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*RedBull*

A Deathstar Really?

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It would be better if NASA got funding to build the NAUTILUS-X, a real life Discovery - class exploration vehicle with an artificial gravity centrifuge.

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Furthermore The USA (as well as a lot of other countries) has ratified a convention that prohibits weapons in space.

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Furthermore The USA (as well as a lot of other countries) has ratified a convention that prohibits weapons in space.

Correction: the Outer Space Treaty and SALT II banned weapons of mass destruction (nukes, gas, bioweapos etc.), not restricted effect kinetic energy (ie rail gun, Rods From God), directed energy or conventional weapons.

Let's not forget that until 2006-2007 Soyuz crews carried the TP-82 triple-barreled combo weapon in their standard kit. Now they just carry a conventional automatic pistol.

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Thanks for enlightening me, I forgot about the details, anyway, I think it is safe to assume that a Death Star would qualify as a weapon of mass destruction ;-)

Interesting fact about the Soyuz crew, I did not know that.

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Why are the Soyuz crew armed? :huh:

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Correction: the Outer Space Treaty and SALT II banned weapons of mass destruction (nukes, gas, bioweapos etc.), not restricted effect kinetic energy (ie rail gun, Rods From God), directed energy or conventional weapons.

Let's not forget that until 2006-2007 Soyuz crews carried the TP-82 triple-barreled combo weapon in their standard kit. Now they just carry a conventional automatic pistol.

Shoot a metal rod from high enough speed from space and it is a WMD, especially if you drop several of them in the right formation, and/or choose the right type of metal

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Why are the Soyuz crew armed? :huh:

to kill some time :woot:

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Why are the Soyuz crew armed? :huh:

Soyuz lands basically in the middle of nowhere. If it lands even MORE in the middle of nowhere they could be in the wilderness and have to put up with aggressive wildlife. Would suck to come back from space only to get mauled to death by a wolf/bear/whatever they have in that region. Hence, the guns. :)

Shoot a metal rod from high enough speed from space and it is a WMD, especially if you drop several of them in the right formation, and/or choose the right type of metal

That would work if you're target doesn't have an atmosphere. As thin as ours is it does a great job of stopping even medium size (basketball to car size) objects traveling 10, 20 even 30k mph. I guess an aerodynamic object weighing a few tons would still do some heavy damage but the atmosphere would definitely diminish its effectiveness. I wanna see someone work the math on that. However, point that at something on the Moon and it's lights out though. :)

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Soyuz lands basically in the middle of nowhere. If it lands even MORE in the middle of nowhere they could be in the wilderness and have to put up with aggressive wildlife. Would suck to come back from space only to get mauled to death by a wolf/bear/whatever they have in that region. Hence, the guns. :)

Oh yeah, I forgot they land on umm... land! :p Silly me.

Time the boffins put their heads together and came up with a fully powered and controlled re-entry system (the Shuttle was kinda half assed really).

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white house response was genius!

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Oh yeah, I forgot they land on umm... land! :p Silly me.

Time the boffins put their heads together and came up with a fully powered and controlled re-entry system (the Shuttle was kinda half assed really).

SpaceX's crewed DragonRider will use propulsive landing thrusters. Initially they'll come down on parachutes and use the thrusters at 10 meters to settle down, but later they'll forego the parachutes and come down using only the thrusters.

Accuracy isn't a problem for Dragon over land or sea (asfor cargo Dragon) - all the flights so far have comedown within 1km of the recovery ship.

DragonRider will use those 8 SuperDraco thrusters (cumulative 120,000 lbs axial thrust) to do a launchpad abort (launch escape) test in December 2013, then an in-flight abort test in late Q1 2014. Crewed test flights start mid-2015.

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Yeah, I've seen those. I mean something more like we see in scifi. Powered entry (not just falling), so they can reduce speed sufficiently that re-entry heat isn't an issue, continuing on to aircraft style flight and landing (no, not "antigrav" :p )

A good few years off yet, but isn't everything until the big brains actually get to it seriously?

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A great idea but yeah, I see that being a few years off too.

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Yeah, I've seen those. I mean something more like we see in scifi. Powered entry (not just falling), so they can reduce speed sufficiently that re-entry heat isn't an issue, continuing on to aircraft style flight and landing (no, not "antigrav" :p )

A good few years off yet, but isn't everything until the big brains actually get to it seriously?

I for one think the rocket landing is way cooler, and that way you don't have to carry wings that are useless extra weight in space anyway, and as a bonus you can land on bodies that doesn't have an atmosphere, like the moon, or a different atmosphere like Mars.

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I for one think the rocket landing is way cooler, and that way you don't have to carry wings that are useless extra weight in space anyway, and as a bonus you can land on bodies that doesn't have an atmosphere, like the moon, or a different atmosphere like Mars.

Exactly, plus in an atmosphere you don't have to apply power all the way down. Atmospheric drag will decelerate the vehicle until it reaches its terminal velocity - a stable velocity that's a function of size, shape, air density, mass etc. For a Dragon this is about 250mph in free fall, so the thrusters only need to ignight a few thousand feet up, and even then they're so powerful they only need 20% throttle for a landing. As such, if one of the 8 thrusters (4 pairs) fails its partner can just throttle up to compensate. It's called redundancy.

Re-entry load: ~3 G's. There have been theme park rides that were more strenuous.

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