is the purpose of Lightsail 2. To demonstrate being able to actually sail AND change course.
    Lightsail 1 was to demonstrate that the sail could actually be deployed in space.
    Lightsail 2 is not designed to leave earth orbit. The sail will be used to change the orbit. Provided atmospheric drag doesn't de-orbit the satellite I don't see a reason why it could not be made to leave earth orbit.
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  • #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by trash View Post
    There is no reason for the sail to be parabolic.
    I think you missed my point.
    I was not interested in a sail per se, but a huge radiotelescopic dish, that is propelled by the solar wind.
    When I meant away form gravitational effects of our planets I meant flying not so close to them that it would get get attacted to an orbit and eventually crash on the planet.
    I am fully aware that there are always gravitational effects on our solar system but these should not have a negative effect on the sail's perfomance if the sail stay away far enough.
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    Yes, I understand what you're thinking of, but it won't work for a number of reasons.

    The first is that the solar sail mylar is very thin and very light and pretty much transparent to radio and microwaves.
    Next is the surface accuracy. The sail is not a rigid structure, it's actually quite floppy, think of it like a curtain hanging from a rail.
    To add structure to it adds weight, negating the effect of the sail.
    The real killer is the shape. Think of the parabola and the sunlight coming from an angle. There is asymmetry. The light hits one side at a steeper angle than the other.
    It put more force on one side and causes torque on the sail and the space craft tumbles. So no only does it not function as a sail, you can't even keep the antenna pointed.
    To make matter worse, bigger antennas have narrower beamwidths which means more precision is required.

    It's a nice idea, but it will never work.

    A solar sail can still take advantage of gravitational kicks. It's difficult to gravitationaly capture an object.
    If it was easy, most planets would have lots of natural objects orbiting them. To get a probe into orbit around a planet just flying to it is not enough.
    You'll fly right past without any general overall change in velocity. To get a spacecraft captured we have three options.

    The first is atmospheric braking, where the atmospheric drag slows the spacecraft down just enough to allow it to be captured. But the space craft has to get very close for this to happen. In the case of the Earth, something has to get as close as about 200km.

    The second is retro engines. We use conventional rocket motors to slow the spacecraft down below escape velocity with the right attitude.

    The third is how object get captured naturally. That is to change the trajectory of the object so that the spacecraft shares the orbit of the planet or one very close to it
    with a slightly different velocity that is not greater than escape velocity and of course not on a direct collision course with the planet.

    Anything else and an object will just fly past pretty much unaffected.
    If it weren't for friction, it is like riding a bicycle into a valley. You could roll down one side and up the other without needing to pedal.

    So even getting quite close has no negative effect on a spacecraft. Only if the change in direction is unwanted is that a problem. But as the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy says: space is really big. There is a lot more space than there is planets, so it's pretty easy to avoid them if they is what you require.
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  • #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by trash View Post
    It's a nice idea, but it will never work.
    Well I can see what nomeat says, although a nice idea & probably in theory, according to your explanation, couldn't work; however there is one thing that motivates me more than anything & that is being told something is impossible, no matter how much evidence there is to support why.

    I respect your knowledge & can see your point, however I know the motivation that propels me also propels the inventors out there.
    Out of the minds & imagination of ordinary men comes the future.

    To me 'never' & 'impossible' are just words for something that hasn't been done yet.
    Just ask people like Elon.
    Cheers, Tiny
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    Sure there woud be problems and I always have said problems are there to be solved.

    The mylar would have a very thin silver coating spayed on.
    Thin very light carbon fiber rods like a ring hold it in a circular shape at it's opening, while the way it's sectors are glued it will automatically assume a parabolic shape when the pressure of the solar wind is sightly higher in the centre than at the opening.
    Precision is important and we got computers to calculate the shape of the sectors.
    In open Space there is for this project negligible weight, just mass. As it will be dragging an item with mass (the motorised transceivers, etc) behind it while it accelerates, this item can be set in focus simply with tiny motors that roll up carbon fiber strings that are attached to the "dish" on a carbon fibre ring in the centre.
    This will warp the centre but the center is not required if the rest of the dish can stay parabolic.
    We have telescope mirrors that have their centre cut out too.

