Saturday, November 2, 2013

Next Big Future: Surprise Lockheed Figured out how to make hyperson...

Next Big Future: Surprise Lockheed Figured out how to make hyperson...: The SR-71 Blackbird was retired from U.S. Air Force service almost two decades ago, the perennial question has been: Will it ever be succee...

I don't see the point of this plane.  Perhaps if it were fitted with a laser, it could shoot down something.  But that would require a power source.  Where would the power come from?

Strategy for mining an asteroid, part XXVI


After all the previous considerations of how to reduce mass, it appears that a mission may be possible with a smaller sail.  There could be a mission to Deimos, for example.  Samples could be taken, and then returned to Earth.  It could be a manned mission.

The configuration would require a Gemini type payload of about 8000 lbs.  The sail would have to be a high-performance sail with sail loading ( without payload ) of just 1 g/m2.  Making a larger sail would allow a greater payload.

Of course, a high-performance sail implies construction in space.  If it weren't for that, I wouldn't be interested in this idea.  The assumption being made is that a sail like this could be made in space in the near future.  Another assumption is the use of my ideas for reducing mass for the sail and payload.  Those ideas rely upon the near future availability of bulk graphene at an affordable price, lower launch prices, and 3D printing techniques in space ( SpiderFab).  Another assumption could be that a mission to bring an asteroid back to a lunar LaGrange point will have been approved and executed.  Not only executed, but extended to support a mission to Deimos via a space sail--- the moon will provide the aluminum for the sail.

Here's a spreadsheet of the calculations

Destination Delta V not indicated here, but Deimos wouldn't be too much different than this.  The top calculation is for a sail of 2 km square on each side  This configuation is for mining.  The bottom one is for one about 800 meters on each side. 


A Power Plant on Every Street | MIT Technology Review

A Power Plant on Every Street | MIT Technology Review


In the long term, the technology could even be put into hybrid vehicles to charge their batteries, since it is both lighter than an internal-combustion engine and more efficient at producing electricity.[emphasis mine]
 Whoa!  This is something to watch.  If it is lighter than an ICE and it isn't too big and bulky, this would certainly work in an automobile.  It still uses a fossil fuel, still emits carbon, so that would have to be addressed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Strategy for mining an asteroid, part XXV


The last post looked at the spacesuit.  One thing that I found was that the human body doesn't cover that much in surface area.  According to this, an average of less than 2 square meters.  It so happens that an Iron Man suit may be possible with only 400 lbs worth of tungsten for the radiation shield.  Is that correct?  I need to double check that.  Yes, it looks correct.

With that little in mass, we may go with a truly Iron Man look.  No to the medieval look.  Somehow, incorporate the tungsten into the carbon fiber, or just place it on top of it.  You can look cool, like the Iron Man.  Now with the suit 50% protected against gamma radiation and pressurized, it may need some more attention paid to ergonomics.  For a long term mission, ergonomics has to be considered.  Considered, but not emphasized.  This mission will require a spartan treatment.  Mass is the big enemy, but looking cool doesn't cost any mass, or doesn't have to.

Although it is a suit that can allow movement, is it comfortable?  What about body heat?  It needs a climate control.  It also needs a way "to go".  The suit has to worn constantly---it can't be taken off except once a day, perhaps.  It won't even be possible take it off to go the restroom.  The suit will have to take care of that.  It all has to be kept simple and lightweight.  How do you scratch an itch?  Good question.

The space hab is going to require more oxygen than I thought.  Looks like a few thousand pounds.  It doesn't have to be pressurized all the time.  Just for access to the entire hab.  Once it is finished, it can be depressurized.

It looks like the mass of the suits and the hab can be kept down considerably.  Perhaps artificial gravity can be reconsidered?  A 10 meter in radius sphere could provide up to Martian gravitation at 6 RPM, if my math is right.  The worry before was vibration, but at less than a thousand pounds for the radiation protection, this may not be such a big deal after all.


I've been thinking about this and have decided that this is enough research for now.  A suit is possible, in my opinion.

As a reference, I include the following links

Strategy for mining an asteroid, part XXIV


Good news and bad news.  The bad news was reported earlier today.  The good news is that tungsten is better than lead for shielding, plus less toxicity.  The coffins can be made smaller and lighter.

An idea just flashed in my mind.  What if you made an Iron Man spacesuit made of graphene and tungsten?  It could give some radiation protection and could be pressurized when necessary.  An astronaut can move about inside his Iron man suit and not have to be confined to his coffin.

Tungsten is has a half thickness of about half that of lead.  So, 1 cm of lead would provide 50% shielding, whereas .5 cm of tungsten could do the same.  Now if that much tungsten could somehow be woven into a fabric with graphene as a base...  Just brainstorming, here....  The goal would be protection with some flexibility for easier movement.

