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Bill Phil

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Everything posted by Bill Phil

  1. Yeah, I'm gonna say feature (though... I probably won't vote... I'm weird I guess). Previously extra launch sites were only with Making History and, in my understanding, these new ones are available without the DLC. It adds interesting things to the game. The discovery aspect of it... you could maybe say that's a gimmick to get people to explore Kerbin more, but I don't think that's really an issue.
  2. Dang, for real? Sweet. Also, are there any other advanced fission engines like NSWR, Mini Mag Orion, liquid core NTRs, and PuFF?
  3. We will be able to finally properly use the ultimate in transportation technology: boats.
  4. Nice. I think I’ll let things settle with the patches but then it’ll be time to finally complete the tech tree and go to every planet.
  5. GLORY! HAMMER! GLORYHAMMER - Gloryhammer (Official Video) | Napalm Records - YouTube
  6. Sustainable population is difficult to really quantify. This is because you can get different numbers depending on your assumptions. Like for example, if you don't assume agriculture you get a significantly lower number than the current population. If you assume sustainable agriculture with current technology, a few billion may be doable unless you run into the heat limit. But you can do some wild things with more advanced technology. Eventually the carrying capacity of the biosphere vs. the carrying capacity of the civilization become two distinct things - the biosphere could support this many of the species, but with some set of technology we can support much more than the biosphere could support. The main limit is the heat limit, which is primarily an energy/power limit. So really you'd need to figure out energy use per capita. For the US that's roughly 10 kW averaged over a year. So if you need a population of 10 billion with 10 kW per person, you need a total average power of 100 TW. More in peak times. But, if you had more energy per capita you could potentially do more interesting things on a per person basis - and in my opinion more energy per capita makes sense if immortality is involved. So I'd go with maybe between 500 million and 5 billion if you go with a total average power of 100 TW, leaning on the lower side. Now 100 TW is significantly lower than the limit, but that's preferable as far as things go.
  7. Ah, no worries. I just never bothered to learn much about it. I could probably figure it out if I tried but I'm kind of set in my ways in how I play KSP. I don't play as often as I want to though, so I usually just end up doing an Apollo style mission to some target planet/moon and back. I do want to do some probe missions as well but I usually end up sending Kerbals. Being at the tip of the rocket makes it easier to design around in my experience.
  8. I don't see the point of this statement. I was saying that your argument about probes being more difficult only applies if the communication mechanic is left on. It's a mechanic that I never figured out, and I have always played without it from the beginning, long before it was even added. I know there's a number of others that do so as well. Still, not everyone plays with the same settings. But I don't see what your response is supposed to mean here. I do think that probes are more awkward to design rockets around though.
  9. I'm the opposite. I'm more concerned about the negative effects of the slowing growth rate. I don't think overpopulation is a problem, or rather, it's just one element of the world and is a very solvable issue. Not a problem in and of itself but it can feed other problems due to how the world is organized and the systems in place.
  10. Doing nothing would have led to even more devastation. Just because we could have handled it better does not mean that nothing would be better.
  11. Well that actually could work, if you had a strong enough fan. Not efficient though. Catching spent propellant for a rocket though... not gonna work. You'll get nowhere fast.
  12. I mean, being cheaty is by no means an issue when we already have torchships confirmed.
  13. NASA isn't a launch service provider. They'll probably keep trucking on doing much the same thing they've been doing.
  14. There's a difference between what we think the supply is now and what it could be in the future. Indeed, there's a history of the supply for a given resource expanding in size over time as we discover or consider new sources. Even in the crust there's a high confidence that there's 2.2 billion tonnes of uranium in concentrations higher than 100 ppm. For conventional reactors that can last nearly a thousand years for 50 TWth capacity. Add in breeders and you get over 100 thousand years. And if the energy return on lower concentrations is reasonable in the future, then we could extract uranium from even lower concentrations and then have access to vastly more uranium - the numbers are mind-bogglingly huge. If we run out of uranium it won't be because there's no uranium to mine, it'll be because we stopped mining it. And that's not even getting into seawater uranium, which is practically renewable unless we go overboard and use a massive amount of energy beyond what we could feasibly need. You misunderstand. They'll definitely produce tritium. But you have to extract it. This is generally done in dedicated processing sites. While physics and chemistry will be the same 10k years from now, the extent of human civilization may not be. We may be extinct by then, in which case it doesn't matter. If we aren't extinct at that time, then we will almost certainly have perfected alternative energy sources like fusion and if we haven't then it seems reasonable to assume that we have expanded beyond Earth and have found other sources. In any case, it's pointless to try and consider the problems humanity in 10k years will face. Our use of uranium won't really matter by then. Even if we conserve our uranium future humanity will probably use it at a faster rate than we do. Not much point in not using it today. Indeed, using fission to some extent is likely to be critical to the survival of civilization for this century.
