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Comment: ROTFLMAO (Score 1) 132 132

If you want to talk spinoff technology from manned spaceflight, so far we have infrared ear thermometers, ventricular assist devices, artificial limb enhancements, "invisible" braces, scratch resistant lenses, memory foam, enriched baby food, cordless tools, freeze drying techniques, water purification, pollution remediation technologies, food safety tech, and quite a bit more just from NASA alone.

ROTFLMAO. I just love it when the cargo cultists quote NASA on how wonderful NASA is.

Damm few of those come from NASA, at best NASA used them and took credit for using them, and that's been spun into NASA creating them. Take freeze dried food for example - the process was first used commercially in 1938. The modern process was perfected just a few years later when it was used to preserve blood products during WWII. Or cordless tools, first available commercially in the 1950's. Etc... etc...

Comment: Re:NOT selling Bing Maps (Score 1) 61 61

you can imagine that since Uber already has a fleet of vehicles driving around they could pay drivers to capture this imagery while delivering people and save a fair bit of money.

It doesn't make any sense (capturing the imagery requires specialized hardware), but you can imagine it.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 3, Informative) 787 787

One of the lessons that came out of this and the Zumwalt-class destroyer programs is that the military should stop trying to cram every feature into a program. While the proliferation of designs led to unwieldy logistics in the 60s, 70s, and 80s

It did a whole hell of lot more than just lead to unwieldy logistics.

It made managing training more costly and complex. If you have, say, a class of four ships with a unique sonar, you only need a couple of dozen new bodies a year max. But you still need a complete school suite with all the requisite simulators, instructors, and maintenance and support personnel. That raises costs considerably. When I was a 98/0 instructor to support 16 crews with 5 techs each, we maintained an office of 12 people (the number was set by the number of training specialties required, and one guy can know and do so much) just to run four classes a year of 6-8 students. And that was at the tail end of initial manning - when we still needed new or converted techs by the gross lot. Class numbers and sizes went down shortly after I left.

The same is true for advanced training, unless you're lucky enough that the schools are located on the same base as the vessels. While that was true when I was a 98/0 tech... When I was an 88/2 tech, we initially had no advanced training on the OAG MK2/1 because there was no trainer in Charleston - the nearest was at the basic trainer near Norfolk. The program was nearly a decade old before they could get funding to convert an 88/1 (MK2/0) trainer to 88/2 (MK2/1).

It vastly complicated manning for much the same reason... There were only about 200 88/2 techsat any given time, so all it took was a handful of guys unexpectedly getting out, or deciding to stay in, or becoming ineligible for sea duty, or losing their clearance or whatever to royally screw up the whole pipeline.

I actually got to see both ends of that bell curve.

After I graduated from 98/0 school here at Bangor, I ended up filling a warm body billet for a year (my expensive training going to waste) because 98/0 (a community of only sixty or so at the time) was running overmanned by about fifty percent. (My class of twelve alone would have overmanned the community for a year or two until enough boats reached the stage of construction where they needed bodies.) I ended up being converted to 88/2 and sent to Charleston.

After my sea tour, I converted back from 88/2 to 98/0 and was on shore duty when the Navy desperately tried to get me to convert back. Their numbers had been wrong two years running, and average crew size had dropped to 5.8 - and the minimum to run a normal watch rotation without doubling up was 6. They'd started short cycling guys, and sending them on back-to-backs... but you can only do that so long before morale goes to hell in a handbasket, and more guys get out and your problem just gets worse. Norfolk was empty of spare bodies, Charleston was empty of spare bodies, King's Bay was empty of spare bodies... Little ol' me sitting up here at Bangor was literally the last warm body available. (But I ended up being medically ineligible for sea duty anyhow, and stayed out here.)

It also compromises combat capabilities and planning... when I was in SUBLANT, they had 88/1 (C3) boats and 88/2 (C4B) boats, and the two missiles had different ranges, different numbers and sizes of warheads, and the missile capabilities were different. There wasn't always a spare boat of the right kind available, and you couldn't swap them one-for-one. It didn't matter which way you swapped, some capability was compromised either way.

And that's just the SSBN force and doesn't even begin to address logistics problems, or the other support problems, or the maintenance problems, or... well, you get the picture. Multiply that by SSN's, FF's, DD's, and cruisers of a dozen different types and the problems I didn't even touch on and you have a hellaciously complex and expensive mess.

