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    There's a French TV show about that. Probably best if he doesn't, if that's anything to go by.

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      I'm getting 'Video Unavailable' for that Youtube link, TAB. What is it?

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        Billy Holiday singing "I'll be seeing you." Judging by the various other names for that piece when I was looking for it, it appears to have been used in a movie called the Notebook .

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          Heh, speaking of Musk, he seems to have calmed down a bit, after his ground breaking research in how to break as many laws as possible through twitter. The issues at tesla seem to revolve not around the Ground breaking or electric side of things, but with the much more old fashioned problems of the industry, of how to make a large number of vehicles as quickly as possible. Just the basic nuts and bolts of running a car factory. This side of things isn't really an issue over at SpaceX. It's important to remember he doesn't really run SpaceX. SpaceX is run by an extremely capable President and Chief operating officer named Gwynne Shotwell. She is the one who manages to keep all the multiple plates spinning in the air. If Tesla had someone like her in a similar position, things would be running a lot more smoothly.

          As regards doing actual things, Space X are about to launch their crew capsule up to the ISS at the end of the month, as the first phase of testing. Then in a couple of months, they're going to blow up a rocket in mid air to test its escape mechanism, and that going well they're going to be sending the first humans up by the end of the year. When that's done, they will have completed all development on their Engine, Boosters and capsules. The only thing other thing that is left is figuring out how to catch their fairings in a giant net. Those things cost $6 million for a set. Carbon Fibre is Fucking expensive as we're about to see. They're severely allergic to sea water, and though they're getting a lot closer, "nearly" is not enough.

          They recently laid off 10% of their workforce (700 workers) But that is a side effect of two things. The first is that they don't need to make quite so many rockets any more now that they can use them multiple times. But they also found themselves with a whole load of Carbon Fibre Specialists that they no longer needed because, they have given up on using carbon Fibre, which was going to be one of the most challenging aspects of building a rocket ship that can go to Mars. Carbon Fibre is really fucking awkward to work with and incredibly expensive, and what SpaceX were planning on doing would have required them learning an awful lot of new things about making large things out of Carbon Fibre.

          Instead they're going to build the thing out of Stainless steel, and instead of coating it with a heat shield, they're going to cool it by a) making it shiny which gets you a surprisingly long distance. B) there's going to be a double hull with the outer hull perforated in tiny holes, and when the time comes to enter an atmosphere, they're going to pump liquid methane into the gap between the hulls, which will absorb a lot of the heat, and evaporate through the holes taking more heat away. It may be a little bit heavier than using Carbon Fibre, but it's going to be a hell of a lot better suited to sitting around on the surface of mars for two years, and it's considerably more robust. Also instead of scraping off and spraying on a new heat shield, You will be able to repair it by spraying it in wd-40. Indeed, cleaning stainless steel space ships is exactly the thing that wd-40 was developed to do.

          The other thing is that it's about 2% of the cost per Kilo. The Figure quoted for the type of specialist alloy SpaceX are going to use is about $3 a kilo. Carbon Fibre is about $180 a kilo, and that doesn't take into account how much of the shit you wind up throwing away.(because you're essentially laboriously making a giant "cloth" of carbon fibre, cutting out your shape like a tailor, putting it on a mould, and then baking it in a high pressure oven that would be bigger than any built yet. And if you don't get it perfectly right, you have to throw the whole thing out, on top of all of the "Tailor's off-cuts" from the original giant cloth.) It's also incredibly fucking slow. On the other hand, most of the issues surrounding the use of stainless steel in rocket design were overcome in the 1940's, and someone recently solved a lot of the remaining ones. So this is a huge step forward in building this thing. It's gone from a whole list of extemely expensive imponderable engineering and material science challenges, down to "Can you build two big tanks out of stainless steel, wrap a metal hull around them, and hook up the plumbing to the engines?"

          The other big thing is that instead of developing the full power, and vacuum version of their engines, they decided to settle on a single intermediate engine, and develop those final versions later. They're already testing a full size version of that engine, and did the first test during the Superbowl, and it passed that most crucial of stages, namely, starting and shutting down without turning into a cloud of razor sharp shrapnel. They've been testing it all week for increasingly longer periods of time, and it's already above their targets needed to make the thing work In a couple of months time, they're going to put three of them in that metal ship I posted up a couple of weeks ago, and are going to practice flying it around and landing. This is definitely happening, and it's going to happen sooner rather than later. Not because we're going to Mars, but because there is a commercial demand to use it in the short to medium term.

