Saturday, January 25, 2014

Our Future Could Be Awesome If Only...

American Thinker

...Matt Damon film, 'Elysium', a typical leftwing paranoiac entry, but there was something in the story that I found enticing. On the utopian Elysium space station, there was an MRI device that could cure whatever illness the patient inside was suffering from without invasive surgery. Sounds very futuristic but the fact is- not really.--Alicia Colon
 I saw the film at a local IMAX theater.  You have to take everything in these movies with a grain of salt.  But that bit about curing everything with just one machine is more than a bit interesting.  Besides that, a space station isn't a century away, either.  That is, unless something bad happens.  In that case, there may never be any space stations at all.  We are all living on a tight rope.  Great things or awful things are possible.

Industrial Heat, LLC Has Acquired Rossi’s E-Cat Technology


Yeah, I've been noticing a little flurry of activity on the cold fusion front.  At the moment, I have no comment on the acquisition because I don't know too much about them.  Peswiki has some info here, so that's a start.

Where's my E-cat?  I want my e-kitty now.  Here kitty kitty.

Okay, I don't want to make too much fun of this.  This could be a big deal.  A very big deal.  As always, we have to wait and see.

Predictions are really hard, especially about the future

That may be attributable to Yogi Berra, who is well known for his humorous malaprops.

I was thinking of predictions and how hard they are.  That's because of a number of factors, of which boils down to one basic thing--- stuff you don't know about.

The presumption is that if you had enough data you can predict the future with some accuracy.  That may be true, but it is also true that you may not be able to get the information that you need.

This is what intelligence services are about.  This is what spying is all about.  Governments can afford this, private citizens not so much.  How can a private citizen avoid being run over by a freight train?  You may decide to stay away from the railroad tracks.  Or, if you do play the game with the big boys, you may need something to equalize your odds.  Otherwise, you may end up as roadkill.

I'm always looking out for information.  I'm not roadkill yet, but the game is still on.

Some organizing principles


Another way of being as it relates to societal decline:  solving problems v managing conflict.  Our leadership wants to manage conflicts, it doesn't work diligently enough to solve problems.  Either the quality and attitude of the leadership improves, or we should change the leadership.  

The odds of this happening?  At this point, the former doesn't look good, but the latter looks like a real possibility.  However, there's no always or never to this stuff.


The truth is a slippery thing, but it seems that most conflict revolves around people who have taken a rather rigid position based upon their notion of what truth is.  The "gold standard" should be the truth, but truth is the first casualty in war.  When a war breaks out, anything can and does happen.  It is generally not a good idea to start one, or be surprised by one.  It is a good idea to be as prepared as possible for one, while doing the most possible to avoid one.


To make money.  I'm attempting to be of service to readers who are doing what they can about the situation for their own interests, or even for decision makers who are looking for a better way of dealing with society's problems.

This may sound like it is presumptuous and way over my pay grade, but I have done a few projects that have worked over the years.  It hasn't led to fame nor fortune, but it has been a modest success.  What makes me qualified to claim these ideas will work?  I don't make that claim, but I'll make my best judgment, and you can take it from there.


Absolutely brutal (and correct) assessment of Wendy Davis’ core political problem

Legal Insurrection


The news of Wendy Davis' political demise may be wildly exaggerated.  Although this is Texas we're talking about here, things are also going downhill in this state as well.  It is only a little better here than elsewhere.

Using this blog to make money

As a ribbon to tie up the whole package of posts that describe for a reader the reason why they should read this blog, I present this post.

It is a part of a series, ex post facto the other posts.  These will be updated to include this one and put up on the left sidebar under the series heading.  Call this the first one, which is actually the last one, and it will go in reverse chronological order.  The last post is here.

Since the theme for the day is what the blog is about, of course, it is about making money.

There may be a money making opportunity right now in the markets.  Playing the markets may be the best way for a schnook like me to make money.  At this point in my life, it is too late to become a rocket scientist or a nuclear engineer.  Or to become---whatever.  Like what Flip Wilson used to say, what you see is what you get, honey!  That means to write about it in a blog.  The blog is IT.

I could be wrong about the markets, and often am, but this market may be about to take a fall.  A big one.

This is not investment advice by any stretch of the imagination, but it could be an investment idea.  The trouble is, if you haven't done this already, you may be too late.  However, there still could be some time.

The idea is to go short.  I won't be a stock picker here, though.  Do your own due diligence.  What you could do is to do a short etf.  If you don't know about that, look it up.  I won't be giving tutorials here.

Naturally, you may want to be long on precious metals.  But if you were reading this blog all along, you should have figured that out already.



Ideas for energy that I like

This is a post a lot like the other one I did yesterday about space.  Since the blog is handicapping potential solutions to big problems, the other big one, which is energy, should not be left out.

I will follow the same conventions as I did with that one, but will add a couple new twists.  One twist is to handicap it as to its likely adoption in the future.  A second twist is that I will say what I don't like about it, or put in some negatives about it.  Like before, this is in no particular order.

