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Comment Re:"just a century"? (Score 1) 412

I would be surprised if they _didn't_ build in a few centuries, and I think the guy in the article is being woefully reluctant to think about it a tiny bit.

A Dyson sphere in the form of a solid shell around a star is probably physically impossible, but a Dyson sphere in the form of billions of tiny orbiting satellites (which this anomaly could possibly be) is very possible and could be constructed in a distributed way. If there is some incentive for a person or company to build a solar satellite - say, to rent out its real estate - and this becomes profitable, the market will drive the exponential growth to make it happen. If it's a good investment opportunity, they'll start popping up all over the place and soon there will have to be regulations to keep people from building new ones.

Comment Re:invite more people in? (Score 1) 547

I want the best people to come to my country. I want doctors and engineers and hard workers. I don't give two shits if they're muslim or christian or buddhist or atheist. If I go to a doctor to get heart surgery, I don't care if the doctor is a muslim, I care if he's a good doctor. And so what if he's muslim anyway. His kids or his grandkids will be atheist, like everyone else's kids.

Comment Re:invite more people in? (Score 1) 547

> maybe it's their own children who will rather become Europeans at heart rather than Muslims

This is in fact what's happening. Religion is in rapid decline all over the world. Christians may cry about this, but it affects all religions equally. Yet some people seem to think that islam is something that is inherited through one's DNA.

Anyway, I'm not espousing a pro- or anti-immigration position. I'm just saying that the arguments given against immigration usually tend to be extremely absurd, often bizarrely absurd.

Comment Re:invite more people in? (Score 5, Insightful) 547

You think muslims around the world are all part of some grand conspiracy to 'take revenge' for the crusades? No, they're just people who see the much greater opportunities and wealth available in European countries compared to the shitholes they live in, and make the rational decision to move there for personal gain.

As for the 'decline' of Europe, they may be decreasing in number, sure, but they are definitely increasing in wealth (positive economic growth) with the effect that wealth and power is becoming concentrated in the hands of fewer individuals. Raw population size is a poor measure of the well-being of a country, otherwise India and China would be the best places to live.

Comment Re:done before... (Score 5, Insightful) 174

You didn't even RTFA.

They aren't going to increase the word limit. They are simply going to provide an 'extended tweet' functionality where you can add more text as an 'add-on' to your tweet.

You can already link images and shit in your tweets; and a lot of people just post images containing text. This would keep people from doing that. I can't fathom why morons are complaining about this.

Comment Re:Let me save you reading the entire article (Score 1) 330

This really depends how long you can keep it in stasis, how good your shielding is, and how many embryos you can take. Given good shielding and low enough temperatures, eukaryotic cells can probably be stored for at least a millenium or two with a feasible percentage of the cells surviving the journey. Beyond that, we simply don't know, but there are some ways to work around that. You could store germ line stem cells and periodically 'wake' them up to divide and repair their damage and then freeze them again, to turn them into viable gametes at the end of the journey.

Comment Re:Let me save you reading the entire article (Score 2) 330

I was just trying to point out what the article was saying; not defending it in any way.

But still, just ten years ago the idea that we'd have rockets that could go straight up, launch a vehicle, and then land back down and be able to shoot up to space again with just a refueling would have been dismissed as 'space nuttery', yet here we are, very nearly there.

The future may not look like how we imagine it to be. But it _will_ look different.

Comment Let me save you reading the entire article (Score 5, Informative) 330

1. Generation ships
2. Nuclear propulsion, antimatter propulsion
3. Science fiction (warp drives, transporters, etc.)

Anyway all of this seems moot to me. We can already freeze human beings for long periods of time. It's called 'embryo freezing' and it's commonly used.

Comment Re:Recovery != Reuseability (Score 2) 108

> A static test does not expose an airframe to the same stress as an actual launch and bringing it back down.

Yes that's completely true and I never said otherwise. But the fact that SpaceX can test fire a rocket stage multiple times, launch it, and recover it again give high confidence to their ability to be able to re-use a launched rocket, simply because so much of what could go wrong in an actual mission could also go wrong in a test firing.

Comment Re:Recovery != Reuseability (Score 1) 108

It would be very, very strange if it cost $70 million to 're-certify' a falcon 9 first stage. I can't find the source right now but I remember reading that refurbishment costs are estimated around $0.5 million, and it would be strange if the certification cost were greater (or even equal to) the refurbishment cost.

The current Merlin engine design can go through about ~20 full-duration firings without any issues. I wouldn't be surprised if they could eventually get it up to ~100 firings or more.

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