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About OcktoByte

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  1. Pre-Flight Briefing #2: Team Name: Preston Rockets Available Funds: $25,008 Vehicle Name: Crash Mk. 2 Parts and Costs: Mk. 1 Command Pod ($600) Mk. 16 Parachute ($422) Heat Shield (1.25m) ($300) TR-18A Stack Decoupler ($400) x 2 = $800 RT-10 "Hammer" Solid Fuel Booster ($400) x2 -50% = $400 Delta Deluxe Winglet ($600) x 3 = $1800 Mk12-R Radial-Mount Drogue Chute ($150) x 3 = $450 Total: $4772 Design Goals: Designed to have an equivalent ascent, but a smoother and safer reentry. Using more parachutes and altering flight plan. Launch Goal: To have successful launch and landing after reaching 50km. Pilot Plan: Upward ascent to 50 m/s and begin tilting to 70 degrees, First decouple at 15km, Second decouple at 40km, Launched parachutes just over 400 m/s Screenshots: Post Flight Briefing #2 Preston Rockets Launch Time: 10:59 Team: Nate-Pilot Nisa Nathan Justin Play by Play: Launched first stage and began tilt to 70 degrees @ 15km First decouple when furl ran out Second decouple at 35km Max Height at 126km Began descent Deployed parachutes at about 400m/s Time of Flight: 29 minutes Summary: Our rocket was able to reach our goal of 50km, and landed safely. we reached a max height at 126km, and deployed parachutes at a speed of 400m/s, which allowed us to land safely. for our next flight, we would like to build a new rocket in order to enter orbit. Awards collected: award for reaching 10km, award for reaching 10 km manned, and award for reaching 50km manned Screenshots:
  2. Team Name: Preston Rockets Available Funds: 30,000 Vehicle Name: RickRock Mk. 1 Parts and Costs: S1 SRB-KD25K "Kickback" Solid Fuel Booster (2700) -50% = $1350 Mk. 1 Command Pod ($600) Mk. 16 Parachute ($422) Heat Shield (1.25m) ($300) TR-18A Stack Decoupler ($400) AD-R8 Winglet (640) x3 = $1920 Total: $4,992 Design Goals: Vehicle is designed to reach 50km manned and land safely. Launch Goal: Successful liftoff and ascent from the ground. Safe return to surface after reaching 50km. Pilot Plan: Reach 50m at 90 degree angle, then tilt to 75 degrees, decouple thruster when out of fuel, ready parachute. Illustrations: Post Flight Briefing Preston Rockets Launch Time: 10:56 Team: Sean - Pilot Nisa - Reporter Nathan Justin Play by play: Launched rocket straight up tilted to a 70 degree angle at 100 meters continued ascending until 50km, when we detached thrusters reached a max height of 120000km began descent, overheated, and parachute burned up and crashed Screenshots: Time of Flight: 23 Minutes Summary: In our first launch we hoped to reach our first goal, a height of 50km, and were successful in this part of our plan. We reached a maximum height of 120,000km but upon reentry burned out our parachute and were unable to land safely, killing a Kerbal. In our next launch we will alter our flight path by easing into a smaller angle at a slower rate. additionally we will remodel our rocket to have more stability. Opportunities/Learnings: Angles matter significantly, need thrusters to counteract acceleration back into atmosphere Strategies/ Project Timeline: Financial Loss, a learning experience, will put more effort and research into next launch Milestone Awards Presented: None Obituary: A Reminiscent Haiku Upon re-entry, Valentina Kerman died. Parachute perished.
  3. This post will delve less into video games and more into science fiction. Holograms are often shown in sci-fi movies and tv to show futuristic technology. Holograms are usually depicted as images created purely by light. Currently, we have digital projectors, able to display a color image on a flat surface. However, most holograms in pop culture have a 3d image. This would be difficult to accomplish realistically, since in order to create a 3 dimensional image, the light would need something to refract off of. The same way that a laser pointer will show a line through smoke or fog, but only shows a dot through the air. Creating a 3d hologram would require that light be refracted in specific regions in order to create an image. Figuring out a way to do this for a moving image, especially at a high framerate, would be difficult. I hope that one day technology advances to a point where I can see this happen.
