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Comment Re:Playing to the votors (Score 1) 319

NASA's budget is less than 0.5% of the federal budget, so arguing cost cutting is a red herring. Entitlement spending expansion without end as the baby boomers retire is the real structural deficit that needs to be addressed. Here is a slightly dated article that explains this a little better. And, as I understand it, they are actually expanding funding for NASA, just taking the plans for an american moon mission off the table, and redirecting that to R&D.

Comment Re:Push them further away (Score 2, Informative) 242

I think they normally push them into an orbit that will degrade so that they'll burn up on reentry. That takes less energy than putting them on a trajectory that leaves Earth's orbit.

For those lofty orbits in prime real estate (think Geosynchronous), they do push satellites out further into a graveyard orbit. It would take about 1500 m/s deltav to deorbit from way up there, and only a fraction of that to just push it a little further out of the way.

Comment Re:Yeah, orbit! (Score 1) 279

They're never going to get us into mars, because there's simply no profit in it.

Oh really? Because to me, Phobos and Deimos (Mars' moons) are little more than a few trillion tons of metal, ceramics, volatiles and a few million tons of precious metals sitting in a nice stable orbit over Mars.

Yeah but shipping charges from Mars are a bitch

Comment counterstrike (Score 1) 370

What does this have to do with my rights online? I'm not a terrorist, so I don't think it effects me.

only n00bs choose to be counter terrorists, cause l33t gamers use the AK. Plus all the maps favor the hostage takers. If this doesn't effect you, I bet you've already been banned as a FC.

Comment Re:Bugzilla and Wiki (Score 3, Interesting) 428

I've found Fossil extremely easy to use as an individual programmer... it incorporates wiki, issue tracking, and version control through a simple interface, the server software is a single executable and runs on the client with no setup required, and it is free. When you begin working in larger teams, the model is distributed version control. Its pretty slick.

Comment Re:I do hope... (Score 1) 297

That it is life. I've said it before so I won't reiterate with a long post, but if there's life on Mars, that proves life isn't just unique to Earth. This planet isn't a fluke. If there's life on Mars, then it can be *anywhere*

What an amazing thing that would be.

Almost as good as the BBC TV series...

I don't think life on Mars precludes the notion that they came from a common ancestor... Martian or Earth originated meteors could crash into their counterparts, transporting life between them. The "fluke" part would still be a possibility in this case.


Submission + - LCROSS finds water (spaceref.com)

tbischel writes: The results are in: LCROSS has found "significant amounts" of water on the moon. Many will remember the less than stunning impact a month ago, but the near-infrared spectral signatures indicate water was indeed in the plume created by the satellite's impact in the polar crater. This has long term implications in creating a permanent base on the surface of the moon, allowing astronauts to collect water ice from these craters rather than bringing it from Earth, where water could potentially be used to create propellants, or a tasty moon slushy.

Comment password safe (Score 1) 1007

I use password safe, where I keep the encrypted password data file on a thumb drive, and backed up on my home computer. The program helps you organize passwords with categories, one click copy-paste to the clipboard (and clears the clipboard when the program is minimized or closed), and auto-generation based on a specified password policy.

Comment Re:Your body doesn't have a 100% conversion factor (Score 1) 978

Typically, to lose one pound, you must consume 3400 less calories than you metabolize, which means these people did about 300 calories of extra exercise a day. To put that in prospective, here is a list of activities that would burn an additional 200 calories, so these people were probably doing about 45 minutes of jogging equivalent daily. The fact is, your resting metabolism is already quite high, as your body must maintain its temperature at a toasty 98 degrees; exercise only marginally improves on that.

On the other hand, losing 200 calories by dieting can drastically move that number from the low hundreds to even thousands a day for obese people. Here is what 200 calories of food would look like... it almost doesn't seem fair that you would have to run for a half hour just to burn off a can of soda.

You want to lose weight? Try controlling portions to what the box recommends as a single serving. You'll quickly learn to value foods that satisfy a high fullness/calorie ratio, things like vegetables, soups, salads that fill you up faster. Also, track what you stuff in your mouth, it really helps keep you accountable.

Comment Re:Boom (Score 4, Interesting) 297

I certainly trust Soviet trained engineers to launch this thing successfully without air-bursting right after take off, scattering radioactive debris throughout the atmosphere. The Russians have a long, celebrated, history of safety and caution when it comes to their nuclear and aerospace endeavors--together they'll be a winning combination!

(and for those who think I'm being too harsh on the Russians, I wouldn't trust NASA to launch a nuclear powered spacecraft either)

NASA and Russia have already launched "nuclear powered spacecraft", typically using a Radioisotope thermoelectric generator. Its needed if you are gonna send a satellite where the sun don't shine. Take Cassini, or the Voyager probes for instance. The difference as I understand it is they would use the electricity to power a high specific impulse low thrust engine, such as an ion thruster.

Comment future history (Score 1) 292

We've looked to people's personal letters and diaries in the past to gain incite on how they viewed the events of their days. Even in this modern era of information, how much of this window will be lost to future generations, as people are able to better control access to their personal material? I doubt my email will be as accessible as my great grandfathers letters in a hundred years. Apparently, my facebook page will be gone as well. I'm not saying its a bad thing, I for one value that I can keep personal correspondence private. I just wonder how future generations will view it.

Comment Re:Creationists response: (Score 1) 461

Meant as a joke but it will sadly happen like this. It is incredible that we can have this level of clear investigation into evolution. And it is something that people have innately known since early agriculture (replanting grain using the best seeds, genetic engineering). Yet in the US: 51% of people believe god created man as he is. 30% said god created us and we can evolve 15% say humans evolved with out god. These figures are a terrifying example of humans ability to deny what should be blatantly obvious. If we can do this imagine how many things people must get completely wrong no matter the level of obviousness.

Also, did you know that 90% of statistics are made up on the spot? Of course, the difference between this post and yours is I'm gonna include a source. No offense, but if you are gonna make outlandish claims about the opinions of people in the US, please provide something to back it up.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman