1232: "Realistic Criteria"

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keithl
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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby keithl » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:45 am UTC

Though I am fond of filling the solar system with computronium, I'm not sanguine about the near term prospects of space colonization. When humans spread from Africa, and over the Bering landbridge, there were teratons of wet biomass waiting for them. When Europeans spread, there were developed civilizations to loot with firearms and smallpox. Space contains no such supply of premade goodies. So we either pack for temporary trips, or develop off-earth biomass ahead of our migration.

That said, computronium may eventually substitute for a lot of the mass of a complete ecology. If we develop uses for space that grow at Moore's law rates, we will soon have enough computronium up there to follow with some biomass, and then with humans going to live rather than visit.

Regards population growth (or not), if my 20-something nephews are any indication, computronium is a partial substitute for reproduction. For decades, I believed only geeks like me thought electronic gizzies were more interesting than making babies. So the real question is whether humans migrate into space before we run out of babies. Maybe the computronium will prefer better behaved pets. Dirty diapers in zero gee is a frightening prospect.

On the other hand, there are only 350 megatons of human biomass, and lifting that mass out of the gravity well with decent efficiency requires about 1E20 joules, less than a microsecond of whole-sun power output. The computronium may decide to move us off earth for the same reason an embarassed parent moves their ill-behaved child out of a porcelain shop, parking humankind in a safe high-walled crib until we learn to behave.

PsiSquared
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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby PsiSquared » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:16 am UTC

Klear wrote:You know, I think that the fact that it's been so long since man visited the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible.


I think that the fact the I, personally, have never been to the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible. :)

And if enough people think the same thing about themselves, then your problem will probably be solved pretty soon.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby addams » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:43 am UTC

PsiSquared wrote:
Klear wrote:You know, I think that the fact that it's been so long since man visited the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible.


I think that the fact the I, personally, have never been to the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible. :)

And if enough people think the same thing about themselves, then your problem will probably be solved pretty soon.

You are Safe from having to go to The Moon.
Thank the Gods.

If you could go to the Moon, how much would you think about it?
It is a little more than going to the Airport and flying to some other place Here.

I don't want to do the Math.
The views are nice, from what I understand.

But; Not that much better than having a machine sent the view.
You would be required to wear that stupid space suit.

You would Not be able to smell anything.
Again; Thank the Gods.

You would stink like everyone else does, before you got back.
If, you got back.

Are you Sure you want to Walk on The Moon?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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keithl
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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby keithl » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:34 pm UTC

PsiSquared wrote:
Klear wrote:You know, I think that the fact that it's been so long since man visited the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible.

I think that the fact the I, personally, have never been to the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible. :) And if enough people think the same thing about themselves, then your problem will probably be solved pretty soon.

I have never been to the moon, but I've been in an elevator to the 17th floor with Buzz Aldrin. I think my presence irritated him.

Going to the moon? I would rather control a small humanoid robot there, with predictive/adaptive telepresence. I could still see the view (downlinked/synthesized in advance), leave footsteps, do experiments, make stuff. That would cost thousands of dollars per hour, rather than millions. Adding six days ot stink, nausea, and danger to travel there and back isn't worth the added cost, and by the time the price got down to something I could afford, thousands of richer people would have already made the trip, so there would be no glory in it. Move minds, not meat.

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Klear
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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby Klear » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:04 pm UTC

keithl wrote:
PsiSquared wrote:
Klear wrote:You know, I think that the fact that it's been so long since man visited the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible.

I think that the fact the I, personally, have never been to the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible. :) And if enough people think the same thing about themselves, then your problem will probably be solved pretty soon.

I have never been to the moon, but I've been in an elevator to the 17th floor with Buzz Aldrin. I think my presence irritated him.

