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Comment: Re:NASA has become small indeed... (Score 1) 108

by MachineShedFred (#47500379) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

Rendezvous with an asteroid is about the same as rendezvous with another small orbital body, like a space station. You match your orbital plane, and then you plot a point of intersection between your orbit and the target. You match velocity and orbit with a maneuver when you get close. You then get nice and close, and do what you're gonna do (take pictures, grab on, etc.).

As with all things, the devil is in the details. But we've gotten really good at rendezvous - we've been doing it in orbit since the 1960s in Gemini, we've done it in lunar orbit. There's no reason to say that rendezvous with a giant lump of rock would be any different - it's just crunching the math on how much delta-V is necessary, and then building hardware to get it done.

Comment: Re:NASA has become small indeed... (Score 3, Interesting) 108

by MachineShedFred (#47500273) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

When Kennedy gave that speech, we had all of 15 minutes of manned spaceflight experience from putting a single manned capsule on what was essentially a V-2 rocket imported from Germany. Alan Shepard could have held his breath through most of that flight.

So yeah, the later Mercury flights, the Gemini flights, and the Apollo program were essentially from scratch.

Comment: Re:So depressing. (Score 1) 108

by MachineShedFred (#47500233) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

I get what you're saying, but in the time when the Constitution was written, a standing army wasn't necessary because you had a good month of lead time before someone else's army could get here to do something untoward.

The technology of flight changes that. There should be a smaller standing army specifically for defense of the nation restricted to North America, and then a reserve contingent that can only be activated by Congress (emergency resolution, war declaration, etc.).

All the hundreds of bases on foreign soil should be liquidated, and the foreign countries that get those back should start footing the bill for their own defense. Then we'll see how much they want to cry about American expansionist policies and so on.

Comment: Re:So then no public funded internet? (Score 1) 148

by MachineShedFred (#47469097) Attached to: US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

No, this just means that local municipalities cannot attach an excise tax to internet service, like they do for telephone service.

Governments are free to spend tax dollars on building networks and providing access, within applicable legal frameworks.

Example - City X cannot attach a 5% excise tax onto your cable modem service in order to pay for sewer repairs.

Comment: Re:Double standards (Score 3, Interesting) 525

by MachineShedFred (#47466409) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Here's something that will deflate your entire argument: most conservatives don't claim to be open and inclusive - you set up that straw man and knocked the hell out of it. Liberals do, and then bash anyone with different ideas or beliefs as neo-conservative warmongering science-denying ultra-fascist teahadists.

It's perfectly possible to be open to ideas from both sides of the spectrum. In fact, it's where the majority of the electorate is because no particular philosophy has a monopoly on good ideas. It's called being a moderate. You might have heard of it.

Comment: Re:Rand Paul's a plagiarizing misogynistic racist (Score 5, Insightful) 525

by MachineShedFred (#47465937) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

I just find it fascinating that left leaning people always proclaim how they are such fans of diversity and inclusion, yet revile any thoughts that might stand in opposition to their own.

God forbid people be open minded towards new ideas, or even old ones.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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