The Iron Man suit would have sheets of tungsten that would fit over each other in a smooth way so as to allow movement.  Inside the tungsten outer shell, an inner shell of pressurized graphene would finish the suit.  The human body requires atmospheric pressure, that's what the graphene inner shell accomplishes.

Back to the bad news.  It seems that 3554 Amun is ruled out, but not necessarily 1986 DA, the other $20 trillion rock.  3554 Amun delta v is over 10 km/sec, while 1986 DA is around 7 km/sec.  That's slightly more than a Mars rendezvous from LEO.  It's more of a challenge, but 1986 DA could still support a Mars colony as indicated in an earlier post.

There's going to be a need for propellant after all.  I was thinking we might get around that altogether, but that may not be in the cards.  If we are going to need propellant, then we definitely need in situ resourcing.  Proponents say it is a game-changer.  I'd say so.  If you can fill up at numerous locations instead of having to carry it all in one shot, it does simplify things enormously.

A light weight protective suit may help with propellant type missions as well.  The goal, besides mining asteroids, is to be able to stay in space for long periods.  The suit can help with that objective, too.  The idea of making very large stations still makes the mass problem too large to solve reasonably.  Thus, if you can protect astronauts with a minimum of mass, all the better.  For example, let's say you want to make a sphere of 1 cubic mile of air as a radiation shield.  The calculations for the amount of gas need give a prohibitively large number ( 1 cu mile of oxygen masses at 6,056,144,310 kg !!!) even for the mass of the gas in that proposition.  No large structures are going to be possible.  You need small structures, like a space suit.


It might have something like the look of medieval armor.  A chain mail exterior made of tungsten over a carbon fiber body that can be pressurized.  The inside of the carbon fiber could be a graphene pressurized covering that pushes against the carbon fiber body and the skin.  The loosely fitting chain mail could allow freedom of movement, while the carbon fiber body could be shaped into human form without adding too much mass nor be too restrictive in bodily movements.


3554 Amun delta v can be found here

NASA has a list of delta v's for all the Near Earth Asteroids, of which 3554 Amun is one.  It turns out to have a higher delta v than 1986 DA.  That surprises me.  I expected the delta v to be much more modest.

This changes things.  What started out as a simple trip is now a much more challenging one.

Get ready for this

UBS On The Importance Of 3D Printing

Time to use the f-word about Obamacare

The f-word wasn't the one I thought, it is "fraud"

We're still screwed in either case.

Brilliant Pebbles

This was a SDI program during the Reagan Administration.  I'm trying to find info on it, but there doesn't appear to be very much out there.  It may have been something similar to what I thought up myself.

In my opinion, the reason for SDI's geopolitical success was that it undermined the theory of MAD ( Mutual Assured Destruction).  MAD really is crazy though.  The trouble with MAD is that it may not work in all instances.  For example, what if the enemy is willing to endure the counter attack?  In such a case, the primary desire to destroy you will have been achieved regardless of the damage that will be inflicted upon yourself.  It is the folly of the frog that gave the scorpion a ride across the river.  The assumption being that the scorpion will take care not to hurt the frog, as it will die too--- but the scorpion doesn't care that it dies as long as you are dead too.

The liberal opposition to SDI said that you can't stop nuclear missiles.  But that could be wrong too.  From the movie Patton, I recall something that the Patton character said: "anything built by man can be overcome by man."  Whether or not the real General Patton ever said anything like that is irrelevant.  The fact of the matter is that it is true.  A missile can be defeated because it is made by man.  If a man made it, it can be defeated by another man.  The fallacy is believing that anything built by man can be invincible.  It is only invincible for the moment.  Given enough time, it too will be overcome.  Missiles built by man cannot be invincible forever.  Not unless someone wants them to be for some reason.

NOTE:   Unfortunately, sometimes I'm so disorganized that I can't find something on this blog.  There was something I'm sure that I wrote that suggested a possible way to stop nuclear weapons.

You have to understand why a weapon works in order to find a way to defeat it.  A nuclear bomb works because of a runaway nuclear chain reaction inside the warhead.  Disrupt that, and the bomb can't explode.  It so happens that a bomb --- delivered on a warhead fired by a rocket thousands of miles away ---- is going to be vulnerable to an attack.  There is a very sound reason for this.  As I have noted many times on this blog, mass is the great enemy of a rocket.  The more mass, the harder it is for it to get it going.  Therefore, a bomb cannot be shielded very much.  Shielding requires mass and mass cannot be afforded.  So, the weak point of a bomb is the bomb itself and its delivery system.

