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Comment: What is GM supposed to say... (Score 1) 256

by Mysticalfruit (#48022893) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"
Note: I'm a very happy Volt owner...

However, GM is a publicly traded company... What else could they say? "Wow, the Tesla's a really great car..." How does that help their stock price? GM is in the business of selling cars and in doing so making their stock worth more. You're finding fault when someone is merely towing the party line and confusing a news story for a press blurb.

Comment: Re:Militarization of the Moon (Score 2) 197

by Mysticalfruit (#47985707) Attached to: Russia Pledges To Go To the Moon
I agree, now that we've got the shuttle out of the way we should start investing money in reliable, reuseable man rated launch systems. Maybe we could get that guy whose making those fancy electric cars to do it!

Maybe we should build a space station and man it continuously and learn tons about spending months at a time in space. I know, we'll talk to the Russians! We'll call it the "International Space Station!" It'll be awesome!

You know what would be really awesome? We should send a bunch of rovers to Mars to learn about it's geology and ecology, maybe figure out why it doesn't have an atmosphere. We could learn all about the long term effects of materials on Mars so when we want to send people we'll know what to build the habitats out of.

On a serious note, we've got a HUGE jump on everybody else. The Chinese are easily 20 years behind us, the Russians are quickly falling behind. In the near future we're going to have at least one totally man rated launch system (Dragon) with another CST-100 coming along behind them. NASA has plans for the HLV as does SpaceX. My money is on SpaceX actually launching a HLV first.

As for the moon, the question is why would we go there? The argument is that setting up a long term settlement on the moon would require that we engineer materials and technologies to shield humans from cosmic rays and figure out food production, long term habitation, etc. with the safety net of being able to bail back to Earth.

My feeling is that if we were to settle the moon it would be merely as a stepping stone to Mars and then outward to Ganymede, etc.

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 973

by Mysticalfruit (#47929931) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
I don't disagree on the first two points.

As for the third point... The US is now a net energy producer. As for oil imports we get most of our oil from CA and are drastically reducing our reliance on oil from the middle east. It dropped to something like 33% of our net need last year. Needless to say this is going to have serious long term consequences for the oil dependent economies in these countries. Their capacity to spread their radical form of Islam is going to be highly curtailed when the money runs out and their own crazies turn on them.

As for the fourth point. The bigoted paranoid demagogues aren't really mass marketable. Someone like that wouldn't get out of a primary here in Massachusetts. Maybe in some other state, but I won't disparage.

However, at some point you need to acknowledge that these people are specifically deranged because of their radicalized religious beliefs. These unhinged beliefs are a direct result of their (mis)education. So many people try to turn this into a political or economic conversation... it isn't.

Comment: Re:Six Missoins Each (Score 1) 188

Quite likely spaceX didn't know how much money was on the table. They worked up a proposal to get the DragonRider completely flight ready and said "This is how much we think we'll need plus some padding." I'm sure if you went digging for the RFP you'd see that these milestones were set out by NASA with the percentages attached to each milestone.

SpaceX has been building, flying and recovering Dragon modules for a couple of years now. Boeing has not. That extra couple of billion dollars that Boeing got was to get their program off the ground. Considering that SpaceX has a current contract to send cargo to the ISS that seed money was already given to SpaceX.

I'm glad that both companies got a contract. Currently we've got 3 non man rated launch systems and hopefully soon 2 man rated launch systems.

Don't get me started on the HLV Frankensteinian monster thing NASA is building out of left over shuttle and Orion parts... I think that is a boondoggle.

Comment: Re:clever move by NASA (Score 1) 200

by Mysticalfruit (#47920377) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS
Knowing that Musk is going ahead anyway, you'd have to imagine there's a pullout/cancel clause in the Boeing contract.

When Boeing completely goes overbudget and out of time frame NASA will jump ship to SpaceX.

OR...

NASA will chose SpaceX since they've already got a good partnership going with them. SpaceX people are already down in FL modifying the ground systems for Falcon rockets, etc.

Comment: Evolve or die. (Score 2) 157

by Mysticalfruit (#47828739) Attached to: Tesla's Next Auto-Dealer Battleground State: Georgia
Telsa should be able to operate showrooms where it wants and their competitors will either improve their business practices or perish, period. Let the free market sort this out.

Whenever I see a dealership invoking some obscure franchise law, what I hear is: "We're a dinosaur that can't compete against Telsa."

Comment: Re:This coin has two sides (Score 1) 211

by Mysticalfruit (#47803851) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets
Let me be the first to let you in on a secret... Rocket science is hard. Last time I checked, the Falcon9 is racking up an impressive reliability record. Yeah, he wants to launch lots of them... which would you rather have, a ramshackle build an launch as fast as you can damn the torpedoes, oh well if a couple blow up or a systematic engineering driven approach to build a simple, ultra reliable, reuseable launch system.

I don't know of a single launch system that's <i>ever</i> been on time. When managers sit down with powerpoint and make up launch schedules and total tons lofted, they're just blowing smoke.

The only evidence they've provided is the fact that they've been modifying the stannis testing facility to test their mega rocket engine. Oh and that they've been building parts and testing them... you know doing engineering things.

This is a natural progression. They started with the Falcon1, then the Falcon9, now this. Yeah, it's going to be a long road, but Musk has proven himself capable of getting shit done. Not at your unrealistic speed.

Do I think SpaceX will launch a HLV? Yes. Will it be on schedule. Yes, because SpaceX won't commit to a schedule until they've got something tested. Will it require some serious engineering? Yes.

Now, how will this effect the thing Nasa is working on? Who knows. I wish NASA would get out of the business of launching things and focus more on the things being launched.

Comment: Re:"Accidentally" (Score 1) 455

by Mysticalfruit (#47786215) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?
While I could see this as a viable (mis)use of the technology, I still think having every officer wearing a camera that they can not turn off or disable and records every interaction they have with the public as a good thing.

Provided that the laws are written so that the footage is automatically admissible in court. This puts everybody on a level playing field.

It would be interesting to see who'd oppose this. My friends who are cops are the first to say that asshole cops make their jobs harder.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.

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