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SpaceX's Falcon 9 Successfully Reaches Orbit

Nebulious Re:More info and video (282 comments)

SLS is joke. It's a rocket designed by congress. The design is intended to keep as many existing Space Shuttle Factories open as possible. The new components it does need get their contracts delivered right to the usual industry giants on a silver platter.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Santorum's "Google Problem" a Google Problem?

Nebulious Santorum's problem is a Santorum problem (775 comments)

Santorum wouldn't be in this situation if he hadn't pissed off the online community. His hateful, provincial views are completely at odds with most of the younger generations who are able to freely spread ideas and news about villains like him. Santorum caught on as slang to publicly shame this man. As most here know, Savage had his contest to fit a proper insult to the guy. He deserves no sympathy and should realize how rational the hatred and criticisms of him are. The Google results are purely symptomatic. Conservatives in America should realize how viscous people outside of their base are growing to their views outside and stop making excuses.

more than 2 years ago
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Congressmen Worried About Amazon Silk Privacy Issues

Nebulious The Real Issue Here (148 comments)

Let's not forget that Joe Barton is perhaps the dumbest and most openly corrupt person in congress today. Yes, that is saying a lot too. This is the man who thought he stumped Energy Secretary Stephen Chu with the question "Where does oil come from?" This is the guy who apologized to BP for Obama making them pay New Horizon reparations in the Gulf Coast. Joe Barton represents everything wrong with modern American politics and he does it with a holier-than-thou attitude.

What I'm saying is if Joe Barton went on TV and said the sky was blue, I'd go out and see if it had changed to green.

more than 2 years ago
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Evaluating the Capabilities of Chip-Sized Spacecraft

Nebulious Re:too small - space gravel (96 comments)

The air force is capable of tracking things as small as 1 cm2, which is the size of these chips. Furthermore, you track and avoid them like everything else in orbit. Their orbital information is added to the huge databases that allow mission planners to use a safe trajectory. Proposed ChipSat missions like this are meant to act as an array that follows a common orbit. As for mission lifetime, federal regulations specify that almost without exception, any assets you put in low earth orbit must be able to naturally decay in 25. If you're geosynchronous, then it's your responsibility to place the satellite in a designated graveyard orbit. A lot of safeguards are in place now to make responsible use of orbital territory. The real danger is from things left up there during more careless times. Oh, and China. They're still being massive dicks about generating space debris.

about 3 years ago
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Rep. Bill Posey Introduces 'Back To the Moon' Bill

Nebulious What a surprise! (562 comments)

He's from Florida. Quit bringing down the space program so that your district can keep leaching off the system, leech.

more than 3 years ago
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Pentagon Sets Tone For Future Space Exploration

Nebulious Re:Obligatory Planetes Comment (79 comments)

I've never heard of this anime before. I'm definitely going to have to check this one out. Thanks for the recommendation.

more than 3 years ago
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Pentagon Sets Tone For Future Space Exploration

Nebulious Yes! (79 comments)

It's a very real concern. There are extensive regulations and procedures for having and disposing of assets in orbit. When you put something into space, you can't just choose any old path. Orbital trajectories, especially geosynchronous ones, are highly valued and some missions require very specific flight paths. If a unit becomes unresponsive in a critical orbit for a communications network, the entire system cannot as easily adjust it flight path because now there's a new hazard there.

Right now, the probability of hitting something is fairly low. But collisions do happen. Last year Iridium lost one of their satellites when it collided with a large deactivated Russian satellite, creating a very large and hazardous debris cloud. Crashes like that accelerate a scenario called Kessler Syndrome. This is when the amount of mass in space is high enough that large collisions begin happening. Those collisions create even more debris, increasing the amount of collisions at an exponential rate. We can track everything in space above 5 cm right now, but scrap even smaller than that can cut through just about anything we can put in space right now.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Twitter and Facebook Deal With Their Dead?

