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Comment Re:This is no Space Shuttle, its better. (Score 1) 111

The space shuttle was ultimately a vehicle for delivering crew and cargo to orbit.
This task is accomplished for less money by the falcon rockets.
Granted, If you put a ping pong table on the shuttle, its ping pong capabilities would be incomparable to the falcon rockets.

Comment This is no Space Shuttle, its better. (Score 5, Informative) 111

Space Shuttle:
Payload to GTO: ~3000 kg.
Average cost per flight: 1.5 billion (cost of shuttle program / number of launches)

Falcon 9 rocket:
Payload to GTO:~2000 kg
Average cost per flight: 50m (cost of expendable rocket)

Falcon 9 rocket with grasshopper gear:
Payload to GTO:~1000 kg (rough estimate)
Average cost per flight: ~200,000 (expected figure for fuel + incidentals)

You can do the math to figure out why this is a big deal.

Comment Engineer Tools (Score 1) 712

I think that every engineer on planet earth should have -A mechanical pencil -A Protractor -An engineer's scale ( those three sided rulers) -Calipers - TI83/84 I'm not one of those old school flannel wearing engineers, I do most everything on a computer, but there is a lot of value in having a traditional drafting desk with tools like this, regardless of what type of engineering you do.

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener