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Everything posted by bobbyburns

  1. Team Name: Axburns Inc. Available Funds: $27,800 Vehicle Name: Atlantis I Vehicle Parts List and Cost: Mk1-2 command Pod ($1800), Advanced S.A.S. Module ($1100), Rockomax Brand Decoupler ($200), Rockomax x200 32 Fuel Tank ($6600), Rockomax Jumbo 64 Fuel Tank ($12500), Rockomax "Mainsail" Liquid Engine ($850), Rockomax "Poodle" Liquid Engine ($600), Mk 16 XL Parachute ($850) Total Cost: $24,500 Design Goals: We want to incorporate two engines and fuel tanks to practice stages (specifically firing the parachute, decouplers, and engines at the right times) Launch Goals: Achieve Stable Orbit Pilot Plan: Thrust vectoring until orbital velocity and altitude are reached, then thrust vectoring to maintain a vertical speed of zero. Calculating stable orbit: Our orbital speed is determined through the formula V=600000((9.807/(600000+h)))^(1/2), h being the orbital altitude (above the surface of Kerbin) Once stable orbit is achieved, the pilot will then thrust vector the engines in the opposite direction f flight, to facilitate reentry and then fire the parachute at an altitude within the atmosphere.
  2. Launch Time: 2:00PM EST Team Members Present: Katelyn, Bobby Play-by-Play: Launch Start: Straight up, no issues. About one minute in, at 0m/s, decoupler fired and screenshot taken. Booster separates from pod and parachute. Since we set the parachute and decoupler activation on the same stage setting, the parachute fired prematurely and it was, well, a SLOW ride down, but our Kerbal was happy and enjoying the ride. Photographs: We need to check our screenshots which are on the school computers. Time-of-Flight: We need to check our screenshots which are on the school computers. Summary: Our original goal was to reach 50km. Although our booster only launched us to about 35km, we were content with that, as we broke the 10km requirement. Our only safety concern was the premature firing of the parachute, which could've been avoided by placing the parachute in a third stage, seperate from the decoupler's. Our winglets provided enough pitch control to keep the booster at 90 degrees from the ground, which is what we wanted. Opportunities / Learnings: 1) Set seperate stages for seperate actions 2) Obtain a larger engine (maybe with vectorable thrust) to control flight better and attain higher altitutes Strategies / Project Timeline: We are ready to face our next challenge, and go to higher altitudes. We will probably redesign our rocket for more thrust. Milestone Awards Presented: Launch to 10km, $10,000 winnings Available Funds: $25,600+$2200 $27,800
  3. Did I just get hit with a dump truck or did I just take the AP Physics C exams? Turns out, I took the exams. Yes, they're over....and with a massive sigh of relief, I can move on with my life and enjoy the rest of my senior year. But I must be honest...they were the hardest exams I have ever laid my eyes on, and it came as a wake up call to me that, yes, maybe I DO have to work harder in future physics courses. This year in physics, although rough academically, taught me that one cannot simply understand a concept with ease at this level (with a few exceptions...) So as I move on with life, I will take physics at RIT at least knowning what to expect, and I'll have a working knowledge of the basics. But seriously, those exams hit me like a truck. And the truck had spikes and chainsaws in the front. Yes, it was pretty violent.
  4. I'll let you know when I put it up for sale.
  5. So, It's been a month since MH370 disappeared. Technically, the pings should've stopped by now, but it seems that the black box batteries haven't died yet. But what really is a black box anyway? It's a NEON ORANGE rectangular object. The box holds critical instruments, like an altimeter, airspeed indicator, attitude indicator, control positions (as in what the pilot was doing with the plane at that time), time of day, etc. The second part of the data recorder is the Cockpit Voice Recorder. This thing records that last two hours of audio spoken in the Captain and First Officer's headsets. This recorder was especially useful in determining what happened to American Airlines flight 93 on 9/11/01, when voices besides the hijackers' were heard inside the cockpit, indicating that the passengers had stormed the cockpit. The third and most important part is the underwater locator beacon. This broadcasts a "ping" or beep that can be detected by instruments on naval vessels and aircraft. That is the only reason we may have a CLUE as to where MH370 is, as we can triangulate different occasions on which the pings were heard.
  6. Our planet has a lot of gold, silver, diamond...you name it. But it's nothing. Believe me. In 1999, UC Berkeley researchers made a high value discovery (no pun intended) by showing that Methane (which is in HIGH quantity on Neptune and Uranus) can be converted to diamond (like carbon is) under intense heat and pressure. The liquid methane, cooled with liquid nitrogen, was placed in a diamond anvil cell and squeezed to between 10 and 50 billion pascals (gigapascals), or about 100,000 - 500,000 times atmospheric pressure. They then zapped it with a laser (creating the necessary heat) and...voila! Diamond Dust. So, it rains diamonds on Uranus and Neptune. The next time you go to Neptune, don't show off your wedding ring. It's mainstream.
  7. For the purpose of logic, I will ignore spacecraft because they already hold speed records for anything man made. Because they're awesome. Okay, so, our first category is Human-Powered Aircraft. No engine, just a dude flying himself in a glider. Some designs include the "wrapped rubber band" method but on a larger scale. To be honest, this record is pretty pathetic. At a whopping 19.8 mph, MIT's Monarch B human powered aircraft holds the record. *Cue streamer and confetti* Moving up in coolness is the Glider category. These aircraft are actually extremely interesting, in that they are able to travel hundreds of miles without anything powering it...just the constant pull of gravity and "thermals", pockets of rising air that push up on the bottom of the aircraft's wings, therefore pushing up the whole craft. The speed record for a glider is 190.6 mph, which is extremely fast for a small little tube with wings. The speed record aircraft is the Schempp-Hirth Nimbus, built in Germany. The whole thing at max weight only weighs 820kg. Next, we have the helicopter. These aren't built for speed; rather, they're built for accessibility. Helicopters land where they need to, ranging from sloped mountainsides to the White House Lawn. The world speed record for a helicopter is set by a Westland Lynx, at 249.1 mph. This proves impressive, especially for an aircraft that is shaped without aerodynamic contour in mind. Now, we get to aircraft. The fastest AIR breathing aircraft (meaning air enters the engines for operation) is the SR-71 Blackbird, SR meaning Reconnaissance. This aircraft flies no more, but its record will be a difficult one to beat. The aircraft topped out at 2194 mph, or about 37 miles per minute. The aircraft went so fast that the friction on its nose actually started to weld parts of the fuselage together, due to the massive amounts of heat created with all the air molecules banging against the aircraft at a relative speed of 2194 mph. Lastly, we arrive at non air breathing aircraft. Code-word for rocket. They're cheaters. The record holder is the X-15, built by North American, the same firm that built the P-51 Mustang in WWII. The X-15 reached 4510 mph, or about 1.25 miles per SECOND. I'll let you contemplate that. Signing out now.
  8. Some new research from George Washington University dived into the mysterious techniques of flying snakes, and how that actually seem to dart through the air. Could these tactics be used today to solve mechanical issues? Possibly. What the researchers did seems a little odd, but hey, it got results. Their tactic was to launch the snakes off actual cranes (don't worry, they can FLY) and observe their gliding abilities. Just for context: A normal aircraft will gradually increase lift as the angle of attack is increased, and then once the angle of attack reaches the "critical" angle, the lift becomes zero; the aircraft begins to accelerate downward in a freefall, for all intents and purposes. The researchers hypothesized that the snakes would perform the same way. They predicted the snakes to coil up and use their coiled up body like a flying saucer, creating the necessary lift. They were right in some sense, but the results of the experiment were nothing but astonishing. As the snakes increased their angles of attack on the way down, the magnitude of their lift increased. After the angle increased for a while, the lift began to decrease, but only slowly. In other words, they couldn't get the snake to enter an aerodynamic stall...which defies the properties of anything you and I have ever flown in. Maybe, in the future of aeronautics, the "saucer" approach will be taken, realizing that stalls will be harder to enter. We see too often the effects of aircraft entering stalls, like Asiana 214 and Colgan 3407 in Clarence Center. Oh, and here's what a flying snake looks like.
  9. Here's a weird one... Through a study at the University of Washington, researchers have found that, when attacked, Fruit Flies perform the evasive maneuvers similar to those of a modern fighter jet, a seemingly new relation between technology and nature. When a shadow or other threat was seen by one of the Flies, it would roll rapidly on its side, and then execute a tight turn to end up flying in the complete opposite direction. This tactic is the fundamental maneuver in modern day air forces, and it makes complete sense. Manmade aircraft share the same basic structure with flying animals, such as the wings, the fuselage (or abdomen...), and so on. It's only logical that the two creations perform the same way when evasive maneuvering is required. What I find interesting, however, is that the Fruit Flies beat any modern day aircraft in terms of maneuvering. For instance, one of the Flies involved in the expirement altered its course in 1/100 of a second, trumping any fighter jet today. The F-16 needs about 4 seconds to turn 90 degrees in another direction. I guess Fruit Flies don't have missiles though...but if they do, that'd be a whole different blog post indeed. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410141745.htm
  10. Recently this year in France, a team of researchers conducted an experiment with seismic waves, and were able to slightly deflect them. Could this be the start of a new age in which we can avoid catastrophic earthquakes and maybe even tsunamis? It's quite the possibility. Using "cloaking" devices and meta materials, the researchers hope to someday cloak "desired" or important geological areas with the cloaking material, to fend off (reflect, to be specific) seismic waves, therefore significantly reducing any damage to the area. The cloak would in theory deflect the waves to a sparsely populated direction, where the waves could die off without causing harm. The actual cloaking device is a simple grid, that, when seismic waves enter its area, diffract the waves into smaller ones and change their direction simultaneously. A simple idea, but with genius results. The idea has its issues...of course, we must face the question of "where". For instance, say that a grid system has been installed around the whole area of NYC. An earthquake happens off shore, sending massive amounts of seismic waves to the shore. The grids than diffract and deflect the waves. What could then be the issue? Simply put, some of the waves would reflect back and end up constructively interfering with each other, sending a huge seismic wave somewhere else. Unlikely, but certainly possible. If these issues are addressed, the fatalities and dangers of earthquakes may be able to be reduced.
