SpaceX News

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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GIThruster
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SpaceX News

Postby GIThruster » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:31 pm

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162- ... -a-planet/

I like the "arguing from first principles" answer.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:47 pm

A "space-bearing" civilization? Seems he didn't "fare" well with his cliches.

Robthebob
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Postby Robthebob » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:50 pm

Still very unsure about Elon Musk...

1. one needs to pretty much invent a car or traveling across states or even cities would be bad of a thing to do. Imagine that we havent even invented a bicycle in terms of space travel, and he, as well as many other scientists and engineers with the inappropriate focus on whats important, wants to go from New York down to New Jersey on a tricycle?

Unless we tame fusion or fission for space travel, we'll forever be stuck at the tricycle, and until then, in my humble opinion, space travel shouldnt be a serious discussion.

2. Terraforming Mars you say? Calculations work out you say? Cus from what I can gather, the planet itself need a lot more than a fixer-upper. Imagine a house without a roof or foundation... Gravity from the planet is not strong enough to hold a thick enough atmosphere that we can live on, terraforming process takes into the hundreds of years, no spinning molten core so no magnetic field to block off a really really bad mojo radiations, etc.

3. Electric cars are great, when you can get relatively affordable stable electric energy storage with effective energy density that can match gasoline... let me know. I thought that metallic electrochemical battery that was on TED was gonna be good enough, but nope. Combustion fuels store a lot of energy in a very little space, even if ICE is grossly inefficient. There are other problems too, like filling up gas takes 5 minutes, how long does it take to charm batteries? How long can a full battery go for? Can it go for a day or two without charging? What are you gonna do with electric discharge (it just happens when you're not driving the car)? Dont get me wrong, I drive a hybrid, I love my car, but when is the technology going to get here and be affordable?

4. In the past, space programs of any country was just there for the country to measure its dick size, not really much more. Most of the good science arent done by space programs. I know what you're thinking, that space programs, on their journey to their goals, had made many break throughs in technology and science. This is true, but the same thing can be said about any monumental challenge in science and engineering, like CERN, ITER, etc. I'm saying for right now, we should be focusing on other challenges, like commercial fusion, quantum computers, etc which if achieved will benefit humanity more than space exploration (for now) and still bring us all those innovations necessary to get us there.

5. Education education education. He should know his work cant be completed in his life time, invest in the future, get more people to be like minded as him by getting more kids interested in learning, the sciences and engineering, get them to college, get them a job that they can be passionate about, and they can change the world. To me Elon Musk's vision is grand and amazing, but it's still short sighted.
Throwing my life away for this whole Fusion mess.

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:15 pm

No matter who builds the fire some clown has always got to come along and pee on it. To your points:

1) Mars One has already done the calculations for a colony on Mars. I don't think they have an economic justification but that is not the question. It is certainly possible to do. Neither fission nor fusion for propulsion will make a large difference here. A rocket is a rocket and any rocket going to Mars is going to coast almost the entire trip. If you're waiting on Fusion, you don't understand the challenge. What we really need to make the economic case is a propellantless drive that can get us there at constant 1 gee acceleration in just a couple days, without throwing away your launcher each time you fly.

2) Can't quibble as I don't know what Musk's statements here were based on. Neither do you. Could be to terraform he expects satellites to provide magnetic coverage and the atmosphere would be brought in with asteroids. In any case if you didn't think he was talking significantly into the future you're not tracking.

3) The Tesla Roadster has a 200 mile range. Stop your whining. It's a remarkable accomplishment and the sedan at just $50k is an amazing accomplishment. the next step, a very high production run of a very cheap car, and the process to get there is all genius.

4) People should be focused on whatever challenges float their boat. We don't need your stinking fascist crap telling people to be disinterested in space or anything else. This is the land of Liberty. If you don't like it, get out.