Going to the moon? I would rather control a small humanoid robot there, with predictive/adaptive telepresence. I could still see the view (downlinked/synthesized in advance), leave footsteps, do experiments, make stuff. That would cost thousands of dollars per hour, rather than millions. Adding six days ot stink, nausea, and danger to travel there and back isn't worth the added cost, and by the time the price got down to something I could afford, thousands of richer people would have already made the trip, so there would be no glory in it. Move minds, not meat.


Makes sense. You are not a poet. They should send me.

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AlexTheSeal
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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby AlexTheSeal » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:03 pm UTC

speising wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:Couldn't at least some of the worlds problems be solved by a) having a massive international project that has nothing to do with killing each other, and b) shipping a bunch of the population off to other planets?


b) would do nothing to the vast majority remaining on earth and instead export our problems to wherever these people are going.


It worked for England and Australia!

Code: Select all

10 REM WORLD'S SMALLEST ADVENTURE GAME
20 PRINT "YOU ARE IN A CAVE (N, S, E, W)? ";
30 INPUT A$
40 GOTO 10

Lulled to sleep by the one-hertz chuckle of Linux logfile writes since 1997.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby bmonk » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:37 pm UTC

FrobozzWizard wrote:My thinking on this:
1. According to people in the business of making seemingly bold predictions, we'll have wondrous technology and solutions to all our problems in no more than 25 years.
2. But we still want manned space exploration.
3. Therefor, logically, we should develop a plan to send all those professional predictors to Mars within the next 25 years.

Not so hard--as long as they don't have to arrive in a useable condition. . . .
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby addams » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:30 am UTC

Klear wrote:
keithl wrote:
PsiSquared wrote:
Klear wrote:You know, I think that the fact that it's been so long since man visited the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible.

I think that the fact the I, personally, have never been to the Moon is a problem we should solve as soon as possible. :) And if enough people think the same thing about themselves, then your problem will probably be solved pretty soon.

I have never been to the moon, but I've been in an elevator to the 17th floor with Buzz Aldrin. I think my presence irritated him.

Going to the moon? I would rather control a small humanoid robot there, with predictive/adaptive telepresence. I could still see the view (downlinked/synthesized in advance), leave footsteps, do experiments, make stuff. That would cost thousands of dollars per hour, rather than millions. Adding six days ot stink, nausea, and danger to travel there and back isn't worth the added cost, and by the time the price got down to something I could afford, thousands of richer people would have already made the trip, so there would be no glory in it. Move minds, not meat.


Makes sense. You are not a poet. They should send me.

What Good are Poets?
Sure. Send them to the moon.

No! Poets are Dead Weight.
What? Dillion in Space?
Spoiler:
Can you understand him?
No? jeeze.

They say he is Deep.
Deep Space; I think we missed The Window.


Who decided a Poet was a Good Idea?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby ijuin » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:51 am UTC

You are right about that. Most starvation these days (outside of areas that have recently been hit by major disasters) happens not because the food does not exist, but because those who control the food are unwilling to let the hungry people have any of it. It is thus a social/political issue rather than a production issue, and increasing food production is not going to convince somebody to give food away for free to people with no money if that somebody is already disinclined to do so.

Regarding the "dual use" of space technologies, just about the only space technologies that have no terrestrial use are ones that function better in a space environment (airless, weightless) than in a terrestrial environment.

And as far as resources for spaceflight goes, the USA currently spends about thirty times as much money on its military as it does on non-military government-funded spaceflight. (Estimating the amount of money spent on spaceflight by the military is harder because part of that budget is classified/hidden). We have spent more so far on occupying Iraq over the past ten years (approximately $800 billion) than the entire cost-to-date of NASA from its creation more than fifty years ago. ( http://costofwar.com/ ) I am not going to go into the debate about the merit of the USA having occupied Iraq, but I do want to say that if the federal government is comfortable throwing more than $600 billion per year at defense, then an additional $20 billion to double NASA's funding is not exactly a strain on the federal budget. ( http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudge ... n_Book.pdf )

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby PM 2Ring » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:08 am UTC

AlexTheSeal wrote:
speising wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:Couldn't at least some of the worlds problems be solved by a) having a massive international project that has nothing to do with killing each other, and b) shipping a bunch of the population off to other planets?


b) would do nothing to the vast majority remaining on earth and instead export our problems to wherever these people are going.