  • Molten-salt reactors  What I like  Proven in the lab.  Only one step from commercialization.  What I don't like Politics is against it.  Nuclear energy, especially fission energy, is becoming almost forbidden.  To put it more accurately, I don't like the leadership on the issue, not the technology itself.  Odd of success?  Maybe 50-50.  With appropriate leadership, it's a can't miss prospect.
  • Focus Fusion ( aneutronic fusion method )  What I like  It is also on the list for fusion propulsion for space travel.  Very, very elegant energy solution.  What I don't like  People do not see the value of this proposal.  To put this one more accurately, what I don't like is the failure of leadership on this issue as well, not the technology itself.  However, this may be changing for the better.  Odds of success?  Technology wise maybe less than 50-50.  Otherwise better than 50-50.
  • Polywell Fusion ( aneutronic fusion method)  What I like  Very elegant.  What I don't like  May not work.  The original inventor of the idea has died.  There is nobody to move it forward like Robert Bussard could have.  Odds of success?  Less than 50-50.
  • Cold fusion  What I like  Even more elegant solution than aneutronic fusion.  What I don't like   It may be a futile quest for the Holy Grail of Energy.  In reality, there may not be any clean and safe source of energy at all, and the risk is that the quest could be a big waste of time.   Odds of success?  Less than 50-50.
  • Muon catalyzed fusion  What I like  It almost works, so somebody may figure it out and make it work someday.  What I don't like  This one is like Focus Fusion.  It is a technology that is being overlooked.  It's not a technology problem, it's a people problem.  Odds of success?  Less than 50-50.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells  What I like  It can work today.  What I don't like  Again, nothing wrong with the tech, it's the failure of leadership that's the problem.   Odds of success?  Less than 50-50 because of poor leadership, as for the technology itself, it already exists.
  • (updated) Fracking  What I like  It works today.  What I don't like  If there's anything here that causes concern, it that we can't burn fuel in the atmosphere forever.  This changes the atmosphere.  Do we really want to do that? Odds of success?  N/A since it already works and is in production.  Long term prognosis is uncertain.
  • (updated) Ethanol and Flex Fuel Vehicles  What I like It works today  What I don't like It doesn't include methanol, but ethanol could be produced cheaply soon from methane with new GTL methods.  Odds of success? N/A because it already exists, but ethanol from natural gas doesn't exist yet.  The odds of that are better than 50/50.
Hmm.  That's all I can think of for now.  As before with space, if I can remember something, I will add it in.

For the record, I positively do not like solar, wind, and other so-called renewables.  These are huge wastes of money and time as they will definitely not work.  At least not on the ground.  Solar energy may work in space.

Update: Part 2 of a series.  Part 3 here.  Part 1 here.

War Story type of post

In a thoughtful mood this morning, it seems.  First post was about the blog, now this post will be about me.

Previously, I wrote that I was interested in picking outcomes to football games.  I wrote a computer program that I wanted to market that would do that---that is, pick games versus the spread.  The outcome of that wasn't satisfactory, although one guy I knew thought well of it.  If it doesn't meet my objectives, I cannot in good conscience market it as a product.  So, I didn't.

Years later, I wrote another program that attempted to predict the movement of the stock market.  That one didn't work out either.  One thing that it may have accomplished was to find anomalies.  To me, this is the most useful thing that you can look for in watching the market action.  Trying to predict the way the market will go on any given day is about as useful as predicting the outcome of football games versus the spread.  In other words, a waste of time.

I guess the point here is that I have a track record of trying to predict the future.  That track record indicates to me that it is an impossible job.  But you can find anomalies that may tell you something useful going forward.

That is what I trying to do with this blog.  Predictions for the future.  I am trying to handicap potential solutions for problems.

Going forward, that is what this blog will attempt to do.  In order to bring more focus to what I do here, I will try to handicap potential solutions for problems.

What a mess of a post.

Update: Part 3 of a series.  Part 2 here.  Part 4 here.

Revisiting some old posts for ideas

Amongst the categories of subjects here is a history of the blog.  So, I clicked on that subcategory and found some interesting posts.  Rather than re-post any of them, I thought it better to just discuss them a bit.

First of all, I want to discuss how to improve the blog.  There was a post that ranked the blog in terms of its effectiveness.  I used the results of that test in order to make a slight improvement in the header this morning.  "Solutions" is a keyword to this blog.  I needed to work that into the header and came up with a new header that is slightly revised from the old one.

I didn't do another concept for a keyword, and that is future.  Other keywords should be energy and space.  I didn't do those either.  There is a risk of trying to cover too much ground.  Solutions should be good enough.  ( I hope )

So, for now on, solutions are a keyword for this blog.

Update: Part 4 of a series.  Part 5 here.  Part 3 here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Weak market today and going forward?

The Second Subprime Bubble Is Bursting, Gundlach Warns

Ideas for space that I like

Here is a list of ideas for space travel that I've written about on this blog and that I like.  This list may change over time as I learn more.  The list is in no particular order.

