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Comment: Re:WTF (Score 2) 79

No. Fuck this. It's not a milestone of flight, and it doesn't belong there in the least.

I disagree. The original Star Trek, which I watched as a child, was one of the inspirations for me getting into aerospace and later working on the actual Space Station. The milestone isn't a particular flight it performed, but how many people it inspired, who later achieved great things in aerospace. In a prior generation, Wernher von Braun read Astounding magazine *while working on the V2 rockets*. There has always been a strong connection between science fiction stories and bringing those stories to life later.

Comment: Re:Renewable (Score 1) 57

by DanielRavenNest (#47904409) Attached to: Solar Powered Technology Enhances Oil Recovery

> As of 2014, how do you power trucks, tractors, cargo ships, and planes on solar?

Using bioengineered microbes to efficiently produce ethanol or diesel directly: http://www.jouleunlimited.com/...

The microbes don't have to produce leaf or stem structures, and are genetically engineered to emit the fuel molecules directly, like yeast emits alcohol. Except yeast poison themselves when the alcohol content in fermentation gets too high. The Joule Unlimited process draws off the fuel continuously, so the microbes can keep working. The efficiency limit is around 6% by this process, where standard photosynthesis is about 1%. Since the microbes are a contained system, you can use crappy dry land, rather than food-growing cropland, like we do for vehicle ethanol today.

Comment: Re:Multi-family units (Score 1) 79

by evilviper (#47898859) Attached to: L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

an apartment where she does share the building with up to 15 other families.

That doesn't preclude installing an antenna, it just reduces your options. Multi-floor apartment balconies and/or windows usually get pretty good TV reception. If previous occupants had DBS dishes mounted, you can stick an antenna on that J-channel. And landlords are usually reasonable. You can always ask for permission to install an antenna, explaining the non-destructive mounting option (chimney straps, non-penetrating root mount, etc.) you'd like to use, and promise it'll be less unsightly than what you'll do if they refuse.

Comment: Re:Barriers will fall once the money comes rolling (Score 1) 208

by DanielRavenNest (#47897965) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

It's not Planetary Resources itself that has the influence, it is their list of advisers and investors. They include:

James Cameron (movie maker), Eric Schmidt & Larry Page (Google), Charles Simonyi (Microsoft Office, billionaire), Ross Perot Jr. (billionaire), and Richard Branson (Virgin Group).

Comment: Re:Possession is nine-tenths of the law... (Score 1) 208

by DanielRavenNest (#47897891) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

Elon Musk is working on the cheap access to space part of the problem, and I'm working on the other part.

That other part is a "Seed Factory", an industrial starter kit that makes parts for more machines in an expanding collection, using local raw materials and energy. So instead of having to send a whole asteroid processing plant, which would be pretty massive, you send a much smaller starter kit. We're about to buy a property near Atlanta to build and test prototypes for this concept. The first generation factories will be for Earth use, by the 3rd or 4th generation we should be ready for space use. In between we plan to do difficult and remote locations on Earth, like the oceans, deserts, and ice caps. That should give us experience in remote control.

Comment: Re:Not just Reno (Score 1) 431

by Reziac (#47897849) Attached to: If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

No, what I was pointing out is that as "deregulation" was done where I'm painfully familiar with how it worked out (namely, Montana and California), said "deregulation" was a crock, and did nothing but increase costs for the hapless consumers. And I speculate that absent this bogus "deregulation", alt-energy might have been a lot more cost-competitive -- without raising prices on conventional-fuel energy.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 208

by DanielRavenNest (#47897843) Attached to: Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

*Let me try and clarify: I can plant a quartz mine on the Moon, but I can't stick a forty foot perimeter fence around it and I can't prevent my competitor building a quartz mine five feet away.

Actually, spacefaring nations have already laid out operational safety rules. For example, the ISS has a 1 km "keep out zone" around it. For the Moon, you can't place your landing pad so close to my mine that it kicks up rocks and damages my equipment, and conversely outgassing from my mine processing can't contaminate your solar arrays. Once people actually set up operations on the Moon or some asteroid, there will be reasonable *and agreed to* safety boundaries and access roads, which will, over time, become property lines and public roads. For the latter to happen, you will need to reach a point where people are buying, selling, and subdividing land, and sharing costs for transport improvements.

Assuming the 1 km keep-out zone is adopted for asteroid mining, then any asteroid smaller than 1 km will be the province of one mining operation, unless they set up as a multinational or joint corporate project (which is actually pretty likely).

Comment: Re:Not just Reno (Score 2) 431

by Reziac (#47897669) Attached to: If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

In other words, they're doing exactly the inverse of the occasional U.S. states' so-called "deregulation", which in practice amounted to "sell off all our infrastructure to foreign investors, then buy back the product at an inflated price." Guess Germany figured out this doesn't work so well after all.

As I say above, that "green" energy might not be so expensive in a market that's not been "deregulated" in this fashion.

Comment: Re:Not just Reno (Score 1) 431

by Reziac (#47897637) Attached to: If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

And another, which I forgot to put in the previous post:

http://4thst8.wordpress.com/20...

Also, cost in the U.S. varies as much as it does in the rest of the world. In California, it's closer to 25c/KWH (nominally it's lower, but you get into a higher rate tier at a level that would power one light bulb, and it goes up from there).... one of the "greenest" states. But the real problem is the so-called deregulation, not the energy source. Absent deregulation (aka "sell all our power generation facilities to foreign investors, who then charge us through the nose") the "green" energy might not wind up being that much more costly to the consumer.

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