UKC

To baldly go ...................

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youtube.com/watch?v=tMHhXzpwupU&

Bezos is off in just over an hour to space .

Should be a tad more exciting than the flying pickle man.

half the passengers are bald ...........

Enjoy

AP

Post edited at 12:55
 Hardonicus 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Astropath:

Is there an reason the rocket looks like a massive bellend?

In reply to Hardonicus:

> Is there an reason the rocket looks like a massive bellend?

So it can slice through the cheeks of the atmosphere elegantly and efficiently  .

:-D

In reply to Hardonicus:

> Is there an reason the rocket looks like a massive bellend?

Should have christened it Phallus 1

 LastBoyScout 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Hardonicus:

Well, it is a willy-waving contest...

 Hardonicus 20 Jul 2021
In reply to LastBoyScout:

Wow! My overarching feeling at the moment is 'that was pointless'. But then so is rock climbing I suppose...

 Pedro50 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Astropath:

Impressive technically but utterly pointless and environmentally highly questionable. 

In reply to Pedro50:

> Impressive technically but utterly pointless and environmentally highly questionable. 


I'd guess that there is a cohort of billionaires looking on with interest. I seem to remember that New Zealand was the destination of choice for when the sh*t hit the fan and the global economy collapsed. You can have your private jet on stand by and a bunker all stocked and ready to go. But if some jobsworth at immigration doesn't let you land, then you're buggered.

If the rich kids build a space station...

 PaulJepson 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Hardonicus:

They say pets often look like their owners. 

 Andy Gamisou 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Pedro50:

> Impressive technically but utterly pointless and environmentally highly questionable. 

True, but quite a buzz when you nail that redpoint project or get to the top of that "at your grade" trad route without actually dying

 wintertree 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Astropath:

Meanwhile, SpaceX just static fired their booster with 3 engines on.

With the full complement of 33 engines, it’s going to have a propellant flow rate about the same as the river Mersey through Liverpool.

Super-cavitation-fragile-tastic-except-pressure-saves-us?

 Andy Gamisou 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Astropath:

> Bezos is off in just over an hour to space .

Do you get that free with Amazon Prime?

In reply to Astropath:

You'd think that with that amount of money behind it some marketing guy would have told them that if you are going to call your capsule "RSS First Step" it's best not to use a font where capital 'R' looks like capital 'A'.

In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> if you are going to call your capsule "RSS First Step" it's best not to use a font where capital 'R' looks like capital 'A'.

I didn't notice, as I was so puzzled as to why it was shaped like a giant cock...

 Forest Dump 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Pedro50:

There's no question about it, it's environmental graffiti dresssd up as egotistical willy waving..

 Trangia 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Astropath:

I hadn't heard of Wally Funk the 82 year old woman, but having googled her found that she is an amazing woman who trained as an astronaut some 60 years ago, but never got to go on a mission when women on the program were dropped from it. She was a very experienced and respected pilot who spent a lifetime in aviation, and has finally achieved her ambition. I take my had off to her.

 Flinticus 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Astropath:

His endeavours seem irrelevant compared to SpaceX.

Though of the three billionaires, Virgin Galatic have the best designed uniform. 

SpaceX's, with the black wellies, looks like the gear you might wear cleaning stables

In reply to Hardonicus:

> Is there an reason the rocket looks like a massive bellend?

Yes, it's good practice for thrusting his little probe towards Uranus.

 Lankyman 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Astropath:

Did you know that Blue Origin is an anagram of I Lube O-ring?

 Lord_ash2000 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Astropath:

I can't believe the negativity about this on here. 

These first small steps into space by private enterprise is the very beginning of mankind becoming a spacefaring civilization, it is a moment in history. What once took the focused efforts of competing superpowers can now be done by individuals, the technological developments which they have helped bring forward and will continue to develop will help space travel for commercially viable use become a reality within the next century or probably even sooner, it's hard to overstate how massive that is for our development. 

For those moaning about the environmental impacts, try to look at the bigger picture here. A few rockets going off now, putting a globally speaking insignificant amount of pollution into the atmosphere will be the earliest incarnations of the rockets which will eventually be shipping large scale construction and mining equipment to and from space. 

Imagine a future world where we don't have to mine for any resources in the ground because it's all taken from asteroids or the moon. An earth where we don't have to have any power stations producing CO2 or nuclear reactors to decommission because the whole earth can be powered 10 times over by giant solar arrays orbiting the earth or sun?

It may be centuries away before we're at that point but this right here is the beginning of that future. 
 

Post edited at 19:54
 Forest Dump 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Carbon speaking, we dont have the cash to gamble at the moment. This is the eqviualent of using credit cards for the bookies black jack machine.

I fail to see this as a brave moment for mankind and free enterprise 

Your whole concept of human development is based on the same old narrow, linear and extractive economic model that's got us in this predicament..

The hubris is astonishing

To put it another way, its hard to overstate how massive 45c in Canada is for our survival

 bridgstarr 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

The world I imagine that requires mining of asteroids, rather digging a hole in the ground, is one where only billionaires can afford stuff that comes from a mine

 Lord_ash2000 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Forest Dump:

I could imagine you 200,000 years ago objecting to a local clan leader's invention of fire because of the harm it could cause. 

Cheap space travel is in my view not far off as significant development to our harnessing of fire. Right now we're still just making a few sparks but soon we'll open a door to a time of abundance beyond anything we could ever imagine right now, much like those cave men of old might look upon our civilization today.

Post edited at 20:41
 wintertree 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> These first small steps into space by private enterprise is the very beginning of mankind becoming a spacefaring civilization, it is a moment in history. 

In terms of Virgin's plane, that defining moment happened 18 years ago when Mike Melvill flew the Rutan special SpaceShipOne up in to space on a similar trajectory.

In terms of Blue Origin, they have rather been piqued to the post by SpaceX.  

Some of the defining moments to me were in the early 2000s when John Carmack and his team at Armadillo Aerospace showed that civilian and largely consumer level technology could handle the control problems for VTVL rocketry.  It was clear from their experiments, successes and failures that this was fully possible with sufficient budget, and SpaceX proved that beyond a doubt.

> An earth where we don't have to have any power stations producing CO2 or nuclear reactors to decommission because the whole earth can be powered 10 times over by giant solar arrays orbiting the earth or sun?  It may be centuries away before we're at that point but this right here is the beginning of that future. 

I doubt we're more than a decade away from the first pilot orbital power plant, two at the most.  Serious interest is growing for this behind the scenes, and the major missing link for such a system has long been the launch capability.  That's about to change...

 bridgstarr 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Perhaps 200000 years ago, you might be chastising that clan leader and telling him that cheap nuclear fusion was just round the corner.

We have untold riches on earth. There's sod all in space and it's bloody miles away.

 wintertree 20 Jul 2021
In reply to bridgstarr:

>  There's sod all in space and it's bloody miles away.

I'm closer to orbit than I am to London.

There's endless unbroken sunshine in orbit.

 bridgstarr 20 Jul 2021
In reply to wintertree:

I reckon getting a solar panel erected in London would be less hassle but point taken. I can't claim to know the relevative benefits of solar on earth, rather than in space

Bringing heavy resources back from asteroids seems more of a long shot.

In reply to wintertree:

> I'm closer to orbit than I am to London.There's endless unbroken sunshine in orbit.

Takes a bit more energy to get to orbit, though...

Getting the solar energy down to earth is a bit challenging. Especially considering the incident solar energy that streams down to earth all the time. Somewhere...

 wintertree 20 Jul 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> Takes a bit more energy to get to orbit, though...

Surprisingly little if you don’t use rockets. The energy difference for a person is about equivalent to 5 litres of petrol IIRC.  Once there’s a booming market in space I think the business case for a light has gun non-rocket launch system is going to come together PDQ for materials and consumables.

> Getting the solar energy down to earth is a bit challenging. Especially considering the incident solar energy that streams down to earth all the time. Somewhere...

I think the pilot beam phase conjugating phased array microwave beaming system is one of the highest TRL parts of the system.  Lots of other problems to solve…

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> These first small steps into space by private enterprise is the very beginning of mankind becoming a spacefaring civilization, it is a moment in history.

Or a return to feudal times, where ZHC serfs barely make ends meet, while their Lords and Masters get to play at being astronauts.

I'm not particularly inspired by this particular future for mankind.

In reply to Astropath:

I just think it’s bloody amazing.

