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Falcon 9 Launch Aborted At Last Minute

damburger Re:argh, you dumb fucks (149 comments)

I tried to make that distinction with the term 'fanboy'. People who like what SpaceX are doing without putting them on a libertarian pedestal I wouldn't put in that category.

more than 2 years ago
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Falcon 9 Launch Aborted At Last Minute

damburger Re:good call (149 comments)

SpaceX explicitly said, they have engine-out during flight, not from launch.

more than 2 years ago
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Falcon 9 Launch Aborted At Last Minute

damburger Re:argh, you dumb fucks (149 comments)

I'm glad I'm not the only one saying it.

Musk himself isn't NASA bashing; he is extremely grateful for their assistance. Its all the SpaceX fanboys who are the problem, trying to make Falcon 9 out as the harbinger of a libertarian conquest of space. It isn't, its just a well designed rocket which the US government isn't paying massively over the odds for.

more than 2 years ago
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Falcon 9 Launch Aborted At Last Minute

damburger Re:traditional NASA (149 comments)

Seriously? An announcer being surprised by the abort and not being able to follow what was happening for a second is the evidence you present for your idiotic, triumphalist neoliberal beliefs? Fuck right off.

more than 2 years ago
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Falcon 9 Launch Aborted At Last Minute

damburger Re:good call (149 comments)

It is actually a successful abort test (albeit an unscheduled one!) Now, SpaceX knows that they can shut down the engines half a second before liftoff with no problems at all.

An engine lost on launch would've prevented the payload reaching the ISS. Aborting the launch unquestionably saved this mission (although it may yet be unsuccessful.

I admit, I've been skeptical of 'private' spaceflight, both because of the libertarian ideological bleating that seems to always be associated with it (posing a risk to gov. investment in space) and the fact that, with NASA still holding the hands of everyone, it isn't truly private. Nonetheless, today is a complete success for SpaceX. They had a problem, they dealt with it well.

more than 2 years ago
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An 8,000 Ton Giant Made the Jet Age Possible

damburger Re:Score 1 moe for the government. (307 comments)

SpaceX was only able to do this because the US had spent all the money doing the groundwork for them, and even then NASA held their hands quite a bit. Elon Musk himself admits this.

Even if NASA is inefficient, that doesn't prove the thesis at all. Russian (or more pertinently, Soviet) rockets are cheap and reliable.

more than 2 years ago
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An 8,000 Ton Giant Made the Jet Age Possible

damburger Re:Sheffield Forgemasters (307 comments)

That is the one. Those missile launchers they are deploying in London isn't for al-qaeda, its to stop a militant fringe of *CAMRA attacking the olympics :)

*the CAMpaign for Real Ale. Anyone visiting the UK who wants to sample proper British beer should look them up.

more than 2 years ago
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An 8,000 Ton Giant Made the Jet Age Possible

damburger Re:The future will be printed, not forged. (307 comments)

I'm sorry, but I can't see any evidence that what these machines can do can be replicated by additive processes.

Yes, additive manufacture is great, but it isn't a universal construction technique. Don't forget please, that the last country that thought you could just dump heavy industry and replace it with small scale operations didn't do very well.

more than 2 years ago
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An 8,000 Ton Giant Made the Jet Age Possible

damburger Sheffield Forgemasters (307 comments)

The UK company is mentioned as being build up with cheap government loans, which is a half truth.

Yes, they are getting cheap loans, but only begrudgingly and only after the government had canceled a much larger loan, aimed at letting them produce "ultra large" forgings that few other places in the world can manage, mostly for the nuclear industry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheffield_Forgemasters#2010_expansion

But of course, we have to spend billions turning London into a bland commercial fortress for the Olympics. This is not that surprising; money that is meant to be spend on a national level has a nasty habit of being spent within a few miles of London.

But hey, I'm sure the Coalition know what they are doing. I'm sure putting missile launchers of peoples roofs and forbidding British beer brewers from selling stuff in many of the capitals pubs is a far more sensible economic investment than developing world class forging capabilities.

more than 2 years ago
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An 8,000 Ton Giant Made the Jet Age Possible

damburger Re:Score 1 moe for the government. (307 comments)

Well, yes, this is something that government clearly does best. Big, chunky investments whose returns are nebulous and decades after the initial outlay.

I don't mind that much that private enterprise then builds on government work afterwards, but what pisses me right off is when private companies then decide they owe nothing to the society that hosts them, avoid taxes, and campaign for reductions in the ones they do pay.