It worked for England and Australia!


Note that only a tiny proportion of the population of England migrated to Australia, even though we have plenty of resources and a rather nice climate here, and travel costs were relatively small. I don't see solar system colonies ever having much effect on the population of the Earth, even if the transport costs were significantly reduced and the space habitats emulated terrestrial environments.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby vector010 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:16 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:You are right about that. Most starvation these days (outside of areas that have recently been hit by major disasters) happens not because the food does not exist, but because those who control the food are unwilling to let the hungry people have any of it. It is thus a social/political issue rather than a production issue, and increasing food production is not going to convince somebody to give food away for free to people with no money if that somebody is already disinclined to do so.

Regarding the "dual use" of space technologies, just about the only space technologies that have no terrestrial use are ones that function better in a space environment (airless, weightless) than in a terrestrial environment.

And as far as resources for spaceflight goes, the USA currently spends about thirty times as much money on its military as it does on non-military government-funded spaceflight. (Estimating the amount of money spent on spaceflight by the military is harder because part of that budget is classified/hidden). We have spent more so far on occupying Iraq over the past ten years (approximately $800 billion) than the entire cost-to-date of NASA from its creation more than fifty years ago. ( http://costofwar.com/ ) I am not going to go into the debate about the merit of the USA having occupied Iraq, but I do want to say that if the federal government is comfortable throwing more than $600 billion per year at defense, then an additional $20 billion to double NASA's funding is not exactly a strain on the federal budget. ( http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudge ... n_Book.pdf )



Someone else beat me to this particular point. :)

Just to put things in perspective further though. The total cost of war over the past 12 years is approximately $1.454 trillion (with a T, US Dollars) for the US in Iraq and Afghanistan. The actual NASA expenditure for 2011 was approximately $18.448 billion USD. So, we are spending on average approximately $121.167 billion a year on war as opposed to $18.448 billion on going to friggin outer space. Heck, with a budget increase of only $5 billion a year for 9 years there was an estimate that NASA could do both a manned mission to the moon AND to Mars (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382362main_40%2 ... rs2019.pdf). That is and additional $40 billion spread out over 9 years.. War spending is three times that increase EVERY YEAR for the past 12 YEARS!. Enough to have manned missions to the moon and mars 36 times in the past 12 years.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:42 pm UTC

vector010 wrote:
ijuin wrote:You are right about that. Most starvation these days (outside of areas that have recently been hit by major disasters) happens not because the food does not exist, but because those who control the food are unwilling to let the hungry people have any of it. It is thus a social/political issue rather than a production issue, and increasing food production is not going to convince somebody to give food away for free to people with no money if that somebody is already disinclined to do so.

Regarding the "dual use" of space technologies, just about the only space technologies that have no terrestrial use are ones that function better in a space environment (airless, weightless) than in a terrestrial environment.

And as far as resources for spaceflight goes, the USA currently spends about thirty times as much money on its military as it does on non-military government-funded spaceflight. (Estimating the amount of money spent on spaceflight by the military is harder because part of that budget is classified/hidden). We have spent more so far on occupying Iraq over the past ten years (approximately $800 billion) than the entire cost-to-date of NASA from its creation more than fifty years ago. ( http://costofwar.com/ ) I am not going to go into the debate about the merit of the USA having occupied Iraq, but I do want to say that if the federal government is comfortable throwing more than $600 billion per year at defense, then an additional $20 billion to double NASA's funding is not exactly a strain on the federal budget. ( http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudge ... n_Book.pdf )



Someone else beat me to this particular point. :)

Just to put things in perspective further though. The total cost of war over the past 12 years is approximately $1.454 trillion (with a T, US Dollars) for the US in Iraq and Afghanistan. The actual NASA expenditure for 2011 was approximately $18.448 billion USD. So, we are spending on average approximately $121.167 billion a year on war as opposed to $18.448 billion on going to friggin outer space. Heck, with a budget increase of only $5 billion a year for 9 years there was an estimate that NASA could do both a manned mission to the moon AND to Mars (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/382362main_40%2 ... rs2019.pdf). That is and additional $40 billion spread out over 9 years.. War spending is three times that increase EVERY YEAR for the past 12 YEARS!. Enough to have manned missions to the moon and mars 36 times in the past 12 years.


