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* Posts by Kharkov

241 posts • joined 16 Sep 2011

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Elon Musk plans GIGAFACTORY to feed his thirsty Tesla motors

Kharkov
Thumb Up

Re: Danger Will Robinson

One of the reasons that SpaceX is able to offer rockets much, much cheaper than say, ULA, is that Elon had SpaceX bring in-house all those processes that were large cost generators so that, once in-house, they could be controlled and costs lowered. They've had great success at that - $60 million to put approx 5 metric tonnes in LEO, as opposed to ULA's around $300 to $350 million dollars for the same service - and it makes great sense for Tesla to bring in-house such a critical element as batteries, which for electic cars are kind of important.

No-one seriously denies that electric-powered methods of transportation are the wave of the future so I'd bet on Elon making the new battery factory work.

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Private space truck ready for ISS trip as soon as NEXT WEEK

Kharkov
Devil

Re: 1.6 vs 1.9?

More money for less? Put that down to US Government Contracts. Got more & better lobbyists? Then you get more money for a worse product/service.

I'd put it down to Orbital calculating how much money they'd need to be able to produce the level of return they need to satisfy their investors and pitching it to NASA. NASA, needing & wanting to get multiple launch providers going (and to do better prices than ULA - not hard, really), would cough up.

SpaceX, doing a MUCH cheaper (and better IMHO) rocket, didn't need to pitch it so high. Still, while Elon isn't in the business just for the money, I'm sure that some of his investors have done the sums and are quietly slapping their foreheads.

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Meet NASA's Valkyrie: A SILKY BUSTY ROBO-MINX that'll save your life

Kharkov
Unhappy

Re: Innovation if I've ever seen one

If there's a possibility of me getting 'pounded' by a nearly-2-metre-tall robot then I'm voting no, even if it is in soft fabrics...

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SpaceX Falcon 9 reaches MONEY RING with successful launch

Kharkov
Happy

Re: Hyperloop

While Elon did draw attention to the possibilities of future transport, I personally don't think he had much impact.

As John Oliver (Daily Show) said while lampooning Elon, 'Hey, someone should go off & cure cancer! I'd do it myself but I'm more of an ideas man." Elon drew attention to the possibilities and then added that he wasn't going to put any of his time & money into it which caused the whole thing to fall a bit flat.

Still, given the man has his hands full with Tesla & SpaceX, perhaps it's best that he doesn't divide his attention any more.

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Kharkov
Headmaster

Re: How about a little perspective here?

@ A Non e-mouse

Just nitpicking here but Falcon Heavy, according to Wikipedia, can put 53,000kg to LEO & 21,200kg to GTO.

@ John Smith 19

Politics is driving SLS, true, but there'll be a new president (guaranteed) in the White House in 2016. There is, in my opinion, a real possibility of the new team looking at SLS and the arguements for keeping workers employed, and Falcon Heavy, particularly if there have been a couple of successful launches (or more) by then, and deciding that they can save money by a: using FH and b: having those workers design & build something that ISN'T being done (cheaper) by the Private Sector.

And even if not, there MAY be a new president in 2020, certainly by 2024, and the comparison will look even worse then.

ULA has an outstanding record for launch success but they're expensive. With every successful SpaceX launch, the rationale for buying (expensive) launches from them is whittled down. It won't be in the next five years but after that, ULA may find itself getting remarkably few orders...

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Kharkov
Happy

How about a little perspective here?

First of all, Kudos SpaceX.

You got your bird away after a few delays - better safe than sorry - and Falcon 9 has added another string to its bow by putting up a bird destined for GEO. SpaceX continues to undercut the market - who else does launches for less than 60 million? - and, if they can ramp up production then they can really dominate the market in the future - sell those ULA shares now, folks, while they're still worth something.

But...

"SpaceX can now move forward with its plans to commercialize spaceflight and fill the launch gap which has been left by NASA as it looks to develop its next-generation Space Launch System."

Next Generation? SLS is a very, very, very expensive rocket that has a high risk of being cancelled before its first flight and, after SpaceX gets their (first stage only) reusable F9 flying & of course their Falcon Heavy going uphill too, is bound to be cancelled after the the first or second flight.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy 125 million dollars

SLS 1.6 billion dollars or 10 billion dollars or 18 billion dollars

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SCRUBBED: Technical oopsies halt SpaceX's bid for the Money Ring

Kharkov
Thumb Up

Here's hoping...

I wish we could get a few details about the launch. For example, how much fuel, in actual quantity and burn-time, will be left in the 1st stage after that 3-minute initial burn. It'd be good to know how much it takes to get the first stage down again in one piece.

Still, it's better to have the launch cancelled and re-scheduled than have it launch & fail. Here's hoping that the next scheduled launch goes off without a hitch.

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Boffins baffled after Sun fails to fry satellites

Kharkov
Stop

Re. field buildup

Well Larry Niven will appreciate that theory. After all, he wrote a rather famous short story 'Inconstant Moon' about a major solar event that fried one half of the Earth.

It's a good scare story - one of Niven's best short stories, in fact - but (and no, I'm not a scientist) I really don't think that we'll see an energy output of '50 megatons per square kilometer'. We MAY get more solar storms and bigger ones but let's not go overboard here...

Either that or start gathering supplies...

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NASA probecraft to FLY the SKIES of MARS - IF it can make its launch window

Kharkov
Happy

Let SpaceX launch it!

First of all, well done NASA for (not quite yet as I type this) getting their orbiter away! Bravo, we need more such from NASA but let's consider...

The wikipedia page for MAVEN has its cost at 'less than US$485 million' with another 'approximately $187 million' for launch on an Atlas V 401.

Given the financial pressures NASA is under, I'd think that it won't be too much longer before SpaceX is doing all of NASA's launches. 55 million to launch 2,454kg works out MUCH better than ULA's 'approximately $187 million'.

Heck, launch it as a secondary payload - it's less than half the approximately 6,500kg payload of an F9R - or paired with a commercial payload going to LEO and NASA might get an even better price...

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Budget decay kills NASA plutonium drive project

Kharkov
Facepalm

Re: Obama strikes again

Obama's doing his best to eliminate it? I vote moron for this guy. It's Congress/the Senate who allocate spending priorities & NASA's just got to make do. I'd like to see SLS dumped and the money freed up used for a whole series of probes/orbiters/landers for Mars, the Jovian moons, Saturn & its moons and, given the long lead time due to distance, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto & the Kuiper belt & Oort cloud.

Don't hold your breath though...

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Boffin says astronauts could hitch to Jupiter on passing asteroids

Kharkov
Thumb Up

As usual, Kim Stanley Robinson got there first...

In Kim Stanley Robinsons's Mars Trilogy, she had reasonably large ships on a permanent Mars-Earth course, slingshotting around each to get onto a course to take them back to the other, slingshotting around again and so on.

You want to do Earth-Jupiter? Fine, but you'd need to work out the needed course (not impossible) and then change the asteroid's speed & course (probably expensive in fuel and rather complicated to organise).

Afterwards, hollow out the inside to give a safe place for people (Jupiter has STRONG radiation fields) with shuttles (think of Ian M. Banks's Superlifters in his Culture novels) to decelerate down to Jupiter/Earth orbit speeds and then run to catch (probably) the next asteroid as it passes days, weeks or months later.

Personally, I'd much rather have a lot of living room in an asteroid than be cramped into a volume-restricted shuttle zipping off to... wherever.

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ZOMBIE apocalypse! The 'LIVING DEAD' are HERE – Fox News confirmed it

Kharkov
Facepalm

Progress!

First they got the day right and then they proclaimed a zombie apocalypse...