How to attack a fast moving bomb?  The critics say it like hitting a bullet with a bullet.  We do that all the time.  Whenever a docking in space occurs, you are not only hitting a bullet with a bullet, you are getting them to kiss gently!  So hitting a rocket with something else moving very fast is not impossible.  It has been done before.

I'd say that someone delivering a high powered shot to a warhead coming in has a good chance of disabling it.  The trick is to hit the fast moving object.  With the high powered computers of today, I'm sure that is a way to track where a warhead is going to be after having tracked it thousands of miles previously.  Just put a slug where it is going to be and that slug with penetrate the warhead and disable it.  It won't explode.

Perhaps Brilliant Pebbles worked that way.  It would track the warhead and fire high velocity tungsten projectiles at it.  The projectiles will hit the missile itself or the warhead.  Either way, the missile cannot achieve its objective.  It either won't explode or it won't get to its target.  MAD will have been demonstrated to be false.  Precisely why Clinton and the liberals didn't want it to continue.

Did I offend someone?

There has been a pattern of dropping pageviews.  Last night, it dropped to near nothing.

Should I write about this?  I took down my pageview counters.  They aren't going anywhere anyway.  I am not going to be obsessed with popularity.  That's the point.

I've written many times here that the truth is a slippery thing.  Even when you think you've got it, you may not.  Don't be too sure about that.  Well, that's a message mainly to me.  If your own experience is that you are always right, then it differs from mine.

There is a proverb, perhaps Arabic in origination, that says that a man who tells the truth must always have a foot in the stirrup.  There's a tendency to want to silence what we don't want to hear.  If the truth is such, the truth teller could be putting himself at risk.

Fine.  I understand.  There are people out there who could be perfectly fine with your demise if you are a threat to them.

So, when I see those numbers falling, I wonder:  Did I strike a nerve somewhere?

Sorry, but to be true to myself, I must write what I believe to be true in my own heart.  That's what I do here.

If anyone is offended, you are perfectly welcome to debate your differences with me here.  All I ask for is civility.

About Russia again

There was this story that during the Nixon administration, the Russians obliquely asked them what their attitude would be if there were a nuclear war between Russia and China.  The impression was given, at least to me, that the Russians were thinking of eliminating the Chinese because they had become rather troublesome to them.

The Nixon adminstration's response was to be ambivalent as possible so as to create doubt amongst the Russians that such an idea was a good one.  Perhaps Nixon did the Chinese a great service, for Russia may have been contemplating a first strike.

With all this Russian posturing of late, I am beginning to wonder what their intentions are with respect to us.  Also, what is Obama's intentions with respect to that?  We may have a pretty bad situation on our hands here.

Could the Russians be getting an idea that they could eliminate the USA without major repercussions to themselves?

Noticing a pattern

Can you see this?  It seems that Obama really doesn't want people to hear about bad news.

Obama really looks like he is allergic to the truth.

Again, why are people still listening to this guy?

Silencing Harry and Louise

Obama's "you can keep your healthcare if you like it" lie was necessary so that the law could pass in Congress?

Okay, but what is the excuse for not defunding ObamaCare when you had the chance?  You can't blame the Democrats for that one.  The GOP agreed to keep funding ObamaCare and its enforcement continues--- that enforcement is now resulting in cancellations of policies.

So, why did the GOP agree to continue enforcing ObamaCare?  Some harsh medicine had to be swallowed?

I disagree with the prescription.  The GOP could get blamed anyway.  Do the right thing for the right reasons.  Letting people suffer when you could have stopped it is not right.

Rush was talking about a "pox on both their houses" type of thinking was wrong yesterday.  I turned it off.  It is definitely correct.  There's a faction in the GOP that needs to go because they continue to betray the rest of the party and the nation.  If the main part of the GOP, which is the salvageable part in my opinion, continues to ally itself with these people, they will go down with the ship too.

Zubrin sounds a warning bell

Or so it seems to me.  What's up with Russia anyway?  Are they planning for war?

What Zubrin is saying is that the Limits to Growth crowd is moving to Moscow, and that Moscow may be getting an idea to eliminate the USA.

link via Instapundit

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Beatles - Rain - Uncut Promo

Rainy day today in H-town.

Strategy for mining an asteroid, part XXIII


Frankly, I don't understand the fascination with Mars.  How can you make a buck there?  If you aren't making money there, you'll have to be supported.  How long would that arrangement last?  No, you have to make money.

The idea came to me today that you can support a Mars colony by mining that $20 trillion rock between Earth and Mars.  Not to be confused with the other $20 trillion rock that I've been writing about, which can be found between Earth and Venus.

