Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iy3f8vz wrote

Indeed it is! I have tracked it with a computerized mount (which can't track it on its own, so I ended up writing some code on a raspberry to control it), and just debugging and adjusting that tracking to get the correct slew rate was hard. And just doing manual focusing on the scope while it was slewing after the ISS was a pain in the ass. It's quick for sure.

Impressive pics man!


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_ixwd2ji wrote

Besides what's already been recommended in the thread, sit with him and watch Inspiration 4's documentary Countdown on Netflix. It's very well shot and edited, and it gives you a different perspective, as this are all civilians on their first trip to space.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_ixo95gu wrote

One of the many disadvantages of cities. When you get the chance, invest on going out into an area where you can actually see the sky. Go to, find the nearest. If you're old enough to do it on your own, do it. If you're not, ask your parents.

You will be amazed of how much you can see just with the naked eye, just laying on the grass and looking up.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_ixmr45e wrote

I mention this in another comment. I was answer OPs question, where he went for actual shielding, as in passive shielding. Which is basically impossible.

If you're instead going for detecting and tracking debris, and then aiming a laser at it, it's a different story. It's equally hard, and basically impossible with current technology once you take into account the size and mass of such a laser and its power requirements.

The point is that, if you can do this, then you don't need shielding. Same about the "serious objects" you talk about. If you have detected debris large enough to be detected, enough time in advance to point a laser at it, then you've detected it enough time in advance to maneuver and avoid it entirely. Shielding is precisely about smaller objects that you don't know about until they hit you.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_ixml7qe wrote

No. If you collide with it at 1m/h, then it doesn't bloody matter, that thing is almost in the same orbit as you, and it presents absolutely no threat to your spacecraft.

You care about micrometeoroids when they collide with you at any significant speed, at which point a laser can't do ANYTHING about it.

Unless we turn OP's idea on its head, and instead of trying to do something shield-like with passive lasers, we do an active system with just one laser, and some kind of tracking system that detects potential collisions, and then targets and eliminates those threats at a distance. Which is even more impossible from an energy usage perspective, and the detection and tracking would be insanely difficult.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_ixm42nf wrote

You missed my point. Lasers aren't solid walls, a powerful enough laser could destroy a particle by heating it up. That energy transfer takes TIME. More often than not, that time is relatively long, which is why we don't have goddamn laser weapons.

A micrometeroid coming in at your ship would only cross that laser for an infinitesimal fraction of a second, and therefore no significant energy transfer would occur.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_ixm18ja wrote

No. First of all, that's imaginary technology, a laser beam is highly focused light, which is the opposite of a shield, it's narrow, you can't really use it to cover a wide area.

Second, the energy requirements would be absolutely prohibitive.

Third, this particles are moving at orbital speeds, no matter how high powered your laser is, it won't be fast enough.

Finally, even if you could do it, it'd be far heavier than having shielding.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iwhynbp wrote

Not true. SpaceX put its vehicle in orbit for the first time in late 2008, they paid for it themselves, with a mass simulator. DARPA did pay for two launches earlier, neither of them was their first orbital test.

Far from "access to the launch site" being subsidized, the government not only charged them for it, but also screwed them, literally, multiple times (as expected, the government exists for the sole purpose of screwing the people over). They paid for Vandenberg, built a lot of infrastructure then, and then the military said "yeah, we weren't expecting you to actually use it, you can't launch", so SpaceX lost all of that investment and had to move in a hurry.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iwhnmha wrote

We're talking about companies that managed to reach orbit or launch their rocket without government funding. SpaceX got there without government funding or intervention. Nada, zip, zero. In fact, it was the other way around, on top of taxes, the US government was getting money from spacex, since they where charging them through the nose for the use of launch facilities. Only well after SpaceX reached orbit, did the US award some contracts. And, in that case, it's clearly never been funding, but rather contracting. The US pays for a service, SpaceX delivers it. What they get from the government is not significant to their operation.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iwhn71g wrote

>Any vehicle or payload that returns to Earth's surface, without completing at least one unpowered lap around it, is technically sub-orbital - right?

Yup. Technically, if you throw a ball, it's a suborbital flight ;)

>Personally, I think describing a vehicle or payload, or the flight thereof, in terms of "orbital" or "sub-orbital" is only really relevant if it reaches an altitude where an unpowered orbit is even possible to begin with. That would put the minimum height at around 150 km.

Sure, but that would leave out a lot of important historic flights, for instance, all of the V-2 flights, both those performed by the Nazis and the early tests after the US acquired the technology.

>But, per Wikipedia at least, it seems the Kármán line (or a similar "border of space" that's relatively close to it) is the more commonly-accepted mark.

Yes, the kármán line defines "space", but that doesn't mean sub-orbital requires going to space. In any case, it's all just semantics :)


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iwhawyg wrote

Well, not "to space", but suborbital doesn't require you to reach the kármán line. So, where do you draw the line? If you draw it at the kármán line, you leave outside a lot of actual sounding rockets being used by research institutions and the military. If you don't, you include amateurs like BPS space.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iwh9b80 wrote

Yup. First, there are way too many, as basically any sounding rocket counts as suborbital non-crewed, up to an including any amateur rocket. Also, the private line is just too hard to define, as most are companies that are doing it for the military, or with military support.

Finally, it's not super interesting. It gets interesting when it's done as a stepping stone to something else, but otherwise it's, well, just a basic sounding rocket, a tube full of solid propellant and little more.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iwgu2bw wrote

Actually private, actually to orbit, crewed: SpaceX only.

Actually private, actually to orbit, non-crewed: SpaceX, RocketLab, Astra, Firefly, VirginOrbit.

Actually private, but sub-orbital crewed: Virgin and BO.

I won't count companies like ULA, because they aren't truly private projects. That is, they were handed down most of the tech plus the money to do it by the government, and continue to be heavily subsidized, so not exactly privately funded and developed rockets.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iwdfmja wrote

Not really, think of the planet as an Aldrin cycler. If you rendezvous with the planet, you only have to accelerate ships packed tight with people and some resources. Say, travel time to the planet at its closest approach is two years, but your actual destination is ten thousand years away. Then you only need to send up enough mass to support your initial group of people for two years, instead of all resources for the full population for 10k years.

Say such a planet where to pass through the solar system at some point. You could say, say, 50 Starships with people, tools, etc, which is within our capabilities. Then those people set up base on the planet. The planet provides everything required for the multi-generational trip.

Instead, putting up a generation ship of such size and meant to last that long, is well outside of our capabilities.


Routine_Shine_1921 t1_iw92l9r wrote

The bathroom is basically a vacuum cleaner, that's how they solve that. As for jerking off, it's not allowed, but I'm 100% certain it's happened a bunch of times.

They usually don't have a lot of privacy, but there are some astronauts that have been up there for a long time, in times when the ISS was not very busy. For instance, Cassidy had the entire American side of the ISS for himself, and he was up there for a year. I don't think he made it through no-nut November.