Nojay

Nojay

  • Commented on An age-old question
    The Shuttle had a flexible cargo bay capable of carrying an additional 20-tonne payload, a manipulator arm, airlocks and suit support for multiple EVAs, up to 18 tonnes of fuel and oxidiser for significant cross-range capability in-orbit and enough life-support...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    The report/puffpiece you quote from is dated November 2013. According to that SpaceX will have/has carried out an escape abort from launchpad (probably simulated on a test rig rather than a flight vehicle) by Q2 2014 and a Dragon capsule...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    Other folks have tried developing methane/LOX engines but they've not been particularly successful hence the current fleet of commercial and government launchers based around RP-1/LOX, LH/LOX and solid motors. Methane/LOX offers some advantages in terms of Isp over existing...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    SpaceX rockets are cargo ships with peak accelerations during launch exceeding 50m/s/s. Apollo was pushing the envelope with selected milspec crewmembers suffering a maximum load of 40m/s/s whereas the Shuttle carried civilians AND cargo and had a maximum acceleration of...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    I've pulled a few dead CFLs apart in the interests of Science! and the ones that died early in service seem to have stopped working due to the electronics frying -- crinkly FETs, light-emitting fuses and bulging capacitors. It...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Oh dear, you got taken by the con men did you... Ruggedised incandescent bulbs have a thicker toughened glass envelope to be less fragile that classic lightbulbs. The filaments are better supported to survive vibration and shock while lit. They're...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    I noticed some time ago that the local shops all have lots of filament bulbs in stock (tungsten, tungsten-halogen, candle bulbs and the like) but few if any compact fluorescent lamps. It took me a few seconds to realise...
  • Commented on Who ordered THAT?!?
    Before the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami Japan was generating about 40% of its electricity from nuclear power stations with the rest coming from a mixture of garbage-burning, LPG (not LNG) and a small amount of coal. They also...
  • Commented on The Curse of Laundry
    Heinlein's "Space Cadet" had the focus character putting his phone in his luggage so he didn't have to take calls on his way to the entry examinations at the Space Academy, and that was written in 1948. I first...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    The Highland plaid or "great kilt" is a variant of the Fantasyland cloak that never seems to get an outing in fiction. A universal garment that converts into a blanket for sleeping in, made from raw wool so it's...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    Most of the expense of a home solar installation involves purchasing the home (and accompanying roof) the solar panels are installed on. Rich people with homes and mortgages have been getting tax breaks and subsidies to allow them to...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    Has the price of a freestanding house roof come down in price by a similar amount, or is Solartopia only for rich people who can afford a mortgage on a three-bedroom 2-car-garage suburban McMansion? Lots of folks in the...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    We were promised printed solar cells back in 2006 or 2007, a dollar a watt installed, efficiency comparable to vapour deposition cells. Solartopia! You couldn't buy them immediately though, the entire first year's production run had already been sold...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    The high-value watermelons are perfect specimens meant as ritual gifts to prospective parents, bosses and the like. There are also peaches at twenty quid a shot, bunches of grapes costing 7000 yen a kilo and even boxes of sushi...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    Transistors were invented in 1948 by Shockley and co. WWII was vacuum tubes all the way. As for Japanese heirloom swords the really good ones are examples that have survived to this day having passed through a filtering process...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    Re: Belize. I read a book a while back about a time in the 60s or 70s when the Guatemalans were planning to annex Belize and the Royal Navy put on a maximum-effort operation from a carrier in the Atlantic...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    A type 45 makes a piss-poor boomer escort though. SSNs are much bigger, quite a lot faster and definitely more capable than any modern non-nuclear submarine, even the German/Italian peroxide type 212As. Their only downside is in brown water...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    We have actually got "spare" Type 45s, they're the Astute submersible cruisers. Unfortunately we probably won't have enough of them to carry out boomer escort duty as well as keeping the Other Side's own submersible light cruisers away from...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    Actually nuclear-generated electricity is about as expensive as coal generation but more expensive than gas at the moment after all costs are factored in, including spent fuel disposal. Most Western nations operating nuclear power plants surcharge the nuclear plant...
  • Commented on The morning after
    If the "one hour commute" refers to the time between leaving your place of residence and entering your place of work then for most folks Swindon-London is not within that limit. Assume 15 minutes to get to the station...
  • Commented on The morning after
    "Whereas the Scottish Highlands -- more than a quarter of the UK's surface area -- is home to less than 2 million people" The Islands (part of the Highlands and Islands region) get an even shittier stick to grasp the...
  • Commented on The morning after
    The obvious thing to do is to split London up into smaller pieces. How about North Central London, South Central London (the native tribes speak different tongues after all), the Outer Darkness bounded by the M25 and at its...
  • Commented on Wag that puppy
    There's a famous anecdote about the driver Stirling Moss at a party the evening after a track race, speaking to a pretty girl who told him she had been watching the race. "Yes, I know, I saw you. You...
  • Commented on Martial arts and the cycle of bullshit
    I know of people who train with live edged weapons and no protection, I've seen them demonstrate short-range combat in such a situation. It's still false fighting as they deliberately pull strokes, don't close to less than a sword's...
  • Commented on Martial arts and the cycle of bullshit
    By "tissue damage" I was meaning something like eye trauma or a reflexed elbow rather than bruises and scrapes, damage that will endure for a long period or even cause permanent problems (like detached retinas). Even in an MMA...
  • Commented on Martial arts and the cycle of bullshit
    My own martial arts experience was in Practical Pistol, or Combat Pistol in US terms. It totally ruined me as a possible combatant using a pistol though since rule 1 of the training was "Never point a pistol at...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Neptune's Brood
    You're presuming early 21st century engineering capabilities in space on the transmitting and receiving end of things. The receiving systems in the Freyaverse can easily have a few km-wide telescopes pointed at the target systems whose laser transmitting arrays...
  • Commented on Apology
    "Twilight: The Merchant Princes" fits with the titles of the individual shelf-ready product^W^W^W books, "Dark State", "Invisible Sun" and theotheroneI'veforgotten. What, "Twilight" is taken?...
  • Commented on Service announcement: upcoming outage(s)
    You were namechecked in TheReg a couple of days ago too although you were described as a "one-time-sysadmin" rather than a Perl wrangler. http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2014/08/25/brit_scifi_author_alistair_reynolds_says_ms_word_drives_me_to_distraction/...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    The MoD Police force deals with military nuclear security as well as general policing of defence establishments, offices etc. The Civil Nuclear Constabulary handles non-military nuclear policing....
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