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Bringing Down the ISS

Piece by piece
  [vote for,

So, the Chinese lab falling out of orbit is about 8.5 tonnes. If 30% survives then that’s 2.5 tonnes of junk that land somewhere and make a nice crater.

The ISS, by comparison, is 450 tonnes. As it’s rather gangly a good portion of it should burn up, but not nearly all. 100 tonnes falling, if it were to not hit an ocean, could make a sizable dent in the Buchanan Estate’s outer garden and decrease property values marginally. I suppose we could always have it land on Red Square or the White House, but that seems unsporting, and we might need those in the future.

I suggest we send it down in a few pieces somehow. Break the modules apart, attach a few thrusters here and there, and have more, albeit lighter, worrisome things to track.

RayfordSteele, Apr 01 2018

" Lot of good eating on an ISS ... " Near_20Earth_20Orbi...ation_20Corporation
[normzone, Apr 01 2018]

EM thruster https://news.nation...view-space-science/
The best way to find out if it actually works is to try using it in outer space. [Vernon, Apr 02 2018]

Some Google links https://www.google....i30k1.0.o0owxvWJGDg
A number of articles (some are .pdf files instead of web pages) about the EM thruster. [Vernon, Apr 02 2018]

RF resonant cavity thruster https://en.wikipedi...ant_cavity_thruster
Disputed [8th of 7, Apr 02 2018]

How quantised inertia gets rid of dark matter https://www.youtube...watch?v=fnNKC82wUmY
This guy reckons he's managed to do away with dark matter and explain the EM-drive at the same time. [Wrongfellow, Apr 03 2018]

Robonaut https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robonaut
Mentioned in my anno [notexactly, Apr 15 2018]

Poynting–Robertson effect https://en.wikipedi...ng–Robertson_effect
Mentioned in my anno [notexactly, Apr 15 2018]

YORP effect https://en.wikipedi...skii–Paddack_effect
Mentioned in my anno [notexactly, Apr 15 2018]

Yarkovsky effect https://en.wikipedi...ki/Yarkovsky_effect
Mentioned by [Wrongfellow] [notexactly, Apr 15 2018]

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       I think it would be far better if NASA installed several of those "EM thruster" gadgets (see link) on the ISS, and let them run continuously. If they actually work, and since they would use some of the space station's solar power, then they should suffice to keep the ISS aloft indefinitely, and perhaps even push it to a higher orbit.
Vernon, Apr 02 2018

       Would humanity learn something from wasting another environment? I'm with [Vernon], even if it does cost.
wjt, Apr 02 2018

       I say we should either keep it up there, or land it.   

       Or rent it out as parking space to Elon Musk.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 02 2018

       I was expecting some sort of combination of [8th]'s [Radial implosion suicide vest] & [pashute]'s [save the suicide bomber].   

       Something where you break it into itty bitty pieces by lobbing suicide bombers at it.   

       So bringing down the ISS with ISIS.
Skewed, Apr 02 2018

       We'll tow it away for scrap, for a modest fee. There's bound to be a Ferengi junk dealer who'll give us a few bars of Latinum for it.
8th of 7, Apr 02 2018

       How much more fuel would it's extant thrusters need to push it out of orbit.   

       All that material, all those computers & other hardware, it's all up there already so why not just convert it into an ad hoc unmanned craft & push it off to do a tour of the solar system?   

       Pop some Honda Asimo (or something like) on it for any of the occasional maintenance work needed (not completely autonomously of course, they're not good enough for that but you can load up new instructions for specific tasks as they're identified by radio link etc) & we can chop & change what we want it doing & where in the solar system we want it to go as much as we like.   

       The only problem is the fuel will run out eventually.. but maybe we can send it out to the oort cloud or the asteroid belt or saturns rings (etc) to gather up new material every once in a while.
Skewed, Apr 02 2018

       //EM thruster//   

       I've no idea what these are accept that National Geographic (not exactly known for solid scientific reporting) in your linked article [Vern] says it defies Newtons 3rd law & that they say that (paraphrasing) no one knows how or why it should work (whoever came up with the idea must have had a reason to think it would work in order to have come up with the idea in the first place so that statement by NG has to be viewed as deeply flawed bollocks to start with, it's the sort of dumb comment that taints an entire article for me).   

       That aside the bit that jumps out at me is EM..   

       Can't be bothered to go look for actual details on the engine so I may have the wrong end of the stick.   

       But why wouldn't pushing against the earths magnetic field give you some momentum & why would anyone think that broke Newtons 3rd law.   

