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Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 442

Military meals are designed with attention to the morale factor. Even the modern MRE is designed to help the soldier feel human in unfavorable surroundings. Apollo 10 was the first to officially test real bread. Gemini Astronauts smuggled aboard a kosher corned beef sandwich but it was stale and thus had too many crumbs which went airborne. By Apollo 10 it was discovered that nitrogen-flushed bread would stay fresh for 10 days. I'll have to try that.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 442

but what are the chances of finding a good vintage of scotch to go with all of this breaded goodness they are going to be having up there?

Alcohol is definitely going to space. Ballantine's zero-gravity glass is made in cooperation with something called the Open Space Agency, which also has a design for an automated Dobsonian telescope. Ardbeg is going to space. And a vacuum still is an old science-fiction trope.

Comment Re:Everybody should be prepared to die. (Score 4, Funny) 442

Out of several tens of billions of humans, only a fraction have not yet died, and of those who died, only a small percent of disputed cases indicate recovery.

On the contrary, I have never died before and rumors that I would do so are spread by fact-checkers of the liberal press and corrupt global warming scientists.

Comment Some Artistic License (Score 1) 442

I like the part in the SpaceX video where the rocket lands, and the door opens on magnificent desolation. This is artistic license. Obviously the material for a habitat would precede the arrival of people.

But yes, a first-try planetary colony won't necessarily work. Getting there is dangerous, and once you're there being able to continue to provide the population with air, water, food, shelter, and energy is going to have significant risks of lethal failures.

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 1) 230

Not so fast.

Passenger air travel is becoming ever more fuel efficient. Airlines are keenly interested in the lowest fuel used per passenger seats, especially the low cost airlines. EasyJet's fleet (a low cost European airline) is almost brand new, same with RyanAir (who are notorious for making everything as cheap as possible). Not only do the airlines want efficient planes, but they want them as full as possible. EasyJet's load factor is 90% for example (meaning on average at least 90% of the seats are filled).

EasyJet's A319-neo aircraft have an average fuel burn (no wind) of about 2L/100km per passenger seat (about 115 mpg (US)). Adjusting with a 90% load factor about 103mpg per passenger flown. This is roughly equivalent to a reasonably efficient mid-size car carrying 3 people (note: most cars most of the time only carry 1 person), but remember the plane is doing 500+ mph while getting this efficiency, whereas the car will only be doing about 60mph to get that efficiency per seat.

A well-loaded electric train can better this of course, but airline travel isn't as absurdly fuel thirsty as you presume - there have been very impressive efficiency gains over time.

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