  • Airship to Orbit  ----  Why I like it.  Even if it doesn't work, it can help reach orbit provided that it can be made to carry sufficient mass at sufficient velocity.  What I like most is the attention to mass.  The mass of this method should be the least amongst all methods of getting to space.  Looks like it would definitely work on Mars ( that's a big deal ).
  • Space sailing  ---  Why I like it:  Once again, here is a method of space travel that requires little if any reaction mass.
  • Focus Fusion ( as space drive )  Why I like it:  Very high ISP.  Could enable exploration and settlement of the entire solar system.  Perhaps may even be useful for travel to nearest stars.
  • Beamed power for propulsion  Why I like it   If Nuclear Thermal Engines cannot be used to get to orbit, perhaps this method will be acceptable.
  • Nuclear Thermal Engines  Why I like it  Better ISP than chemical rockets.  Radioactivity issue could be handled if a commitment were made to deal with that issue.
  • Safe-400 ( space nuclear reactor ) Why I like it  Good things can come in small packages.  It only weighs about 1100 lbs.  You're going to need power in space, and this little reactor can deliver it.
  • A Moonstalk and a Mars Stalk Why I like it  Will allow access to the surface with no mass penalty.
  • Gas Guns  Why I like it  Will enable delivery of mass from the surface of the Moon or Mars with no mass penalty.  From the Moon, it wouldn't even require heating of the gas.
  • AX-5 Spacesuit  Why I like it  I like the concept of a hard cover on the suit.  It does allow for 95% of normal movement, so it isn't too restrictive.  It probably won't happen this way, but if it could be made livable for a long period of time, it would be a big help.
  • Skylon  Why I like it  SSTO and reuse, what's not to like?
  • Falcon 9  Why I like it  It will be fully reusable and with a fast turnaround, unless something goes wrong.
Honorable mentions  Stratolaunch, Dream Chaser, Virgin Galactic, XCOR.  I sure hope that I haven't forgotten anybody.

These are all I can remember for now.  If I can think of any others, I will add them to the list.

Update: Last of a series done in reverse chronological order.  The reason for doing it this way was that the reasoning for what I claim to be true isn't necessarily easily found on the blog.  It so happens that it was chronological this time, but it won't necessarily be that way in the future.  The blog format doesn't easily allow for this.  This way, you can see how the reasoning is built up over a series of posts.  To see even deeper, use the category-sub category listings at the bottom of each post.

The previous post in the series is here.

Airships on Mars? Hell yes

Yesterday I looked at the possibility of using an air ship to get the orbit on Mars. I wondered if an airship could go at the hypersonic velocity necessary. It so happens that this is already been done. Perhaps I didn't make a mental note of it at the time , but the during the first time I read it, I should have noticed that this was accomplished already. In 1964 , a hypersonic balloon test was done, and the vehicle survived the test. According to book, said vehicle flew 5000 miles an hour and at the altitude of three hundred thousand feet. The top speed of this vehicle was over half the velocity necessary for orbit on Mars.

Goodyear Inflatoplane

Saw this on John Powell's book about airships to orbit.

A question popped up in my mind:  Could you build a plane out of air that could fly on Mars?

Well, that's basically what John Powell of JP Aerospace is doing.  His Airship to Orbit will start at 140k feet and climb to space.  At 140k feet, the air is thinner than the atmosphere on Mars.

He will use a fancy propulsion device that is similar to what was portrayed in the film The Hunt for Red October.  Such a propulsion device has already been built and operated before in a sub.  The Japanese did it awhile back.

He compares his airships to subs, by the way.  The principles are quite similar.  You can float on air as well as water.  It isn't exactly a new concept.  The thing that's new is his aggressiveness in pursuing the concept.  People have given up on airships.

Try to imagine an airship that can travel at hypersonic speeds.  Even the government with all its money cannot field an airplane that can fly faster than Mach 3.  I am talking about an operational vehicle, not experimental vehicles here.

Powell's ideas could be disruptive.  It would be a mistake to underestimate him.

Blog traffic way down

It looks like traffic is way down for some reason.

To be 100% honest, which I am always trying to be, I have wondered about my traffic here.  It seemed like a lot of robo traffic, not real people.

I suspect that there are real people coming here, but the numbers had always been small.  In other words, this news is not news to me.  But it does make me wonder what the intention behind it was.  Influence perhaps?

I intend to run the blog in the same way as always.  Nothing has changed with me.  I think the blog is better than ever.  Even if nobody reads it at all, I will still post here as a research project.  So, there.

U.S. Cattle Herd Is At A 61 Year Low And Organic Food Shortages Are Being Reported All Over America

Free Republic

If the extreme drought in the western half of the country keeps going, the food supply problems that we are experiencing right now are only going to be the tip of the iceberg. 

The Apocalyse is coming soon.  Well, it certainly appears plausible.

After the Collapse: Six Likely Events That Will Follow an Economic Crash


Things could be coming to a head all over.  If it does, then it may be considered as the time that the excrement hits the recirculation device.  It could be happening right now.

So, what's going on in Ukraine?

Ann Barnhardt has some ideas on the subject.  She notices that the media has gone dark over it.  The media is always dark about what they don't want you to know.  We hear nothing over here about what's going on over there, unless someone like Barnhardt mentions it.

Ukraine first, then we're next she says.  With the news this morning, it doesn't surprise me.  We've just about got a war on our hands right here right now.

Government Privacy Board: NSA Metadata Collection Is Unsupported By PATRIOT Act And Is Illegal

Ace of Spades blog

Apparently there's something called the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. It was created on the recommendation of the 9/11 panel and doesn't seem to have done much until now.


The devil you say.  Why do you suppose it has taken this long for them to have done something?

Do you suppose it had anything to do with the Snowden affair?  Naw, couldn't be.  /sarc

Not much posting over at JP Aerospace

With some of the space posts recently, I became interested in JP Aerospace again.  JP Aerospace intends to get to space by airship.  Some of the most recent blog posts were getting pretty interesting.  I think it is a sincere effort to get to space.  So, I'm going to check and see if there is any scoop to be had here.

Checked the main web page, and I can't find anything there that might explain things.  Has something happened?

I did find this video that is fairly recent.
Published on Jan 9, 2014

We needed to get the submarine flipped over to work on the underside. To make it easier we build large wheels that attach to the side of the sub. Here's the roll in 10 seconds.

