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Science Section => Science General Discussion => Topic started by: trdsf on May 24, 2018, 03:42:54 PM

Title: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: trdsf on May 24, 2018, 03:42:54 PM
While looking up other things yesterday, I stumbled across this photo, which I had not seen before:

(https://news.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/2015/02/21/vintagenasa/vintagenasa01.ngsversion.1462377616630.adapt.536.1.jpg)

This is the first photo taken from space.

Obviously, some image had to be, and I had always kind of thought in the back of my mind that it was probably in 1957 or 1958 or 1959, maybe a blurry thing from one of the early Sputniks that was notable only for having been the first photo taken from space, and I just never got around to looking it up.

As it turns out, this—a much better image than I thought the first space photo would be—was taken on October 24, 1946, eleven years before Sputnik I, from a repurposed V-2 launched (on a suborbital trajectory, obviously) from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

And that is my cool new fact for the day.  :D
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on May 24, 2018, 04:16:36 PM
This is V2  #13:

(http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/V-2_Rocket_On_Meillerwagen.jpg)
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Unbeliever on May 24, 2018, 04:46:36 PM
That looks like Flash Gordon's ride to the moon.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on May 24, 2018, 06:01:44 PM
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That looks like Flash Gordon's ride to the moon.
Yeah, the similarities were deliberate. "We already have 'spaceships' like that!"
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: SGOS on May 24, 2018, 06:09:12 PM
Who would have thought space travel would use the same rocket design developed during the Ming Dynasty?
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Shiranu on May 24, 2018, 07:03:03 PM
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Who would have thought space travel would use the same rocket design developed during the Ming Dynasty?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: trdsf on May 24, 2018, 07:45:01 PM
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If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I do love a rocket with fins that inspired Cadillac.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on May 24, 2018, 08:12:29 PM
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Who would have thought space travel would use the same rocket design developed during the Ming Dynasty?
Eh?
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Hydra009 on May 24, 2018, 09:06:13 PM
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Eh?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket#History
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Hydra009 on May 24, 2018, 09:16:42 PM
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If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
While I somewhat agree, humanity sorely needs a more effective alternative to the liquid-propellant rocket.  It takes so much fuel just to escape earth's gravitywell, let alone haul anything to space.  And then you need more fuel to haul the cargo, then more fuel to haul the fuel...  There's got to be a better way.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: SGOS on May 24, 2018, 10:11:49 PM
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Eh?
Oops!  The Song Dynasty.  I just said Ming because it was the only dynasty I could remember.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Cavebear on May 25, 2018, 02:36:26 AM
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While looking up other things yesterday, I stumbled across this photo, which I had not seen before:

(https://news.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/2015/02/21/vintagenasa/vintagenasa01.ngsversion.1462377616630.adapt.536.1.jpg)

This is the first photo taken from space.

Obviously, some image had to be, and I had always kind of thought in the back of my mind that it was probably in 1957 or 1958 or 1959, maybe a blurry thing from one of the early Sputniks that was notable only for having been the first photo taken from space, and I just never got around to looking it up.

As it turns out, this—a much better image than I thought the first space photo would be—was taken on October 24, 1946, eleven years before Sputnik I, from a repurposed V-2 launched (on a suborbital trajectory, obviously) from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

And that is my cool new fact for the day.  :D

I did not realize such a good picture was taken so early.  Thank you!
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Baruch on May 25, 2018, 08:20:43 AM
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While I somewhat agree, humanity sorely needs a more effective alternative to the liquid-propellant rocket.  It takes so much fuel just to escape earth's gravitywell, let alone haul anything to space.  And then you need more fuel to haul the cargo, then more fuel to haul the fuel...  There's got to be a better way.

Antigravity fantasy.  Get your gravitons and gravitinos (supersymmetry) here!  Someone asked Feynman about antigravity ... he replied, you already have it, it is called a chair ;-)  Advanced physics doesn't mean a free lunch.  AI/robotics doesn't mean you won't have to work anymore.

