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Shuttle launch this morning





Voodoocat
The shuttle Endeavour is launching this morning (May 16, 2011) at about 8:45. You can view the live feed here: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
Bluedoll
It was a step back in time and not just ‘another flight’ which made the flight special to me as an event in history! Something too, a slight feeling of sadness as it fades out of the sky and into a museum saying, ‘this is where we were and how we once bravely went.”

What is next? The space home up there does have a life span.
IceCreamTruck
I saw the launch, and everything went well up until they got into what they phrased to be "highly elliptical orbit" and the last thing I heard before I got back to completing the job I was working on was that they were smoothing the post launch orbit out so that they could dock with the space station, and the craft was traveling at 13000 miles per hour! That just blows my mind!
ocalhoun
Bluedoll wrote:

What is next? The space home up there does have a life span.


The most exciting theory I've heard about what's next is the use of modified SR-71 blackbirds instead of shuttles.

The SR-71 is already capable of flying to the upper limits of the atmosphere, and NASA owns a couple for that purpose. I've heard a rumor that they're thinking of strapping a few rocket boosters to one of them in order to enable true space flight. (Since the jet engines, no matter how advanced, still require air to function.) The plane would take off, refuel in midair, then fly to its upper limit on jet power... then it would angle upwards, and fire the rockets to achieve orbit.
The airframe is already designed for high temperatures, so reentry is not a huge challenge either.

It may require some modifications in order to have any significant payload capacity, but it does have the advantage of being more reusable and more reliable than the space shuttles... And presumably could take off and land in a wider variety of weather conditions, making launch schedules less problematic.

The coolest thing, perhaps, about this concept is how it brings space flight much closer to the sci-fi version of it, where spaceships simply take off and fly into space, and then fly back again, all as routinely as ordinary planes fly today.
menino
Wow ocalhoun, the SR-71 was a magnificent work of art, and I had always wondered why it didn't pick up. I guessed that they might have built advanced versions of it, like the stealth planes, or the yf-22 jet fighter, but I dont think the stealth plane was capable of mach speeds
I think the sr-71 had a mach speed of 3, if memory serves me right, and I do hope that they can reuse it for space flights.

Regarding the shuttle launch, is this the same launch for the search for anti-matter in the universe?
IceCreamTruck
ocalhoun wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:

What is next? The space home up there does have a life span.


The most exciting theory I've heard about what's next is the use of modified SR-71 blackbirds instead of shuttles.

The SR-71 is already capable of flying to the upper limits of the atmosphere, and NASA owns a couple for that purpose. I've heard a rumor that they're thinking of strapping a few rocket boosters to one of them in order to enable true space flight. (Since the jet engines, no matter how advanced, still require air to function.) The plane would take off, refuel in midair, then fly to its upper limit on jet power... then it would angle upwards, and fire the rockets to achieve orbit.
The airframe is already designed for high temperatures, so reentry is not a huge challenge either.

It may require some modifications in order to have any significant payload capacity, but it does have the advantage of being more reusable and more reliable than the space shuttles... And presumably could take off and land in a wider variety of weather conditions, making launch schedules less problematic.

The coolest thing, perhaps, about this concept is how it brings space flight much closer to the sci-fi version of it, where spaceships simply take off and fly into space, and then fly back again, all as routinely as ordinary planes fly today.


I feel like a kid in a candy store when reading this. The SR_71 Blackbird has the most impressive look of any aircraft, if you ask me. I think it's got great intimidation factor which just makes it look totally boss.

I remember the pilots are already on full oxygen support, and in a suit that probably wouldn't be too hard to modify. I never liked them retiring that plane, because it always felt like it was still a valuable asset to us, and couldn't imagine that mach 3 had gone out of style that fast. It's retirement made me feel old, because I no longer had a favorite plane in the skies although the f-22 Lightning is pretty sweet.

Now I get to marry two of my favorite things... my love of airplanes (specifically the SR-71), and my love of studying the Solar System, planets, and space in general. If the SR-71 starts carrying things to space how will they televise it? All their current TV stuff is based on the launch... I suppose they will have to make provision for watching the refueling, and the SR-71 firing solid boosters to get up into orbit, from cameras on the refueling aircraft.

I think the astronauts will like this a lot more too. I imagine the g-forces won't be nearly as bad. The worst part is the first 10 seconds of the launch, would be my guess, but it might also be when the liquid fuel booster ignites at a later stage... I'm not sure, but I see it getting easier on the astronauts in general.

Wow, this is a cool thought at the very least! SR-71 and FriHost forever! Smile

PS. collect sources for this. I'm not sure where to turn but i will look for info on this online!
ocalhoun
IceCreamTruck wrote:

I remember the pilots are already on full oxygen support, and in a suit that probably wouldn't be too hard to modify.

Not just oxygen support; they fly in full spacesuits already, because of the extreme high altitudes and temperatures it can achieve.
Even when they were flying for the air force, they were still using complete space suits that could withstand a hard vacuum.
Quote:
I never liked them retiring that plane, because it always felt like it was still a valuable asset to us, and couldn't imagine that mach 3 had gone out of style that fast.

Well, for one thing, it was very expensive to maintain and operate.
The decline of the Soviet Union and the rise of spy satellite technology is what made the SR-71's use as a spy plane obsolete though.
Spy satellites could do most of what the SR-71 could do, and they could do it quicker, cheaper, and keep flying 24/7... Which meant that when the budget crunch came, the SR-71 was an attractive option to cut that would save a lot of money without losing much capability.


