BigSoccer IN SPACE!!! (The BigSoccer Space Exploration Thread)

Discussion in 'History' started by Orlando Rays, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
    Staff Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Space Shuttle Endeavour has left Kennedy Space Center for the last time. It is on its way to California Science Center, located near the plant where the Space Shuttles were assembled, for final display.

    Discovery is already at its final location: the Udvar-Hazy Complex of the National Air and Space Museum, near Dulles Airport in the Virginia suburbs of DC. It supplanted Enterprise, which is now on display on the USS Intrepid in NYC.

    Atlantis will remain at KSC to be displayed at its Visitor Complex. I don't know what will become of the 747 Shuttle transport fleet after this.

    ----------

    Message to the NSR mods: I would like to keep this as a rolling space exploration news and history thread.
     
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  2. song219

    song219 BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 5, 2004
    La Norte
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Vanuatu
    Most speculation on Mars settlement seem to assume that settlers would terraform planet including introducing a thicker atomsphere. On the other hand things that I've read suggest that Mars lack of a magnetosphere is the reason Mars doesn't have a thicker atomsphere today.
    Would Mars lack of a magnetosphere prevent a atomsphere from being built there?
     
  3. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    My opinion: most likely. Unless we figure out how Venus has an immensely thick atmosphere without a magnetosphere. I've seen pod-based colony concepts, including that absolutely insane idea that hopes to have a Mars-based reality-show within the next decade, but nothing beyond serious daydreaming about terraforming.

    I think we're still centuries away from even figuring out how, if ever.
     
  4. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    Orlando City SC
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    United States
    Because of the sheer amount of fuel required to haul the Space Shuttle, it normally takes two segments to haul a Shuttle from Kennedy to California and back. Today is the second segment for Endeavour's final flight: Houston to Edwards AFB. Last Shuttle visit to the old stomping grounds.

    Then there will be a third segment. They will fly from Edwards, over northern California, and then back south for a final landing at LAX. From there, it will be towed to California Science Center. The towing path will take it through South Central LA, past LA Memorial Coliseum at the end.
     
  5. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    HISTORY POST: Evolution of STS-1

    The original concept of STS-1 was a suborbital flight of Columbia to test the RTLS, or return-to-launch-site, abort scenario.

    RTLS is an abort scenario that can only be done between SRB separation and T+4:00, roughly the half-way point between launch and MECO. It requires the stack to turn around and get enough reverse momentum for the orbiter to glide back to Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing facility.

    Every astronaut refused to fly it. They figured it was a suicide mission, and it wasn't worth potentially sacrificing an expensive piece of machinery, much less their lives. John Young himself called it "Russian roulette".

    Fortunately, RTLS was never needed. If it had been needed, it was just as likely the Shuttle would end up ditching in the Atlantic (most likely with loss of all hands) as making it back to Kennedy. Post-Challenger, adding the ability to bail out of the orbiter made RTLS far more survivable.

    --------

    The second idea, STS-1A, was close to the final STS-1. First planned for June 1979, it was scrubbed when Columbia arrived at Kennedy Space Center with about 1/3 of its heat shield tiles missing. A fix of the issue would take over a year, followed by other delays.

    By the time the final STS-1 was flown, with John Young and Robert Crippen as commander and pilot respectively, it became the first spacecraft to fly manned on its maiden flight. Which could've made it a very expensive suicide mission if something major did go wrong.

    --------

    As a side note, the original STS-2 was supposed to strap a booster to Skylab and elevate it for future re-supply and re-use. But an active solar maximum in 1978-79, combined with Shuttle delays, led to its uncontrolled de-orbit in July 1979. Debris from the space station that survived re-entry fell all over Western Australia, killing one cow, and leading to a A$400 fine for littering from Shire of Esperance.
     
  6. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    Orlando City SC
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    Endeavour is now safely at LAX.

