# Potentially interesting STEM stuff

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#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
I'll add stuff to when I visit.

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Inside NASA's mission to a totally iron asteroid

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February 20, 2020

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Blast tube nozzle?

Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM)

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AGM-65 Maverick Missile

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A Huge Discovery in the World of Viruses
Giant phages have been found in French lakes, baboons from Kenya, and the human mouth.
20 Feb 2020

https://www.theatlantic.com/science...k-ton-giant-viruses-inside-your-mouth/606763/

Your mouth is currently teeming with giant viruses that, until very recently, no one knew existed.

Unlike Ebola or the new coronavirus that’s currently making headlines, these particular viruses don’t cause disease in humans. They’re part of a group known as phages, which infect and kill bacteria. But while many phages are well studied, these newly discovered giants are largely mysterious. Why are they 10 times bigger than other phages? How do they reproduce? And what are they up to inside our bodies? “They’re in our saliva, and in our gut,” says Jill Banfield of the University of California, Berkeley, who led the team that discovered the new phages. “Who knows what they’re doing?”

From what Banfield and her team have been able to tell, though, these giants defy some fundamental ideas about how viruses usually work. And, even if it’s not yet clear how, they are likely affecting us.

Banfield’s team found the huge phages by accident. She and her colleagues were studying the gut bacteria of Bangladeshi people who live near arsenic-contaminated groundwater, to see whether those microbes can detoxify arsenic. They can’t. But among the bacterial DNA, the team also noticed the unexpectedly massive genomes of several new phages. An average phage carries about 52,000 “letters” worth of DNA, but these giants carried more than 540,000. And though the team first noticed them in Bangladeshi guts, they also found them in people from Tanzania, in pigs from Denmark, and in baboons from Kenya.

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#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn

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Missile Defense Countermeasures

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Part 1 describes the huge amount of very interesting and priceless data and the incredible effort that went into acquiring it in the 60s, 70s, and 80s and finally digitizing it which was recovered from obsolete IBM storage media by much of the same team involved in the Apollo AGC restoration project.

"We meet scientists with a 300 Million year old data problem in need of retro-computing help. What it can tell us about our distant past is amazing."

Fossil Data Part 1: Paleontologic Data Fossilized on IBM 8” Floppies

Fossil Data Part 2: 8-Inch IBM Floppy Data Recovery

With regard to the Blast Tube Nozzle on the ESSM, I believe that this is simply something like an elongated throat that has been used on many military missiles like the Bomarc, second-stage Nike Hercules, Hawk, even the Standard Missile. It actually has decreased performance, but allows room for fin actuators at the aft end of the missile.

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#### PXR5

##### Starship Hijacker
TRF Supporter
I remember those discs well.
My first real job I repaired the drives, they were big on word processing equipment.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
With regard to the Blast Tube Nozzle on the ESSM, I believe that this is simply something like an elongated throat that has been used on many military missiles like the Bomarc, second-stage Nike Hercules, Hawk, even the Standard Missile. It actually has decreased performance, but allows room for fin actuators at the aft end of the missile.
Thanks, makes sense. Funny they seem to brag about it as a feature instead of a compromise, but that's marketing.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
New Details On Israel's Failed Lunar Lander

#### Marc_G

##### Well-Known Member
Big floppy disk brings back memories. To paraphrase Sinatra:

"When I was seventeen, they made some very big discs...
They made some very big discs for room sized mainframes,
and minicomputers,
What could be cuter?
Data transfer wasn't brisk,
When I was seventeen..."

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Big floppy disk brings back memories. To paraphrase Sinatra:

"When I was seventeen, they made some very big discs...
They made some very big discs for room sized mainframes,
and minicomputers,
What could be cuter?
Data transfer wasn't brisk,
When I was seventeen..."
Air Force finally retires 8-inch floppies from missile launch control system
"Solid state storage" replaces IBM Series/1's floppy drive.
18 Oct 2019

https://arstechnica.com/information...-floppies-from-missile-launch-control-system/

Five years ago, a CBS 60 Minutes report publicized a bit of technology trivia many in the defense community were aware of: the fact that eight-inch floppy disks were still used to store data critical to operating the Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missile command, control, and communications network. The system, once called the Strategic Air Command Digital Network (SACDIN), relied on IBM Series/1 computers installed by the Air Force at Minuteman II missile sites in the 1960s and 1970s.