The advantage to the Mars colony is that it takes less energy to get off the Martian surface, plus there's the moon Deimos, which can be mined for fuel.  And/or you could build a space sail out there that would transit between Earth and Deimos.  So, you can mine that rock and come back to Deimos to trade with the Mars colony.  The mining ship could trade with Earth as well.  That's how goods can get back and forth between Mars and Earth while making a buck.  The Mars colony could support the mining ship with food.  The Mars colony can exchange food for Earth goods.  The mining ship can exchange precious metals with Earth for its goods to trade with the Mars colony.

I was thinking that maybe you could do the same with Venus.  However, Venus has a deep gravity well like Earth's.  It would take a lot to get to orbit from a floating base in the Venusian sky.  Then I remembered the idea of mining gases from the edge of space.  There may be a problem with execution of this plan because you'd probably want a nuclear powered ship to gather the gases.  If that hurdle is not too high, perhaps the mine at 3554 Amun could supply the holding tanks for the gases.  The colony at Amun could probably use the water and the carbon dioxide for life support operations on their own.  Or a Venus colony could exist in orbit which could trade their gases for goods as the Mars colony above.  The Venus colony could grow food as well.  They would trade the colony at Amun for their tanks and Earth goods.

If there can't be an economic system set up, it is hard to see how a colony could begin.  An economic system that I've speculated upon above would take a considerable amount of ground work to set it up.

The question then is who would set this up?  The government?  Or would a private entity try to do it?


Next Big Future: Physicist discusses how many nuclear fear mongerin...

Next Big Future: Physicist discusses how many nuclear fear mongerin...: A physicist discusses Fukushima. There was no Fukushima nuclear disaster. Total number of people killed by nuclear radiation at Fukushima ...

Failure to Communicate

This has been posted before on the blog, but what the heck?  Might as well do it again.  It has become something of an icon in the culture.

The Captain strikes down "Cool Hand Luke" because he said: "I wish you would stop being so good to me, Captain."  The Captain is enraged, and his blow sends Luke down the hill.  Thereupon, he delivers his short, but famous little speech.

It reminds me of certain elements in our leadership who do things "for our own good".  Like Luke, I wish they would stop being so good to us.

Managing the optics

The word "optics" is a politics term I've come across lately.  No exact definition, but my impression is that it is defined as the way things look in a political sense.

There are those who are looking for ways to explain the problems the GOP is having.   Let's look at the optics of the last two GOP presidents--- Bush 41 and Bush 43.  You see, I think that the Bushes are not that big on the optics.  Reagan was better on the optics.  So was Clinton.

With Bush 41, it began with the optics of the previous 8 years--- relative peace and prosperity.  No big wars, maybe a few skirmishes here and there, but no big wars.  There were the optics of a rising stock market, lowering interest rates, improved inflation, more jobs.  By the end of his only term, the economy had slipped into the type of numbers that don't make good optics.  Al Gore made good use of it at the Democrat convention that election year---"everything that should be up is down and everything that was down should be up".  Bad optics and a defeat.

Clinton's optics were good.  Good economic growth and lowering deficit.  He was re-elected.  Although his troubles with the Lewinksi scandal gave Gore some trouble in his election bid.

Now, Bush 43's optics were terrible at the end of his two terms.  He inherited a budget surplus.  He left with a huge deficit that was destined to climb higher.  Inflation was up a bit.  The dollar was way down and gold was way up.  He had a big war on his hands.  Then came the economic collapse.  By the end of his presidency, the optics wre terrible.  Peace and prosperity had turned into war and a deep recession.  A big defeat at the polls ensued.

So, what's happening now?  The deficits are said to be decreasing again.  Inflation is low.  The stock market is booming.  Gold has stabilized.  The dollar has stabilized.  But there are some bad optics out there for Obama.  NSA spying, the IRS scandal, and the failing ObamaCare rollout to name a few.  Jobs are not coming back like in recoveries of the past.  So, Obama's optics are mostly a mixed bag.  His approval numbers are not great, but not terrible.

If the GOP wants to improve their political fortunes, perhaps they should pay attention to the optics.

But that goes against the grain of principles sometimes, and the GOP likes to have everyone believe they have some principles.

Can you be principled and take care of the optics?  I think so.  You won't please everybody, but you can do it.  Reagan did.  So, it is not impossible.  On the other hand, the Bushes showed that you can appear unprincipled and still botch the other optics.  It all leads to defeat at the polls.


This post from the mining an asteroid series appears to be the most popular as of now.

It has me scratching my head as to why.  The whole point of mining an asteroid is to make a buck, not to go to Mars and do some science.  So, I don't get it.

One way to understand is to consider the culture today.  It is almost a sin to make money now.  So, anyone proposing to do just that isn't taken seriously.  Or perhaps, that person suffers in esteem.

It doesn't make sense to me.  This kind of thing worries me a bit.

Google takes secrecy to new heights with mystery barge

yahoo news


Curious how they want so much secrecy while at the same time wanting to know so much about everybody else.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We are the Borg...

If this comes true, we may as well be.

These people in leadership positions have absolutely gone bug f*@k.

60 Minutes confirms Benghazi is a real scandal, and you’ve been lied to

Legal Insurrection


There are those, like the good Professor here, who think that the truth matters.  Look, in spite of all the obfuscation of the press and the administration, the people decided to vote for Obama anyway.  That's the bottom line.

It's just like Lady MacBeth Clinton said:   "What difference does it make?"

What difference indeed.

It's going to take a very high cost to make this right, which is a pretty good indication it won't ever be made right.

Next Big Future: Greenpeace and others are preventing millions of c...

Next Big Future: Greenpeace and others are preventing millions of c...: Golden rice contains enough vitamin A to meet children's needs. A 2009 study concluded that golden rice is effectively converted into ...


They've realised that it's politically more effective to be radical and not judge things on a case-by-case basis....One of the cleverest tricks of the anti-GMO movement is to link GMOs so closely to Monsanto and other multinational corporations, because Monsanto has no friends. That strategy guarantees millions of supporters because people are emotionally against multinationals and in favour of organic farming because of the perception that it's run by idealists who protect nature and don't make money from it.[emphasis mine]


Proof that people don't think.  Note that the truth here doesn't matter.  Such is the state of the things today.

Forget ObamaCare; It’s Plain Old Medicaid

Dick Morris


Morris says that the only ones signing up for Obamacare are new Medicaid enrollees.  This will be a budget buster for the states down the road.  Evidently, those states opting for this aren't thinking about that right now.  They must believe that Uncle Sam is going to take care of them.

Synthetic Fuel from Seawater: The Science


One of the fuels mentioned was methane.  This seems interesting to me because methane can be used very efficiently.  It can be used in a fuel cell or in a turbine.  Perhaps the CO2 can be recaptured and recycled as well.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Strategy to mine an asteroid, part XXII


Calculations show the habitation sphere will have 154 square meters.  A graphene sphere could be pressurized, so a very lightweight sphere could be built.  First calculations give some unbelievably low mass numbers.  Anyway, it won't weigh much.  It will be designed so that the crew can access components that may need to be tended to from time to time.  It will also contain the supplies and machinery needed for life support.

The coffins should be 3 half thicknesses, bringing up the protection to 87.5%.  This is in compensation for no artificial gravity.  The crew will have to be rehabilitated off world when they get back to the Earth Moon system.  This implies a base of operations, preferably at a Lagrange point.

The base could bring back gravity slowly, like decompressing a deep sea diver, so that he won't get the bends.

Now, let's look at some facts of life, so to speak.  The economics of the enterprise.

If you are going to operate out of a base at a Lagrange point, you need some way to get there and back.  You are going to need the base itself.  Then you need the mining ship.  That looks like at least 3 Falcon Heavy launches.  At current prices, the cost may be too high to consider.  If the costs can come down to 500 dollars a pound, that would make each launch cost 50 million apiece.

The raw materials to make the mining ship and habitat won't cost much.  However, some research and development must occur first.  This is going to cost some money.

The mining materials are going to cost a bunch too because it will have to be fitted to work in vacuum conditions.  Not to mention the general harsh conditions of space.

Let's say the cost of launch is half your cost.  Then you'll have to raise $300 million.  That may be a pretty low ball number.  Who'd be willing to pay to do this and why?  That question must be answered for the technical part may be the easiest part.

Anyway, you have a cost estimate.  An estimate of potential profit is tough to guess at.  If there was any chance at all at getting 50 tons of platinum back, that would give a lot of wiggle room in terms of making a profit off the first trip.  But that luxury may not be possible.  You can also consider other profit centers---like making stuff.  Making stuff that would enable development of other worlds may be of interest.

The goal is to bring 50 tons to the asteroid and bring back 50 tons.  However, the more weight there is, the longer it will take to get there.  Time may be an issue.

Then there is the problem of how to mine the asteroid itself.  This series started out with that firmly in mind.  If you can't mine it, what's the point in going, right?  I haven't worked out those details yet.  You can use plasma type system, or just keep it as simple as possible.

If you use plasma, it will take a lot of energy.  That discussion included using space solar beamed down to the asteroid's surface.  But what if you just make solar panels that circled the asteroid? That's a consideration.

The whole thing driving this is economics.  There has to be a reason to go there.  The reason could be money.  That may turn off some folks, but that's what people will want and be willing to risk life and limb for.  How to make money mining asteroids is THE primary goal.


