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NASA Looking At Nuclear Thermal Rockets To Explore the Solar System

tsotha Re:Some potential, but hardly for a genuine leap (186 comments)

How is this any more than a revisiting of the ancient discredited NERVA/ROVER program which began in 1956 and dragged on to a miserable failed end in 1973?

That's exactly what it is. I think most people here realize that.

This shares the fundamental flaw of all rocket technology: the fact that any rocket has to carry and throw away a vast load of reaction mass. The Saturn V employed a total mass of 2970 tonnes to lift a mere 118 tonnes to LEO. But the actual raw energy needed to lift 118 tonnes to 200 km is E=mgh = 118,000 times 9.81 times 200,000 = 232 GJ, which is the quantity of energy contained in just 5.47 tonnes of gasoline. So the efficiency of the Saturn V was 0.184%, not because it was a "bad" rocket, but because it was a rocket.

Well, until someone comes up with a workable theory for a reactionless drive, we're stuck with reaction mass. But that doesn't mean we're stuck with chemical rockets - if you could accelerate you reaction mass to some nontrivial fraction of the speed of light you wouldn't need very much of it.

10 hours ago
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NASA Looking At Nuclear Thermal Rockets To Explore the Solar System

tsotha Re:About time (186 comments)

Ready for flight tests? Hrm. They could never get the core to stop cracking and expelling bits of enriched uranium out the back. That's not a small problem.

10 hours ago
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NASA Looking At Nuclear Thermal Rockets To Explore the Solar System

tsotha Re:Yeah! (186 comments)

A very good chemical rocket will have an ISP of 450-460 seconds. A nuclear thermal rocket will have an ISP of around 900-1000, or roughly twice as "good".

Nuclear thermal rockets will be heavy, though, and that detracts from their efficiency.

I wonder if gas core nuclear rockets are so pie-in-the-sky nobody worked on them, or they're pie-in-the-sky because nobody worked on them. In theory you could get crazy ISP and thrust numbers from a gas core rocket.

10 hours ago
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NASA Looking At Nuclear Thermal Rockets To Explore the Solar System

tsotha Re:OMG (186 comments)

We've been launching plutonium into space for decades for RTGs. It's a small enough amount you can shield it such that it will survive a launch failure.

10 hours ago
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The discovery of intelligent alien life would be met predominantly with...

tsotha Won't matter (303 comments)

If the speed of light really is absolute, it really won't matter. We'll never see them, and even communicating will be like sending a letter to the other side of the world in about AD 1300.

yesterday
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Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network

tsotha Re:All I know is... (201 comments)

You know, there may be a connection there.

about a week ago
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Barrett Brown, Formerly of Anonymous, Sentenced To 63 Months

tsotha Re:It's unfortunate. (110 comments)

Who prosecuted you - the feds or the state of New Jersey?

about a week ago
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Barrett Brown, Formerly of Anonymous, Sentenced To 63 Months

tsotha Re:It's unfortunate. (110 comments)

The FBI doesn't bring charges. That's the prosecutor's job. Didn't you ever watch Law & Order? With all the spinoffs in sindication it's on pretty much 24 hours a day.

But what you're saying is true. 98% of prosecutions are pled out, and you know lots of those people are innocent. But the way the system is set up now they can throw 100 charges that all bring 3-5 years at you and all of the sudden you could be looking at 500 years in prison. Orrrrrr, you could take the plea and get three years.

Objectively it's smart to take the plea, too. On average people who go to court get 20% longer sentences.

about two weeks ago
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Barrett Brown, Formerly of Anonymous, Sentenced To 63 Months

tsotha Re:Be afraid (110 comments)

Three felonies a day. We all do it. Congress has set up a situation such that if the feds really want you they can find things to charge you with. I don't have a lot of sympathy for this particular guy, but you're right.

about two weeks ago
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Barrett Brown, Formerly of Anonymous, Sentenced To 63 Months

tsotha Re: There is no anonymity (110 comments)

You are an unattractive girl, mid 20s, who has glowing stars on the ceiling of her bedroom and who goes to hot yoga class without realizing that yoga pants are not for everyone. You are lazy and significantly overestimate your intelligence.

Mein Gott! I totally know her.

about two weeks ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

tsotha Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (689 comments)

I should have said "people who actually played..."

about two weeks ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

tsotha Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (689 comments)

This sounds about right to me. The only takeaway question I have from it though; is how does anyone give a shit about Zoe Quinn?

Nobody does, really. The anger, I think, really comes from the fact that these people got caught with their pants down, and instead of offering a mea culpa and moving on they decided to attack their customers... and it worked, to a certain extent. I mean, look at the slashdot headline! They've been successful at creating the GG = misogyny meme by visiting 4chan and chumming for some crazy.

I'm not sure how to read the larger picture except as another indication facts don't matter to SJWs, as if we needed more evidence.

about two weeks ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

tsotha Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (689 comments)

Do all the reviewers in "the best presses in the United States" bang the same girl and give her pathetic game good reviews? This isn't about people "knowing each other", unless you're talking in the biblical sense.

Let's recap here. Zoe Quinn slept with all the major game reviewers and/or their editors. She gets rave reviews for a game people who actually bought have panned mercilessly. Literally caught with their pants down, they point to their customers and scream "sexist!". That's the point of the scandal. You can dress it up however you like, but at the root it's about corruption in the gaming press.

about two weeks ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

tsotha Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (689 comments)

It's probably the most polite way to describe people who are, at their core, fucking fascists.

about two weeks ago
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Doxing Victim Zoe Quinn Launches Online "Anti-harassment Task Force"

tsotha Re:Slashdot stance on #gamergate (689 comments)

Yeah, this place is like a SJW commune sometimes. The GG stuff is laughable given the actual facts.

about two weeks ago
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US Government Lurked On Silk Road For Over a Year

tsotha Re:its a drug bust (129 comments)

That's a whole 'nother issue, one on which I agree with you. Sadly, the supreme court came down on the wrong side in Wickard, so things are the way they are.

about two weeks ago
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US Government Lurked On Silk Road For Over a Year

tsotha Re:its a drug bust (129 comments)

Meh. At this time illegal drugs are, well, illegal. The executive branch is not and should not be in the business of deciding which laws are stupid and which aren't. That's for Congress to decide. As long as what the Silk Road people were doing was illegal, the feds have a responsibility to arrest and prosecute them.

about two weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

tsotha Re:Mann: science by lawsuit (786 comments)

Yeah, and if you don't want your papers gone though, the last thing you want to do is sue someone. There's this legal thing called "discovery"...

about three weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

tsotha Heh (786 comments)

You realize to half the country "swiftboating" means "pointing out facts you'd rather nobody knew"?

And yeah, Mann is worried about having his papers under subpoena. Why is that, do you think?

about three weeks ago

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