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Comment Re:News from other countries... (Score 2) 40

Well, when it comes to space budgets....

NASA: $19,3B
ESA: $5,8B
Roscosmos: ~$2B/yr
JAXA: $2,0B
CNSA: $0,5B official / $1,3B est.
ISRO: $1,2B

It's not just US bias that leads to most stories coming from NASA. NASA really does spend the most on space research and exploration, by large margins.

Still, the public perception is that NASA's budget is far more than it actually is.

Comment Re: Note that what's large... (Score 4, Informative) 82

Venus has multiple "tropopauses" and "stratospheres", depending on how you define them. The atmosphere is like a layer cake with multiple convection zones (like Earth's troposphere) separated by areas of dynamic stability (like Earth's stratosphere). And again, ~50-70km is an awfullly long way from the surface, and surface winds are weak. But, there's a lot about Venus that we don't understand.

Comment Note that what's large... (Score 3, Informative) 82

.... is the size, not the intensity. The air moves only slightly faster or slower than the surrounding atmosphere as one passes through the wave.

They weren't expected on Venus, though. Venus's surface is dozens of kilometers down, thick and "soupy" there, transitioning to thinner layers above. It was surprising to see that surface features that far away, in a fluid that can compress, would still make clear phenomena like gravity waves in the high atmosphere.

Comment Re:Double-dipping Nintendo (Score 1) 157

Wow so now they are fucking them in the ass for PATCHES, patches? Really?

With the Internet full of "Have a killer gaming PC for just $350!" videos there really is no point in putting up with their sheeeit anymore, and its obvious they have zero respect and no fucks to give about their customers. Man what dicks!

Comment Re:Users: Win10 fails at common sw compat (Score 1) 495

Actually they've broken DX12 as well, all the latest benches show that at best you gain 5% while the majority of games LOSE performance on DX12 over using DX11. meanwhile Vulkan has been giving some crazy performance gains, currently between 12% and as high as 30%.

Lets face it since Nutella took over they haven't been worth a piss, he is just going "cloud cloud cloud, data data data" the way the sweaty monkey used to try to ape Apple, but the big difference is while it was easy enough to just rip out the bad Apple rip off bling bling from Windows OSes released under the sweaty one Nuutella has baked in his cloud spying data mining bullshit right into the kernel, making the OS unsuitable for purpose for many of us. Here is hoping nutty Nutella gets the boot faster than the monkey did and that they finally get a CEO that accepts MSFT is a mature company and goes back to releasing OSes people actually want to buy.

Comment Re:What a bunch of whining ninnies! (Score 1) 495

And that is absolutely no different than with FOSS, where you are subject to the whims of a myriad of corporate dev teams and corporate interests so sit down and STFU. You cannot even be sure there is no malware or backdoors baked in because not once has a modern Linux desktop had a top to bottom security audit (which just FYI would be frankly impossible because before you were even halfway through with the audit the packages you had already audited would be 2 to 3 versions behind and no longer relevant) and it has been shown more than 85% of the source code for the guts of your average Linux desktop have never been checked out by anybody but the ones maintaining it.

I would argue the entire Linux "you have the source code" philosophy is nothing but a giant is ought fallacy in that it assumes because there IS source code available it OUGHT to have been audited by someone who 1.- Has the years of experience in programming to understand what they are looking at and 2.- Has enough deep level knowledge of the Linux internals to understand by looking at that source how it is gonna interact with other packages (so as to tell if it has a hidden payload for another package) and whether those interactions will be safe or insecure....and there is absolutely zero evidence to back this up, in fact recent announcements like 20 year old Bash bugs being exploited give us ample evidence that the opposite is true.

So I'm sorry but it doesn't matter whether your corporate master is MSFT or Red Hat you ARE at the mercy of the whims of a large corporation who doesn't give a flying flipping fuck what you want and unless you have the skills to write your own OS from scratch? Your choice is no different than with Windows, take it or move to a product from another vendor and be subject to their whims instead..

Comment Re:Expected /. response (Score 1) 495

You can run the browser and applications in a sandbox in Windows 7 and not have the baked in malware of Windows 10. I'm sorry but there is nothing you can say that can mitigate the fact that Windows 10 takes control away from the user and is sending encrypted data to a party out of your control.

Now where have I seen that before, software that is out of control of the user, hides itself,sends encrypted or obfuscated data, and constantly changes to keep from being disabled or removed? Oh yeah...MALWARE.