They are taking the Astrodome apart

Auctioning off memorabilia for renovation.  It is to become an exhibition hall.

Starship troupers

The Economist via Instapundit

If starships are ever built, it will be in the far future. But that does not deter the intrepid band of scientists who are thinking about how to do it

They can be built and paid for from mining a metal rich asteroid.  That's what this series is all about.

Why the GOP should thank Ted Cruz

Da Tech Guy via Instapundit


Let me close with this: If Ted Cruz had not made this fight, When the Obamacare launch came and the problems arose, the media would have talked about how natural such problems were and when Democrats asked to delay implementation it would be sold by the media as not a big deal, the most reasonable thing in the world…

Yeah, all good points.  But the battle must be joined again because the enforcement of ObamaCare is still destroying the health care industry.  There will be little left at this rate.  What will take its place?

Victory is not won by any stretch of the imagination.

Take This State And Shove It: The New Secession Movement


Secession-minded residents in rural areas complain their voices aren't being heard in distant capitals. Some would like to create new governments from scratch rather than staying forever trapped within a larger state that doesn't reflect their preferences.[emphasis mine]

The cities tend to be blue, the countryside tends to be red.  Looking at the map of the US in terms of counties, the divide is along geographical lines, but not north and south, but town and country.  This could be a serious problem.

Valerie Jarrett: Obamacare doesn’t force you off your plan; your insurance company does, by complying with Obamacare!

hot air


the truth is arriving in thousands of mailboxes, and costing each family thousands. It’s going to get harder to convince them they’re not seeing what they’re seeing.

How do you fix this?  The damage is done.

Dem Consultant: Dem Party is F***d

American Thinker


That would be good news if it were true.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Strategy to mine an asteroid, Part XXI


A couple of things since the last post.  Number 1, the guy who will make food that isn't food.  Perhaps there wouldn't be a need to grow food, but just bring along this stuff.  Number 2, the graphene posts.  Perhaps the amount of mass can be reduced even further.  These ideas got me thinking once again about the space hab.  To recap what preceded on this subject:  part 14 of the series, I decided to take some risks with the amount of shielding in place.  This was necessary in order to keep the mass from getting out of hand.  The goal is to keep mass to a minimum.

We may need to take some risks.  There may be some wiggle room with what you can get away with.

If we go with only 50% shielding, we can make a "coffin" out of lead that's 1 cm thick, which will weigh in at 1750 lbs or so.  Two of these would mass at 3500 lbs.

Now for how to keep as healthy as possible on the trip.  There should be some artificial gravity. How to accomplish this?

There are other questions, but let's tackle this one first.

Given that it may be possible to obtain really lightweight "thread" to be used as a tether, the two coffins can be spun around each other at such an RPM and distance that 1 g may be obtainable without using too much mass.  One problem though.  It would be desirable to stop the rotation and get out of the coffins from time to time.

Perhaps the spider fab can make a tube and thread the tube in order to make it rigid.  The tube needs to be strong enough to withstand the forces upon it as it slows down and speeds up.  It is uncertain how much is needed for this purpose.  That could impose a mass penalty, but if it does, it may have to be paid.  It won't do to have the crew spending all their time in the coffins.

How to connect to the space sail?  Hopefully, this won't prove to be too big of a problem.  Perhaps a connection with another tether will be all that is needed.  However, as the coffins begin to spin, I worry a bit that it may impose instabilities upon the entire spacecraft.  It needs to spin without wobbles and such, but those may be impossible to eliminate.  When there are wobbles or vibrations, these need to be isolated so that the sail is not disturbed.

As a result of this thinking, it may be desirable to keep the rotating, artificial gravity device small.  There's too much of a risk that it will impose a problem.  Not only that, but that the coffins won't be included.  That means a very limited time in the artificial g device since the crew will be exposed during this time.  The risks have to be traded off.  If you want less health risk, you may impose higher mission risk.  The highest priority is to get there and back safely.  What kind of shape they will be in will have to play second fiddle to that.

You will need an inflatable device to give access to the artificial g device.  Since the device will be small, then we can go back to the sphere design that we had before.  But the sphere will be minimized in terms of mass.

The crew will come out of the coffins into a pressurized sphere.  They will be connected to a rod, perhaps reinforced with the strong threads mentioned.  Then they will be spun up to the highest RPM they can tolerate.  They will spin for as long as they can before the radiation dosage becomes too risky, then the spinning will cease.  They will go back into the coffins where they spend most of their time.

Perhaps all this adds to much health risk.  Anyway, the sphere would be tethered to the sail, possibly at the mast.  Therefore, there must be no torque nor vibration transmitted to the sail's mast.  How this may be done isn't clear now.  If it can't be done, there could be a problem.  Some type of artificial g must be generated, or the trip must be kept as short as possible.  This may not be convenient with this type of propulsion.