Well done Fox! That's the closest you've ever come to 2 correct stories in a row!

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Could Doctor Who really bump into human space dwellers?

Kharkov
Headmaster

Time on Mars...

Read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy. A Mars day is longer than an Earth day...

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US red-tape will drain boffins' brains into China, says crypto-guru Shamir

Kharkov
Joke

Eh, think of it as an intelligence test...

So the US has ranks of excessive red-tape & paranoia?

They should make that work for them! Each Expo/show should advertise that 'only the smartest come to OUR show!'

And now, if they can't come, they just weren't smart enough...

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NASA Juno probe HOWLS past Earth - and goes into HIBERNATION

Kharkov
Pint

A beer to send it on its way...

And a warning, it's gaining speed from us so we're losing speed and so dooming ourselves to spiral into the sun, oh noes!

Can someone get off the Earth & give it a bit of a push so we get our speed back?

NOTE: It was a coin tossup between beer & troll - the beer won...

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You put up with CRAPPY iOS 7. You can put up with Obamacare too, says prez

Kharkov
Thumb Up

Re: Smartphone users have more choices.

BMW prices? That's debatable but at least people are going to get the service they need when they need it.

To use your metaphor, people in the past would pay for their phone every month and then, when they had to make a call, were likely to be kicked off the service...

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Beat this, cloud giants! Musk rocket flings 1TB hard drive into SPAAACE

Kharkov
Angel

So it's running into technical limitations then?

Ok, a GB/sec isn't enough, especially when you're moving large quantities of data?

You're limited by the number of people uploading/downloading from the satellite?

If you don't get all your data up(down)loaded then you have to wait for (probably longer than) 90 minutes?

Meh, the technology is improving quickly enough so those issues won't kill the idea. Seriously, before 2020, you'll see a fairly small satellite that can upload/download/store data at impressive rates on multiple channels and crossload that data to the next bird (one of a swarm of cheaply built & cheaply launched satellites) so that up(down)loading can continue.

One satellite is an infrequent (ie, annoying) service provider. Several dozen are an invisible (and probably profitable) service that, once it starts, will be taken for granted, no-one will dream of going back to the old way.

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Techno-thriller author and gaming franchise Tom Clancy dies at 66

Kharkov
Unhappy

He'll be missed...

A sad loss.

It was after reading Red Storm Rising that I got interested in the Harpoon game-system. A paper map and bits of card and my friends & I were happy for hours fighting over the Norwegian Sea, crossing the Atlantic with convoys & defending the UK.

He wrote interesting page-turners that nevertheless pointed out some of the limitations of power.

RIP, Tom, you were the first & best of the modern techno-thriller writers.

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TUPPERWARE FOUND ON MOON of Saturn

Kharkov
Angel

Re: Good news...

Yes, an Olympus-class oil tanker will be setting off soon to go get that crude...

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SpaceX Falcon boosts to glory from Vandenberg space force base

Kharkov

Come on El Reg!

Yes, it's great that SpaceX got their new bird away without problems but surely you could have

A: Said a bit more about the launch - details, please.

And

B: Said more about the 1st Stage - post-separation. SpaceX wanted to exhibit a degree of control over the 1st stage on the way down - they did - but the 1st stage began to spin, sloshing the fuel away from the pumps, causing the engines to flameout.

Oh, way to go, SpaceX!

It might be just me but I imagine the various presidents & vice-presidents at ULA & Cygnus will be preparing to cash-in their stock options about 5 years from now as it becomes clear that they can't compete on price.

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Boffins have constructed a new LIGHT SABRE. Their skills are complete

Kharkov
Trollface

As usual Halo got there first...

Light sabers? Pfft!

Give me a bridge made of light I can drive my 'hog across & then you've got something...

Ah Halo Series, is there anything you don't know...?

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Chinese building orbital lab by 2023 to make 'space medicine'

Kharkov
Pirate

Research? Better get the launch costs down first...

Back in the days of Space Station Alpha, research was touted as the number one benefit. Then it, over time, morphed into ISS and, after construction had begun, all mention was quietly dropped.

The reason? Extremely high cost per seat and a strict lack of seats overall. Right now, it's all NASA can do to keep ISS crew levels up, there're just no seats and certainly no budget to get researchers up there.

China wants a multi-module space station in orbit? Great, good for them!

It's going to be a research centre? Not until the PRC can get seat prices way, way down & seat availability way, way up...

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F-16 fighter converted to drone

Kharkov
Angel

Re: And the first step towards Skynet has been taken...

Hyperbole? Don't worry too much about (supposed to be) humourous titles.

Immersing the pilot in a tank of liquid to improve G-performance? Sounds good, in theory.

Anyone remember the Gerry Anderson show UFO? The aliens' suits were filled with a liquid and presumably their ships were too. It wasn't stated in the show, I think, but they'd handle G-loads better.

More seriously, the weight of the liquid (and the tank) would be prohibitive, too much aircraft performance would be lost. Even worse, most pilots are some way ahead of the center of gravity so a big tank full of liquid so far forward would really bugger up the aircraft's balance.

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Kharkov
Terminator

And the first step towards Skynet has been taken...

This may well be the wave of the future for combat aircraft. Fighters have now reached the point where they can turn tightly enough to generate very high levels of G for long periods of time. Pilots, subject to blacking out even with G-suits, can no longer match the aircraft's performance.

Cue the VR-helmets for the ground-side pilot and hope to heaven that your data-link is secure enough and strong enough to keep you in touch. If it isn't, then Iran may get a few new aircraft landing at their airports...

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Space truck Cygnus left idling outside ISS after data format snafu borks docking

Kharkov
Devil

Re: This was *not* supposed to happen. Orbital are *experienced* govt space contractors

Time for Elon Musk to step in, I think...

Have him send over an engineer with a USB full of up-to-date file protocols.

"This is a USB Memory Stick. Put it in the hole... no, not THAT one..."

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BLAST OFF! Antares launches Cygnus on commercial cargo test mission

Kharkov
Happy

Kudos Antares!

Great start, can't wait for a great finish

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DARPA: You didn't think we could make a Mach 6 spaceplane, so let us have this MACH TEN job

Kharkov
FAIL

Meh, not impressed...

DARPA is a day late and a dollar short. Granted, they've got billions of dollars to make up for that but...

They're aiming at a low-cost, reusable smallish engine which will take around... 5 years? 10? of development & testing just so they can cheaply and frequently put... 1,800kg (probably a bit less what with weight growth etc).

Hmm, what's highly likely to be in service in 5 to 10 years time? Well, chances are there'll be a reusable Falcon 9, putting 6,000kg into LEO for... 40 million dollars a shot? Will DARPA's effort beat that on price per kg?

And over in the UK, chances are there'll be Skylon, putting 15,000kg into LEO for 10 million dollars? Granted, this is a bit more unlikely than just developing a currently-operating Falcon 9 rocket but while people point out the amount of money REL needs, no-one's clearly demonstrated why REL won't eventually get it.

So, lots of money spent, technology developed by DARPA and afterwards classified out the whazoo. FAIL

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From launch to orbit: The new commercial space pioneers

Kharkov
Boffin

There's two realistic companies here and the rest... are dreaming

SpaceX has a plan & cash flow to finance it.

REL has a plan & cash flow to finance it.

Both offer superior products at remarkably low per-use prices which are A: very attractive & B: set to revolutionise the market as they blow the competition away.

The other guys in the article? They don't have either the cash flow or a product that operates cheaply enough.

For example, Dream Chaser, which is a technically workable idea, is going to launch on Atlas V's for approximately 240 million dollars a shot.

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Cold-blooded, INHUMAN visitor hitches ride on NASA moon rocket

Kharkov
Trollface

Kermit, come back!

Miss Piggy promises fewer karate chops!

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Swiss space plane to launch robotic orbital debris destroyer

Kharkov
Boffin

Re: So... Even the Swiss have a more ambitious space program than us?

Errr... Skylon?

Check out Reaction Engines Ltd (google it) or the Skylon (spaceplane) at wikipedia.

Game changer in the making, 7 years away and counting...

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Kharkov
Megaphone

Which is worse?

There are reasonably large (unwanted) things in orbit and yes, something to get rid of them is worth having. However, the large bits have known orbits and they're not really a surprise to anyone paying attention.

The much bigger risk is all the small stuff (nuts & bolts etc) in orbits that aren't clearly known or plotted into the future which makes them a much greater danger. While this first step into debris-cleanup is welcome, it should only be considered a first step.

There's also the question of economics. That 10 million dollar figure? That's just for the deorbiter satellite, right? What's the development cost for SOAR (and projected mass figures, please)?

If I pull out some figures (out of thin air, yes) that look & 'feel' right to me, it looks like they're developing a system that can put... up to 1,500kg into LEO? Probably a bit less. Fine, no problem there but the cost of modifying the A300? Probably not that much. Developing/building/testing the mini-shuttle? That's where most (60%) of your development money will go and it'll probably be expensive. Developing/building/testing the (probably not-reusable) 3rd stage will also be expensive.

It's noble to want to clean up LEO but if it's too expensive, it won't get done...

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NASA: Humanity has finally reached into INTERSTELLAR SPACE

Kharkov
Joke

Well, the 'fellow' is way past its bedtime...

What? It's been out there for thirty-something years? AND it's not saying much anymore?

Well, it'd better come back soon or else Daddy will have to go out and bring the 'fellow' back.

And there'll be no dessert after supper...

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Declassified documents show NSA staff abused tapping, misled courts

Kharkov
Facepalm

Re: And how many of these traitors

Ooh! Ooh! I know this one!

NONE OF THEM.

The NSA has consistently lied about what they've done, what they're doing and their future plans. Absolutely no-one in the US government is going to change that and people will be encouraged to distrust their own government, and non-Americans will continue to distrust the USA. You can guess the long-term consequences of this...

And we're what? Surprised by any of this?

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400 million Chinese people can't speak Chinese: Official

Kharkov
Thumb Up

I wouldn't worry about English...

With the current widespread usage of English, I don't see it being usurped as the world's lingua Franca. That said, with making a living getting harder & harder in the Western world (& likely to continue so), learning a second language appropriate to areas with very high levels of economic activity (1.3 billion Chinese, that's a LOT of economic activity) can be the way forward for people with a little foresight.

Writing Chinese, at least beyond the basic level, isn't going to be that useful & bloody hard & time-consuming too. The spoken part can be picked up, to conversational level, in less than a year if enough effort is made.

You can't really blame the Chinese government for trying to do something that would tend to make all the people inside its borders think of themselves as Chinese though...

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Kamikaze Moon mission on track as NASA grips its tumbling LADEE

Kharkov
Holmes

Before it self-destructs...

Has anyone considered this for an idea?

Once the mission is complete, why not leave it in orbit where it can serve as a high-speed signal relay for whatever ground/orbit probes/rovers/whatever is doing science?

MAVEN, which will launch soon, has the ability to relay signals from the ground back to Earth so rather than have EACH probe/rover be able to communicate with Earth, have a high-capacity relay which will allow faster data-transfer.

I'm just saying...

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Storm slings water to Saturn's surface

Kharkov

Re: So...

Hey, if Mary Poppins can do it...

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Kharkov
Trollface

Rainy weather?

So water is drawn up (from the depths) & it rains down, and it does this a lot?

