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View Diary: This week in science: billions and billionaires (107 comments)

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  •  One capsule.... (1+ / 0-)
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    Bmeis

    ... four thruster modules.   Just checked, SpaceX managed to get the three on the current capsule back on line.  (Launched yesterday, three of four thruster modules refused to come online...)

         Imagine leaving earth for a 500+ day trip.. with no attitude control or maneuvering ability.   Opps, no spacesuits or airlock, and we left the Phillips screwdriver back on earth.   Oh well.....

    •  2 points (0+ / 0-)

      1)  Its not Just a capsule - its a capsule and module.  And the capsule they'll use will have flown by the time of the mission.

      2)  We've had success when there weren't really a lot of backups (Apollo 13 anyone).

      3)  Free-return trajectory makes it a lot easier.  

      •  Apollo 13 was a close call, (0+ / 0-)

        and encompassed just a few days, something like 7.  They had to fit a lot of square pegs in round holes, once literally. If that is backup: single burn engines used multiple times, rigged lithium hydroxide canisters and duct tape, then I wouldnt want anything to do with it.

        When they powered the service module back up prior to reentry, there was an excess current draw caused by some unneeded gyros. Ground crews recognized it and fixed the problem by radioing Swigert, averting a disastrous loss of power later.  

        If your radio delay is measured in minutes, as in 50 round trip, rather than seconds, that critical sort of diagnostic feedback might be too little too late.

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