Those floppy disks have now been retired. Despite the contention by the Air Force at the time of the 60 Minutes report that the archaic hardware offered a cybersecurity advantage, the service has completed an upgrade to what is now known as the Strategic Automated Command and Control System (SACCS), as Defense News reports. SAACS is an upgrade that swaps the floppy disk system for what Lt. Col. Jason Rossi, commander of the Air Force’s 595th Strategic Communications Squadron, described as a “highly secure solid state digital storage solution.” The floppy drives were fully retired in June.

But the IBM Series/1 computers remain, in part because of their reliability and security. And it's not clear whether other upgrades to "modernize" the system have been completed. Air Force officials have acknowledged network upgrades that have enhanced the speed and capacity of SACCS' communications systems, and a Government Accountability Office report in 2016 noted that the Air Force planned to "update its data storage solutions, port expansion processors, portable terminals, and desktop terminals by the end of fiscal year 2017." But it's not clear how much of that has been completed.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
DARPA Doubles Dough For Nuclear-Powered Cislunar Rocket
DARPA's budget documents say cislunar orbit is the "new high ground" at risk of being taken over by US adversaries.
18 Feb 2020

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/02/darpa-doubles-dough-for-nuclear-powered-cislunar-rocket/

...the projects in DARPA’s space basket for 2021 include:

Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) — $46.3 million, a slight slip from$47.3 allocated in 2020. The RSGS program is aimed at establishing the capability to provide a variety of robotic services for satellites in GEO such as re-fueling or repairs. DARPA’s budget request says the program will be transitioned to a commercial partner who will provide the satellite to carry the robotic payload and operate it. DARPA has been looking at a launch date of 2022 for RSGS, after a series of problems that included the withdrawal last year of its commercial partner Maxar. The RSGS funds also support the Consortium For Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing (CONFERS) that brings together private sector and government experts to develop voluntary standards for on-orbit operations involving maneuverable satellites.

Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO), formerly known as “Reactor on a Rocket (ROAR)” — $21 million, up from an initial$10 million in 2020. DRACO “will develop and demonstrate a High-Assay LowEnriched Uranium (HALEU) nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system.” NASA is working on similar nuclear thermal propulsion rockets, which use low-enriched — between 5 and 20 percent — uranium-235 (U-235). U-235 is the basic nuclear fuel for commercial light-water reactors when enriched to between 3 and 5 percent; the Navy’s nuclear reactors use U-235 fuel enriched to 90 percent. The new rocket would allow the US military to operate spacecraft in cislunar space, which DARPA’s budget documents call the “new high-ground” that is “in danger of being defined by the adversary.” DARPA budget documents say the Air Force is the targeted customer for DRACO. As Breaking D readers know, senior Air Force and DoD officials are increasingly speaking publicly about the need for the United States to expand its military space activities to cislunar space to counter China — which has a robust civil lunar exploration program that many in the US national security community suspect is a cover for military ambitions. Indeed, SDA’s planned space architecture includes sensors in cislunar space. DARPA’s funding boost for the project reflects its intentions to move from feasibility studies this year to an actual demonstration in a testing environment in 2021.

Planer Imager — $12 million, up from$5 million in 2020. “The Planar Imager program seeks to disrupt the state-of-the-art in optical sensors by developing a lightweight, compact, affordable optical payload that can be integrated into a ride-share compatible satellite bus with equivalent imaging performance to current commercial conventional optical imaging satellites,” DARPA’s budget documents explain. “This technology will significantly lower the size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) of high-resolution intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) satellites enabling persistent coverage by an affordable satellite constellation and with a rapid reconstitution ability.” Further, the documents say, these small sensors could be carried on small satellites that could be deployed simultaneously by one launch vehicle — thus pushing down the price of launch. DARPA envisions this program eventually being taken up by the Air Force.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Recreated Apollo 13 Views of the Moon in 4K from LRO Images

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Northrop Grumman makes history, Mission Extension Vehicle docks to target satellite
February 26, 2020

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/202...ry-mission-extension-vehicle-docks-satellite/

Four and a half months after its launch on a Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle has made history, successfully docking with its target satellite above Geostationary Orbit to extend that satellite’s lifetime well beyond the original plan.

The successful maneuver marked a groundbreaking change in how satellites are operated in orbit, with the Mission Extension Vehicle capable of not just extending a satellite’s life but also moving defunct satellites to safer orbits.

This Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 photo provided by Northrop Grumman shows the Intelsat 901 satellite as the Mission Extension Vehicle-1 approaches it in orbit around the Earth. The Northrop Grumman MEV-1 will serve as a guide dog of sorts for its aging Intelsat companion which is almost out of fuel. (Northrop Grumman via AP)

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
FEBRUARY 27, 2020
Physicists may have accidentally discovered a new state of matter

https://phys.org/news/2020-02-physicists-accidentally-state.html

The ability to move, manipulate, and store electrons is key to the vast majority of modern technology, whether we're trying to harvest energy from the sun or play Plants vs. Zombies on our phone. In a paper published in Nanoscale, the researchers described a way to make electrons do something entirely new: Distribute themselves evenly into a stationary, crystalline pattern.

"I'm tempted to say it's almost like a new phase of matter," Kar says. "Because it's just purely electronic."

The phenomenon appeared while the researchers were running experiments with crystalline materials that are only a few atoms thick, known as 2-D materials. These materials are made up of a repeating pattern of atoms, like an endless checkerboard, and are so thin that the electrons in them can only move in two dimensions.

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FEBRUARY 27, 2020
Earth captures new 'mini moon'

https://phys.org/news/2020-02-earth-captures-mini-moon.html

Earth has acquired a second "mini-moon" about the size of a car, according to astronomers who spotted the object circling our planet.
The mass—roughly 1.9-3.5 meters (6-11 feet) in diameter—was observed by researchers Kacper Wierzchos and Teddy Pruyne at the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona on the night of February 15.

The astronomer said it was a "big deal" as "this is just the second asteroid known to orbit Earth (after 2006 RH120, which was also discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey)."

Its route suggests it entered Earth's orbit three years ago, he said.

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Minor Planet Center, which collects data on minor planets and asteroids, in an announcement said "no link to a known artificial object has been found," implying it was likely an asteroid captured by Earth's gravity.
"Orbit integrations indicate that this object is temporarily bound to the Earth."

Earth's new neighbor is not in a stable orbit around the planet and is unlikely to be around for very long.

"It is heading away from the Earth-moon system as we speak," Grigori Fedorets, research fellow at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, told New Scientist magazine, and was likely to escape in April.

The only other asteroid known to orbit Earth, 2006 RH120, rotated [orbited] the planet from September 2006 to June 2007.

Perspective view of the orbit of 2020 CD3 about the Earth. The white band is the orbit of Earth’s main, permanent, moon.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Focke Wulf Fw 190 A-8 walkaround

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Sprite - Hop and Divert Montage + Updates

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
NASA Airstrip Deep In The Mojave Desert Has Been Turned Into A Military Drone Base
Located inside the Army's National Training Center among deep space listening antennas, Goldstone Airport has taken on a very different new mission
27 Feb 2020

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...rt-has-been-turned-into-a-military-drone-base

Hidden away in the desolate mountains of the Mojave desert, NASA has been operating an expansive space communications and research complex since almost the very beginning of the Cold War-era Space Race. The historic and isolated locale is also home to an unassuming airstrip that runs alongside a dry lakebed. It has long caught the eye of The War Zone as a particularly ideal location for a drone base, and, as it turns out, this once austere runway has been quietly transformed into exactly that.

Goldstone Airport, also known by the abbreviation GTS, sits at an altitude of 3,038 feet and has a single runway that is approximately 6,000 feet long. It is situated within NASA's Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex (GDSCC) along Goldstone Dry Lake. The entire complex is located to the northeast of Barstow, California and the airport is approximately 13 miles northwest of the center of the U.S. Army's Fort Irwin, which oversees the nearby National Training Center, one of the service's premier training facilities. The GDSCC is itself within the bounds of Fort Irwin and the NTC. The area and its various facilities take their name from Goldstone, California, a gold-mining ghost town in the vicinity.

Abrupt End Of Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Buys Points To New Focus On Survivable Drones
General Atomics has supplied the backbone of America's drone force for decades. Now that may be ending due to stark tactical realities.
27 Feb 2020

The Air Force's 2021 Fiscal Year budget request shows the service expects to buy its last 24 MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft systems this year, with production basically ending next year with a total of 337 of drones delivered. It was originally thought that production would wind down over the next half-decade, with a total force of 363 MQ-9s being delivered. This potential change has a number of implications. Firstly, it would be an unwelcome and abrupt change for General Atomics, who builds the Reaper. Secondly, it points to a new and somewhat long-awaited reality in which the Air Force prioritizes survivability of its unmanned combat aircraft in order to be able to have them take a more central role in a conflict against an advanced peer-state foe.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
GIANT RC Ekranoplan

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
HOW ROCKETS ARE MADE (Rocket Factory Tour - United Launch Alliance)

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Dangerous tattoo remover from eBay is a MILLION watt (pulsed) laser

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Chicxulub: The Asteroid that Killed the Dinosaurs

More bad news for dinosaurs: Chicxulub meteorite impact triggered global volcanic eruptions on the ocean floor
February 7, 2018

https://theconversation.com/more-ba...l-volcanic-eruptions-on-the-ocean-floor-91053

The end of the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago was a rough time to be living on Earth.