After some pause, I thought of a way to stabilize the vibrations and torque.  So I hope.  Just use the mass of the coffins.  As the two crew members are spun up, the will rotate around a rod that connects the two coffins at each end of the sphere.  There will be a second rod that the two crew members are connected to.  The will spin around the axis that is created at the intersection of the two rods.  It is hoped that the two crew members will weigh as much as each other to a fine degree.  Whatever difference in mass will have to be compensated for somehow.  Anyway, the balance will hopefully keep out vibrations.  Torque is removed through a bearing system that will transmit it through the sphere and be compensated by thrusting.  Hopefully, this will not prove to be too much.  Changes in rotational speed could be a big problem, as forces may well be transmitted through the rods and to the sphere, which would not be good.  Rotational energy should be supplied by an electrical motor.  The motor could become a generator and recover the energy for the slow down.

The thought just occurred to me that artificial g may not be possible with a space sail.  That means the crew members will need rehab somewhere when they get back.  If there's to be no artificial g on the mission, it won't interfere with work at the asteroid.  There's very little g there as well.


Repost: ( changed title) Limits to Growth equals Seinfeld Party of Nothing


This post is an oldie, but goodie.  I didn't know how good at the time.  "Limits to Growth" equals the Seinfeld party.  The Seinfeld party is like the TV show, which was about nothing.  The Seinfeld party is about party about nothing---for you.

repost below:

Sorry to have to do this, but sometimes liberals get so ridiculous that I have to say something. The latest bunch of nonsense comes from none other the the dean of screams, the erstwhile Democrat candidate for President in 2004, Mr. Howard Dean. One thing about these liberals, they want to get under your skin. Yes, and he did that with this right here (from Free Republic)
Howard Dean is a contributor to CNBC, and in this role, he continues to say the darnedest things. On Monday's "The Last Word," Dean said of the far-right, "They hate Muslims, they hate gays, they hate immigrants, and the rhetoric in the primaries shows that"
One observation about liberals, they love everything anti Western. If Judeo Christianity disapproves of "gays", this is a cause for disapproval. Isn't that hatred in return for hatred? If Muslims want to overthrow Western Civilization as they have attempted several times in the past, this is also a cause for disapproval for "intolerance". But isn't that returning "hatred" for "hatred"? If patriots object to immigrants who won't learn the language nor the customs of this country, that is bigotry. But isn't their criticism just as hateful? If you are a patriot, you must be a bigot, in Mr. Dean's world. But why do liberals get to preach to us about our intolerance? What have they got against Western Civilization?

Liberals remind me of the old joke about the sitcom Seinfeld. It was a show about "nothing". When it comes to liberals, they are an ideology about nothing. They don't want a country, because to have a country means that you are a chauvinist and a bigot. Their idea of a perfect society is no society at all. They don't want anybody to get rich, unless it is themselves. What that ends up meaning is that everybody will have nothing. If you don't like it, then you are politically incorrect. That means you don't get to say nothing. Don't do anything, don't say anything, and don't want anything. That's what liberals are all about. Which is nothing.

60 Minutes: Benghazi



Oh, now they tell us.

The GOP is losing the glitch fight

What does the title mean?  Simply put, the GOP thinks the glitches are helping them politically.

But that is wrong.  The reason it is wrong is that the health insurance industry is being destroyed.  This will usher in single payer.

The thing to have done was to defund ObamaCare.  This removes the threat to the insurance industry.  But they took counsel of their fears and backed down.  They probably think with all this trouble with the glitches, that they will prevail.   This assumption underlies their strategy, but what about that strategy?  Will it work?

Nope.  We will get single payer because ObamaCare will have succeeded in destroying the free market in health care.  Their failure to stand firm is helping Obama do that.  By not standing firm, we will get single payer.

There would have been risks if they stood firm against Obama, but there also risks in doing nothing.  Unfortunately for us, we are going to start to see more and more of what those risks actually were because of their decision to do nothing.


Coyote blog

It turns out that the US is one of the few industrialized nations to meet the terms of the Kyoto protocols (reduce CO2 emissions to 1997 levels) despite the fact we never signed it or did anything to try to meet the goals.

I didn't know that we met the terms of Kyoto.  How bout them apples?  But then again, Kyoto wasn't meant to reduce CO2 emissions.  It was meant to implement Limits to Growth policies.  The advocates of such plans don't intend for you to have more, but to have less.

Even though we met Kyoto, we still don't have more, by the way.

The absurdity of Limits to Growth policy

and the results: I think iDave has just lost the next general election

Why will David Cameron lose the next general election?