I do agree that it was quite possibly the most awesome plane in history though...
(literally) faster than a speeding bullet...
Holds the world speed record, yet the maximum speed is still classified... every time somebody breaks the old record, the government just happens to declassify proof of the SR-71 going faster. ^.^
Was shot at thousands of times, but never hit... because the standard evasion technique was simply 'accelerate and outrun it'.
Had to be made of special heat-resistant materials, simply because of the heat from atmospheric friction...
IceCreamTruck
ocalhoun wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:

I remember the pilots are already on full oxygen support, and in a suit that probably wouldn't be too hard to modify.

Not just oxygen support; they fly in full spacesuits already, because of the extreme high altitudes and temperatures it can achieve.
Even when they were flying for the air force, they were still using complete space suits that could withstand a hard vacuum.
Quote:
I never liked them retiring that plane, because it always felt like it was still a valuable asset to us, and couldn't imagine that mach 3 had gone out of style that fast.

Well, for one thing, it was very expensive to maintain and operate.
The decline of the Soviet Union and the rise of spy satellite technology is what made the SR-71's use as a spy plane obsolete though.
Spy satellites could do most of what the SR-71 could do, and they could do it quicker, cheaper, and keep flying 24/7... Which meant that when the budget crunch came, the SR-71 was an attractive option to cut that would save a lot of money without losing much capability.


I do agree that it was quite possibly the most awesome plane in history though...
(literally) faster than a speeding bullet...
Holds the world speed record, yet the maximum speed is still classified... every time somebody breaks the old record, the government just happens to declassify proof of the SR-71 going faster. ^.^
Was shot at thousands of times, but never hit... because the standard evasion technique was simply 'accelerate and outrun it'.
Had to be made of special heat-resistant materials, simply because of the heat from atmospheric friction...


The mussel velocity of a round out of a hand gun is only around 700 miles an hour probably somewhat Dependant on the gun and ammo fired, but that's generally true. Imagine firing a hand gun at those speeds... the bullet would leave the gun before encountering air travelling backwards faster than the bullet itself is traveling forward, so the bullet would immediately come back into you as you essentially traveled past the bullet you just fired. Honestly though... we can't be out in wind like that without catching fire from the fiction. The outside of the SR-71 is home oven temperatures at cruising speed, so if you were to attempt this little experiment, then you'd be cooking while you were attempting to fire the bullet.

BTW, I don't think it's fair for the government to keep declassifying speeds only to kill the accomplishments of the private sector. If I was to build a really fast plane, and break the current listed record, then i'd still submit my work to Guinness even if the US released a speed slightly greater than that which I achieved. I wouldn't care... breaking the public record is supposed to be the goal, because that's the only bar that is visible from our position. It's not really fair for the government to keep raising the bar just above what people accomplish. Sometimes I wish it wasn't possible for the government to hide information from it's people... something about how we do that needs to be modified so we make sure the scientific community gets all the news they need up front in stead of 20 years down the road. The only way to do that is up the penalty for treason... haha! As far as I know it still carries the death penalty, but that may only apply to Marshall law situations at this point in time.
ocalhoun
IceCreamTruck wrote:

The mussel velocity of a round out of a hand gun is only around 700 miles an hour probably somewhat Dependant on the gun and ammo fired, but that's generally true.

Highly dependent upon the type of gun and ammo. Many handguns fire bullets that don't even break the sound barrier.

'Speeding bullet' is a rather vague term... It would be more specific to say that the top speed of the SR-71 is comparable to the speed of a 30.06* bullet.


*A high powered rifle round, most commonly used for hunting. It could easily be considered 'speeding' by bullet standards.
IceCreamTruck
ocalhoun wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:

The mussel velocity of a round out of a hand gun is only around 700 miles an hour probably somewhat Dependant on the gun and ammo fired, but that's generally true.

Highly dependent upon the type of gun and ammo. Many handguns fire bullets that don't even break the sound barrier.

'Speeding bullet' is a rather vague term... It would be more specific to say that the top speed of the SR-71 is comparable to the speed of a 30.06* bullet.


*A high powered rifle round, most commonly used for hunting. It could easily be considered 'speeding' by bullet standards.


Thanks for the info... I think the mussel velocity of a Glock is 700 miles an hour.
kelseymh
IceCreamTruck wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:

The mussel velocity of a round out of a hand gun is only around 700 miles an hour probably somewhat Dependant on the gun and ammo fired, but that's generally true.

Highly dependent upon the type of gun and ammo. Many handguns fire bullets that don't even break the sound barrier.

'Speeding bullet' is a rather vague term... It would be more specific to say that the top speed of the SR-71 is comparable to the speed of a 30.06* bullet.


*A high powered rifle round, most commonly used for hunting. It could easily be considered 'speeding' by bullet standards.


Thanks for the info... I think the mussel velocity of a Glock is 700 miles an hour.


I didn't know that Glock made a pistol which fired shellfish!

The muzzle velocity of the Glock 17 and 18 is 375 m/s, which corresponds to 839 mph (factor of 3600/1609).
IceCreamTruck
kelseymh wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:

The mussel velocity of a round out of a hand gun is only around 700 miles an hour probably somewhat Dependant on the gun and ammo fired, but that's generally true.

Highly dependent upon the type of gun and ammo. Many handguns fire bullets that don't even break the sound barrier.

'Speeding bullet' is a rather vague term... It would be more specific to say that the top speed of the SR-71 is comparable to the speed of a 30.06* bullet.


*A high powered rifle round, most commonly used for hunting. It could easily be considered 'speeding' by bullet standards.


Thanks for the info... I think the mussel velocity of a Glock is 700 miles an hour.


I didn't know that Glock made a pistol which fired shellfish!

The muzzle velocity of the Glock 17 and 18 is 375 m/s, which corresponds to 839 mph (factor of 3600/1609).


What you don't know can hurt you! Smile

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