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Narwhal's Triumphant Return [Spaceflight & Exploration] Thread

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  • honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    There's a risk that a malfunction of the SpaceX vehicle during flight will create a huge and spectacular explosion that can break your windows and blow you away.

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  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. |She/Her| Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. |She/Her| Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    Oh, and a bit of a parking job at the ISS:

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    So, uh, why haven’t we come up with a standard docking connector that includes self-connecting umbilicals?
    Seems like that would be better than literally feeding hoses through the crew/cargo door once it’s open…

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  • honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    Might have some advantages to have them accessible without having to put on a space suit.

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    They don’t have to be external to the pressure vessel; just not in the hatch where massive equipment can accidentally squish them.

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  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. |She/Her| Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    I remember watching a live Q&A session where they (one of the prior ISS crews, I think it was Expedition 35) answered that very question.
    I can't remember exactly what it was now though, only that they had a very good reason for why they do it that way.

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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    honovere wrote: »
    There's a risk that a malfunction of the SpaceX vehicle during flight will create a huge and spectacular explosion that can break your windows and blow you away.

    "Dangerous to windows" and "dangerous to people" have a reasonable-sized gap between them if you're outdoors (assuming you're far enough from the launch site that you're allowed to have a house there at all, of course).

    Almost all the injuries at Chelyabinsk were people who were standing at or underneath windows, for instance, or who hurt themselves cleaning up afterwards.

    Zilla360
  • evilbobevilbob Registered User regular
    I remember reading something written by a guy who lived near a chemical plant or storage facility or something. Saw a very bright flash outside and went to a window to see what it was. Apparently the fireball was very beautiful. It was also the last thing he ever saw. He got to the window just in time for it to blow in and permanently blind him.

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  • Sanguinius666264Sanguinius666264 Registered User regular
    D'oh, the Starhopper launch was scrubbed at the last second, pretty well literally.

  • evilbobevilbob Registered User regular

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    edited August 27
    Is it just me or did it sound a heck of a lot like someone trying to start a 2-stroke engine when it shut down? Somewhere around 1:12 on the video.

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  • honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    edited August 28
    Zibblsnrt wrote: »
    honovere wrote: »
    There's a risk that a malfunction of the SpaceX vehicle during flight will create a huge and spectacular explosion that can break your windows and blow you away.

    "Dangerous to windows" and "dangerous to people" have a reasonable-sized gap between them if you're outdoors (assuming you're far enough from the launch site that you're allowed to have a house there at all, of course).

    Almost all the injuries at Chelyabinsk were people who were standing at or underneath windows, for instance, or who hurt themselves cleaning up afterwards.

    It was more a metaphorical blowing away

    edit:
    Can we please preemptively outlaw this?
    https://futurism.com/pepsi-orbital-billboard-night-sky

    honovere on
  • SealSeal Registered User regular
    So it looks like after the hopper lands you can see a screen door copv fly off. Overall it looks like the flight was a success though just a bit rough around the edges.

    Everyday Astronaut has the best footage of it happening in slow mo at the end of the video:

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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    I love this new space race.

    I feel like it's one of the only good things happening in the world right now.

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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    It was lighter after landing than before takeoff for reasons other than fuel use - it lost a bunch of parts on the way back down.

    Ah well, test flights where they don't learn things are boring!

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  • DacDac Registered User regular
    Zibblsnrt wrote: »
    It was lighter after landing than before takeoff for reasons other than fuel use - it lost a bunch of parts on the way back down.

    Ah well, test flights where they don't learn things are boring!

    Yeah, for sure. I'm happy that some things did go wrong. Lets them iron them out before they potentially send a full Starship prototype into rapid unplanned disassembly.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    Parts falling off might be in part because this was more mock up than prototype, with wooden frame components and such. Like the original hopper, it was landing legs, an engine, and some stuff slapped together to kinda look like something for it to pick up and put back down.

  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Kind of blurring the 'exploration' line a bit, but close enough: the sun decided to throw a snit and is going to beat up the Earth a bit in the next couple of days, meaning tomorrow and Sunday nights people at north-ish latitudes - say, Michigan or higher - have a good chance at seeing aurorae this weekend.

  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    edited August 31
    How's it projected to affect our satellites?
    I've thought about the Carrington Event now and then since I read about it...

    EDIT: Ah, only G2 ("moderate")? That's not so bad.

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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    It sounds like a pretty typical aurora event - people don't seem worried about any damage. We're just going to get the light show. (Or, knowing my luck, clouds.)

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  • KetBraKetBra FISTS OF JUSTICE! Registered User regular
    SWPC is projecting a G2 (moderate) storm.

    You'll see a variety of impacts to ground, aviation, and space infrastructure but nothing worth worrying about. The trigger of the geomagnetic activity is a solar wind stream (ie. a portion of faster moving higher density plasma). This is a different type of trigger than what caused the Carrington event, which was a massive expulsion of plasma, called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME).