    1km diameter might be for now a bit ambitious but even only a 100m radio telescope way out in space away from any disturbance, simply made out of capacitor foil could be quite useful. Surely better than sending up a bloody sphere. The Russians already did that in 1957 and it could even beep!

    Hey, I reckon I could get almost everything I need on Aliexpress
    Last edited by nomeat; 29-01-18 at 09:22 PM.
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    Heheh.... I see "impossible" as a challenge too Tiny. But for every winner, there a thousands of losers. Chances are, you're not onto a winner

    Of course I can see what Nomeat is getting at. Not surprisingly I've tried similar things when it has come to building dishes and antennas.
    I needed a 5m dish when I was younger. Yeah, we're all satellite hackers here. I started in the 1980's when LNC's were 60K and a 5m dish cost ~$5000.
    So I tried to build one. I found it easy to build a 2.5m mesh dish, so it was only a matter of scaling it up. (Which didn't work). It warped collapsed under it's own weight.
    It wasn't impossible to build a 5m dish but I needed to put better engineering into it. But the education was well worth the ~$200 I spent on it at the time.
    I was lucky to find a commercial 5m dish dirt cheap and put it to good use.

    If we throw away the solar sail idea and just go with a conventional spacecraft platform, then we can think about the "large antenna" idea a bit more clearly.
    Rather than 1km, which not real practical we might think about something a bit smaller, 100m is a very big dish. Think Parkes telescope kind of size.

    Ignoring some other minor problems for the time being, this size antenna is about 8000 square metres. Lets consider packing it into a box.
    If the reflecting surface is 1mm thick and we fold it into 1m square (if that was possible) then it ends up being 8m long box. (Not impractical)
    If we double the size of the box to 4m square, then it is 2m deep. Now that's very practical. (Not considering the folding issues).

    The thickness of the reflecting surface can itself be a problem. Too thick, and it is hard to fold. The weight no longer becomes an issue because we're not trying to use it as a sail.
    The cost of getting it into space is still a factor, but the weight isn't actually the limit, the cost of launch can be more of a limit vs benefit.

    Too thin and we have efficiency and noise issues. We don't normally notice it with out home satellite system, but your fuxtel dish somewhat transparent to microwaves.
    Aluminium foil we consider to be reflective. If you shine a light on it, most of that light is reflected. But if you hold the foil up to the light, you can see some light passes through it.
    And the thinner the foil is, the more light passes through it. The same thing (more so) is true for radio and microwaves.

    Constructing such an antenna in space, I don't see much of a problem with it as long as it is a practical size.
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  • #27
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    Falcon Heavy ..........



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    Thanks enf ,

    If all goes according to plan, SpaceX's huge new Falcon Heavy rocket will launch for the first time ever tomorrow (Feb. 6), rising off Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida during a three-hour window that opens at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT). You can watch the liftoff live , courtesy of SpaceX, or .
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    Launch successful, see replay >


    Last edited by Tiny; 07-02-18 at 09:19 AM.
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    Yes it is all over the news.


    Brilliant!!!
    Elon Musk has achieved up to now all his ambitious goals.
    I see him the Edison of today, the most important man of the century.
    He has initiated the electric car boom and off-grid power and now he has begun the industrial space age!
    Lets not talk about his flame throwers.
    Finally the world can move beyond just smart phones.

    For those who don't use Flashplayer and don't like ads. Great multiscreen view of all the details:


    The perfect synchronised landing of the sideboosters(9:15) looks like from a SciFi movie, unreal !
    Last edited by nomeat; 07-02-18 at 11:54 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomeat View Post
    Brilliant!!!
    Elon Musk has achieved up to now all his ambitious goals.
    I see him the Edison of today, the most important man of the century.
    He has initiated the electric car boom and off-grid power and now he has begun the industrial space age!
    That Falcon Heavy Lift launch was amazing but comparing Elon Musk to a modern day Edison might be a bit of a stretch .

    Musk tends to implement known technology brilliantly (Batteries, Electric vehicles, rockets).

    Edison invented the technology (Phonograph, Electric Light bulb, Motion picture camera, Stock market ticker)

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    That launch was f**ken awesome! Gave me goosebumps. There was a shot at about t+1:00 with all three first stage rockets going full-noise, velocity over 1000km/h, and the rocket seemingly horizontal, that was truly impressive.

    The guys and gals over at SpaceX have a lot to be proud of.

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    They unfortunately "lost" the core rocket booster as it "ran out of propellant, which kept the core from being able to slow down as much as it needed for landing. Because of that, the core apparently hit the water at 300MPH, and it was about 100 meters from the ship. "It was enough to take out two thrusters and shower the deck with shrapnel," Musk said. That should be worth seeing on video: "We have the video," Musk confirmed, "it sounds like some pretty fun footage... if the cameras didn't get blown up as well."............................................ ..........
    .......................

    "This shouldn't take away from . The goal of this demo launch was to prove that the Falcon Heavy was ready for flight, and it more than accomplished that. Landing the first stages is always a secondary objective, and no one should overlook the fact that the company was able to land two of the three boosters at once. SpaceX will likely learn quite a bit from this failure, and be better prepared to land all three boosters next time, which will probably be in three to four months."


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    Full press conference afterwards with Elon Musk, very interesting, funny bloke.
    Discusses the technology & the future.

    Cheers, Tiny
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny View Post
    They unfortunately "lost" the core rocket booster as it "ran out of propellant, which kept the core from being able to slow down as much as it needed for landing. Because of that, the core apparently hit the water at 300MPH, and it was about 100 meters from the ship.
    I wonder if the onboard computer deliberately ditched next to the barge, instead of right on it, when it realised it wasn't slowing down fast enough?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mandc View Post
    That Falcon Heavy Lift launch was amazing but comparing Elon Musk to a modern day Edison might be a bit of a stretch .

    Musk tends to implement known technology brilliantly (Batteries, Electric vehicles, rockets).

    Edison invented the technology (Phonograph, Electric Light bulb, Motion picture camera, Stock market ticker)
    I know a fair bit about Edison. I rebuilt his phonograph as a school project when I was 10 years old and even managed to find somebody who had a cylinder to test it.


    So who else would you nominate as a modern day Edison?
    I am not talking not so much about Edison as an inventor but Edison the entrepreneur and business man who changed the world with his companies based on his ideas, although he was not always on the right track, like his DC network.

    Being an inventor normally sucks as you are rarely the one who benefits from your ideas.
    It is extremely rare to be the brilliant inventor AND the man who can sell it to the world. Maybe Edison was the only one with these capabilities but I would appreciate it if you could point out more.


    Nicola Tesla's inventions are arguably more groundbreaking than Edison's but he mostly failed selling them. Much later they became the foundation of our modern day technology and without doubt the reason why Elon Musk calls his cars Tesla.

    An idea alone is useless unless you find a way to use it.
    Last edited by nomeat; 07-02-18 at 04:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onefella View Post
    I wonder if the onboard computer deliberately ditched next to the barge, instead of right on it, when it realised it wasn't slowing down fast enough?
    Me too, however they say they lost communication with it well before that as well, all speculation until they do the full postmortem.
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    Not Edison, Howard Hughes.

    SO he's rich and crazy enough to spend the money and take a risk on whacky ideas that have a good chance of success.
    However, if I had a couple of billion dollars to spare and you told me you could bring back the first stage of a rocket, I would have thought you were nuts.
    And I'm sure he thought the exact same thing, but when somebody said it would only cost this much more to try it on something which we were going to throw away anyway.

    So we'll smash a rocket into a barge, it will cost us a couple of million but the video will be awesome and we'll make that back in just youtube royalties

    But I can't help but wonder what his internal business model looks like.
    I think of it like this.

    My company pays me a wage and I do the work they give me. I work for a company who's business model is not unlike a Dilbert comic. Actually, Dilbert is based on a very similar company.
    I do the work they ask and if I question the level of stupidity and waste I am either ignored or promoted and then made to implement the stupidity than work under it.

    But, if I was given a shipping container of equipment, a small bucket of money, and told what they want and left to do it cheaply, quickly and efficiently. I could churn out my jobs two to three times quicker.

