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sunny cloudy SF and just before leaving I contemplated what on earth a 'check in' even meant now that you can do it by pushing a button on your phone the day before. Of course, the internet is happy to tell me all about it. For something considered
“a basic tool [that should be] taught to all algorithms students together with divide-and-conquer, dynamic programming, and random sampling”, I sure hadn't heard of it. Spend some time shopping at
NASA's Software Catalog. Finally, a
reality TV show I can appreciate. Thank god for the internet.
This is a pretty short paper with ~no details but who cares:
stick a 2T magnetic field at Mars' L1 point and build your own Magnetosphere. This seems to be a rephrasing of this article which, again, summarizes all the interesting engineering bits with "it seems quite possible". I wouldn't hold your breath. You've gotta appreciate this lawyer's persistence, if not his judgement:
Paul Hansmeier, Esq. v. John Doe (90m video) ( sordid backstory). Trigger Warning: politics.
An interestingly wonky piece on the effects of externalities on policing. Betcha didn't know there's a
vaccine for Lyme disease. Too bad you can't buy it. Jobs that won't exist:
burger flipper (ok, least surprising one of these ever but still) Jobs that
will exist: "jobs". Because I keep losing this link:
inflation-adjusted house prices since 1900 and the Herengracht Index. I may be the world's largest Elon Musk fanboy (call me, Elon!) but that doesn't mean I'm not also
super excited about Bezos' Blue Origin. They both have comprehensive visions of humanity at home in space (video) and that's pretty much what gets me out of bed in the morning. Sure, they have some shiny CGI renderings of big rockets ( narrated!) and glamour shots of engine plumbing but that's just PR. The most interesting parts to me are the boring logistical bits: building up the transport capacity to send boxes to the moon on a 10,000lb lunar polar lander (registration required). Building a cislunar industrial presence is sort of orthogonal to Mars plans: it takes almost exactly as much delta-v to land on the Moon as Mars despite the huge difference in distance; aerobraking is worth ~4km/s which is . Because of this, landers suitable for one body are not good at landing on the other; Dragon 2 can't land on the Moon and this lunar polar lander would asplode if it tried to land on Mars. At a certain size this breaks down, the ITS mars lander could certainly land on the Moon.
It's really nicely parsimonious that two billionaires (and ULA which is a a lot big fan (pdf) of cislunar and already good buddies (pdf) with Blue Origin) can build heavy lift infrastructure and really only be in competition as far as LEO. Space is big. I can't leave SpaceX out completely though, check out this
giant picture of the inside of the Dragon 2. Look closely and spot the $19.97 smoke detectors.