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Comment: Re:The moon (Score 1) 74

by kellymcdonald78 (#49327811) Attached to: World's Largest Asteroid Impacts Found In Central Australia
Most of the Moon's craters formed during the Late Heavy Bombardment period (3.8-4.0 billion years ago). The Earth was likely similarly impacted during this time, however on the Earth, geologic processes have erased almost all evidence of these. Oceanic crust is recycled every 200 odd million years, and there wasn't much continental crust during that period. Any crust that remains has been weathered, eroded, uplifted, folded, compressed, a dozen times. The Moon being geologically dead, and lacking any weather, retains these scars

Comment: Re:budget (Score 5, Insightful) 59

by kellymcdonald78 (#49305269) Attached to: Report: NASA May Miss SLS Launch Deadline
It's not the size of NASA's budget, (Bolden keeps saying they have all the money they need for SLS), it's the unholy mess of earmarks that ties NASA's hands at just about every step. These days NASA can't take a shit without some congressional earmark telling them what brand of toilet paper to use. NASA is no longer about space, it's about launching money into key congressional districts

Comment: Re:Why terraform? (Score 1) 228

What if the similar "big thwack" that created the moon on Earth, had done something similar on Venus as opposed to killing its rotation. Current theories suggest that the Moon's influence was important in establishing plate tectonics on Earth which did a lot to fix all our early CO2. Venus without a large moon, never developed plate tectonics and kept it's CO2 in the atmosphere leading to its runaway greenhouse effect.

Comment: Re:Politicians will be stupid but scientists/techn (Score 1) 356

by kellymcdonald78 (#49242545) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again

> The military hardly uses plutonium

Wut? That's practically all they use.

In weapons yes, however all military reactors use highly enriched uranium (sub reactors even use super-grade uranium which has higher U-235 concentration than what is typically used in weapons)

> current price to last several hundred years

At the currently tiny fraction of worldwide production. If you are arguing for some sort of fission economy, then there's not nearly enough of the stuff.

If there is a fission economy than new sources will be found and developed. Then there are breeder reactors, thorium, sea water extraction, and ultimately the rest of the solar system. People always seem to compare what Solar will be in 10 years to what nuclear was 30 years ago. Or can we abandon Solar because if we go "full solar" we'll run out of Indium or Lithium

> and it'd take so long to build that it'd never be economical.

It doesn't make a difference, the non-nuclear side is already too expensive to build:


Oh, no... someone wrote a blog. His argument assumes that the ITER approach is the only one that will work and that costs will never come down, he also assumes that if Fusion were perfected and became widespread we somehow couldn't build additional fission reactors, or build specialized fusion reactors to produce tritium (I guess we've lost the ability to build CANDU reactors), Darlington itself has been approved to build 2-4 new reactors if required. Plus we don't know if Pollywell fusion will pan out, or if Lockheed Martin will somehow live up to their claims. However it's perfectly fine for Solar advocates to assume that breakthroughs in battery technology will solve all of its issues

Comment: Re:Politicians will be stupid but scientists/techn (Score 1) 356

by kellymcdonald78 (#49242137) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again
The energy from the Sun just doesn't magically turn into electricity, it requires the extraction of minerals and elements to produce the physical panels, batteries, controllers, inverters, etc, etc, etc. If you're going to reject Nuclear since we only have 10,000 of years of Uranium, will you also reject Solar as we may only have 10,000 years worth of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium to build panels out of? Plus if we look to the solar system, Earth is not the only place to find Uranium (hey if you can put your fusion reactor in space, why can't I get my uranium from space too)

Comment: Re:Why can't they fairly negotiate? (Score 1) 61

They haven't flown anything in 3 years (and that was a capsule abort test). The sub-orbital vehicle "New Shepard" hasn't flown since 2011. Even Virgin Galactic flies more often than BO. SpaceX has flown more operational flights in the past 6 months than BO has had test launches since the company was founded. SpaceX may have better PR, but then again they are actually doing stuff beyond publishing the odd PowerPoint every few years

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.

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw