travelavnut
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Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:12 am

I was watching a Youtube video of the last preperations for Expedition 30 launch tomorrow in Baikoenoer, and I almost fell of my chair when the video hit 1:33. Is that what I think it is? The same stuff I used a few months ago in my bathroom??!

At least I used the official application gun http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWd3-oh2Dbo
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flagon
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:52 am

Thanks for sharing this.
I am glad you started this thread.
As part of my engineering degree I have spent six months at the Samara Aerospace University (Russian Federation), and I am now a bit familiar with the russian approach in terms of engineering.
In our western countries we like making fun of russians and their rustic methods, as it is true it would take half a life to fully understand and integrate russian culture I recon.
We tend to forget a bit too quickly that the Soyuz space launch, mostly based and pretty straight forward technologies from the fifties, is simply and by far the most reliable of its category (despite recent incidents).
I think the russian way gives another dimension to the word "pragmatism".
Stephane
 
Arniepie
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:25 pm

I believe they even launch their vessels (in coop with ESA I think) from Kourou now , the closer proximity to the
equator giving it some extra payload capacity.

Also ,I wonder how far the new Russian spacebase (Vostochny Space Center) has come ?
I think many people feared that the Russians would have to give up on space completely past the fall of the Soviet
empire but the world has been pleasantly surprised to see them keeping their interest in space very much alive,
even if they suffered from severe budgetary issues for a long time.
[edit post]
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:35 pm

Quoting flagon (Reply 1):
We tend to forget a bit too quickly that the Soyuz space launch, mostly based and pretty straight forward technologies from the fifties, is simply and by far the most reliable of its category (despite recent incidents).

The recent incidents were apparently mainly caused by a lack of quality control and sloppy workmanship on a normally excellent design.
The reason is that back in the Soviet Union aerospace technicians were considered a national elite and therefore wellpaid, so that only the best and brightest were admitted, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the best university graduates either went into diffenerent, better paid, fields of engineering or left the country, and government support for the space programme sunk, so that they couldn´t get equally qualified and dedicated staff to replace the good technicians from the cold war, who were now retiring.

Jan
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travelavnut
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:43 pm

Quoting flagon (Reply 1):
bit familiar with the russian approach in terms of engineering.

If you have any stories about this please share them 
Quoting flagon (Reply 1):
We tend to forget a bit too quickly that the Soyuz space launch, mostly based and pretty straight forward technologies from the fifties, is simply and by far the most reliable of its category (despite recent incidents).

Ow I know, I really admire their safety record when it comes to human spaceflight, and I have an incredible soft spot for russian rocket design and the Soyuz.

But to get back to my question, was that really plastic bathroom filler they were using?  
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kalvado
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:43 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Thread starter):
The same stuff I used a few months ago in my bathroom??!
At least I used the official application gun

Looking at the video a bit closer, you would see that it's a squeeze tube, like those used for toothpaste - so no official application gun there
Second, this is the area experiencing high heat load during atmospheric flight. It's a mating of emergency escape assembly to the craft at the very tip of the rocket - so it must be able to withstand some thermal load. So probably it's a bit special formulation, even if packed in commercially available packaging. It may very well be a standard product - but probably industrial grade for high thermal load areas, somewhat different from one used in your bathroom. Same thing may be used in kitchen stove or chimney, though..
 
flagon
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:47 pm

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 4):
But to get back to my question, was that really plastic bathroom filler they were using?

That wouldn't surprise me too much

Quoting Arniepie (Reply 2):
I believe they even launch their vessels (in coop with ESA I think) from Kourou now

Exciting times indeed, France launched 5 military satellites from Kourou using a Soyuz on friday night the 16th. These russian rockets in that part of the world... I am not being sarcastic here but I find that at least as exotic as the russian balistic missiles in Cuba in 1963....
Stephane
 
rwessel
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:44 am

Quoting kalvado (Reply 5):
Looking at the video a bit closer, you would see that it's a squeeze tube, like those used for toothpaste - so no official application gun there
Second, this is the area experiencing high heat load during atmospheric flight. It's a mating of emergency escape assembly to the craft at the very tip of the rocket - so it must be able to withstand some thermal load. So probably it's a bit special formulation, even if packed in commercially available packaging. It may very well be a standard product - but probably industrial grade for high thermal load areas, somewhat different from one used in your bathroom. Same thing may be used in kitchen stove or chimney, though..

From the location of the application, and the type of joint it's being applied to, I'd guess this is for weather proofing while on the ground. After all, this thing has to stand out in the rain or snow for weeks or months, keeping the inside dry is probably a major priority.

Most caulks of that nature are simply not going to stand up to much in the way of aerodynamic or thermal loads, and at speed, you don't really need a sealant, since the supersonic flow (or even high subsonic flow) will simply pass over the joint. The sealer might well cause more drag from its disruption of the boundary layer than sealing the gap perfectly could save.

