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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2018
     
    But don't you miss your grid-dip meter?
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2018
     
    Yeah, I miss my old Heath "Tunnel Dipper". Wish I'd never sold it.

    How many devices used tunnel diodes?
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2018
     
    I don't know, Esaki.
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    I'm Gunn look it up
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Why bother to go to Mars?

    Fifty SpaceX Falcon BFR could technically enable sustainable orbital colonies for 2 million people by 2040.

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/02/fifty-spacex-falcon-bfr-could-technically-enable-sustainable-orbital-colonies-for-2-million-people-by-2040.html
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Of course, the shielding depends on the stability of the earth's magnetic field.
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Posted By: TrimOf course, the shielding depends on the stability of the earth's magnetic field.

    Shaped like pies, they will be immune to radiation.
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    Do you mean a steak and kiddley pie, or more a pork pie?
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanDo you mean a steak and kiddley pie, or more a pork pie?

    We need to test different types, BFR seems destined to lift them all. Pies for Mars is the next big thing. Pies simply can't be confined to the skies of a single planet.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    No one commenting on the so-called nuclear Verne gun?

    It might be the only option to save hundreds of millions of lives on earth, the anomalies of earth magnetic field that have been detected by satellites might mean the overdue reversal of our protective field is imminent (within a century) which from history would take a few thousand years to stabilise.

    The ability to launch thousands of tons of matter into space, quickly and even more economically than the BFR will allow enough material to build an artificial protective magnetic field in space and if we can mass produce strong enough fibres the famed space elevator, as well of course for cheaper space habitats.

    The name nuclear puts fear in people but the small increase of radioactivity that might get into the atmosphere would be considerably less then that released every week by the use of fossil fuel, less if we use laser-initiated fusion explosions.

    Blasting things straight up at escape velocity would not be very useful, however, there is a trick the early Apollo spacecraft used, that is to use the moon's gravity to return the payload back into the vicinity of earth.

    Even if the magnetic anomalies are just (hopefully) a false alarm the nuclear gun will be built but just not by a very democratic country.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    How about the EU decides to launch it from somewhere in the North Sea. After Brexit of course, so you don't have a say. But ESA says it is "perfectly safe".
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Well, an equatorial launch site might be better for a lunar gravity assist but the EU does have some strange form of democracy.

    If the volcanic island of Ascension is stable enough it could be built there.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Whoever builds the nuclear gun owns space and whoever owns space is top dog.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    The project could be very helpful to mankind or extremely divisive, you choose.
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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Posted By: TrimWhoever builds the nuclear gun owns space and whoever owns space is top dog.

    Giant space guns, like giant space trams, tend to restrict your orbital options/force you to trade their payload capacity for fuel to deliver your payload to the 'right' orbit - if that is even possible.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Mass in space might be needed quickly if we do need an artificial magnetic shield.

    The Japanese are very keen on a space elevator but unfortunately for them have no expertise in fusion bombs but would happily pay for cheap access to space.

    The Apollo spacecraft had very primitive computers but managed to use lunar gravity assist to get back to earth. once a nuclear shell has gone around the moon a couple of BFR launched craft could attach to it to adjust its trajectory to that required if it cannot do it itself.

    Of course, plenty of computer simulations would be needed to optimise everything.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Solar power beamed from space is doable now but without very cheap access there it is not economically viable.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Isn't all of our solar power beamed from space?
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Except for radio actives from earth sources but you knew that and exactly what I meant.

    A geezer called Glaser suggest beaming microwaves down from geostationary orbit converted from solar radiation for conversion to electricity on earth decades ago and others have suggested laser beams to also supply electricity as well.

    A nuclear gun launcher is doable, cost effective and relatively safe if only Bull hadn't been murdered by the Israeli terrorists we might already have one.

    As even fairly conventional explosives can be manipulated by expert design to launch stuff into orbit cheaply provided it has a circlising rocket to help achieve orbit.
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      CommentAuthorTrim
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2018
     
    Is China's space laser for real?

    https://www.popsci.com/china-space-laser