The Navy shifted to having more common platforms starting with Ticonderoga's and Burke's for a lot of very good reasons.

Comment: Re:What plan? (Score 1) 88 88

The worst case for a warning are mere days when a NEO comes more or less directly from the sun.

If you're going to measure capability only against the rarest and worst case, you can safely be ignored as complete fool.

And as I corrected the nuke fanatic above

Looked thorough your postings, and I didn't find any 'correction', just ignorant handwaving bullshit that serves only to confirm the above impression that you are in fact a complete ignorant fool.

Comment: Re:What plan? (Score 1) 88 88

Since we're not working to develop that capability, pretty much anything else we do is irrelevant....

We don't need to 'work towards' a capability we already have. On a global scale, let alone locally (in the US), launchers are rolling off the assembly lines on a regular basis - and it's likely we'll have months (at worst) to years warning before an impact. (We're actually much better off in that respect than we were in 1989.)

Development of a payload needn't take that long either, especially with a Manhattan/Apollo Project style development program.

Comment: Wrong (Score 1) 313 313

Figure the damage became catastrophic at max q, typical for first stage and interstage failures.

Wrong on all counts. The first signs of failure didn't occur until after max-q, and if you were sober when you saw the video it's very plain that it involved neither the first stage or the interstage.

Comment: Reality versus religion. (Score 1) 72 72

That sound you heard was my point zooming over your head.

I am going by what SpaceX themselves have estimated.

Estimates are not reality - even if you do have the experience to base your estimate on. Experience SpaceX lacks.

They plan to inspect, refuel and relaunch in a matter of days so those costs will be minimal.

Plans are not reality. See above about experience.

Remember the boosters are not going into space nor the stress of reentry.

You say that as if it's relevant. It's not. The structure is still highly stressed and the engines still run at full power. These things matter.

SpaceX has stated that in order to achieve the full economic benefit of the reusable technology, it is necessary that the reuse be both rapid and complete

That falls under the category of "no shit Sherlock". Anyone who has actually studied the issue knows this. That's why NASA was trying for a week turnaround back in the 1970's.

Comment: *sigh* (Score 1) 72 72

Saving 9 engines from a Falcon 9 is a considerable savings but saving all 27 engines from a Falcon Heavy launch would bring the cost per kg down to perhaps $100.

Slashdot is filled (at least theoretically) with smart people... so why do I have to keep explaining this?

It's virtually impossible to determine how much recovery will bring down the costs of launch because we don't know how much it will cost to refurbish the recovered vehicle. Certainly it will be cheaper than building a new one, but how much cheaper is impossible to predict... especially in the beginning with zero experience.

The case with the Shuttle is instructive... it took dozens of flights to go from removing and dismantling the SSME's after every flight to only removing them for inspection every third to fifth flight and only dismantling them for cause. (And they were on the second or third block of engines by the time they reached that point.)

Falcon has the additional problem of figuring out how to inspect and re-certify the tank.

Comment: Re:"Acquired" 65 rockets? (Score 1) 45 45

though why they're not buying soyuz launches directly from the Russians is unclear

Maybe because the Russians have none to sell. (They can only produce so many vehicles a year, and they're committed years in advance.) Maybe because the Russians can't reach low latitude orbits. (An inescapable consequence of the location of their launch site and the need to avoid dropping spent stages on other people's territory.) Or maybe they couldn't reach a deal. Or maybe there are tax and/or regulatory advantages to dealing with an EU company.

Etc... etc... Lots of potential reasons.

Comment: Re:Cool URLs vs Uncool Companies (Score 1) 271 271

Remember when they bought DejaNews, and proceeded to break every single URL on the web that lead to news-postings?

That's not the worst of it - they've also repeatedly (and pointlessly) molested the corpse, and broken the links leading to GoogleNews (or whateverthehell it's called nowadays) postings of Usenet content.

This redirecting of an existing URL is just more of a disturbingly familiar pattern, Google knows better than us. Just ask them.

Comment: You're a moron (Score 1) 490 490

Women now have more freedoms in employment than they did back then.

Than they did in the early 80's? No, not significantly, not enough to account for the massive drop (especially given the orders-of-magnitude increase in the size of the field).

You're exactly the kind of sexist of moron I referred to. When all else fails, you'll stoop to making shit up to justify your nonsense.

Any programming language is at its best before it is implemented and used.