kmt + space   22

The False Nobility of Space Billionaires | Literary Hub
The privatization of human space flight over the past two decades is sometimes called the Billionaire Space Race. This has shifted responsibility from publicly-funded space agencies to corporations like Boeing and Lockheed Martin and private ventures owned by billionaires. As some of these billionaires are associated with the tech sector, the race is also referred to as Space 2.0. Some of their ventures are working towards launching wealthy tourists into low earth orbit, or to commercializing space transportation. All of the billionaires claim their endeavors are in the spirit of adventure and exploration on behalf of humanity. They believe their ambitions to be noble.
politics  oligarchy  argument  space 
9 days ago by kmt
Ariane chief seems frustrated with SpaceX for driving down launch costs | Ars Technica
When pressed on the price pressure that SpaceX has introduced into the launch market, Charmeau's central argument is that this has only been possible because, "SpaceX is charging the US government 100 million dollar per launch, but launches for European customers are much cheaper." Essentially, he says, launches for the US military and NASA are subsidizing SpaceX's commercial launch business.
business  space  argument  interview  capitalism  americana  reference 
27 days ago by kmt
Gpredict: Free, Real-Time Satellite Tracking and Orbit Prediction Software
Gpredict is a real-time satellite tracking and orbit prediction application. It can track an unlimited number of satellites and display their position and other data in lists, tables, maps, and polar plots (radar view). Gpredict can also predict the time of future passes for a satellite, and provide you with detailed information about each pass.

Gpredict is different from other satellite tracking programs in that it allows you to group the satellites into visualisation modules. Each of these modules can be configured independently from the others giving you unlimited flexibility concerning the look and feel of the modules. Naturally, Gpredict will also allow you to track satellites relatively to different observer locations - at the same time.

Gpredict is free software licensed under the GNU General Public License. This gives you the freedom to use and modify gpredict to suit your needs. Gpredict is available as source package as well as precompiled binaries for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows via third parties.
space  astrophysics  astronomy 
december 2017 by kmt
The Design and Engineering of Curiosity by Emily Lakdawalla |
This book describes the most complex machine ever sent to another planet: Curiosity. It is a one-ton robot with two brains, seventeen cameras, six wheels, nuclear power, and a laser beam on its head. No one human understands how all of its systems and instruments work. This essential reference to the Curiosity mission explains the engineering behind every system on the rover, from its rocket-powered jetpack to its radioisotope thermoelectric generator to its fiendishly complex sample handling system. Its lavishly illustrated text explains how all the instruments work -- its cameras, spectrometers, sample-cooking oven, and weather station -- and describes the instruments' abilities and limitations. It tells you how the systems have functioned on Mars, and how scientists and engineers have worked around problems developed on a faraway planet: holey wheels and broken focus lasers. And it explains the grueling mission operations schedule that keeps the rover working day in and day out.
space  engineering  NASA  book 
november 2017 by kmt
Visual Satellite Observer's Home Page
If you have ever star-gazed shortly after sunset or before sunrise, you have probably noticed one or two "stars" sailing gracefully across the sky. These are Earth-orbiting satellites, visible due to the reflection of the Sun's light off their surfaces toward the observer. Hundreds of satellites are visible to the unaided eye; thousands are visible using binoculars and telescopes. Observing satellites has many enthusiasts around the world.
astrophysics  science  space 
june 2017 by kmt
Hypervelocity impacts and protecting spacecraft / Space Debris / Operations / Our Activities / ESA
The consequences of meteoroid and debris impacts on spacecraft can range from small surface pits due to micrometre-size impactors and clear-hole penetrations for millimetre­-size objects, to mission-­critical damage for projectiles larger than 1 cm.

Any impact of a 10 cm catalogue object on a spacecraft or orbital stage will most likely entail a catastrophic disintegration of the target.

This destructive energy is a consequence of high impact velocities, which can reach 15 km/s for space debris and 72 km/s for meteoroids.
space  physics  engineering  read-later 
may 2017 by kmt
Mars is Hard - Casey Handmer
How to get to Earth from Mars: Solving the hard part first
Casey Handmer

Dear reader, I need you
This text is now in beta. Your comments are all I have to understand if this text is readable. Please consider clicking through to the Google doc and leaving comments by typing (ctrl+alt+m) on any aspect of the text. You can also suggest text by typing in the body, if that's less annoying. Need a diagram? An example? Math? More detail? Consideration of some new idea? It all helps! Your names are listed at the end.

Where to find this text:

© 2016 Casey Handmer
All Rights Reserved.
Illustrations are currently placeholder sketches
If you know a good artist, especially one who needs work (because people eat with $$, not ‘exposure’) feel free to put them in touch. Captions!
Dear reader, I need you
Illustrations are currently placeholder sketches
1 - Introduction
2 - Technical questions
3 - Why go to Mars? Why go now?
4 - Format
5 - Rockets
6 - Orbits
7 - Radiation
8 - Magnetic field on Mars
9 - Flying from space to the surface of Mars is really hard
10 - Flying from the surface of Mars to space is really really hard
11 - Resources
12 - Energy
13 - Growing food
14 - Communications
15 - Habs
16 - Space suits
17 - Wheeled rovers
18 - Robots
19 - Operations
20 - Asymptotic reliability, or how quickly and badly stuff breaks
21 - Planetary Protection
22 - Extended Stay and Industrialization
23 - Integrated Suggestions
24 - Final Remarks
Appendix A: Why didn’t I talk about the Moon?
Appendix B: What about cyclers?
Appendix C: Three-body orbit scoping
Appendix D: Using SpaceX’s Red Dragon to return from Mars
List of Commenters

1 - Introduction
This text is an engineering research and development road map for crewed Mars exploration. It came about as a result of
My general obsession with Mars.
My growing realization that Mars is hard. Getting to Mars, living on Mars, and, most glaringly, getting back to Earth from Mars is hard.
A wider level of curiosity amongst my tech-oriented, but not necessarily space-oriented, friends, originating in The Martian (2015) and this particularly excellent blog:
A desire to formalize the knowledge in a technical commentary of The Martian ( written with some of my friends.
My personal desire to enumerate the known knowns, the known unknowns, and poke at the unknown unknowns when it comes to flying living humans to Mars and, hopefully, back.
astrophysics  space  engineering 
october 2016 by kmt

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