Comment Re:Con? (Score 2) 398

They cheated if they broke the rules. Without knowing in details what the rules were, we can't say whether they cheated.

However we do know that a judge who knew in detail what the rules were required them to return the money. This being a civil case, we don't know if what they did was criminally illegal.

Comment Con? (Score 1) 398

Con:
Persuade (someone) to do or believe something by lying to them.
A confidence trick ... is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their confidence, used in the classical sense of trust.

I don't see where he lied, so I think the word is misapplied. The second definition comes a little bit closer, but casinos are very much aware that gamblers are adversaries, not allies.

Comment Am I the only one... (Score 5, Interesting) 129

.... who can't help but cheer at my screen when they nail one of those landings? Now I finally understand how sports fans feel when they watch a game and do the same thing ;)

One thing nobody can deny about them is optimism. ;) Seriously, their IPS numbers are, pardon the pun, out of this world. $200k per booster launch. $500k per tanker launch. I mean, really? Good luck with that. No, seriously, good luck with that; I won't be expecting anything close to that, but please by all means prove me wrong ;) ITS would be a great system to have, I've been playing around with some Venus trajectories with it recently. Looks like it can do a low-energy transit with nearly 300 tonnes of payload from LEO and back again with the same, over 400 if starting at a high orbit - but from an economics perspective the high energy transfers actually make more sense.

I noticed a lot of people were confused about why Musk wanted the trips to be so short and was willing to sacrifice so much payload to do so - many assumed it had to do with radiation or something. But the issue is, when your craft costs so much but your launch costs are cheap, you can't have it spending all of its time drifting in deep space, you need to get it back for a new mission as soon as possible. There's a balancing point, in that if you try to go too fast, you reduce useful payload below the point of making up for it with going faster - but a minimum energy trajectory is just not optimal when the ratio between launch costs and transit vehicle cost is so extreme. I come up with the same thing from Venus as they were getting for Mars, although for the Venus case you end up aerobraking to a highly elliptical orbit rather than to the surface for ISRU refill (you need ISRU, but for the ascent stages, so it's not realistic to do so for the return stage in the nearer term). So for Venus they get no refill like on Mars, but they also don't have to do a powered landing nor do an ascent on return - it's six of one, half a dozen of the other. Both are quite accessible with it.

Comment Re:Great strides (Score 1) 129

It depends what you mean by "refurbishing"; each element is different.

The solid rocket boosters, for example, suffered a hard impact into salt water. They then had to be fished out of the water. And of course you don't just "refill" a SRB, they have to be taken apart and recast, then put back together.

The ET is disposable, and had to be rebuilt from scratch.

The orbiter was legitimately reusable, but with design flaws.

I don't blame the shuttle program - they were sort of pigeonholed into this dead end by circumstances. The concept came about during the heyday of the Apollo Programme, when NASA budgets were serious. It was supposed to be a much more reusable, much more maintainable, and somewhat smaller system. It was supposed to then have a huge flight rate supporting all of these big projects that were on NASA's docket, including a permanent moon base and a huge manned orbital station dwarfing ISS, which was supposed to replace Skylab.

But of course, Vietnam and the realities of having soundly trounced the USSR in the space race led to their budgets being slashed, which pushed the program into ever more untenable positions until it was nothing more than a jobs programme. Forget full flyback reusability of all parts. Forget the titanium frame for the shuttle, which would have let it run hot and thus not required so sensitive of a TPS. Go begging for money and be forced to modify the design to meet Air Force requirements, pushing you into an inferior design position. On and on.

If I'd fault them for anything, it'd be for going straight for a full reusable workhorse rather than a small-scale pilot programme first. But those were the days of optimism. Optimism which only recently seems to start being regained.

Either way, the Falcon boosters are a very different beast. A vertical soft landing is hugely different from the SRBs, yet the thermal issues are far easier than with the Shuttle. And the Merlins were designed from the start under the principle of preventing the need for a full teardown. That doesn't mean that they will be cheap to reuse. But it does mean that they have the possibility of it.

I do think SpaceX had a rather clever strategy, in that while their goal was reusable, they made a rocket that in the process was cheap as a disposable. So they could get volume and flight history while working on getting the kinks out. They may have flown too close to the sun with the densified propellants and (externally) unlined COPVs, but obviously, with a company like this, their whole existence is to push the envelope.

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