    Some other informative links:

    https://twitter.com/halocme?s=17 (Halo CME, a Space physicist who often tweets about Space Weather events as they are occuring)
    http://spaceweather.com/ (A good source for general space weather information. Audience is principally aurora photographers, but includes useful links to explanations and source data)
    https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/communities/space-weather-enthusiasts (NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Centre produces a dashboard for people generally interested in space weather. Includes a swack of spacecraft measurements, forecast indices, models, etc.)

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  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    Every time they say the aurora will be visible here, nothing happens. The two times I've actually seen it have been at random chance i.e. happen to go outside at night and hey there's the aurora. I have zero confidence in their ability to predict aurora visibility. They just love putting this stuff in headlines, right along side "super moon" and "giant asteroid to pass by earth" every couple weeks.

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Every time they say the aurora will be visible here, nothing happens. The two times I've actually seen it have been at random chance i.e. happen to go outside at night and hey there's the aurora. I have zero confidence in their ability to predict aurora visibility. They just love putting this stuff in headlines, right along side "super moon" and "giant asteroid to pass by earth" every couple weeks.

    It was pretty common to see it in Michigan when I was in college near Grand rapids a....dozen...years ago

  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Every time they say the aurora will be visible here, nothing happens. The two times I've actually seen it have been at random chance i.e. happen to go outside at night and hey there's the aurora. I have zero confidence in their ability to predict aurora visibility. They just love putting this stuff in headlines, right along side "super moon" and "giant asteroid to pass by earth" every couple weeks.

    The NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center is basically the opposite of a clickbait site and has nothing to do with the fabricated events the popular press loves to crow about.

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  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    Super moons and asteroids passing Earth are not fabricated events, either.

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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    edited September 1
    Supermoons are fabricated events for all practical purposes, given it's not possible to actually see the difference between those and any other full moon unless you've got the kind of equipment to actually measure it. There's a reason we only started hearing about them all the time once the clickbait plague started in journalism in general.

    Asteroid threat articles are always hugely exaggerated, fabricated out of whole cloth, or (most often) both at once, and for the same reason.

    Both are entirely different from the NOAA saying a solar storm's hitting and aurorae of suchandsuch intensity are expected at suchandsuch latitudes. If you're still trying to claim that they're making stuff up so randombusinessclickbaitviralinsiderdotcom can get page views, I dunno what to tell you beyond "no."

    Zibblsnrt on
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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 1
    Supermoons have been vague-ified to the point of meaning less than ever. They're now a full OR new moon closest to perigee PLUS the ones directly before and after, meaning there's 3 full and 3 new supermoons every 13 lunar months. Plus the six "minmoons" being the opposite end of the same orbits (full or new moons around apogee).

    Then the media dredging every "special" full/new moon from every culture they can and looking for lineups like "new blue dragon blood harvest supermoon eclipse is once-in-a-lifetime event!" except it happens twice every hundred-odd orbits because you've datamined so many meaningless calendar alignments that there's at least a couple of them every month.

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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    Supermoons have been vague-ified to the point of meaning less than ever. They're now a full OR new moon closest to perigee PLUS the ones directly before and after, meaning there's 3 full and 3 new supermoons every 13 lunar months. Plus the six "minmoons" being the opposite end of the same orbits (full or new moons around apogee).

    Then the media dredging every "special" full/new moon from every culture they can and looking for lineups like "new blue dragon blood harvest supermoon eclipse is once-in-a-lifetime event!" except it happens twice every hundred-odd orbits because you've datamined so many meaningless calendar alignments that there's at least a couple of them every month.

    I particularly enjoyed one of the recent ones where they tried to explain whatever they were calling a particular moon because it was "the Native American term" for that one. Because, you know, the indigenous population of the Americas is such a straightforward cultural monolith and all.

    My main annoyance from that trend remains the fact that most people these days seem to genuinely believe that "blood moon" and "lunar eclipse" are two different things now. I really want to know whose fault that is.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    I'm just looking forward to when there "drag up any reference you can find" machine manages to start picking up their own, earlier articles, turning the whole thing into an ouroboros that will eventually devour the moon itself.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 3
    https://www.engadget.com/amp/2019/09/03/spacex-satellite-collision-esa/

    The US detected a potential collision risk between a Starlink satellite and a pre-existing ESA satellite, told controllers for both, SpaceX said, "Nah, we're good." The ESA was forced to maneuver theirs for safe clearance.

    Articles like the one I linked play this up a LOT more than it is. The collision risk was only 1/1000, and anything over 1/10,000 people are warned. Nobody is actually required to do anything, and civil liability for a negligent satellite collision is untested ground that so far nobody's tried to cut a path through.

    SpaceX's satellite had an automated avoidance but it wasn't triggered at any point, either because the ESA acted first or the satellites never got close enough.

    This also isn't a "normal" Starlink satellite. Currently Starlink is as three altitudes, this one is lowest and is being used to test deorbit methods, two failed at the release altitude and the rest are much higher at their operating altitude.

