Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Friday, March 23, 2007

  3:1 Orbital resonance with jupiter

It took a very long time for humanity to realize that the sun was the center of the solar system, not Earth, and still, even then, it's hard for most people to visualize ellipses - and even harder to visualize the effects of other objects in the solar system on each other. I look for visualizations of how orbits and various slingshots really work all the time - things like the Interplanetary superhighway are hard to explain: "What? you mean the best way to get from point A to point B is not a straight line?"

This animated image is of the 3:1 resonance that the asteroid Toutatis is in with Jupiter, but in a rotating reference frame from a Jovian perspective. (Basically: having the sun be the center of the solar system and holding the relation to Jupiter as steady as possible) Note how the varying pull of Jupiter shifts Toutatis near to Earth's orbit on 4:1 resonance. Basically every four years, hundreds of asteroids like Toutatis make a close approach to earth.

I'm going to make my usual point here, but I'm tired of rewriting it. There are multiple points on a NEO's orbit that make it easier to get to other places in the solar system - with the added benefit of having raw resources to mine and radiation protection for much of the trip.

I looked over Spacex's Falcon 9 plans and saw that they had only published payload numbers to LEO and GTO. I know that alt.space is intensely focused on merely making orbit - but I would love it if they/we could get our heads out of LEO and into L1 - or just, perhaps, a few more lunar diameters. There are a few interesting payloads that only need to get that far.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

  A new view of the big blue marble

After staging, I breathed a sigh of relief.

The edge of the earth appeared... I had tears of joy in my eyes...

The engine gimbal seemed to be moving a bit much...

and just then... the video cut out.

Update: judging from the last few frames of the video, an uncontrollable pitchover had started. Full Launch Video here.

Still - it was a very successful second flight, by any standard.

The ashes and spirit of James Doohan will ride with the next launch.

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  T-40 minutes and counting

what more can I say? Countdowns are the most boring exciting thing I know of.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

  Space scrub for today

At T-1.02 the launch was scrubbed. More news here.

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  Spacex launches at 4PM PST

am praying for a new day in the space age. The launch will be webcast.

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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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