Maybe they are just very busy over there. That could be a good sign.  Based upon some of his most recent postings, he may have a big mission in the works soon.


He hasn't been on the Space Show recently, either.  At least, as far as I can tell.

Some news items of interest this morning

Stocks may have hit a peak.    Margin debt has reached a new peak.

Immigration is back on the GOP agenda.    Nobody wants this, but it doesn't matter to these politicians.

ObamaCare political support hits new low.    A law nobody likes or wanted manages to hang on.

1978 Lufthansa heist may be on verge of being solved.   An arrest was made recently.

Various other stories indicate to me that a political war is taking place.  Others suggest a real war could break out in the Pacific.

Nice start to the day, huh?  Also, the weather is cold here in Houston.  That could be fun. /sarc

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Airships to orbit on Mars

I've been thinking about an airship to orbit on Mars. If John Powell thinks he can get to orbit in an airship on Earth, it stands to reason that he can on Mars. Advantage of using this method of getting to orbit is too good to ignore. You can use it to get back and forth from the surface to orbit. Getting it to Mars would be fairly easy because it would not weigh very much, nor take up very much room.

Launching an NTR from an airship on Mars

Another way to get to space from Mars: by using a nuclear thermal rocket. If you were to use the same rocket to get from Earth's atmosphere to LEO, you can also use it in order to get to space from Mars. All of the characteristics for the rocket can match up pretty well with what the requirements are for getting off Mars. You need a way to launch it and I was thinking of using an airship. Radioactivity can be blocked with more shielding than can be used on Earth.

Mars infrastructure continued

About the Mars infrastructure: instead of putting a lot of ground vehicles on Mars, use airships instead. Airships are lighter in weight , and can cover a lot more distance.   When you get to a point of interest you can stop, and then walk around.   You can use atmospheric air as a way to get airborne.   Mars atmosphere contains nitrogen and carbon dioxide.   Separate out the nitrogen and it will float in a sea of carbon dioxide that is the majority of the Martian atmosphere.   Carbon dioxide is relatively dense gas, while nitrogen is a lot less dense.

Boffo discovery by the boffins

She's not fat, "she's so heavy".  (Beatles)

That water is just waiting for somebody to mine it.

Made a minor change to the left sidebar

Changed the gadget section so that it shows what the blog is about and how to use it.

Perhaps I should have added something about the politics of this blog.  Basically my pet peeve about politics is that they don't serve us well enough.  That's another problem to solve, and it may well be the hardest one of all.


One more thing on this post.  I write about solutions, but I don't implement them.  I leave that to others.  What I do here is to write about these things.  Like the Joker in the movie, I just DO things.  Writing is my thing.  I'm "like a dog chasing cars, I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it".

Earth-Mars Transportation System

This is the best use for the massive SLS rocket being built.  Rather than one off missions to the surface of the planet, install bits and pieces of an infrastructure that will support regular missions.

Each part of the infrastructure will be specialized to accomplish one part of the mission.  For example, there would be a mission to Low Earth Orbit.  This pretty much exists already.  The next leg would be to the proposed Gateway at EML-2.  You'd devise a specialized craft for that mission.  From the Gateway, there is only a delta-v of 2.17 km/sec to Deimos.  From Deimos, it takes only .7 delta v to get to the surface.  Likewise, there'd be a specialized craft that went from the Gateway to Deimos.  And so on.

To get back to Deimos from Mars' surface will take more than just .7 km/sec using aerobraking, but the rest of the trip back to Earth is just back tracking through the delta-v's.  Thus, to get from Deimos to EML-2 would require only 2.17 km/sec.  But there may be a problem.  To get from Mars's surface to Deimos would take 5.9 km/sec, according to this mission table map.

Well, I don't like that part, so let's just go from the surface to Mars' orbit, then on to Deimos.  That would change things somewhat on the inbound, but you could use aerobraking and refueling to achieve that.  That would be the Deimos' base's mission.  Then aerobraking on the way down could still be employed, and refueling on the Mars' surface for the trip back up to orbit.  Deimos could serve as a base for the refueling of the Mars' surface trips and the trips back to Earth.  By the way, to get to Mars orbit from its surface requires 3.5 km/sec delta-v.

That's the point.  Specialized missions for each piece of equipment and each base.

But more than that.  The heaviest part of the equipment is the lander.  It would be best to take that to Mars' orbit and keeping it there, rather than sending the entire package all the way from Earth and back on each trip to Mars.  This would save a lot of fuel as the masses would be minimized.  The mass penalties are the big killers and that's why you have propellant depots and reusable ships.

The SLS could install the big pieces into place on the Gateway, Deimos, Mars' orbit, and the surface of Mars itself.  Once in place, all of these pieces can be serviced as a part of a regular schedule that should only require one launch of the big SLS rocket.  Or perhaps, not even that would be necessary.  Only in cases where something big has to be replaced on a leg of the journey would the big rocket be needed.  Smaller, cheaper rockets can take up the rest of the slack.

The first mission for the SLS is scheduled for 2017.  Rather than do a lunar flyby, you'd set up the EML-2 Gateway.  This would be an unmanned mission and it could still test the Orion module.  The second mission is scheduled to be manned, but instead of doing that, they should set up the Deimo's architecture.  In support of this, there would be missions ahead of time in order to determine if there is water on Deimos.  If not, that show is off, but you could still try Phobos.  If possible, you'd install the Orion at EML-2 on this mission, and  then leave it there.

