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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old July 19 2013, 09:09 AM   #16
Deckerd
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Re: Satellites in Space

I like the way the OP makes it clear what our planet is.
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Old July 20 2013, 08:40 PM   #17
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Re: Satellites in Space

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Yes, they started developing co-orbital interception vehicles (e.g. armed satellites, missile- and laser-based anti-satellite weapons and even an antiaircraft gun on one of their space stations) after it began to emerge that filling the sky with a bunch of orbiting bombs was a stupid way to cope with American spy satellites. They still TRIED it, though, and the exact nature of their experiments with those technologies is still not entirely clear since the only reason we know as much as we do about it NOW is because of ex-soviet Scientists willing to go public about it.

What scared folks here more than anything else for awhile (other than road mobile ICBMs like Gnom http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/gnom.htm) were their FOBS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractio...ardment_System

I can't imagine what having that new R-7 pad now in Kourous to replace the defunct Ariane 4 would have been like had it been built in the Cold War. We'd have DEW lines in the south.
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Old July 21 2013, 05:04 AM   #18
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Re: Satellites in Space

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Yes, they started developing co-orbital interception vehicles (e.g. armed satellites, missile- and laser-based anti-satellite weapons and even an antiaircraft gun on one of their space stations) after it began to emerge that filling the sky with a bunch of orbiting bombs was a stupid way to cope with American spy satellites.
The idea of launching nuclear warheads from orbit was taken seriously in the 1960s. The four unmanned satellites we see orbiting the Earth in 2001: A Space Odyssey were originally meant to be nuclear weapons platforms, though there was no reference to that fact in the finished film.




(Damn, now I can't get The Blue Danube out of my head.)
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Old July 21 2013, 09:21 AM   #19
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Re: Satellites in Space

^ There was in the book, though. The first thing David Bowman does when he comes back to Earth as a space baby is to arm and detonate all of those platforms because he "prefers cleaner skies."

Ironically, the 2010 movie DID feature a cold-war subplot even while the novel version sidelined the Cold War altogether and depicted the U.S. and Russia in a three-way space race with a surprisingly innovative China. Life immitating art?
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Old July 21 2013, 07:29 PM   #20
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Re: Satellites in Space

EmoBorg wrote: View Post
Metryq wrote: View Post
I'm guessing you don't know anything about orbital mechanics. While a satellite can be shifted to a new orbit, this "space mines" idea would be terribly inefficient.

A nuclear powered satellite would not have such a problem. When the space mine uses it's nuclear power supply to increase the effect of the explosion, that explosion would have a large radius. Even if it does not physically cause the destruction of the enemy satellite, it could still fry the electronic circuits of the target to make it dysfunctional.
This just demonstrates that you also don't know much about nuclear detonations in space. A nuclear explosion in space is not that big, most of the energy is radiated as light and heat. The EMP that you are referring to is actually done at high altitude while still in the atmosphere.

Remember, space is BIG. For something to be "close" to be effective, it really needs to be right on top of each other.

On a separate note how does "the space mine uses it's nuclear power supply to increase the effect of the explosion, that explosion would have a large radius" work?? Do you really think having a nuclear reactor near a conventional explosion will trigger a nuclear detonation?? No. it doesn't work like that. At most you'll have a "dirty" explosion meaning that the reactor is destroyed and it's radioactive bits are scattered around.
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Old July 21 2013, 09:06 PM   #21
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Re: Satellites in Space

The nuclear pulse Orion (not the current Apollo style capsule of the same name) worked better in Earth's atmosphere due to there being a shock wave to harness.

An Orion pulse unit would be good against an asteroid in that, unlike a gravity tractor that means you have a long Rosetta style matching trajectory before you can even begin a mission.

The pulse unit would be about the same size and shape of the copper impactor disk used by the Deep Impact mission--which only needed a fly-by trajectory.
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=18971
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Old July 22 2013, 12:53 AM   #22
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Re: Satellites in Space

publiusr wrote: View Post
An Orion pulse unit would be good against an asteroid in that, unlike a gravity tractor that means you have a long Rosetta style matching trajectory before you can even begin a mission.
Huh? I get what you're saying about the Orion engine, but the above sentence does not make grammatical sense. Are gravity tractors made by John Deere or Caterpillar?
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Old July 24 2013, 04:59 AM   #23
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Re: Satellites in Space

sojourner wrote: View Post
EmoBorg wrote: View Post
Metryq wrote: View Post
I'm guessing you don't know anything about orbital mechanics. While a satellite can be shifted to a new orbit, this "space mines" idea would be terribly inefficient.

A nuclear powered satellite would not have such a problem. When the space mine uses it's nuclear power supply to increase the effect of the explosion, that explosion would have a large radius. Even if it does not physically cause the destruction of the enemy satellite, it could still fry the electronic circuits of the target to make it dysfunctional.
This just demonstrates that you also don't know much about nuclear detonations in space. A nuclear explosion in space is not that big, most of the energy is radiated as light and heat.
Actually, most of it is radiated in soft x-rays and infrared radiation, the latter of which is mainly emitted from the vaporized bomb casing itself. Because there's no air to absorb those x-rays (and produce the fireball you'd see in an airburst) the radiation burst falls off at the square of the distance, which means that any object within a certain radius will be superheated and/or vaporized by the radiation pulse.

Depending on the yield of the warhead, this could be anywhere between 2 and 10km. Far less than it would be in an atmosphere, but for satellites even a smaller burst of soft x-rays would be enough to fry their electronics and knock out their solar arrays and power systems.

-- This has been another random act of science --
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Old July 24 2013, 06:35 AM   #24
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Re: Satellites in Space

You would still need to target individual satellites at that radius. not very effective use of nuclear warheads considering the number needed to disable a good portion of the satellites in orbit.
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Old July 24 2013, 11:37 AM   #25
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Re: Satellites in Space

sojourner wrote: View Post
not very effective use of nuclear warheads
Well, we could always salt the ground where the enemy grows their satellites...

(That's what the SALT talks were all about, right? No? Pretzels, anyone? Beer summit? I think my train of thought has been derailed.)
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Old July 25 2013, 05:46 AM   #26
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Re: Satellites in Space

sojourner wrote: View Post
You would still need to target individual satellites at that radius. not very effective use of nuclear warheads...
THAT depends on where you choose to engage them.

For example, if you deliberately knock out all of America's communication satellites when they just happened to be directly over the continental United States and/or U.S. military bases, not only would you knock out the satellites, the resulting EMP would also zap half the computers in the country.
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Old July 25 2013, 10:23 AM   #27
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Re: Satellites in Space

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
the resulting EMP would also zap half the computers in the country.
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Old July 25 2013, 07:37 PM   #28
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Re: Satellites in Space

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
You would still need to target individual satellites at that radius. not very effective use of nuclear warheads...
THAT depends on where you choose to engage them.

For example, if you deliberately knock out all of America's communication satellites when they just happened to be directly over the continental United States and/or U.S. military bases, not only would you knock out the satellites, the resulting EMP would also zap half the computers in the country.
Comsats are in geosynchronous orbit. They don't wander around. They're either over the U.S. or not. Most likely not since the whole point of a comsat is to provide signals to the other side of the planet. The other thing is that geosynchronous orbits require an altitude of 22,500 something odd miles. Would an EMP have the range to take out both a satellite at that altitude and whatever is on the Earth below it?

Remember, space is BIG.
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Old July 26 2013, 11:33 PM   #29
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Re: Satellites in Space

Metryq wrote: View Post
publiusr wrote: View Post
An Orion pulse unit would be good against an asteroid in that, unlike a gravity tractor that means you have a long Rosetta style matching trajectory before you can even begin a mission.
Huh? I get what you're saying about the Orion engine, but the above sentence does not make grammatical sense. Are gravity tractors made by John Deere or Caterpillar?
A gravity tractor is a spacecraft orbiting an asteroid and using its own gravity to pull the asteroid off couse my thrusting away from it slightly.

Not much more purchase than a gnat pushing a semi, but that's the idea. I'll take the nuke.

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Comsats are in geosynchronous orbit. They don't wander around. They're either over the U.S. or not.
Yes and no. Such comsats are are over the equator. The USA is below them, down and to the northeast. From our vantage point, the comsat is up and to the southwest. That is why most if not all dishes are pointed in the same direction.

Now in terms of wandering, geosynch comsats do wander a very little bit--a halo orbit in a figure eight. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analemma

There is a difference between geosynchronus and true geostationary.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geosynchronous_orbit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geostationary
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Old July 27 2013, 01:19 AM   #30
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Re: Satellites in Space

Yes, thank you for splitting those hairs.
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