5) You have the problem backward. I highly suggest you read Eva-Jane's excellent interview with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson in the latest Space Quarterly on how to get your perspective correct. Focusing on space is what urges kids to study science and engineering. It doesn't happen the other way around. You don't educate the engineers and then look for something for them to do. You give people reasons to bust their asses in school and become the next generation of engineers, and nothing has been more successful at this than the Apollo program, Star Trek and SSTS. What we need are people willing to paint the picture and let us live our dreams and Elon is the point man, going where no one has gone before.

You'd like him if you weren't envious of his big, swingin' dick.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:46 pm

OCTOBER 7 ANNOUNCED AS TARGET LAUNCH DATE FOR SPACE STATION MISSION

NASA and SpaceX have announced October 7, 2012 as the target launch date for SpaceX’s first resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is scheduled for 8:34 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral, Florida. October 8 is the backup date.

The launch represents the first of 12 SpaceX flights to the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract, and follows a successful demonstration mission in May when SpaceX became the first private company ever to attach to the ISS and return safely to Earth.

The SpaceX CRS-1 mission also represents restoration of American capability to deliver and return cargo to the ISS—a feat not achievable since the retirement of the space shuttle. SpaceX is also contracted to develop Dragon to send crew to the space station. SpaceX’s first manned flight is expected to take place in 2015.

On this mission, Dragon will be filled with supplies, which include materials to support 166 experiments in plant cell biology, human biotechnology, and materials technology. One experiment will examine the effects of microgravity on the opportunistic yeast Candida albicans, which is present on all humans. Another will evaluate how microgravity affects the growth of cell walls in a plant called Arabidopsis.

Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams of NASA and Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will use a robotic arm to grapple Dragon following its rendezvous with the station, expected on October 10. They will attach Dragon to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony module for a few weeks while crew members unload cargo and load experiment samples for return to Earth.

Dragon is scheduled to return in late October for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California. Dragon will fly back carrying scientific materials and space station hardware.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Robthebob
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Postby Robthebob » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:37 pm

Excuse me GIThruster, no need to be insulting. My original post had no intention of being insulting to Mr. Musk, I actually admire his vision, and the post is merely just the humble opinion of a reasonably informed college graduate in physics. Before I refute your points, if it was a lack of information on my part, I do apologize before hand.

1. Wasnt talking about going to Mars, was talking about space exploration at large. But if you will follow my reasoning, even riding a tricycle down the road isnt the best feeling in the world. I feel like we're discussion different topics. Indeed it can be done, but why not focus on fusion which will help that, not to mention help change our world for the better? (Granted I believe fusion is 10 years down the road, not 80 years down the road, I feel like waiting 10 years until we're really really ready, that's not too much to ask)

2. I dont know what his statements were based on, I know what estimates my conclusions were based on tho. Some of the problems are just... insane. I'm willing to put down money, until convinced otherwise, that Mars can never support an atmosphere thick enough for human beings. I dont know much about satellites to provide magnetic coverage, but I really doubt it can work base on what I know about magnetism. And I dont want to be the guy that's like he's wrong until proven right, but I'm sure the mainstream scientific consensus is closer to mine than his. (Then again the mainstream scientific consensus can be wrong, I can be wrong, I'm just telling you my opinions and what they're based on) Obviously we cant fall into the whole, "he might be right because you dont know what he knows." It should be neutral, more like, "none of us can know for sure, you dont know what he knows."

3. That's me being uninformed, and I'm sorry about that. However, is this affordable? 200 mile range is impressive! What about the other concerns I raised? like how long does it take to charge, how to deal with discharge, etc? Not to mention, where would you fill up? You'll have to find someone who'll let you eat electricity out of his or her walls, and I mean it's not bad, it's a little bit silly tho. Like I said, I have a hybrid, I want to convert it to a plug-in, (my electric engineering is bad) I have nothing against electric/hybrid cars, they're really the future. Still... that energy density problem is still a problem.