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            SpaceX's Crew Dragon is about to reenter the atmosphere. Fingers crossed.

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              Successful splashdown!

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                Incidentally, this...
                Heh, speaking of Musk, he seems to have calmed down a bit, after his ground breaking research in how to break as many laws as possible through twitter.
                ... seems to have been spoken too soon. Since then Musk tweeted out and later had to correct an inaccurate production forecast, prompting the SEC to seek a declaration he is in contempt of court for breaching the settlement.

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                  yeah I saw that. He seemed to confuse the annualized rate they would be at at the end of the year, with the amount of cars that they would build in that time. That's the sort of slip you can get away with when you're talking about a private company and thrust metrics etc. but a public company is a very different thing altogether.

                  There was considerable consternation this week when the NASA chief administrator Jim Bridenstine, essentially stabbed the SLS and the mostly republican Congressional Shuttle coalition right in the face. It seems that one of the strongest and most durable parts of the military industrial complex is literally nothing to Donald Trump and his need for spectacle.

                  Trump is weird about space. Space Force being the prime example. It's a means for him to make cost free announcements that allow him to look like he's making america great again. NASA were in theory going to Mars under Obama, so under Trump they were going to go to the moon. (though there is a story where Trump offered NASA essentially unlimited money to put a man on Mars during the trump presidency. Now this essentially involved taking NASA's preexisting plans and adding talk of a lunar lander on top, and eventually turned into a series of missions to near the moon, Using the Huge, Incredibly expensive SLS rocket. This had the advantage of keeping Senate republicans happy. However the problem with the SLS is the problem that there's always been with the SLS. It's taking forever, and having been slated to launch in Obama's second term in office, it's not going to be ready to launch until 2021 at the earliest, and probably well after that.

                  (A quick note about SLS. When the Shuttle programme was first slated to shut down after the second explosion, the Various members of congress representing areas involved in the Shuttle Programme started to come up with the idea of keeping the show on the road, by building rockets out of shuttle parts. That way the gravy train could carry on indefinitely. George W bush had the constellation programme. which was essentially the fruit of these efforts. It was shit, it was underfunded and overly expensive at the same time, it wasn't going anywhere, so Obama cancelled it, but the idea of keeping the shuttle industry going by building a huge rocket out of Shuttle parts was immediately resurrected as the SLS, with the senate stipulating that NASA build a giant rocket out of shuttle parts, and the Orion Capsule kept chugging along, with Obama allowing it slide in return for money to SpaceX and Orbital ATK for commercial cargo, and later Commercial crew, which is the programme that gave you the Dragon 2 that was flying last week)

                  Now as always the issue with Trump is that he wants shit that makes him look like he's doing stuff, and this whole Space thing is going to ring a bit hollow if he doesn't have at least one little thing to show for it. So they desperately want the first mission to happen in June 2020. The First Mission is essentially to test the Orion Capsule ( started in 2006, current cost of development $18 Bn) to launch it up to orbit and send it on a trip around the moon and back, which will essentially be the Orion's equivalent of what SpaceX were doing with that launch up to the ISS. It was also supposed to act as the first launch of the SLS which would then allow them to declare that it was now safe and ready for humans. Indeed Trump asked if they could launch astronauts on the first launch, before being told politely that there wasn't a fucking chance in hell.

                  However since SLS isn't going to be ready in time for a glorious Trump return to space, Bridenstine (at the insistence of Pence) has said that maybe NASA could launch the Orion on one commercial launcher (the Delta IV Heavy) and maybe launch an engine and fuel on another commercial launcher (Falcon Heavy), connect them up in space, (this is called distributed launch) and send that off around the moon. And that way NASA could MAGA. This is a brick in the face of the Shuttle Coalition, and Boeing in particular. Because the whole justification for building a fucking massive rocket is that you're not going to do distributed launch, and that everything is going to be launched in one go on a huge rocket. The second problem is that it is breaking the other unspoken law that the SLS will handle everything beyond Low Earth Orbit, and the third problem is that this means that all future launches of humans will be by this method, and not on the SLS. that has cut the number of potential launches for the SLS in half right there. This comes on top of the presidents budget request suggesting that NASA would probably consider shifting the launch of the Europa clipper mission from the SLS to the Commercial launch market. That's the first two missions wiped out right there. It's kind of impressive that while they seem to be harming Boeing by trying to ignore the grounding of their 737 planes, they were simultaneously kicking Boeing so hard in the spacenuts that everyone was wincing.

                  Now there is no way on earth a democrat president could have done this, as it would have been shot down immediately just to spite him, but this is something that Trump wants, and he does not give two shits about Richard Shelby or Ted Cruz. What is alabama going to do? vote democrat? Go against el Caudillo? Are they going to expend all their political capital by having a huge row with the president over keeping crew on the SLS? or are they going to try and cling onto what's left, in the knowledge that if this works out, there's no reason why they won't be able to do every SLS launch in this fashion for a fraction of the price?

                  Now if NASA was half as keen on the SLS as the Senate is, then they might easily be able to come up with some technical reason as to why this couldn't be done, and that would be that. But NASA fucking hate the SLS but see it as part of the cost of doing business, as the moment that NASA ceases to be a means of funneling Pork, is the moment that republican senators gut it with a chainsaw. However, the political pressure will be for them to find a way of doing this, and as things stand, they happen to have a Spare Delta IV Heavy that they could use.

                  The Bizarre thing about all of this is that this is the method of going to the moon that they were going with initially, (Earth orbit Rendezvous) before they figured out a way to do it all with a single Saturn V. (Lunar orbit rendezvous) This approach is also how they were supposed to be doing things back in George W Bush's Day, which was replaced by some sort of Apollo approach for the SLS, and now we're back to Earth orbit rendezvous again. This switching or architecture is a key means of ensuring that you get to talk a lot about your administrations plans for space, and you're leaving office before you've had to spend any real money on it, and then the process can start again. The thing is that Trump is so fucking out there and crazy that he actually wants to be seen to do something, even if that involves smashing everything in his path.

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                    Space is the Place if yr Sun Ra. We're never going to do it properly, are we? So much spunked money for nothing, it's going to be nasty autocrat wanker regimes and Cosmic Disruptor East India Companies fighting proxy wars in our shitey solar system till this shitehole Terra rots completely and a few poor cunts are left stranded on even more blasted Mars.

                    i kinda Hope Musk loses the first space fought thermonuclear war over control of the asteroid belt, whatever happens.

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                      In retrospect it's not surprising, but apparently Musk didn't have a single tweet vetted after the settlement with the SEC. What the hell is the board doing?

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                        Or the GC expressly hired for that purpose, for that matter

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                          Originally posted by Lang Spoon View Post
                          Space is the Place if yr Sun Ra. We're never going to do it properly, are we? So much spunked money for nothing, it's going to be nasty autocrat wanker regimes and Cosmic Disruptor East India Companies fighting proxy wars in our shitey solar system till this shitehole Terra rots completely and a few poor cunts are left stranded on even more blasted Mars.

                          i kinda Hope Musk loses the first space fought thermonuclear war over control of the asteroid belt, whatever happens.
                          In "Neuromancer", there is a string of tax haven habitat in orbit and the grunt job of moving stuff around in orbit seems very popular with rasta types...nothing glamorous up there!

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                            It seems the GC is despairingly correcting Musk after the fact. At the end of the day, the GC can't really do anything on his own. It's up to the board to make Musk comply with the order.

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                              Press kits from the Apollo 11 mission:
                              Read all of the original Presskits created for the Apollo 11 Mission in one place.

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                                Wow. A lot there for font fetishists too.

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                                  Space is the Place if yr Sun Ra. We're never going to do it properly, are we? So much spunked money for nothing, it's going to be nasty autocrat wanker regimes and Cosmic Disruptor East India Companies fighting proxy wars in our shitey solar system till this shitehole Terra rots completely and a few poor cunts are left stranded on even more blasted Mars.

                                  i kinda Hope Musk loses the first space fought thermonuclear war over control of the asteroid belt, whatever happens.


                                  I think you might underestimate just how mind bogglingly big the Asteroid belt is, or just how far apart each asteroid is. It's in the region between a third and half a trillion kilometers from the sun, so that's a pretty big circumference, and on average each asteroid is a million km from the next one. As for everything else Governments don't spend very much on space. NASA only gets $20 bn a year, which is about 0.1% of US GDP. European Space Spending is not far off that figure in total. Governments really don't spend very much on space in the sense you're thinking of at all. There's loads of money for miltary satellites. There's loads of money to be made in communications satellites.