Actually, what you are asking for is the physical version of a free lunch.  Stuff came together back in the formation of the solar system.  And not because of political comradeship.  The energy that is required to take something out of the local gravity well, was originally taken out of the kinetic energy of the in-falling matter 4.5 billion years ago.  That is why the Earth's core is still hot.  That and radioactivity and rock is a poor conductor of heat. 

You have to pay for that energy, though you could gather it from solar/wind power, which you didn't pay for (but you have to pay for the solar energy collectors and the windmills), and convert that to rocket fuel.  In the original Jules Verne version, they used a giant cannon in Florida.  Again, chemical energy turned into kinetic energy.  Too bad there isn't an unlimited supply of free gunpowder.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Unbeliever on May 25, 2018, 01:57:15 PM
I think it would be good if we could raise the launch platforms to a high altitude, maybe with very large dirigibles, or something. That wouldn't be easy, or cheap, though.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Cavebear on May 25, 2018, 02:03:17 PM
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Antigravity fantasy.  Get your gravitons and gravitinos (supersymmetry) here!  Someone asked Feynman about antigravity ... he replied, you already have it, it is called a chair ;-)  Advanced physics doesn't mean a free lunch.  AI/robotics doesn't mean you won't have to work anymore.

Actually, what you are asking for is the physical version of a free lunch.  Stuff came together back in the formation of the solar system.  And not because of political comradeship.  The energy that is required to take something out of the local gravity well, was originally taken out of the kinetic energy of the in-falling matter 4.5 billion years ago.  That is why the Earth's core is still hot.  That and radioactivity and rock is a poor conductor of heat. 

You have to pay for that energy, though you could gather it from solar/wind power, which you didn't pay for (but you have to pay for the solar energy collectors and the windmills), and convert that to rocket fuel.  In the original Jules Verne version, they used a giant cannon in Florida.  Again, chemical energy turned into kinetic energy.  Too bad there isn't an unlimited supply of free gunpowder.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Baruch on May 25, 2018, 06:38:25 PM
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I think it would be good if we could raise the launch platforms to a high altitude, maybe with very large dirigibles, or something. That wouldn't be easy, or cheap, though.

Like to see it tried.  And other things.  That is empirical.  Pontificating without doing anything, that is crap.  But don't expect new physics if you aren't doing anything really new.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: trdsf on May 26, 2018, 04:50:31 PM
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While I somewhat agree, humanity sorely needs a more effective alternative to the liquid-propellant rocket.  It takes so much fuel just to escape earth's gravitywell, let alone haul anything to space.  And then you need more fuel to haul the cargo, then more fuel to haul the fuel...  There's got to be a better way.
Well, the throttleable solid rocket booster where the entire rocket body is consumed on the way up (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-44226893) may be a step in the right direction.  Certainly less wasteful, and less clutter in space.  What's not clear is whether it can be scaled up—right now they're planning it mainly for small satellites that would otherwise have to wait for an open spot on a larger booster and hitch a ride with some other mission.

I'm not convinced on magnetic launch systems, since you still have to bring fuel with you if you want to change your orbit once you're up there, and if there's a failure somewhere in the launch tube, you and everyone else are grounded until you can get it fixed, you can't move to the third launch pad to the left and try again.  Each launch tube is a mega-engineering project with very specific geophysical requirements (like a mountain to burrow into), so I wouldn't expect to see a launch complex with dozens of tubes.

Nor am I convinced on space elevators, because a failure there means up to 22,000 miles of structure are coming back to the planet's surface to say 'hi'.

But these are both technological problems.  Neither one is 21st century technology, but the groundwork for both can be laid now.  For the time being, though, finding more efficient ways to use liquid and solid boosters will have more immediate benefits.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on May 26, 2018, 05:58:39 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket#History
Superficial resemblances can be dismissed.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Cavebear on May 29, 2018, 08:59:45 AM
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Well, the throttleable solid rocket booster where the entire rocket body is consumed on the way up (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-44226893) may be a step in the right direction.  Certainly less wasteful, and less clutter in space.  What's not clear is whether it can be scaled up—right now they're planning it mainly for small satellites that would otherwise have to wait for an open spot on a larger booster and hitch a ride with some other mission.

I'm not convinced on magnetic launch systems, since you still have to bring fuel with you if you want to change your orbit once you're up there, and if there's a failure somewhere in the launch tube, you and everyone else are grounded until you can get it fixed, you can't move to the third launch pad to the left and try again.  Each launch tube is a mega-engineering project with very specific geophysical requirements (like a mountain to burrow into), so I wouldn't expect to see a launch complex with dozens of tubes.

Nor am I convinced on space elevators, because a failure there means up to 22,000 miles of structure are coming back to the planet's surface to say 'hi'.

But these are both technological problems.  Neither one is 21st century technology, but the groundwork for both can be laid now.  For the time being, though, finding more efficient ways to use liquid and solid boosters will have more immediate benefits.

Launches will either become more efficient or we will stop trying.  I like mag-lev up mountainside options,  And starting launches from high altitudes seems interesting. 

You realize these are basically the same kinds of questions we would have been asking before the first commercial locomotives, right?  LOL!  All tech problems will be solved.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Unbeliever on May 29, 2018, 03:00:51 PM
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All tech problems will be solved.
Sure, after all, it's just engineering.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Cavebear on May 29, 2018, 03:16:24 PM
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Sure, after all, it's just engineering.

I agree "just engineering" sounds like a dismissal, and I didn't mean it that way.  Most of "the practical world" is "just engineering".  Engineering is the difference between collecting coal in caves vs the cave falling down on you.  Engineering is getting across a stream and later, a river.  Engineering is why I  am sitting in a house instead of a tent.  That gabled roof above me didn't create itself.  It was designed by an engineer.

Engineers built the space rockets that launched the satellites that manage our internet and cell phones.  Engineers  figured out how to build modern dams.  The list goes on. 
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Unbeliever on May 29, 2018, 03:19:46 PM
Engineers are wonderful, and it's been a bone of contention with me that there's no Nobel prize for them. And the way Sheldon treats Howard on TBBT is reprehensible!  :-D
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Cavebear on May 29, 2018, 03:25:44 PM
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Engineers are wonderful, and it's been a bone of contention with me that there's no Nobel prize for them. And the way Sheldon treats Howard on TBBT is reprehensible!  :-D

I never realized that there wasn't!  I wonder why there isn't?
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on May 29, 2018, 04:03:37 PM
Engineering is an application of science.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Cavebear on May 29, 2018, 04:18:35 PM
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Engineering is an application of science.

Engineers are under-rated.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Gawdzilla Sama on May 29, 2018, 04:50:32 PM
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Engineers are under-rated.
I was an Engineering rating in the USN for twenty years. "Pit snipes" we were called.

The Lt. who ... engineered the victory at Rourke's Drift was just there to build a bridge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQrE8vOM0ss
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Cavebear on May 29, 2018, 04:59:39 PM
My Dad was an engineer.  Some of it rubbed off on me.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Unbeliever on May 29, 2018, 05:25:23 PM
Here's how Sheldon treats his "friend," the engineer:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVjpB6zXueg
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Cavebear on May 29, 2018, 05:35:11 PM
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Here's how Sheldon treats his "friend," the engineer:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVjpB6zXueg

OMC, that was... Great!

Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: GSOgymrat on May 29, 2018, 06:37:22 PM
I went to NC State University because both the Air Force and the Navy awarded me full scholarships in nuclear engineering. I accepted the Air Force scholarship and planned to hide my homosexuality until I got out of the military. My father is a chemical engineer and worked separating uranium, so I was somewhat following in his footsteps. Fortunately, engineering students were required to take a one-hour course "Introduction to Engineering" and this class changed my life. Each week a NCSU engineering graduate would describe what they did on their job. After each lecture, I became more convinced engineering wasn't for me. The final straw was a speaker who went on and on about designing a heat exchange system. He enthusiastically described charts and graphs and then said with genuine emotion, "Designing this system, it was... well, it was the greatest experience of my professional career."