4. I'm not denying his right to choose what challenge he wants to take, that's his choice, I'm merely suggesting that an alternative path is better. I'm saying all great scientific and engineering challenges will bring with them amazing innovations necessary to get them there, so this whole argument of we should do A, because A will bring us a bunch of things is not good logic, because if we did B, or C, or D, etc, they'll still bring you a bunch of things.

5. Whoa now my good sir, I didnt get into science because I love space. I got into science because I love science and I want to help the world. I have this gnawing urge to find out, to learn, to understand, to master, to apply, to teach. That's the reason. I actually see a lot of kids that start off like what you said. A bunch of the underclassmen of Auburn got into physics because it was A. interesting and B. they read some random book about some high level voodoo physics by Hawkings, Greene, etc. (Shit I was one of those kids) A bunch of them grew out of it tho, they went on to do engineering or other sciences, because they learned what physics was really about. I figured out what real physics was at the end of my freshmen year, and I still loved it, so I kept going.
...
I dont like carrots on sticks, but whatever tho. That may be a little bit harsh, but fundamentally, I want to say a huge portion of the pure scientists are scientists because they love science and maybe combined with the fact that there's light at the end of the tunnel. I have no problem with Mr. Musk, I merely like to point out that his path can be even better.

PS: Come now, dont act like Joe and throw insults out like that. I also never said I was disinterested in space..., I think our attention, right now in this time, should be focused on something else.
Throwing my life away for this whole Fusion mess.

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:20 am

1. I do follow your reasoning, but I think Musk is doing the best he can with what he has. Personally, I think colonizing other worlds does need to wait for a propellantless "space drive" to make transport manageable, but I don't fault those in the alt space community for refusing to wait for it. Enough waiting. We've been waiting for 40 years.

2. Like I said, we don't even know what we don't know. I think you're taking an off-the-cuff remark intended to be funny that is within the realm of possibility decades from now, and making an issue out of it. Reminds me of the chick I once dated who had dated an astrophysicist who worked at Hayden Planetarium. He had infected her with his cynicism when he impressed on her that in space there's no sound, so you wouldn't actually hear anything when you see a spacecraft in space.

Em. . .okay, so what's the point again? And who didn't know this at 8 years old?

3. Yes, Tesla's cars all run on batteries not capacitors, so they cannot be recharged in 5 minutes. If what you're saying is there is no benefit going to electric cars until we have the ability to recharge them in 5 minutes, I think that's an absurd position. Transferring to an all-electric transport system will take decades and we should be starting now. Most suburban and rural families own at least 2 cars, and seldom travel more than 100 miles/day, so a car with a 200 mile range is much more than enough for most needs. If I had the cash I'd trade my XKR for a Tesla Roadster in a heartbeat and rent a car when I go on longer trips.

I'm thrilled that Musk is doing what he believes is right, rather than what he believes will make him the most money. Would that Detroit could catch his fever.

4. You're not denying anyone the right to choose their own dreams and goals, but you are chiding them when they're not your dreams and goals. Just FYI, for fusion to be really successful, we need to stitch smaller motive operations to electric. The first result of successful fusion will be a greater calling for electric cars, planes, trains, etc. And in order to get there, we likely want to go to space.

5. Well you're odd man out. Most engineers and scientists I know have been greatly inspired by space fact and fiction. I highly suggest you read the very well reasoned thoughts by Tyson I mentioned above.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:41 am

Actually have to side with GiThruster on that one.
I do admire Musk and if I was in his position, I would also invest in human spaceflight (but also fusion research, instead of cars).
I have great hopes for him to finally give us RLVs.
There are a few papers about terraforming of mars using a (pretty complex and certainly expensive) network of nuclear powered factories that will extract some supergreenhouse gases (PFCs) from the marsian soil. This would heat mars to above freezing releasing water vapor and other gasses into the atmosphere causing the pressure to increase to a level that allows for people to walk arround without a pressure suit. The estimates are that you could do it within 100 years if you had 1000 such factories (100 MW each).
100 years is NOT a very long time and 1000 such factories are mainly a cost factor, not a technological hurdle. Of course the air would still not be breathable and too thin for humans to survive, but all they would need is an oxygen tank instead of a spacesuit. That makes a huge difference. Then you could import some genetically modified plants and lichen that will slowly conquer the planet...
It would take a while for sure, but it would not be completely undoable.

kunkmiester
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Postby kunkmiester » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:58 am

One of the sci-fi comics I followed until it went on hiatus considered self-healing membrane balloons for terraforming. Putting Mars in a bubble would be a challenge, but they were mostly enclosing asteroids to live on. Probably about as out there as heating with greenhouse gasses.