A little more than 100 years ago we were still experimenting with powered flight - propellers and engines ect, and now private individuals are building rockets and spending themselves into space.

Humanity is simply amazing when they put their minds to a task. 

In reply to wintertree:

> Surprisingly little if you don’t use rockets

I don't see many operational space elevators. I've seen a lot of talk about how buckyballs are going to make it possible...

Of course, if we're talking theoretical energy, then if you're uphill from London, you should gain energy getting there...

> I think the business case for a light has gun non-rocket launch system

With the typos or dyslexia, I'm not sure if you're referring to light/focussed RF beam launchers, or HARP-style gun launchers.

One of my colleagues has a patent on an RF launch power system...

Post edited at 22:47
 wintertree 20 Jul 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> > Surprisingly little if you don’t use rockets

> I don't see many operational space elevators. I've seen a lot of talk about how buckyballs are going to make it possible...

For sure; even if we could one day build a space elevator I’m not sure it’s a good idea…  But the energetics really aren’t that bad, it’s just the - not insignificant - practicalities of chemical energy level rockets that make it so energy intensive.

> > I think the business case for a light has gun non-rocket launch system

> With the typos or dyslexia, I'm not sure if you're referring to light/focussed RF beam launchers, or HARP-style gun launchers.

That was a bad one, sorry.  A light gas gun, one of the approaches to a HARP-style system.  There’ve been some innovative designs for 99% submersible systems in the ocean to remove the need for complex support structures, with buoyancy for altitude and thrusters for azimuth control.  This way you can build a much longer barrel for lower peak accelerations.

> One of my colleagues has a patent on an RF launch power system...

I’m pretty skeptical of this approach but I’ve not done any reading on it so I should keep that skepticism to myself…. It’s certainly got elegance to it but I don’t see how it overcomes them problems with reaction mass; unless it can get it much hotter than chemical reactions…. 

In reply to wintertree:

I'm down with productive exploitation of space.

Space tourism for billionaires, or even just your common or garden millionaire, not so much. Branson defending his space tourism business model as somehow being beneficial for humanity seemed pretty desperate. At least Bezos' thing is H/O powered, so it might be generated by renewables.

In reply to wintertree:

> There’ve been some innovative designs for 99% submersible systems in the ocean

Maybe one could be built up the side of Chimborazo; only 1 degree off the equator...

Not sure setting off big explosions on the side of a stratovolcano would be a good idea, though...

 PaulJepson 20 Jul 2021
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

I'm sure a lot of the negativity stems (rightfully) from the fact that these people have enough individual wealth to solve world hunger and instead of even just paying a fair amount of tax on their fortune, or treating their employees like human beings, they instead wank millions on jetting off to space. 

Absolute cunts,  the lot of them.

In reply to Hardonicus:

> Is there an reason the rocket looks like a massive bellend?

Homage to Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me


youtube.com/watch?v=ARXqNc5DGXU&

In reply to wintertree:

> >  There's sod all in space and it's bloody miles away.

> I'm closer to orbit than I am to London.

> There's endless unbroken sunshine in orbit.

I can get to London on me bike...

In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> I just think it’s bloody amazing.

> A little more than 100 years ago we were still experimenting with powered flight - propellers and engines ect, and now private individuals are building rockets and spending themselves into space.

> Humanity is simply amazing when they put their minds to a task. 

I reckon we could destroy the whole planet in less than a hundred years, or just make living on it barely tolerable, and we can achieve that without putting our minds to anything.

In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Or we could reverse climate change in the next 100 years.

Maybe I’m a bit of an optimist (and I certainly don’t want anyone to be complacent), but we’re pretty good at tackling problems if we want to solve them.

 Crewey-Rob 21 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> ...we’re pretty good at tackling problems if we want to solve them.

Such as?

 PaulJepson 21 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

I don't think we will have a choice. Certain places will become so inhabitable to humans that there will likely be some kind of hard-reset/extinction level event that will address the imbalance. The earth will hopefully recover after that.

In reply to Crewey-Rob:

- splitting the atom

- vaccines in 6 months

- putting man on the moon

- the internet 

Loads of examples. Just think about the world 200 years ago and compare that to where we are now. Technology and innovation moves far faster than people expect.

