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+ - Musk is going to Mars!->

Submitted by mknewman
mknewman (557587) writes "Additionally, Mr. Musk also introduced the mysterious MCT project, which he later revealed to be an acronym for Mars Colonial Transport. This system would be capable of transporting 100 colonists at a time to Mars, and would be fully reusable.

Article is technically dense but he does seem to follow through on his promises!"

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+ - Elon Musknsays larger batteries on the way->

Submitted by mknewman
mknewman (557587) writes "ving a friendly chat with a group of Tesla owners in Norway, brand CEO Elon Musk intimated that more-powerful batteries could be on the way for the Model S. The most potent battery pack currently offered in the Model S holds 85 kWh of juice, or enough for 265 miles of driving.

Musk wasnâ(TM)t terribly specific, however: âoeThere is the potential for bigger battery packs in the future, but it would probably be maybe next year or something like that. The main focus is . . . how do we reduce the cost per kWh of storage in the battery pack?â In other words, Musk seems less concerned with stronger battery packs than making cheaper battery packs for the upcoming mid-size sedan, which is expected to be unveiled at the 2015 Detroit auto show.

âoeOur goal is to drop the cost per kWh by 30 percent to 40 percent.â And for that, Tesla would need to build more production capacity in the form of a âoegigafactory,â capable of churning out 30 gigawatt-hours annuallyâ"which Musk claims is more than the entire worldâ(TM)s lithium-ion factory production in 2012."

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Comment: Re:But Does it Scale? (Score 1) 357

by mknewman (#46150787) Attached to: Tesla Touts Cross-Country Trip, Aims For World Record
The Tesla Superchargers are not in heavily populated areas. They are along major routes in areas that aren't served by other charging possibilities. Also, if you look at you will see that by 2015 they will have many, many more superchargers than the current cross country list. Eventually you will be able to do a battery swap. $60 and 90 seconds. Or you can wait for a charge and in an hour get a 'free' charge. Yes, I'm a fan, and no, I cannot afford one currently, but by the time the Model E comes out I will definately in the market. I just hope it doesn't look like a Smart and has performance similar to the current Model S.

+ - Virgin Galactic unveils it's other rocket engine->

Submitted by mknewman
mknewman (557587) writes "Two types of Newton engines have been designed for use on Virgin Galactic's two-stage LauncherOne rocket, which is destined to carry satellites into orbit from the WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane starting as early as 2016. Future generations of the Newton could conceivably send rocket planes from, say, New York to London in 45 minutes.

The NewtonOne, an upper-stage engine designed to provide 3,500 pounds of thrust, has been run for its projected full mission duration of five minutes, Ringuette told NBC News during a tour of the test site. The NewtonTwo, which would serve as LauncherOne's first-stage engine, has been hot-fired for just a few seconds at a time so far. When it's ready for prime time, Virgin Galactic expects it to blast away for about two and a half minutes, with 47,500 pounds of thrust."

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Comment: Re:Comics (Score 1) 124

by mknewman (#45482115) Attached to: New Smart Glasses Allow Nurses To See Veins Through Skin

Comment: My big lens story (Score 3, Interesting) 101

by mknewman (#45339919) Attached to: Cold War Spoils: Amateur Builds Telescope With 70-Inch Lens
Years and years ago, around 1976, I had a tube type TV that went fritz so I took it to an Austin, Tx TV repair shop. The guy took it in the back to work on and while he was doing it I looked around his shop and there were quite a few very nice amateur astronomy photos, Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon and such. I was taking some astronomy classes at UT. When he came out we got talking and he told me he was into astronomy. Now, this shop was a WRECK, much like most TV repair shops I have ever seen. pretty much a dump. He asked me to come in the back to 'See something'. The guy was about 6'6" tall and BIG, and rough looking, and I am NOT, so I declined, but he insisted so I finally went through a maze of old junk, narrow dark halls, and finally got to the back of the store. I was kinda scared. He pointed to something on the ground. It was a round plug of glass on a large wooden palate. My jaw dropped, I asked him if it was what I thought and he confirmed it was a slug for a 6 ft telescope. I believe he said he got it at auction when a Swiss observatory had two made and the first worked out, so he got it cheap. It was unfinished, just a blob of glass, but at the time I'd only seen telescopes in the 36" range and this was huge! He was grinning ear to ear, and I was astounded. I believe his name was Chuck Knesek but I may be wrong or only close. It's been 35+ years. I never saw him again. If anyone knows what happened to him or his slug I'd love to know.

+ - One in five Sun-like stars may have an Earth-like planet

Submitted by The Bad Astronomer
The Bad Astronomer (563217) writes "A new study, looking at over 40,000 stars viewed by the Kepler spacecraft, indicates that 22% of stars like the Sun should have Earth-like planets orbiting them — planets that are similar in size to our home world and with a surface temperature hospitable for liquid water. There are some caveats (they don't include atmospheric issues like the greenhouse effect, which may reduce the overall number, or at cooler stars where there may be many more such planets) but their numbers indicate there could be several billion planets similar to Earth in the Milky Way alone."

+ - MoviePass institutes Countdown Timer "Feature"->

Submitted by mknewman
mknewman (557587) writes "MoviePass, the all you can eat, one movie per day service that models themselves after gym memberships where people buy the service and never use it, has driven one more stake through their user's hearts (gratuitous post-Halloween reference) in a 10/31/2013 email message where they describe new Features (?!) added to the apps:

"We're also excited to introduce a new feature: The Countdown Clock. This clock counts down the time until your next available screening. You will still be able to go to a movie each day, but there will be a 24-hour period between screenings. Your MoviePass app has already been updated, and you will notice these changes the next time you see a movie."

This constitutes a change in the terms of service and after a phone call they have confirmed that another announcement will allow users currently under contract to drop out within 14 days. There is heated discussion going on the MoviePass Facebook page."

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When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren