Search found 498 matches

by CaptainBeowulf
Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:01 am
Forum: General
Topic: So how much things are "improving" in the muslim w
Replies: 218
Views: 34211

"The trouble is you can only destroy Mecca once." I tend to agree with MSimon. Destroy it and you have a heck of a lot of people with nothing to lose. So: 1. Their belief system might shatter, and anarchy and a power vacuum from North Africa to central Asia and Indonesia will ensue. You'll find your...
by CaptainBeowulf
Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:35 pm
Forum: News
Topic: Laser fusion test results raise energy hopes
Replies: 17
Views: 5282

I'm pleased with stuff that's great for science fight now. Hopefully Polywell will work as currently intended, but if it doesn't, the situation is: 1. Understand plasmas better 2. Engineer a fusion reactor based on that understanding of plasmas Even if Polywell doesn't work, hopefully it will contri...
by CaptainBeowulf
Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:28 pm
Forum: News
Topic: New Nasa Spaceflight On pB11
Replies: 35
Views: 7772

Hormones and the limbic system are one of the more difficult parts... without those, you would potentially be completely emotionless. Things like curiosity and desire to explore are as much emotions as anything... so you would have to find a way to emulate hormones in software if you didn't want to ...
by CaptainBeowulf
Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:35 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Novels you have re-read several times
Replies: 43
Views: 7990

Stephen King - Dark Tower/Gunslinger series Larry Niven - Ringworld series Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game Asimov - Foundation Trilogy Heinlein - Starship Troopers Walter Miller - Canticle for Liebowitz And, when I'm in the right mood, I like to reread bits and pieces of John Ringo's Posleen war ser...
by CaptainBeowulf
Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:16 am
Forum: General
Topic: ACTA - Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
Replies: 11
Views: 1334

Why am I not surprised? :lol: IMO copyright is necessary to give people/corporations a profit motive. Copyright carried too far stifles innovation. Being able to sue someone who makes a knock-off of your product and starts selling it for a profit = good. Someone buying your movie/software etc. and s...
by CaptainBeowulf
Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:10 am
Forum: General
Topic: Forget The Moon - Climate Change
Replies: 17
Views: 4099

Yup, sounds like more doomsaying by stick fans. Good riddance to the stick. In theory I have no problem with earth science satellites. These are not huge money-gobblers... and, hopefully they will give us solid data on temperature for once (depending on what they're set up to look for). With all the...
by CaptainBeowulf
Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:56 am
Forum: General
Topic: White House Decides to Outsource NASA Work
Replies: 90
Views: 10349

Also, relating to SpaceX, there's not one very good site, but if you google around a bit you find: 1. Merlin-2 was originally conceived as a heavy lift engine, a follow on from the current Merlin engine SpaceX uses. 2. Some later announcements suggested that Merlin-2 will be an improved Merlin; most...
by CaptainBeowulf
Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:46 am
Forum: General
Topic: ACTA - Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
Replies: 11
Views: 1334

I am a big advocate of beefed up "fair use" provisions and a heavily curtailed DCMA. Capitalism works in part by giving the consumer choice and a fair bit of control over what s/he buys and uses. Legal over-protection of corporations leads to oligopolies, not a free market. Also, I think there are m...
by CaptainBeowulf
Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:34 am
Forum: General
Topic: White House Decides to Outsource NASA Work
Replies: 90
Views: 10349

Shuttle derived heavy launch does support a non-stunt program if you use Zubrin's Mars Direct model. You use a Jupiter/Ares to send some modules to Mars. They auto-land around the same place on the surface, setting up a base. One includes a nuclear reactor, presumably fission at this point, but hope...
by CaptainBeowulf
Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:33 pm
Forum: General
Topic: White House Decides to Outsource NASA Work
Replies: 90
Views: 10349

I'd say that when carbon nanotube composites can be manufactured on a large scale, we could probably just dust off the X-33 Venturestar plans and make the oddly shaped tanks out of those. The early 90s NASP plans would likely also work. But we can't be sure how quickly carbon nanotubes will mature. ...
by CaptainBeowulf
Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:03 pm
Forum: General
Topic: White House Decides to Outsource NASA Work
Replies: 90
Views: 10349

Also, I agree that an in-space spaceship factory is the way to go. My approach would be: 1. 20 to 30 HLV launches to assemble a factory in space, and some "space tugs" to get asteroids with the materials you need and drag them back to the factory. About 2400 to 3600 tons should cover that. 2. You gr...
by CaptainBeowulf
Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:48 pm
Forum: General
Topic: White House Decides to Outsource NASA Work
Replies: 90
Views: 10349

I think something like a theoretical SpaceX HLV will come on the scene if the private companies are successful at medium lift. However, they need a decade or two building experience, refining technology, and making profits at medium lift. We need heavy lift in the meantime. Getting NASA out of mediu...
by CaptainBeowulf
Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:44 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Josh Cryer On Polywell At DU
Replies: 32
Views: 3506

Defeatism

You know, I agree with the comments about loss of the dream. What happened to the attitude of "We will put a man on the moon in ten years"? If these people had been around in 1940, they would have declared the Manhattan project impossible, the Axis lead in military build-up to be too great to catch ...
by CaptainBeowulf
Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:56 pm
Forum: General
Topic: White House Decides to Outsource NASA Work
Replies: 90
Views: 10349

Yeah, I agree with 93143, nothing's really changed here. Ares I was a waste of resources from the start. Why replicate a capability you have with EELVs? And, of course, Falcon 9 is looking more and more likely to work. The article itself says that NASA's budget is staying at $18b+ for the time being...
by CaptainBeowulf
Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:28 pm
Forum: General
Topic: Project Orion battleship
Replies: 17
Views: 4792

If I was going to use a nuclear propulsion system in Earth's atmosphere, I'd go with a spaceplane powered by a NERVA style reactor. Significantly less fallout than ground-launching an Orion. Orion is kinda cool for deep space travel. Some derivative of VASIMR will probably be sufficient within the i...