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Sergey: In Soviet Russia, Rocket Detonates You!

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the alternative-history dept.

Google 146

theodp writes "'We were all foolish enough to go on this adventure,' Google co-founder Sergey Brin told the assembled Brainiacs at Google's Solve for X event last week, recalling the time he and Google co-founder Larry Page took their Gulfstream on a $100K journey to watch a 2008 Soyuz launch in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. 'If the rocket blows up, we're all dead,' Sergey overheard a Russian guard say. 'It was incredibly close,' Sergey continued. 'We drove in toward this rocket and there were hundreds of people all going the other way. It was really an astonishing sight. If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend it. It's really not at all comparable to the American launches that I've seen...because those are like five miles away behind a mountain, and the Russians are not as concerned with safety.' Sergey received film credit for the recently-opened Man on a Mission, a documentary on the Russian Soyuz mission that wound up putting Ultima creator Richard Garriott into orbit (for $30 million) instead of changing the course of Google history."

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007445)

And time for the first Soviet Russia joke.

In Soviet Russia, First Post Gets You (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007449)

frost

Greenhouse gas emissions (0, Offtopic)

ugen (93902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007461)

Am I the only one whose first thought after reading the summary was - "man, that's a ton of greenhouse gas emissions and wasted fossil fuel for a joyride"?

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007577)

I'm going to go with yes, Mr. Emissions Police.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007599)

go hug a tree hippie.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007607)

totally negligible compared to fossil consumed each day, doesn't matter one bit

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008219)

That's what 1 billion other people say, too.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008403)

That's what 1 billion other people say, too.

A billion other people don't actually have the money to fly a private jet anywhere.

And if you try to do something that would cause those billion other people to reduce their oil consumption, like raising the gas tax, they start a lynch mob and accuse you of not caring about poor people and destroying the economy.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008761)

It all depends on how worried you are about anthropogenic CO2 in the environment. If you are very worried, then space tourism is a *bad* thing, because it releases a lot of CO2, and the more people do it, the more it releases.

If you are not worried about anthropogenic CO2, then increasing the gas tax to stop the increase is a really dumb thing, because it would hurt the economy and poor people for no good reason.

Premises determine conclusions.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009045)

the billion others weren't making notable scientific accomplishments

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009235)

If it's a joyride, it's not a notable scientific accomplishment.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009311)

So what are you doing right now, besides burning electricity?

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (3, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009425)

Ha! Thought you had me, did you? Because you think I'm just sitting on my computer, which burns CO2 for electricity, wasting my time on slashdot. Well I'm also exhaling! So take that!

How to fulfill the prophecy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009527)

JCPM: i told your many times that the prophecy can reject mortally these "evil missions" for the prophetic accomplishment.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007609)

Yes, you are.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (4, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007681)

Yes. My immediate thought was on the "...the Russians are not as concerned with safety." comment. After 80 years of Stalinism I think I get that.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (5, Informative)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007973)

Get your facts straight. USSR has existed for 73 years and despite many people think otherwise, Stalin died in 1953 and Stalinism died with him, thanks to Khrushchev.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008057)

When it was promptly renamed "Khrushchevism".

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (3, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009149)

Actually if you read your history, and not just the American propaganda spins on history, then you'd know that for most of his tenure Khrushchev was trying to open things up and be more liberal, with artists and commerce being allowed much more freedom for the majority of his rule, which is why he ended up getting run out on a rail in favor of Brezhnev who was more a classical Soviet style communist which was much more what the old party heads wanted. Of course what followed was a long period of stagnation that was later named the Brezhnev stagnation which lasted for the most part all the way up to the fall of the wall.

As for TFA it just shows that money can't buy common sense or as we say in the south "Give a billion to white trash and all you get is white trash with a lot of money" or if this case give a ton of money to a dufus and you get a dufus with the money to do really dumb ubernerd things.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008303)

And in 1964, that fave of all Russki TV shows came on, "Leave it to Brezhnev" followed immidiately by "Bowling for Food".

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008537)

"Leave it to Brezhnev"

I like the 4-episode series where he accidentally gets his eyebrows burned off.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009037)

really? I liked the later story arc where he get liquored up and goes into the tat parlor and gets the map of the USA tatooed on his forehead. then bribes his mother to say it was "birthmark" . pure genius for the writers

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009407)

you have not seen this guy's unibrow, it was burning for the first two episodes.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39008755)

Whoa, wait, it HAS existed for 73 years? I may be wrong but doesn't this imply it still exists? Yikes...

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1, Troll)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008841)

Get your facts straight. USSR has existed for 73 years and despite many people think otherwise, Stalin died in 1953 and Stalinism died with him, thanks to Khrushchev.

If you're telling me that after the rule of Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, Putin, Medvedev, and maybe Putin again... that the spirit of autocracy died with Stalin, I suggest you open your eyes. Look at the history of Russia: long periods of harsh rule interspaced with brief periods of liberalization, only to be replaced soon with autocracy again.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

i (8254) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008963)

You obviously have no idea of what the Stalin era was about. The bibliography of Yezhov tells a lot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Yezhov [wikipedia.org]

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008849)

Yes. My immediate thought was on the "...the Russians are not as concerned with safety."

But by all means, we should entrust manned launches to them.

We really, really need to further accelerate devlopment of the Delta Heavy and Atlas Heavy families of rockets, and get them man rated. Stat.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009783)

Is the Atlas Heavy still going to use russian rocket engines as the Atlas V and Atlas III do?

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007691)

not if it leads to those with a lot of money to invest more in lift systems, and get us off this planet, so we have no need to rape it anymore. or to discover a new propulsion system as a side effect of the research that can change transportation, something that doesn't pollute the atmosphere or politically destabilize portions of the world

it's ok to have a conscience. it's not ok to have no imagination

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007825)

Ok, fine. Just use hydrazine - not turning into any greenhouse gases and merely being poisonous for everyone handling the stuff. Combined with the joys of red fuming nitric acid, you can be sure to save the planet that way. Or how about using solid propellants, spraying the environment with Chlorine and hydrochloric acid?

Seriously, the annual oil production of Germany (about 3mio tons and perfectly insignificant in the grant scheme of things) would be enough to put as much stuff into orbit as people put there since 1957 several times over. Kerosine is among the most environmentally friendly rocket fuels out there - especially since hydrogen is usually (~95%) made by simply turning the carbon in methane molecules into CO2, closing your eyes and pretending that the hydrogen that's left is a clean fuel.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (3, Informative)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008447)

The cleanest rocket fuel is liquid hydrogen with liquid oxygen as the 'oxydizer'. The reason they use hydrazine is, l-hyd isn't that easy to handle. Fact is, it's a real pain in the ass. You have to store it in a Thermos tank, vented for the boiloff. You can't hope to store it for more than a few hours in a 'fuel tank' on a rocket. Hydrazine can be handled in ambient room temperature, it's already liquid. Saves weight as well on the tankage, you only have to insulate the liquid oxygen. And let's not even go into the problems of cryogenically frozen pump components when dealing with pumping l-hyd. Lox is bad enough, but l-hyd is liquid at -253C thereabouts, almost absolute zero. Materials do strange things at that temperature range...

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (5, Interesting)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008605)

The cleanest rocket fuel is liquid hydrogen with liquid oxygen as the 'oxydizer'.

And where does that hydrogen comes from? Magic elves?

No, as the post you utterly failed to understand already said, it comes from turning Methane into H2 and CO2. Or turning Coal into electricity and then using that to split water. Not very environmentally friendly at all.

Simply moving the pollution from one place to another is not being more environmentally friendly, it's called being short sighted.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009327)

Simply moving the pollution from one place to another is not being more environmentally friendly, it's called being short sighted.

So I'm assuming you're a big fan of compact fluorescent bulbs.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009541)

Since they reduce overall pollution, yes I am.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

ugen (93902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009339)

Funny, I meant the private jet ride to view the launch :) But the actual launch will do too :)

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (3, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007989)

The idea that we can either (a) move off of earth, or (b) economically harvest resources from space using anything like our current technology is almost more fantasy than science fiction at this point. Look at the basic structure of that Soyuz rocket: it's a huge metal cylinder, packed full of propellant, with a tiny capsule on the end. To get that capsule just to low Earth orbit (let alone to another planetary body), you are throwing away all that fuel and metal, not to mention all the resources and energy needed to build and launch each rocket.

And this is unlikely to change, because rockets are a mature technology, like ships and aircraft. Ships haven't gotten all that much faster over the years; modern container ships are only about twice as fast as the last clipper ships, not ten or a hundred or a thousand times as fast. Similarly, a modern commercial airliner isn't radically faster than the first jetliners that flew in the late 1940s, maximum cruise speed of a 777 is about 600 mph, versus around 500 for the first jetliners. And rockets are the same way: the economics of rockets haven't changed radically since WWII when von Braun was lobbing V2s at London. Back then you were throwing away a lot of fuel and metal to launch a small payload, almost 70 years later we're still doing the same, just with bigger rockets. In short, a mature technology. It was extraordinarily expensive to launch stuff on a rocket 70 years ago, and it's still extraordinarily expensive, which suggests it will be extraordinarily expensive 70 years from now. To make space colonization or resource extraction practical, you'd need to increase the efficiency of space travel by multiple orders of magnitude. That's probably impossible with anything that remotely resembles existing rockets; instead if humans ever leave the planet it will require some completely new kind of technology.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (-1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008087)

In 1912, the idea that more people would transport the globe in flying machines than in railroad trains and cruise ships would be laughed at and dismissed with the same words you just wrote.

Show some imagination and faith in mankind's scientific progress or shut the fuck up.

I have no problem with intelligent criticism. I have every problem with cheap easy pessimism. You are a dim useless bulb.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (4, Insightful)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008263)

And the fact that you have to retort with personal attacks means that you don't really have a good answer to the argument, so you're resorting to shooting the messenger because you don't like the message.

The aircraft analogy doesn't work. 100 years ago, the idea that high volume air travel was possible wouldn't be that fantastic given what was happening in 1912. The airplane had gone from a short flight of 120 feet at Kitty Hawk in 1903 to the French flying across the English Channel in 1909, a span of only 7 years. And look at what was happening in 1912 according to Wikipedia: you had the founding of major aircraft corporations like Sopwith and Fokker, seaplanes, carrier tests conducted by the U.S. Navy, the first use of aircraft as bombers. On the engineering end of things, they had gone from the Wright Brother's first use of the wind tunnel to the development of Prandtl's lifting-line theory and theories of supersonic flow. In short, in 1912, aircraft were nowhere near a mature technology. Over the past 50 years, however, the pace of change has slowed dramatically. Rockets show the same pattern: an initial rapid rate of change in the technology's capabilities and efficiency, followed by a longer period of much slower change as the technology runs up against basic limits imposed by materials and physics.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (-1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008307)

1902 then

happy now asshole?

and i am shooting the messenger. as the message is pathetic

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

siride (974284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008413)

Maybe you've forgotten that we've had space technology for 60 some years and none of the amazing things you want us to believe in have come to pass and they've only become more distant the more we've learned about technology and space. The message is not pathetic; you're just an idiot.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008441)

i'm sorry to inform you that the pessimism and negativity that define your life does not define mine. nor will it define simple human progress. but your words do have the effect of summarizing why your own life will be irrelevant

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009269)

this is probably the most pathetic comment i've seen today. have fun with your fairy tales, kid, but leave the engineering to the adults.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2, Insightful)

siride (974284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008299)

Dude, it isn't cheap easy pessimism. Travelling around the planet, like we've done for thousands of years, but faster isn't nearly as big a deal as going into space, where everything is hostile to human life and there is no deserted jungle island out there that you can survive on if your plane crashes. The problems of space travel are considerably larger than anything we've faced before and will take considerably more resources and a concerted, well-thought out planning step. We can't just throw some men on a boat and have them survive when they arrive and along the way. We have to plan every detail, plan for every conceivable error and failure step and build very precise machinery using the best technology of the day. Sure, we can do it, but it'll be extremely expensive, very dangerous and unlikely to yield anything more useful than bragging rights.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008323)

welcome to the internet

pessimism is cheap and easy, and all around

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

siride (974284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008379)

There was no cheap pessimism before the internet, right? Nothing but unbridled optimism and credulousness, right? Get off it. You're no better than the people you're complaining about.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (-1, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008419)

no there was always pessimism. the internet just makes shit that would go unspoken by useless people more often unheard

and i am better than people whose lives are nothing but pessimism, negativity, and denying progress in the world

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39008579)

Yeah, you're just a barrel of positive. Can we hug?

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008835)

consider what i am responding to

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009845)

We can't just throw some men on a boat and have them survive when they arrive and along the way. We have to plan every detail, plan for every conceivable error and failure step and build very precise machinery using the best technology of the day. Sure, we can do it, but it'll be extremely expensive, very dangerous and unlikely to yield anything more useful than bragging rights.

Funny, everything after your first sentence describes early trans-oceanic seafaring exactly.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (5, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008737)

Ships haven't gotten all that much faster over the years; modern container ships are only about twice as fast as the last clipper ships, not ten or a hundred or a thousand times as fast.

That's only because nobody cares about making them faster. They already run them slower [bloomberg.com] than their maximum speed intentionally because the primary design consideration for container ships is efficiency, not speed. And if you look at the amount of freight transported per ship and per crew member compared to a clipper ship, I suspect it is in the range of ten to a hundred times more.

But let's assume you're right:

rockets are a mature technology, like ships and aircraft.

OK, so don't use rockets. I keep hearing about this magic carbon nanotube space elevator that we'll have Real Soon Now.

Even if you want to assume that never happens, let's consider another alternative: You pick a proverbial "asteroid the size of Texas" out of the many floating around out there. Find one in the habitable zone. Then you send a team there with some industrial equipment, not to mine the asteroid and bring it home, but to mine it and use the raw materials to construct a large compartmentalized living environment. Start off by building a few dozen acres of greenhouse, and fill it with plants so that you have food and oxygen recycling. Then proceed to build yourself a little home away from home -- but in a place that has lower gravity, so that you can build yourself a space elevator. Create yourself a city in space with a population of a few thousand people.

That gives you a foothold. You create an industrial city that can export its products to the universe without burning ten thousand gallons of fuel fighting gravity. Then you can branch out. Colonize and mine more asteroids and small planets. Once you have a large enough industrial capacity in low gravity areas, you can build yourself a city-to-go and just land the entire thing piecemeal on a suitable planet. Next thing you know you've got a million people living on Mars and several expeditions on their way to colonizing habitable planets in other planetary systems.

I'm not saying what I've just laid out would definitely work. Maybe, maybe not. What I'm saying is that we haven't yet exhausted all the possible alternatives, so giving up now is nothing but defeatism.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009679)

yeah! you tard. Just you wait till we have warp drive then you'll be skiing behind that container ship.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (-1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008231)

You're deluded but I won't get into that, your logic fucking stinks, too.

Let's compare earth to a woman, just so it's easier to understand. What you're basically saying is that as long as we are only seeing this women, we have "a need to rape her". And that the solution is that we take all the resources we raped ouf of her to go and see MOAR women.

What you are suggesting is spilling a virus over the galaxy. You are not suggesting to stop being a virus. And it's totally okay to have a nerdgasm in front of "brainiacs" (is that something about giving head? where is the smart? it must refer to squishy sloppyness no doubt), but it's not okay to tell slashdot about it. (not that I'm holding my breath for that to change, just matching your bullshit condescension... you don't have imagination, you just lost the fucking plot that's all)

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

siride (974284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008423)

Ugh, another human hater. We aren't doing anything different than other life forms on this planet. Unless you think life itself is a virus, then you don't have a point.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009255)

pah, what a weak strawman. so what was the person I was replying to meaning when they were talking about us raping the planet? how come I "don't have a point", yet you feel the need to refute it with your strawman, not addressing anything I said directly, at all? figures, huh?

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

siride (974284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009361)

Yeah, I see, I was supposed to respond to the GP. Well, pretend that's what I did and maybe you'll feel better.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009333)

Yow. It will be interesting to keep an eye on CNN, to see what the police eventually drag out of your basement.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007749)

Yeah because they are all going up on several thousand tons of diesel fuel. Or its liquid oxygen set on fire (like most rockets of this type)... Creating mostly water. Which is a greenhouse gas but not as much as co2 or methane.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008085)

Water vapor is the larges greenhouse gas going, in effect and in amount. It literally dwarfs methane and CO2.

Without water vapor, we'd all freeze to death.
--
BMO

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

siride (974284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008433)

Water vapor has different properties, namely that its cycle is a lot shorter and is affected by day to day weather, allowing it to be modulated by shorter term phenomena as well as CO2 and methane. Creating some water out the back of a spaceship is inconsequential, since it will simply rain back out in short order. CO2 doesn't have that property.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008865)

That wasn't the point of my post. The parent declared that Water Vapor isn't as much of a greenhouse gas, when the opposite is true.

Which is a greenhouse gas but not as much as co2 or methane.

Water vapor is as much as 72 percent of greenhouse according to Wikipedia.


Gas Formula Contribution (%)
Water vapor H2O 36 - 72 %
Carbon dioxide CO2 9 - 26 %
Methane CH4 4 - 9 %
Ozone O3 3 - 7 %

Yes, water vapor has a 9 day cycle, but there is so much of it, that CO2, methane, and Ozone are dwarfed in comparison, which the above chart shows.

And honestly, anyone who has lived out in the desert and then lived out on the humid coast, will tell you that the atmosphere holds a lot more heat at night when it's humid, as opposed to heat radiating directly into space over a dry desert.

--
BMO

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007753)

Actually, it's more like a hundred tons of CO2, or just a bit more than a fully fuelled Gulfstream 650. (Per passenger.)

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007779)

Get over yourself ass bag, take your smug self and turn your stupid prius around and go away. This one plane flight aint nothing compared to the 1000's that happen everyday all over the world. I bet you think "global warming" is caused by humans. Mankind accounts for less than 2% of greenhouse gases. Look it up all the cars running dont even equal 1 volcano eruption. Like they said in South Park, "you need to open a science book because you sound like a f**king retard".

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007811)

Am I the only one whose first thought after reading the summary was - "man, that's a ton of greenhouse gas emissions and wasted fossil fuel for a joyride"?

Yes, but the mileage is unbeatable!

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

djlowe (41723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007829)

Am I the only one whose first thought after reading the summary was - "man, that's a ton of greenhouse gas emissions and wasted fossil fuel for a joyride"?

Well, speaking only for myself, my first thought was "Wow, I wish I could drop $100K on a whim."

Regards,

dj

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008003)

Well, speaking only for myself, my first thought was "Wow, I wish I could drop $100K on a whim."

Well, start the next Google and you, too, can do that.

Personally, I'm not exactly concerned about the environmental impact caused by the number of people who can afford to burn $100,000 worth of fuel per day. Notice that the grandparent poster doesn't mention the much worse effects of a billion not-so-Red Chinese who will soon be driving their own cars and SUVs. That's because it wouldn't give him the same eco-hipster "Occupy Earth" street cred as he could get by directing an equivalent amount of criticism at a couple of rich dudes riding around in a Gulfstream.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007877)

Eh, rockets don't burn fossil fuels..

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (2, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008157)

The F-1 burned 3,945 pounds (1,789 kg) of liquid oxygen and 1,738 pounds (788 kg) of RP-1 each second, generating 1,500,000 pounds-force (6.7 MN) of thrust

What's RP-1?

RP-1 (alternately, Rocket Propellant-1 or Refined Petroleum-1) is a highly refined form of kerosene outwardly similar to jet fuel, used as a rocket fuel. Although having a lower specific impulse than liquid hydrogen (LH2), RP-1 is cheaper, can be stored at room temperature, is far less of an explosive hazard and is far denser. By volume, RP-1 is significantly more powerful than LH2 and LOX/RP-1 has a much better Isp-density than LOX/LH2. RP-1 also has a fraction of the toxicity and carcinogenic hazards of hydrazine, another room-temperature liquid fuel. Thus, kerosene fuels are more practical for many uses.

Now shut your pie-hole

--
BMO

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007895)

Yeah, you probably aren't alone.

But of course, there were also people saying, "They can't fly to Russia from California because the world is FLAT!"

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007923)

Pretty much. You'll get over it.

Re:Greenhouse gas emissions (1)

sula9876 (1194819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008729)

Am I the only one whose first thought after reading the summary was - "man, that's a ton of greenhouse gas emissions and wasted fossil fuel for a joyride"?

Yep, pretty mutch the only one, everyone else knows that CO2 has no or a very marginal effect on global temperature and that fossilfuels will be replaced with syntetic fuels made from nuclearpower soon. it is not at matter of technology, only a matter of economy.

In soviet Russia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007539)

Yes! Finally the slashdot meme is back!

Re:In soviet Russia (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007561)

in soviet slashdot , first post gets you

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007553)

Rocket pursues search engine and produces thousands of pieces!

Not Necessarily Dead (5, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007595)

In 1983, a Soyuz rocket exploded on the launch pad. The crew was lifted to safety by the launch escape system, and there don't seem to be reports about any casualties on the ground due to this this incident.

Re:Not Necessarily Dead (3, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007821)

Well, not all casualties had to be reported in 1983 in USSR, after all, when Chernobyl blew up they covered it up for days and days, people came out to the 1st of May parade (International labour day was always celebrated with big parades then), nobody stopped them coming out even in the surrounding cities and it was very dangerous for people in Kiev for example because of the wind pattern.

However Brin says they came too close to the rocket, and people don't have to be that close during launch, there is always a command bunker near the launch site.

Re:Not Necessarily Dead (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007925)

I added up all the fuel weight, less than 400 tons. You could be quite close to that exploding, really, less than 500 m and survive. That's far different than the 2500 tons of fuel in say a Saturn V, or the 800 tons of all space shuttle engines

Re:Not Necessarily Dead (2)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009585)

In 1983, a Soyuz rocket exploded on the launch pad. The crew was lifted to safety by the launch escape system, and there don't seem to be reports about any casualties on the ground due to this this incident.

In 1960 R-16 exploded on the launch pad. Chief designer and 78-150 spectators/staff killed. There don't seem to be official reports about any casualties on the ground until 1989.

Re:Not Necessarily Dead (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009693)

Luckily, Sergey Brin didn't report that contrary to protocol, he was forced by Soviet commanders to attempt hasty launch pad repairs on the upper stages a rocket while it was still fully fueled with volatile hypergolic propellants.

Even luckier, more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, his secret potential demise hasn't become one of the most widely known no-longer-secret episodes in the history of the cold war.

I'm sure it was awe inspiring, but... (4, Interesting)

fauxhemian (1281852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007619)

you wouldnt find me close to a rocket launch

Here's a compilation of videos from a failed Soyuz launch - it got up off the launch pad and then came right back down, very close to the spectators. One person died.

Foton M-1 launch failure [youtube.com]

If you hadnt guessed, the video contains lots of expletives.

Wow! That's what Sergey's talking about! (1)

theodp (442580) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007857)

Amazing how quickly the exhiliration @3:30 [youtube.com] gives way to fear and panic @4:15 [youtube.com] !

I'm just glad the summary mentioned the plane. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007655)

Who gives a crap how two billionaires got there, and how much it cost? What does that add to this story?

Re:I'm just glad the summary mentioned the plane. (2)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008253)

what story? the whole thing is pointless.

If the rocket blows up, we're all dead (2)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007673)

'If the rocket blows up, we're all dead,' Sergey overheard a Russian guard say.

A fellow guard responded, "Yeah, if it doesn't fall down on us, Putin will. Reality that doesn't agree with his propaganda of sending rockets to Proxima Centauri and winning 99% of the vote for it? Gulagistan for the both of us!" The guard recounted his story on condition of anonymity to avoid the ex-KGBer's customary punishment of death by judo.