    Next step: On the weekend of October 12-13, the shuttle will be towed through the streets of South Central Los Angeles. It will be a two-day trip. It necessitated the moving or removal of many traffic lights and trees, which NASA will pay for.
    [​IMG]
    (Image: CollectSpace)

    It will go from Manchester, to Crenshaw, to MLK, ending passing by the Coliseum.

    They made a point of saying a Toyota Tundra would do the job of pulling Endeavour down its route.
     
  7. purojogo

    purojogo Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    US/Peru home
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
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    United States
    Fwiw I was in LA Friday and at 1230pt or so I was a able to see the shuttle in the sky .. Awesome, just awesome.. Farewell Endeavour...
     
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  8. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    Orlando City SC
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    United States
    Interesting fact: New Horizons was the first spacecraft to be launched directly to Jupiter since Ulysses in 1990. Of the five missions launched to Jupiter since Voyager, only two went direct.
    • Pioneer 10 was launched on March 3, 1972, and took 21 months to reach Jupiter.
    • Pioneer 11 was launched on April 6, 1973, and took 20 months to reach Jupiter. It was then flung literally across the Solar System, passing Saturn in August/September 1979.
    • Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977, and reached Jupiter in August 1979 (23 1/2 months). It took calculated fly-bys to ultimately reach Saturn (1981), Uranus (1986) and Neptune (1989).
    • Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977, on a more aggressive path to Jupiter, reaching it in April 1979 (19 months). When they reached Saturn in December 1980, they decided to choose a close fly-by of Titan over a path that would've taken the probe to Pluto. The scant amount of detail they found at Titan with its obscuring methane atmosphere, I'm sure, made them regret the decision.
    • Galileo was originally supposed to launch from the Space Shuttle using a LO2/LH2 Centaur booster stage; first in 1983, then 1986, on a direct trajectory to Jupiter. The Challenger disaster forced them to change to the solid-fuel Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), and a more leisurely path: the VEEGA trajectory. That's Venus-Earth-Earth Gravity Assist. After a fly-by of Venus, and two of Earth, it was shot to Jupiter, reaching it in December 1995 after 6 years, 3 months (exactly 3 years after its last Earth flyby). Plus a lube depletion that broke its main antenna.
    • Ulysses was light enough to get to Jupiter with just the IUS, and was just swinging by it to get into a polar orbit around the Sun. Launched on October 6, 1990, it reached Jupiter in 18 months.
    • Cassini was launched by Titan IV-Centaur on October 15, 1997, and used a VVEGA (figure it out by Galileo) to get to Jupiter in 3 years, 2 months, Saturn in 6 years, 9 months total.
    • New Horizons was launched directly to Jupiter on January 19, 2006, and reached Jupiter in just 13 months on its way to Pluto in 2015. Although its launch speed was faster, due to the gravity assists of the others, New Horizons will never overtake the Voyager probes in terms of raw distance from Earth.
    • Juno, launched August 5, 2011, has to fly-by Earth next year to get to Jupiter. It'll reach Jupiter in a total of 5 years.
     
  9. Barbara

    Barbara BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 29, 2000
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Orbital mechanics are a bitch.
     
  10. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    Orlando City SC
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    United States
    In the case of Galileo, especially when you're not allowed to use your most powerful boosters.

    The Voyager probes required a special planetary alignment that only happens every 200 years, and initial budget cuts required them to only fund Jupiter and Saturn initially. And then there were the near-misses: a booster misfire that nearly aborted Voyager 1, and an indirectly-resultant transmitter activation delay that nearly sunk Voyager 2. Then Voyager 2's camera platform got stuck past Saturn due to overuse.

    In reality, I don't think any spacecraft has ever been launched fast enough that they leave Earth with enough velocity on its own to escape the Solar System. Maybe New Horizons, I'm not sure. I've seen speed diagrams of the others (the Pioneers and Voyagers), and they all got to escape velocity from their Jupiter fly-by.
     
