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Comment: Re:Ho-lee-crap (Score 1) 272

by khallow (#48203609) Attached to: The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

By supporting other Danish industries you ensure future goodwill

You do as well with South Korea. And when it comes to "goodwill" you have to ask what is going to come of that goodwill. Maersk will probably get screwed in Europe over the next few decades no matter which shipyard it uses. At least South Korea has reason to remember who threw them some business and humble enough to do something in kind.

I don't think it's just about money. I think it's also about actual capability to do the job on a fast schedule and goodwill.

Comment: Re:Would this kind of system have saved Challenger (Score 1) 43

by khallow (#48194783) Attached to: A Look At Orion's Launch Abort System

*sigh* This is one of the biggest pieces of misinformation about solid rockets floating about out there, spread and repeated by shuttle detractors in a cargo cult like fashion until it's now regarded as a law of nature. What most people (including engineers who should know better) don't realize is that you don't need to shut them down in the first place- you just need them to produce net zero thrust.

For "misinformation" it is quite correct, the booster is still burning even if it is producing net zero thrust. For example, if there is premature ignition of a solid rocket booster on the launch pad, then that SRBs will burn out no matter what you do with it, even if it is producing net zero thrust. And a launch pad isn't designed to hold a burning booster for several minutes even if it isn't producing net thrust.

I'm sure that NASA has thought this risk through entirely, but it is still there. The problem doesn't go away just because there is a means to make the booster produce no net thrust.

Comment: Re:Ho-lee-crap (Score 1) 272

by khallow (#48194297) Attached to: The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

Price should not be the only metric to be used for measuring competitiveness. Supporting the society and industries that in turn support you should always be prioritized.

South Korea and its industries support Maersk too.

Unfortunately, stockholders only care about short-term savings and profits. No one dares to think in the long term, because that would mean slightly lessened profits in the short term.

What "long term" benefit is there with going with a Danish shipyard? What does that shipyard or Denmark itself offer than South Korea doesn't offer?

Comment: Re:Solar insolation is 150,000 TW, we need 22 TW (Score 1) 348

by khallow (#48181281) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"
Good point. And there wouldn't be significant additional transmission costs since the concept requires lots of long distance transmission capacity anyway. I think there would still be some need for storage in your scheme, but existing hydroelectric probably would be more than adequate.

Comment: Re:Replace rockets with something reasonable. (Score 1) 348

by khallow (#48174069) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Some things just don't break down into little pieces in an economical fashion.

Then I guess we better focus in the near term on things that can be launched in small pieces. I'm not going to support, say, a 200 ton to orbit launch vehicle just because someone can think of peculiar payloads that a 20 ton vehicle can't launch. Capability != utility. We still have yet to have a reason for putting that 1000 ton NPR in orbit.

And I'll note that one can get decent performance out of a variety of competitive propulsion/powerplant combinations which can be broken down into small pieces.

Finally, if we are going to launch large unwieldy structures into space from Solar System bodies, then the Moon is a better place to do so, both because delta v is much smaller, but also because there is no atmosphere and hence, a much weaker restriction on fairing size (it just needs to be able to withstanding the acceleration of launch without damage). A near Earth asteroid might even be a better choice, especially if it can be moved to Earth orbit first.

Comment: Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (Score 4, Insightful) 345

by khallow (#48173063) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

Dr. Ramsey's condition has been fulfilled hundreds of times over the last quarter century and there has been absolutely no acknowledgement by the APS of its crime.

The first condition hasn't happened once much less hundreds of times, hence there is no "crime" for which the American Physical Society need acknowledge.

Comment: Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 348

by khallow (#48172931) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"
Wouldn't that research have to be valuable first in order for the strategy to even have meaning? Look at the ISS. $100 billion burned so that we can do the same research that an oh, $5 billion MIR-class station could do. Further, the research isn't worth stealing even if it weren't all open in the first place.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

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