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#41 Jim Martin

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 0229 AM

You know, it's rather tiresome reading about how valuable Helium 3 MAY be in the future. It's like me going back in time and telling Emperor Augustus that he'd better march the legions into the Arabian Peninsula because that viscuous black substance that bubbles out of the ground is going to be a really important source of energy. Someday. Maybe.
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#42 R011

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 0233 AM

After thinking it over, I agree and I have changed my message.

Thanks. Well said too.

Edited by R011, 22 February 2007 - 0255 AM.

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#43 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 1004 AM

Remind me again, why are we one of the few countries left that still cling to Imperial?

US Military has gone metric.
NASA is going metric.
Engineers prefer metric.
Metric is easier for conversion within the system.

Maybe the next step is we should just say F-it and go metric across the board.

- John


Take it from somebody who relates abstractions to reality all day long -- metric is a soul-destroying artificiality that should be banned as a danger to the human race. English/Standard/Imperial/whatever is based on the measure of man and things in his world. It may not be as neat and clean and divisible by 10, but neither is the real world. It makes more sense to the average person, whether or not all of the people who use metric wish to admit it.
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#44 SCFalken

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 1014 AM

Take it from somebody who relates abstractions to reality all day long -- metric is a soul-destroying artificiality that should be banned as a danger to the human race. English/Standard/Imperial/whatever is based on the measure of man and things in his world. It may not be as neat and clean and divisible by 10, but neither is the real world. It makes more sense to the average person, whether or not all of the people who use metric wish to admit it.


Well said, that man. Three Hogsheads of Bud Lite, Barkeep! I have to drive 50 furlongs to get home!

Bah! I prefer metric any day. Converting is a bitch.


Falken

Edited by SCFalken, 22 February 2007 - 1016 AM.

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#45 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 1054 AM

Well said, that man. Three Hogsheads of Bud Lite, Barkeep! I have to drive 50 furlongs to get home!

Bah! I prefer metric any day. Converting is a bitch.
Falken


Radix 10 is an inefficient philosophical abstraction.
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#46 SCFalken

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 1401 PM

http://www.itwire.co...view/9802/1066/


"Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, now a Google VP, is leading a NASA effort to create a permanent network link to Mars within the next two years. As Cerf outlined in a recent talk, the 'InterPlaNet' protocol is designed to handle the delay caused by interplanetary distances. A signal traveling between the Earth and Mars can take up to 20 minutes."


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#47 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 1418 PM

http://www.itwire.co...view/9802/1066/
Falken


...Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Houston, Texas.


Outstanding reportage...

Anywho, I'd love to see how they plan to handle request-response synchronization.
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#48 SCFalken

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 1420 PM

Anywho, I'd love to see how they plan to handle request-response synchronization.


Some kind of Token Ring setup?


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#49 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 1441 PM

Some kind of Token Ring setup?
Falken


I don't think so. If I were architecting it, my first cut would be asynchronous packet messaging. That way you don't have to wait for a handshake. You'd just send off the message and wait for a "received okay" message from the intended recipient. It would be more like email than anything else.
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#50 Jeff

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 2054 PM

Lunar dust 'may harm astronauts'
By Paul Rincon
Science reporter, BBC News, Houston

Scientists are investigating the possible threat posed to astronauts by inhaling lunar dust.
A study suggests the smallest particles in lunar dust might be toxic, if comparisons with dust inhalation cases on Earth apply.

Teams hope to carry out experiments on mice to determine whether this is the case or not.

Nasa has set up a working group to look into the matter ahead of its planned return to the Moon by 2020.

A team at the University of Tennessee (UT) in Knoxville is also looking at ways of using magnets to filter dust from the living environments of lunar bases and spacecraft.

The health effects of inhaling lunar dust have been recognised since Nasa's Apollo missions.

Astronaut Harrison H (Jack) Schmitt, the last man to step on to the Moon in Apollo 17, complained of "lunar dust hay fever" when his dirty space suit contaminated the habitation module after an energetic foray on the lunar surface.

The US space agency (Nasa) is now keen to assess the effects of more prolonged exposure and to address the problem before humans are sent back to the Moon in just over a decade.

Details of the work were presented to the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas.

'Dangerous fraction'

Nasa's Lunar Airborne Dust Toxicity Advisory Group (LADTAG), which includes medical doctors as well as scientists from UT, have been working to characterise the dust's properties.

"I've been working on lunar samples for 35 years and I have looked at fractions down to a few microns (millionths of a metre), but never anything less," said Professor Larry Taylor, director of the Planetary Geosciences Institute at Tennessee.

"The medical doctors are interested in things that are less than about three microns.

"So we did some particle size determinations and discovered that a very large portion of lunar soil is potentially dangerous, approximately 1-3% of the total soil by weight."

Most particles in lunar soil should get coughed up, or moved out of the lungs by specialised hairs called cilli. But any particles smaller than about 2.5 microns will stick in lung tissue.

When dust is deposited in the lungs, inflammation occurs. Ultimately, scar tissue called a fibroid grows around the particle. This scar tissue replaces cells which facilitate the exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide (CO2) in the lungs.

This is the process at work in the condition silicosis - an occupational hazard in mining, quarrying and foundry work - and asbestosis, which results from inhaling asbestos fibres. It also occurs in bronchitis and as a consequence of smoking.

"If you took a healthy pair of adult lungs and smeared them out, they would cover a football field," Professor Taylor told BBC News.

"Once you are down to the size of a square table's worth of surface area in your lungs that is useable; you are just about dead."

Fine particles

The team at the University of Tennessee has shown that about one percent by weight of lunar soil comprises particles less than one micron in size. A smaller - but still significant - fraction is less than 100 nanometres (billionths of a metre) in size.

They determined that most of the fine particles in lunar dust are composed of glass formed through the impact of micrometeorites on the surface of the Moon. But the glass also contains metallic iron grains, much like that in a carpenter's nail and measuring just 10-20 nanometres in size.

These grains, called "nano-phase iron", are so small that, if inhaled, some would pass directly from the lungs into the blood circulation.

Once in the blood, the iron could "de-energise" the haemoglobin molecule which carries oxygen to the body's tissues. If enough gets dissolved in the blood, it could produce effects similar to carbon monoxide poisoning.

However, exactly how much is required for this to happen remains an open question.

In addition, when some fine dust particles are examined under the microscope, they can be seen to be filled with holes - like Swiss cheese.

These vesicles give them a much larger surface area to react with the lung tissue, says Dr Yang Liu, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Tennessee.

"If you have a solid particle of dust and add vesicles, you can calculate how much the reactive surface area is increased. Sometimes you can get increases of up to a factor of five," she told BBC News.

"With jagged particles, because of the way they follow the path of the air, there's a lower chance of them impacting the sinus walls at the back of the throat - which is the body's defence mechanism for keeping particles out of the lungs," said Dr Benjamin Eimer, another postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tennessee.

Lab tests

Previous in vitro experiments with rodents found little effect from the inhalation of samples of lunar soil of average grain size. But Larry Taylor says that new experiments need to concentrate on the effects of breathing in the fine dust particles.

If they are going to do any work on the Moon, they don't want dust in the way, so there is a big effort to minimise it
Dr Benjamin Eimer,
University of Tennessee

However, the nano-phase iron could also be the key to mitigating the hazard, because it imparts magnetic properties to the dust.

Virtually all particles smaller than about 50 microns are attracted by a simple hand-held magnet.

To demonstrate, Professor Taylor brought with him a vial of lunar dust returned from the Moon in the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. Sure enough, the dust was attracted to the magnet as he moved it around the plastic container.

"I discovered that if you put lunar soil in your microwave oven, next to your tea, it will melt at 1,200C before your tea boils - which is a magical thing," he said.

This property is almost entirely due to a coupling effect between the microwaves and the nano-phase iron in the dust.

The molten dust from the microwave treatment hardens into solid glass, which has given rise to the idea that robots could be sent ahead of human missions to "pave" landing pads and roads by firing microwaves at the lunar soil.

