Another Twitter Censorship Drop.
I must admit it’s having more of an effect than I expected. The Left is having to squirm really hard to pretend it’s not there, meaning it’s penetrating their MSM armor…somewhat.
We got another dump Friday night, and this time more directly to do with the 2020 election, instead of some very-well-connected shit-for-brains’s laptop.
May the Left go apeshit and stroke out. They deserve worse, so I guess I’ve practiced charity/mercy just this once.
Just remember…we might replace the RINO candidates. (Or we might not. The record is mixed even though there is more MAGA than there used to be.) But that will make no difference in the long run if the party officials, basically the Rhonna McDaniels (or however that’s spelled–I suspect it’s RINO), don’t get replaced.
State party chairs, vice chairs, secretaries and so on, and the same at county levels, have huge influence on who ultimately gets nominated, and if these party wheelhorses are RINOs, they will work tirelessly to put their own pukey people on the ballot. In fact I’d not be surprised if some of our “MAGA” candidates are in fact, RINO plants, encouraged to run by the RINO party leadership when they realized that Lyn Cheney (and her ilk) were hopelessly compromised as effective candidates. The best way for them to deal with the opposition, of course, is to run it themselves.
Running good candidates is only HALF of the battle!
SPECIAL SECTION: Message For Our “Friends” In The Middle Kingdom
I normally save this for near the end, but…basically…up your shit-kicking barbarian asses. Yes, barbarian! It took a bunch of sailors in Western Asia to invent a real alphabet instead of badly drawn cartoons to write with. So much for your “civilization.”
Yeah, the WORLD noticed you had to borrow the Latin alphabet to make Pinyin. Like with every other idea you had to steal from us “Foreign Devils” since you rammed your heads up your asses five centuries ago, you sure managed to bastardize it badly in the process.
Have you stopped eating bats yet? Are you shit-kickers still sleeping with farm animals?
Or maybe even just had the slightest inkling of treating lives as something you don’t just casually dispose of?
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
And here’s my response to barbarian “asshoes” like you:
OK, with that rant out of my system…
Biden Gives Us Too Much Credit
…we can move on to the next one.
Apparently Biden (or his puppeteer) has decided we’re to blame for all of the fail in the United States today.
Sorry to disappoint you Joe (or whoever), but you managed to do that all on your own; not only that, you wouldn’t let us NOT give you the chance because you insisted on cheating your way into power.
Yep, you-all are incompetent, and so proud of it you expect our applause for your sincerity. Fuck that!!
It wouldn’t be so bad, but you insist that everyone else have to share in your misery. Nope, can’t have anyone get out from under it. Somehow your grand vision only works if every single other person on earth is forced to go along. So much as ONE PERSON not going along is enough to make it all fail, apparently.
In engineering school we’re taught that a design that has seven to eight billion single points of failure…sucks.
Actually, we weren’t taught that. Because it would never have occurred to the professors to use such a ridiculous example.
Justice Must Be Done.
The prior election must be acknowledged as fraudulent, and steps must be taken to prosecute the fraudsters and restore integrity to the system.
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Poltical correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. Zeroth rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government get your guns.
5. Rule one of gun safety: The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Rule two of gun safety: Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Rule three: Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Rule the fourth: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
All prices are Kitco Ask, 3PM MT Friday (at that time the markets close for the weekend).
So here it is, Friday, 3PM MT after markets closed and we see:
It looks like gold didn’t move, to speak of! Actually it dropped and (unusual for a Friday) came back up. It’s trying to bust through $1800 but hasn’t done so. In a normal (non-manipulated) market, you would expect it to either bust through and then just keep going, or turn around and go the other way. In this distinctly not non-manipulated market, who knows?
Artemis I Coming Home
The unmanned Artemis I mission is on its way back, after three weeks in space. In the days of the Space Shuttle going just to orbit (instead of to the ISS) that was a fairly long mission. But this time it not only went to the moon it went significantly farther. It even took a picture of the (round) Earth behind an (also round) Moon, the sort of view you would expect if you were arriving from interplanetary space.
This is the furthest any spacecraft designed to carry people in it has ever gone from Earth. And, presuming that the manned flight slated for 2024 follows the same path, those four people will set a record for furthest distance from Mother Earth, ever. And even before they are more than a thousand miles above the surface they will have been further than anyone has been in half a century.
Apollo only took roughly three days to go to the moon (each way); Artemis was about as fast, actually, but took some side trips once it got there. (It would actually be harder to go to the Moon more slowly…orbital mechanics can be surprising sometimes.) But the fact that the missions are slated to take three or more weeks is an indication we have deep space exploration in mind now…as in other planets, as in Mars. (Which sucks, but much less than anywhere else other than Earth.)
The Orion module has a solar array, there are cameras mounted on it so it’s possible to see the spacecraft from the outside. No need for NASA animations like they did for Apollo, and if something like Apollo 13 should happen [I certainly hope NOT], they’ll be able to actually look at the outside of the spacecraft to see what happened. In the actual Apollo 13, the astronauts couldn’t see the damage until they separated from the service module to start re-entry.
Which brings me to today’s topic.
I have to explain something up front, and that is: how a rocket works. It’s not rocket science (seriously; I tell people that rocket science isn’t rocket science, at least it sure ain’t compared to particle physics). In essence a rocket moves because of Newton’s third law…every action comes with an equal but opposite reaction. If you push something away from you in the direction opposite of the one you want to go, you react by going the direction you want to go. A rocket functions by adding a bunch of energy to a bunch of mass and letting that mass go out one end…the rocket goes the other way. The rocket changes speed; and that’s the goal…the change in speed is called delta V, delta V costs reaction mass, and the heavier you are at the time, the more reaction mass it costs.
With nothing to grab onto in space–like, say, tires on pavement, that’s pretty much the only way to get moving (with the exception of a solar sail). You can’t push on something outside your spacecraft, so you have to push on something you brought with you. But that means you must carry a bunch of mass with you for the sole purpose of throwing it away en route! (It is called “reaction mass” for that reason.) And that mass requires even more mass to get moving. The engineering trick is to find the fuel (as it turns out liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen are the best readily available) that will generate the most impulse (change in momentum) for the least amount of weight. (Heating it up by burning it and letting it blast out the back end under high pressure is basically how we do it.) And to design your rocket to be as light as possible and as efficient as possible. That is hard, and we seem to be doing it as about as well as can be done; there’s little room for improvement without an (likely as yet unimagined) radically different way.
We’ve done halting experiments with using a nuclear reactor to heat the reaction mass hotter than burning it would; that would help but few people relish the thought of setting up an almost-explosion under a nuclear reactor and sending that reactor up into the air.
Anyway, in a nutshell, and without supplying numbers, that is the “30,000 foot” “granular” view of what rocket science is trying to overcome.
Apollo was just barely possible. The biggest rocket we could build could barely do the job. Think of it in terms of how many times you have to change velocity, each of which requires reaction mass. And you need to think of it back-to-front. You have to change velocity to safely land on Earth (rather than go splat! and leave a very Moon-like crater), after traveling through space at, basically escape velocity because you just did a ballistic orbit from somewhere far away. That takes reaction mass–a lot of it because the delta-V is something like 25,000 miles per hour. (Except we found a way to avoid that…but I am getting ahead of myself.) That fuel has weight, just like the capsule and astronauts do; in fact it would weigh many times as much as the astronauts and capsule. But in order to get to Earth from the Moon, they have to leave Lunar orbit and get to escape velocity. So you need enough fuel to push the astronauts, and that fuel being brought along for landing, through a second-to-last delta V. That’s much more fuel than you would need if it was just the astronauts and spacecraft you needed to push. And then, you have to get off the Moon in order to be in lunar orbit. More fuel, and it’s like compound interest, all the way back through landing on the moon, entering lunar orbit, leaving earth orbit, and getting to Earth orbit…such that it would require a truly gigantic amount of fuel for the initial boost off of Earth, because most of what you’d be lifting was…fuel. The rocket would be as big as a mountain. And that is not that much of an exaggeration; it might not be any exaggeration at all.
We couldn’t do that then. And we can’t do that now.
No I am not claiming we never went. I am claiming we did a lot of creative engineering, instead of just building a massive one-piece rocket. We set things up in such a way as to save fuel. We didn’t, for example, land the whole spacecraft on the moon, just a very tiny, fragile part of it, and we only sent two of the three astronauts down. We also threw away empty fuel tanks (i.e., rocket stages) on the way (a trick we need to do just to get to Earth orbit, unfortunately), so at least we weren’t coming back to earth with a gigantic (read massive) spacecraft that was mostly empty fuel tanks, then trying to land it gently. We were coming back with the bare minimum mass. And of course one other thing, perhaps the most essential, which I’ll get to very shortly.
Even with all those savings, it’s insane. Artemis weighed 5,750,000 pounds at launch. What’s coming back to us in Sunday weighs 18,200 lbs, less than 1/300th as much. That’s 99.7% overhead or 0.3% payload. And they did their best to make sure as much of that was fuel as possible. If you want to double the weight of that capsule, you don’t just add another 18,200 pounds to Artemis’s liftoff weight…no, you make Artemis 11,500,000 pounds. Every pound sent to the moon and then back to Earth requires 300 pounds of rocket plus fuel. (I expect they make sure the astronauts don’t eat too much the night before launch.)
You are, I hope, beginning to understand why space travel costs so damned much.
I promised to tell you about one more savings, and I saved it because it’s going to cover the rest of this post: The most critical and scariest thing we did was to come up with a way to make the final delta-V–the one that would make the rocket as big as a mountain–without expending any fuel at all! That was a yuge savings, because that gets compounded through all of the phases of the mission, not just the first two or three of them. And that alone might just have reduced Apollo to one 1/4 the size it would have been, otherwise–changing 25,000 miles an hour into zero miles an hour takes a lot of fuel there at the end.