Orion could take you home from the Gateway, or perhaps not even used at all.  Perhaps a better way to get home can be devised than that.  Perhaps it could be used in order to aerobrake and slow down to orbital velocity only, and then it will dock with a lander that is specialized to go from Earth orbit back to the surface.  A tug could take the Orion back to the Gateway for future missions.

Now after just two trips, you have the Gateway and Deimos set up.  Now, you go for the Mars orbit leg.  Install a lander module in Mars' orbit with SLS-3.  You could also put in a shuttle craft between Deimos/Phobos and Mars' orbit.  After this third trip, you've got the capability to get to the surface, but not back up.  With the final mission, SLS-4, you can go all the way to the surface and install the refueling base.

The refueling base on Mars is a permanent Mars base in which operations on the ground can commence.  You spread out on Mars from there.  Craft will have to be devised to give transport on the surface.

The craft used for the Gateway to Deimos/Phobos could be the Nautilus craft that would supply the crew with artificial gravity.  It's mission would be to go back and forth between the Gateway and Mars' moons.  It should not take an SLS mission to launch that.

With 4 SLS launches and some support launches of lesser rockets, you could install the infrastructure that will allow missions to Mars every two years.  That compares with 7 to 10 big SLS rockets to emplace a one off mission to the surface of Mars and back.  The value of this approach should be obvious.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Aerojet cite Solar Electric Propulsion as an enabler for an Exploration Gateway

This 2012 article seems to be on the right track.  Ion propulsion is much more fuel efficient.  It takes longer to arrive to a destination, but that doesn't matter if the idea is to place infrastructure into place.  This infrastructure will save money because it will allow reuse of expensive modules.  Furthermore, you don't have to drag a whole lot of hardware with you on each trip because one is there already and waiting for you.

Some of the discussion sadly repeats the same pattern of Apollo.  Send up a bunch of hardware that only goes on a long trip in order to be sent back.  All of this requires a lot of mass, which causes you to have use the big rockets.

The best use of the big rockets is to send up a butt load of hardware that is then forwarded to the LaGrange point by the use of ion thrusters.  For example, a lander, empty fuel tanks, and a habitat could be placed a EML-1/2 on a single launch of an SLS.  The next mission could send a fuel for multiple landings. If there would be another SLS, send mining equipment down to the surface to gather up LOX.  This would be a big help in saving mass that has to be delivered to the station.

Finally, a mission which may not even need an SLS could send a crew.

Dwarf planet spews water vapor

Only 6 kg per sec, though.

Automakers get closer to driverless cars

If Romney talked like this, he'd be President today

LOX-Methane Rocket Engines

XCor has some interesting rocket engine designs that could serve the purpose of landing on the Moon.

I am going to put a speculation alert on this.

It is also quite preliminary, so it is very, very speculative at this point.

Anyway, my spreadsheet study last night concluded that a Methane/Lox engine pod could propel the spacecraft towards the Moon.  The XCor's engines could work, but you will need 3 of them, I'd estimate.  That would be for the Earth Departure Stage.

There's a question about what you would do with the EDS.  I think send it to  a LaGrange point and tow it back to LEO with an ion engine.  It would take months, but then you would save on another launch as it would now be reusable.

An insertion burn would be needed.  This would include fuel for the burn and lunar surface operations.  I am really allowing only a small mass to land.  About 2k kilograms dry mass.  This is about the mass of the ascent stage of the Lunar Module during the Apollo Era.  The plan is to refuel on the surface and return to dock in lunar orbit.  This saves considerable mass, which makes the EDS much smaller, which makes the liftoff rocket much smaller.

An XCor rocket could do the honors of the landing.  The same as above.  Only one should suffice.  Even then it may be overpowered.

More thinking on this is necessary as is it all very preliminary.

Perhaps you could use the EDS for the insertion burn and for the landing.  How?  Make them detachable.  Somehow.  Otherwise, you need to add engines, tanks and etc.

Here's a possibility.  Go to a LaGrange point on the TLI.  From the LaGrange point, do the landing and then return.  This will require a longer burn, but it may save having to use a lot of hardware and possibly be forced to make expensive equipment expendable.  If that idea works, then a reusable lander can take off from the LaGrange point with one XCor engine.

Back to the original thought.  Perhaps you could use Xcor's EZrocket for the lunar ops.  It runs on LOX too, so lunar oxygen can help reduce the reaction mass needed.  These may be expendable, or kept in lunar orbit as needed.

At any rate, all of the masses should be considerably less than Apollo.  Which means it could be launched on a Falcon heavy once the infrastructure is in place.  This means a Moon base is necessary, or it doesn't make sense.

The whole point should be a Moon base, or what the hell are you doing there?

NASA's Mars plans unrealistic

I checked into it last night and yes, you can reduce the size of the launch rocket considerably if you don't lug around a bunch of equipment that you don't always need.

For example, during the Apollo Era, the capsule went to the moon and back.  You only need it for re-entry.  You don't need it to go all the way to the Moon.

There was a reason why they did this, of course.  The reason is that they would have had to find a way to slow down the re-entry and that would have been complicated.  Much simpler just to do it the way they did it.  As a result, the mission was set up for safety, and simplicity.  Not for optimization of mass.  This is why the rocket was so big.  If you are going to send tons of equipment to the moon and back, you are going to need a very big rocket to do it.