                                  In terms of human activity in space, we are emerging from a real low point, but But if you leave "Meatbags" out of it, there's an awful lot going on. For A start, there's people making a hell of a lot of money in space. It's mostly satellite operators, but the total value of commercial space, is about $360 Bn. SpaceX is about $2 bn of that, so they're really small fry. A good rule of thumb in the recent past was, You would pay $100 million, to launch a satellite that cost $500 million, that would make you $5-10 bn over 10 years). This whole market is about to change and grow massively.

                                  NASA does huge amounts of stuff that you don't necessarily think about. Right now there's a table sitting on mars, with a load of instruments, studying the solid core of mars with instruments of unimaginable sensitivity. We've only ever examined the core of one planet before. We are going to learn a lot about Mars, and by extension Earth. NASA does loads of planetary stuff. We've got better maps of mars than we did of earth well into the 20th century. They Took a right good look at Pluto last year, and they've examined a couple of asteroids. Right Now the probe Osiris Rex is orbiting an asteroid, mapping it, and trying to figure out where to go down to try and grab 2 kgs of the surface, and send it back. ESA and JAXA are about to start investigating Mercury in a big way. Nasa runs a bunch of space Telescopes. Hubble does the visible spectrum, the Chandra X-ray observatory is even bigger than hubble, and there's the Spitzer telescope which is an infra-red telescope that is clinging onto life, 15 years after it was supposed to die. Hubble itself is starting to break down after an extraordinarily long career. The Thing about Hubble is that it is basically a National Reconnaisance Office satellite that is pointed away from Earth. Apparently when they were constructing Hubble, Someone from the NRO turned up with two telescope mirrors that they no longer needed. They were so massive that I suspect NASA may have been overwhelmed with questions, like a) Humans can't make something like this, Is this of Elven manufacture? b) Just exactly how much did this cost and c) exactly how much money do you have, that you can just give two of these to us?

                                  Anyway, one of the mirrors is in Hubble, and the other is going to be in the WFIRST, which is basically hubble, but able to stare at 100 times as much area at the same time, in the same detail, and the James Watt Space telescope which is a actually built, but they're still testing it. It's 10 years over due, and has cost nearly $10 bn, but If you watch this you might see why. Of Course it took longer to do, and cost more than they thought it would. This is just an extraordinary thing. It's going to stare back to very near the start of the universe. God help them if it doesn't work. This video goes through the ones they want to build next. The Parker Solar probe is soon going to be flying through the corona of the sun, at 200 kms per second. There really is loads and loads of stuff happening.

                                  The thing that isn't going so well is Manned Spaceflight. The ISS, has been on the go for nearly 20 years and is really starting to show its age, but it has been extended out to 2030. We've learned huge amounts of knowledge from the ISS about living in space, and they learned huge amounts in turn from Mir, and salyut before them. They weren't up in Skylab all that long but you've got to start somewhere. There are two main problems with the ISS. There should be six people on it, but it's been down to 3 for a long time, because you could only fly Soyuz up to the space station. And the ISS requires so much maintenance,that 2 of them on average are doing maintenance, leaving only one "person equivalent" to actually do science things. That's why this dragon mission last week is important. We're really only scratching the surface of knowing how to do things in microgravity. They've made a lot of progress, but it should really be a lot faster. and if you have four people doing experiments, and two people running around with spanners, and a worried look, you'll get a lot more done.But this is going to change very quickly.

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                                    ESA about to publish images of a monster black hole.

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                                      Link to announcement stream: https://youtu.be/lnJi0Jy692w

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                                          erm, it needs some work in photoshop I think.

                                          (is photoshop still a thing or am I just showing my age?)

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                                            Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
                                            (is photoshop still a thing or am I just showing my age?)
                                            The kids are using SnapChat for that sort of thing these days, I believe.

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                                              For anyone looking to see a big rocket launch, SpaceX are dragging out the Falcon heavy tonight at about 10 pm, for anyone who wants to watch.

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                                                It's put off until tomorrow, at about midnight.

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                                                  Two questuons:

                                                  1. How big is the black hole? I've seen reports suggesting it is the size of our solar system, then others saying it is "a billion times the size of Earth" which sounds an awful lot smaller.

                                                  2. Why does the surrounding disk of stuff appear brighter on one side than the other? Is that the side pointing at us, something like that? I'd have expected the disk to be uniform in brightness?

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                                                    It's 6.5 billion times the mass of the sun. The accretion disc is about 700au across which is 10x the distance from the sun to Neptune.
                                                    They've basically used 2 different ways to describe it's size without making it properly clear.

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