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Comment Re: I'm On a Boat! (Score 1) 260

The second stage probably won't be recoverable, unless it is turned into something that resembles a mini space shuttle (due to the speed it has to hit the atmosphere, it needs appropriate heat shielding).

The first stage, which is 70% of the rocket cost, gets exposed to a lot of stress, so it may end up being reused only 10 times. But there is inspection and refurbishment costs -- this is still up in the air. I know the plan is to get it up to maybe 50 reuses, and 24-hour turnaround time. But that part still needs to be proven out yet. So on the low side, if minimal cost to inspect / refurbish, and it gets 10 uses, the cost drops down to 33% of the original cost. Adding back in refurbishment, plus infrastructure and staff, you are talking closer to a 50% cost reduction. Not bad, but not earth-shattering either.

If the second stage ever becomes reusable, and everything proves to need only minimal refurbishment, that is where you get 1 order of magnitude savings.

Comment Re:See, this application actually makes some sense (Score 1) 113

There is already a way to fuel them. It's called a full service gas station. Assuming the truck can navigate to the appropriate spot, and if there is a market for it, I'm more than sure that truck stops will be willing to add a person to staff to handle the fuel dispensing (for a price).

Comment Re:See, this application actually makes some sense (Score 1) 113

Why not have the drivers in full control, and the computers just observer and record what the would have done? Then compare the logs of the two, to spot the differences. Take the Teslas for example -- why not have the self driving part always running, but in "disconnected" mode, to build up the training data?

Comment Re:I've never been able to wrap my head around thi (Score 1) 313

Because out of 100 people, one person will have a family emergency they have to attend to. 2 people will have mis-set their alarm clocks, 5 are first-time travelers and underestimated traffic and security delays. Then there are the business travelers who have a last minute change of agenda, and take a flight at a later time.

Comment Re:Air into water (Score 2) 156

Refrigerant based dehumidifiers produce about 2 liters per kilowatt hour (at least in a somewhat damp basement -- probably less efficient in drier areas). So that would be over 40 megawatts of continuous input needed to get 2000 liters per day. Or, at 10 cents per kilowatt hour, $100 of electricity per day to reach that target. Or about 5 cents per liter -- not too far off from the 2 cents needed, and it can be renewable if powered off wind or solar. But then you need to factor the capitalized cost of the equipment in -- a dehumidifier is about $100.00 or so, with a 5 year write off that works out to be 1/10 penny per liter. Not sure how much the solar panels will cost to run it though.

Comment I never bothered with ad blockers until ... (Score 4, Informative) 116

One day, I had a Slashdot page still opened in my browser, locked my screen, went to lunch. Came back to complaints that my computer was annoying everyone in the office -- delayed auto-playing video ads were the culprit. So thanks to Slashdot (and me wanting to keep my job), I now have adblock installed.

Oh, not to mention the 3 times in the past I got a nasty computer virus due to an infected ad network. These are now no longer a worry.

Comment Re:The problem is not that it's a one-way mission (Score 2) 169

I'm sorry, but going to Mars is NOTHING like going to California. You can be pretty well assured that wherever you go on Earth, you won't die of suffocation (except maybe from exposure to fumes from an active volcano). And food grows or is found almost everywhere on the planet (excluding Antarctica -- even most deserts have food available in them).

The only way Mars would work is if machinery can be sent that digs a deep enough pit, so it can have a usable air pressure. From there it can be terraformed.

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