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Old 06-23-2017, 07:36 PM #513
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

SpaceX has done it again!

Second successful launch and landing of a flight proven booster.

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/878332861668929537


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Old 06-23-2017, 08:37 PM #514
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

Since I've expressed a desire to join this conversation, being that there were no objections posted I will proceed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitusEquitas View Post
Personally I'd be a lot more excited about an actual moon base as opposed to a manned mission to Mars.
We will not establish a Moon Base. For more on the reasons why this will not happen anytime soon, please see my post here:
Lasers prove we've been to the moon !

Also, I'm very happy to see you that you also posted:
Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitusEquitas View Post
With quantum communications making headway, a best case scenario I can imagine, hopefully within our lifetimes, is to send out probes that we can communicate with instantaneously, and depending on the amount of data that it is possible to transmit, might even be possible to have a virtual robotic presence in space, without needing to deal with the myriad issues travel would present.
The potential of Quantum Communications, is extremely exciting!

And that recent addition to this conversation, is what picqued my desire to join this conversation presently. Also, the general discussion about communications upgrades, is really one of the primary reasons why I signed onto LPF, to begin with.

Lets talk about some 'old news' first. Specifically the OPALS, mission.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPALS

After cruising around the 'net looking to engage other folks on this subject, I took a flyer to check out LPF, in the hopes that there would be some in-depth deets and speculations as to the enormity of this accomplishment.
But alas, even after performing a search for discussions on this topic, which I would have imagined to be the 'talk of the town' especially on a site dedicated to all things Laser, I was disappointed to discover the apparent lack of interest/discussion on this amazing Laser based technology.

That is really the main reason why I would like to join this conversation: to encourage and engage in more discussion about the OPALS, technology.

The fact that we were able to achieve the linkage, utilizing such a low powered 2.5w Laser was a real eye opener, and one that still astounds me to this day.

The OPALS, technology combined with the emerging Quantum Comm. Tech- is really going to revolutionize not only our continuing efforts towards exploring the cosmos, but also be applicable to upgrading our entire existing terrestrial communications network as well.

The upgrades that just these two emerging technological advancements in our communications abilities portend, combined with the Re-Usable heavy lift vehicles as just mentioned by @daichi, will usher in a very rapid and utterly astounding new chapter in Mankind's presence in Space.

The secondary topic that I alluded to perhaps meshing well. Would be perhaps the discussion of the feasibility of a space based Laser platform, to be developed to help clean up the enormous amount of space junk orbiting the planet. I wonder if such a platform would be able to target even the smallest piece of space debris, and with the application of Laser energy, be able to de-orbit the space junk to either burn up during re-entry or to vector the de-orbiting of larger obsolete satellites etc; towards a desolate area of landmass rather than the Ocean, due to various reasons.

What say you LPF?
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:18 AM #515
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

I say it's not that feasible to do.

If you launch any kind of laser system to clear up space debris, there are only a few things you can do with that:

You can, through photon pressure, cause things to fall back to earth eventually, burning them up upon re-entry. Alternatively you can push them into larger orbits, beyond geostatinoray, so they don't bother us much.

You could also obliterate items in orbit, breaking them in much smaller pieces. This may help to get LEO orbit pieces to fall down sooner than otherwise, but also increases the number of items to be tracked.

Mostly this would apply to geostationary orbit sats though, and they must be in pretty narrow otbit to fiunction. There are precautions already in place. At the end of life a sat is pushed into a'graveyard' orbit using what little fuel is left.

This is in most cases effective, but there always be ones that just fail in an unexpected mode. Current reality is we can do nothibg about that. In the near futue we can push failed sats ou t thougn, or back in, regarding of the preferrred method of discarding
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:44 AM #516
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

Well @Benm, there has been ongoing discussions about a space based laser platform to de-orbit space junk since the mid 1990's. A quick google search will turn up many hits discussing the use of space based, and also land based laser platforms to clean up the space junk. At present, we do in fact have the technologies to accomplish this already. However, the sticking point seems to be the obvious offensive potential that such a system could be used for. I feel that if this could somehow be implemented to be a joint venture among the major space faring players, it would happen sooner rather than later.

