A conversation with a friend about NASA

The other day a very close friend and I were talking about re-entry for any manned mission entering the atmosphere. Anyone that reads my blog knows what my opinion is in regards to NASA. After having gone back and forth with my friend on the topic of the re-entry process of any object, manned or unmanned… I only have one question.

But, before I present my question, I want to point out that in the beginnings of NASA we are told that smashing into the atmosphere during re-entry can cause temperatures to rise above more than 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (about 2,800 degrees Celsius). Not only does the exterior of the re-entry module reach above 5,000 degrees, but there are only a few inches of wall space between the exterior and interior of the cabin. Apparently NASA has developed a self consuming ablative heat shield that can withstand some pretty extreme temperatures (meaning that the heat experienced by the exterior of the object would not affect the temperature inside the object as it falls away from the craft).

But, don’t take my word for it… let’s ask NASA.

The initial conversation that I had with my friend was how I didn’t understand the mechanics of the heat shield they created and how it works so well. For example, in the above video the outside part is made of stainless steel. Stainless steel has a melting point of about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, the honeycomb interior ablative heat shield in the video that is between the cabin and the stainless steel is nothing more than polymer fiberglass. Sadly enough, the melting point of this material also doesn’t even come close to being able to withstand 5,000 degrees (it has a melting point of about 2,200 degrees).

One other option that we are presented in the following video is pure silica-tiles (which again, sadly doesn’t have a melting point that reached 5,000 degrees). Although these tiles can withstand about 3,000 degrees, they were not used in the first video, but rather much later. Even still, that presents a problem.

The answer that finally clicked for me after having talked with my friend is the ceramic coating that was used. Apparently, NASA used a spray adhesive that was designed to melt away made of ceramic (which is pretty awesome considering the fact that it has a melting point of almost 6,900 degrees). If you spray enough of this stuff on and also consider the fact that re-entry time wasn’t anything more than a few minutes at most, this answer makes a lot of sense. However, the self consuming ablative heat shield in the first video was actually behind the stainless steel (notated throughout the entire first video with no mention of a ceramic outer layer). Again, the ablated material that was designed to dissipate upon re-entry in the first video was not on the outside of the stainless steel.  But, that is beside the point. Just for argument’s sake, let’s assume that the ceramic coating was applied in the first video. It very well could have been despite not being mentioned. Although I am still looking, the farthest back that I have been able to find this ceramic ablation in use by NASA only goes back as far as the early 1990’s.

This 1960’s document shows that re-entry exceeded the melting point of silica by more than 1,000 degrees. While this 1960’s document shows that the primary ablator  used during that time was 99.8% silica.

After having had this conversation with my friend and totally setting aside the conflicts that arise with re-entry (which was a lot of fun, because it made me evaluate and think, which is something I enjoy to do)… all it did was cause me to ask a new question.

Let’s assume that the stance my friend holds is the correct one.

With that, here is the question…

What happened to re-entry exceeding temperatures of 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (about 2,800 degrees Celsius and above)?

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I guess they realized that such a temperature was a little too outlandish, so they dropped it down a bit. Who knows… it’s probably just me being ignorant. Good ol’ Nye or Tyson can probably solve it for us.

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I am not claiming to have answers. I am presenting questions.

Officially have stickers for sale – Retro style

Well, it’s official I guess. As of today the Etsy Store has stickers. About this time last year I spent a lot of time drawing in my sketchbook before going to bed. And a lot of those drawings just ended up sitting there not really doing anything other than sitting in my sketchbook. With that, I felt like they could get put to better use if I did something with them.

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What came to mind, obviously, was to turn them into stickers. If you haven’t checked out the store before… now it definitely the time. I have 6 brand new items that just posted today.

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How well these stickers will do is still totally up in the air. But honestly, I am okay with that… because, at the end of the day the store is mostly just a hobby anyway. A creative outlet that lets me put my art out there. Who knows… if these stickers do well, I might release some new stickers in the future. Which would give me a reason to dust off my sketchbook and start drawing something new.

the Etsy store reached 2,500 sales

Last week I posted a blog about updating the analytics for my Etsy store to help increase traffic. It was a major undertaking, considering the fact that I have something like 60 listings. While I was in there doing all of that silly boring work on each listing to help generate more traffic, I decided to change up the look and feel of the store as well. All of my listings got totally revamped.

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And with that, I just wanted to announce that all of that hard work over the course of last week paid off. The traffic to my store has tripled and seems to be staying consistent. With that, I woke up this morning to having reached more than 2,500 sales. That’s pretty cool considering the store is only about a year old. I don’t remember when I started the store, but I am pretty sure it was close to around this time last year. Looking back on it and the three patches I started with I am surprised at how much the store has grown.

I wonder what it will look like this time next year…

He’s going the distance. He’s going for… NASA

As of this month, NASA’s Curiosity Rover has apparently been on the surface of Mars for five years covering a distance of almost 10 miles on the alien terrain. With this new update from NASA and the announcement of five long years of success and counting for the Mars Rover, I decided to chime in.

Now, there is the obvious question; who took this photo seeing as to how Curiosity is the larger of the robots supposedly roaming Mars? The shot is taken from above, which rules out any of the other robots as an answer, let alone the fact that their locations are vastly spread apart.

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But that isn’t today’s post. No, today I wanted to ask a different question. But before I ask my question, let’s watch this one minute video that breaks down the basics of how the rover is actually driven by sending signals from earth and back.

So basically, in a nutshell we are to believe that NASA is sending a signal through earth’s atmosphere, across the vacuum of space, through Mars’ atmosphere, and back.

