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View Diary: COSMOS: Something Important is happening next year. (105 comments)

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  •  Love him, especially since he likes Trek vs wars (6+ / 0-)


    he has claimed he watched trek (it led to his interest in astrophysics) but never could get into wars because Trek at least tried to adhere to science while wars was complete fantasy

    •  lol @that (9+ / 0-)

      I've recently become addicted to a lovely little videogame called Kerbal Space Program. It is a sandbox rocket simulator, and it's WIDE OPEN.  You have a whole solar system to explore, and you are 100% in charge of how big, and powerful, your rockets are.

      And the thing I realized after actually designing, building, and flying my own rockets is, there is no fucking way you could have a dogfight in space.  It takes such immense precision and forethought to get two objects to rendezvous in orbit, that doing so multiple times with the intent to fire weapons at it would take HOURS, and be a ridiculous farce.  I can get two spacecraft to rendezvous in around 45 minutes.  That is with the ability to speed up time in the game.  If I were fighter A, and I wanted to come get you, Fighter B, I could spend literally YEARS trying to catch up to you.

      Sagan's teachings on science have had a huge influence on me.   One of my favorite things to do in that game is build replicas of real science missions . . . it's so fucking fun.

      •  Stross' new novel _Neptune's Brood_ has good examp (0+ / 0-)

        le of this.  Basically, even at realistic but insane speed of .05 c (one-half of 1 percent of light speed) all you can do is fire missles and hope they chase down the target sometime before next year.

        OTOH, all you really need to do is throw a big enough cloud junk in the path of the opponent and it'll clobber it, since changing course is extremely slow and energy intensive (which makes it even slower bc you can't carry enough mass to do it much or fast) so the course of the target will be pretty much set for a long time.  Even at relatively slow speed of .05 c running into grains of sand will wreck the target (F=ma) so you do even need a lot of mass or missiles - meaning it'd be very hard to spot unless you knew to look for it.

        This is an actual problem for present satillites, i.e., 'space junk' (debris, frozen urine, etc.) in orbit.

      •  Wouldn't that be the same issue on earth (0+ / 0-)

        If all I wanted to do was avoid you, I could just leave when I saw you?

        Dog fights are not generally cause by a bunch of planes running around randomly.  Generally, one side is protecting something.

        "Harass us, because we really do pay attention. Look at who's on the ballot, and vote for the candidate you agree with the most. The next time, you get better choices." - Barney Frank

        by anonevent on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:13:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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