Bill Phil

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About Bill Phil

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    Some Engineer Guy

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  • Location The Planet Gunsmoke
  1. I recommend Stranger in a Strange Land, although it isn't exactly for kids. It was authored by Robert Heinlein. It's really interesting to see his vision of the future compared to the actual future, at least in a few ways.
  2. I talk to guys who work on the SLS. It's pretty hectic sometimes.
  3. The only reason this one is special is its path. There'll be another eclipse in North America in 2024. Not through just the US, though. Canada and Mexico. Eclipses are common. What makes them special is where the umbra falls.
  4. Most of the atmosphere is just a few kilometers above your head. It's not hard to get above it. The gravity turn optimizes the ascent, going up initially for a small amount of time and then turning over, gaining both horizontal and vertical speed, and eventually almost all of the gains are horizontal. Having to add that vertical portion increases Delta-v by large amounts, as well as having to burn engines for long periods.
  5. I don't know what Chang Diaz did to you, but VASIMR isn't just hype. Sure, it's been heavily hyped, and Mars in 39 days is most definitely only hype, however, it's capability as a tug engine isn't nearly as bad as you'd think. You do need lots of power, of course, but that's nothing that can't be handled, and it's by no means unrealistic. No one is saying that the VASIMR engines we have now are going to be working miracles soon. The design has to be developed. Problems need to be addressed. But it's no more or less practical than other near future engines. Certainly more practical than most fusion proposals. Realistically, it may lead to a dead end, but we don't know for sure. That's why it has to be developed. Researched. Judging a system so soon never really helped anything get done. And when it comes down to it, if VASIMR ends up helping the cause, then that's great. If it doesn't lead anywhere, then that's a shame, but then we would actually know whether or not it's useful. Right now it's mostly speculation. What's your reasoning, anyways? Claims generally need evidence. I'm skeptical, but optimistic. My reasoning is that it could be helpful, but a number of people need to actually invest substantially to get good results. Not much is being thrown at it. But there's no reason to throw it out the window. They've managed to run some test firings, so it is being developed. Also, I don't recall solar panels or nuclear reactors being pixie dust...
  6. Depends on how you define powerful. If you mean thrust power, you're right. Even relatively basic chemical engines can get into the Gigawatt range. You'd have to get a lot more thrust power, exhaust velocity and thrust, to do cooler things. That means you'll need beefy reactors and radiators. But before that gets developed, it could be used as a space tug for unmanned payloads to various points in cis-lunar space. It's perfectly fine to take weeks to get out there. OP: There are quite a lot of far-future technologies in that proposal. But even so, space battleships don't make much sense. Essentially you could just use huge spaceships as slugs to obliterate the enemy. Put up a defense network in various orbits around your planet and such, and such a war might not be quite a MAD scenario. Confrontations between ships aren't likely, as adding weapons will hurt your mass ratio and spaceships are very easy to destroy.
  7. Last edit was 2 months ago? Dude, there are wikis who were last edited years ago. Unless you mean years?
  8. Direct landing isn't usually practical. Remember, if you have to double your Delta-v, you have to square your mass ratio. The actual design isn't that important, so long as nuclear electric/fusion rockets have huge radiators and other realistic components, you'll be alright.
  9. Well I guess the actual location could be changed. If it's an annual event, we could rotate the city location.
  10. No. I run 32 bit.
  11. If you want stealth in space, you need to either change the laws of physics, or use magitech. If you can use warp drive like tech to create a sort of pocket dimension, you could leave something the size of a proton in this universe. That's magitech, though.
  12. Huh. Strange. 1.3 is the most stable version I've ever seen (been playing since 2012).
  13. I remember seeing a KSP setup at a FIRST robotics competition. That was cool. It was in the back, though. Hard to find. I think multiple smaller events would be the best idea. One near KSC, one in Rocket City (Near MSFC), one near Houston, one in Mexico City, and a whole number of other locations. Of course, hitching onto other conventions is preferable. Maybe bring some KSP setups to Eclipse Parties?
  14. I used to draw mechs all the time... really bad drawings. I was a kid. But it was fun.
  15. The only thing that badges me is that filament costs less than ink... although you will need more filament...