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Comment: Re: Old news already? (Score 3, Insightful) 23

by kellymcdonald78 (#49026627) Attached to: West To East Coast: SpaceX Ready For Extreme Multitasking
The eventual plan is to land near the launch site (SpaceX just signed a deal with the Airforce to lease LC13 at the Cape). As such both launch and landing sites will have the same weather conditions. Going foreword this should only be an issue with the center core of the Falcon 9 Heavy which will be too far down range to return to the launch site.

Comment: Re:A horror story (Score 1) 784

I know its horrible. I stopped driving with my kids after a child in my city was killed in a car accident. Then I read that some kids were killed by a gunman at a school and decided to pull them out. Sports was next when I heard that some kid was hit in the chest by a soccer ball and died from cardiac arrest. I am currently thinking about covering my kids with bubble wrap and locking them in their rooms, but then again there was a house fire last week and I saw that someone choked on bubble wrap. I'm not sure what approach I should take to guarantee my children a 100% risk free life. You do realize, that by every measure "Modern Society" is safer for children (and adults) than at any other time in human history. A child has a greater chance of being struck by lightning than being kidnapped. We're creating a whole generation of children that are so fragile, they will crumple at the first sign of adversity.

Comment: Re:The pendulum swings too far... (Score 2) 441

by kellymcdonald78 (#48826749) Attached to: Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now
Even if the sale of non-electric cars were banned tomorrow. Half the vehicles on the road would still be gas powered in 2026 (average age of a vehicle in the US is 11 years). As much as I am rooting for Tesla, to think that even a moderate proportion of vehicles will be electric 20 years from now is ludicrous. 0.6% of vehicles sold in the US are electric or plug in hybrid, even if this gets to 10%, or 20% in a decade, the majority of vehicles will be gas powered well into the 2040's. Low gas prices makes this even harder to achieve as it impacts the economics of buying an EV. Low prices also impact the movement to more efficiency and investment in alternatives. when fuel is cheap, people wont invest to "drop demand by 40%" because it isn't economically rational. People fail to realize just how dependent the modern world is on fossil fuels. Fully 80% of the energy mankind consumes comes from fossil fuels. Nuclear, hydro, biomass, wind, solar, everything else is only 20%. The amount of infrastructure we would have to replace to make solar and wind anything more than a blip on the radar is measured in the $trillions

Comment: Re: Success rate of 0% (Score 1) 152

by kellymcdonald78 (#48805581) Attached to: Chinese Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around the Moon
Agree on the QA issues, but that reflects on lack of funding and resources. Even then, only 1 of the 4 N-1 launches failed due to QA (The second flight when an engine ingested a loose bolt). The rest were all design issues (Flight 1: high frequency oscillations, Flight 3: insufficient control authority, Flight: 4 pogo). Bear in mind that these were all issues with the first stage, the upper stages were NEVER tested (engines yes, but not stages). Without test stands to validate and debug the design before first flight there was no guarantee that assuming they had finally resolved the first stage issues, that there wouldn't have been a slew of other problems with the 3 upper stages. .

Comment: Re:Success rate of 0% (Score 1) 152

by kellymcdonald78 (#48804561) Attached to: Chinese Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around the Moon
In my view the problems facing the Soviet space program at the time were just too systemic for even Korolev to have resolved. Unlike the US which had NASA and thus a single coordinated moon program, the Soviets essentially had 3. Korolev, Yangel and Chelomei were constantly fighting each other for political influence and funding. Even then, the funding never matched the grandiose political statements (similar to NASA today). While Sputnik, Vostok and Voshod could be accomplished on a shoestring budget, leveraging the R-7 program, the Soyuz, N1 and LK (the Soviet Lunar Lander) programs required substantial investment that never really emerged. Korolev was never able to build a test stand for the N-1 due to lack of funding, meaning they had to "debug" it in flight, an insane approach for something as large, complex (and expensive) as the N-1. In 1966, Korolev spent the entire annual N-1 budget by March and wasn't able to do anything more until the next year. The under investment in Soyuz resulted in Komarov's death on a spacecraft no where near ready to carry a crew. The first unmanned flight of the LK didn't even take place until the end of 1970. It's interesting to note that the slashing of NASA's budget began in 1967, shortly after the CIA released its intelligence estimate on the state of the Soviet Space Program. While they indicated a manned flyby by 1968 was likely, a manned landing wasn't likely until 1972 if at all.

Comment: Re:Success rate of 0% (Score 5, Informative) 152

by kellymcdonald78 (#48800033) Attached to: Chinese Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around the Moon
No, the Russian's were hoping to do a manned flyby as part of the Zond program, but the Proton rocket had a number of teething problems and it took awhile to become reliable enough to even consider putting people on (ultimately it never flew manned). There were also a number of problems with the Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft. US intelligence thought the Soviet's were closer to flying a crewed lunar flyby mission as Zond 5 was largely a successful test. However Zond 6 depressurized and crashed on re-entry (killing the animals aboard) which ended any immediate plans of a crewed launch. Apollo 8 was originally to be a "D" mission, testing the Lunar Module in Low Earth Orbit with Apollo 9 an "E" mission testing it in Medium Earth Orbit. Due to delays with the Lunar Module, they decided to swap the missions and instead send Apollo 8 into lunar orbit (with no Lunar Module). Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders became the first humans to leave low Earth orbit Dec 21st, 1968. They successfully orbited the moon 10 times on Christmas day and returned Dec 27th After that the Soviet's pretty much gave up on the flyby in favor of a manned lunar landing, but they could never get the N-1 rocket to work

Comment: Re:Fission is Dead (Score 2) 218

by kellymcdonald78 (#48174291) Attached to: Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly
Firstly, naval reactors run on highly enriched Uranium (90+% U-235), which is incredibly expensive and represents significant proliferation risk (you wouldn't want to give Homer Simpson access to "bomb grade" uranium) Secondly, you may also want to look up who built the reactors for the Enterprise, Nautilus, Nimitz class, about half the sub fleet and operated the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory from 1949 to 2008 (Hint the company name starts with a 'W')

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