gopher65 t1_j6g5kj5 wrote


gopher65 t1_j25gtju wrote

Yes, all the v1.5 and beyond Starlink have had laser links. They have enough laser capable sats in orbit now that they've been able to open up some locations that aren't within reach of base stations. As the older Starlink sats deorbit over the next few years they'll be replaced with versions with lasers as well.


gopher65 t1_j25g51m wrote

We don't know yet who will be future contenders. There are many possibilities, like Rocket Lab and Relativity. Blue is so well funded compared to most other space companies (or even divisions of big companies) that they're likely to survive in some capacity. Whether that's as an engine maker like Aerojet, a station or tug manufacturer, or a rocket company, or all of the above... we'll see.


gopher65 t1_it3xw11 wrote

People fall asleep with a lit cigarette in their mouth. It falls from their mouth, lands in an extremely unlikely way, and burns through an especially vulnerable spot. Human fat is highly flammable, so it lights on fire.

It's not a hypothesis, it's a confirmed thing that has happened. Thankfully everything has to go wrong before it happens, so it's rare.


gopher65 t1_it26yzc wrote

That's not a mystery. There is plenty of evidence that those people were smoking cigarettes when they died. They got unlucky and their body's fat caught on fire. Body fat fires are quite hot and fierce, but usually burn themselves out without much damage to the surrounding objects.


gopher65 t1_it13dx1 wrote

You need about 10 metres (not a typo) of concrete to have a reasonable chance of shielding against a GCR strike. Lead just makes the strikes worse, so you can't use it. Bulk matters as much as mass for this type of shielding.

I don't know about you, but my phone would be pretty heavy if it had a 30 foot radius sphere of concrete around it to shield it from high energy strikes.

Edit: scratch that. It would be a dome, not a sphere, because the bulk of Earth protects you from the direction of the ground. That makes this shielding much more practical.


gopher65 t1_it12ra2 wrote

High energy charged particles, mostly coming from the sun (solar cosmic rays), or very high energy particles, often the striped cores of iron atoms accelerated to within spitting distance of the speed of light, usually by neutron stars, black holes, or supernovae (galactic cosmic rays).

The highest energy GCR recorded thus far carried the same energy as a fast pitched baseball. Except it was an atomic nuclei. Imagine an atom sized baseball smashing into your ram or worse, your motherboard firmware storage. Stuff will break. Sometimes permanently.


gopher65 t1_ir3u62y wrote

Biobeds in Star Trek can perform simple surgeries by themselves (simple meaning still finer and more detailed than anything we can do today). On Star Trek they can create energy fields that feel as solid as matter. The biobeds can create such fields anywhere they want, meaning that any "simple", predefined surgery can be carried out automatically with extreme precision, often without breaking the skin.

Of course if it's a surgery that doesn't have exact, predefined instruction sets (which tends to be what happens when we the viewing audience are watching, for dramatic purposes), then it has to be carried out manually. Sometimes this is done by manually controlling the biobed (only seen a couple of times onscreen), but often the surgeons just use hand held tools with similar functionality, and just use the bed as an advanced fMRI to guide their decisions.