To be fair, the US government has not actually paid those bills yet. The only reason they did not have issues similar to Spain yet is that people think they will still pay at some point in the future (I actually doubt they will raise their taxes, or cut their defence budget, so they probably won't, okay, they might, but only in a Ponzi scheme sense, then again, most state debts are Ponzi schemes)...

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby addams » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:40 pm UTC

But, But; The Numbers.

Those Numbers.
It, sort of, bothers me.

Those Numbers are Not For Regular Folk.
Those Numbers were somehow sacred to me.

Probabilities of What?
I Know there are Numbers beyond Trillion.

But, but; Those numbers are For Numbers Guys.
Of course, if you say the scale is Wrong then the Scale is Wrong.

What do I know? I am not a Numbers Guy.
Spoiler:
Numbers Guys were Like Clergy to Me.
I called some of them Brother and Everything.

What does The Priest Do?
Nothing in Secret. In Boring.

Dull as watching some guy use a Slide Rule.
But; Like Math it is Really Important and it needs to be done right and All My Noise does not help.

See? Trillions? Trillions of What?
Do you remember the Comic?
That was xkcd.

Was it correct?
Trillions is a big Number.

How Big? Sagan was a smart guy.
He was not the smartest guy, ever.
He was a delightful combo deal.

He was smart and he had other Qualities as well.
He said Billions. He meant billions.

Did he ever use the Word Trillions?
yes. Not often.

Everyone has, simply, moved the decimal.
The Thinking has not changed with The Number.

Is that a Problem? What do people that work with Numbers Think?
Who works with Numbers that Big? Nuclear Chemists?

What kind of a Job requires a person to Roll Up their Sleeves and Work with Trillions?
Every American Citizen that Can Speak can say that word.

Does your job require Trillions?
Those are numbers that will cross my eyes.

I don't know how to Do That!
I like Numbers the same way I like Asian Prints.

I Can't Read Them! You?
I don't even like Real numbers very much.

Those wonderful Abstracts fill the world with Simplicity.
I don't do hard math. It is too hard.

I am mildly offended when People that are dumber than I am say they are doing the Math.
I think they are wrong. They are doing Arithmetic with Exponents.

Exponents have Rules!
http://www.purplemath.com/modules/exponent.htm

(shrug.)
Maybe, Bubba knows about exponents.
Maybe, Bubba makes sense.
Maybe. And; Maybe, Not.


Pay off The National Debt?
Hey! We Did That, Once!
Seriously. 1986-1996 From 4 million in the Red to 3 point something in the Black.


Way to Go America! We were Working Together! yey!
Trillions? The World has moved on Without me.

Children can say Trillions and they are not talking about a flower.

Nice Adult Conversations about Silliness.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby PsiSquared » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:31 am UTC

addams wrote:
I don't want to do the Math.


Well, I do. That's part of the point, really. Learning how to make the necessary calculations and how to navigate interplanetary space is half the fun.

The views are nice, from what I understand.

But; Not that much better than having a machine sent the view.


True, but the view isn't the point, is it? The point is actually being there. And of-course, over-coming the enormous challenge of figuring out how to do it.

You would be required to wear that stupid space suit.


I'm sure you meant to say:

"You would be required to wear that uber-cool nifty space suit" :mrgreen:

You would stink like everyone else does, before you got back.


Well, since as an overworked hi-tech geek I stink anyway, there won't be any change there. :)

Are you Sure you want to Walk on The Moon?


Yup.

