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

    KSP Weekly: Project Daedalus

    Huh? Helium-3 on the Moon is in the parts per billion. In Jupiter's atmosphere it's much more abundant, but still hard to come by, as even though Helium makes up over 20% of the atmosphere's mass, Helium-3 makes up a very small fraction of that Helium. Still more abundant than the Moon's surface, by orders of magnitude... And provided fusion power is in use, the required energy to extract it may be less than the amount you get from burning it... But that's a nitpick. Anyway, great work on this update.
  2. Bill Phil

    SpaceX Discussion Thread

    2112 might be more relevant...
  3. Bill Phil

    NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    You... you do realize that building a payload costs more than launching one, right?
  4. Bill Phil

    NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    Sea Dragon would cost a lot. Remember, we'd have to develop the engines. But, even more expensive: develop a payload. No, we're not aiming at space colonies. We might be had we maintained a permanent presence beyond LEO for 50 years, but we haven't. This December will mark 50 years after Apollo 8 orbited the Moon. 50 years.
  5. Bill Phil

    NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

    They've already spent 7+ years and billions of dollars engineering this thing. You want it to take another 7 to get off the ground? X-33 suffered major issues. The aerospikes performed worse than SSMEs. Sea Dragon, while an interesting idea, represents a very large investment. A space race won't help anything. The last one only got us 12 men on the Moon, no lasting permanent presence beyond Earth orbit, and some cool probes on other planets. All for showing off. Shuttle could actually fly. X-33? Not even capable of that.
  6. No. He-3 is in the parts per billions in the lunar regolith. You don't need much He-3, sure, but you would be processing millions of tonnes per week. On the Moon. This is the kind of thing that takes huge amounts of money and time to set up, and the He-3 on the Moon may not even last all that long, provided we do eventually access it and want to use it. Our energy needs aren't stagnant, meaning we would need to increase the amount we extract over time, and eventually we would exhaust the source. Some have calculated that it would last a decade, others about a century, if we're lucky. Compare this to the constant energy from the Sun, and the Helium-3 on the Moon doesn't really help us all that much. Especially when considering that we can take advantage of the neutrons released by D-T to help breed tritium.
  7. Yep. Using SRBs was a mandated requirement for SLS. At least for Block 1.
  8. Bill Phil

    What funny/interesting thing happened in your life today?

    Built my LEGO Saturn V today. While watching Babylon 5.
  9. No. Congress is responsible for NASA's budget. NASA can only do things Congress allows them to do, and NASA can only dedicate the resources that Congress allows for each project. NASA is very capable of doing great things. But NASA is on a short leash, only allowed to do the things Congress tells it to. Congress approved the Shuttle, but did not approve nor fund the rest of the STS concept. No space tugs, no nuclear tugs, no eventual Mars missions. This was back in the early 70s or so. There have been concepts abound for Shuttle replacements. Many were proposed before the Shuttle's retirement. But not a single one was developed, because they needed to be approved by Congress. NASA isn't given a lump sum and then allowed to spend it in any way they see fit. Each program is funded individually. And what those programs are is also dictated by Congress. There's a reason SLS is jokingly called the "Senate Launch System." Congress mandated NASA to develop it. Not to mention that the Shuttle was heavily influenced by the military... the payload bay size, the size of the wings, and so on. I wouldn't put any money betting that the military would be any better.
  10. Oh, you want to talk to Congress then.
  11. Bill Phil

    Thread to complain bout stuff

    People read quite often. Well, at least small snippets...
  12. Bill Phil

    What Do You Think About Life Is Strange?

    I'm not a fan of teen drama... from what I've seen it at least starts out that way. I don't think I could get over that for the rest of it.
  13. A number of NASA employees would like a word with you... Alright. That's not happening, so we're good. It's probably just a reorganization of already existing assets into a single branch of the military, or something like that. But militarizing space may be necessary for large scale space development.
  14. Ol Boom Boom may suffice...
  15. Project Orion was considered for military applications back in the 60s. (Seriously considered... we came closer than is often believed to using it) But that was mostly nuclear deterrence. I mean, they envisaged a squadron of "bombers" carrying loads of nukes and deploying them to glass the enemy nation. I doubt that nukes will be placed in space. It may just be as simple as separating Space Command from the USAF, or maybe rods from god might be the goal...