And yes, inexpensive, off-the-shelf, silicone caulk would probably work just fine for that application.

ed:typo

[Edited 2011-12-20 23:51:03]
 
kalvado
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:27 pm

Quoting rwessel (Reply 7):
After all, this thing has to stand out in the rain or snow for weeks or months, keeping the inside dry is probably a major priority.

eeee..... It's not Space "delayed by another month" Shuttle - it's Soyuz.. Even original R-7 was not designed to stand on a pad for more than a few days, I'm afraid. And it's not that the desert where Baikonur is located is known for major rains.
 
Arniepie
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:50 pm

Quoting kalvado (Reply 8):
Even original R-7 was not designed to stand on a pad for more than a few days, I'm afraid. And it's not that the desert where Baikonur is located is known for major rains.

Just saw the launch of the latest soyuz to ISS with Dutch mission specialist A kuiper being blast of with 2 of his
collegues, I think they rolled out the rocket on Friday and now , after 48 hrs they're up and away, another succesful launch
looked very uneventful, which is a good thing.
Seemed mighty cold on the cosmodrome but rather dry.

Once more thumbs up for the Russkies, next thing to look out for is the new pod being tested now by SPACEX, the
Dragon program which eventually ,by 2015, will also be able to take up until 7 people at once.

Also interesting to look out for is the final part of the Dawn mission, a first glimps how a waterworld might look like
besides our own Earth (Ceres).
http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/
[edit post]
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:13 pm

Expedition 30 astronauts docked to the ISS today. Saw the livecast from the Russia central command with the families after the hatch opening ceremony. The multi-national 3 members crew looked well. They will be spending 2 months up in the ISS. Lucky people!

  
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zanl188
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:25 pm

Russians also had a launch failure with a unmanned Soyuz booster this morning. Not the exact same booster as used for Progress and Soyuz spacecraft but very close.
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tu204
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:10 am

Quoting kalvado (Reply 8):
And it's not that the desert where Baikonur is located is known for major rains.

Watch the previous launch of Soyuz TMA-22. It was launched in a freaking blizzard. You could barely see the ship on the launch pad and it was gone from view like 10 seconds later (the camera could no longer see it).
Baikonour gets the pretty messed up weather. No tropical rains, but blizzards, sandstorms and just really strong winds. Really strong. That thing has to stand up to quite something.
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:35 am

Quoting flagon (Reply 1):
As part of my engineering degree I have spent six months at the Samara Aerospace University (Russian Federation), and I am now a bit familiar with the russian approach in terms of engineering.
In our western countries we like making fun of russians and their rustic methods, as it is true it would take half a life to fully understand and integrate russian culture I recon.

There is a famous story about how NASA, in the 60s, realized that pens don't work in zero-G. They created a project to create a ball-point pen that would work, and hired PaperMate to develop it for several million dollars. You can still buy those pens today - if you open it up and look at the cartridge, there is a little plastic pump button to create positive pressure behind the ink so it will write in Zero G, upside down etc.

The Soviets used a pencil.

I'm sure the story was exaggerated, but I worked in the Former Soviet Republics throughout the 90s, and I actually enjoyed watching how Russians applied a "whatever works" attitude in regards to overcoming engineering problems - particularly in regards to making their own spare parts for western machinery.
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prebennorholm
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:45 am

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 13):
The Soviets used a pencil.

If I was an astronaut, then I would go for the American approach.

Somehow I don't like the idea of potentially having graphite dust floating around in a zero-G environment. At least not with delicate electronics on board. And a broken pencil wouldn't be funny at all. Hopefully all bits end up in the filter in the air processing machinery, but....

But I am not an astronaut, and will never be one. So maybe it's just me?

Anyhow, a nice story, even if I don't believe the million $$$ spring loaded piston in the ink tube one minute.

In fact things were quite different, if not opposite, in the early days of space flight. And I am old enough to remember Gagarin's flight. Many private companies developed various minor gadgets for free for NASA, only to be able to brag about it.
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connies4ever
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:39 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 14):
Anyhow, a nice story, even if I don't believe the million $$$ spring loaded piston in the ink tube one minute.

That story's been around for a long, long time. Long enough for me to believe it. Along with the coffee maker for the C-5 that would work even if the a/c was inverted.
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travelavnut
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:53 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 14):
delicate electronics on board

I'm pretty sure Russian spacecraft don't contain delicate electronics 
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flagon
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:51 am

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 13):
There is a famous story about how NASA, in the 60s, realized that pens don't work in zero-G. They created a project to create a ball-point pen that would work, and hired PaperMate to develop it for several million dollars. You can still buy those pens today - if you open it up and look at the cartridge, there is a little plastic pump button to create positive pressure behind the ink so it will write in Zero G, upside down etc.
Quoting dreadnought (Reply 13):
The Soviets used a pencil.

This is also the story we tell in french aerospace high schools, along with other stories on how "space" lavatories were designed in russia compared to the american ones... A lot of fun indeed  
Stephane
 
rwessel
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:59 am

Quoting dreadnought (Reply 13):
There is a famous story about how NASA, in the 60s, realized that pens don't work in zero-G. They created a project to create a ball-point pen that would work, and hired PaperMate to develop it for several million dollars. You can still buy those pens today - if you open it up and look at the cartridge, there is a little plastic pump button to create positive pressure behind the ink so it will write in Zero G, upside down etc.

