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Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 4, Informative) 83

by jcr (#49365325) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

As it happens, back in the '80s I worked at a company (Commonwealth Scientific) that built ion-beam guns based on the Kaufman duoplasmatron, which was the basis of the mercury-vapor thrusters that NASA had developed in the 1960s. The company was trying to make the aperture of the guns as wide as possible, and the difficulties included neutralizing the ion beam on the way out, keeping the plasma inside the gun stable, and keeping the beam density even. Basically, the bigger the gun, the harder it was to make it run steadily. When I was there, they had 8" apertures and were working on scaling them up to 12" apertures.

-jcr

Comment: Their hearts are in the right place, but... (Score 1) 185

by jcr (#49335901) Attached to: New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act

The PATRIOT act is not a law at all, it is an act of usurpation. Statutes passed by the congress can't trump the constitution, and the PATRIOT act obviously violates the fourth and fifth amendments.

While I'm happy that Rep. Massie is trying to do the things he promised when I supported his campaign, the only solution to the FBI/CIA/NSA fiasco is to abolish all three agencies, prosecute every person involved with the crimes that Snowden made us aware of, and prohibit all the rest of them from ever being employed by the taxpayers again, since they failed to turn in the criminals around them.

-jcr

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig

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