What this means is that an attempt to go back to the Moon does not require a Saturn V type rocket.  It may be possible with just two launches of a Falcon type rocket either existing today, or will exist soon.  Probably for the majority of the equipment needed, a Falcon Heavy will do.

If you used a Nuclear Thermal Rocket, a single launch of a Falcon Heavy should suffice.

In addition to that, it should explain why a trip to Mars is going to be frightfully expensive in terms of hardware and launches.  If the government insists upon safety above all else, it is going to cost a bundle.

The best way to deal with this is to send everything up before sending people and have it in place in advance.  That would include fuel depots.  This technology will have to be perfected before a reasonable mission can be attempted.  That's the bottom line.

If they don't do this, and send all the equipment at once as they are apparently planning, it will take up to 20 launches of the big SLS rocket in order to get to Mars.  No wonder Constellation was canceled.  This is wildly impractical.

My prediction is that there will be no Mars mission attempted until NASA changes its thinking.


I have to apologize here.  I relied totally upon memory for this post and there is probably an error.  There won't be 20 launches, as mentioned just above.  It may take as few as 7 launches.  The idea is probably not that unrealistic after all.  My mistake, sorry.

That's the second time this kind of thing has happened recently, but the other did not result in a post.  I have to be a bit more careful.

Here is what I remembered incorrectly, as I wrote about it recently.

But I do stand by what I said about sending "everything at once".  This is indeed a lot of launches and equipment going up that might be done in another way.

Ok, I think that was fixed

Toll road authority said my card was expired.  Boy, it has been expired for a long time now.  Evidently an attempted charge on the card was rejected, so my account balance went down below zero.  Oops!

That and a few other things seemingly all at once.  Nothing too serious, but still...

I must be slipping.

Things aren't working properly at the moment

Some of the reason for this is me.

Some of it is unexplained as of this moment.

I'm spending time getting things corrected.  Posting may be lite until then.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

This had got me talking to myself

This is a note to myself. Self I want you to go look up the possibility of using a very lightweight vehicle to land on the moon using off the shelf components as much as possible. Come to think of it I did this thought experiment not too long ago with a dragon capsule. You need something for reentry, but do you have to carry it with you all the way to the moon and back? Perhaps you can get a better solution to that problem. As always, the less mass that you use the better.

Crazy engineers want to know if cat is dead or alive

Just wait until it stinks up the joint.

Actually, it's a science experiment.

After nearly 80 years they may have an answer.

NASA wants you to land on the moon

I got an idea:  make an iron man suit.  They got most of what they need already.

Next Big Future: Vertical Farming getting more energy with 68 perce...

Next Big Future: Vertical Farming getting more energy with 68 perce...: New Scientist provides an update on vertical farming projects From Singapore to Scranton, Pennsylvania, "vertical farms" are pro...


With 68% efficiency from artificial light, perhaps one can see that you could survive anywhere if you had an energy source of sufficient magnitude.  The Sun isn't always available, you see.

Japan tests tether that removes space junk

link from Instapundit
Well, somebody out there sees an opportunity.  Too bad it isn't Americans.  We could use the jobs and the wealth creation.  This would help wealth creation?  You bet!  New industries are just waiting to go into business, but won't be able to if the sky is full of junk.

Rhett and Link have a space junk song:

I just saw it on Opinion: Spare us the gun lecture, Harvey

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Okay, but what to do about it?

Get Weinstein banned may be good for starters.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Last Generation of the West and the Thin Strand of Civilization.



I saw this yesterday, but didn't have time to comment upon it.  This kind of thing seems like whining to me.  What do these people ever do about this things that they complain about?  When I read this I think  "fine, now what are you going to do about it?"

Meanwhile, the forces of destruction want to shut us all down.  If this wasn't a war, it sure gives every impression of being one.  If you don't fight back, you lose.

Doing nothing reminds me of the stories I read about the fall of the Roman Empire.  All the Romans of that time did was to complain about the Christians.  But they wouldn't do any of the fighting and let the barbarians do that.  If the barbarians were good fighters and won some battles, they would stab them in the back out of jealousy.  If a good Roman was successful, they'd do the same thing.  Nothing good can survive in such an environment.

BBC E-mail: Rosetta comet-chaser phones home

I saw this story on the BBC News website and thought you should see it.

** Rosetta comet-chaser phones home **
Europe's Rosetta spacecraft wakes from its 31-month hibernation, confirming the mission's readiness to hunt down and land on a comet.

** BBC Daily E-mail **
Choose the news and sport headlines you want - when you want them, all
in one daily e-mail
< >


Interesting use of language.  I used that yesterday in relation to this story.

Anyway, the comet is 4.5 km in size and since comets are called "dirty snowballs", it would seem that it would be full of carbon and ice.  Perfect constituent elements to make tons of methane and lox.  Yeah, but who would actually think of doing that?

Sleepy ignoramus tried theorizing again

Reading the Wikipedia entry on quantum entanglement just made my head spin.  I was trying to find out something, but it wasn't getting me anywhere.

What I wanted to know is if the BEC could induce quantum entanglement into its constituent elements.  So, if the wave itself is in a state of quantum entanglement, are all of atoms making up the wave in the same state?

I was wondering about that because quantum entanglement seems to have the property of changing the relations of space and time.  I'm referring to what Einstein called "spooky actions from a distance".

Now with that in mind, what if we were to look at this wave that has become a BEC and posit that it becomes trapped 2 dimensionally, as was done in the photon BEC experiment.  If enough atoms are trapped inside a 2 dimensional structure and if enough are entangled, could it be that they could overwhelm the coulomb barrier and begin fusion?  The fermionic properties of the individual atoms normally would not allow so many to be there in one space, but if they were acting as bosons, and/or were entangled, would that property change and allow them into close enough proximity?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ace of Spades blogger says America has changed forever ( and not for the good )

Maybe.  There's talk about a tipping point and so forth.  That's also possible.

Look, I've been over that pretty much.  For those who think it's over, go look at the history of the Roman Empire.  You may conclude it was all over, but in my opinion, it really wasn't over until the last good man was killed off.  Then collapse was all but inevitable.  But that point had come just 1 generation before the final disposition of the Empire.

In other words, the Empire could have been saved if that one good man had survived a bit longer.  Others will argue otherwise.  But I think as long as there was somebody capable who could defend the Empire, it would have survived.  There was such a man until about 452 or so.

What we have seen with Obama and so forth does not mean its over unless the people give up and nobody cares anymore.  That's quite possible, but not inevitable at this point.  I think people are really shocked by Obama like the people were in Rome after it was sacked in 410 AD.  But Rome could have survived that.  But what Rome could not survive was in doing the same things that led to the sack, and that's exactly what they did do and that's why Rome could not live any longer.   If you can't or won't learn, you really are a hopeless case.

BEC cold fusion confusion

The bose-einstein condensate of photons article mentioned something about being in two dimensions. Boy does that suck I mean the way I put that. Well I'm transcribing it using the cellphone and uh its kinda hard to do it with proper English. I'm speaking of myself not in general I am not too great at speaking. Words and sentences come out in jumbles. With that aside let's go along to this subject matter. In earlier post, I noticed it was discussed that cold fusion is a surface phenomenon. Well on the surface you are in two dimensions, is that not so? So is this just a coincidence, or do we have something that could be significant? If it is in two dimensions does that not make it easier to make a collision that would result in fusion? If for no other reason in two dimensions you have less space to account for.

Russia gets into shale game

The history of the oil business is booms and busts.  If there's a boom now...

Kirk Sorensen talks Thorium on Kitco

It's a fair write up.  Not a fanboy article, nor a too critical one.

Rosetta readying to phone home

Checking out the dirty snowball.

Rich get richer, the poor get children

The last person in the world to go pinko,moi, I have to say something can be done about this.  My beef is that politicians only make it worse.

Make a lottery for qualified projects that would generate wealth for the rest.

Who could qualify a project?   Somebody rich, but be careful who you choose to do this.

Some thoughts on the Spacesuit

I made light of this yesterday, but I do take it seriously.  This is the type of spacesuit that I was writing about.  It has already been invented, but it looks like it could use some improvements.  Like shielding and a powerful source of energy to operate the life support machinery inside.

The spacesuit should be the main home of an astronaut.  Why?  Well, the amount of mass that is required in order to properly shield crew members make it too prohibitive to cover a large interior space.  A small amount of matter, which could be well south of 1000 lbs, could be used for shielding instead.  This would be a big help in not only an astronaut's health on long missions, but in reducing mass so that interplanetary exploration could proceed.

A radical idea ( according to some ) would be to make it a nuclear powered spacesuit.  The power generated could recycle the oxygen from the exhaled carbon dioxide and make it unnecessary to keep a large supply of oxygen in the suit.  Here's a solution:  It turns out that the plutonium that the rover Curiosity uses is not dangerous to humans and has actually been used in pacemakers.  This could be a power source that could clean up biological wastes and make them safe to store aboard the spacesuit until they can be removed.

Perhaps the removal can take place once or twice a day.  Since the astronauts are spending all their time in the suits, the shielding won't be needed for a pressurized "bathroom" where they could visit to do the necessary chores of maintaining the body and the spacesuit.  Other than these visits, a crew member would stay in the suits continually.

It may taking some getting used to, however. - From Ashes To Ashes To Diamonds: A Way To Treasure The Dead

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Nun gives birth to baby named after Pope

"It's not possible, I'm a nun," she told doctors, according to the Italian press.

"Both mother and baby are in good health," said Pasquale Carducci, the director of the local hospital.


"Not possible", eh?  I supposed it was a virgin birth?  Evidently, she was able to fool people all the way up to the point of delivery of the child.

Just remembered something---a TV show called the Flying Nun.  I guess the Pregnant Nun was too fat to fly.  yuk, yuk

Physicists create new source of light: Bose-Einstein condensate 'super-photons'

Science Daily ( November 24, 2010 )

This three year old story isn't exactly news, but something about it got my attention yesterday.

  • This photonic Bose-Einstein condensate is a completely new source of light that has characteristics resembling lasers.
  • The Bonn physicists then increased the quantity of photons between the mirrors by exciting the pigment solution using a laser. This allowed them to concentrate the cooled-off light particles so strongly that they condensed into a "super-photon."[emphasis added]
  • "We are currently not capable of producing lasers that generate very short-wave light -- i.e. in the UV or X-ray range," explained Jan Klärs. "With a photonic Bose-Einstein condensate this should, however, be possible."
Question:  Am I to understand that they succeeded in capturing light?  Does this mean that they can capture and release light at will?  Does this also mean that light could be added to it indefinitely so that it could be released over a period of time?

This could be a quite significant discovery.  So what has been done in the last 3 years?

I googled it and found a few more stories.  It has been replicated in the lab.  More evidence that these can be collected

  • The microwaves from the cavity interacted with the material, generating polaritons. These drifted preferentially along the wire toward the aluminum-free zone, where they collected and condensed.
  • In other words, the electronic properties of the material itself replaced the need for cooling, allowing the quasiparticles to gather and condense into a BEC. The experimenters confirmed this effect by detecting the telltale light emission.[emphasis added]
But at least some of the light must be escaping.  Otherwise, there would be no emission.  This implies a leakage that would limit the amount of time that the entity could exist.  By the way, I have heard before of the ability to slow down light.  So, this may be a way of slowing it down.  But what could you do with this?

Here's another link with a video.  Perhaps sometime, I'll have some time to watch the video, but not now.

Very interesting stuff.  One application mentioned in another link above was to use the BEC photons to etch even more powerful computer chips.  It is possible because of the X-ray laser that can now be produced, which are of smaller wavelength.  There are other applications for X-ray lasers, I'm sure.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Quite a difference in just one day

Yesterday, I was so prolific.  Today, I am having some trouble with ideas for posts.

What's the trouble?  Well, for one thing, I don't know how this gets taken sometimes.  It seems that I've gone off the deep end with the speculations and such, and maybe I should knock it all off.  But if I did that, I would only write about the stuff I've actually done.  To me, that is all rather boring stuff.  So, I won't write about my boring job.

Besides, there's reason for me to believe that even if I look foolish writing some of these speculations, that it may have merit anyway.

I'll give an example.  In a psychology book many years ago, I remember reading a story about a program that some of the mind men were given that would help in the targeting for bombers during WWII.  The mind men came up with an idea that was rejected by the military, but probably not because it wouldn't work, but because of the way it would look.  The idea was to train a bird to peck at a target which gave midcourse corrections for a bomb so that it could stay on a target all of the way in.

Now that sounds ridiculous, I'm sure.  But the darned idea could have worked.  Especially on a hard target to hit, like an aircraft carrier.  The ship could easily avoid a bomb from a high altitude bomber.  An innovation like that could have been a game-changer, but it was rejected for reasons that had nothing to do with its efficacy.

So, I won't worry anymore about the way something looks or what its source may look like to some.  Even the so-called best and brightest aren't the ones who come up with great ideas.  Maybe I won't come up with anything here, but if I don't try, I am guaranteed not to succeed.

Damn the torpedos, full steam ahead.

AX-5 Spacesuit

Stock up on your own spacesuits today!  This spacesuit model is guaranteed to be 95% as good at movements as your own naked body!  Guaranteed or your money back if not satisfied.  Order now
call BR-549 and ask for Junior.

Note:  Woman not included.  But you can ask.

I'm Melting! - The Wizard of Oz (7/8) Movie CLIP (1939) HD ( reposted from 9/12/12 )

NOTE:  This was a very veiled reference to Benghazi.  I didn't know at the time who was "melting", but I might have figured Obama and/or Hillary.  It may have turned out to be NEITHER.  Or, perhaps it is our own society that's melting!

repost follows immediately:

Somebody's melting after today. I guess we'll see who shortly.

"SHOCKER": White House, Administration, Defense Secretary, et al knew immediately Benghazi was a terror attack

Protein Wisdom


Obviously, I am not shocked.  I included the quotation marks to show that.

Of course they knew.  They just needed to lie long enough for things to calm down a bit and get themselves re-elected.

Most people are living in the false world the media and academia has created.  They couldn't think for themselves if their very lives depended upon it.  They've been indoctrinated very well indeed.

If things are to get better, people are going to have to unlearn what they have learned.

The People United

Les dices niño, tartamudeo.
Вы говорите им ребенком, я заикаться.

The translations above were made with Google Translate.  My language skills suck.

Self Selection in Wonderland

al fin next level

  • Students naturally self-select their degree according to a combination of inclination, aptitude, and perseverance. [ check: That's what I did.  In fact, I was making my own decisions by the time I was 13 years old.  Unfortunately for me, these were not the best possible decisions.]
  • Knowledge may be priceless, but a higher education is clearly not. [ check:  I got a degree, but little good it did me.  It was even in a field that was in demand---computer science.  My grades were good.  But the quality of the education, which I conclude was inadequate, was the key.  That's what I take from this post.  Educators ain't educating.]
  • Dangerous Children have mastered at least three different ways of supporting themselves financially, by the time they are 18 years of age. [ check.  I'm still trying to decide what I'm going to be when I grow up.  Clearly, I wasn't a "Dangerous Child".]
I tried a lot of different things.  None of them have worked out.  But all along, I wanted to write.  So, here I am doing it.  I was warned that writing wouldn't pay much.  How true that turned out to be.  Haven't made a penny doing it, but I love it so much.

If I was like my oldest brother, I would have been a mechanic.  I found that out that I wasn't.

I tried sales, but that was no good either.

If I was like my daddy, I would have been a hunter.  In his later years, he talked about living off the land.  He could do it too.  But I never really learned how.  Hunting and fishing ain't my bag, baby.  But I could do it even now if I had to.  So could a whole lot of people.  My old man could drive an 18 wheeler.  Now, that is something.  Not everybody can do that.  But the old man died off too early to teach me that.

My mom lived on a farm when she grew up.  Family farms are a thing of the past, but may have a comeback when the machines take over.

I started to learn Spanish, but didn't finish that project.  Russian too, same story.  I did finish my degree, so I got that going for me.