It is feasible technologically, but how feasible is it geo-politically?

That is really the question that I would like to see addressed.
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Old 06-24-2017, 04:10 AM #517
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

This reminds me of Sky Lab. Anyone remember that thing's obit decaying and falling back to earth. It didn't burn up on reentry, but came down in pieces that hit mostly in Australia. Fortunately not in population centers.
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:41 PM #518
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

Yes, I remember the Skylab, event.
I also recall the 'chicken little' the sky is falling, sentiment that interviews with people in the street revealed.

Those space stations from Skylab, to Mir, and the impending demise of the Tiangong-1 and now the ISS and the Tiangong-2 They all shared one common dirty little secret. They were, and continue to be- filthy little hostels floating in space. Just do a quick google, to reveal the sort of icky poo-poo, living conditions that all these space stations have in common. The Soviets, were even tossing their bags of trash and garbage out through the airlock and into orbit when the Mir, was operational.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens when Tiangong-1 de-orbits soon.
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Old 06-24-2017, 09:18 PM #519
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

Can't wait for the inevitable hysteria that will accompany the next space crap to fall from the sky. If anyone ever did get hit, I don't see where they could get compensation for their loss.
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Old 06-25-2017, 01:57 AM #520
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

They would get it from the owner of whatever fell from the sky onto them causing damage. If Tiangong-1 from some reason de-orbits but comes down in large pieces, and one of those went through your car, you would have to claim the damage from the chinese state, or the entity that runs their space programme (i'm not sure about how that is incorporated in china).

Basically if you launch something into orbit and it falls down causing damage you are responsible for that damage, similarly to you flinging off a brick in some random direction busting someones window on the way back down.

A more interesting case would be a collission in orbit: are there any traffic rules on that?

Lets say you launched some space operation to put a sat in geostat orbit, first putting in in LEO and then manouvering it up to GEO. What if for some reason that operation collided with a weather sat or something similar?

I reckon you'd be liable if you could have reasonably known where the other sat was, but if it was some spy sat where no information is made public about its position, how could you know, and prevent it?

I suppose the rule is that you are liable for damage if you could have reasonably known something was in your way (like the iss which orbital location is public knowledge), but possibly not when you had no idea something was in your way (like a spy sat).

And it the latter case, the operator of the spy sat could be liable for your damages too - they flew something in orbit you could by no means foresee colliding with as they kept it's location/orbit or even existance secret on purpose. That'll be an interesting day in court for sure, though we'd have to decide jurisdiction before it ever came to a trial
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:32 AM #521
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

That sounds good if the people doing the launching is a private organization, but governments are often exempt from civil suits. It happens all the time. What court would you try to sue the Chinese government in? And if you got a judgement, where would you get the settlement from?
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Old 06-28-2017, 05:21 PM #522
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul1598419 View Post
This reminds me of Sky Lab. Anyone remember that thing's obit decaying and falling back to earth. It didn't burn up on reentry, but came down in pieces that hit mostly in Australia. Fortunately not in population centers.
I wish I was around to recover some of the debris. That'd be insanely cool.
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Old 06-28-2017, 05:41 PM #523
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

Who knows? There may be some fragments out there yet to be found. I know they had a tract of the debris field, so I would start there.
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:00 PM #524
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

Kind of a shame that space exploration has been dead for like EVER now, I mean the only thing we're really doing is flying back and forth to the ISS, surveying distant worlds and doing Mars exploration. We really need to get our act in gear and start getting serious about setting E.T bases and learning about our environment.

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Old 06-29-2017, 12:32 AM #525
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

The question is a bit on where to go next.

Provided we do not have any propulsion system that can reach something in another solar system for the foreseeable future, we are limited to our own.

And there are some ideas to send probes to moons around saturn and jupiter to actually land on them, though no real timeline has been established for them - there is talk of leaving in 2020, but considering the distance it'll take some time to get there.

I don't think further exploration of Mars is a wasted effort either. While it seems to be lifeless at the moment, it's still not certain that the planet never supported life in the past. This life may have only been microbial, single celled organisms, and only on very limited spots on the planet. Since such things leave little fossil records if any, and we're not overly sure on probably locations either, they may prove very hard to find even if there actually is a lot of evidence left.

Finding life that developed on mars independently of that on earth would be a huge thing, but not finding it means very little as it could have easily been overlooked, or simple never was there to begin with.

In that regard setting out missions to moons that are ice covered but still have a liquid ocean on them could be somewhat more useful. There is no guarantee we'd find it, but if there still is microbial life on such moons chances of discovery are probably better since it (or at least its fossils) would disperse through that ocean over time so you do not need to find the exact right spot.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:11 PM #526
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

@Hap & @Benm, and @paul1598419 since a link you posted in This Thread. mentioned the LADEE, mission.
It remains curious to me, that folks here seem to be disinterested, oblivious even, to perhaps one of the most exciting Laser, related developments to come down the pike in a good while. That being the OPALS, mission and the HUGE accomplishment that is totally overlooked by the community here of what also occurred during the LADEE, mission. That being the successful deployment, test and proof of concept for the:
'Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration – For this technology demonstration, LADEE will use lasers (and not radio waves, like other spacecraft that have flown beyond close Earth orbit have used) to communicate with controllers on Earth. This could allow the spacecraft to communicate at broadband speeds with the ground.'

For more on this see the following:

Laser-demonstration-reveals-bright-future-for-space-communication

SCaN

Nasa-interns-name-new-orion-communications-system

Nasa-laser-communications-to-provide-orion-faster-connections

Nasa-taking-first-steps-toward-high-speed-space-internet

Lasers-could-give-space-research-its-broadband-moment

Here is a question for those participating in this thread;
What good is any of the other topics that are being discussed here if they are using technology from the 1920's (radio) to communicate with?

Seriously, peeps here should consider getting with the program.
And this being a forum focused on Lasers, one would think all of this would be a no brainer.
The world is passing you by on the beams of a laser, don't you think it's time to get up to speed and jump onboard?

There are bright young minds that stop by and visit this forum, I feel it would be a great opportunity and honor, to be able to present and have an ongoing 'coherent' discourse that is laser related specifically talking about The Next Big Thing, in space exploration = (SCaN) Space Communications and Navigation, technology using (LEMNOS) Lasers.

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Old 07-03-2017, 12:48 AM #527
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

Using optical communication is an improvement, but not a revolutionairy step in expaning how we can explore space.

Light and radio waves are essentially the same, just several magnitudes of frequency/wavelength apart. This means you can focus a beam of light as tightly as a radio beam using a smaller dish/lens. Since you can do it at either end you can do with smaller dishes in space, and smaller ones on earth if the latter is of any concern.

So yes, this is very useful if you want to send a lot of information quickly.

But quickly does not mean you'll get any faster response times or anything like that, it takes a beam of light just as to to reach mars as it does a radio wave. It's essentially broadband internet with a ping time of 20 minutes.

There are some areas where it would help greatly, especially if we explore more distant places like saturn or jupiters moons where path loss is so big transmitting images is annoying slow.

This only aids transmitting large volumes of data. Things like telemetry and control commands are usually -very- compact and the radio link bandwidth is not a problem, it's just the inevitable delay for a radio wave or beam of light to make it there.

An optical link could make it possible to skype with someone on mars in 4k resolution, but there would still be 15 minutes* before you receive their answer to your question, albeit in such detail you can spend that time counting the hairs on their beard in the meantime

* the actual delay depends on plantery alignment, for mars the shortest one-way trip is about 4 minutes and the longest about 24. So when on opposite sides of the sun it would literally take 48 minutes to get an answer to your question asked someone on mars, even if you had a a gigabit laser link.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:07 AM #528
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Default Re: Space Discussion Thread

"We were able to download LADEE's entire stored science and spacecraft data [1 gigabyte] in less than five minutes, which was only limited to our 40 Mbps connection to that data within LADEE" said Cornwell. Using LADEE's onboard RADIO system would take SEVERAL DAYS to complete a download of the same stored data. Additionally, LLCD was to prove the integrity of laser technology to send not only error-free data but also uncorrupted commands and telemetry or monitoring messages to and from the spacecraft over the laser link."
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