This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here:

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

  • Announcements

    • Mike

      Ongoing DDoS Attack causing Forum Slowness   26/04/17

      In case you have missed the announcement, the reason that the forum has been slow at times since the minor version update the other day is due to a Denial of Service attack, brute force attack on our email, and judging by the lag with our FTP response, that too.  If you're feeling like you're experiencing a glitch in the Matrix, you're not wrong.  This is the same MO as the attack in September 2016 that occurred when we transitioned to the new version 4 of the software.  We're currently working with US and UK cyber-crime departments, who specialise in this sort of thing, and we're hopeful that we'll be able to track them down this time by using the accumulated evidence already held.    We are pretty certain that it's a continuation of the same attack last year, only at a reduced intensity to deter people from using the site "because it's terribly slow", rather than taking it down completely, and we're also sure of the motivations of those responsible.  Spite.   Please bear with us in the interim, and wish us luck in dealing with these.... "people".


Gold Member
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


GordonD last won the day on September 7 2012

GordonD had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

2,434 Excellent

About GordonD

  • Rank
    All-round great guy
  • Birthday 23/03/58

Contact Methods

  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Interests
    Real spacecraft, also the late-war Luftwaffe stuff

Recent Profile Visitors

6,752 profile views
  1. True. But no woman has ever been safer from being groped by him while they were talking.
  2. As stated here a couple of weeks ago (well, after I got it wrong first time!) Peggy Whitson has broken the record for total time in space by a US astronaut. On three separate missions she has been in space for more than 534 days, and is due to remain in orbit until the beginning of September.
  3. I don't do it on a regular basis, only when there's a significant anniversary. But if people enjoy reading it I'd be happy to post something more often.
  4. Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Vladimir Komarov, the first spaceman to die in an in-flight accident. He was killed when his Soyuz 1 spacecraft crashed on landing after both main and reserve parachutes failed to open properly. And yet the incident could have been much worse. The original flight plan was for three cosmonauts to be launched in Soyuz 2 and for the two craft to dock; two cosmonauts would then make an EVA transfer (that version of Soyuz had docking facilities but no internal tunnel) to join Komarov and the three would return together. (This plan was eventually carried out on Soyuz 4/5.) However one of Komarov's solar panels failed to deploy and various other minor problems cropped up so the decision was taken to cancel the Soyuz 2 flight and bring Komarov down. Unfortunately his main parachute failed to open and when he attempted to deploy the backup 'chute it became entangled with the first one. The capsule crashed and exploded. When the Soyuz 2 craft was examined it was found to have the same parachute fault as Komarov's capsule, so had the original flight plan been carried out four men would have been lost instead of just one. Nobody can know what thoughts went through Komarov's mind in the last terrifying moments of his plunge to Earth (stories that he cursed his superiors all the way down are just myth) but his courage is beyond question. As the first man to orbit the Earth twice, his place in space history is assured. Покойся с миром, товарищ
  5. Those unmanned probes do so well, don't they? (When they're not going to Mars, that is!) Larry Niven wrote an excellent short story called Like Banquo's Ghost, narrated by a reporter in the control centre when data from the first interstellar probe starts to come in. The probe reached the Alpha Centauri system four years earlier (having been launched thirty years before that) but due to the time-lag the signals are only now being received. Throughout the story the narrator is talking to someone called Butch, who is extremely interested in what the probe is doing. Then the probe drops behind the planet it's mapping and the signal is cut off. And Butch says
  6. How about this scheme? Posting as a link as it looks as if there are copyright issues so don't want to incur Mike's wrath by posting the photo.
  7. The Cassini probe, which for the last twelve years has been sending back data about Saturn and its moons, is now almost out of propellant so will be put on a trajectory that will take it between the planet's upper atmosphere and its ring system, which means it will enter the atmosphere and burn up in September.
  8. I think this is the first time with this new Soyuz variant that they've done the fast rendezvous. With the previous three missions they've followed the slower approach, taking two days or so to get there. Tomorrow the Cygnus CRS OA-7 cargo freighter is due to arrive - it was launched on Tuesday but obviously the manned craft got priority so docked first. This one is named for John Glenn.
  9. I wondered that myself, also why no Humbrol Decalfix on the list. Don't you rate it?
  10. Soyuz MS-04 was launched towards the ISS at 0713 UTC (8:13 BST) this morning, with a crew of two. Fyodor Yurchikhin (on his fifth flight) and Jack Fischer (first flight) will complete the Expedition 51 crew. They're due to remain in orbit until September and when they return the third seat will be occupied by Peggy Whitson, currently in command of the station. The other crewmen, Oleg Novitsky and Thomas Pesquet from France, are due to return to Earth at the beginning of June.
  11. Well, it didn't work. I applied the spare decal to the pipe and it absolutely refused to stick. I can only assume that the pipe was too thin, so there was very little surface area that the decal was touching for it to get anything of a grip. So when I tried to get it to curve round, it simply slid sideways. But all is not lost - as LotusArenco pointed out, I can mask and paint instead. Apart from the N and the A (from STATES) all of the markings are horizontal lines of various thicknesses so masking should be fairly straightforward as long as I can keep them aligned properly.
  12. Don't get the two mixed up. I heard of somebody who drank varnish by mistake - it killed him, but at least he had a lovely finish.
  13. I currently use Humbrol Decalfix, though in the past I used Microset/Microsol or whatever they were called. Is one of those better than the other? And what stronger brands are available?
  14. How to Give Your Cat a Pill Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and apply gentle pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process. Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw soggy pill away. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of 10. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for glueing later. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap. Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus jab. Throw away T-shirt and fetch new one from bedroom. Ring Fire Brigade to retrieve cat from tree across road. Apologise to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to miss cat. Take last pill from foil wrap. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down. Get spouse to drive you to Casualty, sit quietly while doctor stitches finger and forearm and removes remnants of pill from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table. Call RSPCA to collect cat and ring pet shop to see if they have any hamsters. How to Give Your Dog a Pill Wrap pill in bacon. Toss it in the air.
  15. Just like John Glenn, who had to wait until he was 77 for a second flight.