It’s very easy to see the world through a negative lens, but if you put it in perspective and compare it to 20, 50, 100 years ago we’ve come on leaps and bounds.

 Crewey-Rob 21 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> - splitting the atom

Really?! Leading to a battery of doomsday devices

> - vaccines in 6 months

I'll grant you that one although the jury's still out as to whether the original disease is an escaped bioweapon - another frightening example of humanities innovative capabilities if so.

> - putting man on the moon

Teflon, hooray!

> - the internet 

There's another can of worms.

So apart from splitting the atom, putting man on the moon and the internet, what did innovation ever do for us?

In reply to Crewey-Rob:

Regardless of all the arguments, the Bezos rocket was far more exciting to watch than the Branson effort.

Felt more like all those Apollo launches back in the 70s.

In reply to PaulJepson:

Don't agree with you about Musk, he at least has a worthwhile end objective - make sure humanity hasn't got all its eggs in one basket (the earth).

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

>  Imagine a future world where we don't have to mine for any resources in the ground because it's all taken from asteroids or the moon.

The only reason we mine stuff is because it's cheaper than recycling it.  Precious metals and stones are only expensive due to rarity, so as soon as someone finds an abundant supply in space the price will fall through the floor and no-one will want them.

> An earth where we don't have to have any power stations producing CO2 or nuclear reactors to decommission because the whole earth can be powered 10 times over by giant solar arrays orbiting the earth or sun?

How will they deal with clouds on earth stopping them beaming their power down?

>  

 Crewey-Rob 21 Jul 2021
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

What I'm trying to say is surely an educated and considered approach to innovation would be preferable to one driven either by cold war style technology races or market economics both of which are somewhat chaotic in their style.

 Andy Hardy 21 Jul 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

I didn't think much of the colour scheme for his cocket, sorry I meant rocket. Plain white, very dull. 

 wintertree 21 Jul 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> Space tourism for billionaires, or even just your common or garden millionaire, not so much. Branson defending his space tourism business model as somehow being beneficial for humanity seemed pretty desperate. At least Bezos' thing is H/O powered, so it might be generated by renewables.

I’m happy with Axiom’s model (including SpaceX as launch provider) - their pathway to a commercial space station is sensible (wanted to say “well grounded”&hellip, has the right staff and connections, and has value to industry as well as billionaires; if they (and both sides of Hollywood) want to co-finance it, great.

BO & Virgin, not so much.  

> Not sure setting off big explosions on the side of a stratovolcano would be a good idea, though...

Adds ambience to the evil lair though.

 tjdodd 21 Jul 2021
In reply to Astropath:

> Should be a tad more exciting than the flying pickle man.

He did inspire one of the greatest characters of all time

youtube.com/watch?v=_gRnvDRFYN4&

Pickle Rick!!!!!

 wintertree 21 Jul 2021
In reply to Toerag:

> How will they deal with clouds on earth stopping them beaming their power down?

Microwaves.  Satellite TV works under clouds,  Solar power rebroadcast through segmented phased array microwave antenna, each segment independently gathers sunlight, converts it in to electricity, receives, amplifies and returns a shared pilot beam (from ground station), phase conjugating it to fail safe auto-guide the return beam and avoid much interlinked signals stuff on the orbital array.   A fully filled square array 2 km in diameter could send something like 2 GW down to a receiver on Earth 2 km in diameter.  The ground station is basically a field with a large number of simple metal antennas with integrated diode full-wave rectifiers.  Power comes out.  Multiple orbital arrays can target one ground array.  Make the orbital array 10 km in diameter and the ground array drinks to 400 m in diameter.  At this point you’re getting way more power per square meter than solar at peak, and 5x to 10x more than average as it’s never cloudy or night in space.  

In terms of signals processing and power density it’s child’s play compared to military radar.  It’s a shame more of their flight article phased arrays aren’t declassified but the SpaceX Starlink ground terminal is a civilian level example - that can track fast moving satellites through cloud with its TX beam.

The main challenges seem to be realising enough mass to orbit capability, then having that capability priced low enough, and handling the thermal losses of the wiring in space where convective cooling is not possible.  High temperature superconductor based practical cabling has come on in spades lately with the first HVDC superconducting link now on line.  Doesn’t need cryogenics in space…


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