       Of course once you've left the influence of the planets magnetic field you won't get anything from your engine will you so it's not really useful.
Skewed, Apr 02 2018

       Could we throw that flat-earther rocket jockey at it?
RayfordSteele, Apr 02 2018

       [Skewed], The article I linked reported about something that got published in a much-more-serious science journal. How can that possibly qualify as dodgy reporting (regardless of where its associated picture came from)? Also, this gadget has been controversial for several years now. You should be able to find out a lot about it on the internet, if you bothered to look.
Vernon, Apr 02 2018

       [Vern] I didn't say the source was dodgy I said they aren't well known for solid science articles, & non-dodgy sources don't preclude crap articles, this is a fluff piece by someone who appears to be at least as clueless as me, aside from typical newspaper gossip on these things it's got nothing.   

       I left the article knowing nothing more than that someone somewhere said "EM thruster", that the idea (as NG have presented it) is silly (because it breaks 3rd law) & shouldn't work but someone at NASA (allegedly) says it does, because that's more or less all it says.. just mildly sensationalist gossip, worthless, probably a Chinese whispers style misrepresentation of whatever the NASA dudes were actually doing or said is my guess.   

       I can't (& so don't) make any comment on the original article you say inspired theirs because I haven't read it.
Skewed, Apr 02 2018

       // the idea (as NG have presented it) is silly (because it breaks 3rd law) & shouldn't work //   

       You still don't have a workable, solid Unified Field theory, though, do you ? The patchwork Physics you have still has plenty of holes that a non-Newtonian reactionless drive can be steered through ...
8th of 7, Apr 02 2018

       //You should be able to find out a lot about it on the internet, if you bothered to look//   

       Why would I do that? I've spent plenty of time in the past chasing perpetual motion engines on-line, more than enough to have had my fill of that bollocks so why would I bore & frustrate myself further by listening to (OK, reading) the thoughts of yet more charlatans & idiots.   

       You (or NG) would need a much tastier (or more persuasive) hook than that article to get me off on that carousel again.
Skewed, Apr 02 2018

       [Skewed], OK, so I added a link to some more links. Have fun!
Vernon, Apr 02 2018

       The superluminal neutrino thing turned out to be a dodgy cable.   

       The Shawyer thruster is fascinating - but I think the smart money's on a similarly mundane explanation.
Wrongfellow, Apr 02 2018

8th of 7, Apr 02 2018

       //The Shawyer thruster is fascinating//   

       ...and the dude in my latest [link] clearly finds it fascinating too.
Wrongfellow, Apr 03 2018

       Symmetry. It's all about symmetry...   

       A lot of your best theories can't deal with a number of inconsistencies - "Time's Arrow", "Only one sort of Gravity" etc.   

       Now, a lot of the contradictions disappear (including that glorious fudge factor, the 'Cosmological constant') if you accept that - like a Turing machine - causality can run either way.   

       In fact, because you're "inside" the machine, you don't know which way it is running, because you've no independent frame of reference. Oh, you've blamed it on entropy, but you've still got no proof.   

       Now, within the barbed-wire cattle pen of your Laws of Thermodynamics, energy can change its form. Kinetic energy can become heat. Heat can become electrical energy; and electrical energy can become a propagating electromagnetic wave.   

       Nowhere does it say, within a robust, consistent theory, that electromagnetic energy can't become kinetic energy without any intervening step. You just don't know how to do it yet.   

       OK, so when you do, the side effects will kill everyone nearby, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. You've only been doing powered flight, chemical weapons, genetic engineering and radio for a bit more than one high-end human lifetime ... be not disheartened. Other ways of killing each other are available.
8th of 7, Apr 03 2018

       //The difficult thing, I imagine, would be to move sideways through time.//   




AusCan531, Apr 04 2018

       Travel backwards in time is quite normal. It's a pity that the process erases all memories (and other records) of the time we came from, but at least we can see where we're going.
pertinax, Apr 04 2018

       There's a very good analogy explaining the nature of time which is based around standing on a travellator, next to a fixed floodlight, and facing away from the direction of travel - so you can see clearly where you've just been, but not what's ahead.   

       If you turn around, because of the constantly shifting illumination, what's ahead of you is in darkness until it gets very close- hence the immediate future is vaguely discernable, but further away it quickly becomes totally obscure.   

       For your homework, "Describe an observable macroscopic practical situation where electromagnetic energy is converted into mechanical energy".   

       For extra marks, "Using the appropriate Bullshit Buzzwords (Casimir vacuum, weak nuclear force, Zero point energy, Cosmological constant etc.) discuss why a "reactionless" drive may or may not be practical".   