And I gather that you don't, which is fine with me. The world would have been a very boring place, if everybody wanted the same things.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby ijuin » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:50 am UTC

keithl wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:Wouldn't you need huge radiation protection casings for servers without the protection from an atmosphere?


That was a false premise that stopped me from thinking about servers in space for decades. But it turns out ...

Radiation and semiconductors

1) "Space grade" semiconductors means "proven" technologies that have been obsolete in the consumer market for at least a decade. When "failure is not an option", neither is rapid evolution.


It's interesting that, despite this, the popular perception of space technology is "stuff so bleeding-edge that the consumers won't see it in their lifetimes".

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby PsiSquared » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:54 am UTC

keithl wrote:Going to the moon? I would rather control a small humanoid robot there, with predictive/adaptive telepresence. I could still see the view (downlinked/synthesized in advance), leave footsteps, do experiments, make stuff.


My dear friend, if all you want is "too see the view", download a NASA screensaver (or a simulator). And I completely fail to understand the point of leaving footsteps which aren't even your own.

Adding six days ot stink, nausea, and danger to travel there and back isn't worth the added cost, and by the time the price got down to something I could afford...


Buy that time, it won't take "six days".

If we're going to spend billions of dollars on returning to the moon, it would be much wiser to spend this cash on researching new propulsion systems than on recreating the Apollo experience. Especially since this same new technology could than be used, with minimal differences, to journey to Mars.

I think a good goal would be "To the Moon in 24 hours". And the same propulsion system, with minor adjustments, could get you to Mars in a month.

...thousands of richer people would have already made the trip, so there would be no glory in it.


Rich people aren't going to pay to be locked up in a stinky tin can.

So if you go to the moon, you'll either be one of the first few pioneers to do so, or you'll be going there in a relatively comfortable spaceliner.

As for me, I don't particularly mind which method will bring me there. But I'm afraid that we'll have to wait a very long time for the spaceliner option...

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby PM 2Ring » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:04 am UTC

PsiSquared wrote:If we're going to spend billions of dollars on returning to the moon, it would be much wiser to spend this cash on researching new propulsion systems than on recreating the Apollo experience. Especially since this same new technology could than be used, with minimal differences, to journey to Mars.


I don't think keithl would disagree with that statement. FWIW, keithl = Keith Lofstrom, the designer of the Lofstrom loop.
A launch loop or Lofstrom loop is a proposed system for launching objects into space orbit using a moving cable-like system situated inside a sheath attached to the earth at two ends and suspended above the atmosphere in the middle. The design concept was published by Keith Lofstrom and describes an active structure maglev cable transport system that would be around 2,000 km (1,240 mi) long and maintained at an altitude of up to 80 km (50 mi). A launch loop would be held up at this altitude by momentum of a belt that circulates around the structure. This circulation, in effect, transfers the weight of the structure onto a pair of magnetic bearings, one at each end, which support it.

Launch loops are intended to achieve non-rocket spacelaunch of vehicles weighing 5 metric tons by electromagnetically accelerating them so that they are projected into Earth orbit or even beyond. This would be achieved by the flat part of the cable which forms an acceleration track above the atmosphere.[1]

The system is designed to be suitable for launching humans for space tourism, space exploration and space colonization, and provides a relatively low 3g acceleration.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby ijuin » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:37 pm UTC

PsiSquared wrote:
Adding six days ot stink, nausea, and danger to travel there and back isn't worth the added cost, and by the time the price got down to something I could afford...


Buy that time, it won't take "six days".

If we're going to spend billions of dollars on returning to the moon, it would be much wiser to spend this cash on researching new propulsion systems than on recreating the Apollo experience. Especially since this same new technology could than be used, with minimal differences, to journey to Mars.

I think a good goal would be "To the Moon in 24 hours". And the same propulsion system, with minor adjustments, could get you to Mars in a month.


