I think he's asking if the shuttlecock re-entry configuration would be feasable for a craft the size and weight of the shuttle. The shuttle could take off as it does now, just the type of re-entry would be different. <br /><br />I guess the real question is, if the shuttlecock style re-entry were used, would the reduced temperature of re-entry reduce or eliminate the chance of catistrophic failure due to burning through areas where the protective coating has been compromised. <br /><br />I'm sure the shuttle is moving much faster than Spaceship One as it re-enters the atmosphere. So I have no idea of the feasability of using the same re-entry design as Spaceship One. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
Ascent<br />I guess a simplestic way of describing the SS1's flight into "space" at 63 mile altitude is to imagine you throw a ball straight up. It does get into "space", by technical definition, but it does not have enough energy to stay there or do anything. After a brief visit, it drops down back to earth. <br /><br />In comparison, the SS1 speed to "space" is Mach 3, essentially a *pop-up* at 63 mile before dropping back down. A "rocket" (technically a "launch vehicle", i.e., LV), would required a Mach 24 velocity and additional energy to "circularize" the orbit at a minimum of 115 miles altitude (~ 100 nmi), if it intendes to deliver payload to oribt. <br /><br />The ISS orbit would required even higher energy and propellants than at the 100 nMi low earth orbit (LEO). <br /><br />Reentry<br />Likewise, the SS1 reentry at a much slower velocity for a couple of reasons. First, it starts its decent at an essential zero velocity (like a ball peaked and ready to drop). Second, it's a much lighter vehicle so it would've experience a lower heating rate (if started reentry at Mach 25 like the Orbiter). Third, an novel design by Burt Rutan to "feather", using its wing/tail to slow the vehicle down thus reduce the aerodynamics heating rate. All these factors contributed to the *no needs* of putting thermal protection tiles on the SS-1 (thus reduces weight and cost). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
This is just a post ramblings and musings. I'd love to hear other peoples thoughts. I'm not well versed in quantum science so it should be interesting to hear some comments...<br /><br />What if size is infinite? Below quarks are other components and below them more and below them...<br /><br />Along the same thought what if components are infinite? Quarks are part of atoms, atoms are part of....up to the cell level, which is part of an organ, which is part of a human, which is part of a species, which is part of the planet, which is part of the solar system, and on up inifitum...<br /><br />What if time, as it relates to the age of the universe, does not exist?...or I should say multiverse. Let me expain...what if when our universe expands and expires, another universe, far, far, faaaaar away has done the same, and another yet still, and another...What if after countless gazillions of years those long dead stars begin to colide and compact. After a gajillion, gajillion years they've formed a super dense object, which explodes into stars?<br /><br />What if super advanced aliens realize the futility of sending radio signals and send light instead? Maybe they artificially create the light, or maybe they move an object in front of star and sort of, pulse it? What if some pulsars (admittantly, not all) are messages?<br /><br />
Our universe is quite interesting at a scale of 10 ^-600 meters.<br /><br />Little cities, people, black holes, cube cut poodles, everything.<br /><br />Since the physical size of our universe precludes any effective verification of my claim, you'll just have to accept my contention on faith.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
I think you answer your own question.<br /><br />What if...? Well, generally speaking, 'what if' usually makes very little difference to our lives. Imagine aliens land on the White House lawn tomorrow.<br /><br />You will still have to go to work, talk with your friends, raise your kids. Life will go on.<br /><br />Never lose sight of what is really important.
<i>“What if size is infinite? Below quarks are other components and below them more and below them…”</i><br /><br />The most elementary object in the universe is the string. According to string theory, it is impossible to measure anything smaller in scale, therefore, nothing smaller exists-at least anything that is relevant. <br /><br />
What if blue (seen from a slightly different perspective) is really orange? And what if crocodiles could write great works of literature -- would they have room in their little reptilian hearts for science fiction?<br /><br />What's with all the questions? <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#0000ff"><strong>Just tell the truth and let the chips fall...</strong></font> </div>
Democritus postulated that the universe itself was but an atom.<br /><br />My education in all things Cosmos is a lay education. But I can't get cozy with the idea of infinite regression/progression. That darn Planck limit is just plain pesky.<br /><br />I'd doubt the question will ever be answered and put forth in a nice pretty package, but I DO believe that the search will yield unexpected results that will directly affect and change "what's important".<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
What if the entire physical universe is just a construct of our imagination? A hologram if you will. Just a projection of our minds idea of what the universe SHOULD be. What if behind our heads is nothing but a maze of intertwined frequencies !