You could probably build large domes, with the goal that eventually they'd merge together into one big one covering the planet.

You have to have a barrier though, or you end up loosing your new atmosphere too fast. No barrier means you need to boost the gravity or something which puts the time table way out there again.
Evil is evil, no matter how small

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:18 am

I've never seen the calculation of how quickly we think Mars lost its atmosphere, but it could have taken over a billion years. If we can recreate it in 100, seems to me not a problem. The bigger question is the missing magnetic field, but one might put that at Mars' L1 position and then use orbital sats to add to. Seems to me with an entire planet up for grabs the investment would be substantial. Just need to solve the transport issue first.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Robthebob
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Postby Robthebob » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:27 am

1. We've been waiting for fusion for 80 years, and we're gonna continue to wait. The waiting game isnt "im tired of waiting so lets do this when we're not ready, it's we do this when we're ready."

2. I dont know what possible solutions he has to the problems i posed, but think about it, those are pretty huge problems.

3. Again, I'm not arguing about electric cars being bad, I'm saying they still need to break through a couple things, maybe not even technologic or scientific issues, before the general public will be okay with them.

4. Whoa now sir, those are not even close to my dreams and goals, do not even try to write them off as such suggesting im doing something selfish. I'm suggesting it could be better. (my dreams and goals has nothing to do with space flight)

5. If you say so, but in my experience, and Im not doubting your experience, you're the odd man out. That wasnt what I was talking about anyways from the start. I was talking about sparking curiosity, so they'll end up loving science and engineering. Carrots on sticks is still, in my opinion, a bad way of doing this.
Throwing my life away for this whole Fusion mess.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:41 pm

First (very, very short) test of grasshopper.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... bJb3OncSEY

SpaceX certainly has made a lot of progress with that one too and fast!
Lets hope all goes well for them and we will see the baby fly sooner rather than later!

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:21 pm

Musk's business plan for Mars makes much more sense than supporting an entire civilization through reality TV profits such as Mars One proposes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fS1FxBq ... re=related

Trouble is while moving a person might cost just half a mil, moving all the stuff they'll need will be in addition to that and the prosperity and quality of life of the Martians is related to the stuff they have access to.

Still needs propellantless propulsion, IMHO.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

hanelyp
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Postby hanelyp » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:17 pm

GIThruster wrote:Still needs propellantless propulsion, IMHO.

I'm not inclined to count on breakthrough physics. Get back to me if anything shows results clearly outside the noise floor.

Systems such as single stage to tether, the Lofstrom loop, and other means of getting to orbit without expending 90% of your liftoff mass as propellant would be big help in large scale space development. Given a power source, there are ways to drive a spacecraft already in orbit without a lot of propellant expended.

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:25 pm

hanelyp wrote:Get back to me if anything shows results clearly outside the noise floor.

All of the current data is above the noise floor. Noise floor is not an issue at all. Jim demonstrated he had six sigma data many months ago. The 10uN data was all six sigma and the 130uN data is far beyond that.
Given a power source, there are ways to drive a spacecraft already in orbit without a lot of propellant expended.

There are no ways to generate constant 1 gee acceleration for more than a few minutes while using propellant. For space travel to enter its golden age and finally become safe, quick, convenient and economical, we have to have a "space drive" as defined by Marc Millis in his original BPP work.

http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/bpp/1997-J_AIAA_SpaceDr.pdf

The only thing that comes close for all these years is Woodward's work.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis


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