The real motive for the "3 days each way" trajectory is because of orbital mechanics, not because of a lack of ability to go faster. The trajectory chosen for Apollo was what is called a "free return" trajectory--one in which, if the spacecraft chooses not to (or fails to) use any propulsion to change its course, the moon's gravity will pull it around in a loop back to Earth. Any deviation from using a free return trajectory means that you are 100% committed to using a lot of delta-v in order to get back to Earth, which means that you would ONLY do this with a manned spacecraft if you are 100% willing to stake your crew's lives on your propulsion system working flawlessly on demand throughout the entire mission. The free return trajectory is your primary abort option if anything goes wrong.

Remember Apollo 13? The crew had to use the LM's engine in order to put themselves back on course for the return to Earth. Imagine if the explosion had happened after the landing. They would have been stranded, with insufficient oxygen to last until a rescue attempt could be made.

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby Klear » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:15 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:
PsiSquared wrote:Remember Apollo 13? The crew had to use the LM's engine in order to put themselves back on course for the return to Earth. Imagine if the explosion had happened after the landing. They would have been stranded, with insufficient oxygen to last until a rescue attempt could be made.


Damn.. this is slightly off-topic, but I've had Bowie's Space oddity playing in my head for at least a week (and it wasn't because of the What if?, rather, because I finished Alan Wake). Anyway, your post just brought it all back...

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby addams » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:44 am UTC

PsiSquared wrote:
Well, since as an overworked hi-tech geek I stink anyway, there won't be any change there.

In responds to: You would stink like everyone else does, before you got back.

That is funny.
Six to Infinity days in a Tin Can under what may be perceived as Stressful Conditions will produce a level of stink that one day of Stress sitting in front of a Computer Screen can not match.

Some people have special conditions that smell worse than others. No condition smells better after six days of Ripening.

All of your other points were good.
It is true. I do not want to walk on The Moon.

Spoiler:
This orb has some nice walking that is easier to get to.
The ride to the Moon is one heck of a ride to The Trail Head.
The Trail is not very long and it dangerous and boring.

We have trails here on Earth that are dangerous, too.
Most are easier to get to.

Moonscapes? You want to walk on Moonscapes?
The Himalayas are an Other Worldly landscape.
The Deserts of North Africa or Western N. America or Australia are Other Worldly, too.




PM 2Ring Wrote:
I don't think keithl would disagree with that statement. FWIW, keithl = Keith Lofstrom, the designer of the Lofstrom loop.
A launch loop or Lofstrom loop is a proposed system for launching objects into space orbit using a moving cable-like system situated inside a sheath attached to the earth at two ends and suspended above the atmosphere in the middle. The design concept was published by Keith Lofstrom and describes an active structure maglev cable transport system that would be around 2,000 km (1,240 mi) long and maintained at an altitude of up to 80 km (50 mi). A launch loop would be held up at this altitude by momentum of a belt that circulates around the structure. This circulation, in effect, transfers the weight of the structure onto a pair of magnetic bearings, one at each end, which support it.

Launch loops are intended to achieve non-rocket spacelaunch of vehicles weighing 5 metric tons by electromagnetically accelerating them so that they are projected into Earth orbit or even beyond. This would be achieved by the flat part of the cable which forms an acceleration track above the atmosphere.[1]

The system is designed to be suitable for launching humans for space tourism, space exploration and space colonization, and provides a relatively low 3g acceleration.

That might work.
But; How can we Do Such High Tech Work while our people are living such Low Tech Lives?
We have Human problems and always will.

Spoiler:
If we can go To The Moon, why are there still illiterate people living On The Streets?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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orthogon
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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:20 am UTC

addams wrote:This orb has some nice walking that is easier to get to.
The ride to the Moon is one heck of a ride to The Trail Head.
The Trail is not very long and it dangerous and boring.

We have trails here on Earth that are dangerous, too.
Most are easier to get to.

Moonscapes? You want to walk on Moonscapes?
The Himalayas are an Other Worldly landscape.
The Deserts of North Africa or Western N. America or Australia are Other Worldly, too.