       Tomorrow's lecture will be on "Extrapolation". On the basis that homo sapiens produces on average one Newton/Heaviside/Einstein /Tesla/Hawking per two generations, how long will it be before your species develops the mathematical basis for supeluminary travel, and then how long after that to a practical implementation ?   

       Hint: Daniel Bernoulli died in 1782. It was a century before the first practical fixed wings were developed.
8th of 7, Apr 04 2018

       Postulated : a property of one or more of the quarks that make up normal matter is time-based such that running backwards changes it to a different quark (perhaps one we know of, already). So some sorts of hadrons are different depending which way they're facing, and would have different properties, perhaps falling apart on the arse end since they would be made of quarks that don't normally join up.   

       This affects time as much as a boat travelling across a lake affects the existence of the 3 dimensions, ie: not at all.
FlyingToaster, Apr 04 2018

       Well done.   

       Now, if instead of rowing across the surface of water (a reaction), the force is exerted against the structure of spacetime itself, you have your "reactionless" drive.   

       Importantly, the mass of the boat/rower/oars system doesn't change.   

       It's important not to confuse the two distinct problems; a reactionless propulsion system won't give you superluminary travel, but it does give you a useful starting point. Although a steam locomotive can't be made to fly, it can teach you a lot about aerodynamics, and that high translational speeds won't cause any actual harm.
8th of 7, Apr 04 2018

       Um, I presume that people have neglected to mention Haussman-Bósenfigge unified fields because they consider them too obvious?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 04 2018

       //Describe an observable macroscopic practical situation where electromagnetic energy is converted into mechanical energy//   

       My wife's hair dryer motor?
RayfordSteele, Apr 04 2018

       "Electromagnetic" as in a propagating wave in free space, not "Electrical" as in movement of electrons* within** a conductor.   

       Then again, we don't discount the possibility that your wife posesses an unusual hairdryer.   

       *or "holes". Or indeed "waves" (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays only).   

       ** Or rather, on the surface of the conductor, electric current being a boundary or "skin" effect.
8th of 7, Apr 04 2018

       I'm quite certain that there is some electromagnetic wave action that occurs between the rotor and stator.   

       Have you considered also a radiometer?
RayfordSteele, Apr 04 2018

       Yes but the radiometer tends to leave my hair rather damp even after 15 minutes of vigorous use.
pocmloc, Apr 05 2018

       That must be so annoying. Perhaps you could drape the radiometer over a warm radiator for an hour or so before use ?   

       // electromagnetic wave ... between the rotor and stator. //   

       No, it's purely magnetic.
8th of 7, Apr 05 2018

       //it's purely magnetic//   

       Only a static, unchanging magnetic field has no electric component. The magnetic field in a motor is varying with time, implying the presence of an electric field too, per Maxwell's equations and all that.   

       Besides, the theory of electromagnetism _unifies_ the electric and magnetic fields, so surely it's not unreasonable to describe a static magnetic field as electromagnetic in nature?
Wrongfellow, Apr 06 2018

       A crystal radio set. Do I win a steamed ham ?   

       You can also run an electric motor from RF ; get the frequency low enough, you could drop the diode bridge and run AC synchronous.
FlyingToaster, Apr 06 2018

       A solar sail.
Wrongfellow, Apr 06 2018

       <adds [Wrong]'s name to the list of those worthy of Assimilation/>
8th of 7, Apr 06 2018

       There's the Yarkovsky effect, too, where the orbits of comets and such diverge slightly from the Newtonian ideal because the sun only heats up one side and not the other.
Wrongfellow, Apr 06 2018

       //"Describe an observable macroscopic practical situation where electromagnetic energy is converted into mechanical energy".//   

       A seedling splitting a boulder in two?   

       An induction heater.
Wrongfellow, Apr 07 2018

       A sealed bottle of water in a microwave.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 08 2018

       So nothing to do with the Islamic State at all?   

       I remember their recruiters back in the 1970's in the summers, using vans with music blaring out and the guy inside saying "Isis, Isis"...they've been playing the long game...
not_morrison_rm, Apr 08 2018

       // Pop some Honda Asimo (or something like) on it for any of the occasional maintenance work needed //   

       Robonaut already exists: [link]   

       // There's the Yarkovsky effect, too, where the orbits of comets and such diverge slightly from the Newtonian ideal because the sun only heats up one side and not the other. //   

       There are also the Poyn ting–Robe rtson effect and the Yark ovsky–O'Ke efe–Radzi evskii–Pad dack (YORP) effect: [links] (Names split like that because please, [jutta]…)
notexactly, Apr 15 2018


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