This, of course, has the advantage for established private enterprise of kicking away the ladder of government R&D and infrastructure investment so no pesky competitors can get the same leg up.

more than 2 years ago
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Foxconn CEO Fuels iTV Rumors

damburger Re:It's already gone (153 comments)

Notice how all American posters think that ITV is just going to be rolled over by Apple simply because it is a UK company they haven't heard of. ITV have a long history trading under that name, are still one of the main content providers.

The UK is a large enough market, that Apple would not want a pointless legal fight just to take over a name that would, for most British people, sound odd associated with an Apple product. Especially seeing as "Apple TV" is already established as a thing.

more than 2 years ago
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Fly-By-Wire Contributed To Air France 447 Disaster

damburger Re:Attention, screeching children (319 comments)

You correctly point out the Telegraph is a UK publication, but utterly fail to understand the politics in more detail. There is a deep divide in the UK media as to our place in the world. Should we be closer to our European neighbours, or should we be closer to the US? Take a wild guess which side of this debate the Telegraph falls on. Strongly.

The paper despises the EU, and doesn't think much of the French. They are quite well motivated to take shots at Airbus (and Air France) even without any kickbacks from Boeing.

To me, the article does seem to stink of opportunistic frog-bashing. The accident was indeed complex, and Airbus are going to have to do some thinking about the cockpit design (and Air France do some very hard thinking about how they train crews) - but that does not excuse the bias on display.

more than 2 years ago
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Fly-By-Wire Contributed To Air France 447 Disaster

damburger Re:stall == high AOA, and no AOA indication (319 comments)

Surely, in such an extreme situation as the junior guy put the plane in, the ADI would be enough to figure out that the AoA is far too high?

more than 2 years ago
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Fly-By-Wire Contributed To Air France 447 Disaster

damburger Re:Fly by wire.... (319 comments)

That first picture does show that each seat requires a different hand to work the joystick. It also shows how prominent the ADI is for each seat, and raises the question - why didn't the guy who wasn't pulling back even look at his?

I have never flown a plane, but I have a rough understanding of how one is kept flying. Any information the pilots could've gained through joystick feedback could surely have been gained simply be looking at the pilots instruments, as they are supposed to do, constantly.

more than 2 years ago
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Key Test For Skylon Spaceplane Engine Technology

damburger Re:I thought that was not the hard part.... (92 comments)

Bear in mind, this project is a descendent of HOTOL, and thus has about 30 years of work behind it. Contrary to what some people seem to think, its not an few cool rendered movies and an engineering drawing.

Consider, for instance, that part of the motiavtion for beginning Skylon was because HOTOL had insurmountable engineering problems (crappy payload fraction, and a centre of mass whose motion would make the rocket dangerously unstable as its tanks emptied.) This is essentially a iteration of the air-breathing rocket plane design,

Hopefully, decades of paper simulation have spotted enough of the pitfalls that the hardware development won't turn up any major impediments to this being realised. ESA felt this was the case when they reviewed the projects, and if they thought this it was a non starter they would not have been shy about saying so.

more than 2 years ago
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Key Test For Skylon Spaceplane Engine Technology

damburger Re:I thought that was not the hard part.... (92 comments)

The air intakes are closed on re-entry (and whenever else they aren't being used.) There is a cone shaped 'plug' at the front of each engine that can be used to vary the intake for different speeds/altitudes, or close it altogether.

more than 2 years ago
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Key Test For Skylon Spaceplane Engine Technology

damburger Re:Why isn't Richard Branson funding this? (92 comments)

He might be. Reaction Engines doesn't name its investors (or the ones who have pledged much larger sums of money, contingent on technology milestones like this precooler test being completed successfully

I agree, he won't put his brand on something this unready, but he might put his money into it.

more than 2 years ago
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Massive Methane Release In the Arctic Region

damburger Ocean gun? (264 comments)

People have been concerned about the possibility of a Clathrate gun for a while. Is this another potentially lethal feedback loop?

And if it fires, or has already fired, will we notice immediately?

more than 2 years ago
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Survey Finds No Hint of Dark Matter Near Solar System

damburger Re:I'm not surprised (125 comments)

This isn't a successful challenge. It isn't really a challenge at all. We are going to have to start thinking differently about how dark matter arranges itself in a galaxy, but the idea we are going to throw out dark matter is a fantasy coming straight from mount stupid.

more than 2 years ago

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