Bill Phil

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About Bill Phil

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    Some Engineer Guy

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  • Location Capital of the Star League
  • Interests Video games, science fiction, space, rockets, Battletech

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  1. Bill Phil

    Kerbin is beautiful

    Planet Kerbin's blue And there's a bunch of stuff to do
  2. Bill Phil

    What interesting bugs have you encountered?

    The flag pole being a Pol biome.
  3. Bill Phil

    Thread to complain bout stuff

    You're a human. Humans are one of the scariest animals out there.
  4. Bill Phil

    Bad science in fiction Hall of Shame

    Well, in Star Wars, lots of the ships can fly in atmospheres. Star Destroyers can, I think. Some types, at least. Also, the presence of habitable planets may be a result of terraforming by ancient civilizations, and that isn't necessarily unbelievable, considering the artificial Star Systems that those ancients built...
  5. Those asteroids are difficult to detect, yes. But that applies to us, at our current level of technology and number of telescopes. It's entirely reasonable for multiple space militaries to have massive, hundred meter or larger, telescopes hunting for thermal signatures. Scanning the entire sky can be done in a matter of hours with current technology. But even then, spaceships emit more heat. Apophis (an asteroid) has a mean radius of roughly 185 meters. Solar irradiance is about 1361 W/m^2. It only receives 146 megawatts or so from the Sun. To be in thermal balance, it has to radiate this heat away. There are a number of equations for this, but we can basically say that it has to radiate away as much heat from the Sun as it gets, or it'll just get more and more energy from the Sun. Meanwhile, a single SSME has gigawatts of power, an appreciable amount of which is radiated as heat. And that's a chemical engine with an exhaust velocity of less than 5 km/s. You'd want something much more powerful to get around at any decent speed. In the Expanse, for example, they have stealth ships. Even though they have drives with massive plumes that are thousands of degrees Kelvin. No stealth is possible in that situation. As for satellites, you could get away with stealth of some sort. But once a detector is within some range it'd be easy to see.
  6. Well, fighting gravity less means you get more actual delta-v, which increases efficiency of the propellant's energy.
  7. Bill Phil

    Shower thoughts

    Leia was similar to her final concept, but Alderaan wasn't her home world. It was Aquilae.
  8. Bill Phil

    Shower thoughts

    Anakin still died... And it was Palpatine who saved him... On the subject of Star Wars, has anyone heard of the original script's story? It's pretty interesting. Luke Skywalker was the old jedi, Annikin Starkiller was the young jedi in training, Darth Vader didn't have a mask, there was another Vader-ish character, and so on. Han Solo was a green alien... Man, that was weird.
  9. Sure. There's not many issues with the missions working. NASA is a highly competent agency. They just won't likely happen given... well... Congress' enormous control over their budget.
  10. Bill Phil

    SpaceX moon landing.

    Probably not. Landing takes like 2 km/s (maybe more like 1.8 or so) and taking off takes about as much. And that's just to low lunar orbit. So... nope. Not to say that something couldn't be developed, but BFR is already in development.
  11. Bill Phil

    "Rokkit Syense" in CW's "The 100"

    Yeah. But the bad decisions of the descendents isn't necessarily related to how prepared their ancestors were.
  12. Bill Phil

    "Rokkit Syense" in CW's "The 100"

    The actual gene pool could be much larger than 2000 individuals, though. Male sperm and female eggs can be stored. Worst case we can store sperm. Apparently there was a successful pregnancy from sperm that was cryogenically preserved for 21 years, so it isn't too much of a stretch... Similar case for embryos, maybe. Of course, this strategy is highly dependent on how much you can prepare.
  13. Bill Phil


    There are four lights!
  14. Bill Phil

    Mars 'impossible" to terraform

    Sure. But it takes land to do that. And since it's out in the wild, it also takes pesticides, insecticides, and those are potentially harmful to the environment, and considering how it's a continuous problem, it'd be great if we could just get rid of it forever, right? Well, we can. There's also issues of certain resources being used inefficiently. But all of that can be dealt with if the environment we're growing the crops in is entirely artificial and is a closed system. Heck, we could probably design it so that if anything does mess with our crops, we can completely sterilize the farm, or small subsections if need be. The problem isn't energy efficiency, it's just more effective use of other resources. In this case, one big benefit of vertical farming would be the freeing up of vast areas of land for potential reforestation, or some other environment if we so desired. So it'd be even more efficient to grow it in a controlled environment. Year round growing season. Weather no longer influencing yields. Less of a need for pesticides. Smaller footprint on the ground. Probably a good deal. Couple this with cultured meat and we're looking at a good possibility of a large amount of farmland becoming something else like forests, while still enabling us to feed ourselves. There's a good chance we already have. For about 200 years predictions about massive famines and huge die-offs have been pretty much completely unfounded. Even now new methods of growing, processing, and consuming food are being developed, which will help massively. Other things like the sheer amount of water wasted on lawns in the US will likely come into the spotlight soon. We'll get better at using our resources and may even get access to more resources. Pretty much any crop would do. What we want is something that is very amenable to aeroponics, since that'd probably be the only real choice for early colonies. Of course, there are many different nutrients in different crops, so a well balanced farm is ideal. Potatoes are actually quite high yield, and in certain areas average higher calories per unit area than corn does. Of course, with artificial environments, and a good dose of genetic modifications, anything is suitable, really.
  15. Bill Phil

    Some words on the Fermi Paradox

    They may have moved on completely, like the aliens in 2001: A Space Odyssey