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Comment Re:great timing (Score 2) 38

This is a program that has been in development for several years, and people won't be flying in it any earlier than 2017.
There will be several unmanned missions before there are people on them.
And Boeing also has a capsule and they hadn't had any rockets exploding recently.

SpaceX is running their investigation, NASA is making an announcement about astronauts being selected for training for future flight.
So what's your point exactly?

Comment Re:Yeah (Score 1) 100

I'm not raging against anything.
I don't see why I should care if it was an 'American idea' even if I thought that was a meaningful distinction.
I do like most of Elon's projects and I don't think he would have used a system like this because he's looking to build a rocket that could potentially land on Mars, but that's irrelevant.

I merely object to this design being presented as 'simplified' and having 'no need for extra rocket fuel'.

I personally find the SpaceX approach more elegant and I don't think that because we've had a hundred years of air flight experience that makes it any simpler or better of a solution.

Comment Yeah (Score 2) 100

So they bolt on a pair of wings, add some propellers that have to be deployed from a casing that protects them during launch, oh and another stage separation event, a mechanism for separating the fuel tank from the engine.
And that's supposed to be simpler than some hydraulic landing legs and grid fins?
And carrying all those additions to space doesn't cost them any extra fuel?

Comment Bamba (Score 4, Interesting) 243

There's a popular snack in Israel called Bamba, which consists of puffed corn coated with peanut butter.
Pretty much everyone eats it, and it's pretty common for parents to feed it to children as soon as they can handle solid food.

So I was wondering how that affects the allergy rate for Israelis.
And apparently a study shows that when comparing Israelis to UK Jews of a similar background, the Israelis had a tenth of the peanut allergy rate compared to the UK group.

Comment Huh. (Score 1) 468

I didn't realize things are getting so bad in the US that merely knowing the location of a traffic cop puts their life in danger.
I wouldn't even expect that to be the case in most third world countries.
That sounds like some Mad Max shit.
No wonder they're acquiring all that surplus military equipment.

Comment Re:Strange definition of success (Score 1) 213

The difference is that for the manned flights you've mentioned, returning the astronauts back to earth was part of the primary objective and they wouldn't have launched if they didn't have a high likelihood of accomplishing it.

The goal of SpaceX Falcon 9 launches is to deliver cargo to orbit, once that is accomplished the mission is a success.

The fact that they can use the spent first stage of the rocket for development testing towards developing reusability instead of just letting it splash down into the ocean is a bonus.

Comment Re:No video? (Score 1) 213

The guys at have been following the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (That 'Drone' really helps with the abbreviation) from a cruise ship that has a webcam pointed in its general direction when it's in port, hopefully we'll get a glimpse of it when it gets back.

Comment SpaceX (Score 4, Informative) 235

I've been following SpaceX recently so I thought I'd point out a few things about them in regards of breaking new ground.

The company went from being founded to launching its first commercial payload to orbit in about seven years. (Which seems pretty quick in aerospace timescales)

They're consistently delivering supplies to the ISS for about half the price of their competitor using the Dragon capsule which is also able to return cargo back to Earth.
The Dragon capsule was designed with carrying passengers in mind, and version 2 of the capsule which will be undergoing launch abort tests soon is scheduled to start taking astronauts up to the ISS in about two years or so.
It will also be capable of landing propulsively.

They've undercut the prices of all existing competitors significantly, making them scramble to design new rockets to match SpaceX's price, but they'll only be ready around 2020.
Meanwhile SpaceX has been testing reusing the rocket's first stage.
The upcoming mission to the ISS will have its first stage attempt to land on a barge at sea, with the ultimate goal being landing back at the launch site.
Elon claims a theoretical potential hundred-fold price reduction for launches, but even a ten-fold reduction would have a significant effect on the industry.

In the longer term, SpaceX has plans for much larger engines and spaceships, with the ultimate goal of landing on Mars and eventually enabling people to move to Mars for around $500K.

We can predict everything, except the future.