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Comment s/Have/Have Not/g (Score 3, Insightful) 146

Please, for the love of the children, can we STOP innovating on curly braces already.

And here I was all pumped up about the Erlang to Elixir upgrade path, repeated for Go, which suffers from the same weird Erlang-like conservatism that isn't suitable for all needs (such as most projects by corporations employing fewer than 20,000 technologists).

Conservatism has its uses, but it's no silver bullet, nor can removing braces make it so.

Comment Re:Am I reading this right? (Score 1) 73

The weird thing, if it is the COPVs, is... there was so much attention focused on them after CRS-7. It'd be weird if this was the cause. And extremely frustrating, too, as they're not manufactured in-house. SpaceX surely tests the tanks, so they too would bear some responsibility for it getting past their test procedures, if this is the cause. Personally (as I mentioned elsewhere in the comments), having a composite vessel sitting in liquid oxygen always strikes me as a dangerous situation to begin with.... if we were good at maintaining LOX-composite compatibility, we'd be making the stages themselves out of composites rather than aluminum.

Of course, the COPVs aren't the only part of the "helium pressurization system". Still concerning that whatever it was slipped past them.

Comment Re:Huh. (Score 3, Interesting) 73

The helium isn't used for cooling; it's a pressurant. It's lower mass to make a small COPV and have that store your pressurant in it than to have the whole LOX tank be strong enough to withstand the pressure.

It's always bothered me, the concept of having a COPV sitting around in LOX, though. Ignoring the thermal cycling, LOX and epoxy aren't exactly fast friends. We don't make LOX tanks out of composites because composites tend to become impact sensitive in LOX (there've been some attempts, but it's still an active reseach field, not a "solved problem"). Not sure there's that much difference between making your whole tank out of composites vs. having a composite tank inside of one. I don't know what SpaceX does, if anything, to try to protect them, but the general concept has always concerned me.

Comment Re:Smarter Aliens (Score 1) 278

To put it another way: the total mass of the universe is about 180000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 kilograms, which is the mass equivalent of 16200000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 joules. There is no shortage of "resources" in the universe. Even the rarest of "resources" is available in unthinkable abundance to any entity that has a range broader than a single planet. Not like it's particularly easy to actually exhaust resources on a given planet; you just move from the easiest ones to the much more abundant, but harder to access ones (while simultaneously your technology advances with time, making resources in general more accessible; prices are based on the competition between these two factors, but in the long term generally follow a downward trend)

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 1) 826

How did my choice between "if" and "not unless" turn into "not if"? I'm going to generously account this one as an error between first coffee and keyboard, like a quarterback who forgets himself on the first play of the game and inserts "y'all" into his snap cadence, and then immediately collides with his running back.

Comment Re:same bullshit (Score 1) 134

Russia doesn't seem to be looking to restart a space race. As usual they make grand pronouncements, but meanwhile their funding just keeps getting cut further. On the other hand, China might bring one. We're far from there now, but China keeps trying to push themselves rapidly forward in regards to space; they see it a way to mark themselves as being a legitimate, technologically advanced superpower rather than just a country of factories churning out trinkets. Right now it's things like space stations and simple probes. But suppose it gets to the point where they actually announce and fund an interplanetary mission (and if they announce it, it will actually happen; they don't go through the whole "changing cycles of congressmen" that the US does). How does the US respond? Just let China totally outshine the US on a highly publicized technical field?

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 1) 826

In the end it will not make that vast a difference in Trump or Clinton wins, two arms springing from the same body politic.

Well, not if we equate "vast" to the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and even then with our fingers crossed.

In domestic relationships (excluding domestics), you need to maintain a ratio of five positive comments to every negative comment. Fly in the ointment: some of those positive comments need to be about the other person.

Is this rule any different in international relations? Does the fly in the ointment somehow squirm less?

Stay tuned to an exciting meme generator near you.

Comment Re:"an unmanned exploration mission by 2018" (Score 1) 134

As far as I can tell, they're not actually "giving" NASA any more money of relevance, they're just telling them how they need to spend it. Standard congressional stuff, except this time they're amusingly trying to say "nobody can change this in the future"

I'll take the concept of a government-funded mission to Mars seriously whenever they actually give NASA billions more in annual funding at the same time as mandating it.

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