  11. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    Orlando City SC
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    SpaceX has sent its first "operational" Dragon capsule to the ISS. It's scheduled to be grabbed and docked around 7am EDT this morning.

    There was a bit of a ********-up in the launch. One of the engines malfunctioned on the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket. Fortunately, the rocket has the "engine-out" feature where it can make it to orbit with one engine turned off. Saturn V and the Space Shuttle could do this, too. It's the only rocket currently used that can.

    Although Dragon made it to its intended orbit, an experimental G2 Orbcomm mini-sat got dropped into an unusably low orbit as a result.
     
  12. tomwilhelm

    tomwilhelm Member+

    Dec 14, 2005
    Boston, MA, USA
    Club:
    Fulham FC
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    United States
    Since this is contract work, does SpaceX get a partial payment for not completing the full mission?
     
  13. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    United States
    I think they get paid for each mission.

    I think you're referring to the Orbcomm failure. That was not part of the NASA deal, so that will not affect their COTS contract.
     
  14. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
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  15. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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  16. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    [​IMG]

    On Sunday afternoon, Felix Baumgartner joined the greatest of daredevils by jumping from 128,100 feet (24 1/4 miles, 39,045 meters) altitude. That's only 39% of the way to the altitude that the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) considers "space".



    Preliminary FAI analysis says he reached 834 mph, or mach 1.24 for the environmental conditions. Final numbers will take a few weeks to compile.

    Probably the coolest part of the full video is a scene right before the above video starts. When Felix opened the hatch, you can see all the air and lingering water vapor in the capsule get sucked out. At his altitude, the barometric pressure outside was only three hPa. (Sea level averages 1,013 hPa.)

    The balloon ended up higher than planned, and started venting helium at 128,000 feet to keep it from going too high. As a result, Felix went even faster than they planned, resulting in him pulling the chute sooner than expected by about 45 seconds.
     
  17. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    Orlando City SC
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    United States
    The Curiosity rover on Mars is eating its first Martian soil sample.

    Space.com has a story on changes that have been observed in the visual and thermal makeup of Jupiter. Pretty freaky stuff. At one point, an entire circumferential band of clouds disappeared and reappeared over the course of two years. Seasonal changes are more uniform, since Jupiter only has an axial tilt of 3°: it's dictated purely by aphelion and perihelion, and at that distance, the difference is inconsequential.

    Space.com also has a story on the progression of commercial spaceflight. SpaceX is angling for mid-2015 for the first manned flight of the Dragon spacecraft. That would probably be dictated by test runs of the SuperDraco, a new onboard rocket system that would turn their retrorocket into an escape booster.

    Here's a game-changer: a planet has been discovered around the closest stars to our solar system. The planet, Alpha Centauri Bb, orbits the second of two main stars in the Alpha Centauri trinary star system. This one in particularly is about the same size as Earth, but orbits closer to its star than Mercury. However, it's considered highly probable that there are other planets in the system.

    Alpha Centauri B's "Goldilocks zone" is believed to be 0.3-0.5 AU (roughly 28-46 million miles) away from the star, and a planet orbiting at that distance would not be perturbed by Alpha Centauri A (though it would probably have some pretty bodacious tides). If a rocky planet is found at that distance, then it could ignite a brand new space race.

    Alpha Centauri is only 4.3 light-years away. If we can develop some sort of sublight technology, even 0.2 c would get us there in just a generation.
     
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  18. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    Orlando City SC
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    United States
    Soyuz TMA-06M was launched today with the Expedition 33/34 crew headed to the International Space Station.

    [​IMG]

    In 1953, back when nuclear warheads were still enormous, the Soviet Union looked to design a beefy ICBM to loft them. The R-7 Semyorka was that rocket. But they quickly discovered it was overkill.

    On October 4, 1957--a full two years before it was ever tested for its original purpose--an R-7 launched a 185-pound metallic sphere with little more than a transponder and a battery. Sputnik 1 shocked the world during the UN's International Geophysical Year.

    It was still tested as an ICBM, lobbing nuclear warheads at their northern test range on the island of Novaya Zemlya. But as warheads became smaller and lighter, by 1968 the R-7 was no longer needed as an ICBM.

    By then, what had become the Soyuz rocket was lifting a third generation of manned spacecraft. With other Soviet rockets failing the Space Race to the Moon, the Soyuz rocket became a workhorse. One that is used to this very day.

    In manned spaceflight, the Soyuz rocket has only failed twice in flight, and both times escape towers lifted the carried spacecraft to safety.

    The Soyuz-U rocket, put into service in 1973, has had 709 successful launches out of 728 tries. It is, by far, the most successful rocket ever produced, and is still used for heavy satellite launches today.

    A different variant, 2001's Soyuz-FG, is used to launch the modern Soyuz TMA and, now, Soyuz TMA-M space capsules. There is also a Soyuz 2 which is used for Geosynchronous and Molniya orbit launches. (I might explain the Molniya orbit later.)

    EDIT: I just did a little more research, and apparently today's launch was conducted from Launch Complex 31 at Baikonur Cosmodrome. That pad hasn't been used for manned launches since 1984; they have been primarily using Launch Complex 1, also known as "Gagarin's Start".

    The last mission launched there was Soyuz T-12, which sent female cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya up to the Salyut 7 space station for the second time, ultimately with the propaganda purpose of beating Kathryn Sullivan to the feat of being the first woman to conduct an EVA.
     
  19. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    United States
    [​IMG]

    SpaceX CRS-1 has become the SS Toasted Marshmallow.

    (This is perfectly normal, BTW.)

    The Dragon capsule was released from the ISS at 9:29am EDT, and splashed down at 3:22pm EDT in the Pacific west of California.

    The frozen samples that were returned in its on-board freezer were transferred to a different freezer and rushed to California. The capsule itself with the non-perishable samples and equipment is being shipped to California, and will be freighted by train to Texas.
     
  20. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
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    #20 Orlando Rays, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
    Russia will launch Progress M-17M in the overnight, 3:49am EDT from Gagarin's Start, Baikonur Cosmodrome. That's 13:49 local time.

    Russia is so good at this automated transport thing, if all goes well, it will dock with the ISS during its 4th orbit. If there are any glitches, it will abort to a nominal 2-day approach.
     
  21. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    United States
    [​IMG]

    Single-day docking for Progress M-17M (referred to in NASA sources as Progress 49; this is not official) was successful. It docked with the ISS at 9:33am EDT, toward the end of its 4th orbit.

    This is the second "single-day" docking attempted by the Russians. Progress M-16M also did this. The first manned mission to attempt this will be Soyuz TM-08M, scheduled to launch in March 2013.

    And for your viewing pleasure, here's a closer look at the SpaceX CRS-1 "SS Toasted Marshmallow".

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    Orlando City SC
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    Today, it's Atlantis's turn.

    [​IMG]

    The space shuttle is taking a roundabout route from the Vehicle Assembly Building first to KSC HQ for a ceremony, then to an under-development industrial park for public viewing, before heading to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex where it will be placed in a new display area.

    It has to take that roundabout route because of a grade-separated intersection at SR 405 and SR 3. I haven't found an exact map yet.
     
  23. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
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    Orlando City SC
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    United States
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Atlantis, veteran of 33 missions and star of two films, is home.

    I'll see you in the summer, my friend.

    (BTW: No points for who can guess which two films. No cheating by going on Wikipedia. o_O)
     
  24. guignol

    guignol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
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    France
    moonraker and... that other one.
     
  25. Orlando Rays

    Orlando Rays We're not gonna let the elevator break us down
    Staff Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Orlando
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually, no. Moonraker was not represented by any of the actual shuttles. In fact, it was filmed right before Columbia finished construction.

    And I'm referring specifically to the films Atlantis itself was in. It was completed and first launched in 1985.
     

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