America to the Rescue (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007705)

What the Soviet ruskies desperately need is more lawyers. Let's ship them at least half of ours, pronto!

Safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39007769)

...and the Russians are not as concerned with safety.'

Vodka? Or they're just tougher than we are?

Or maybe the Russians are wise enough to realize that life itself is inherently risky and when you're doing exceptional things, you have to more risk.

Many times I think we Americans have become a bunch of pansies who are too afraid to do anything worthwhile because we're either afraid of getting hurt, killed or worst of all sued.

err (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007831)

5 miles away behind a mountain? Maybe from the causeway. I guess the Google guys aren't important like me(haha!). I've been to one on the VIP platform. It's about 3 miles away, and has a great view of the launch unobscured by smoke(unlike the causeway). Seriously, though, I don't see how 2 of the most successful men in the US couldn't see a launch from the VIP platform unless they didn't even try to see a launch in the first place.

Re:err (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008583)

I am lucky enough to work at KSC and I've seen the last couple dozen launches from the VAB parking lot which is 3 miles away. One thing to remember is that the Soyuz puts out about 800,000 lbf of thrust at liftoff. The Shuttle puts out close to 7 million lbf of thrust. So you need to be a bit further away. It's still so loud that you can feel loose clothing shake on your body and triggers all aftermarket alarm systems in the parking lot.

Re:err (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009873)

5 miles, 3 miles, does it matter? It's both very far away from the rocket. BTW: Could be conversion / translation error. 5km is pretty close to 3mi.

Baikonur Cosmodrome was always chaotic. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007847)

That place was known to be very chaotic, with very little supervision about secured area. All top brass move with impunity everywhere and they always have a sidekick or two in tow. There was some apocryphal story about the food meant to be shipped to the IST was pilfered in the Baikonur cosmodrome.

hahahaahah (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008065)

All top brass move with impunity everywhere and they always have a sidekick or two in tow

you seem to be speaking from experience.

Sounds like a lot of privileged corndogging (1)

Gimbal (2474818) | more than 2 years ago | (#39007985)

I'm not impressed, sorry. If they would've applied that $30 mil as an investment in the development of privatized human spaceflight - considering the number of highly skilled jobs that must naturally result from such efforts - then I might be impressed. Monied showoffs, on the other hand - not impressive, really not impressive.

36 mil on a hanger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009049)

"If they would've applied that $30 mil as an investment in the development of privatized human spaceflight"

They'd rather spend 36 million to have Hangar 1 at Moffett Field recovered to store their private jets in.
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/south_bay&id=8461995 [go.com]

Sounds like a Pack of lies to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39008351)

I don't believe a word these two clowns say anymore.

Slashdot goes reality (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39008455)

And rich men spending their money on junkets and toys is news how Slashdot? What's next, keeping up the Kardashians?

Mountains in Florida (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39008889)

"...It's really not at all comparable to the American launches that I've seen...because those are like five miles away behind a mountain..."

That's odd. I've lived in Florida and driven past the NASA launch facilities there. I don't remember seeing any mountains. I believe the highest point in the state is a little over 200 feet.

Re:Mountains in Florida (1)

baegucb (18706) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009749)

"Larry Page and Sergey Brin were on hand to watch the rocket lift off at Vandenberg Air Force Base."

NASA launches can be like this (2)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009067)

(or will be when they get back into the heavy lifting business.)

Get a press pass to a NASA launch. You're close enough that the temperature in the room almost immediately goes up by 20 degrees. Fortunately you're in a reinforced bunker.

these (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39009163)

fuckers all deserve to die

This is really rude but.... (0)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 2 years ago | (#39009181)

I'm all for rich people taking the risk of going to space. For the most part, they are narcissists. And the world could use less of them. This is likely one chance to lead these freaks of nature to the slaughter house and they will go willingly. Sure, most of them won't blow up, but the chances are much higher than the coddled security and body guarded life styles that they lead. Bad luck!
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