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#3841 Josh

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 0844 AM

Regarding the Titan article- yes proponents of colonization have massively dropped the ball. The new blood clot issue is just one example of how little we know about truly long term exposure to space in general, microgravity and cosmic rays in particular. Its perfectly likely that the human body cant maintain itself with out a gravity well or shielding. It is FAR more likely that a human couldnt come to term and develop under those conditions. IMO colonization proponents are getting way ahead of themselves until basic testing proves mammals can successfully reproduce it low gravity, high radiation environments.

Additionally, cosmic rays and other time exposure related health concerns will pretty much rule out chemical rockets as viable transport methods for anywhere but the moon. NASA needs to develop nuclear engines to make anything off planet viable.
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#3842 Jeff

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 1055 AM

We've put all of our eggs into the zero G basket and next to none in artificial G engineering. We have barely scratched the surface on the problems with Zero G. Build a variable G station and see if we need a full G to stay healthy and how best to provide that or if some fraction of a G gives us the benefits needed to survive long term. If moon or Mars gravity is too little then good luck going there for any length of time.


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#3843 NickM

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 1220 PM

Europa alone may have more water than all of Earth.

 

OK; where is Europa in relation to the Moon and Mars? We gotta build on the moon and Mars before we get to Europa


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#3844 Ssnake

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 1856 PM

Well, once that you get out of the Earth's gravity well the question is mostly how long you're willing to travel.

 

Establishing a settlement on Mars may actually not be a shortcut, but a costly diversion. There's good arguments that exploring asteroids first may be both more cost efficient and get us further in terms of practical knowledge than the prestigious conquer of the Red Planet. Personally, I think that setting up a base on Moon still makes a lot more sense than most other plans. Proximity is a good reason for something that's inherently risky, and most of the lessons that we'll learn there will apply to all other settlement candidates that are airless and inside the goldilocks zone - and probably far beyond. Most of the stuff that works on the Moon will work both on Mars, and the larger asteroids, possibly also some of the Jupiter moons.

 

Jupiter and Saturn are, of course a different issue again, simply because of sheer distances, and the intense radiation in their proximity. But then again... ICE, baby.


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#3845 Burncycle360

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 1910 PM

Some really valuable information would be things like, what's the minimum amount of G forces that is acceptable for continuous long term human presence without undue adverse health effects, and when have we reached the point of diminishing returns?  Are cable based spin-gravity solutions viable, or would more rigid solutions be required, and what problems need to be solved and best practices?    What is the best method for orbital fuel transfer in microgravity?   What alternatives to chemical rockets are viable to shorten trips to Mars?   What would be the safest method to loft a nuclear reactor into orbit such that it would survive a catastrophic failure at launch without contaminating the environment?   All of these things would be incredibly valuable to establish a set of best practices for private ventures and planning purposes, and are all things NASA could have been working on, but have not been (at least in way that Apollo era and prior problems were tackled), partially because of how things work.   Congress does not simply let NASA engineers figure out the best way to achieve the goals and visions set, the WAY they do it is mandated as part of their funding.  They're micromanaging.  Every time Congress authorizes funding for NASA, the Representatives involved adds text to ensure NASA is legally required to use manufacturers or contractors in the districts the Representatives represent.  Even if NASA didn't want SLS, they don't have a choice.    NASA could do a better job explaining to the public their hands are tied because most people don't realize that's how things work behind the scenes, and it would help redirect a lot of the frustration to where it belongs.  Reform is needed, but they won't even acknowledge this process oriented rather than results oriented structure is a problem -- because internally, depending on your metric of success,  the inefficient process we see is considered nearly ideal.

Actual progress in spaceflight was never the point, mind you. 


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#3846 Ssnake

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 1921 PM

Your points are hardly debatable. Conclusion: NASA isn't the go-to organization to explore all this. Someone else will have to do it.


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#3847 Josh

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 1117 AM

There is a lot of danger involved with allowing corporations to set safety standards and goals in space. There is even more danger involved leaving it to the Chinese.
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#3848 DKTanker

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 1245 PM

There is a lot of danger involved with allowing corporations to set safety standards and goals in space. There is even more danger involved leaving it to the Chinese.

Demonstrably NASA should be the last agency assigned to setting safety standards.  All three US space fatality incidents lie directly at the feet of NASA.

