# Astronauts coming home now

#### JohnInTX

Joined Jun 26, 2012
4,654
Down successfully at 10:30 CST.
I don't know why but I was riveted to the feed.
Maybe because I was also streaming primary election results and just wanted to know that there were some people that really did do real things with no BS.
And, kudos to Soyuz. .. and damn, that hurts to say.

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#### ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
Why does it hurt to say?

#### JohnInTX

Joined Jun 26, 2012
4,654
Why does it hurt to say?
Solid question. I don't mean to demean the solid contribution and sterling performance of Soyuz at all. Kudos. And I mean it sincerely. I really do. But watching our (USA) political process tonight (its super Tuesday, where lots of states weigh in on who should run for president) I just see a bunch of just BS-idiots running for president. Whatever the motivations of the original space-race were (and I remember every minute of it) everyone involved increased their scientific and engineering prowess immensely to to greater good of all.

It hurts to say that while once we took the lead in exploring far frontiers, now we (US) seem content to retreat, find fault in our neighbors, build walls and the like. Rather than build our replacement for Soyuz, we are content to squabble about who gets to marry who, etc. We do have some players (SpaceX et al) but those guys are iffy.

Here's the deal. In the 60's, we valued engineering and did stuff - like going to the moon. After the landings and cutbacks, I worked with several of the engineers that had made it happen. Now, we get daily RSS feeds about what Caitlin Jenner is doing. The result is when there is real stuff to do, we rely on others who have their act together.

It's not personal. My comment was only to lament our decline in science and engineering. Meanwhile, Scott Kelly et. al. rode safely to earth on Soyuz. I watched the live feed of them separating from ISS and maneuvering away. In a Russian spaceship. Not ours. But, good on them. I wonder if we have the same stuff anymore. That's why the comment.

I have actually been to Croatia (on a cruise ship) and met some killer jazz players. Sat in. Had fun. Nice folks.

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#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Solid question. I don't mean to demean the solid contribution and sterling performance of Soyuz at all. Kudos. And I mean it sincerely. I really do. But watching our (USA) political process tonight (its super Tuesday, where lots of states weigh in on who should run for president) I just see a bunch of just BS-idiots running for president. Whatever the motivations of the original space-race were (and I remember every minute of it) everyone involved increased their scientific and engineering prowess immensely to to greater good of all.

It hurts to say that while once we took the lead in exploring far frontiers, now we (US) seem content to retreat, find fault in our neighbors, build walls and the like. Rather than build our replacement for Soyuz, we are content to squabble about who gets to marry who, etc. We do have some players (SpaceX et al) but those guys are iffy.

Here's the deal. In the 60's, we valued engineering and did stuff - like going to the moon. After the landings and cutbacks, I worked with several of the engineers that had made it happen. Now, we get daily RSS feeds about what Caitlin Jenner is doing. The result is when there is real stuff to do, we rely on others who have their act together.

It's not personal. My comment was only to lament our decline in science and engineering. Meanwhile, Scott Kelly et. al. rode safely to earth on Soyuz. I watched the live feed of them separating from ISS and maneuvering away. In a Russian spaceship. Not ours. But, good on them. I wonder if we have the same stuff anymore. That's why the comment.

I have actually been to Croatia (on a cruise ship) and met some killer jazz players. Sat in. Had fun. Nice folks.

When I see Caitlyn Jenner as the headline, I take a deep sigh of relief. It means nothing bad happened that day - no school shootings, no domestic terrorism, no water main break on 4th street, ...

Also, the next generation is asking if engineering is still important. Has everything that is needed to be made done? The personal communicators that we saw on Star Trek have become a reality. The only useful thing they get out of them is telling their friends that Caitlyn Jenner did something again.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,788
I have always been very pro space exploration.

As for Caitlyn, I just wish I had her money and her doctors.

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
...and, NBC decides the Caitlyn Jenner story needed to be told again this morning. Not exactly news, definitely nothing new released, but a chance to promote Jenner's show on their "sister network".

#### JohnInTX

Joined Jun 26, 2012
4,654
I have always been very pro space exploration.

As for Caitlyn, I just wish I had her money and her doctors.
Indeed, and I don't want to give the impressi0n that I have an issue with the LGBT aspect. She just came to mind. The same goes for Kim, Kris, Khloe and the rest of the famous for being famous crew.

#### ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
Soyuz was probably chosen because it was fully automatized while the US counterpart wasn't.

#### tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
873
... people that really did do real things with no BS.
If you think that aerospace isn't full of BS... I had over 15 years experience that said otherwise. I was so frustrated with the processes and BS that I quit to work in completely different industry - making more money, much less stress, and much more gets done. I won - and feel really bad for my friends that lament the industry but don't want to leave because of the vacation, retirement matching, etc.