Professor Taylor has come up with a concept for a wheeled vehicle, much like an ice-rink resurfacer, that could perform the task, and has developed a prototype microwave device that could be carried to the Moon.

Paving the Moon would prevent dust being kicked up by the manned spacecraft and vehicles which would follow to the surface, but some of the finest dust may be "levitated" electro-statically above the surface. This is relevant not only for the health of the astronauts, but also for astronomy on the Moon.

"If they are going to do any work on the Moon, they don't want dust in the way, so there is a big effort to minimise it," Dr Eimer told BBC News.

He has been working on ways to filter dust out of habitation modules and vacuum it up from the surface with devices that use magnets to attract the lunar soil and dust.

One concept, called the Lunar Air Filter with a Permanent Magnet System (LAF-PMS), consists of many permanent magnets placed with their magnetic poles very close, creating a large field gradient that attracts lunar dust particles from the air.

In order to clean the filters out, small blocks of iron are moved into the gaps between the magnets to close off the magnetic fields. With the filter turned off, the dust can be wiped away.

Another concept, called the Lunar Soil Magnetic Collector (LSMAC), comprises a series of wound magnetic coils arranged along a tube that could be turned on in sequence to effectively "suck up" lunar dust, giving the impression of the leaf-gathering machine used here on Earth.

"We will want to collect the soil to extract oxygen and hydrogen and perhaps to use for building materials. So we will have to collect massive amounts of lunar regolith. Our idea was to make something that could gather up the soil without creating a large dust cloud," said Dr Eimer.

http://news.bbc.co.u...ure/6460089.stm
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#51 irregularmedic

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 0251 AM

I'm surprised no one caught this one:

"Robots might install rocket engines to send dead spacecraft careering back into the atmosphere, or ground-based lasers might be used to zap debris."

Ummm, the laaaaazer is gonna fire through ALL the atmosphere and still pack enough oomph to destroy orbital debris? :blink:
Well, there's your 'big fucking thing' right there! Besides being HUGE and a black hole in the budget, we'd have to brown out the entire nation to fire it! :lol:
There are so many more plausible ways to to get rid of space debris than ground based lasers...
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#52 BP

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 1054 AM

Doesn't have much to do with NASA G2, but we went on the Kennedy Space Center tour last weekend. Just seeing that Apollo V up close in its stand in the exhibit hall was tremendously inspiring. I mean massive, technologically important and visually impressive. And tremedously dissappointing as well, as we haven't done so inspiring in the past 30 odd years.

Oh, as a tanker I also dug the crawler vehicle as well. ;)
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#53 Jeff

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 1313 PM

Oh, as a tanker I also dug the crawler vehicle as well. ;)

Mount Dora on the crawler and you'd have one heck of a tank. :P
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#54 BP

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 1355 PM

Mount Dora on the crawler and you'd have one heck of a tank. :P


I like the way you think, pardner.


Who wants to go Godzilla hunting?
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#55 Ivanhoe

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 1826 PM

Do you tankers have the patience for a machine that tops out at 1-2 mph?
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#56 Harold Jones

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 2051 PM

Mount Dora on the crawler and you'd have one heck of a tank. :P



And we could name it Bun Bun.
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#57 BP

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 1115 AM

Do you tankers have the patience for a machine that tops out at 1-2 mph?


Listen, the average MBT can run over a small third world house/hut. Bun Bun can run over a small first world town. Tradeoffs can be made. . . :)
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#58 Jeff

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 1210 PM

Speed is unimportant when the outcome is inevitable, in fact it can enhance the terror effect in your enemy. ;)
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#59 Jim Martin

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 1932 PM

HOUSTON -- In labs at Johnson Space Center, away from the buzz about NASA's new spaceship and its new missions to the moon and Mars, a group of engineers are plodding away at another piece of the puzzle: spacesuits.


http://www.redorbit....uits/index.html
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#60 Corinthian

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 2019 PM

And we could name it Bun Bun.


ROTFLOL! :lol:

http://www.illumatie...uns/viewer.html
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