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Comment Re:Seat? Same cost, Falcon 2.5X capacity (Score 1) 64

I agree that Elon is way too self-indulgent. Forget about the simulation remark, hyperloop is either cynical in nature (meant to divert funds from real trains) or wildly underestimating the costs and safety issues.

However, I think you're wrong about the space junk issue. One of the problems right now is the lack of any way to economically de-orbit legacy space hardware in high orbits. You don't get that without economical access to space.

Comment Re:The engineering is the expensive bit (Score 1) 64

The reason that you spent that much money building the cargo has comparatively little to do with the cost of the launch and everything to do with the fact that you really don't get multiple chances to get it right

I think you need to go back to your initial assumption, which might not be true any longer. With lower $/kg to your selected orbit, replacing a satellite is economically possible and building a satellite with a much shorter projected lifetime is probably optimal because the alternative is for the operator to be stuck with 20-year-old technology in orbit (given 15-year design lifetimes and a 5-year design-to-launch cycle, which might be optimistic).

If you really run that sort of company, you need to be looking about what could happen if your assumptions are wrong. And not advertising the fact that you aren't doing that.

Comment Re:Still higher than a Soyuz launch (Score 1) 64

Remember when Rogozin said the U.S. should get its astronauts to ISS with a trampoline? He's singing a different tune now. SpaceX is currently operating at a very significantly lower cost than Russian rockets in terms of $/kg to the specified orbit. And that's in the expendable configuration. Given successful reuse by SpaceX, Russia probably won't have a place in the market.

Comment Re: Weirdly specific statement (Score 1) 55

What is the limiting factor? Buildup of CO2?

People need a certain amount of oxygen for their metabolism, you need to carry that much. CO2 effects the blood pH: too little and the body is too alkaline, too much and it's too acidic. So, you need to maintain a precise amount of CO2 and remove the rest. The scrubbers in the space shuttle were able to regenerate the CO2-absorbent material after use, so there was use of power but material wasn't consumed.

Beyond this, you need to control temperature and humidity. The other requirements than atmosphere for crew survival are that you water, feed and shelter the crew, maintain orientation, and maintain a G-force envelope that doesn't injure the crew.

Submission + - September 19th SpaceX Launch will be visible across California, Nevada. (reddit.com)

Bruce Perens writes: The nighttime launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 containing Iridium satellites at 9:49 PM PST Monday September 19th from Vandenberg AFB SLC-4 is likely to be visible across California and in some Nevada locations. Although Vandenberg has a landing pad for the Falcon under construction, this will probably be a drone-ship landing and some California observers might see two of the landing burns.

Comment Crashplan between friends (Score 1) 358

You probably have a friend with a similar question. The solution is that you buy a backup disk the size you need, they buy a backup disk the size they need, you both install it at the others place and then you run Crashplan between yourselves. That gives you off site version controlled backups.

Done.

Comment Re: It's research... (Score 1) 147

Tee hee! Back in the day, one of the points I made to the old farts was that I had passed the 20 WPM exam and had my K6BP call to show for it, but refused to use the code on the air until the requirement was gone. Nobody spat at me or punched me out, the worst that ever happened was a poor behaving slim using my call and a postcard from the ARRL observer who thouht it was me.

Comment Re:It's research... (Score 3, Informative) 147

WSPR tells you when communication paths are open between two points at a specific frequency and S/N ratio. This is useful but does not span the extent of research that HAARP is directed to. One of the most interesting things about HAARP is that it can incite the formation of radio-reflective regions in the ionosphere. That takes a lot of power.

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