David Cameron believes that millions of people facing rising energy bills should consider “wrapping up warm” and wearing jumpers, Downing Street has said.

In other words, "do without".  What kind of stupid answer is that?!  There is no excuse for this kind of stupidity.  It is stupid because there is a way to make all the energy that you'll ever need.  Yet, for some strange reason, these people will never consider it.  The reason must be because they think that there are limits to energy, but there are no limits except those that we place upon ourselves.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hydrogen – All Hype Or The Better Battery, Does Elon Musk Know?

Kitco Commentary


Research and interviews conducted by Tech Metals Insider have produced a large amount of evidence for hydrogen networks being built right now. This is supported by many large players in the industry. Energy giants are also wading into the discussion and see the potential for hydrogen technology. A recent study, titled “New Lens Scenarios” published by Dutch oil firm Shell, highlights several scenarios of what our future might look like. The company is predicting that by the end of our century hydrogen will be the leading technology for energy storage and utilization.


If Aronsson is right, fuel cells can be made today for a reasonable cost.  Cost of the fuel cells should not be the issue.  The remaining issue would be the hydrogen.  But that too is solvable.

Been there.   Done that.

Oh, the pain!

Articles: Toward Single-Payer: We're Almost There

American Thinker


Not quite sure how this explains the "glitches".  In my opinion, the glitch is nothing but an unplugged appliance.  Once it is plugged in, it will work.  It works better when it is plugged in.  The reason it isn't plugged in is that there's no "juice".  The juice not meaning electricity, but money.

The left wins either way.  If nobody has insurance anymore, it increases the likelihood of single-payer.  If the GOP spent the money, ObamaCare becomes popular.  No-win scenario for GOP.

ObamaCare equals Titanic

Legal Glitch "Has The Potential To Sink Obamacare"

Free form post

It looks like I'm not doing anything, but au contraire mon frere.

I don't see anything that would seem worthy of writing about, that's all.

So, I'll just write about what pops into my head.

Earlier today, I was listening to a song by Grand Funk, called I Come Tumblin'.  It occurred to me that Farner had an guitar idea there that he couldn't quite pull off.  If that's true, I know the feeling.  That's to say, I have these ideas that are in my head, but they don't quite make it to my writing.  I tried playing guitar when I was younger.  Same thing as with my writing now.  Anyway, the guitar playing just misses being great, in my opinion.  He just quite can't pull it off.

Moving along on another subject, I was going to post something about the Battle of the Alamo, but changed my mind.  It's one of those subjects that people don't care that much about, but it interests me.  What really happened at the Alamo?  There's the legend, then there's the truth.  The legend is more interesting, so that's what people flock to.  People prefer the fairy tales.  I don't think I'll put the link up because of that.  If anyone is interested in the truth, they can find it.

On another subject, there was a discussion somewhere about the robots taking over, so to speak.  Look, if you carry that to its conclusion, there will be just a few people who will be catered to by an army of robots.  The rest of the population will die off.  Is that the kind of world they want?  Maybe it might suit some people out there.  Why can't we have a world in which technology serves all of us instead of only a few?

While on the subject of technology, there always seems to be some great stuff that's about to be invented, but then you don't hear about it anymore.  There's one thing I'm going to keep looking out for and that's graphene.  That is a miracle substance, right there.  If someone can make that stuff in bulk and at a reasonable cost, it will enable some really fantastic stuff.  Try to imagine a car made out of graphene.  The car will weigh hardly nothing, but its body parts will be stronger than steel.  For example, a 4 kg cat can be supported by graphene that weighs less than one of its whiskers.  It is 100 times stronger than steel.  The applications for this stuff would be mind boggling.  Like a car that can be electric powered because it take a lot less energy to move a lot less mass.

If human nature was as good as our technology, we'd all be wearing halos and wings.  If people don't wipe themselves out first, the future might be pretty good.

I came across something that says pretty much what I've been saying.  There's no limits to growth.  But then the article went off on a completely different path than what I usually use.  Just goes to show you that there's more than one way to skin a cat.  The "cat" is a metaphor for an argument, in case you didn't catch the meaning.  Of course, if you have to explain...

I guess I'll wrap it up this way--- what kind of future we have is largely dependent upon ourselves.  But that has always been true, hasn't it? may be a 'black swan'


Quote:  ( a humdinger of one, too )

"Amazon and eBay don't crash the week before Christmas,"


Next Big Future: China, OPEC and Europe aim for de-Americanized wor...

Next Big Future: China, OPEC and Europe aim for de-Americanized wor...: HSBC predicts that the Chinese currency will be the third-largest unit used for trade by 2015 and fully convertible within the next five ye...

The Politics Behind The Glitches – Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

The Politics Behind The Glitches – Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!