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honestmonkey
2002-Nov-18, 11:01 PM
The Bad Astronomy site was mentioned as a "Yahoo Picks" top pick. This is a service you get if you have a Yahoo email account and sign up to receive this type of stuff (which apparently, I am). I think this is a compilation of the Daily picks, so it was probably on a daily pick this week as well, but I don't always read them all the way through.

Here's some of what they said about the site:
Astronomer, teacher, lecturer, and all-around science junkie Phil Plait feels obligated to right the wrongs that have proliferated due to the questionable astronomy found in movies and TV. He even addresses everyday misconceptions passed by word of mouth.

Also included on the Nov. 17 list was:

2002 Best Inventions (http://www.time.com/time/2002/inventions/)
snap your desk (http://www.snapyourdesk.barkins.com/)
Monticello (http://www.monticello.org/)
My Life Is Beer! (http://www.mylifeisbeer.com/)
Ruavista Signs of the City (http://www.ruavista.com/)
and
The Cowbell Project (http://www.geekspeakweekly.com/cowbell/)


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: honestmonkey on 2002-11-18 18:07 ]</font>

amstrad
2002-Nov-18, 11:43 PM
...so i was reading the best inventions website, and came across the description for the scramjet (http://www.time.com/time/2002/inventions/tra_scramjet.html) and I'm flat out stunned.

<u>Warning: the following sentence contains sarcasms</u>. I had no idea these scramjets flew without the use of onboard fuel and therefore did not pollute the atmosphere!

Did anyone bother to tell this reporter that oxygen it picks up in flight is not the fuel? Did this reporter even bother to read the link used in the article to the Center for Hyersonics?

Maybe the confusion arose from the fact that only one of the two combustion chambers on the scramjet engine was supplied fuel during the test, the other being the control data.

Charlie in Dayton
2002-Nov-19, 12:29 AM
A looooooooooooooooong while back, I was associated with a joint venture of NASA, the Air Force, Rockwell International, and the Dayton (OH) Board of Education. We took Baby (my old school bus -- a late '70's IH 392 V8/5 speed -- I put 100,000 miles on her PERSONALLY on the streets of Dayton) and rebodied her to look like the X-30 project (scramjet-powered passenger liner, NY-Tokyo in 90 minutes via ballistic orbit).

I was always under the impression that scramjet was short for Self Contained Ramjet...as in, with onboard fuel and oxidizer, the front end wasn't open, and it could actually light off at a standstill.

Was I incorrect?

More reminiscences about Baby and her mission as the public warrants...

Donnie B.
2002-Nov-19, 10:13 PM
SCRAMJET denotes a "Supersonic Combustion Ramjet" - same principle as a ramjet, but the combustion occurs while the airflow through the engine is supersonic. Like a regular ramjet, it has no moving parts (except fuel pumps and the like), and produces zero thrust at zero velocity.

What you're thinking of is probably the "Rocket-Based Combined Cycle" (RBCC) engine, which uses rocket propulsion at low speeds (but the rocket burns the fuel with air compressed by a standard jet engine compressor rather than, or in addition to, stored LOX).