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Old 16th April 2018, 01:29 PM
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Thunderbird 2 Thunderbird 2 is offline
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Default Episode 3.4 - Night & Day - Discussion

When a mining vehicle breaks down on the planet Mercury, Brains must get it working before sunrise....



Guest Cast:
Richard Ridings - Bob Gray

Written by:
Jonathan Callan

Directed by:
Theo Baynton
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Old 16th April 2018, 05:56 PM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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Originally Posted by Thunderbird 2 View Post
When a mining vehicle breaks down on the planet Mercury, Brains must get it working before sunrise....



Guest Cast:
Richard Ridings - Bob Gray

Written by:
TBC

Directed by:
TBC
The time to the next "Sunrise" on Mercury is an interesting problem however given the odd dynamics of it's orbit and rotational period - I suspect I'll be playing the "spot the physics errors" with this one......

https://www.universetoday.com/47834/...ay-on-mercury/

FAB_61
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Old 17th April 2018, 02:08 AM
OrbitalWings OrbitalWings is offline
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At least it sounds like we might be getting a proper honest to god rescue this time? Unless the Chaos Crew have a spaceship too now????

...please don't let it be that
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Old 18th April 2018, 03:59 PM
OrbitalWings OrbitalWings is offline
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Preview clip is up - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNtCFn9zSxk

Linking it because damn does it look better than last week's already. That mobile mining facility is exactly the sort of thing I could have pictured appearing in the original series.

Really is a shame the 'Path of Destruction' title was wasted on what seems to be a filler episode...
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Old 21st April 2018, 11:48 AM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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In the words of Victor Meldrew – “I don’t believe it!”

Finally, a decent “rescue” centred episode, that didn’t have any Hood/Mechanic/Chaos Crew distractions etc.

On top of that we even had Alan not having to act the idiot at any point, and I’m prepared to overlook the “clumsy Brains” bit as it tied in with the development of the interaction with Andi.

On the whole a well worked episode, which looked good from start to finish – with some decent looking explosion effects thrown in. Presumably the Mercury mining rover was at least part model but it’s got difficult to tell where “physical” stops anymore.

The use of Gray/Houseman was an interesting link back to the original series – though not clear why they had to change it from a construction to a mining company when it would have made equal sense, for example, for this to have been some sort of construction vehicle working on a Mercury base.

Main limitation was cramming the various rescue ideas and final solution into the running time.

After last weeks green pod, and the earlier TB-1 “sky pod” there now seems to be a red “space pod” (and trailer?) and TB-3 has solar sails (which are actually no use at all for getting anywhere fast – or more correctly getting any decent acceleration) – all of which would make for great extra toy/model marketing ideas (wait for tumbleweed……..).

Now, the physics problems (for those that may be interested):

I noted in the earlier post about the risk of this episode getting the physics of all this wrong and true to form they did. A lot of the tech etc is always imaginative but they do try to throw “facts” into the explanations sometimes, so it’s a bit annoying when they don’t do the research properly.

Near the start John notes that a “day” on Mercury is nearly two months – and that gives them a bit of time to work with.

That seems to have picked up on the fact that Mercury rotates on it’s axis in about 59 days – so in that sense a “day” is nearly 2 months. However the orbit round the sun only takes 88 days, so the rotation takes quite a while to catch up with the change in angle due to the motion round the sun.

In fact it takes 176 days for the sun to actually get back to the what is essentially the same place in the sky – so a “day” is 88 days and a “night” is also about 88 days (so a full Mercury “day” is actually 2 Mercury “years”).

That means the rover – if, at the time of the accident, was position dead centre on the dark side (which would be the most sensible place to be to maximize the safety margin) it would take 44 days before “sunrise” occurs. Presumably it was closer to the “sunward” facing side than that given the on-screen graphics, but it would still take some time.

Next issue is how fast it would have to move to get out of the way.

Assuming it was on the equator then the equatorial distance is 4,879 x PI km – which is about 15,000km. Since the time for the edge between night and day (the “terminator”) to go round the whole planet is 176 days then this means the terminator is moving across the ground at about 3.5km per hour – which is actually less than usual walking pace…….

At the end of the episode Brains noted that it would take the rover 3 days to reach the centre of the dark side at half max speed. Since terminator to centre of the dark side is essentially ¼ of the way round the planet that means that at the equator it would need a speed of about 53km per hour to do that (so a top speed of 100km per hour, which wouldn’t be bad for something that big).

Only other thing – transmission of power over distance using “Tesla Waves” (that’s Tesla the scientist, not Tesla the car company) is an interesting theory – but to get it to work (assuming you could) would take some pretty big antennas, which they clearly hadn’t got.

Hope that was of some interest……

FAB_61
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Old 21st April 2018, 01:18 PM
David David is offline
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I would also add the time taken to reach Mercury as one of the problems with this episode. Depending on relative positions, the distance between Earth and Mercury can be anywhere between:

Minimum: 51.04 million miles (82.14 million km)
Average: 96.59 million miles (155.5 million km)
Maximum: 134.9 million miles (217.1 million km)

I'm not sure how much time TB3 had to reach Mercury, but assuming 24 hours, that gives somewhere between 3M and 8M kilometres per hour as the speed required.
However, I have no idea how fast TB3 can go.

But having said that, this was a vast improvement on last week's episode. AN ACTUAL RESCUE!
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Old 21st April 2018, 01:48 PM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
I would also add the time taken to reach Mercury as one of the problems with this episode. Depending on relative positions, the distance between Earth and Mercury can be anywhere between:

Minimum: 51.04 million miles (82.14 million km)
Average: 96.59 million miles (155.5 million km)
Maximum: 134.9 million miles (217.1 million km)

I'm not sure how much time TB3 had to reach Mercury, but assuming 24 hours, that gives somewhere between 3M and 8M kilometres per hour as the speed required.
However, I have no idea how fast TB3 can go.

But having said that, this was a vast improvement on last week's episode. AN ACTUAL RESCUE!
Good point - actually, given the orbit period, unless you had a really really fast rocket it would be easier to wait for Mercury to come back round again.

Speed of TB-3 has always been a good question - even in the orig series it wasn't clear how long it took to go after "Sunprobe" (but it didn't seem to be very long), and in TAG we've already had trips to Jupiter and Mars, and the asteroid based rescue, that seemed to take very little time. I can't recall off-hand how long Zero-X was supposed to take to get to Mars, but I seem to think it was about "8 weeks" (which would be pretty good going).

Sci-Fi programs always make a big show of how fast a rocket can accellerate to get somewhere, but never really go into how to slow it down again when it gets to where it's going.
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Old 26th April 2018, 09:27 AM
David David is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAB_61 View Post
Good point - actually, given the orbit period, unless you had a really really fast rocket it would be easier to wait for Mercury to come back round again.

Sci-Fi programs always make a big show of how fast a rocket can accellerate to get somewhere, but never really go into how to slow it down again when it gets to where it's going.
PARACHUTE! I seem to remember it worked in an episode on the moon a while back. All that lovely atmosphere dragging the vehicle to a stop. Oh, wait a moment.......
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Old 26th April 2018, 05:50 PM
FAB_61 FAB_61 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
PARACHUTE! I seem to remember it worked in an episode on the moon a while back. All that lovely atmosphere dragging the vehicle to a stop. Oh, wait a moment.......
Usual Sci-Fi rules apply: Make it exciting and hopefully no-one will notice......

OK - so since we're already well off topic:

I quite like the "air-bag" ideas that were used for the smaller Mars landers (and it's a huge shame that it was only the failure of one spring seems to have stopped "Beagle 2" from working once it got down) but if there is a "Thunderbirds" worthy idea then it has to be system used to put "Curiosity" on the surface (I'd have loved to have been at the meeting where this was put forward as a solution....):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATrICg_26lM

and in case you think the folks that do this never have fun:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Sar5WT76kE

Edit: Bit more searching, since "Curiosity" was JPL this is probably more appropriate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KnTpm9Y77E


FAB_61

Last edited by FAB_61; 26th April 2018 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 27th April 2018, 08:14 AM
David David is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FAB_61 View Post
Usual Sci-Fi rules apply: Make it exciting and hopefully no-one will notice......

OK - so since we're already well off topic:

I quite like the "air-bag" ideas that were used for the smaller Mars landers (and it's a huge shame that it was only the failure of one spring seems to have stopped "Beagle 2" from working once it got down) but if there is a "Thunderbirds" worthy idea then it has to be system used to put "Curiosity" on the surface (I'd have loved to have been at the meeting where this was put forward as a solution....):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATrICg_26lM


FAB_61
It does look as if they sat down and thought "hmmm how many different procedures can we put in place, any one of which will ruin the mission if it goes wrong?".
It is amazing that it all worked, particularly as it had to happen completely under it's own control due to the distance from Earth.
But if I was going to Mars would I want to be in a craft using a similar system?
No thanks!

There is increasing talk of a manned mission to Mars, but I don't think that they have ironed out all of the problems, real and potential, yet.
A bit like driverless cars. But that's another car crash (pun intended)
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