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Comment: Re:Republicans and their unhealthy space obscessio (Score 1) 110

by WrongMonkey (#49728443) Attached to: Robotic Space Plane Launches In Mystery Mission This Week
"Sensor" is a very broad term. Which sensors are used NOAA satellites that have no other antecedent but those developed NASA? Something that was specifically and uniquely developed IN HOUSE at NASA that no other organization would have the expertise to develop.

Comment: Re:Republicans and their unhealthy space obscessio (Score 1) 110

by WrongMonkey (#49727773) Attached to: Robotic Space Plane Launches In Mystery Mission This Week
NASA doesn't really build anything. NOAA's satellite are designed, built and launched by contractors like Orbital Sciences or Lockheed Martin. You are right that NASA collaborates on oversight and support, but if you imagine a world without NASA, that would still get done.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 5, Informative) 607

by WrongMonkey (#49727239) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties
Only three out of the ten commandments are codified into US law: thou shalt not kill (murder), thou shalt not steal(theft), thou shalt not bear false witness (perjury). Adultery laws might still be on the books in some states, but I doubt they'd hold up in court. Otherwise you are perfectly free to dishonor your parents, worship graven images, work on Sunday, take the Lord's name in vain, and covet your neighbor's wife. As for abortion: an embryo or a fetus is not a person and it is not viable to live on its own. Even the Bible makes this clear since the punishment for striking a pregnant woman and causes her to miscarriage is not the same punishment as murder.

Comment: Re:Honestly (Score 1) 587

by WrongMonkey (#49416445) Attached to: Hugo Awards Turn (Even More) Political
Not science, economics is the problem. If there were some valuable resource that could only be obtained on the Moon or Mars or Venus or somewhere else off-world, then we'd actually see investment in space technology to obtain that resource. And this where hard SF has always fallen short, too. Exploration and colonization are presented as a given without ever given much justification beyond "human spirit" or some other handwaving.

Comment: Re:Would it matter? (Score 1) 576

If the objective is to obliterate us, they don't even need to invade. A relativistic warhead fired from another star system would do the trick. Any invasion scenario implies that they would at least want to keep the biosphere in a habitable condition. Which presents some opportunity for guerrilla tactics.

Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

The technology needed for space travel would not be the same for all worlds and all species. Imagine a species that evolved on a Titan-like moon. Low gravity means that they could put large payloads into orbit with less energy. If they had a longer lifespan than humans or a natural means of suspended animation, then interstellar distances are not so insurmountable.

In fact, a race of space-faring tardigrades from a low-gravity moon sounds like a good start for a novel.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.