  4. Usually, when someone asks what superpower you would want, some say invisibility. It may be possible in the future to achieve this, however. The idea behind cloaking, as many seem to point out in the comments of the video, is fairly simple: bending light around an object such that you are unable to see it. In my opinion, Team Fortress 2 does this very well. The Spy class has an invisibility watch that allows him to cloak himself for brief amounts of time. However, if the spy comes in contact with an enemy or takes damage, his cloak will "blink" and an outline of his body will become visible. This makes some sense, as the cloaking device in the video requires careful calibration of the lenses in order to cloak an object, bumping into the spy might mess up his cloaking and cause him to blink.
  5. The wall jump is a common term for the ability of a video game character to kick off of a wall to gain a bit of height. This technique is most common to platforming games, but can have its place in other genres. Usually, the character will jump between two parallel walls, but it is possible in some games to do a wall jump at a 90 degree corner. The most interesting thing about this is that it is technically possible. The trick relies on applying force on the wall and using momentum in order to push yourself up. Video game wall jumps are a bit less demanding on momentum, but nearly always show the character pushing off against a wall. It's interesting to see something some consider only possible in games done similarly in real life!
  6. Metroid is a game known for its power ups. One of the lesser known ones from Metroid 2 for the Gameboy was the Spider Ball. This allows Samus, when curled up into a ball using her morph ball ability, to stick to walls and ceilings. Assuming that SR-388, the planet Metroid 2 takes place on, has gravity identical to ours, this power up would allow Samus to hold herself to walls with a force of over 882 newtons considering that the manual for Super Metroid lists her weight as 90 kilograms without her Power Suit.
  7. Mario Kart 8 introduced a "zero gravity" feature where, in certain parts of tracks could be driven on upside down and sideways. This addition to the series is interesting though, as it isn't explained how this would function. The carts levitate above the track while in "zero gravity" mode, yet don't fall away from the stage. Also, while in this mode, you still have the ability to accelerate and decelerate. This should be impossible without some kind of force coming from the cart. Sure, there are some kind of thrusters, but these only visibly activate after using a speed item. Additionally, tracks at an angle to the force of gravity would have carts moving towards the force of gravity.
  8. The main bosses of the Mega Man series are known as "Robot Masters". Each one has a theme, and a level to go along with that theme. For example, Gravity Man from Mega Man 3. As his name suggests, this robot is themed after the idea of controlling gravity. However, this should not be physically possible. Gravity is the result of large masses, such as planets and moons. In the game, this robot's level consists of "gravity" fields where you can fall towards the ceiling instead of the floor. If this were truly gravity, the level would not be able to "switch" gravity in specific places. Realistically, this would probably be an extremely strong magnet, but then we'd have a second Magnet Man.
  9. Stardew Valley is a peaceful farming game in the same vein as Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon. Unlike these games, Stardew Valley runs on its own calendar rather than using a real life equivalent. Time in Stardew Valley is broken up into four seasons, with 28 days each. Each day has 24 hours, but a second in our time is equivalent to about a minute in Stardew Valley time. While this time difference is most likely for gameplay purposes, I'd like to discuss Stardew Valley as if the game took place on another planet. A year, one full revolution around our sun, would take about 44.8 hours in our time. Due to the exactness of the seasons in the game, the orbit of the planet would have to be nearly circular.
  10. Most anyone who plays online games can tell you that ping, also known as latency, is one of the main factors to a smooth gameplay experience. Ping is the amount of time it takes for the input from your keyboard, mouse, or controller to reach the server running the game. This is usually measured in milliseconds, and the lower your ping is, the better. Good ping relies on a good connection to the server. This is dependant mainly on your internet connection and distance from the server. You'd get better ping connecting to a server close to you rather than one on the other side of the globe. Due to the limitations of physics, the speed of light in a vaccuum is 3x10^8 meters per second. This means that no matter what, ping will always be limited by distance. Even with the best fiber optic internet connection, you'd still see characters jittering around the screen if you connect across the globe.
  11. One day, I was bored at my computer and decided to take a closer look at my mouse. This mouse has RGB lighting, meaning it can change between whatever color you could think of. However, the way these colors are produced has an interesting relation to physics. This mouse contains three separate LEDs. One controls the amount of red light produced, one for green, and one for blue, as indicated by the term RGB. Together, if each LED outputs light with a certain brightness, they can form other colors in between the standard red green and blue. Back to the story, I picked up my mouse which had a yellow color at the time. I decided to shake it around a bit, and noticed that when I did, I could see red and green strips of light. This is explained by a property of light which shows that light of different colors travel at different speeds. For example, red light travels faster than blue light. Knowing how something works is one thing, but seeing firsthand how that effect is achieved is another.
  12. Time travel is a common theme throughout games. Due to the laws of physics, however, time travel is only possible in a few theoretical situations. Time travel backwards through time seems even less likely from a physics standpoint. However, these limitations make for interesting gameplay mechanics. For example, in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, time travel is a major theme throughout the game. As the name implies, you play music through a flute-like instrument called an Ocarina to play different songs with special effects, including time travel. During the game, after you've traveled into the future, you meet a man in a windmill playing a song. He's angry that, years ago, a boy with an ocarina came to the windmill and played that song, making the windmill spin out of control. This is the Song of Storms. Travelling back in time, you can return to the windmill as a child. You meet the man, who has neither met you, nor knows the song. If you play the Song of Storms now, the windmill goes out of control, leading to the events that occurred in the future. This creates a paradox. The man who taught you a song in the future learns that song from a younger version of you. Paradoxes like these only complicate the idea of time travel for physicists trying to determine if it would be physically possible or worthwhile to travel through time.
  13. Super Mario Galaxy's hub world is known as the Comet Observatory. In its center is what a character describes as a "ball of flame" called the Beacon which powers the whole observatory. This beacon starts off small, but as the player collects Grand Stars, the beacon grows in size and changes color. This beacon changes color from burgundy, to orange, to yellow, green, greenish-blue, blue, and turquoise. I'm sure from this description your immediate thought is "star". However, if this beacon was really a star, the heat it would be releasing would be catastrophic for anyone nearby. Stars' gravitational pulls are powerful enough to control the movement of planets, let alone the effects it should have on Mario and the Observatory. Mario should be lucky he hasn't melted yet. Most 3d Mario games have been about collecting stars, but this is nowhere near the same thing.
  14. Overwatch is a recent first person shooter by Blizzard. The game has become very popular due to its roster of 23 heroes and counting. However, some of the characters can be a bit unrealistic. For example, the character Lúcio wields a gun that fires sound at his enemies. He also has an ability that can push away any hero, including the 7'3" 550 lbs tank known as Roadhog. This gun has enough force to push Roadhog into the air. I'll be calculating the absolute minimum amount of force this ability has. Converting Roadhog's 550 lbs to kg, we get about 249.476 kg. To find the net force it would take for Roadhog to overcome the force of gravity, I'll use F=ma to find the force with the acceleration due to gravity being 9.8 m/s2. Using this equation, the gun would have a force of at least 2444.8648 newtons. This kind of power is insane for such a small weapon, especially considering this is done purely through sound, and surely this technology would be deadly for both the user and the target.
  15. The Magnet Gloves from The Legend of Zelda series only appear in two of the series' games. This item works by either attracting your character to, or repelling the character away from, certain objects stuck into the ground. The interesting thing about this is that the item can "switch polarity" by the press of a button. Theoretically, this could be possible using electromagnets. If the current were able to switch directions, then the magnet should switch its polarities. Although, don't ask me why a game set in a magical medieval style is using electromagnets.