Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About denverbroncos

  • Birthday 10/20/1995

denverbroncos's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)



  1. For my final trick, a blog post about blog posts! The assignment of blog posts, 10 a quarter for four quarters, has been a great way to make us think. It seems fitting to reflect on the blog post process itself with this fortieth post. I really think this is a good idea, whenever I sit down to do a post I enjoy the creativity involved, and reflecting on what I've learned makes me appreciate the scope of the class all the more. I definitely recommend that the blog posts remain as an assignment, and I am glad to have had the chance to think about physics on my own and through that process get to know it better.
  2. Physics is everywhere, all of the time. This seems cliche but I really am beginning to grasp that, as this year draws to a close. No matter what I do, every single day I make connections to the concepts from the classroom and life. I don't try to, but that is what taking physics does to you. It alters your perspective eternally, as things that simply happened before now hold within them staggering amounts of math and headache inducing levels of thought. At any time, a baseball in flight can become a kinematics problem, or any little interaction becomes an exercise in conservation of momentum. I cannot express how much I wish everyone had the chance to take physics, it offers a chance that the beauty of the universe will appear, for an instant, in any mundane action.
  3. I completely failed to mention something I found fascinating in earlier posts, and I believe t deserves its own blog post. The amount of fuel needed to break orbit compared to that needed to maneuver in space is staggering, nearly all our fuel and stages are dedicated to breaking Kerbin's hold. I now realize that as silly as NASA's launches looked to me as a child, with their massive fuel tanks and enormous engines, that grvity his simply that strong. It takes a remarkable amount of fuel to break the hold of a planet like Earth, or Kerbin, and that is all due to gravity and atmospheric resistance.
  4. Our team landed on Minmus during this project, and other teams landed on Duna and Mun. All of these landings and moonwalks have me thinking about the future of space exploration for humans. For example, I have heard a lot of speculation about a manned mission to Mars recently. There are even some talking of colonizing. It was watching the Kerbals jump so high on Minmus that I realized I will never buy into that theory. Mars' gravity is less than half of earth's, at 3.711 m/s. I cannot believe that prolonged living at that gravity would do anything but destroy a body, a slower version of the decay astronauts experience in space. So while visiting Mars may one day be a novelty trip for 23rd century earthlings, a house on the red planet will always seem silly to me.
  5. Our team in the KSP challenge, Brazanah Inc., won the water bottle rocket challenge this year. This is the second straight year I have participated, and have gained several insights through the process. The first main thing is the value of a parachute, and the power of drag forces. A simple parachute turned a modest rocket that did not go very high into one that lasted 5.85 second in the air, all through air resistance. Our parachute was only a few feet in diameter but the rocket slowed to a crawl after it deployed. It is almost enough to make me want to skydive (but only almost).
  6. Once we achieved orbit around the sun, I first encountered orbital nodes. These nodes are a fairly simple notion, as relative to a plane of reference there are two points of intersection with that plane. At one, you are crossing from underneath and are ascending, hence the name ascending node. The descending node is where you cross below the plane. While attempting to encounter a planet's gravitational field, we attempted to make our orbital nodes as small as possible, getting them to 0.1 degrees away from the plane. These nodes make sense, but I never would have encountered them without KSP.
  7. Space Planes! I only recently began experimenting with the space plane features of KSP, but they offer a wealth of information about drag and air resistance. The steering of these planes is so sensitive, that you really see how rudders and pitching affect flight. Also, placing aerodynamic caps on engines rather than leaving them flat noticeably alters acceleration and top speed capabilities of a plane. Trying to build a plane is also complex, as you have to consider how much wight the wheels can support, how to balance weight versus fuel, and aerodynamics. Space Planes offer a great insight into the physics of airplanes and how complex the operation of these machines is, and I have a new perspective regarding planes for the next time I'm on a flight.