  11. We see it everywhere in the media, real life, and sometimes it can even happen to you. The sad, terrifying act of being slapped in the face. Aside from hurting, what are the actual physics behind being unfortunate enough to get slapped? 1) Shown in slow motion, your face has incredibly present properties of intertia. If you look at the video, you can clearly see the skin and tissue stay put while the actual skeletal tissue underneath begins to move. This is because the dense bone moves, eventually dragging the rest of the tissue along with it. The force of friction applied throughout the first couple layers of your skin is not nearly as strong as the frictional force initiated deeper in your skull! 2) The Impulse applied when getting slapped can be quite massive. Impulses (Force times change in Time) delivered through a slap could be as large as 25000 J*S, assuming a Force of 50000 Newtons (yes, boxers can punch that hard) and a time of contact of .5 seconds. When your cable's on the fritz, you get angry. When you're angry, you become irritated. When you become irritated, you make rude comments. When you make rude comments, you get slapped in the face. Don't get slapped in the face. Get rid of cable. Get DIRECTV.
  12. Yo Dawg, Grammar heheheheehhe
  13. This March, the F-35 Lightning II made its first public demonstration at an air show. The U.S. Military is expected to purchase over a thousand of the new jets in total, eventually being put in service with the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The Air Force version, the F-35A, will be the lightest and most agile. The thrust to weight ratio is over one, meaning that the engine produces more thrust (191 kN!) than the weight of the aircraft. In other words, it is able to speed up while flying 90 degrees to the ground...straight up. The Marine Corps version, the F-35B, is the most powerful, in that it has a specialized engine. The thrust can be vectored down to "push" the aircraft off the ground, therefore allowing the aircraft to take off in ridiculously short distances (perfect for the Marines' shortened aircraft carriers) Lastly, the Naval version, the F-35C, has a larger wing area and strengthened landing gear for landing on an aircraft carrier. The wing area is increased simply because this version will have to fly very slow on final, meaning more lift is needed to keep the aircraft from entering an aerodynamic stall. The increased wing area provides more lifting surface area, so (by Bernoulli's principle), more air will flow over the airfoil, inducing a greater low pressure area over the wing. More lift is then created, allowing this model to control itself as very low airspeeds.
  14. MEGA ULTRA SUPER DEEP FIELD IMAGE...maybe you could get it in 3D?! Very interesting, nonetheless!
  15. Truly interesting. Sadly, the video is blocked by the internet filter. Where is society going....
  16. We learn about tectonic plate motion in Earth Science, but I never thought I'd hear about it in the present day. Apparently, it happens faster than I thought, and is extremely visible. A small patch of land off the coast of Japan sprouted from the sea last November, due to volcanic and seismic activity in the "Ring of Fire" region known to scientists. The island continued to grow, faster than expected, and finally collided with a much larger island. The outcome? One big island! The region, now called Niijima, sits hundreds of feet above sea level, to the astonishment of researchers. The seismic activity in this region has been coined the "Ring of Fire", and is the epicenter of about %90 of Earth's earthquakes. It is possible that the continuous and slow eruptions of the smaller island's volcano simply layered rock onto the surface, making it higher as time went on. Another theory states that the seismic motion and activity beneath the crust of the planet has pushed the whole region up, exposing the once unheard of land. Either way, Earth's land area just got a tiny bit bigger.
  17. Earlier today, April 7th, it was announced that a U.S. Navy vessel had confirmed that a "ping" was received by its underwater receiver. What does it mean, and does it guarantee that we've finally put a close to this awful mystery? When an aircraft as large as the 777 goes down (like Asiana 214), there are dozens of mechanisms that trigger, designed to allow searchers and rescuers to locate the aircraft. In this case, the 777 has many "pingers", or small radios that broadcast weak signals of 37.5 kHz. Designed to broadcast the same signals (about one "ping" per second), the batteries die about 45 days after activation. Luckily, the a Chinese vessel first picked up the signal a few days back, before the weak signals broadcast no more. If that had happened, it is very likely that we would never find closure for MH370. The pingers, designed to activate when high g levels are detected, are 2km under the Southern Indian Ocean. So all we have to do is send one of our fancy submarines down there and pick up the flight data recorder, right? Sure, but it will take some time. IF this is the plane, the U.S. (or China) will begin the actual search for the "black" box, which is actually neon orange for good reason. The box could be buried in silt, or sitting right in plain view; we'll just have to wait. The good news: we may finally have closure. The fate of this flight is almost determined; the families may now understand the truth. The bad news: don't get excited about finding these recorders just yet. The search for the data recorders could take years. Once we have them, however, we'll finally have the resources to find out why altitude fluctuated, why the radar transponder was switched off, and why a $260,000,000 aircraft disappeared in the technology-rich age of 2014.
  18. Personally, I've resorted to the old "chains" and "studs" method to tackle the snow. It's not great for gas mileage, but it works.
  19. Well that's a shame. I was planning on ruining some tourists' days with my penny dropping skills.
  20. If you still think that the Titanic is the largest ship ever built...well...that's SO 1912. There're some huge ships out there (mainly cargo), and they make the Titanic look like a twig. The Seawise Giant statistically is the largest ship - ever. The crude oil tanker was built in 1979, and was sunk during the Iran-Iraq War before being repaired and brought back into use. Empty, the ship weighed 650000 tonnes, or 1.4e9 pounds. Unable to navigate the English Channel, Panama Canal, and other water ways, the ship was easily regarded as the largest one built. It was decomissioned in 2009 and scrapped in 2010 for metal. The largest aircraft in service, the AN-225 (there's only one flying today), weighs a "measly" 650 tonnes, can produce 1377 kN of thrust, with each engine producing more than tornado level winds. It has a maximum takeoff weight of over a million pounds, and is one of the only aircraft readily available to transport goods like wind turbines and...other aircraft...
  21. Personally, I had never really known my facts about this. To be honest, I wasn't even sure if the U.S. was the only country to have put men on the moon. But, from some hasty research, here's why nobody else has been there: 1) The USSR DID in fact have plans to send a man to the moon. The N-1 Rocket (Saturn V's competitor) was prepped to serve as the propulsion for the missions, but a series of catastrophic failures led to the USSR's decision to halt the program. It was officially cancelled in 1976. 2) 95% of nations are fiscally unable to have a lunar program 3) Preliminary, basic information has already been found by the Apollo missions. In other words, everything we need to know about the moon has already been acquired. 4) Even for 1st World Nations, it's still a financial hardship. The Apollo program cost 23.9 Billion Dollars (NOT adjusted for inflation!) However, lunar studies are not over at all! China plans to send multiple probes to the moon in the near future. Lunar colonies are still an option, but more of a vision than a direct goal.
  22. The largest fast food chain in the history of mankind is...well...massive. With more than 34,000 locations worldwide, McDonald's is awesome and awful at the same time. Ignoring the politics, let's look at the physics! On an average day, 300,000,000 people around the world will consume food from McDonald's. The average amount of calories on the McDonald's menu is 500 calories per meal. Let's say that each person buys a meal. Here's where it gets gross. Worldwide, humans consume 1.5e11 calories of McDonald's, PER DAY. That's 630 GJ (giga-joules). That's also 1111111111 twinkies. Or, if you're healthy, 1.875e10 cucumbers, or 641025641 avocados. We eat a lot of food, and McDonald's could either be described as a marvel of engineering or an evil corporation. Maybe it's both.
  23. Maybe I'll write a post just about cows...*suspense*
  24. The boring white orb that aimlessly spirals around Earth hasn't been stepped on by man since Apollo 17. But that doesn't mean we're done with it...at all. Here are five things that you (maybe) didn't know about our one and only moon: 1) NASA plans to send a satellite to the lunar surface and dig deep enough in hopes of finding...you guessed it..water! They speculate that there is a frozen layer of it underneath the surface. 2) The Moon will eventually leave us. Using laser reflections from mirrors left on the moon by Apollo missions, scientists have accurately determined the distance between Earth and the moon. Inching away, tides will become weaker, and solar eclipses won't be a thing. This will happen in a short billion years! 3) Alan Shepard played golf on the moon. Swinging a 6 iron, he launched the golf ball over hundreds of yards. 4) The moon, when facing the sun, is over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't bring layers. 5) The moon, when NOT facing the sun, is under -200 degrees Fahrenheit. BRING LAYERS!
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