I thought this deserved pulling out of the spoiler tag. Other advantages to earthwalking over moonwalking are: encountering other people, wildlife, trees and flowers; fresh air; the smells of nature; the joy of a cheese and tomato sandwich in the open air after a good climb, the pleasure of taking a leak in the woods...

I'm not saying I wouldn't go to the moon, though, given the chance. I've done plenty of things that are less good than hiking. As the saying goes, I'd try anything once, except morris dancing and incest1.

1 Confession: I actually used to do morris dancing as a child.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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addams
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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby addams » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:36 am UTC

Yes. Trees and Herb scented air are Nice.

But; These guys want Outer Space.
There are conditions on Planet Surface that are nearly as bad.

The Bonus Points come from getting yourself There and Back without NASA.

To the Moon? Are All the People clean and fed and tucked into bed?
If yes; Then The Moon might be Lovely, tonight.

Not tonight.
The Moon is only two or three days old, tonight.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

SomeoneSomewhere
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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby SomeoneSomewhere » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:13 am UTC

keithl wrote:We can improve the performance per kilogram of space electronics by at least a factor of 100 with consumer technologies and some cleverness. With a large market paying for additional weight reduction R&D, there's room for another factor of at least 100. When electronics does not have to survive the crowded, gravity-ridden, corrosive soup we call home, new possibilities emerge.

Look at {redacted} . Sorry it is so disorganized, there's a lot to do and a lot of discoveries to fold in. Design won't finalize until launch.


Performance per kilogram, yes, but that's no problem for a ground based datacentre. That's your main competition, which will be based on cost and available computing power.

Power (and removing it) is your main issue. I see you've already found that you expect to get ~3.9W/sat with 1002 sats in orbit (probably before dark side etc. - how do you store the power?). That's a total power of ~3.9kW, which can be stacked in a single rack quite easily (plus you don't have to manage satellite radio either; use Loon or fiber/cellsites, which would be developed anyway. No high gain tracking antennas).

Unless you can provide a significant performance per watt improvement (above and beyond Moore's law, and not available to land server farms) large enough to cancel out the higher fabrication costs and launch, you're not going to get any orders.

Contrary to what's been expressed, not a lot of power is expended on cooling. Volume and mass, yes, but not energy. Modern datacentres can have as little as 70W/kW of overhead (I don't think this includes inside the chassis, but there's no more than ~30W of fannage for a pair of 130W CPUs).

Plus in space you can't use convection or conduction away from the servers; once you leave physical contact it has to be radiative. Peltiers might work for increasing a section significantly above ambient without overheating your chips, but they consume more energy...

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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:07 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived." -- Thomas Merton

I can just see Randall's take on this: "P vs NP is not a problem to be solved, etc".

Or show a student handing in a test paper with "Finding the roots of this quadratic is not a problem to be solved blah blah blah...."
Or even better: the teacher doing it:
Integrate from 0 to pi : (1/pi) * square root of (b2+2ab*cosX+a2 )dX : 0 points; this is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.
Plus five Internets if you can tell how that function relates to space.
Babylon 5 via The22ndDoctor wrote:Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics, and you'll get ten different answers, but there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out.

I imagine at least one or two would answer "I suppose so? I'm not an asterophysist, my research is in female reproductive anatomy."
Pfhorrest wrote:Maybe before we rush back to the moon we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving the moon such a central position in our lives.
Maybe before we rush to cancel space explorations we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving the Earth such a central position in our lives; no pun intended.
Last edited by Quizatzhaderac on Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:15 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

Kit.
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Re: 1232: "Realistic Criteria"

Postby Kit. » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:01 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Or even better: the teacher doing it:
Integrate from 0 to pi : (1/pi) * square root of (b2+2ab*cosX+a2 dX) : 0 points; this is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.

An integral over sqrt(cosX+dx) is indeed a mystery to be lived.

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Plus five Internets if you can tell how that function relates to space.

Something related to Kepler's laws or whatever.


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