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Comment Re:Rockets are too expensive (Score 1) 54

And a space elevator, of course, would only cost about a Trillion, and there's this little problem of it hitting something (we'd have to make Earth Orbit absolutely pristine and keep it that way) and there's a problem with the kinetic energy if it falls down. Sort of like having many atom bombs go off.

Maybe someday. But right now making rockets as cheap as they can be is a better idea. It's only $200K to fuel up a Falcon 9. We don't get the whole thing back in working order yet, but that would be a lot easier than making a space elevator.

Comment No Dragon 2 Soft Landing Yet (Score 3, Informative) 54

Dragon 2 isn't built yet. The escape test was a boilerplate capsule more like a Dragon 1 than 2. Dragon 2 has not demonstrated a soft landing, because it's not built yet. That was the Falcon 9 first stage.

Also, you can't get Dragon 2 down to the Moon and back up on it's own. Not enough delta-V. You would need to have Dragon ride on top of something that can hold enough fuel. Like a larger version of the Apollo Service Module.

The Command/Service module was originally intended to land on the moon and return without the LEM, before NASA bought the LEM concept, and was overpowered for the mission it got. Dragon is larger and heavier, but a lunar landing one would probably look a lot like an Apollo Command and Service module, and legs.

And yeah, Orion: I'm Not on Board. Big expensive obsolete rocket with no mission that makes sense.

But good luck getting Elon Musk to focus on the practical and eminently desirable target of the Moon. He isn't interested. It's only Mars for Elon.

I try not to watch all of the Mars Colonial Transport speculation. Falcon 9 and Dragon are great, and they're here, and we could do so much with them.

Comment Re:Too good to be true. (Score 1) 175

The effect depends on the fact that outer space doesn't radiate much at those frequencies.

Under clouds there is more of a thermal equilibrium. So there will be about as much IR energy in that band being emitted from clouds and entering the building as leaving it. It's the same reason that cloudy nights usually stay warmer than clear nights.

Comment Re:Weak/nonexistent punishments for faulty notices (Score 1) 81

All patent applications are signed under penalty of perjury. However, the US Patent and Trademark office disbanded its enforcement department in 1974. So, you can perjure yourself on a patent application with impunity.

Unless it's testimony in a criminal case, or the perjury trap in front of a grand jury, or something they want to prosecute like lying on your tax form, the Federal government is in general lassiez faire about perjury, or even encouraging of it with their reluctance to prosecute, especially perjury committed by a so-called intellectual property holder.

Comment Beer (Score 1) 154

Another reason to ban beer: It would cost the taxpayers several thousand dollars to launch a pint of beer into LEO. The bill for a small Superbowl party on the ISS would easily exceed the average US worker's annual salary.

If they're going to send up any booze, make it 190 proof grain alchohol. That would only cost about $100 per drink.

Better yet, ditch the whole manned space flight boondoggle and use the savings to fund more real space science.

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