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Comment Re:How much to re-create Apollo? (Score 2) 302

Yes, it is more than price, and yes, there is a cost.
However, assembly in orbit is also a valuable skill to learn that is a great positive going forward, and developing that robustly will mean you save nearly two billion dollars per launch.
With SLS, you get a way to use a rocket that is too expensive to use.

Comment Re:How much to re-create Apollo? (Score 4, Informative) 302

"would we save $BIGBUCKS by building on what we have instead of starting nearly from scratch?".

In short - often no.
Nobody sane thinks that you can launch SLS for under 2 billion dollars per launch.
This is a launch cost of $30000 per kg of payload.

Falcon 9 can launch the same payload (admittedly split into several) for $5000/kg.
Falcon heavy (debut flight expected within several months) launches can currently be bought for around $1500/kg.

SLS 'benefited' from congress - who at best have a passing knowledge of rocketry, but a very good knowledge of who makes existing hardware in their constituencies mandating that it use shuttle components.

If you can get - for the same launch cost - not 70 tons, but 1400 tons to orbit, even if they are in 54 ton, not 70 ton lumps - it starts being really questionable what the benefit of the 'shuttle derived' heritage is buying you.

I note also that SpaceX has an at least credible plan to get launch costs down from the above $1500/kg to $30/kg or so, in a totally reusable vehicle.
At this sort of cost, it becomes insane not to entirely reevaluate your lunar strategy.

For example, it may become entirely reasonable not to use a lightweight aluminium-lithium stir-welded composite structure which is indeed very light, but requires months of engineering to design and costs millions, but instead a half inch thick decent aluminium structure that costs tens of thousands.

Comment Re:The problem (Score 1) 722

You do it by trialling it in selected groups.
One obvious way is to take ten thousand people, who are possible candidates, and flip a coin ten thousand times to see if they're enrolled or not.

This lets you fairly robustly measure how much more or less the people work, and other costs.

For example, if you have a 'normal' benefits system, you have costs in the system about investigating if people are working while claiming benefit, prosecuting them, making sure they're looking for work, penalising them if they're not, advising them on what they must do to get into work or face sanctions, ...

In UBI, some or all of these costs go away.
Ideally, it would also try to count productivity of people who are working, with or without UBI.

Comment Re:work less (Score 1) 722

Guaranteed subsistence level income.
Then there is the thorny issue of if you're willing to sit on your ass for a small income, and do nothing productive, what are the chances that you were less than productive at work, and a drag on your coworkers.

Imagine some employers without those who are simply pretending to work.

Comment Re:Something is missing (Score 1) 357

Making the journey shorter - for a given truck on a given delivery route is not possible.
If you have more trucks doing 'more efficient (shorter) ' routes that however need more trucks to complete the deliveries on time, then the balance may swing the other way.
Because you can plan the journey such as to reduce the driving per package more if you have more packages per route.

Comment Re:Wind and Solar are Environmental Disasters (Score 0) 502

Solar and wind also don't work so well at night, or when it's calm.
If we had cheap energy storage, it's great, and all we need.
Otherwise, at the very least, solar and wind need massive continent-scale power shifting - which is not budgeted for in the USA to avoid local dips, or night.

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