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Comment: Re:No Competition Here! (Score 2) 191

by confused one (#47799375) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets
I've come to the conclusion that this may be the unspoken official plan. Congress is driving NASA to do what they're doing; but, the Administration is sort of sitting back quietly saying very little. Note how you don't hear much from the Obama administration about SLS; but, they keep pushing Commercial Crew. I think it is possible they're just waiting for SpaceX (or one of the other commercial contractors) to fill the void and provide commercial launch capability. NASA has leased launch facilities to SpaceX and Boeing already, including pads 39A and 40 at Canaveral. Heavy lift is the next logical step. Musk has made a lot of noise publicly and given the presentation to Congress and the Administration. They're taking him seriously enough that members of Congress are trying to derail his efforts to protect their constituency. I believe the Administration is giving them the same serious consideration, standing back and waiting to see if they can pull it off.

Comment: Re:Time to travel 11 light years (Score 1) 88

by confused one (#47787555) Attached to: Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far
first of all, any high energy protons that come into the region around Earth are deflected by our magnetosphere. At worse, nothing happens. At best, you get pretty lights in the northern sky. Second, the particles aren't necessarily travelling at relativistic speeds, you are (when travelling at velocities approaching c). From your perspective, you're in a sea of relativistic protons even if they're standing still.

Comment: ok, so, what now (Score 3, Insightful) 88

by confused one (#47785391) Attached to: Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far

So close... and yet still a freeking impossible distance away.

Oh.. it's just 11 light years away. That's a small number, right? As much as I'd like to be able to say we have a "warp drive" or "jump drive" or something like that... at the moment 11 light years might as well be 11 million light years. it makes no difference to our ability to get there.

Comment: Re:Time to travel 11 light years (Score 1) 88

by confused one (#47785347) Attached to: Astronomers Find What May Be the Closest Exoplanet So Far
1. we don't have the technology to achieve that. 2. without some as yet to be thought of technology, the relativistic relative motion of the incident protons, even at 1 per cubic meter or so, would interact with the vehicle structure and create showers of particles, killing the crew.

Comment: not an uncommon problem (Score 2) 106

by confused one (#47634869) Attached to: Study Finds That Astronauts Are Severely Sleep Deprived
Her experience is actually not at all uncommon. Many astronauts report being uncomfortable for extended periods because of the shift in fluids messing with the body. Nausea is not uncommon because the middle ear ends up filled with fluid and there's no "down" for the vestibular system to reference. People in extended missions find they suffer from discomfort of muscles and joints. They experience vision changes and bone loss. The human body is just not adapted to zero G. Some never adapt; but, astronauts being a group of over-achievers by definition, the hide the symptoms and don't report them.

Comment: Re:So.. what? (Score 1) 255

by confused one (#47626513) Attached to: TEPCO: Nearly All Nuclear Fuel Melted At Fukushima No. 3 Reactor
No one's going to actually go in and look at the reactor (or what's left of it) for a long time. What it does tell us is that most of the fuel is in the bottom of the containment vessel, and not hanging in the reactor pressure vessel. While TEPCO how they will use that information today it will affect their decision making process as they move forward.

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