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Comment Re:Will mark write about the GOP's support of puti (Score 1) 194

I am interested in your theories; can you provide documentation on either assertion?

Specifically, how is the government trying to kill private space industry? Also, how is the same government spending billions on Putin's space program?

I try to #include <assert.h>

I appreciate if you could do the same.

Comment Re:Publicity stunt & posturing (Score 1) 194

I am marginally sorry to inform you that you are completely ignorant of the facts of space travel.

Please read about delta-V and understand gravity wells. Retake PHYS420 if you have to.

Then, learn how things actually work: If you were smart, you'd know you don't need to pick up extra boosters: you could just launch from A SINGLE VEHICLE and get a COMPLETE MISSION TO MARS. Here are some references to help you along the way:

Please do your research before spouting off about "dozens of big parts", because any rocket scientist knows how mass works - and you clearly don't. Decade long job? No, it's an 18-month job, because there's NO support equipment unless you're an aerospace industry shill. "Having a Moon base would help with construction"? Do you even understand gravity, and the QA process? Do you think it's easier and cheaper to QA while wearing a EVA suit?

Comment Re:Moon as a gas station (Score 1) 194

No, you're missing the point that it's actually cheaper to just burn once to get out of Earth orbit and be done with it, than it is to go to a "gas station" that's in orbit around the thing you're trying to escape the gravity well of, slow down, dock, do stuff, and then burn AGAIN... than it is to just GTFO in the FIRST PLACE like you SHOULD HAVE DONE. . The physics are actually pretty simple, if you're capable of math, and reading.

Comment Re:Moon as a gas station (Score 1) 194

You're not wrong, but you're just misreading the entire thing.

The point is: cost of mission is built on weight. Weight is built on engineering. Overengineering, therefore, costs more weight -> increase launch costs. Make your structures as lightweight as possible to save on launch capacity, and you can fit more usable *stuff* on the mission. So why overengineer something just to make it survive on the Moon (and make it heavier, etc) when you can make it reasonable to survive on Mars, and spend more propellant on other important stuff?

Comment Re:Moon as a gas station (Score 1) 194

Almost, but consider: the struggle here is that we can't get funding to do a completely reasonable thing in the first place. Moon is cool and all, but honestly, let's just use the funding to go where we really want to go in the first place. NASA has the same budget now as it did 30 years ago, but it's just being incompetent about the whole "leadership" and "presidential mandate" thing. Backyard? Yeah. We did that. It sucked, had no resources, was full of caustic dust. Also, MOON TICKS.

tl;dr: stop dicking around, let's just do this properly, we are completely capable of it except for this whole idiotic attitude that we have to go to the moon first, which inflates budgets, complexity, and probability of failure by 300%.

Comment Re:Moon as a gas station (Score 0) 194

Are you aware of He3? Because anyone who knows what it is, knows that it's all over the place on the Moon. But you seem to be unaware of the fact that we have no way to utilize it because the US is nation of nuclear-ignorant morons. (That includes you, by the way, because you have bought into this hype about He-3 without the understanding of what kinds of scientific developments the nation must make to utilize it.)

Please gain awareness of CO2, H2, and what happens when you combine CO2 + 4H2. Once you dismount from your high, yet sadly misinformed horse, you may be able to make more intelligent conversation about this whole process.

Comment Re:Moon as a gas station (Score 1) 194

You don't have to get fuel to the moon, you can make fuel there. Aluminum & water ice are all you need, and the Moon has plenty of aluminum. Sources of water are more questionable, the dark side of the moon may have some, or we could capture a comet for it, or if necessary truck it up from Earth. It's still better than towing 100% of the fuel from Earth.

As for Mars itself, there's several ways to create rocket fuel there.

Also, the Moon is a balmy hell? The moon is just radiation and straight up vacuum. Mars has dust storms, radiation, freezing ass cold and near vacuum. Anything that can survive on Mars will do just fine on the Moon, and the Moon can be a nice test bed for Martian equipment.

a) Aluminum fine, great. Water ice, great. Ponder this: why bother hauling all of that heavy equipment to mine and process the aluminum, when you can do the same amount (or less work), to get to Mars in a single trip, bring a bit of extra hydrogen with you, and then make a silly amount of methane using easily captured carbon dioxide? It just doesn't make sense.

b) yes, we are in agreement on that, it's easy to make fuel on Mars. Hence my point, why would anyone bother with the Moon? It's just unnecessary and silly.

c) are you sure? read up on atmospheric pressures and temperatures, specifically the extremes on Mars vs. those on the Moon, and the relative radiation levels. Basically you can use a similar design but you have to overengineer the hell out of it to make it feasible on BOTH, because the Moon has no ozone and has ridiculous 28-day cycles with insane temperature extremes.

Point being: going to the Moon is great but it drastically increases mission cost, complexity, and time to complete, when compared to just making things for Mars in the first place. Like I said, read up on Mars Direct and get back to me.

Comment Re:Moon as a gas station (Score 5, Interesting) 194

So let's say the Moon is acting as a "gas station". Gas stations are great and all, but the fuel they dispense has to come from somewhere. On Earth this occurs via tanker truck. If you're arguing that "most of the mass involved in a trip to Mars consists of fuel", and therefore it would be cheaper to refuel ships at the Moon, great. You are trying to say that this makes economic sense.

How do you account for the cost of getting "tanker trucks" to the Moon? If you want to refuel rockets on the Moon you have to get the fuel there somehow, or create it on-site.

Currently the options for that are:
a) mine lunar helium-3. Cool, but let's get some rockets that can use it first.
b) spend unnecessary money to ship fuel there just so we can put that fuel into another rocket, which needs it because... it spent all the fuel going to the Moon instead of Mars.
c) ???

Anyone who hasn't actually read up on Mars Direct really just needs to stop commenting and do that first, so they can actually understand what the hell they are talking about. The Moon as a waypoint is completely and utterly unnecessary. It has no useful resources for this purpose other than helium-3, which we can't even make proper use of (because we're too scared of anything relating to nuclear energy to launch a damn RTG, let alone finish development on any actual nuclear engine). Doing anything on the Moon requires an absurd amount of machinery, life-support, and docking mechanisms, which are completely overkill for what you're trying to do (i.e, go to Mars, which is a balmy paradise compared to the environmental hell of the Moon.)

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener