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Comment: Re:Old news (Score 1) 377

by Rei (#48194991) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

Hmm, now I'm curious. A fighter may have a takeoff weight of say 15000kg. Let's say that the "short lean female" saves 40kg over an "average male". With the other reductions - clothing, oxygen, etc - you probably get down to maybe a 60kg savings. That's a 0,4% reduction in system mass. The rocket equation (applicable here too) probably boosts that up to about a 0,5% benefit in many regards. Still not that much

However, if you can shrink the cockpit , then you're looking at a much bigger advantage - possibly 100-200kg extra weight savings and maybe cutting 5-10% off the total aero drag. That could actually be a big deal - relevantly faster accelerations, top speed, range, etc.

Comment: Re:Psychological issues (Score 1) 377

by Rei (#48194875) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

There is no "how human societies have been organized". Some societies have had (and even continue to have) near complete segregation of the sexes except for reproductive purposes. Some have had full integration.

And "popular wisdom" is in general stereotype BS. It was "popular wisdom" that said that people of African descent were worthless for anything except manual labor and it's pointless to try to educate a woman, that gays are a social evil that needs to be obliterated, that burning witches is the only way to save the town, and that letting the races mix is tantamount to national suicide.

Comment: Re:Women prefer male bosses (Score 1) 377

by Rei (#48194781) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

You seriously think you can make a claim credited to a scientific study, and then when you can't show evidence that such a study claiming what you did was ever conducted, suddenly switch to a "but everyone knows" laden with old gender stereotypes and the standard lame appeal to darwin - and think that will fly?

In almost any sentence where people say "Women (verb)..." or "Men (verb)..." and it's about something psychological (as opposed to, say, something involving reproductive organs or a statistical difference in strength / height or the like), 99% of the time it's equally accurate to simply say "People (verb)..." The popular perception of differences between genders (including the effects of both brain structure and hormones) is often vastly different from the statistical reality. Screw Mars and Venus; men and women are from Earth. Psychologically, we're statistically virtually identical in most measures. And in many cases where there are differences that even manage to meet statistical significance, what differences there are may well be artifacts of culture.

How little are most of these "differences"? This set of graphs puts it into perspective.

Again: Either present your supposed "study" or drop the issue.

Comment: Re:Food is not the limiting factor (Score 4, Interesting) 377

by Rei (#48190491) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

That is, of course, for a given radiation dose, which is independent of body cross section - which is relevant in real-world scenarios. If we assume an isotropic radiation exposure profile, an average male height of 174cm, an average female height of 161 cm, and asssume an equivalent profile, then a man presents a 17% higher profile to radiation exposurediation exposure, so if a woman has a 50% higher (150%) cancer risk, then it's only 29% higher for a fixed radiation flux per square meter.

However, let's look further at this. Given the smaller size of members of a female crew, you can shrink the spacecraft occupant space by 8% on each axis, or a volumetric decrease of 26%. Mass changes are more difficult to reckon. Life support, food, water, etc is dependent on metabolism, which the article shows is dramatically lower for women in space. Fuel needs are proportional to all other mass issues. Only a few things (such as computers and scientific equipment) don't trace back to crew member size and mass. Regardless, for a given launch weight, it's clear that you can afford the mass of a significantly increased amount of radiation shielding for a female crew due to the weight savings elsewhere, probably easily more than offsetting the cancer risk.

Beyond this, the average US astronaut age is 34, an age well after when most women are done having children (assuming that they even want to have children). Given that the article states the risk is from breast, ovarian, and utirine cancer, I wouldn't be surprised if many would consider full hysterectomy for the ability to travel to Mars.

Comment: Re:Compelling, but a mix still better... (Score 5, Interesting) 377

by Rei (#48190177) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

Despite how radical that statement sounds, it's actually perfectly reasonable for a zero-G environment. They're not only dead weight, they're also in the way and make you require larger accomodations.

Even in Mars's gravity field a legless person would deal quite well, at least inside the facility (picture how easily you could get around without your legs if you suddenly were given 2.5x the arm strength, didn't have your legs weighing you down, and on top of that add in how most double amputees already have good arm strength to begin with). They should be able to "hop" with their arms all the way to a 2 1/2 meter ceiling without trouble, and the full arc would take a good two seconds to come back down. On the moon it'd be even easier. Of course, if they're legless, why would they even need such tall ceilings to begin with?

Comment: Re:F the UK (Score 3, Insightful) 481

by Rei (#48185113) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

I agree. If by "poisoning" they mean people making insolts or dispatching flying penises in Second Life or stuff like that, then it's a bill too far. But if by "poisoning" they mean launching flickering images on an epilepsy forum to try to cause seizures, "doxxing", making legitimate rape and murder threats, etc, then I think it's absolutely justified. All too often is there the assumption that what happens online doesn't warrant enforcement, even if it's something that crosses over into the real world.

Everyone has the right to free speech, but it ceases being free speech when it crosses certain bounds (shouting fire in a crowded theatre, incitement to violence, solicitation of criminal activity, etc). All of these cases are nuanced and require careful balance, but what they should not be is ignored.

Comment: Re:Overly broad? (Score 1) 417

by Rei (#48182001) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

Exactly what I'm thinking. I respect peer-reviewed research, and take results seriously - preferably consensus positions, but on lesser researched topics, individual studies. But isn't this pretty useless without more details? Is it sugar consumption? Then diet soda doesn't count. Is it phosphate consumption? Then are all kinds of other foods also a threat? Is it caffeine? If so, then coffee is a threat and caffeine-free soda is fine. Is it other lesser ingredients, such as certain flavorants or colorants? What element in their test soda is so harmful that it has such a dramatic effect? Surely it's not all ingredients, or the act of consuming them at once...

Comment: Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 348

by Rei (#48179831) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Wrong. I said mass manufacture - you don't have to re-engineer curiosity from scratch and hand-build it every time. And if you can pay to build a super-heavy-lift vehicle, or tons of smaller (but still very large) launches to get your ~100 tonne manned Mars round trip spacecraft into orbit, then you can launch a 100x 889kg curiosity rovers.

You literally can launch about 100 mass-manufactured curiosity-sized rovers for the cost of one manned mission. The scientific bang for your buck is way, way, way higher with robots.

And FYI, if your goal is to be able to help people "live on another planet", then you absolutely should not be supporting wasting money on a trip to Mars on today's way overpriced launch systems. You should be supporting spending it on developing novel systems for orders-of-magnitude reduction of launch prices, be they scramjets, launch loops, coilguns, metastable fuels, nuclear thermal propulsion, or in general insert-your-favorite-potential-cost-reducer-here, so that it doesn't cost an impractical amount of money to send people there. (never mind that we're not even centuries away from being able to recreate a full self-sustainable tech tree on Mars.. see earlier in the thread)

I always find it funny to hear people the same alt-space fanboys complaining vitriolically about how maintaining ISS is a huge waste of money but then insisting that we set up a manned outpost that would cost orders of magnitude more to maintain ;)

Comment: Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 348

by Rei (#48175493) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

What "all purpose robot"? A robot or person's capabilities are limited by what scientific equipment they have on hand, not by whether they can digest corn or catch a cold. I'm talking about a robot like Curiosity. A person could mass-manufacture and dispatch a hundred Curiosity rovers to every corner of Mars for the cost of one manned mission and would collect dozens of times more data.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.

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