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a term that annoys me

Posted by: 109Ace - Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:02 pm
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a term that annoys me 
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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 29, 2004 2:11 am
In the usage I am familiar with sub circular means approximating a circle, as in wiggly not elliptical.

Most X Prize usage seem to mean "Not even trying to be orbital, just going really high".

I think Sub orbital as a term would mean something that makes it at least 270 degrees around the earth.

There are a few ultra-long distance aircraft now that probably meet most if not all definitions for X Prize craft outside of tight numerical ones.

Actually I am getting annoyed at the term too now.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 29, 2004 9:32 am
I have been thinking about all these terms a little bit more yesterday.

But first I want to say - the use of the adjective "suborbital" by the XPRIZE Foundation and by some teams competing for the prize is correct and is becoming something like a trade mark.

The media and newspapers critisized for using the term "suborbit" are doing a huge mistake and error - they might not have been thinking about what they are doing no time and no way: orbit, orbital and suborbital to define is very complicated. To create the additional term "suborbit" causes an inflationary increase of this complexity.

"Orbit" is defined by a combination of altitudes, velocities and degree of a kind of infinity. This means nothing else than a mathematical function.

"Orbital" to define requires additional informations:

1. "Orbital flight" seems allways to mean a flight into an orbit.
2. "Orbital spacecraft" seems to mean a spacecraft able to fly into an orbit but it really doesn't need to go to an orbit.
3. "Orbital" station, satellite or object means something that is located in an orbit.

"Circular orbit" is defined by a constantly given altitude and a constantly given velocity - so it is a special kind of orbit described by a special mathematical function

"Elliptical orbit" is defined by combinations of different altitudes and different velocities excluding any constancies - so this another special kind of orbit and description by mathematical function.

All this is out of question I think. All people know what a satellite is and nearly everyone has heard of the ISS and the Space Shuttles.

Now all the definitions consequently mean that there must be something other than orbits and "orbitals".

So for the first moment let's call that "non-orbit" and "non-orbital".

"Non-orbit" then is something missing at least one element of those combinations defining an orbit. The number of the possible geometric shape is infinite - that's the cause of the complexity and the chaotic creation of new terms like "suborbit".

There are at least two kinds of "non-orbit":

1. Courses leaving all kinds of orbits for the interplanetary space.
2. Courses returning to the focus of the orbit - please pay attention to saying "focus" - not "earth" or "surface". I'm really speaking of the center as a point or place not being part of the orbit itself. In the case of a circular orbit this is the center of the circle - in the case of an elliptical orbit this is one of the two points that are the focusses of an ellipse.

The second kind of courses seems to include all courses called "suborbital". The first perhaps might be called "superorbital" but shouldn't better no way and never!

"Suborbital" courses can be of at least two well-known shapes described by easy mathematical functions - hyperbolic shape and parabolic shape. Perhaps "suborbital" partly can be substituted by one of these terms. And these really might be accepted by the media and the public easyly. Then the term "suborbit" in these cases consequently will disappear and there will be spoken of "reaching a parabel" or "reaching a hyperbel" - and that would be as right as speaking of "reaching an orbit" in the case of satellites.

All remaining suborbital courses should be called "suborbital".

"Non-orbital flight" now as well as "non-orbital" station, satellite or object can be defined by deriving the definition from "non-orbit" and in the case "station, satellite or object" the meaning only can be "interplanetary".

A "non-orbital" spacecraft however can be "interplanetary" or "suborbital" but never "parabolic" or "hyperbolic" because the shape of the suborbital course is depending on angles, active cahnges of angle, speed etc, passive changes by winds etc. - remember the share winds during the SSO-flights at June 21st and other circumstances.

It's not worked out competely now - let's complete it by further discussion here.

I don't know wether there is already a glossary at the XPRIZE-site or at the News-site - but if not it would be great to create one. What about this idea?

