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About drakesdoom

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    Sr. Spacecraft Engineer
  1. You sir have not been anywhere with serious winters. Go to North Dakota where it is below freezing for 6 months of the year, there is no ice on the roads.
  2. Whoah there slow down. Asphalt is fine in winter weather. Dumping salt on it because people are too stupid to get winter tires ruins it because that induces a repeating freeze/ thaw cycle in the water around it. It has to be around 120+ to melt in the sun not many places face that problem. And it's deformation under load is less than any non continuous road surface, most of the holes and such you see are from poorly laid roads not an inherent flaw in the material.
  3. No one has done that yet, so they get to find out when they do.
  4. Well a main reason to stick with gas in the short term is energy density. An electric car with batteries will have a shorter range or weigh more as compared to a traditional gas car as of right now.
  5. On a purely biological basis a male can have hundreds of children a year limited only to how many females he can impregnate. A female can have at most 4 children every 3 years. Evolution is driven by the ability of genes to be passed on and give healthy offspring as compared to other genes. Honestly with ratios like that I am surprised men don't drop dead at 40.
  6. Hang on you want to structurally dock two craft moving at mach 12 in atmosphere? That sounds reasonable to you?
  7. Modern gas I can give to any yokel with a bucket and he just has to pour it in a hole to power things, he could even put his lit cigarette out in it without causing a fire. In fact it is nearly impossible to accidentally light gas on fire. Compare to hydrogen where you need a pressure vessel to store or transfer it. Also a slow leak of a tank could lead to an explosion if flame comes in contact with the leak because it will lead back to the tank and rupture it from a heat build up.
  8. Are Manned Missions necessary? Is living on the same rock as someone who would ask that question necessary? Science is not for science sake, it is to find new ways to get things done. I would like to think a stable population will be able to leave this rock permanently one day and dilly dallying with probes and greed and fighting over real-estate that is down well is just a petty distraction.
  9. I am the only one that thinks an engine design that could cruise at even 1% of the speed of light without using on board fuel would be awesome? That would never be useful for manned travel but what about probes, a comm buoy outside the solar wind bubble, or an automated barge? Not to mention 2-4% would not be impossible.
  10. Actually that happened on the pad in Russia with a fully fueled ClF3 first stage exploding under a ClF3 second stage that was accidentally ignited during launch prep.
  11. Once you can manufacture in space why ship anything back to earth? There is plenty of rock down here already, and as soon as the first self sufficient space colony is up planet surfaces become backwater.
  12. http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2012_phaseII_fellows_slough.html Already "invented" and funded for a full working rocket that is being worked on right now.
  13. NERVA performed a full scale test running longer than would have been needed for a mars mission. That is far from only on paper. More likely for a new mars mission is a fusion pule rocket using inertial/magnetic ignition of fuel pellets. This design worked on a scale model and could be used as a primitive torch ship to go straight to mars and back. NASA has put funding forth for a full scale test engine and then we are on to flight tests.
  14. You would possibly have **** (236) for the most briefest moment of time, maybe even long enough to record that it existed on some instrument, and then the hard radiation from it splitting would hit you.
  15. As long as we are confining the discussion to terrestrial artillery the only thing that matters for it's destructive capability is bore size. Ground and naval artillery fire high explosive shells. it doesn't matter how fast they go out the barrel they will slow down before they hit the target. The only improvement a rail-gun brings is ammo storage, and maybe down the line a little more range and accuracy. Now if you could power a rail gun on a tank that would be a big improvement. Tank guns fire direct and against other tanks mainly use armor piercing rounds, which would benefit from a high
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