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Comment Re:Doesn't sound very safe (Score 1) 170

Pilot error blamed for Syd flight failure

One approach trajectory for runway 34 in MEL flies directly over a runway at the much smaller Essendon airport and some large jets have come close to landing there because they follow their navigation, see a runway and go for it.

People fuck up. In the dark with rain going they might see lights below, assume they are in the right spot and put their A340 down in Putin's bedroom.

Comment Two large chunks escaped (Score 3, Informative) 111

If the parachute is behind the lander (in the direction of travel) then the two smaller dark spots above the large dark spot are where chunks of the lander would bounce after impact. The chunks are in the 12 and 2 o'clock positions. Also the parachute is more than 1km from the impact site, which seems a lot given the altitude of separation. But it makes sense if the lander retained its horizontal velocity at separation, while the parachute braked in the atmosphere.

Comment Re:Science Fiction is busy destroying itself (Score 1) 252

The Mars Trilogy was the height of Robinson's career. Its primarily character focused and it is quite optimistic about the technical challenges and risks of colonization. But there are few real clangers. Few obvious plot holes. The purpose of the plot is to keep the characters doing stuff when in reality they would be more likely to be dying early deaths due to radiation and accidents.

Comment Re:Science Fiction is busy destroying itself (Score 1) 252

Kim Stanley Robinson seems popular, though when I tried reading one of his books, it was clear he didn't have the slightest grasp about a number of topics he was writing about

I'd be interested in an example of this. I can think of some bad science in Aurora and 2312 but elsewhere it is quite solid. There is more solid science in the Mars Trilogy than many comparable books which feature terraforming.

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