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Michael Interbartolo
Rocket Scientist by Day and Geeky dad 24/7
Rocket Scientist by Day and Geeky dad 24/7

Michael Interbartolo's posts

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Warning incoming Space Rant: It is time for the Agency to Pivot
With a new president coming in just about 6 months from now it is time to be proactive and admit the current journey to Mars mirage is nothing more than a hashtag. Instead of waiting for the coming blue ribbon panel and revector let's take the hard look at the situation and get out infront of things by being honest and laying out a more thoughtful strategy for achieving Mars in 20 years. It may garner a knee jerk reaction from certain circles but if they are truly in it for exploration and not just jobs/contracts then they can find their way through to actual deep space exploration not just lobbying about it.

Step 0: Give up building launch vehicle and orion. They are albatrosses around our neck. A heavy lifter for use 20 years from now sucks up way more budget than relying on multiple launches and robotic assembly which is needed anyway. Plus since we are going with a reusable Mars transit vehicle crew loading and unloading can occur in earth orbit serviced by one of the many commercial crew vehicle coming online. How much more Mars technology could we fund if we free up SLS/Orion funds. Don't worry congress folks and old space wanting to suckle at the government tit of cost plus contracts there will be plenty of pork to spread around with the new plan. Don't bring up the suck cost fallacy cause continuing to pour money for something 20 years down the road while you starve all the tech that is truly needed for Mars is only going to continue the myth that going to Mars is within the next 20 years. Staying the course is not the answer if you really want to actually make progress.

Forward plan Step 1: Best case we plan for upcoming commercial heavy lift like falcon 9H worst case we design for existing HLV. Either way we can cross that bridge to pick a launcher 12 years from now when we start locking down the design . Since crew rotation occurs in LEO it should be no different than what we will be paying for astronauts to the ISS in the next couple of years and entry speeds will be similar as well.

Step 2: time to stop iterating on an evolvable Mars campaign and hand out a design to the agency to start building.
We need a clean sheet 90 day study to pick a design so that the technology investment can start working towards putting things together. This gets divided up among the centers (see Congress we will spread things around) and gets everyone on the same path and garners support for the pivot from congress and incoming president.

It will help focus on what can be commercially sourced versus what needs internal development. We dont need to be spending money on our limited use case for something the commercial market is going to far surpass our needs down the road. We just need to have a viable onramp plan for the cots 10+ years from now. the study will provide the focus needed so no more centers working on what they think they should instead of what the politics/HQ wants. If we are infusing $3B in tech we need to make sure the design is anchored so that they are building the ins/outs/size/volume/power for the integrated systems/ mission operations parameters.

We can reevaluate every four years to ensure the tech tree is bearing fruit or if we need to pick a new branch and what the launch vehicle situation is. For now we start with existing HLV and it only gets better from here at the next review in 4 years.

Step 3: Develop LEO to Lunar cycler
Now that we have SLS out of the way the plan is whichever HLV we use just has to get the mass to LEO. Our solar electric propulsion tug will move it out to the lunar shipyard. This gives us run time on sep that will eventually grow to the transit vehicle size. The cycler also gets to test out deep space navigation (like pulsar/x-ray) and autonomous deep space rendezvous and docking.

Step 4: Use Cycler to build out lunar shipyard
Robotic assembly, radiation protection methods and testing of "MCC in a Box" autonomy gets shaken out as the the two Mars Transit Vehicles are built up. Eventually there could be living quarters for science and telerobotics to lunar surface it would require a hab attachment for the cycler since we scrapped orion but that becomes a long term closed loop eclss test bed so bonus points. The human occupation of the shipyard appeals to the international partners as it gets them closer to lunar surface

Step 5: Large scale technology investment
With the SLS/orion money freed up that gives us about $3B a year to put towards the major hurdles for Mars like radiation, EDL, autonomy, ISRU, closed loop ECLSS, robotic helpers, fecal processing, nuclear power and more. These tech are currently on the slow road to Mars due to budget restrictions that would go away with a $3B infusion. At least a portion of this should be to try out Moonshots that may fail but if they succeed are 10X leap forward to Mars.

