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Comment Re:How about 18 minutes without the tunnel? (Score 1) 76

If the price is set correctly, this would permanently eliminate traffic congestion on the 405 without overcharging anyone

Because everyone going home after work would... what... exactly? Not go home after work?

Rush hour here is already 3+ hours long... so your plan is for me to finish at 5pm and then sit around at the office until 8:30pm or so to save how much in tolls exactly?? And do I come in at 5:30am to avoid rush hour starting at 6? So Now the middle class spends 15 hours a day 'at the office'? But getting paid for 8? While the executives pay $250 each way in tolls and get to and from work in 20 minutes during rush hour?

Comment Re:Trains (Score 1) 76

of course if the cars were self driving then you could have your "rail provided power" on the freeway be good to go. If we got to the point where freeway access required a self driving car then we could probably increase the speed of those freeways safely. This seems like it is avoiding those requirements by putting the self driving ability on these little carts, which is good in that it would let us get to this vision sooner, but it is bad in that it requires an amazing amount of infrastructure to be built to make this work (tunnels everywhere).

Comment Re:Speaking of delays... (Score 1) 103

ULA's track record with the Atlas V: 100%

Yes, let's take one vehicle in its fifth generation (not counting subrevisions), and ignore its track record with all of its earlier versions that led up to this point and all of their failures, and all of Lockheed and Boeings' other launch vehicles over time, with all of their failures. Lets also ignore that they're going to have to switch engines soon, to an engine with zero track record.

Payloads typically launch on schedule or within a few weeks. .... Some payloads have been waiting literally years due to delays.

Let's totally ignore that Atlas V launches once per two months, while SpaceX launches once per month, and that almost all of the wait time was due to investigation backlog. When it comes to hitting launch windows, SpaceX has a higher average success rate than average than Atlas V

And lets entirely fail to mention the point that ULA charges nearly double what SpaceX does per kilogram. Or that SpaceX is doing everything while rapidly evolving its rocket, to the point that they've basically even switched propellants partway through (denisification radically changes their properties). And while at the same time running an aggressive recovery and refurbishment programme and developing a heavy lift vehicle, with a small fraction as much capital.

Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 1) 539

The welfare of the citizens IS the welfare of the country.

But maybe you need a better connection. We devote more money to healthcare than any other developed nation and we have worse health outcomes, this is a drain on the GDP... for one spending extraordinary money on healthcare is not a good use of money that could go to any number of other economic pursuits and two, the people who remain sick or less than ideally healthy are not as productive as they could be.

Fixing this problem would absolutely be in the interest of the general welfare of the state.

Comment Re:What governmen brought to the table (Score 1) 103

As if liquid boosters can't fail catastrophically? Check out SpaceX's last failure. Liquids are hardly immune to catastrophic failure.

And actually more to the point, you've got it backwards. The SRB failure on Challenger was slow, more like a blowtorch. The explosion was when it compromised the external tank (which, obviously, stored liquids).

Solid propellants aren't like explosives. More to the point, you have to keep them under pressure to get the sort of burn rate that is desired for a rocket.

Comment Re:Inherent contradictions within leftist ideals. (Score 2) 281

Here's what happened in about 150 years under "conservative" US government policies:

Grew from small, isolated, breakaway country to the richest, most powerful country on the planet, with the highest standard of living.

Here's what happened under "liberal" government policies:

  • Declared our independence from Great Britain in the first place.

You have the right to be on Slashdot and argue about which ideology is better because of liberal policies.

Along the way, freed slaves and saw life expectancy become the highest in the world.

Lincoln was most assuredly not conservative. Republican, yes. Conservative, no. His policies resembled those of modern progressives more than modern conservatives, though even that is something of a stretch, because unlike 99% of modern politicians, Lincoln was actually a respectable statesman.

Contrast to what happened in "progressive"/socialist/liberal nations such as Venezuela, Greece, and the Soviet Union.

Progressive != socialist != liberal.

Additionally, Greece's problems stemmed from government overspending without enough taxation to cover the expenses. That's more similar to what Republicans do today than Democrats. And both Venezuela and Russia had problems where a few people at the top of the party essentially lived in luxury while the poor starved, which makes it more like a caste system than true socialism.

Besides, essentially zero modern progressives view socialism as the be-all and end-all of public policy, but rather as a useful tool to use in limited ways for the public good. That's radically different from a country that attempts to use pure socialism as its sole policy (which is exactly as foolish as using pure capitalism as the sole public policy).

Comment Re:Speaking of delays... (Score 2) 103

Could you remind me how many people SpaceX has killed? Boeing and Lockheed have certainly killed people in the past.

If you're referring to the AMOS 6 ground failure, ignoring that part of the whole point of flying a stack unmanned as much as you can before you fly it manned is to shake out any problems, is that a manned mission would have almost certainly survived that. Unless the launch escape system failed, despite the drama, that was an eminently survivable. How do we know this? Because AMOS-6's hypergolic propellant tanks didn't ignite until the satellite hit the ground. AMOS-6 had the fairing as some extra protection, but on the other hand, the satellite itself isn't nearly as durable as a crew dragon.

The launch escape system ignites within milliseconds of a failure being detected and almost immediately reaches full thrust, accelerating away at 10gs. Here's a graphic of Dragon's abort test superimposed over the AMOS-6 failure. Things like this are the very reason that launch escape systems exist. NASA's last manned space vehicle lacked such a system entirely. And while their design for the Shuttle ultimately wasn't chosen, you know what? Lockheed's proposal didn't have one either. And it had a strong impact on influencing the final Shuttle design outcome.

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