Do things eventually get done? Sure. I have a story I like to tell about $1M bungie cords. I was working at Johnson Space Center in the biomed department doing resupply of parts that needed periodic replacement. I was working on TEVIS (the treadmill) to resupply some bungee cords that held the treadmill in its bay while the astronauts were running. Equal and opposite force would have the treadmill come out of its bay if the bungee cords weren't in place, and you couldn't mount the treadmill directly to the station because the vibration would eventually get the SA wings flapping like a bird. So the bungee cords provided isolation of the treadmill to the rest of the space station (VI in TEVIS stands for Vibration Isolation). To resupply the bungee cords they had to be pull tested to 2.5x their maximum load and 10x their maximum load. 2.5x makes sense... and they always passed the 2.5x test. 10x test always failed. I ran that test three times and never could get the 10x test to pass. The bungee cord was mounted in a custom made clamp that was electropolished. Whomever expected a bungee cord to stay in a clamp fixture that was electropolished is an idiot. Of course the clamp designer didn't want to hear that [he was an idiot]. Anyway - long story longer - the bungee cords never did pass the 10x test and they eventually flew the cords after only passing the 2.5x test. Documentation showed that a 10x test was passed when originally designed, but I don't buy it (I think the documents were forged or the test was not performed with a full 10x load). I studied and studied that problem for months - the materials used just wouldn't support that weight. High speed video showed that as the bungie cord was pulled it would get skinnier, and skinnier, and skinnier... really without limit to it's minimum diameter and just slip right out the electropolished clamp. Ultimately, this problem went to pretty high levels in the biomed department, the bungee cords were shipped, and it took months to get the bungee cords shipped... months. There was probably something like 3 weeks between pull tests alone... let alone all the meetings that were had after each failure. I eventually left that job in the middle of it because of all of the overhead that was associated with getting such a simple thing done. I joke that it was a$1M problem, but at the end of the day, the number of man-power hours, and months that the problem dragged on... I think my $1M joke isn't too far off. I also recall doing some quick calculations for man-power alone and it was close. The sad thing is that the bungee cords were about$30 each and we could have flown thousands of them at that price and the astronauts could have changed them every time they took a jog.

#### ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
Or it could be corruption.

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
If you think that aerospace isn't full of BS... I had over 15 years experience that said otherwise. I was so frustrated with the processes and BS that I quit to work in completely different industry - making more money, much less stress, and much more gets done. I won - and feel really bad for my friends that lament the industry but don't want to leave because of the vacation, retirement matching, etc.

Do things eventually get done? Sure. I have a story I like to tell about $1M bungie cords. I was working at Johnson Space Center in the biomed department doing resupply of parts that needed periodic replacement. I was working on TEVIS (the treadmill) to resupply some bungee cords that held the treadmill in its bay while the astronauts were running. Equal and opposite force would have the treadmill come out of its bay if the bungee cords weren't in place, and you couldn't mount the treadmill directly to the station because the vibration would eventually get the SA wings flapping like a bird. So the bungee cords provided isolation of the treadmill to the rest of the space station (VI in TEVIS stands for Vibration Isolation). To resupply the bungee cords they had to be pull tested to 2.5x their maximum load and 10x their maximum load. 2.5x makes sense... and they always passed the 2.5x test. 10x test always failed. I ran that test three times and never could get the 10x test to pass. The bungee cord was mounted in a custom made clamp that was electropolished. Whomever expected a bungee cord to stay in a clamp fixture that was electropolished is an idiot. Of course the clamp designer didn't want to hear that [he was an idiot]. Anyway - long story longer - the bungee cords never did pass the 10x test and they eventually flew the cords after only passing the 2.5x test. Documentation showed that a 10x test was passed when originally designed, but I don't buy it (I think the documents were forged or the test was not performed with a full 10x load). I studied and studied that problem for months - the materials used just wouldn't support that weight. High speed video showed that as the bungie cord was pulled it would get skinnier, and skinnier, and skinnier... really without limit to it's minimum diameter and just slip right out the electropolished clamp. Ultimately, this problem went to pretty high levels in the biomed department, the bungee cords were shipped, and it took months to get the bungee cords shipped... months. There was probably something like 3 weeks between pull tests alone... let alone all the meetings that were had after each failure. I eventually left that job in the middle of it because of all of the overhead that was associated with getting such a simple thing done. I joke that it was a$1M problem, but at the end of the day, the number of man-power hours, and months that the problem dragged on... I think my $1M joke isn't too far off. I also recall doing some quick calculations for man-power alone and it was close. The sad thing is that the bungee cords were about$30 each and we could have flown thousands of them at that price and the astronauts could have changed them every time they took a jog.
Nothing like showing management how busy everyone is... Doing busy work.