    So it is being blown out of proportion, however it does illustrate that there likely needs to be a set procedure and enforcement for orbital traffic control with the rapid increase in players in space.

    Edit: articles also talk like ESA should have right of way as the older satellite, since they were there first. I don't think that's the best way to determine right of way. Instead it should be based on delta-v needed and remaining delta-v capacity.

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  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    https://www.engadget.com/amp/2019/09/03/spacex-satellite-collision-esa/

    The US detected a potential collision risk between a Starlink satellite and a pre-existing ESA satellite, told controllers for both, SpaceX said, "Nah, we're good." The ESA was forced to maneuver theirs for safe clearance.

    Articles like the one I linked play this up a LOT more than it is. The collision risk was only 1/1000, and anything over 1/10,000 people are warned. Nobody is actually required to do anything, and civil liability for a negligent satellite collision is untested ground that so far nobody's tried to cut a path through.

    SpaceX's satellite had an automated avoidance but it wasn't triggered at any point, either because the ESA acted first or the satellites never got close enough.

    This also isn't a "normal" Starlink satellite. Currently Starlink is as three altitudes, this one is lowest and is being used to test deorbit methods, two failed at the release altitude and the rest are much higher at their operating altitude.

    So it is being blown out of proportion, however it does illustrate that there likely needs to be a set procedure and enforcement for orbital traffic control with the rapid increase in players in space.

    Edit: articles also talk like ESA should have right of way as the older satellite, since they were there first. I don't think that's the best way to determine right of way. Instead it should be based on delta-v needed and remaining delta-v capacity.

    Wait, so did they actually need to move their satellite, because of their own safety parameters? Or is that just the way the article is worded?

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 3
    Most government space programs share NASA's 1/10k safety margin, so if SpaceX wasn't going to act their rules basically forced them to. Civilian programs are basically unregulated and can set their own thresholds or even say "Fuck it," spray paint yolo on their satellites and see how close they can get to 1/1.

    Had the ESA also ignored warnings, things probably would have been fine, even if Starlink's automated avoidance never kicked in. Because of the potential loss from collisions (there's still problems to this day after the Iridium/Kosmos collision ten years ago, and will be for decades to come) a 1/1k risk is considered ridiculously high.

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  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Do we know how much the maneuver cost the ESA satellite in terms of lifespan?

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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    SpaceX didn't receive the notification due to a fault pager or something. Their statement is they would have been happy to coordinate, but no one called them directly to do it.

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 3
    schuss wrote: »
    SpaceX didn't receive the notification due to a fault pager or something. Their statement is they would have been happy to coordinate, but no one called them directly to do it.

    The ESA says otherwise, that they were in contact and their contact in SpaceX said they didn't plan to act. The reason, if communicated, isn't given, but there's plenty plausible ones ("being a bunch of assholes," while strictly possible, isn't really high on the list). A big one being that SpaceX isn't bound by the 1/10k standard when they're not flying a mission for a player that demands it. In particular, these satellites are scraping the bottom of the LEO barrel at 320km. There's more dead satellites on their way to fiery demise than active ones this low and even if a collision did happen, it wouldn't have cascade effects.

    Another one is that if you look at the two satellites, the responsible decision is probably to move Aeolus and not Starlink. Aeolus is a large satellite, it's one year into a three year mission and already running on its backup hardware so this isn't going to be one of those probes that adds decades to its mission. Starlink, meanwhile, is a dinky satellite with limited capabilities, and it's only that low to test deorbit/disposal plans for its constellation. It might not even have the capacity to maneuver except to complete its deorbit and waste the opportunity to monitor its orbital decay (which will help plan maintenance for the full constellation once in place).

    Hevach on
  • SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    edited September 3
    Third option is simple miscommunication. Their statement says ESA and SpaceX were in talks after an alert was issued for a 1/50000 collision chance and both parties decided no action was necessary at that time. When the chance was later increased to 1/600, SpaceX claims they didn't see the updated alert due to a bug, so it's possible they were basing their response to ESA on the outdated info.

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  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    When the ESA asked SpaceX to move the first time, chance of collision was 1 in 50,000 and SpaceX declined as it did not meet the 1 in 10,000 threshold they require to take action. Later, when the odds of collision increased to 1 in 10,000 the ESA sent an automated alert to SpaceX's on call team, but due to a system fault the message didn't get through. So the ESA went with plan B and moved their own satellite. A rep from ESA said they are not upset about it.

    Pretty much a nothingburger. People seem to be leaving out details to make the story more dramatic.

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    Sounds like the news cycle of the modern age; “don’t bother with fact checking (or even facts), get the story out before someone else does!”

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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Sounds like the news cycle of the modern age; “don’t bother with fact checking (or even facts), get the story out before someone else does!”

    Think of it this way: space exploration is international news, and that's a cherished rule of international news coverage.

    I would I know. I'm a journalist(tm).

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