Nebulious Re:Where's the Bureau of ATF? (284 comments)

It's actually called the Bureau of AIM, Twitter, and Facebook.

about 4 years ago
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Teaching Fifth Graders Engineering

Nebulious Re:No more one-off prototypes (156 comments)

By your definition, CERN is not a feat of engineering. Engineering, to me, is about systems. It's about taking many separate things making them function together to create something new. The purpose or application is moot. The real challenge of engineering is to account for the endless variables that can affect your product/system, from material properties to failure points. Engineering is the ability to weave the things and information you have to work with as seamlessly as possible. Yes, engineers make products. But they are also coders who work on simulations and so much more.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Computer Science Students Cheat

Nebulious Re:CS classes need to be in the real world. (694 comments)

At my university, the CS department is part of the engineering college. All CS students are required to take the same introduction to engineering as the rest of us.

more than 4 years ago
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Give Space a Chance, Says Phil Plait

Nebulious Re:Yeah, orbit! (279 comments)

I can think of a very wealthy client named NASA. One that can outsource the risk of development and have a competitive market of capable launch vehicles.

For decades, NASA has been woefully risk adverse.

more than 4 years ago
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Larry & Sergey To Cash In $5.5B of Google Chips

Nebulious Re:It is about time (339 comments)

YEAH! Google should be all about the short term and next quarter's profits! That's how our economy's so strong today!

more than 4 years ago
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Astrium Hopes To Test Grabbing Solar Energy From Orbit

Nebulious Working out the bugs (144 comments)

"Critics, though, have always pointed to multiple hurdles - to the cost of launching and assembling large solar stations in orbit, to the losses in efficiency in conversion, and to the safety issues surrounding some wireless transmission methods, particularly those that use microwaves.

Astrium says the latter can be addressed by using infrared lasers which, if misdirected, would not risk "cooking" anyone in their path."

I got a great laugh out of that one. A+ journalism!

more than 4 years ago
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New Study Shows Youth Plugged In Most of the Day

Nebulious It's culture, not medium. (157 comments)

When you see kids insisting on incorrect spelling/grammar online, it's not necessarily because the medium encourages bastardizing the language in every instance. It's a desire to cool by being anti-intellectual. In their minds, only a nerd and an adult takes out the times to make everything they type in informal settings 'perfect.' We even do it here in sophisticated places like Slashdot. When someone brings up or wants to enforce the subtle differences between affect and effect, we just hand-wave it, call them grammar Nazis, and move on. It's the same thing. So next time you feel like blindly criticizing the next generation, why not try holding that critical lens to yourself as well?

more than 4 years ago
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Critics Call For NASA TV To "Liven Up"

Nebulious Re:If you want to know what's wrong with "lively". (305 comments)

"More lively" does not mean "complete other end of the spectrum." It means "something more engaging and able to garner more public interest, which is the objective of NASA TV," in other words, make it watchable. That's why the submitter mentions Carl Sagan; he was able to mix science, inspiration, and entertainment so that people still watch Cosmos today.

more than 4 years ago
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The Chinese Route To a Web Free of Porn

Nebulious Correlation /= Causation (420 comments)

This is a terrible mistake on the Chinese government's part. Just because every ruling party member likely looked at pornography as a child and became terrible people does not mean that every person who sees pornography in their childhood will grow up to be just as cold, calculating, and authoritarian.

more than 4 years ago
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I'd prefer to allocate my work hours ...

Nebulious I'm a student (287 comments)

So everyday when I'm not procrastinating or tending to hygiene/food, I'm working.

more than 4 years ago
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Virgin Galactic Unveils SpaceShipTwo

Nebulious Re:That's cool, but... (260 comments)

Weeeeeeeeeell, the the Star Trek timeline really diverges from ours drastically from this point. By now we're supposed to have driven Khan into space after the Eugenics Wars which devastated the world and be on the way to WWIII. You could say that the path is very different now.

more than 4 years ago
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NIF Aims For the Ultimate Green Energy Source

Nebulious Re:Three points (234 comments)

In other words, the NIF will be used, at least some of the time, to re-create the conditions inside of an exploding nuclear warhead so we can design new nukes without testing them and therefore violating the test ban treaties.

Actually, this has been a well established practice for years in high energy density (HED) physics. On all of the big lasers like NIF, OMEGA, and NIKE government projects doing largely classified research get first dibs on operations time. There are many groups doing peaceful energy and astrophysics research as well, but they tend to be less priority and have to do a lot of work proving their experiments before getting shot time. NIF, for example, is only just going to be accepting proposals from outside groups this December.

more than 4 years ago

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