Three global catastrophes occurred nearly simultaneously: The Chicxulub meteorite slammed into what is now Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the massive Deccan Traps volcanic province in modern-day India erupted, and some three-quarters of Earth’s plants and animals, including all non-avian dinosaurs, went extinct. The occurrence of these three events at the same time in our planet’s history has fueled a decades-long debate about causal links. Either a large sequence of volcanic eruptions or an extraterrestrial impact could conceivably cause a mass extinction – but were they all somehow connected?

As Earth scientists, we have reason to believe that there may be another event to add to the list. Our new research, published in Science Advances, shows that the Chicxulub impact may have triggered additional volcanic activity far from the Deccan Traps – along tens of thousands of miles of undersea volcanic ridges that lie at the edges of tectonic plates. The meteorite impact caused large seismic waves that traveled around the globe and were apparently capable of flushing magma out of the mantle and into the oceanic crust. This would presumably be more bad news for the dinosaurs and other flora and fauna of the time.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
FEBRUARY 21, 2020
Mars InSight lander to push on top of the 'mole'

https://phys.org/news/2020-02-mars-insight-lander-mole.html

After nearly a year of trying to dig into the Martian surface, the heat probe belonging to NASA's InSight lander is about to get a push. The mission team plans to command the scoop on InSight's robotic arm to press down on the "mole," the mini pile driver designed to hammer itself as much as 16 feet (5 meters) down. They hope that pushing down on the mole's top, also called the back cap, will keep it from backing out of its hole on Mars, as it did twice in recent months after nearly burying itself.

Part of an instrument called the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, or HP3, the mole is a 16-inch-long (40-centimeter-long) spike equipped with an internal hammering mechanism. While burrowing into the soil, it is designed to drag with it a ribbonlike tether that extends from the spacecraft. Temperature sensors are embedded along the tether to measure heat coming deep from within the planet's interior to reveal important scientific details about the formation of Mars and all rocky planets, including Earth. HP3 was provided to NASA by the German Aerospace Center, or DLR.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Starlink Has Competition & Satellite Internet's Impact on Astronomy

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
America's Newest Submarine has a Stealth Problem
25 Feb 2020

The Navy's newest fast-attack submarine was recently spotted with structural damage to its stealth coating after returning from its first deployment, which brings into question the manufacturing process of the shipbuilder, reported Forbes.

The USS Colorado (SSN 788), a nuclear-powered US Navy Virginia-class attack submarine, was recently photographed with large sections of its stealth coating, known as anechoic coating, missing on its starboard side. The layer is an outer skin, consisting of a sonar-absorbing material that makes the vessel virtually undetectable.

Colorado was launched on March 17, 2018, and this is one of America's newest and most powerful submarines, already experiencing issues with its outer stealth coating that could make it susceptible to detection by enemy forces.

The vessel recently returned from deployment in harsh northern waters, traveling approximately 39,000 nautical miles.

Forbes notes that the US, British, and Russian navies have all had similar problems with stealth skin breaking off during deployments.

However, Colorado experienced structural damage to its stealth coating on its first deployment, opening up questions surrounding the shipbuilder's manufacturing process.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Against maneuvering hypersonic vehicles, probably forget successful intercepts which is why they are such a threat.

Lots of great launch video sequences:

US SM-6 Missile

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
Against maneuvering hypersonic vehicles, probably forget successful intercepts which is why they are such a threat.

Lots of great launch video sequences:

US SM-6 Missile
Article in the local paper a couple of days ago says that Hawaii is slated to receive SM3 Block IIA ballistic missile interceptors within a year to guard against the growing North Korean threat. This after the announcement that a proposed \$1B radar defense system for Hawaii in the Pentagon's budget was left unfunded. So this means that the radar sensors for the missiles would be either ground based radars like the Aegis Land radar on Kauai and/or the sea based X band radar (called the "floating golf ball" by locals). Reason the new radar was unfunded was because of protests to the proposed building sites by a handful of residents citing cultural concerns.
So 1 million+ residents remain unprotected because of the actions of a few.
Auwe!

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Harpoon

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Reason the new radar was unfunded was because of protests to the proposed building sites by a handful of residents citing cultural concerns.
If the island is ever nuked by NK because of that, there won't be any culture to be concerned about.

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