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October 5, 2021 Archives

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

CONTINUITY: F-111 Terrain Following Radar

This training film shows the F-111's terrain following radar in action. Did you know that it had a “ride control” which set how closely it would stick to the actual terrain contour, expressed in how many Gs it would pull in climb and dive maneuvers to maintain the set altitude?

Posted at 14:03 Permalink

TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: Bad Rigging: Why Things Fall from Cranes

I'll bet many people using hoists fail to account for the “cosine loss” when multiple straps are used at an angle to the vertical. The shallower the angle of the strap, the more of its strength is wasted on horizontal force which simply cancels the horizontal force of the other strap(s).

Posted at 13:17 Permalink

CONTEXT: Transparent Monsters: Underestimating the Human Potential

This is a good introduction to what I call the “human endowment”—a future in which humans and their descendants will bring life, consciousness, and purpose to a solar system and beyond which awaits them. David Deutsch's The Beginning of Infinity is an excellent introduction to humans as “universal explainers” and the consequences of that for the cosmos.

Posted at 12:26 Permalink

THE HAPPENING WORLD: William Shatner to Fly to Space on Blue Origin New Shepard

Shatner is scheduled to fly on mission NS-18 on 2021-10-12, along with Blue Origin vice president Audrey Powers and two paying passengers. At age 90, he will become the oldest person to fly in space, eclipsing the record set by Wally Funk, 82, on the first crewed New Shepard flight.

There were earlier rumours that Shatner was to fly on Virgin Galactic's ship, but it appears he decided that after so many years exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilisations, he didn't want to go into the record books as an “asterisknaut”.

Posted at 11:57 Permalink

THE HAPPENING WORLD: Soyuz MS-19 Launch to the International Space Station

As described in yesterday's post, Soyuz MS-19 is on its way to the International Space Station. I have cued the video to start one minute before launch: scroll backward if you wish to see the more than three hours of preliminary material.

Here is Scott Manley with more details about the mission and another forthcoming cross-over episode of fictional and real space flight, plus the last Khan of Kazakhstan.

Posted at 11:32 Permalink