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2 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

Cost aside (and I know it to be astronomical...no pun intended), what are the inevitable consequences of pulling frozen water from our solar system down to Earth in order to mitigate freshwater shortages?

probably cheaper and safer to build a nuclear power plant near the nearest ocean near the water problem to run a desalinination plant and pipe the water in

 

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Drone ship video feeds usually cut out at landing due to excessive vibration.  It's super annoying.

 

The core has been lost; apparently only one of the three engines that was supposed to light for the landing burn lit.  As a result the core stage hit the water at 300 mph and was destroyed, close enough to Of Course I Still Love You to take out two of its engines.  Can't wait for the blooper reel for that one.

 

Obviously I watched the livestream.  I was struck by two things--FH is frickin' enormous, and the exhaust plume as it goes up looks just like the Apollo one. 

 

Lastly, the fourth electric car ever to be launched into space is on its way to the asteroid belt.

 

qmumyy5iuoe01.jpg

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45 minutes ago, Tom Cowan said:

 

34 minutes ago, Old Man said:

Technically we also landed three electric self-driving vehicles on Mars.

Thanks for reminding me. I had a discussion on another Forum about it being "irresponsible ecological danger" to send a Electric Car along.

Especially the RTG in Curiosity really puts it into perspective :)

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 11:23 AM, Old Man said:

 

Obviously I watched the livestream.  I was struck by two things--FH is frickin' enormous, and the exhaust plume as it goes up looks just like the Apollo one. 

The Jan. 20, 2018 issue of The Economist has a nice little article on the contest to build bigger rockets. Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket now in operation; but the Saturn V still holds the record by a large margin.

 

NASA, Russia and China all have plans to build rockets whose lift capacity will equal or slightly exceed the Saturn V, but they aren't projected to be complete before 2028 or so. By that time, however, SpaceX promises to launch the BFR (yes, it stands for "Big F***ing Rocket" -- I quote), which will launch 250 tons into orbit and thus be far more powerful than the Saturn V or any of the government-built successors. SpaceX's forecast date of 2022 can be expected to slip... but SpaceX has shown it can Do What It Promises, if not always as quickly.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Also, the February issue of Scientific American has a nice article about Low Surface Brightness galaxies. There seem to be a lot of them. We haven't seen them before because, well, Low Surface Brightness -- enough that it's really hard to see them through the glare of our surrounding Milky Way. It's sort of like being in a lit room, trying to look out a window at the night outside.

 

The astronomer who first postulated them got the idea while observing a huge, super-luminous galaxy. He whimsically wondered if some alien astronomer might be looking back at the Milky Way -- then realized that astronomers in that galaxy wouldn't see *anything* of the outside universe. Their own galaxy is too bright. Which blows my mind. A galaxy is a very big place (especially this one) -- but still, the inhabitants might never know there's anything beyond.

 

EDIT: Until they discover gravitational waves. Then they will know about a wider universe of colliding black holes and neutron stars. From neutron stars, they might infer the existence of other galaxies... but still might never know their form. Neutrinos might also give some clues to the wider universe, but I'm not sure what. Would they even be able to detect the cosmic microwave background through the electromagnetic glare of their own galaxy?

 

Even stranger, there are at least two different types of dim galaxy. One sort has lots of gas and few stars, but the overall light curve is quite bluish. These may be "late bloomer" galaxies in which star formation was somehow impeded. The other sort has very little gas and the stars are more red; likely old. They aren't just tiny dwarf galaxies, either: The first of these dim, diffuse galaxies discovered, Malin 1, has 7 times the diameter and 50 times the mass of the Milky Way.

 

Both sorts violate current theories of galaxy formation and development. And they aren't flukes: Hundreds have been found already. All evidence suggests there are many, many more -- perhaps as many as the brighter galaxies already known.

 

Dean Shomshak

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I think even in a giant elliptical, you'd still detect gamma-ray bursts via their radiation, once you had those detectors in space.

 

I'd have to push numbers around for the optical, e.g., whether an observer in M87 would notice M86; those are only separated by 12 times their diameter in the plane of the sky (I don't know that the distances to them are known well enough to tell if there's appreciable line of sight separation between them).  If the stars are so closely packed that seeing out of them is hard, then I'm not sure planetary systems are stable for long enough to develop astronomers, if you see what I mean.  And what the black hole in the center does during its AGN episodes ... you would have to notice that, ... assuming you survived ....

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5 hours ago, Old Man said:

The most amazing thing is that Musk isn't charging $599M for Falcon Heavy when Delta IV Heavy launches cost $600M.

As the article mentioned, the Delta IV has prooven a much higher reliability. If the price difference was that small, they would pick the Delta IV 95% of the time.

But yes, the pricing is oddly low profit. But taht might just be him trying to make a Monopol by driving teh competition out of the market.

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