  15. Yeah, people are still doing ICF. Lasers can do it, but I don't think they're the best for ICF as it is. Heavy ion beams seem to have better performance but no one has built a heavy ion beam ICF system. But lasers are getting better and will continue to do so. It's just that there really isn't enough funding for fusion research, sadly.
  16. I think that ICF is more likely to work out. It's hard on its own, but it looks like it has a better chance to me. But my point is that it's just one more obstacle to using tritium. Might as well try to avoid even needing it. Li7 isn't useless, it can breed tritium too. It costs energy and releases a neutron though. I don't understand what you're saying here. I never said to stop with fission. Fusion is worth developing. My point is that if early fusion reactors need tritium, we can breed it with fission reactors. And fission reactors have a much larger existing industry to leverage. Not only that but there's plenty of fission fuel that we can use for quite some time, billions of tonnes in the ocean (which may be renewable even). There's way more deuterium, of course. But the point is that both are likely to be used and fission has many decades on fusion, and by the time fusion works fission may have a century of advantage over fusion. We need to leverage that. Fission and fusion can and should complement each other. Eh, in all likelihood the tritium containing material will need to be shipped to a processing site, so a deuterium reactor won't produce tritium for its own needs in that sense. Fission reactors don't need tritium but they can and are being used already to breed tritium. It's well understood and ripe to be taken advantage of for tritium used in fusion reactors.
  17. The uranium separation process is complicated, but some reactors can be fueled by natural uranium. Even those that aren't are generally fueled by low enriched uranium. It doesn't have to be endless, my point is that the extraction is a mature technology that can be used for mature technologies (fission reactors). Fission reactors can (and do) breed tritium from Li. Yes, smaller reactors can be said to generally cost less. They also generally perform worse. There's a few reasons for this, but basically miniaturizing fusion reactors isn't really in the cards right now.
  18. Chemical and physical separation of the tritium from everything else. There's also He4 in there, too. Separating it is entirely possible, but I don't think it's desirable for fusion power reactors. Using a much more common naturally occurring fuel is preferred. Yes, it will be cheaper. But the cost of deuterium isn't the problem here. Extracting and processing large amounts of uranium is a mature industry. Seawater extraction is also approaching reasonable costs, and may get there relatively soon. Tritium production won't need to be too large anyways for our energy use, and tritium extraction from fission reactors is already done. Yes, I'm aware that D-D needs to be hotter than D-T. The issue is, D-He3 is harder than D-D, and requires He3. A pure D-D setup is preferable, with a D-T ignited D-D setup being acceptable. D-He3 ignited D-D is not desirable since you're trying to ignite a hard D-D reaction with a harder D-He3 reaction.
  19. Eh, separation is still tough because the tritium will likely be in a chemical compound or some complex mixture. Deuterium isn't a luxury, it's used in heavy water as a moderator. It may get cheaper, but my point was that it was still vastly cheaper than tritium. You're better off sourcing tritium from fission reactors. I think that we'd be better off not having to use something to ignite D-D reactions. If we do though, then a small chunk of D-T fuel in a pellet would probably suffice. And you can get tritium from fission reactors as is. By the time fusion reactors are widespread enough to produce appreciable amounts of tritium, they would probably (or at least hopefully) not need it.
  20. Yeah, sure, it can be bred. But that then requires separating the isotopes. A quick cost comparison should sum it up pretty well: Deuterium: ~13400 USD per kg Tritium: ~30000 USK per g, or around 30 million USD per kg Tritium is more than 2000x more expensive than deuterium. Once we get DT to work, we need to get DD to work. As it stands, the cost of the tritium is too high to really be economical, though maybe cost be lowered with the right industry and technology. However, it'd be a lot nicer if we could get DD. Then we don't have to worry about producing tritium.
  21. Tritium is the problem in this case. We need to develop DT reactors and then figure out DD.
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