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Comment This isn't about tourism (Score 1) 32

This is about orbital satellite launches. I'm wondering if people have stopped reading at least the article they're commenting on?

BO is developing an orbital heavy lift launcher and they have sold their first payload. They're also developing the engines for ULA's new lancher with first full-scale tests later this year.

Blue Origin are slower than SpaceX, but they're not just toying around.

Comment STS has a problem (Score 3, Insightful) 355

It's not reusable and much too expensive to be flown more often than a few times. It never was anything than a gift to the companies that built the shuttle, so they could continue to supply tanks and solid boosters and hideously expensive engines. The point of it never was getting anything into space, but to keep the same old rivers of money flowing.

Comment Re:Not to be a wet blanket... (Score 1) 355

Going to Mars from the moon would NOT be simpler and cheaper. To go to the Moon you have to land things there, which is very expensive in terms of delta-V since there is no atmosphere to brake. Then you have to launch out of this gravity well again. And in the meantime you have to have everything you need on the Moon launched from Earth and land on the Moon.

Comment Re: What can SpaceX do with their hardware? (Score 1) 355

That requires the design of bits that are dockable, which greatly restricts your design freedom, as well as add extra mass for the docking ports.

Not only the docking ports. Every piece would need to be a fully independent spacecraft to rendezvous with the other bits, with propulsion, RCS, avionics, communication, antennas, power and thermal management, RADAR or LIDAR...

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 2) 43

Well, I think there is still some "action" going on in the rings. Even if everything in there would be totally synchronized with no relative motion (especially then) you would get mass clumps of particles slowly being drawn toward each other by their own mass/gravity. Basically the same thing that led to planets forming from rings of particles in the early solar system. But then this would be extremely interesting to research, because it would be the nearest thing to look at for such processes.

It would be wise to use a somewhat rugged probe with nuclear power (no fragile solar panels) with some shielding, retractable instruments and an ion drive... Anyway, there are lots of cool things to explore left in the solar system and the closer you look the more interesting things you find!

Comment Re:Apple: Cuz math is HHHHAAAAAAAAARRRRRD!!! (Score 1) 164

This was exactly how this worked up until now. You got a semi-accurate time of battery life. But the remaining time depends on what you do and the dynamic range between "hardly any load at all" and "full throttle" gets bigger and bigger. Which makes the time more and more pointless: If you just sit there and type you get a very long remaining time which will shrink down to a fraction of that as soon as you start to do more demanding things.

This is true for all modern computers with some decent power management, they all only sip power if the load is small and gulp it down as soon as you do something harder, making the remaining time totally unreliable.

Comment Re:So let me get this straight.... (Score 2) 472

The US totally lacks the industrial infrastructure for that. OK, you could import all components and build a robot factory assembling iPhone from these, but where's the difference then?

All of this became how it is because people buy cheaper goods over more expensive ones, just as companies make their products where it's cheaper to make them. This goes all the way back to people trading foodstuff against other things, because it was cheaper this way than to make them themselves. Global trade has been used by some people to enrich themselves, but without that there would have been less competition and the rich would be even richer. Look at your ISP. Much competition? No. Good prices? No. Start a trade war and everything will go this way. You will have one or two companies making smartphones and they will rake in money while screwing you over. But of course, try it. I'm all for it. Better try and fail than always talking and never doing. Some of you people are so angry that I'm all for handing the wheel to you.

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