The Soviets used a pencil.

I'm sure the story was exaggerated, but I worked in the Former Soviet Republics throughout the 90s, and I actually enjoyed watching how Russians applied a "whatever works" attitude in regards to overcoming engineering problems - particularly in regards to making their own spare parts for western machinery.

The story is cute, but basically completely false.

On all Mercury and Gemini flights, the astronauts used pencils, just like the Soviets. Fisher developed their "space pen" at a reported cost of about one million dollars, completely on their own dime. And while NASA had samples, they didn't really push to adopt it until after the Apollo 1 fire, when the all metal (except for the ink) pen was attractive for its fire resistance. The lack of shavings and broken bits falling off was also an attraction. That was a bit of a worry in Mercury and Gemini), but not one that was causing any major concerns in Apollo.
 
jollo
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:24 pm

Quoting flagon (Reply 17):
This is also the story we tell in french aerospace high schools, along with other stories on how "space" lavatories were designed in russia compared to the american ones

I'm almost afraid to ask but... please do tell the french version of the story!   
 
redflyer
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:50 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 14):
Anyhow, a nice story, even if I don't believe the million $$$ spring loaded piston in the ink tube one minute.

In fact things were quite different, if not opposite, in the early days of space flight. And I am old enough to remember Gagarin's flight. Many private companies developed various minor gadgets for free for NASA, only to be able to brag about it.

  

Quote:
NASA programs previously used pencils (for example a 1965 order of mechanical pencils[2]) but because of the substantial dangers that broken-off pencil tips and graphite dust pose in zero gravity to electronics and the flammable nature of the wood present in pencils[2] a better solution was needed. NASA never approached Paul Fisher to develop a pen, nor did Fisher receive any government funding for the pen's development. Fisher invented it independently, and then asked NASA to try it. After the introduction of the AG7 Space Pen, both the American and Soviet (later Russian) space agencies adopted it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Pen
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travelavnut
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:32 pm

Quoting jollo (Reply 19):

Quoting flagon (Reply 17):
This is also the story we tell in french aerospace high schools, along with other stories on how "space" lavatories were designed in russia compared to the american ones

I'm almost afraid to ask but... please do tell the french version of the story!

Not an answer to your question, but IIRC the lavatories on the ISS are based on the original Russian design, so they must have some good qualities  

But I am too very curious about those stories 
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rcair1
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 15):
the C-5 that would work even if the a/c was inverted

How do you invert AC? (hint, you can't, you can shift the phase 180 degrees, but that is not the same).

Now - maybe it has something to do with an power inverter which converts DC to AC - so maybe the coffee maker works on DC and AC.
rcair1
 
zanl188
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:54 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 22):
How do you invert AC?

Poster is speaking of the AirCraft not electricity.
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ptrjong
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:08 pm

Quoting rwessel (Reply 18):
The story is cute, but basically completely false.

Oh, that's a pity. Still good to hear the truth. I always wondered, thanks.

Quoting jollo (Reply 19):
please do tell the french version of the story!

Yes!
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connies4ever
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:55 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 22):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 15):
the C-5 that would work even if the a/c was inverted

How do you invert AC? (hint, you can't, you can shift the phase 180 degrees, but that is not the same).
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 23):
Poster is speaking of the AirCraft not electricity.

Quite, I am. But a not uncommon error. There ARE, however, AC to DC inverters. Basically if you look at the AC signal as a sinusoid, the inverter "clips" as the waveform goes below 0 on the Y-axis, and flips it over, as the waveform comes up above 0 sometime later, everything is as it was. There's no energy loss, just the overall waveform of the transmitted signal is rather different (all positive value half sinusoids).

Manitoba Hydro (with the assist of my company !) built the world's first long-distance DC transmission line from Northern Manitoba to the Dorsey Conversion Station slightly NW of Winnipeg to receive power from Northern Manitoba back in the early/mid 70s. Wheeling power more or less 1,000 km became a lot more practical as the line losses for DC were IIRC around 3% vs ~15% for AC. There are losses for rectifying and derectifying the power, but not huge.

The existing lines have reached saturation so a third line (Bipole III) is now being contemplated to support the remaining likely sites on the Nelson River.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Why I Love Russian Spaceflight

Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:15 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 25):

Quite, I am. But a not uncommon error. There ARE, however, AC to DC inverters. Basically if you look at the AC signal as a sinusoid, the inverter "clips" as the waveform goes below 0 on the Y-axis, and flips it over, as the waveform comes up above 0 sometime later, everything is as it was. There's no energy loss, just the overall waveform of the transmitted signal is rather different (all positive value half sinusoids).

Actually any bridge full wave rectifier will do this job. Though I think with extremely high voltages and currents involved, as in long distance power transmission there will be special problems involved, especially in the rectifying stages and the removal of leftover ripples in the resulting DC.

Jan
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