Step 6: at the shipyard build two reusable transit vehicles
First is cargo delivery for all the preposition of assets for upcoming human missions. We can use an opposition class mission since it is unmanned and 30 day stay in Mars orbit should be enough time for precision placement of the necessary hardware. This robotic hauler will deploy early EDL and isru test beds while testing out larger class SEP, navigation and autonomy.
Second is crew transit vehicle the culmination of tech investment and precursor testbeds. Allows for longer conjunction class missions for a crew to spend 500 days on the surface.

If we as an agency, country, world really want to move up the gravity well to exploring Mars then let's take a hard look at where we are and pivot to get there.


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Multiverse or far future what do you think of these stranger things theories about the upside down?

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Are you interested in Confederate?
The article pose a few questions about what sort of show it could be and if it is necessary.

What is there to be learned from seeing black people being enslaved, brutalized, and exploited that we can not already glean from our actual historical record? What is there to be learned about being born into a system in which you are at an immediate social disadvantage that we can’t already cull from decades’-worth of statistical analyses of black peoples’ economic lives? Though black people are now free in America, in very profound and devastating ways, we are still dealing with the fallout of enslavement that manifests itself in a variety of forms systemic inequality. These aren’t the trappings of an alt-history prestige drama. They are our realities.

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Five months until we say goodbye to capaldi
#idontwanthimtogo seems like he just got here.

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The dream of JFK is complete and the crew returned safely back to Earth.
July 24, 1969 - Apollo 11 Returns home
previous day -
‘God bless you,’ Apollo 11 tells waiting world

HOUSTON - The voyage was “made possible by the blood, sweat and tears of a number of people,” Mike Collins, Command Module pilot, told a world watching by television. “All you see is the three of us...below are thousands and thousands of people.”

Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin, normally a matter-of-fact and unemotional man, used a verse from the Psalms to reflect his feelings:

“When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which through hast ordained, what is man that Thou art mindful of him?”

Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, the last to speak, told the world:
“The responsibililty for this flight lies first with history and the giants of science who preceed to the American people...and their four the agency and industry team...

“Our special thanks go to all those Americans who built those spacecraft, did the construction, the design, the tests, and put their hearts and all their abilities into those tasks.

“To those poeple we give a special ‘thank you.’ To all the others who are watching tonight, God bless you.”
The astronauts ended their brief televised message to earth with a picture of it growing blue in the distance out the window. As the telecast began, Armstrong explained, “It seems appropriate to us now to share some of the reflections of the crew.”

Delighted laughter from the spacecraft Wednesday greeted the report that a baby had been named “Module” in their honor. A weather report, telling of rain in Houston after a long drought, was read to them. “I think my yard could use some water,” said Armstrong. “I wish you’d find out the last time my yard was cut,” Aldrin requested.
“How are the chinch bugs ‘getting along?’” Collins interjected.

Communicator astronauts Owen Garriott checked quickly with the families and told Aldrin:
“The grass will be close to your knees by the time you get out of quarantine,” Garriott told Aldrin.

“We have no report from the chinch bugs,” he told Collins.
“Well, they’re just sort of taciturn little fellows,” Collins reported. “They don’t say much. They just sit there and chomp away.”

At 12:21 p.m. the astronauts abandon the “engine room” of their spaceship - the service module which also provided electrical power, oxygen and fuel. Then Collins swings the blunt end of the cone-shaped module toward the atmosphere so that its heat shield can take the shock and heat of re-entry, which comes 14 minutes later.

12:35 pm Entry began as the heat shield took the brunt of the entry heating.

12:44 Drogue Chute deploy

12:39 Recovery aircraft have visual contact with the descending Command Module

12:46 VHF and radar contact established with recovery ships

12:50 Splashdown, apex -down Mission Elapsed Time 8 Days, 3 Hours 18 Minutes after traveling 952,700 miles

12:58 Command module righted (apex up)

1:04 Recovery team installs the floatation collar

Recovery team installs floatation collar post splashdown.
1:21 crew hatch is opened for egress

1:53 Crew arrives on recovery ship(USS Hornet) and enter mobile quaratine (they will stay in quaratine until August 3rd)

3:50 Command Module lifted from the water

Command Module being brought aboard the USS Hornet.
3:58 Command Module secured in quaratine facility

Over the next couple of hours the samples are removed from the vehicle

With the world’s praise flooding into the shiny metal trailer which unheroically confines them, the Apollo 11 astronauts sailed slowly homeward on the final leg of their fantastic journey to the moon.

