Reusing Falcons

SpaceX has just announced that they’re going to attempt to add another vehicle to their reusable fleet, with another landing attempt at sea early next Wednesday morning from the Cape.

Meanwhile, here’s the most comprehensive analysis I’ve seen so far of how much they can reduce cost and prices, but it’s based on a lot of assumptions.I found this curious:

Musk said the fuel used on a Falcon 9 is between $200,000 and $300,000. Reserving fuel in the first stage for landing adds mass to the vehicle and deprives it of performance, effectively carrying fuel instead of extra payload — a penalty that expendable rockets do not need to pay. Musk was addressing not the performance penalty, but the issue of fuel cost, which is a non-issue in the overall economics of reusability.

Actually, much of the point of reusability is to get to the point at which one cares about propellant costs. It’s expendables in which they are a non-issue.

The Vegetarian Myth

Dr. Eades reviews what appears to be a very interesting book.

My thoughts: No, we can’t sustain the current human population without agriculture. But then, we’re not sure how we’re going to sustain a human population in space, either. We need advances in technology to solve either problem. I suspect that we’ll be manufacturing meat in the not-too-distant future that will have the taste, texture and nutrition of the real thing, and that will be good for all, including wildlife. But even absent that, I’d amend the old bumper sticker. Grains aren’t food. Grains are what food eats.

Hillary’s FBI Investigation

The results could leak:

Later the same month Herridge reported an intelligence source saying there was “incredulity” about what was “being discovered.” And more recently we’ve seen former FBI agents write a letter to Director Comey urging him not to let politics interfere with the case, as if there was some ambient concern, perhaps filtering to them from current agents, that interference might happen.

Again, all of this is reading between the lines, but it does appear there is some sense within the FBI that the evidence is there to move forward assuming political influence doesn’t win the day. And if so, this may be a sort of warning from the rank-and-file who don’t want politics taking precedence here. The message is: you won’t be able to bury this.

But they’ll try.

Silencing Dissent On Science

George Will describes the latest attempts at censorship of those who deign to disagree with our intellectual and moral superiors (just ask them!) on the Left:

“The debate is settled,” says Obama. “Climate change is a fact.” Indeed. The epithet “climate change deniers,” obviously coined to stigmatize skeptics as akin to Holocaust deniers, is designed to obscure something obvious: Of course the climate is changing; it never is not changing — neither before nor after the Medieval Warm Period (end of the 9th century to the 13th century) and the Little Ice Age (1640s to 1690s), neither of which was caused by fossil fuels.

Today, debatable questions include: To what extent is human activity contributing to climate change? Are climate change models, many of which have generated projections refuted by events, suddenly reliable enough to predict the trajectory of change? Is change necessarily ominous because today’s climate is necessarily optimum? Are the costs, in money expended and freedom curtailed, of combating climate change less than the cost of adapting to it?

But these questions may not forever be debatable. The initial target of Democratic “scientific” silencers is ExxonMobil, which they hope to demonstrate misled investors and the public about climate change. There is, however, no limiting principle to restrain unprincipled people from punishing research entities, advocacy groups and individuals.

That’s the problem with leftist opponents to limited government; there are never any limiting principles on anything.

My “Ending Apolloism” Talk At Space Access

I’ve uploaded the Powerpoint to the site.

It’s an outgrowth of my “SLS Roadblock” project, which I’m figuring out how to either wrap up or extend.

Stop Trying To Make Apollo Happen

[Update a while later]

Erratum: At the time I originally created these charts, for the FISO telecon at the end of January, Dana had proposed the Space Settlement bill. He has since actually introduced it.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!