  • NASA insisted on a 100% oxygen atmosphere for the Apollo program.  This directly led to the death of three astronauts due to a spark in the 100% oxygen atmosphere.  Subsequent Apollo missions had a substantial addition of nitrogen into the atmosphere to mitigate the risk of fire.
  • NASA insisted that the launch of the Challenger shuttle proceed even as private contractors stated that there well could be trouble with the booster O-rings failing to seal because of near or below freezing temperatures. As we all know it was the failure of a booster O-ring that directly led to the death of seven astronauts.
  • NASA insisted that though insulation for the external fuel tank, which had problems adhering to surfaces while under load and stress, could cause significant damage to the shuttle itself, was safe because shuttles though damaged, were returning to Earth.  As we all know, it was a falling piece of insulation from the external fuel tank that punched a hole in the left wing of Columbia, the result of which cause Columbia to break up during reentry with the death of seven astronauts.

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#3849 Yama

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 1306 PM

Well...what about the SpaceShipTwo accident then?
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#3850 DKTanker

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 1530 PM

Well...what about the SpaceShipTwo accident then?

What about it?  The co-pilot, contrary to training, flipped a switch too early?  That wasn't a foreseeable systemic problem ignored by "cooler heads" before any lives were put in danger, that was a human error in the heat of the moment.  All three of the instances I outlined were not only foreseeable, but there was previous evidence that certain danger should be expected.  NASA already had experienced problems and fires with 100% oxygen prior to Apollo 1.  Richard Feynman refused to put his name on the Challenger accident report unless he was allowed to excoriate NASA for its horrible safety culture which led directly to the Challenger disaster.  Obviously that arrogant culture did not change as evidenced by the Columbia disaster.  I think everyone in the space community, professionals and fans alike, should be grateful that NASA hasn't been in charge of manned missions in almost a decade.


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#3851 Panzermann

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 1705 PM

There is a lot of danger involved with allowing corporations to set safety standards and goals in space. There is even more danger involved leaving it to the Chinese.

 

Leave it to Boeing. A transparent and honest company with a safety record. /sarc

 

Meanwhile the chineses are going to be chinese and spread confucianism among the stars. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well...what about the SpaceShipTwo accident then?

What about it?  The co-pilot, contrary to training, flipped a switch too early?  That wasn't a foreseeable systemic problem ignored by "cooler heads" before any lives were put in danger, that was a human error in the heat of the moment.  All three of the instances I outlined were not only foreseeable, but there was previous evidence that certain danger should be expected.  NASA already had experienced problems and fires with 100% oxygen prior to Apollo 1.  Richard Feynman refused to put his name on the Challenger accident report unless he was allowed to excoriate NASA for its horrible safety culture which led directly to the Challenger disaster.  Obviously that arrogant culture did not change as evidenced by the Columbia disaster.  I think everyone in the space community, professionals and fans alike, should be grateful that NASA hasn't been in charge of manned missions in almost a decade.

 

 

to change that culture they seem to have added so much bureaucracy that it chokes NASA projects it seems. Well it keeps people's lives safe I guess.


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#3852 JasonJ

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 1858 PM

SpaceX might have the same kind of arrogant culture that NASA might have. Partly to blame on the hype built up on televised return rocket landings.

The scene of a very jubilant mission control also seems to have become something to encourage for publicity rather than just letting it happen.

NASA had terrible accidents but if people are going to go backing gun rights because apparently low ratio in total causes of death or if buggy new military aircraft are going to be somewhat excused because new aircraft have historically been buggy, then the accident death rate at NASA can't really be put on the table.

ESA seems willing to go along with China endeavors. So its either a US-led infrastructure taking the lead or China. Make your pick.

Or just give half the NASA budget to JAXA and MHI and put your bets there.

But I think all things considered, NASA is good enough. There was weak political motivation during Bush years and Obama years. But now its time to get crunching again so NASA will be able to pull through with much of the heavy lifting I think. At least this time around, NASA does have competition with SpaceX in manned space flight so loss of face in an accident would look worse if SpaceX has no such accident.
This time around the planned launch of the first SLS, the first Artemis Orion capsule launch, the first Gateway module, need to go as generally plan. Changing the whole scheme again would be a terribke shot like with Bush's moon scheme or Obama's asteroid/Mars scheme.

Edited by JasonJ, 24 November 2019 - 1909 PM.

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#3853 DB

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Posted 25 November 2019 - 1910 PM

Spacex seems to be far less sensitive to the occasional failure. This may change when they're flying manned missions.

Edited by DB, 25 November 2019 - 1911 PM.

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#3854 Ssnake

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 0235 AM

Probably only after losing the first really costly lawsuit.


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#3855 Yama

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 0527 AM

Well...what about the SpaceShipTwo accident then?

What about it?  The co-pilot, contrary to training, flipped a switch too early?  That wasn't a foreseeable systemic problem ignored by "cooler heads" before any lives were put in danger, that was a human error in the heat of the moment.  All three of the instances I outlined were not only foreseeable, but there was previous evidence that certain danger should be expected.  NASA already had experienced problems and fires with 100% oxygen prior to Apollo 1.  Richard Feynman refused to put his name on the Challenger accident report unless he was allowed to excoriate NASA for its horrible safety culture which led directly to the Challenger disaster.  Obviously that arrogant culture did not change as evidenced by the Columbia disaster.  I think everyone in the space community, professionals and fans alike, should be grateful that NASA hasn't been in charge of manned missions in almost a decade.


Well, somehow I feel that if it had been NASA craft, you would have come up with the organization providing deficient training and/or poor safety culture. As for Challenger disaster, part of the issue was Thiokol management who didn't want to appear bad with NASA review upcoming soon.
Any entity which has seemingly successful record doing what it does is in danger of becoming complacent.
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#3856 DKTanker

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 0751 AM

Well, somehow I feel that if it had been NASA craft, you would have come up with the organization providing deficient training and/or poor safety culture. As for Challenger disaster, part of the issue was Thiokol management who didn't want to appear bad with NASA review upcoming soon.

Any entity which has seemingly successful record doing what it does is in danger of becoming complacent.

If I wanted to list all the accidents I would have, I merely listed those with fatalities, lives that were lost due to governmental arrogance.  

By the way, Thiokol recommended a delay of the launch.

 

First conference call.
 

Forecasts for January 28 predicted an unusually cold morning, with temperatures close to −1 °C (30 °F), the minimum temperature permitted for launch. The Shuttle was never certified to operate in temperatures that low. The O-rings, as well as many other critical components, had no test data to support any expectation of a successful launch in such conditions.[14][15]

By mid-1985 Thiokol engineers worried that others did not share their concerns about the low temperature effects on the boosters. Engineer Bob Ebeling in October 1985 wrote a memo—titled "Help!" so others would read it—of concerns regarding low temperatures and O-rings. After the weather forecast, NASA personnel remembered Thiokol's warnings and contacted the company. When a Thiokol manager asked Ebeling about the possibility of a launch at 18 °F (−8 °C), he answered "[W]e're only qualified to 40° [40 °F or 4 °C] ... 'what business does anyone even have thinking about 18°, we're in no-man's land.'" After his team agreed that a launch risked disaster, Thiokol immediately called NASA recommending a postponement until temperatures rose in the afternoon. NASA manager Jud Lovingood responded that Thiokol could not make the recommendation without providing a safe temperature. The company prepared for a teleconference two hours later during which it would have to justify a no-launch recommendation.[14][15]

At the teleconference on the evening of January 27, Thiokol engineers and managers discussed the weather conditions with NASA managers from Kennedy Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center. Several engineers (most notably Ebeling and Roger Boisjoly) reiterated their concerns about the effect of low temperatures on the resilience of the rubber O-rings that sealed the joints of the SRBs, and recommended a launch postponement.[15] They argued that they did not have enough data to determine whether the joints would properly seal if the O-rings were colder than 54 °F (12 °C). This was an important consideration, since the SRB O-rings had been designated as a "Criticality 1" component, meaning that there was no backup if both the primary and secondary O-rings failed, and their failure could destroy the Orbiter and kill its crew.

Thiokol management initially supported its engineers' recommendation to postpone the launch, but NASA staff opposed a delay. During the conference call, Hardy told Thiokol, "I am appalled. I am appalled by your recommendation." Mulloy said, "My God, Thiokol, when do you want me to launch—next April?"[15] NASA believed that Thiokol's hastily prepared presentation's quality was too poor to support such a statement on flight safety.[14] One argument by NASA personnel contesting Thiokol's concerns was that if the primary O-ring failed, the secondary O-ring would still seal. This was unproven, and was in any case an argument that did not apply to a "Criticality 1" component. As astronaut Sally Ride stated when questioning NASA managers before the Rogers Commission, it is forbidden to rely on a backup for a "Criticality 1" component.

 

During a second conference, without Thiokol engineers on the phone, NASA pressured Thiokol management into giving their recommendation to launch.


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#3857 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 0802 AM

Mars research station outfitted by IKEA. :D

https://www.dezeen.c...ving-interiors/


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#3858 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 0353 AM

Scientist find black hole that should not exist.

https://www.wbtv.com...lky-way-galaxy/


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#3859 Panzermann

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 0533 AM

Scientist find black hole that should not exist.

https://www.wbtv.com...lky-way-galaxy/

 

I hate it when journalists write "should not exist" as if the galaxy had to conform to our faulty notions of socalled laws of nature.

 

 

(shouldn't this be in the stargazer thread?)


Edited by Panzermann, 29 November 2019 - 0535 AM.

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#3860 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 1001 AM

Probably, but its the first one that jumped to mind. Feel free to crosspost.


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