Friday, 5 July 2019

Science in Science Fiction 2019


Last year I Didn't go to this event run by Dr. David Clements and hosted by Imperial College London as I was in France. So it was nice to be back to listen to experts in their fields present their latest findings.

You can find more info on Science in Science Fiction over here. Check it out.

I didn't take my camera, so there's no pictures of the event, but I did make a connection with Mark Hempsell, director of Hempsell Astronautics Limited who is designing a spaceship to be presented in the British Interplanetary Society journal. It's designed for Earth–Lunar operations with the capability of Mars and Venus missions. The picture of his proposal graces this post.

Very exciting to see this. It may not be obvious from a casual glance but this ship rotates around its central axis to provide centrifugal force for the crew (tumbles rear-over-front).

You can find out more about Mark Hempsell here. And here's his brief:
To immediately satisfy any glimmers of interest and intrigue I have attached a few images.  The technical paper describing the vehicle is very close to completion and hopefully will be published in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, although it is not a Society project.
The ship is called the Scorpion.  It is build and serviced using the Skylon launch system (and lots of in orbit assembly).
Key features – 107 m long, unfuelled mass 230-240 tonnes Maximum fuel mass Hydrogen 400 tonnes oxygen 110 tonnes crew 6 people – and (here’s the boring bit) is it intended to mostly be used in Earth Moon space although it can reach Venus and Mars orbits. In the case of Mars with two landers.  Not immediately obvious is that it can land on the Moon’s surface using four LH LOX chemical engines, it can also be spun to provide artificial gravity for the crew.
The engine is another piece of genius from Alan Bond which he calls Serpent.  It indirectly thermodynamically heats hydrogen using a fission reactor. It then augments that heating with arc jets in the 4 thrust chambers.  The thrust is 200 tonnes and the SI 12,760 N s /kg.  The picture is a little misleading in its detail the components are real and connected up correctly but the shape and pipe sizing of the secondary stuff is artistic interpretation.
For those interested in spaceships I would refer you to check out the Atomic Rockets website.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Decomposing CO2 

Climate change: everyone thinks they have the answer. I think it's more complicated than that. Here's a link to an article proposing a solution, and a couple of comments on why said solution is only a part of the answer.  Link to article.

In other news, writing is taking a back seat while I'm doing a bunch of studying and revision.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Writing Update


As one of my friends commented, I've been missing in action over the last few weeks. A combination of things involving medication, other demands, stuff like archery (well out of practice after an enforced four month break).

However, things are starting to look up. I've been practicing my craft and have done a couple of online writing courses that have helped me be more objective about my writing.

Last time I wrote, I'd reached 16,294 words into Two Moons, at one point I went up to nearly 20K. But after having an insight into how the story would unfold I put those words into the sequel. So now I stand at 18,998. It is what it is.