Okay, here we go…

Mars is literally supposed to be 33.9 million miles away. The closest is has ever gotten is 3.5 million miles away. Please tell me how you expect me to believe that you are sending a signal that far while also calculating the exact location the signal needs to hit in order to reach its destination when taking into account that you are spinning 1,000 miles an hour. Let alone the fact that Mars is traveling a speed that is supposed to be 66,500 miles an hour while also spinning at about 960 miles per hour as well. Couple that together with the fact that it can take anywhere between 4 to 24 minutes for the signal from earth to reach its destination. Let’s just say that by the time the signal from earth gets there, the rover and the planet are no longer in the same location.

Then there is the issue with the axis rotation of both planets. What happens when the signal being sent and the location of the receiver are on opposing sides as shown here?

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Now, before you get your panties in a twist and start spitting silly things at me like “they have satellites for that dumb-dumb“, take a look at this. In this NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory video link we have NASA claiming that they can send a signal through the freaking sun from earth to Mars and back. Sure, the file may lose some of its data, but we can always “photoshop” that back in later… which is why they take a vacation that week. This still doesn’t change the fact that they are claiming they could send data through the sun if they wanted to. Give me a freaking break people. Someone, please show me that awesomeness in real life. I want to see someone send a signal from one side of the earth to the other without going around it. No, instead… let’s do what NASA does. Send the signal through the planet. If they can do it with the sun, should be no problem, right?

If they can send a signal through the sun while still only losing parts of the data, then wouldn’t they be able to send a signal through the earth as well? Because, heck… seems to me that when the earth and Mars are in awkward positions like the illustration above, that’s all they’re doing.

That signal will just go right on through… don’t worry about it.

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Anyway, this rant has run its course. I am not claiming to know anything. All I am getting at here is this. Based on the information that NASA presents to us about what they are actually capable of with the aid of modern technology, we should be able to do a lot more as a civilian civilization. For example, if we can send a signal 33.9 million miles away while passing said signal information through the freaking sun, then why in the universe do I live in a world where I sometimes lose cell phone reception? Seems to me like the human race should already have that one solved.

But hey, who am I kidding. I’m ignorant and just don’t understand science and math. If I understood me some learnin‘, this stuff would add up. Heck, better yet… why not just do some research on your own? A great place to start would be Devon Island’s Roving the Arctic.

Space is fake.

Either that, or NASA needs to start up its own cell phone provider company to help fund projects. Seems like their coverage would be out of this world.

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Updates to the store are overwhelming

I just wanted to give a real quick store update. I have been hustling on the store upgrades. I finally have the embroidery patches and button-pins totally updated. It feels good to have the bulk of the work completed. I am very happy with how the look and feel of the store is coming together.

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You will also notice that those business cards finally came in. I am happy with how they turned out. I got them for two reasons. One, to pass out when the opportunity randomly arises. But mostly, I got them so as to help generate traffic to the site via the store by adding the card to my outgoing orders.

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The next major store related task is going to be the screen print punk patches. Once I get that portion of the store updated to match the rest of what is going on, I will be done messing with it for a while. I don’t know if you noticed or not, but as a designer I am a stickler for continuity and consistency. With that, I have still yet to take the new photos for my punk patches. I still have yet to decide how I will do that while keeping the same theme going.

If you haven’t already, be sure to go visit the store and take a look at the updates that have been going on.

Art and friends at church

Well, as it turns out one of my friends at church is actually pretty freaking legit at drawing. With that in mind I talked them into sending me one of their sketches so that I could bring it to life with a little color and pizzazz. I think it turned out pretty good considering the fact that what I had to work with was already great to being with.

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Not sure if this will end up heading anywhere, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we both team up in the near future with some more collaboration sketches that potentially turn into something bigger like zines or DIY comics. Could be pretty sweet if you ask me.

More details on this to come as it develops in its own timing.

The Etsy Store is getting some major upgrades

So, I have a couple of supper crazy updates with the Etsy store. I recently got a new patch design up on the store for starters. It’s pretty epic if you ask me. I am stepping away from doing just circles and am going to start designing patches that are a variety of shapes to help mix things up in the store.

Other than that I have been doing a lot of major updates to the store. Not only have I changed the look and feel of the store to match my new website design, but I have also changed the name of the store to match that as well. With the store name now totally changed to match my website I wanted to take things a step further by tackling the analytics to help with search results (something any avid online merchant should do from time to time).

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So far I have been cranking through that just fine and have already seen a drastic increase in sales from what little adjustments have already been made. As of today I have tackled the analytics for the embroidery patches on the store. I still need to do the analytics for the buttons and screen print patches. But, for right now I need a break. Doing this type of junk is supper time consuming. Since I have gotten a lot done with the look, feel, and analytics of the store, I thought I would completely finish up my embroidery section by updating the photos.

This is where the frustration comes in.

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I cannot for the life of me get my camera to take a good picture. Although these look clean, I am not at all happy with them. But that isn’t the aggravating part. What frustrates me is that I have a specific look and feel that I am hoping to go for, but it just isn’t going to happen with my cell phone camera. No way, no how. The upside-downside to this is that I do have a great friend at church who does photography for a living. She could totally set me up and have the listings in my store looking jam-tastic.

The only issue with that is this…

If and when I add a listing to the store I don’t want to have to depend on her or bug her each and ever time I have a new listing get added. It just wouldn’t be fair to her nor productive for either of us.

If I am going to come up with a solution to this issue, I need to be able to replicate the look I am going for at home on my own time with what camera I have. Sadly, the camera I have isn’t that great.

Anyway, Etsy store rant over… I have been tackling a lot over at the store if you wanted to go in and see the updates. I hope to have two new patch designs posted in another month. And hopefully soon I will get this photo taking issue lined out. Once I have done that and have the embroidery section totally knocked out, I will move over to the buttons and screen prints.

Oh, and another update… will be adding stickers soon also! So, there’s that.