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Comment: Re:vs. a Falcon 9 (Score 1) 59

by Bruce Perens (#49501071) Attached to: Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine

They can carry about 110kg to LEO, compared to the Falcon 9's 13150kg. That's 0.84% of the payload capacity. A launch is estimated to cost $4 900 000, compared to the Falcon 9's $61 200 000. That's 8.01%. That means cost per mass to orbit is nearly an order of magnitude worse.

Yes, this is a really small rocket. If you are a government or some other entity that needs to put something small in orbit right away, the USD$5 Million price might not deter you, even though you could potentially launch a lot of small satellites on a Falcon 9 for less.

And it's a missile affordable by most small countries, if your payload can handle the re-entry on its own. Uh-oh. :-)

Comment: Re:Long View (Score 1) 471

by Tom (#49491483) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries

Compensation has been commensurate to your skills for hundreds of years.

Your argument smells.

Yes, more skilled people in general earn more. But (and in the words of Ben Goldacre: It's a big but) there are exactly two issues with this in our modern hypercapitalism, and they are related:

a) A class of very low skilled workers has moved to the top of the food chain and takes a massive part of the total wages for itself

b) The general level of pay is staggeringly low. If you compare the wealth of your western nations to the wealth of the average individuals within, you should be frightened. Most western countries can spend a few billions here and there without so much as shrugging. As nations, we have more, much much much more money available than ever in history. The most lavish spending of any king in history pales compared to everyday infrastructure, science or military projects of today. As people, we are richer than the average middle ages peasant, but in comparison to our nations wealth, we have less.

Comment: Re:WHAT? (Score 5, Insightful) 309

So you're saying that a dead 2 year old, who had already had half her brain removed and the other half was seriously damaged, and dunking that in liquid nitrogen with the hope that someday a new body could be built for her and she'd be perfectly normal again ... is a con?

Oh ... ya ... it is ...

I don't know how the fuck anyone falls for it. Really... Why would they think that even if their bodies were preserved that long, and the technology was invented to create what's missing, and repair all the damage done by the freezing process, that anyone would spend the 14 bazillion New Earth credits (or whatever currency there is in futureland) to bring some old fucker back?

In her case, the could have just saved a DNA sample. The story is clear about the condition her brain was in. Half was gone. The other half critically damaged.

I'd have to think that it would be questionable in futureland to resurrect a 20th century person, even if they were in pristine condition. Say 21 years old with much above average intelligence, who was taught everything that there is to know, with no medical issues, no trauma. Just frozen as-is without cellular damage. Why would anyone opt to wake them up? Just to ask "Hey, so what was life like in the 20th century?"

The whole cryogenics "industry" is a huge con.

If these people are religious in the least, they'd have to believe that the soul was trapped in that frozen body until it was awakened. If it wasn't, there would be no reason to reincarnate them. What if they picked the wrong part to freeze? Like, if the soul was really in the liver, or maybe in the spinal cord between C1 and C3. Oops, sorry, we cut that part off.

And if they aren't religious in the least, why bother? So they can wake up as a curiosity in the future? "Hi Cro-Magnon. Fire hot. We have spoken languages you don't understand. And try to wrap your mind around these three seashells. No more poison ivy toilet paper for you. No, don't hit females with a club to make them your mate/slave."

Comment: Re:You Can See (Score 1) 110

Microminiature accelerometers are really cheap and very very light, and you don't have to wait for them to spin up or deal with their mechanical issues. I doubt you will see a gyro used as a sensor any longer.

Similarly, computers make good active stabilization possible and steering your engine to stabilize is a lot lighter than having to add a big rotating mass.

Comment: Re:New product (Score 1) 340

A video from the barge is now online here. If you step through the final frames, you can see that the camera mount ends up knocked over and pointing at the ocean, but the lens and its cover are unbroken and all we see flying appear to be small debris. So not a really high-pressure event.

Comment: Re:incredibly close to target is far from success (Score 1) 340

It's very tempting to think this should work like an airplane. Lots of people wrote that it was "too hot", etc. But it isn't an airplane. The plan was really to approach at 1/4 Kilometer Per Second, then brake at the very last second.

Obviously Crew Dragon, which carries people, will approach differently. But it's a lot lighter.

Comment: Re:legs too late? (Score 1) 340

In the F9R test videos they catch some of the backscatter from the engine and seem to catch fire. Maybe they were trying to avoid that. They are very light carbon composite. Or perhaps they mess up the airstream for precision navigation, or they don't like the 250 m/s wind.

Comment: Re:New product (Score 1) 340

It looked to me that the barge was structurally undamaged but that some heavy equipment on the deck was forcibly ejected. It's clear to see in the HD version. Those 1000 HP thrusters are expensive, and it looked to me like one of them going overboard. But I suspect they were prepared to lose more than one vessel in testing this.

And I bet there was a range safety self-destruct charge onboard. F9R blew itself up with one. But it was probably so safe that it didn't go off.

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