Oh, hell no!


I was eighteen and at a crossroads. I could either take the easy road, which was to play to my strengths (science), enjoy free education, become an engineer, have guaranteed employment and fulfill everyone's expectations, or I could take the hard road, which was to explore my weakness (dealing with emotions in myself and others), pay for my education, study psychology, have a lower paying career and disappoint my family. So I dropped the scholarship, switched my major, came out to my family as gay and faced their complete disappointment. I don't think devastated is too strong a word for my parent's reaction-- My mother insisted that I see a psychiatrist to change my sexual orientation and refused to speak for me for months when I refused, my father was more upset I threw away the money and career-- "Psychology?! That's not even a real science!" Some days when I am dealing with an intoxicated patient in the emergency department screaming at me I think maybe designing a heat exchanger wouldn't be that bad but most days I'm confident I made the right decision.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Unbeliever on May 29, 2018, 06:40:42 PM
I bet you at least managed to help a lot of people who needed a psych more than they needed a heat exchanger!
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Baruch on May 29, 2018, 07:30:24 PM
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I was an Engineering rating in the USN for twenty years. "Pit snipes" we were called.

The Lt. who ... engineered the victory at Rourke's Drift was just there to build a bridge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQrE8vOM0ss

My grandfather was in Corp of Engineers.  The only ROTC I took was from the same part of the Army.  Build bridges and blow them up.

The idiot that lost at Islandwanna ... was an paper pusher.  The commanding general was out chasing Zulus where they weren't.

In that same time period, General Gordon, at Khartoum, defended his post to the last, and only lost because his government abandoned him to his opponent, the false Mahdi of Sudan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItXiO4gl4jM
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Baruch on May 29, 2018, 07:31:57 PM
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Sure, after all, it's just engineering.

I have worked in tech for 40 years.  There are no real tech problems.  All the real problems are the human kind (particularly the management kind).  People do technology to solve their problems, but that is pushing the rope.  Monkey business.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Baruch on May 29, 2018, 07:33:10 PM
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I agree "just engineering" sounds like a dismissal, and I didn't mean it that way.  Most of "the practical world" is "just engineering".  Engineering is the difference between collecting coal in caves vs the cave falling down on you.  Engineering is getting across a stream and later, a river.  Engineering is why I  am sitting in a house instead of a tent.  That gabled roof above me didn't create itself.  It was designed by an engineer.

Engineers built the space rockets that launched the satellites that manage our internet and cell phones.  Engineers  figured out how to build modern dams.  The list goes on.

I used to launch missiles and satellites.  Tell me all about it ;-)  Mostly I can't tell you about it, for obvious reasons.

But without the sciences, the engineers would have no principles to apply.  And it is mostly classical physics/chemistry.  Unless you are near the speed of light or near a black hole, relativity doesn't help much (but it does make GPS accurate).  QM doesn't help much, unless you are as small as an electron.  Try quantum tunneling thru a brick wall sometimes ;-))
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: aitm on May 29, 2018, 07:53:01 PM
I always tell people that construction is easy. It's 90% math and geometry and 10% people....and the 10% is what makes it so damn hard.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Unbeliever on May 29, 2018, 07:58:18 PM
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Try quantum tunneling thru a brick wall sometimes ;-))
I think I saw Criss Angel do that once...
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Baruch on May 29, 2018, 08:22:23 PM
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I think I saw Criss Angel do that once...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNRPTsD0BLE

Quantum tunneling fail, per Elon Musk.  And his autopilot has no real AI, there is no real AI.  Just government subsidized grifters.
Title: Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
Post by: Cavebear on June 11, 2018, 07:12:53 AM
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I always tell people that construction is easy. It's 90% math and geometry and 10% people....and the 10% is what makes it so damn hard.

I always tell people that telecommunication analysis was easy. It's 90% spreadsheet scanning until your eyeballs fall out, 50% breaking the vendors code  and 10% people....and making that add up to 100% is so damn hard.