    Instead I have incompetent project managers, mindless rules who purpose is to help other mindless people avoid those rules and Indian call centers who churn their idiot workers so fast that the accent of the person you speak to changes several times over a single phone call.

    I've got so good an managing incompetent project managers that I can now finish their jobs before they have ordered material for them.
    But they are just following the rules past down to them and they are unable to identify, change and fix mistakes.
    To be fair, I can identify them, but I'm no more able to fix them than anybody else unless I ask for a promotion. Rather it would be thrust upon me.
    I'm under no delusion of my own incompetence and I would make a lousy manager.


    This obviously does not happen in SpaceX.

    Failure is permitted, everybody obviously is not afraid to try things. The word NO is probably seldom heard.
    They ask for permission, speak up, give the worse case projection and are then given permission to try.
    If they fail, then the cost of failure is minimised by learning from the negative results.

    Anyhow, I'm going to go sit down, cook some red meat on the BBQ and bone up watching some more fricken awesome spaceX videos.
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    TRASH,
    I am sure a lot is country specific.
    To me Australia is the most Uber-conservative, bureaucratic, secret club regulated business model of a county in the world.

    And teamwork means one competent person does the work and ten stand around telling him/her how to do it after they all had a long chat before the actual work commenced. Be assured they are all very busy doing this and can get quite stressed out occasionally, although this is seen as unprofessional.
    I see it daily when council is at work(they all seem rather relaxed although I did notice a heated discussion over a discarded soda can), on building sites and from past personal experience. Now my daughter echos my observations.

    I worked for over 20 years in Germany and things were entirely different.

    If you were good at something people noticed it and left you alone because they knew you got the job done.
    You got a bunch of tools and materials or a strict budget, another tech if you needed one, who did everything you said literally(very important you said it right)
    and a deadline. Nobody cared how you did it, as long as the result was perfect and on time.
    I am speaking in the past tense because I do not know how things are now. I left 17 years ago.

    However I did experience similar work models like todays Australia in East Germany shortly after they dropped the communist wall.

    USA seems to be in some selected states very open for innovation but the competition is huge.

    I am also fully aware of the Aussie Genius but they are dying out because:
    a - Literally
    b - Lobbied governments and bored bureaucrats have imposed so many regulations, licenses and fees that is has become impossible to fullfil all these requirements based on the scope of their abilities.
    Therefore pretty much everything they might be doing has become illegal, so the smart ones give up.

    This of course leave the ones who where never Aussie Geniuses and don't give a f*** still in circulation doing their worst, which leads to even more policing and regulation.

    So that is why I think nothing moves much in this Country anymore and why we need clever and skilled migrants(because nobody studies Math in our HiSkoolz) and people like Elon Musk to kick start things, which he is actually doing even here.

    Think I read some British billionaire might be building Electric cars in a former Holden factory... or maybe I just dreamt it.
    Last edited by nomeat; 08-02-18 at 10:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nomeat View Post
    TRASH,
    I am sure a lot is country specific.
    To me Australia is the most Uber-conservative, bureaucratic, secret club regulated business model of a county in the world.
    I would say ... ummm no, maybe, ah fvck it, yeah, I certainly suspect it.

    Country specific, ah, yes and no. I've seen the exact same thing in USA and SE Asia. Even worse than Australia.

    Really, when I think about it there is no monopoly on stupidity in any part of the world. It's just the flavour and colour of it that differs.
    One of the things you/I forgot to mention is the "Witch Hunt". I love a good witch hunt because as we know, there is no such thing as a witch, so the only people guilty of anything are the hunters. Quite often these people learn the hard way that there are no witches, but there are things called Tar pits.
    So if you see me holding a bag of feathers, chances are.... I've been expecting you.

    I've been through several witch hunts over the years and only one has got the better of me and only because I was blindsided by somebody who had nothing to gain other than they like the taste of chocolate starfish. When I cross paths with this person on rare occasions, I cheerfully brand them with the shame of their treason.

    On the up side, I learnt from that negative experience and developed good tactics against such treachery.
    Yes I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

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