I refer, of course, to slamming into the Earth’s atmosphere at escape velocity and letting air resistance slow the capsule down for us. No fuel burned.
The trick was (and is) to do so in a way that didn’t result in spacecraft+astronauts burned instead. Slamming into the atmosphere at 32 times the sea-level speed of sound will heat things considerably; five thousand degrees Fahrenheit is quite toasty. (And incidentally, this is one of the major reasons hypersonic travel in the atmosphere is a challenge.)
It’s called aerobraking, when it isn’t called “bring me my brown pants.”
Because the rocket equation (which implies all that compounding) was well known since WWII if not earlier, we knew we’d have to do this if we were to go to the moon, and tests had been done well before Apollo 11. The first thought was to make the spacecraft extremely streamlined, but that turned out to be a bad idea. So instead a nearly flat face with as much air resistance as possible would be presented to the atmosphere smacking into the vessel at 25000 miles per hour. (And I thought the wind here was bad.) But it had to be a material that wouldn’t just burn away, so that took a lot of materials engineering. In the case of the Space Shuttle the heat-resistant tiles did the job (though the Space Shuttle didn’t come back at nearly as high a speed).
But that wasn’t the only issue. We had to hit the atmosphere at an almost perfectly precise angle. Too steep, and the spacecraft would burn up anyway. Too shallow and the spacecraft would actually skip off the atmosphere like skipping rocks off a pond. (Before you object that the air–certainly not the thin upper atmosphere–isn’t as substantial as the water, try hitting it at 25,000 miles per hour and report back.)
Skipping off the atmosphere would not be instantly fatal, but the spacecraft would now be moving away from Earth at escape velocity and there’s be absolutely no way to rescue the astronauts and (remember, no fuel) no way for them to turn around and come back.
As the spacecraft is approaching Earth, which presents a circular cross section to it, it has to aim near the edge of that cross section…somewhere in a ring about 22 miles thick (but thousands of miles cross). Outside the ring…skip. Inside…slag.
The movie Apollo 13 had one clip in it from an actual newscast at the time, where a blowtorch was aimed at a model of the capsule as the “news”reader talked about what had to happen. I tried to find that clip and failed, but it was an understatement of the peril they had to go through.
So you gotta hit the right angle. And you have to hit the right part of the arc of the ring, too, or you end up landing in Antarctica or Siberia instead of near the Navy ships sent to retrieve you.
Your arrival time at the ring (hopefully not ‘of fire’) is dictated by one thing: the time you left lunar orbit. Because once you’ve done that, you’re basically a bullet, only much bigger and much faster. (Yes, you can make tiny course corrections…but those are basically windage and elevation, not arrival time at target. And you need windage and elevation, because that’s how you make sure you’re going to hit that ring.) So where the astronauts came down was dictated days in advance and they didn’t have much in the way of choices, which is why they came down at the corner of No and Where out in the Pacific. It was a matter of which way the Earth was facing when they hit that ring, which, again, depended on when they left lunar orbit.
And yet, we did this nine times for Apollo 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. (As well as for Apollo 7 and 9, but only from Earth orbit.) Nary a hitch. The Columbia disaster was a failure of the Shuttle tile system and is similar, but Apollo had a perfect record handling a tougher problem.
In the last fifty years almost nothing has changed. We still have to play meteor to get back to Earth. We’ve gotten better at building spacecraft, but we didn’t use the mass savings on fuel to brake at the return; we just made the spacecraft bigger. Artemis is supposed to hold at least four astronauts, not just three. And it has to do the same trick the Apollo astronauts had to do.
We have a couple of advantages they didn’t have though, and they all boil down to better computing. The computers on Apollo were extremely primitive by today’s standards; you have thousands of times more computing power in your phone. More computing power means finer control over those tiny midcourse corrections, which means more control over how you come back.
The other one, which also comes back to computing power, is that Artemis actually will, deliberately, skip off the atmosphere…but very late in the process, after it has slowed down to merely a nice suborbital velocity. It’ll do this by tumbling in just the right way at just the right time. Once it’s back up in space it can cool off a bit, but then it will come back at a slower speed (typical of mere low-earth-orbit craft) and there will be a lot of control over where it comes down. In fact, they’re going to splash down just off of San Diego. This reduces the maximum g-force during reentry from 6.8 g to about 4 g. (And I’ve actually been on amusement park rides at 4 g.)
This is, as far as I know, a first time trying this, so keep your fingers crossed on Sunday.
Obligatory PSAs and Reminders
China is Lower than Whale Shit
Remember Hong Kong!!!
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
China is in the White House
Since Wednesday, January 20 at Noon EST, the bought-and-paid for His Fraudulency Joseph Biden has been in the White House. It’s as good as having China in the Oval Office.
Joe Biden is Asshoe
China is in the White House, because Joe Biden is in the White House, and Joe Biden is identically equal to China. China is Asshoe. Therefore, Joe Biden is Asshoe.
But of course the much more important thing to realize:
Joe Biden Didn’t Win
Qiáo Bài dēng méi yíng !!!
Joe Biden didn’t win !!!