What about all these thoughts?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Last edited by Ekkehard Augustin on Mon Aug 30, 2004 7:54 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: a term that annoys me   Posted on: Sun Aug 29, 2004 3:28 pm
109Ace wrote:
Ok, first of all I don't have any problems with 'suborbital flight' or even 'suborbital space'
but sometimes another term it used, especially in the media, and especially by FOX NEWS, which IMO has a collective IQ equal to that of a retarded 10 year old.
They say that SS! reached 'suborbit' what the heck is a suborbit? a small orbit? NO. an orbit is an orbit, a suborbit is NOT an orbit. you can't 'reach' a suborbit. :P :P :P :P


Anyone who actually cares would understand what they're talking about. No need to get all over Fox News, or any other media outlet because they took careers as journalists and not scientists. They have to put out a few hundred news stories a day. SS1 reaching "suborbit" is just as important, if not less than, another soldier dieing in Iraq or learning that John Kerry, has infact, been awarded 3 purple hearts.

It's not really a big deal. It gets the point across. Nobody says "suborbit" when they're not in space; they would say 35,000 feet, 80,000 feet, or whatever. I would bet half of the people in the world who this actually bothered have posted in this thread :)


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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:52 am
Ekkehard Augustin, i couldn't have put that better even though i'm a native english speaker, lol. the reason "half" the people in the world who that bothered posted in this thread is because "half" the people in the world who know the difference are here.

Note: by "half", i mean everyone not directly related to the xprize or suborbital spaceflight.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:27 pm
Quote:
Is "sub-circular" including a circel that cannot be flowb along completely bacuse of obstacles?


I suppose. The more correct term would probably be ballistic trajectory, but I doubt that would go over very well on the news. The connotations are not good.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 15, 2004 2:54 am
I can't reply to any of the mathematical questions relating to sub-orbital flight. I will ad my voice against the usual ignorance of Fox news. Moving on, if the Space Ship One launch is successful and wins the x-prize when does anyone think they will start flying on an everyday or week basis? Or will they wait to achieve orbit around the earth first enlarging the cabin of space ship one to hold more passengers etc. all the best. :arrow:


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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:59 am
there's no reason to wait. there are plenty of people willing to pay $100,000 for a suborbital flight.


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 25, 2007 11:40 am
Just a few moments ago I had the thought to add a term - it is caused by what author mentioned: If he jumps then this might be just a suborbital hop.

His jump would be suborbital... - but not into space.

So there might be near-space suborbital hops or flights, near-ground suborbital flights, atmospherical suborbital flights and suborbital flights into space.

Several months ago I also read several times that planets not allways are destroyed when swallowed by the star they orbit - so these planets orbit within that star. Son there might be orbits defined that are near-space, near-ground or atmospherical.

What about it? :D



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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:50 pm
Ouch, headache. I am beginning to think some new English words need to be stolen from something other than Greek or Latin. Sub-orbital to me means less than a closed circuit. Like a ballistic arc. Added to that they could exceed reasonable orbital altitudes, and that I consider orbital to be 75% velocity, and only 25% height, it is an inappropriate term.

We stole the excellent word "robot" from the Slovakian, so come on Europe, give us a suitable word and definition from your vocabulary and we will integrate it into Queens English. (As an informal language, the mere frequent use is enough to have it in the OED!)

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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:24 pm
Both "Olympic" athletes, and those with lesser abilities regularly achieve both "suborbit" and "suborbital flight". I think what we are talking about is "suborbital spaceflight", which is rather more difficult.

I think "Free Press" allows "Media" to be stupid and broadcast misinformation if they can afford it (which often means that listener/viewers will put up with it). :wink:


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Post    Posted on: Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:32 pm
I still think it's a silly discussion by definition. Look at other fields, you see same silly 'mistakes' which makes no sense at all if you look at it black & white. Call it using lamen terms or simply everyday talk, we know what is meant by 'suborbital'. Sure, by definition i made a jump with my bike that went into suborbit, but it doesn't make any sense if you hear it first time.

Other example. When you are asked how fast you drove on a particulary road/highway. Many people respond with '80' or '120'. Everybody understand what the other one means. Apart from mph and kph differences, they mean 80 kph/mph or 120 mph. However, we don't drive 80. 80 what? Cows? Chicken? Doesn't make any sense, does it. But we understand what the other one means.

Everybody knows what suborbital means, that it is a bad word for describing something is a totally different subject.


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