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Comment Re:The Science Gap is a Myth (Score 1) 618

It seems to me most of the of the people who complain about the "science gap" are those who aren't actually working in the field...

Isn't that how it should be? Why would the haves complain? It's always the have-nots who have to complain about any inequality, not the people who are sitting in their Porsches and expensive mansions.

The topic is people aren't finding enough science jobs. OMG, there are some people out there *with* science jobs who aren't complaining! I never would have thought! :D

That's a "let them eat cake" reply if I ever saw one. :D

Comment Re:Good point by the Bad Astronomer (Score 2, Insightful) 56

I'm a little skeptical of this claim.

Can you elaborate on how the heat generated by the large asteroid (at ground level on impact) somehow ends up radiating off into space, yet the same heat generated higher up in the sky when the bits burn up in re-entry (closer to space) somehow doesn't end up radiating off into space?

As I see it, breaking up an asteroid allows us to convert the kinetic energy to heat higher up in the sky (and closer to space) than a ground level impact would be.

Do you have some links I could read up on?

Comment Re:Pointless (Score 2, Insightful) 152

It's not about laziness. If it was about laziness, I'd jump on the new tech because it saves me the "arduous" step of *plugging in* (gasp). Instead I'm planning on staying with the far more demanding step of actually plugging in.

It's about forgetfulness. As I grow older and more senile, I plain and simple don't *remember* to put my devices at their designated charging locations every single night. If there was a tech that charged my devices no matter where I left them inside the confines of my house, that would something that would produce a useful value add for me.

Eliminating the plugging in phase does not produce a useful value add because I'm not so lazy that plugging in is some huge obstacle.

Comment Pointless (Score 4, Insightful) 152

I don't really see the point. As long as you have to put the device in a specific location anyway, I don't see that it's much of an improvement over having to connect it with your charger. You have to connect it with a location just the same, with this new tech, just the plug is different (a pad vs a plug).

Wake me when you have a tech that charges my mobile from the moment I step in my home door and leave my mobile in my jacket pocket hanging in the foyer.

Until that use case can be satisfied, I think this is just the same-old, same-old.

Comment Re:How can you... (Score 1) 452

A rocket engine is a pretty specialized piece of hardware, and without any major world wars going on, who's going to invest in advancing the technology for faster rockets? The airline industry is in dire straits as it is, it's not exactly going to be developing rocket jetliners anytime soon.

So I don't really see which of currently researched techs could make the rocket engine cheaper. I'd like to hear your thoughts on which of the technologies you mentioned (or any others) look likely to produce a better rocket engine?

Comment Re:How can you... (Score 5, Insightful) 452

We could simply defer manned space exploration until such time as it becomes less expensive

What makes you assume such time will come without investing in it?

You're suggesting just sitting on our asses and hoping some magical tech will just materialize that will make everything just teddy bears and rainbows.

Comment Re:Baseline shuttle extension (Score 2, Informative) 452

Note that a space station orbiting the Moon is also easier to reach from Earth than one in a LP.

Actually no, it's not. They both have the same delta-v requirement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_budget

From LEO to lunar orbit is 4.1 km/s.

From LEO to L4/5 is *also* 4.1 km/s.

I imagine it's actually cheaper to go to the L-point on the line between Earth and Moon but it's less interesting than 4-5 IMO.

Comment Re:Baseline shuttle extension (Score 1) 452

Until someone can come up with that "something better" than ion/chemical rockets, this is the only road available to us.

Travel with us on it, or don't.

We fully understand how massive an operation manufacturing is. That's why we need to get started *now* so we can get something built someday.

We either do something with what we tangibly, actually have, or we sit down and dream about, "oh, we could do so much if only we had MacGuffin so-and-so".

Comment Re:Baseline shuttle extension (Score 1) 452

However, propellants can be mined in space instead of exported from the very expensive Earth gravity well. Hence, a mining station. I know I said "smelting", but I didn't mean an exclusively metal processing yard. NEOs have volatiles too, and they can be mined and processed into fuel without needing to import volatiles from Earth. So, a station at L4 that mines both volatiles and metals, would be invaluable to space exploration.

Comment Re:Baseline shuttle extension (Score 1) 452

Yeah, that's why we need to build bases at the LPs, so we can finally experiment and figure out if we can make artificial gravity work right to compensate for things like bone loss.

One of the possibilities for radiation shielding is picking an interesting NEO and burrowing inside it, letting its crust take care of the shielding. Or the moon. Either, really. A NEO would be easier to spin up for artificial gravity experiments, though.

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There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

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