Saturn's English then. QED

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Headmaster calls cops, tries to dash pupil's uni dreams - over a BLOG

Kharkov
Flame

Speaking truth to power or spouting verbal bottom sludge? Could be either, don't care much either way. Half the postings on Facebook/Twitter are the same mindless abuse.

Actively trying to block a student's path forward by denying him access to university? The headmaster is completely wrong to try that and should resign. It is an educators duty to teach/train/develop/encourage a future citizen.

Now that the headmaster has tried, and failed, he can expect a lot more of the same about him and his school.

Welcome to the Barbara Streisand Effect...

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Forget Mars: Let's get someone on the Moon – NASA veteran

Kharkov
Meh

They're probably referring to SLS-2, currently slated for 2021, which will be Apollo 8 redux except that it won't be in support of a mom program.

It'll be just something to do because they can't think of anything else to do with it.

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Kharkov
FAIL

Ok, what is this guy on and can we all have some, please?

Beaming power... from the Moon to the Earth... Yeah, that's going to happen in the next twenty years (not)...

Getting out of the solar system... words fail me... walk before you run?

The Moon instead of Mars? Well that's Bob Zubrin's next article written...

Can't wait for the next bungee boss in the upper levels of NASA to spout off...

And meanwhile it's the SENATE/CONGRESS that mandates funding SLS, the giant sucking hole in NASA's budget which will, at most make ONE FLIGHT.

[Begin head/desk interaction]

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Hypersonic 'scramjet' aims for Mach 8 test flight

Kharkov
Unhappy

Scramjets?

Oh look, an engine that... doesn't work until it's going really fast. That's useful.

Oh, wait, it IS useful... as a weapon. Very high speed missiles. Bombing the cr*p out of somewhere when it takes a couple of hours for your tomahawks to arrive just isn't any fun, it seems. Gotta have it there in 10 minutes or less or your next hard-on's free.

[Faceslap]

And in the meantime, there's little research into reusable rocket engines, cheaply-manufactured rocket engines etc because... yep, you've guessed it, scramjets are the new 'sexy' thing that's sucking down all the research money.

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'WTF! MORONS!' Yahoo! Groups! redesign! traumatises! users!

Kharkov
FAIL

WTF? They've never heard of Beta-Testing?

Got Yahoo Groups open now.

Right side of the screen - ads - taking up about 33% of the screen.

Left side of the screen - my list of groups... thanks guys, I know what groups I'm in - taking up about 20% of the screen.

Down the middle - the text - taking up about 20% of the screen... lots of white space between the ads and the text...

Hmm, let me do the math on that... 33+20+20... Well that's a bit short...

Can someone send Yahoo a calculator? Or will they get around to actually looking at their own service anytime soon?

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China confirms plans for first Moon visit later this year

Kharkov
Facepalm

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, He say...

The American scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson has said many times, and most recently on the Daily Show on Febuary 27th 2013, that, 'Once the Soviet Union made it clear they weren't going to the Moon, the US stopped going too.'

Now the Chinese are going to do what the Americans have given up on and they're going to do it 2017 or a couple of years later. I happily predict (if I'm wrong, come see me in 2020 & I'll give you a dollar) that this will, finally, fire up the American Private Sector (possibly NASA too) to get serious about getting us into space.

Heading out into space? No rush. What? THEY'RE going to get there FIRST? We can't let THEM get there first! Start building dicks!

Er, rockets, I meant rockets - Freudian slip...

Oh, and...

Kudos China!

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NASA: Full details on our manned ASTEROID SNATCH mission

Kharkov
Facepalm

Re: Powerpoint mission...

Finding out more about the solar system? Sounds great. Spending 1.6 billion dollars to do it if that's the ONLY way to do it? Fine by me.

But...

Falcon Heavy, soon to enter service, 53 tonnes of payload, maximum cost of 128 million dollars.Throw 1.6 billion dollars at it and you've got FIVE HUNDRED AND THIRTY tonnes of payload in LEO. And 300 billion dollars in change (hire a few teachers or something). {Activate face/desk interaction routine}

Can the world please stop wasting time looking at never-going-to-happen missions and do something productive like...

"Today in the news, THREE asteroid missions were launched, for less than 400 million dollars, The US Defence budget was reduced to TEN PERCENT of last year's budget and it STILL spent more on Defence than China. The top five percent of the American population, owning between 50-60% of America's wealth, paid 50-60% of this years taxes..."

Hang on, I just slipped into fantasy, didn't I? They WILL waste money, they will spend just under half the world's defence budget on US defence and the rich aren't going to be paying any taxes...

It's my turn to cry under the table now...

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Kharkov
FAIL

Powerpoint mission...

Erm, aren't we forgetting? 1.6 BILLION dollars to launch ONE SLS (not counting the service module, which is European, or the Orion capsule or any other bits of hardware) and yes, I'm also not counting the development costs (18 BILLION dollars from FY 2012 to the end of FY 2017 and probably another 2 BILLION dollars in development costs a year thereafter)...

EQUALS...

A really, really, really, RE-EAH-LEE expensive mission to... look at a rock and bring back, at most, a couple of hundred kilograms.

Sign me up now for the 'Told you so' gathering when this falls through.

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US Navy coughs $34.5m for hyper-kill railgun that DOESN'T self-destruct

Kharkov
Flame

Hmm, probably not in the next 10 to 20 years.

Power generation - can enough juice be generated?

Heat dissipation - melting important bits of your satellite weapon would be embarrassing.

Political Reaction - the rest of the world (Russia, China and these days, the EU) would be super p*ssed...

Hang on, the US has a long-standing tradition of not caring much about that stuff so yeah, they'll probably do it...

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Kharkov
Facepalm

Re: Excellent - it's BAE

Ha! Shows what you know.

When it doesn't work, we'll build it anyway and install it everywhere!

Otherwise the terrorists win, or something...

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Confidence in US Congress sinks to lowest level ever recorded

Kharkov
Facepalm

This is a little misleading...

Congress is very distrusted, true, but I'm sure that most of the respondents have a reasonable level of confidence in their own representative.

It looks like most voters in the U.S. just vote for their own party's guy without much critical thought and take it as read that the OTHER guy would sell the country out to Arab countries/corporations (delete as applicable) but never, never actually look at what their own guy says/does/writes/tweets/etc...

Knee-jerk reaction, guaranteed to get jerks...

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NASA: Trip to Mars would exceed 'fatal cancer' radiation risk

Kharkov
Headmaster

Re: SLS is just a different thing...

Oh, be fair now, Beachrider...

Falcon Heavy DOES use all its fuel on the way up to LEO. Stages one and two are used up (although there's some interesting work being done to get at least stage one back...) and it's only whatever is above stage two that's in the cold of space for any length of time.

It's the same for SLS. Whatever is launched atop SLS, assuming it makes it all the way to its first flight, will be the same. The fact that SLS has liquid hydrogen/oxygen means nothing here. The J-2X, the Earth-Departure Stage, can just as easily be mounted atop a Falcon Heavy.

In the end, the unit cost for SLS (1.6 billion, possibly dropping to 500 million dollars) as opposed to the very low unit cost for Falcon Heavy (125 million as a max figure, and 80 million as a minimum figure) is what will, I believe, kill SLS.

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Chinese 'nauts prep for next coupling in Heaven, clear way for new station

Kharkov
Thumb Up

Kudos to China!

First, well done to China! Getting a rocket away is difficult and hats should always be lifted when it happens. Technically, the rocket hasn't launched yet but I like to be ahead of the curve, should anything happen then I'll say later that I was being sarcastic.

There is a mystery though. Tiangong-2 is due to launch later this year, all 20,000kg of it. What I've heard seems to be that they're planning to use a regular LM-2F/G with extra strap-ons to get it up there. Anyone got any hard info on that?

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