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About SpaceChampion

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    High Minister of Space

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  1. Orphan Black 3: So, sometimes stuff just works out[SPOILERS]

    You know who'd be really useful right now? Someone with a PhD in immunology and specializing in host / parasite relationships. Delphine! I binged season one last night. It really holds up. And Delphine's importance to the current storyline was written in from the beginning.
  2. SpaceX -- Rockets, Spacecraft, and Mars

    Yes, the Dragon is too small for a comfortable interplanetary voyage, but the main problem is that it's life support only lasts for 1 week. Similar to Apollo, a separate module will have to be attached that can provide life support for the entire journey to Mars and back, that would stay in Mars orbit while Dragon descends to the surface. Musk is going to discuss his Mars plans at a conference in Mexico this September. That will include what he's previously mentioned, the BFR and BFS. The BFR is a Big Fucking Rocket, yet to be officially named. The BFS is a Big Fucking Spaceship, otherwise known as the Mars Colonial Transporter. I believe it'll be something with several Dragons docked to it, which would be used to descend the crew / passengers to the surface of Mars. The MCT is meant to carry 100 colonists! It'll be insanely big. So that's probably not going to be for the 2025 date. He's probably planning on some intermediary step that tests out what he'll need for the MCT. The BFR is probably something that will makes use of 9 Raptor methane/oxygen engines. A single Raptor is going to be used on the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy to replace the Merlin engine on the upper stages. Because of how powerful it is, it makes the upper stage recoverable, making for full reusability, and thus even cheaper to launch cargo and crew to orbit. I assume once the Raptor is tested on a Falcon 9, SpaceX will have everything needed to carry out their plans for the BFR. The announced aim to be able to land 100 tons onto Mars. I think they're aiming to launch MCT in one launch on the BFR, aside from the Dragons that would have to be launched separately on Falcons to rendezvous with it in orbit. It's an open question whether they'll build something smaller than MCT for the initial missions to Mars for 4-6 astronauts, but it's a reasonable intermediate step as a prototype for the MCT.
  3. SpaceX -- Rockets, Spacecraft, and Mars

    I'd say it's possible. If what I read is accurate a drill is going to be on board, which would drill through the Dragon thermal shielding into the regolith down to a meter or two, and bring a sample up for analysis. I assume the hull has a port they can open, but the thermal shielding does not. Also, the agreement with NASA indicates an ISRU experiment (In-Situ Resource Utilization) will be a goal. Specifically, making methane from the atmosphere from the CO2 reacted with a supply of H2 brought from Earth to make CH4. Sounds like that Red Dragon could have a small unfueled rocket on board that could be launched with the sample back to orbit, after a ISRU unit makes the methane. The Dragon itself doesn't use methane, so Red Dragon would be stuck on Mars, unless SpaceX has room to land a larger methane-based ascent stage, refuel it, and send it back to Earth. It might be a double launch -- two Falcon H's sent to Mars, one with the Red Dragon, the second with a second Dragon to rendezvous with the small return sample ascent rocket, which would capture it, fly back to Earth and land at KSC or any other landing site. Or the sample return rocket rendezvous with the 2nd Dragon in Earth orbit. That probably makes most sense.
  4. Straczynski/Wachowski Sense8 on Netflix

    That's terrible. Yes, they do film by location, and it sounds like the problems occurred at the table read in Berlin and the next location in India.
  5. Jekyll and Frankenstein must have been in the most repressed frat ever. Correct me if I'm wrong but hasn't this show's flashback episodes been rather outstanding?
  6. SpaceX -- Rockets, Spacecraft, and Mars

    Apparently April 30, 2018 +/- a few weeks is the optimal launch window, and arrival would be January 15, 2019. However, Falcon Heavy is probably overpowered for the job if the Dragon travels with little payload, so it can depart any time, it's not a supercritical date. On the other hand, I've been anticipating the 2019 landing date since the 1990s since the orbital mechanics work out as the lowest delta-V in many years. So to me it is aesthetically pleasing.
  7. SpaceX -- Rockets, Spacecraft, and Mars

    SpaceX going to Mars in 2018... SpaceX (with NASA hitching a ride for its science payload) is planning on sending a Dragon 2 capsule to Mars, same version as the one that successfully did the Pad Abort test last year. It'll be launched on a Falcon Heavy rocket, which is yet to have its first flight, though that is expected to happen later this year. The Red Dragon project is a series of missions to test propulsive landing using Dragon 2, which is the same capsule that would be used for SpaceX's plans for future cargo and human landings in support of permanent Mars base. Dragon is a launch and landing vehicle. It does not have long enough duration life support systems to get humans from Earth orbit to Mars orbit, but once in Mars orbit, it would be used for landings. Fortunately, companies like Bigelow Aerospace are developing exactly that habitat tech that could be used for both transferring to Mars orbit, and as a habitat down on Mars itself. SpaceX is funding Red Dragon itself. NASA participation is an extension of one of its existing no-exchange-of-funds agreements. Red Dragon is about 5x to 10x the mass of Curiosity, so it'll be by far the heaviest thing to land on Mars. NASA seems to be sending scientific instruments on board, in exchange for technical support and data exchange. Update: NASA's contribution specifically ie. with NASA's Deep Space Network for comms, and currently orbiting Mars spacecraft for photography and sensing. Exciting!
  8. 12 Monkeys

    It's back! Another thoroughly enjoyable episode. I forgot to mention before, but Madeleine Stowe, who played Kathryn Railly in the Gilliam movie, is guest starring in the season 2 finale. Edit: Actually she was in the season premiere too, just a voice over though.
  9. Orphan Black 3: So, sometimes stuff just works out[SPOILERS]

    "Down the Rabbit Hole" would make a better thread title.... just saying.
  10. As far as I know, there's nothing specific either way. The actress has a lead role in another show, but I doubt she couldn't really make time for a brief appearance. Given Cosima has no closer there, I really doubt Delphine is actually dead.
  11. Banshee

    Finally, Dushku.
  12. New Star Trek Series on CBS

    It's filming in Toronto this September. So maybe we'll hear casting in a few months. I wouldn't be surprised to see familiar faces from other SF shows filmed in Toronto at least as guest stars: 12 Monkeys, The Expanse, Killjoys, Dark Matter and Orphan Black.
  13. I don't know. I've been wanting to rewatch season one, so will keep my eye out for that. But wouldn't be surprised by a retcon.
  14. Agreed, strong episode. Did Mrs. S ever say why she ever took Felix in anyway? It'd be too much if he's another missing genetic experiment, but all things considered it's kind of weird S decided to foster him given she had to be able to flee with Sarah at a moment's notice.