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,010
just wanted to know that there were some people that really did do real things with no BS.
Was it that long ago I picked up Russian news agency Tass broadcasting (in Morse) the launch of Sputnik?
Max.

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#### SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,227
1Chance and I were actually in the Johnson Space Center control room yesterday on a tour a couple hours before reentry. We're down in Galveston now, enjoying the Gulf breeze.

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,223
If you think that aerospace isn't full of BS
I lasted 6 weeks in a MIL-spec factory. They wanted me to fix military radios without using any parts because if I replaced a part, they would have to recall 100,000 radios and change that part in all of them. Unbelievable! When I found a 9 volt zener in a 6.2 volt position, they put the board in the permanent re-work room...where nothing ever got re-worked because they would have to replace a part to get them to work.

If you think you have military machines with 0.001% failures per million hours, don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain.

#### Lestraveled

Joined May 19, 2014
1,946
I lasted 6 weeks in a MIL-spec factory......................
I lasted 8 years in a Mil-spec factory. I built, designed, tested, modified some of the most lethal weapons you could hang from the wing of a plane, all within the restrictions and benefits of the Mil-spec world.

I used to work for an engineer that worked for NASA. We would have hot arguments about reliability and when to apply the Mil-spec standards. He often would say, "don't tell me about reliability, I used to launch rockets with people in them!", or my favorite," there is a reason why F-16s don't drop out of the sky." He forced me to go beyond being a good designer to understanding the intrinsic reliability of components. So, yes, I learned that there is a reason why F-16s don't drop out of the sky and that you can build a missile, store it in a bunker at 110 deg F, 95% humility, for 10 years and it will still be as lethal as the day it rolled off of the production line.

There is no man behind the curtain, just good science.

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,223
you can build a missile, store it in a bunker at 110 deg F, 95% humility, for 10 years and it will still be as lethal as the day it rolled off of the production line.
Just don't let anybody install the wrong zener diode in a production run circuit board or you will have to recall 100,000 of those missiles and replace the zener diode in each one of them.

#### tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
873
Well, shit. I've had a beer (and a very good one at that)... and I have a reliability story of my own... several actually - but I'll just bore you with one. But which one to tell? Hmmm...

This one is about the trusty old LT3080 (One of the best chips ever to grace the earth - thank you Bob Dobkin).

My radiation guy and me had to go through all of our IC's and active transistor circuits to see what could happen when a heavy ion penetrated the die of the device. For most things there was test data that you could extrapolate weather you were okay or not. But not the LT3080. It had some test data - but all of it was in LDO applications 5V to 3.3V with a 7V control voltage. I was using it because of the nearly 100% efficiency of the theoretical efficiency. I was using a 28V bus voltage for the control voltage and dropping a 5V rail down to 2.5V to power a FPGA. I needed to use a high voltage rail to keep the 2.5V rail tracking the 5V rail on power up.

So - Since there was no test data we decided to do the test ourselves. So I worked with the manufacture of the part (actually MSKennedy because they packaged the die) and several folks that spent their life radiation testing things (oh how miserable that would be) to come up with a test I could do. We begged for time at Berkley National Labs Cyclotron and I got a 6-hour window. Between 10pm and 4am one lovely evening. Ran my test and blew out every single part I had - catastrophic failure. Chip stopped regulating and put out 15V on a 2.5V rail.

Long story longer. The datasheet called for the absolute maximum differential voltage to be 40V - which I was comfortably below - BUT all of the specs in the operating table were at a differential voltage of 22V. Of course MSK wouldn't back the 40V because that was the 'breakdown voltage', not the 'operational voltage'. LT wouldn't touch the problem because it wasn't their part (MSK packaged the die). And I was stuck holding the bag - looking like a dumbass because I had to change my design. That's when I learned not to trust datasheets - even from the best of manufactures and to pay more attention to the tested values in the specification table. I ended up preregulating my the control voltage down to 12V with a zener after getting some more test data from Linear Tech that helped us decide that that was a good place for my differential voltage to be (about 10V).

Despite who is at fault (and all were at fault - myself included)... I haven't used a LT part since - in anything - just left a bad taste in my mouth.

I sure am glad the radiation guy and I decided to test the part... Or we would have gotten to the Van Allen belt and never heard from the spacecraft again. In the end it doesn't matter anyway because the mission was shit-canned while it sat on the launch pad.

#### Lestraveled

Joined May 19, 2014
1,946
Just don't let anybody install the wrong zener diode in a production run circuit board....................
The parts that go into a missile have a pedigree, there are people that go to the vendors and verify that the parts and sources are authentic. Those parts are received and stored in a guarded area. Special handlers bring those parts to the correct assemblers.

If an incorrect part was installed, (a 9V verses a 6V zener), then the configuration management is so broken and the manufacturer should be disqualified.

It sounds like you were working more with a broken company, than broken radios.