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About SpaceChampion

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    Ahead By A Century

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  1. SpaceX--Spacecraft, rockets, and Mars II

    IAC is an expensive and technical convention. I don't know how a bunch of randos got in. that funny or die guy though probably got in as media for free.
  2. SpaceX--Spacecraft, rockets, and Mars II

    The video was abbreviated for convenience, but he said it'll actually be 3-5 launches per crew ship, to top it up with fuel & oxygen. Also additional cargo, apparently. Contrary to the originally announced 100 metric tonnes to Mars surface, this can deliver an amazing 450 Mt. However in order to do that they'll have to transfer 150 Mt of cargo from a second ship, since one can only launch 300 Mt from Earth at a time. This is vastly bigger and more capable than anticipated. Its about 4 times the thrust of the Saturn V. It also has a lot of little details that are just brilliant like the way they prevent boil off of the cryogenic propellants needed to land on Mars by hiding additional tanks inside the ones used to leave Earth orbit, where it'll be shaded from the sun. Interestingly, the upper stage/ship can be launched on its own (single stage to orbit) without the lower booster, and though not get to orbit itself except with zero payload, it could be used to hop point to point on Earth, not only for travel but allowing passengers a brief microgravity joyride. I think SpaceX just made Virgin Galactic's yet to be operational suborbital business obsolete. I imagine an SSTO ship could be kept around on a spare launch pad as a rescue ship too, for in case astronauts needed to be evacuated from a low orbit space station on short notice.
  3. SpaceX--Spacecraft, rockets, and Mars II

    Here's the recording of the live stream. They really should have screened the audience questions.
  4. SpaceX--Spacecraft, rockets, and Mars II

    Live Reddit thread
  5. SpaceX--Spacecraft, rockets, and Mars II

    The hype is definitely infectious. Anybody watching the presentation tomorrow live? Just to show how strong the Helium tanks are when they work normally, and therefore how unexpected the accident earlier this month was, here's a photo of a helium tank that survived intact when the 2nd stage of successfully launched F9 fell to earth Indonesia all the way from orbit!
  6. SpaceX--Spacecraft, rockets, and Mars II

    On Friday SpaceX announced it had traced the origin of the accident to the helium pressure system of the upper stage. Helium is used to pressurize the fuel tank as fuel is drained from it during flight, since kerosene does not self-pressurize (via evaporation). The helium pressure vessel is aluminum wrapped with a carbon fibre composite, and sits inside the liquid oxygen tank to chill it. It's speculated by people outside SpaceX with some internal sources that harmonics during the LOX fueling created a thermal stress on the carbon fibre that caused it to shatter into thousands of pieces, mixing with the oxygen, and static build up was enough to ignite it in microseconds. The likely solution seems to be replacing the He tank with a heavier all titanium sphere, or changing the way the carbon fibre is wrapped from a tape like wrap to a tight braid. The methane Raptor engine would not require helium at all, since methane does self-pressurize. Replacing the upper stage engine with a Raptor would also solve the problem, as well as offer substantial performance improvement such that flying the second stage back and landing it on a drone ship is possible. The first stage kerosene Merlin engines would still require helium, as do its landing legs. Adding landing legs to the upper stage would then reintroduce the helium issue. Speaking of the Raptor, Musk announced its first firing last night of a subscale version. SpaceX believes it can return to flight as soon as November. TOMMORROW along with the presentation of the design of the Mars rocket, Musk likely will have video of the Raptor test firing.
  7. Donald Glover's Atlanta on FX

    Hmm. Yes, cringey but not in the same way as The Office, which is mostly about people trying really hard to be what they are not and not realising how inauthentic they come across, whereas Atlanta are people struggling authentically but we cringe at what dark places that takes them.
  8. Vice Principals HBO

    I like it, just came here to comment about how it is only intended to last two seasons, for 18 episodes total. Apparently the whole thing is already filmed.
  9. Donald Glover's Atlanta on FX

    I think its cringe-humour, and its great.
  10. I think most people would consider losing Chris would be a good omen. :-) I don't think it means anything. I noticed half the main cast of The Magicians were on Aquarius this year. Doesn't mean anything other than many actors can fit more than one show in a year.
  11. SpaceX--Spacecraft, rockets, and Mars II

    In one week Musk will be giving his presentation of the MCT design and overall Mars architecture on the 27th in Mexico at the IAC, at 1:30 CDT. Click to find in your time zone. It will be streamed live, here. One notable piece of news is Musk said And seems to like Interplanetary Transport System.
  12. Just realized Four's bodyguard is Ellen Wong from Scott Pilgrim (Knives Chau).