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Comment Re:As did all the others. (Score 1) 124

A design like Airlander 10 is fundamentally a lot more resistant to the common problems that plague blimps during landing, such as susceptability to winds. It has less inherent lift, a smaller cross section, and more ability to anchor itself down with its fans. However, something clearly did not function correctly here. A blimp should never nose down like that. Either lift or thrust was for some reason configured wrong.

Comment Re:Protection (Score 1) 124

Right, so they're going to reengineer every last subcomponent of every last part to withstand cryogenic temperatures, specifically for production in the tiny volumes needed in the space industry? Just for the inconvenience of reusing an upper stage?

Again: contrary to would-be-rocketeer imaginations, launch costs are not the be-all end-all of expenses when it comes to space. Engineering and low-volume production is killer. Mission designers always heavily stress TRL (Technology Readiness Level) of all components, as it's such a key determiner of mission cost. If any plan you propose involves "just reengineer everything", you do not have a plan.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1, Insightful) 124

What you need is: Oxygen, Radiation shielding, Water, Food, Power and some gear.

Yes, it's totally that simple! The ISS has hundreds of thousands of parts, but only because congress insisted on adding thousands of Machines That Go Ping for no good reason. And random objects totally love being submerged in liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. And empty tanks are totally easy to haul all the way to orbit when pre-loaded with fittings and jackets and extra tanks. And building things in space (including bloody *welding*) is such a nothing job that totally costs nothing!

Meanwhile, in the real world...

The tanks will serve as basic habitats etc., you could grow food (wasn't this successfull?) in one of them to replenish your oxygen supply.

((Snicker))

Everything which does not need to be inside, you leave it outside,

((Snicker))

Comment Re:Turkey is due for some DEMOCRACY (Score 4, Insightful) 96

I've hear that the Soviet Union went to great lengths to divide territory along cultural lines, and failed. Point is, it doesn't matter what identity you have, it matters whether you identify with it. There's a stage in psychological development that's authoritarian, and then after that... a loong time after that, comes the individual, with individual rights and freedoms.

Jesus, oddly, managed to implant the seed of that into the authoritarian systems of his time, which took a thousand years or more to develop. Or maybe it was the Greeks.

Anyway, point is, things like the French Revolution, Western democracy, the individual who can think for him or herself, and is given rights, all born equal, is a massive cultural change, and without it, elections don't really work. Tribes will vote for their authoritarian leaders and so on, religion remains a control freak which keeps grabbing more and more power, and individual freedom of expression is crushed, along with original thinking and invention.

So if you are X and identify as X and are part of group X and are under the control of X's authoritarian power, well you're not modern. It makes no difference whether next door there's another group that's Y and slightly different yet also authoritarian. You're all as "bad" as each other (from a modern viewpoint).

The fact that the two groups are not having their own lands strictly in an, you know, segregated way, is besides the point really. Lots of segregated authoritarian groups living next to each other, trying not to step on each others' toes, can only last so long. Arguably that's what happened to Lebanon.

What makes a person modern is that they can think for themselves outside of their group, and know why individual rights matter. Which is a whole different thing to the Life of Bryan and the famous scene where the crowd blindly repeat everything the Messiah says.

So point is, dividing up territory is meaningless if the people themselves don't identify with their group and are blindly moved by that group. A modern nation contains many many groups, yet they don't fragment along sectarian lines at the first bit of friction, because they are not "white" or "black" or "muslim" or "christian" or "buddhist" or "atheist"... they are citizens first, and the other stuff is secondary.

Until the culture of the middle east moves to modern values and modern minds, they can't be citizens and their lands can't be modern nations in a democratic way.

Thing is, that's true for everyone and it is a historical accident that modernity appeared in some parts of the world first. And the authoritarian way worked ok more or less for thousands of years, so it isn't bad as such. Just, modernity makes certain things possible. But people have to grow to get there.

And the EU telling people to be democratic is, well, just doesn't realise what a huge change that is. If you take the Magna Carta, that started a gradual change over 800 years ago. How many countries today call themselves democratic when they obviously have fairly fascistic dictators? (Not counting the USA :-P )

Comment Re:easy peasy (Score 1) 124

What plastic are you thinking of and at what thickness, that is compatible with liquid oxygen, retains flexibility at LOX (or worse, LH) temperatures, and withstands the pressure, all without adding a massive mass penalty? How is the plastic supposed to deform around every little structure in the habitat (aka, not face multiple atmospheres of asymmetric pressure)? What sort of hardware are you thinking of where every last element is just fine with being frozen down to LOX (or worse, LH) temperatures? How many man hours are you thinking of to "rip out" the giant bag through the tiny docking port (after having to detach it where it's carefully bound around each element? Unless you were thinking of having it fully loose inside there, which is even more problematic. Where's it supposed to go on the ISS? If you're doing the (larger) hydrogen tank, how 100% sure are you that you're not making an explosive fuel-air mixture, given that hydrogen burns at just a couple percentage concentration? How positive are you that you've fully vented every last nook and cranny? And on and on and on.

Wet workshops were worked on during the Apollo era. They were ditched for dry workshops because it's easier, cheaper, and more functional.

Comment Re:Too bad they can't use the SS ext. tanks (Score 3, Interesting) 124

Shuttle ETs never got up to a stable orbit. It would have been possible to use the OMS to take them up there, but then the Shuttle would have had basically no payload capacity on that mission.

Of course, that's one of the lesser problems with the concept. Often proposed, often investigated, but never considered worth throwing serious money into.

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