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Comment: have I missed something? (Score 1) 41 41

It costs far less in delta-v to lauinch from a site closer to the equator for an equatorial orbit (ie LEO, GSO). Point: Canaveral, being at 28N. NZ is at 42S.
There's a bit of a physics cheat being closer to the equator and launching prograde to rotation. At the equator, this amounts to 1,000mph, the advantage diminishing as you go toward either pole. Winner: Canaveral.
This advantage negates any advantage launching from closer to the pole for a polar orbit. Winner: Canaveral.

someone want to tell me how launching from NZ, apart from political issues, is in any way advantageous over launching from the US?

(BTW, to keep it in perspective, Baikonur Cosmodrome is at 45N. It suffers from the same DV overhead over Canaveral that a NZ site would, which is one reason the Russian launchers are bloody humungous).

Comment: Re:This makes complete sense (Score 1) 39 39

translation: the fab shop can be located on the carrier negating the need for yet another hulk in the fleet for the submarines to protect.

This is about saving money in paying crews, maintaining ships and nerfing the group's speed to that of the slowest boat.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 2) 803 803

the brief was for a JSF. Jack of all trades, master of none. Supercruise (supersonic without going afterburner), stealth, out-turn everything else with a jet engine, and STOVL. It can do NONE of these apart from an unladen STOVL. For a laden STO it needs a RAMP. It can't even HOVER with a full weapons load.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 2, Informative) 803 803

OK, just in the past SIX YEARS, there have been, to my immediate recollection, THREE fatal shootings on mainland US Navy yards:
November 2009: Fort Hood
September 2013: Washington
March 2014: Norfolk, WV - the World's LARGEST Naval base.

NOT ONLY were those shootings on apparently SECURE installations, they were on installations where apparently only base police were permitted to carry ANY type of firearms. Yet, the perpetrators were able to DRIVE through the gates unchecked and wander the bases with their weapons in FULL OPEN VIEW.

Comment: Re:360 Video of all the known asteroids (Score 1) 76 76

nbody physics is a piece of piss. It only gets complicated when you stop talking about point sources and (as you get in KSP) differential tidal forces acting on each different component of the craft depending on its position relative to every other body and to the parts it's attached to. KSP solves this by cheating it: local physics limit is 2.5km radius from observer and tidal stresses are cancelled by assuming that what gravitational influence acts on one end of the craft is precisely equal to the influence on the other end.

It also doesn't help that the only way Squad could reduce the whole shebang to 2-body physics model was to put the planets on rails and fudge their orbital elements. I'll bet if you popped those rails those planets would fly off in a straight line or fall into the sun.

Comment: I'm so happy! (Score 1) 803 803

...that the UK Government has reduced the order for the Naval version of the F35 to just 14 planes from its initial order of 138. To be shared (eventually) between TWO supercarriers! That aren't even BUILT yet!

Wait. Why has the order cost not changed??

Initial order for 138 airframes: $50m each. Just airframes. No support contracts, apparently sometime between 2006 and 2015 we mislaid our mechanical skillset in the Royal Navy and RAF. Maybe they went to Turkey for more secure positions (I hear scrap metal salvage is enjoying a massive boost over there - thank the Royal Navy for that one, who at the behest of the British Government sent our entire combat-ready sea force to be scrapped). Following many revisions and the butchering to nonexistence of our defence capability (we couldn't even launch a tactical nuke at the moment!), we eventually get to...
2015 Procurement (14 airframes (NO ENGINES!) and ongoing support contracts for all aircraft): $131m each + costs for spare parts fabrication -- $15m per engine, sold seperately!

Just in the FIRST YEAR, assuming that each aircraft has ONE hot and one spare engine, the new procurement would cost the SAME as the initial tentative order.

In the 2014 Congressional hearings concerning the F35 cost overruns, it was pointed out that while there was not one single combat-ready airframe in service, the project had ALREADY cost more than the ENTIRE GDP of Australia!

Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself.