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About cpast

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  1. My understanding of spacecraft is that bunks are more for privacy than comfort; from what I've read from astronauts, the only reason they need sleeping bags is so they don't bump into stuff (and the ISS does have enough quarters for everyone to have private quarters). Capsules are a different story, I'd imagine.
  2. My initial point that started this whole thing was that the US government already does its rocketry pretty much by giving the private sector money and having them come up with the hardware. AngelLestat was saying that the private sector seemed to be better at doing this stuff cheaply than the government is, so the government should give its budget to the private sector and have them do it; I was saying that this is basically what happens. In a broader context, yeah, Atlas and Thor were run by the USAF. I wasn't trying to say otherwise; I was just saying that the US government did the developme
  3. There aren't that many of those, and they do need other stuff (like a sense that they probably aren't going to die). The people who have many millions of dollars are generally not the people who are willing to take a decent risk of death in such a mission. The intersection of people with the technical ability to troubleshoot issues, the physical and mental attributes required to go on a Mars mission (particularly an early one), the willingness to brave the risk that something will go wrong and you *cannot* be rescued by anyone, the willingness and ability to spend at least a year without perso
  4. Nope. Atlas was developed by Convair (then General Dynamics, then Lockheed) under contract. It was neither designed nor built by US government employees. Its chief designer, Karel Bossart, was a Convair employee. Thor had more USAF involvement, but the components were still all contracted out, and overall airframe and integration was done by Douglas, not by the Air Force. The fact that "USAF" was painted on the missiles means the USAF *bought* them, not that they *built* them. Seriously. Particularly for Atlas, the only sense in which it was a USAF project is that it was developed under a USAF
  5. If you think the JWST is "just a few mirrors," there is no helping you. It's incredibly precise, as are all scientific telescopes. It's also sensors, power, monitoring, communications, reliability (you can't repair it, you can easily do repairs to a tower). Frankly, I think you have no clue what's involved in a scientific project. There weren't that many engineers on the Burj Khalifa. That's because almost no aspects of it are new in any way; after the design is down, it's just construction. And the engineers that were there command a much lower salary than those in aerospace, because there's
  6. Nope. Atlas was a General Dynamics development before it was sold to Lockheed. Delta came from Thor, which had multiple contractors (Douglas did airframe and integration, Rocketdyne did engines, other companies did other aspects); although the USAF did take a bigger role there, by the time NASA was involved it (turning it into a pure space launch vehicle) it was a Douglas, then McDonnell Douglas, then Boeing project.
  7. There's a lot you can do cheaply if you're paying your workers five dollars a day. JWST workers are largely highly skilled scientists and engineers who command fairly high salaries compared to most people in the US; Burj Khalifa *skilled* workers (skilled meaning "carpenters," not "engineers") still made less than $7/day. A tall building is not a precision structure; a huge amount of the work is driven by the costs of mass unskilled labor, and if you're paying a worker dollars per day, you're paying multiple orders of magnitude less than the work on JWST. The Burj Khalifa had much less need to
  8. Look up "qualia;" that's the name for this concept of "experience as it's experienced by a mind."
  9. "Welfare" refers to domestic programs. I'm unclear how that can be "to counter the weapons sold to the zones of conflict." As for a source, here is a think-tank source on a US budget breakdown for FY2014. 24% on Social Security, 24% on four major national health-insurance programs, 18% on *all* defense spending, 11% for more social safety net programs, 7% for interest on the debt, and the rest to all other federal spending. High numbers for defense spending are the result of someone ignoring 60% of federal spending for procedural reasons. Essentially, most welfare programs are run as entitleme
  10. Also, there is absolutely no difference between Steam and Store versions. There is no DRM of any sort on either version; if you buy it off Steam, you have to download it off there and get updates from there, but there's no requirement to use Steam to play it (you can even move it out of the Steam folder into a different place and uninstall Steam, reinstalling for the next update).
  11. An FAA-approved flight sim is a complete replica of a cockpit of a specific single type of aircraft; a class C or D sim lets you get a type rating to operate a specific sort of aircraft without ever having set foot in the real plane. To do that, it's not enough to have a single panel with a few switches; you want the exact control layout replicated, and everything doing the same thing it does on the real plane. Given that the sim has to have the hardware to exactly replicate the real control locations and switch types and similar, it's really not much (if any) of a savings using an Oculus, bec
  12. Yes. And you kinda do need to read a post before commenting on it. The treaty contains no technicalities about what "in orbit" means, which was what the post of yours I quoted was about. To quote you: To quote me: The OST does not define "in orbit." That means it's not covering the technicalities of "in orbit." It's in a very real sense *irrelevant* what "in orbit" means, because any launch other than in orbit is going to provoke a nuclear response -- no one's going to be playing the technicalities of it. Anything that comes down will provoke a response; anything that doesn't is clearly in o
  13. Actually, no. They didn't put it in the treaty. Please read my post: They simply said "no nuclear weapons in orbit," with no technical definition of "in orbit," and the technicalities are irrelevant because you don't want to argue your nuclear launch was suborbital. No, it also explicitly rules out any orbital usage whatsoever: "States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner."
  14. Potential energy is in fact the easiest way to solve this problem. If you compute the speed of the water leaving the nozzle, you're doing things the hard way. You have the energy imparted at the bottom as kinetic energy; this is all potential energy at the top, so you calculate how high the energy gets you. It's not just close, it's exact (down to problems of reality differing from spherical cow-land).
  15. You made several math errors. 10^6 / 500 = 2000, not 200. So it's 2000 J/kg. You then factored in the mass *again* when you calculated velocity, which is wrong -- it's either 10^6 J = (.5)*(500kg)*(v^2) OR 2000 J/kg = (.5)*(v^2); you don't divide energy by mass to get specific energy and then divide specific energy by mass again to get v^2/2. So the actual velocity is 20*sqrt(10) or about 63 m/s, not .4 m/s. Then t=6.3s, not .04s, and a= -10m/s^2 (not 10 m/s^2); so h=0+63*6.3+(1/2)(-10)(6.3)^2=400-5*40=200.
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