Alex Tolley

Alex Tolley

  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    There's nowhere in the Solar System we really want to go anyway You are making teh assumption that humans must be colonizing the solar system for there to be any need for infrastructure and transport. There can be an entirely...
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    You are right. The engines represent the bulk of the dry mass as they are increased in number to increase thrust. At 25 kg each, one cannot scale up the vehicle fast enough to make sense. (The solar array mass...
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    Indium ion micro thrusters. Yes, Isp of 10,000+s was measured paper: http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?bibcode=1997ESASP.398..267R&db_key=AST&page_ind=0&plate_select=NO&data_type=GIF&type=SCREEN_GIF&classic=YES Nasa news report on printed approach: https://microdevices.jpl.nasa.gov/capabilities/advanced-microfabrication-technologies/microfluidic-electrospray-propulsion.php These look more suitable for tiny satellites and position keeping, but they may well offer scale-up opportunities....
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    I assumed no mass for the engines, just the mass of the arrays with an assumed power density that could be raised 10x. MIT has demonstrated super-thin film arrays in the lab at 6W/g, I think it is not unreasonable...
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    Storage is easy, we know how to do that. You don't run hoses, but rather fill a smaller container truck, drive over to the ship and pump into the tanks, just as we manage jet fuel with aircraft at airports,...
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    Before writing off high-thrust ion drives, buy increasing the power to run multiple engines you can get much more thrust and short travel times. The problem is the power supply. Those nice solar arrays have too low a power density....
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    Good question. It all depends on the interpretation of the meaning of "...a resident "within the United States" for 14 years...". The territorial status of PR makes that requirement a bit ambiguous. OTOH, the GOP were willing to have Arnie...
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    Obviously making LOX won't be a simple matter of waving a magician's wand, but try not to be so dismissive of what can be done. The Moon is cold enough to allow extremely low temperatures to be achieved. Liquification might...
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    More R A Smith, IMO....
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    I should have watched his IAC presentation first. Looks like he does want to land his BFR on the Moon quite soon. Fuel will be launched from Earth rather than manufactured, although the LOX could be made on the Moon....
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    That would be the equivalent of landing the whole stack which makes no sense to me. Musk may however, be thinking along those lines in the future. The BFR reaches orbit, refuels, then descends and ascends at the Moon. Refuels...
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    Was it Clarke who said that the problem with ballistic flight was that the toilet was out of reach for 1/2 the time, and unusable for the other half. There really will need to be a last call for the...
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    Theoretically, SpaceX doesn't need a dedicated LM as the capsule can use rocket propulsion to land. With a delta v of less than 2.5 km/s for descent the fuel is not much more than the capsule's own mass. With refueling...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    is this also going to destabilize the secondary insurance markets? I don't think so. Insurance and reinsurance is global and there is a lot of capital to draw on. Insurers will take a hit but not a bad one. I...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Because of the small mass of red dwarfs, the planets in the NZ are close in. That means that most are tidally locked. Which means that they probably do not have protective magnetic fields. While abundant, you are probably aware...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Isn't that what rubber gloves are for? Seriously, who willingly lives without a dishwasher today unless they are some curmudgeon?...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Back in teh 1970s when energy was getting expensive and buildings were mostly uninsulated, there were a host of simple, inexpensive solutions to reduce heat loss. You mentioned one. Getting hold of books from this era might be worth doing...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Starting to sound like a home nuke. ;) Salt systems are likely fine for homes with basements or outside storage for safety. A solution to fit certain circumstances....
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Has that ever happened to your phone or other device with a monitored rechargeable battery?...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    The main issue with EVs has been "range anxiety". And when you need recharging, how do you do it? "fast recharges" are possible, but clearly are still much slower than a gas station fill up. Removing the battery and replacing...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    "decarbonize quickly, plant lots of trees, paint cities and roads white, implement robust and flexible farming techniques and wait 500 years to see if we survive." As Frank would probably say, we don't have 500 years, at least not...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    While I appreciate why you bought the Bolt, if you could get your hands on one, the Tesla 3 is clearly a better EV. As regards battery size, I don't think it matters as much as you imply. What will...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    When can I start claiming carbon credits for planting trees in my backyard? Presumably, this could be turned into a farm project with harvesting and sale to a government wood sequestration center. What about all that green waste? If it...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    A good scam will be ocean fertilization for carbon credits. Cost is low, the CO2 uptake, in the short term, measurable. But because the algae don't sink and sequestrate the carbon, it is released again. I can also imagine putting...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    California farmers are putting in tree farms. I can't recall the species. It is fast growing and I gather there is an ag payment for carbon capture or reduced water usage....
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    California has a program to install solar panels on low-income houses for free. The kit cost is estimated to be $20-30k plus labor. For older homes, what should be done is add wall insulation as well as double-paned windows, but...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    That cannot be correct. Tesla's have a fast (ie drive in and out replacement for $). The size of the battery isn't the issue, it is how accessible. Tesla has thought this through, whilst Chevrolet has not....
  • Commented on Eleven Tweets
    Likewise, at the bottom, the motivation to work certainly matters, but in a country as wealthy as the United States, perhaps that incentive does not need to be so extreme as to elicit the specters of homelessness and destitution. There...
  • Commented on Eleven Tweets
    Your numbers while appearing logical, miss both reality and history. As Keith pointed out, investments were being made during the high tax era, especially in the US. That has to be accounted for. As for investment returns, you seem to...
  • Commented on Eleven Tweets
    Stephenson alluded to a trust filtered internet in his novel "Anathem". I would like that as a support to my preferred sources. However, I don't want that enforced, as it then becomes a target for corrupting influences. Unforeseen consequences are...
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