“As a result of what you’ve done,” President Nixon told them aboard the USS Hornet after a precise splashdown, “the world has never been closer...we can reach for the stars.”
Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins and Ed Aldrin listened to the President from inside the quaratine trailer in which they will spend the next two days making their way back to Houston by sea and air.

President greets the crew in quarantine.
The welcome from the first landing on the moon was a strange mixture of medical necessity and emotional outpouring. The first order of business for the astronauts after landing was to don biologically safe garments and to be sprayed with a yellow disinfectant to guard against any possible moon germs.

But it was President Nixon’s official welcome on the hangar deck of the Hornet, talking through a plate glass window to the astronauts, which emotionally capped an already emotional week.

“I think I’m the luckiest man in the world,” he told the spacemen, for having “the privilege for speaking for so many people in welcoming you back to earth.”

The President was bubbling with enthusiasm when he revealed to the spacemen plans for a state dinner Aug. 13 in Los Angeles with the governors of all the states, the Congress and representatives from foreign nations, and joked that he “made a date” with the astronauts wives for the dinner.

Would the astronauts attend, the President asked?
“We’ll do anything you say Mr. President,” Armstrong replied.
Nixon’s enthusiasm burst out as he bent over for a better look at the astronauts inside their trailer.

“Gee,” the President almost shouted, “You look great!”
“I was thinking as you came down and we knew it was a success, this is the greatest week in the history of the world since creation...”

Mission Control celebrates the completion of Apollo 11 mission.
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Doctor Who Christmas 2017 Preview

Looks brilliant but heartbreakingly our last adventure with Peter Capaldi as the current Doctor.


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48 years ago the first crew to walk on the Moon was almost home
Mon01 Crew more than halfway home
previous day -
July 23, 1969 

2:14 a.m.
Crew starts sleep period.

12:20 p.m.
Crew awakens. Begins relaxed checking of systems and conversation with Mission Control.

3:56 p.m.
Spacecraft passes midway point of journey homeward, 101,000 nautical miles from splashdown .

7:03 p.m.
Final color television transmission begins.
Apollo 11 Crew TV Broadcast July 23, 1969

Apollo 11 halfway to home

HOUSTON - Down right chatty, the Apollo 11 astronauts joked and described more details of their mission as earth’s gravity tugged their spaceship ever faster toward home. At 1:28 a.m. they passed the second signpost on their celestial journey - the halfway point in their curving trip from the moon. At that point they were 167,000 miles from earth. 

They put on a kind of “Mr. Wizard” television show for earthlings Tuesday night as astronaut Mike Collins presented what he called “a little demonstration for the kids.” He held some water upside down in a spoon to show that it was unaffected by gravity, but adhered to the spoon by cohesion. 

Ed Aldrin used a can of ham spread to demonstrate how a gyroscope works and later showed a piece of bread floating around the cabin. 

Collins also demonstrated the water pistol used to deliver liquids under pressure to the astronauts. He accidentally squirted himself in the face.
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#apollo11   #scienceeveryday   #spacehistory  

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Favorite tv show trailer from #sdcc could be new show or returning
A link if you need it since there were more than just the five choices
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Stranger thing
Stargate origins
Stranger thing
Stargate origins

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Favorite movie trailer from #SDCC I will do a TV poll next
In case you missed any
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Justice league
Thor ragnarok
Ready Player One
Kingsman the golden circle
Justice league
Thor ragnarok
Ready Player One

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Actually sounds like an interesting idea. Gives some jeopardy to the whole situation, will he have a son Jor-el and grandson Kal? As opposed to the false jeopardy in the prequels will Anakin and obiwan survive of course cause we know of they end up. With this it will be up in the air maybe.
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