  8. Here are the three concepts that I believe I will remember the most from the past year as I go on into life. 1) Momentum and Impulse: I cannot express how often as I watch sports or any kind of everyday movement I am reminded of momentum. Now, when I watch football and see a seemingly big hit, I do not react the same way if I see that the hit was delivered over a longer time, as I would expect, the players often walk away unscathed. Pool is another example, as it is often the textbook case for sample problems regarding conservation of momentum in inelastic collisions. However, the most common occurrence of me thinking about momentum is driving. Every time we turn and I feel myself lean to one side, I think of momentum. 2) Friction: Driving also offers a reminder of friction. Every time I brake I think about how friction is at work, and whenever I drive in the snow or bad weather I am more careful due to my knowledge of coefficients of friction. I have a prior blog posts about driving in bad weather, and doing that math really made it sink in how hard it is to stop in slick conditions. I will be a more cautious driver thanks to this class. 3) Circuits and current: I am no handyman, but I at least have some theoretical knowledge of how the heck my house's wiring works thanks to the past year. Now, whenever I turn on a light, I imagine the electrons racing through the wire, and I know that it is in fact not instantaneous though it appears so. Resistance is another part of my life, the other day I way explaining why wires are thicker to reduce resistance, and how transformers work.
  9. There is so much to talk about regarding our final project of the year, using the game Kerbal Space Program to explore interplanetary physics. At first, I had no idea how the game could actually teach us about physics. Then, we tried to go into orbit. The accurate depiction of momentum as you try to lock on to a location with S.A.S only to have your rocket oscillate as it slowly loses its angular momentum is a nerve racking and accurate simulation. In a less obvious fashion, learning when to make burns in order to be as fuel efficient as possible helps you get a great feel for gravity and orbit. There is more to come, as this game offers a wealth of physics.
  10. Well, with one more day to go, I would like to attempt to capture a year's worth of memories in a few short words. I have never thought so hard, been so frustrated, or studied so much in my life as I did for Physics C. Despite all that, or maybe even because of it, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything and given the opportunity to do so I would take the class again in a heartbeat. Having a class that forced me to struggle to understand the base concepts, to work just to establish a foothold, was a great preparation for college. If anyone reading this is on the fence about taking this class, do it. There is no better way to push yourself and grow as a student then this class, and even though it can drive you crazy, Physics C is a blast.
  11. Team Name: Brazanah Available Funds: Brazanah: $311,109 Vehicle Name: To The Mun Vehicle Parts List and Cost: 2 Mk 2 Radial Parachutes ($1400), Command Pod Mk1 ($600), mk16 parachute (422), 2 stack decouplers (1200), advanced SAS (1100), 3 FTL 400 Fuel Tanks (1275), 4 LT-1 Landing Struts (960), Telus LV mobility enhancer (100), LV 909 Liquid Fuel Engine (750), 6 FTL 800 Fuel Tanks (4800), 2 Radial Decouplers (1200), LVT 45 Engine (950), 2 LVT 30 Engines (1700), 2 External Fuel Ducts (500), 2 Mk25 parachutes (800), 4 AVR8 winglets (2000), RCS Fuel Tank (800), 4 RCS Thruster Packs (1800), 2 Sepratrons (200), 2 Radial separators (1400), 2 BACC fuel Boosters (1600), 4 Stability Enhancers (800) Total Cost: 15079 This is because we recovered the parts from To The Mun when we went to Minmus, excluding the solid boosters. Design Goals: This rocket will put a Kerbal on the North Pole to search for the UFO. After reaching orbit with the same method as before we will then be able to make a burn to re-enter and land on the north pole. From there we will search for the UFO. Launch Goal: We are hoping to find the easter egg and gain funding. Pilot Plan: The pilot begins with full ignition of the primary engines. First he separates from the solid boosters.Then he separates from those and uses the middle engine to achieve orbit, then he adjusts the orbit to be around the poles. Then he re-enters the atmosphere and lands on the polar ice cap. Safety Rep: Charlie
  12. Brazanah won the bottle rocket contest for a bonus of $150,000. We now have $311,109.
  13. Launch Time: 9:15 am Team Members Present: Zach, Matt, Hannah, Mark Malsby Kerman’s Flight Recordings, compiled each night after that days events. Day 0: Tomorrow I will pilot the improved design of Kerbin’s finest ship, To The Mun, in an effort to reach Minmus. Tomorrow I simply must pilot us into orbit, by using the first engines to break the atmosphere. I will then disengage those and use some of the middle engine to establish orbit.Day 1: Today was exhilarating, I am now orbiting Kerbin following a smooth ascent to orbit. The ship shook and rattled but the SAS did its job and we steadily escaped its influence. I cannot believe how small Kerbin seems when seen from above. Day 2: That was perhaps the scariest moment of my life, I willingly escaped orbit and sent myself into space. I am on course to encounter Minmus tomorrow. The middle engine was spent getting us into orbit, but the final engine is nearly full and all projections say we have more than enough fuel. Day 3: We encountered Minmus’ gravity and with a careful burn I have established orbit. I miss being able to radio Kerbin and talk to someone else, but this chance was more than worth it. Minmus is remarkable, its mountains are massive and I need to avoid them at all costs. Day 4: Today I walked on Minmus. I have the honor of being the first Kerbin to set foot on another planet, I will go down in history. Following a brief EVA I returned to ship. I used about a third of the fuel to send myself towards Minmus then slow down o a safe landing speed. The gravity is even weaker than we anticipated, I used very little fuel. I have reentered orbit around Minmus and still have half a tank left. Day 5: No news today, I simply traveled closer to home and made one burn to alter our course. Day 6: After a very long two days of travel and three burns to adjust my trajectory, I will re-enter Kerbin’s atmosphere at 30,000 meters tomorrow. I’m almost home! Day 7: It is still early in the morning, and I have touched down on Kerbin thanks to a successful parachute deployment and using the last of my fuel to reduce my horizontal speed. Mission control were eager to see the pictures of Minmus I captured, and I have included them below. Time-of-Flight: 6 days 4 hours Summary: This mission was a resounding success. We succeeded in sending a Kerbal to Minmus and returning him, and there was never a moment of danger or a chance for failure. Our precautions of adding extra fuel paid off, we had a quarter of a tank in our final engine left when we re-entered the atmosphere. Opportunities / Learnings: We learned the value of careful planning and thinking before launch. We knew when we had to do all the steps that brought us to Minmus and back, and had a knowledge of the controls that made it easier to execute our strategy. Strategies / Project Timeline: We are ready to further our exploration of other planets, as this mission went smoothly and a Minmus landing was relatively easy to plan and execute. We need to do research on whichever planets we focus on next, as it was our research on Minmus that let us know it had very mountainous terrain and as a result we were able to focus on landing on a level area. Milestone Awards Presented: First landing on Minmus: $220,000 Available Funds: Brazanah: $161,109 Harbres: $220,441
  14. Team Name: Brazanah and Harbres Available Funds: Brazanah: $58,648 Harbres:$117,980 Vehicle Name: To The Mun Vehicle Parts List and Cost: 2 Mk 2 Radial Parachutes ($1400), Command Pod Mk1 ($600), mk16 parachute (422), 2 stack decouplers (1200), advanced SAS (1100), 3 FTL 400 Fuel Tanks (1275), 4 LT-1 Landing Struts (960), Telus LV mobility enhancer (100), LV 909 Liquid Fuel Engine (750), 6 FTL 800 Fuel Tanks (4800), 2 Radial Decouplers (1200), LVT 45 Engine (950), 2 LVT 30 Engines (1700), 2 External Fuel Ducts (500), 2 Mk25 parachutes (800), 4 AVR8 winglets (2000), RCS Fuel Tank (800), 4 RCS Thruster Packs (1800), 2 Sepratrons (200), 2 Radial separators (1400), 2 BACC fuel Boosters (1600), 4 Stability Enhancers (800) Total Cost: 15079 This is because we recovered the parts from To The Mun when we failed and did a manned satellite instead, so all of the parts aside from our modifications were half off. Design Goals: This rocket will put a Kerbal on Minmus through multi stage deployment of various engines thrusters and parachutes. First we will use many powerful engines and lots of fuel to escape the atmosphere. We have winglets and SAS to maintain stability and safety during this stage, as well as solid fuel boosters and stabilizers for a more successful takeoff. Once we have escaped the atmosphere and run out of fuel, we will separate from the initial engines, which will safely fall back to Kerbin with parachutes, and use the middle engine to achieve orbit and then put us on intersect course with Mun. This will then disengage and fall back thanks to parachutes. Once we land on Minmus and complete activity there, we will use the final engine to orbit Minmus then return to Kerbin. Launch Goal: We are hoping to learn how to successfully land on a foreign planet or moon and return safely by placing a Kerbal on Minmus. That will help us to achieve the milestone of landing on Minmus and set us up for landing on Mun. Pilot Plan: The pilot begins with full ignition of the primary engines. First he separates from the solid boosters.Then he separates from those and uses the middle engine to achieve orbit, then set course for Minmus. Once on Minmus, he will return to orbit with the final engine and then return to Kerbin. Safety Rep: Brendan will be approving this plan
  15. Not the Moon, But a Manned Satellite Launch Time: 9:55 am Team Members Present: Zach, Matt, Brandon Mission Control Flight Recording: It is nearly 10:00 and the flight crew is giving us the all clear. All fuel tanks have been filled and all engines have passed inspection.Captain Bob Kerman, the most experienced pilot on staff for Brazanah, has activated the primary engines and liftoff was a success Kerman has reached 7000 meters above Kerbin and is taking manual control of the flight to establish a 45 degree angle and enter orbit. The primary rockets are empty, and have been jettisoned. The parachutes deployed successfully and recovery of all parts is expected Kerman has used the middle engines to burn and establish stable orbit, radio contact is losing effectiveness After several minutes of radio silence we have reconnected with captain Kerman. He made an error in failing to separate from the middle engines and thought he had no more fuel! He has now removed himself from a position to shoot for Mun. Command has recommended Kerman abort his mission and return to base, having accomplished a lesser goal of putting a manned satellite in orbit. He is now using the final rocket intended to head to Mun and back to re-enter the atmosphere. Disaster has struck, Kerman separated from his final engine prematurely and now may not be able to escape orbit! Kerman did manage to break 70,000 m and is falling back to Kerbin now. Successful deployment of his parachute has returned Bob Kerman to base, not victorious but alive. All parts were salvaged and we are in excellent financial shape to make another joint Brazanah and Harbres venture towards Mun soon. Time-of-Flight: 6 minutes (just to get into orbit) Mission Report: This venture to place a Kerbal on Mun was not successful in its original goal of placing a Kerbal on Mun, but it did manage to put a manned satellite in orbit and return it home again. Our rocket is capable of sending a Kerbal to Mun, but some air headed piloting (Matt!) while we were orbiting Kerbin cost us our chance to make it to Mun. Instead we had to settle for a manned satellite which we returned back to land safely. In order to move on and reach Mun we must include some extra fuel so that the mission need not be aborted following one small error, as a safety precaution that ensures we will always have fuel to return to Kerbin. Opportunities / Learnings: This launch was not a total waste it taught us that few things ever go completely as planned or smoothly, and that we need to incorporate room for error into our rocket designs and flight plans. We will adjust our plans and attempt a Mun landing tomorrow. Strategies / Project Timeline: We cannot move on and turn our focus on Minmus as we planned, we must recalibrate and re-evaluate our plans to reach Mun first. We do not need to start over, merely modify our existing designs to make a Mun landing more feasible. We need to research how best to reach Mun from orbit for our next attempt. Milestone Awards Presented: We were second to put a manned satellite in orbit, for $25,000. Available Funds: Each team spent $11,278 on the rocket, and each team makes $12,500 in prize money. This leaves Brazanah with $43,648 and Harbres with $134,440.
  • Create New...