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Comment Re:Not theory (Score 1) 154

They have tried to extend tethers in space, and run into multiple problems caused by them being not-rigid. Gemini 11 (which was tethered to it's Agena to test just these things) encountered problems with spin-up due to this and other dynamics issues.

Gemini 11 didn't try to dock while spinning, manoeuvre while spinning, or keep solar panels aligned while spinning.

The problems I cite spring directly from experience, mathematics, and engineering.

As any good theory does.

So no, my answer isn't theoretical.

You might want to review your definition of "theory". Hint: it is not an insult.

Comment Re:MS to the "rescue" again (Score 1) 54

Nope, this is not due to Microsoft; it is true that they were always pressuring to get the government back on proprietary software. But what changed is that last year there was a coup in Brazil and a legendarily corrupt government took power. They happily accepted Microsoft's bribes and the result is what you see.

Comment Re:Does anyone understand Musk's position? (Score 1) 626

I think being a member of his advisory council is sucking up to him. From his tweets yes, this is the message he is conveying: he disagrees with the policies and wants to fight them from within. I think he is either lying or is extremely politically naïve.

Comment Re:Does anyone understand Musk's position? (Score 1) 626

I think you are overestimating Trump's power. He cannot simply forbid SpaceX from launching. Even the things I mentioned require cooperation from Congress (which he still has, so he could do it).

But independently of this, Musk is opposing Trump on immigration, or at least he is claiming to, if you read his tweets. The weird thing is that he is doing that while remaining a member of the advisory council.

Comment Re:Does anyone understand Musk's position? (Score 1) 626

What I'm surprised about is not that he is not fighting for his employees in this particular case (although SpaceX is only allowed to hire US citizens, Tesla does have foreign engineers), but more generally why is he supporting Trump, given that their political views are rather incompatible.

Comment Re:Does anyone understand Musk's position? (Score 1) 626

Thanks for searching for the tweets. But I'm afraid you are underestimating Musk. I don't think he would fall for such an obvious trap. His arguments make sense if he were given a position of actual power: say by leading the EPA instead of a climate-change denialist. But on an advisory council? I think Musk knows very well that his advice will be completely ignored and he is only there to lend some legitimacy to the Trump administration.

Comment Does anyone understand Musk's position? (Score 3, Interesting) 626

I'm a bit disturbed to see Musk sucking up to Trump. Does anyone have a reliable source on why he's doing it?

My guess is that he has no choice. One of his companies (SpaceX) depends a lot on government money. Trump could deeply damage it with a penstroke by excluding it from ISS resupply missions, or forbidding it to compete for national security launches. His other company (Tesla) does not go well with Trump's love for the oil industry.

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