Author Topic: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.  (Read 1037 times)

Offline Baruch

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #15 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.
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Online trdsf

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #16 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 You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login 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.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2018, 05:58:39 PM »
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Superficial resemblances can be dismissed.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Cavebear

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2018, 08:59:45 AM »
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Well, the You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login 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.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #19 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.
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"Which do I prefer? Sex or chess? It depends on the position."
Boris Spassky

Offline Cavebear

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #20 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. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #21 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
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 03:21:46 PM by Unbeliever »
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"Which do I prefer? Sex or chess? It depends on the position."
Boris Spassky

Offline Cavebear

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #22 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?
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2018, 04:03:37 PM »
Engineering is an application of science.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Cavebear

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2018, 04:18:35 PM »
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Engineering is an application of science.

Engineers are under-rated.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #25 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.

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We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Cavebear

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2018, 04:59:39 PM »
My Dad was an engineer.  Some of it rubbed off on me.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2018, 05:25:23 PM »
Here's how Sheldon treats his "friend," the engineer:


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"Which do I prefer? Sex or chess? It depends on the position."
Boris Spassky

Offline Cavebear

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2018, 05:35:11 PM »
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Here's how Sheldon treats his "friend," the engineer:


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OMC, that was... Great!

Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: And it was quite a bit earlier than I thought.
« Reply #29 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.
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

― Pema Chödrön

 

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