Actually, I got that idea from a book called the "Holographic Universe". It's about the research of physisist David Bohm and nuerosurgeon Carl Pribram. I didn't know it at the time but David Bohm was a pretty well know physisist during the middle of the 20 century. He worked with Schrodinger and the others who were involved in quantum theory reserch. Pribram was mainly interested in how the brain worked and recalled memory. He suggested it may work similar to a Hologram where when you look at it from different angles it produces different images. Anyway, the book starts off pretty interesting but then delves off into pshycic phnomenon and tries to explain the workings of people like Si Babba the Indian mystic who has repeatedly been shown to be a scam artist. It finishes up with UFO's and all kinds of mysterious stuff. It's an interesting read but spends to much time on the psychic stuff.<br /><br />I may have to take a look at this HP Lovecraft stuff.<br />
What if there were intelligent life forms watching us twenty-four seven? what if there were other planets just like ours? What if there was another earth just out of reach of our telescopes?<br />Do you think there are strange beings out there?<br />What if they were attacking? <br />What would you do about it?
I think "What if" says it all.<br /><br />There could be ETIs watching us 24/7. There are likely to be planets similar to earth and with our luck, probably just out of reach of our telescopes so the discovery of the millinium would have to wait that much longer.<br /><br />Do I think there are strange beings out there myself? Certainly possible and they will almost positively be strange to us. I'm actually writing and illustrating a story about these very subjects.<br /><br />I think if they were attacking, we'd know by now and as far as what could I do about it? Ever see the movie Independance Day? Nice feel good movie, even the President flies a fighter plane to take down the bad alien dudes. But if something of that technological scale ever invaded us, I don't think we could do a thing except die trying and kiss our butts bye bye.<br /><br />From a strictly scientific viewpoint, our main problem right now...we cannot prove, we do not even have evidence for any of whats been mentioned which was why I mentioned the what if saying it all. In that light...if ETIs are watching us 24/7, so far it does not matter so long as we don't know they are watching. Were close to having the capability to image extrasolar worlds and gain spectroscopic data from such worlds which would give us insights as to earthlike planets.<br /><br />The rest is speculation unless or until proven otherwise but good questions just the same because they stimulate thoughts which in turn kind of help prepare us for these possibilities. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
I believe if an ETI decided to attack us, we'd be screwed. Here's why.<br /><br />Consider technology growth. The law of accelerating returns (as described by Moore's law) shows that the computing power available for $1000 doubles every 18 months. It is, in fact, actually speeding up every year, but let's ignore that for now. Given a doubling ever year and a half, in only one hundred years we will have computers that are over 117,000,000,000,000,000,000 (117 million billion) times more powerful than today. Imagine the kinds of technology that will be available to us with that much power available to the average person for only $1000!<br /><br />Now consider space flight. It only makes sense to send a spaceship on a long journey when the time for that journey is shorter than the time it would take to design, build, and travel on the next generation (faster) spaceship. If I recall correctly, it will take the Voyager space probe over 25,000 years to reach the distance of Alpha Centauri, our closest neighbor. Clearly this would not be a good ship on which to travel, so we will wait to send actual people or robots until we have a much faster means of getting there. Therefore, I surmise that as soon as a race has the ability to travel interstellar distances at all, (let alone for conquering purposes) they will be far advanced of us in technology. If on conquering expeditions, they would need to be even more advanced.<br /><br />Consider the age of the universe. Many leading experts in the field of exobiology postulate there could be civilizations thousands, millions or even billions of years in advance of us. If an ETI were only 100 years ahead of us, they would hold huge advantages in any arena imaginable. If a conquering race a thousand years ahead of us came our way, we wouldn't stand even the slightest chance.
This topic fascinates me, I confess. To borrow one of Yevaud's recent signature lines (borrowed, in turn, from Terry Pratchett):<br /><br /><i>'For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.'</i><br /><br />As advanced and sophisticated as we like to pretend we've become, we are still animals at the mercy of our basic biological drives and programming. Sadly, I think this means aggression (not necessarily military-style aggression) is a definite possibility in contact scenarios.<br /><br />To my knowledge, the most recent thread on this topic lives here. Personally, I find the subject irresistible. This ain't just 1950's Cold War paranoia talking (at least, I don't think it is): A technological species which has risen to the top of its food-chain and has a history of winning...is a species which likes to win.
<font color="yellow">What if there were intelligent life forms watching us twenty-four seven? what if there were other planets just like ours?</font><br /><br />We don't know that "they" aren't. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> I think it's likely that there are an uncountable number of terrestrial water worlds out there in the habitable zones of stars. We've only had a dim look at a few hundred of maybe 400 billion stars in our own galaxy let alone the estimated 125 billion other galaxies.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">What if there was another earth just out of reach of our telescopes?</font><br /><br />That depends on your definition of "out of reach" and what type of observation we're making. Is it infrared? Optical? Radio?<br /><br /><font color="yellow">Do you think there are strange beings out there?</font><br /><br />I certainly don't think it's impossible. The Universe is a big place. And more importantly, it's a LOT older than we are.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">What if they were attacking?</font><br /><br />Depends on <b>why</b> they're attacking. If it's just to "make us behave", maybe we wouldn't put up such a fight. If we were a food source, I think we'd fight pretty hard.<br /><br /><font color="yellow">What would you do about it?</font><br /><br />Again, it depends on why they're attacking. But I can tell you that I won't end up on ET's dinner table. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>