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Thread: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by TeePee View Post
    Meanwhile, the 'environmentalists' are the reason clean, renewable, nuclear power isn't the primary source of generation worldwide.
    Yes. Check Germany's electricity generation mix and the reasons for it!
    "In a perfect world... spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with many men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship."

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by TeePee View Post
    , one of the Billionaires playing at Space
    Ars Technica had quite a good piece on that. Bezos is moving into a half a billion dollar super yacht while Musk has just moved into a $50k prefab to be near his rockets. It was basically saying it isn't surprising that Bezos isn't delivering rocket motors on time.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021...ic-fly-anyway/

    Meanwhile, the 'environmentalists' are the reason clean, renewable, nuclear power isn't the primary source of generation worldwide.
    To be fair, at this point solar power is just plain cheaper than nuclear as well as faster to roll out and less likely to get resistance from the locals when you try to build a power plant. I've always been pro nuclear, but the economics no longer add up and I think it can only be justified in terms of keeping a diversity of power sources.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    To be fair, at this point solar power is just plain cheaper than nuclear as well as faster to roll out and less likely to get resistance from the locals when you try to build a power plant. I've always been pro nuclear, but the economics no longer add up and I think it can only be justified in terms of keeping a diversity of power sources.
    Is that including the cost of energy storage? Because without big banks of batteries, renewables aren't really a meaningful contribution to the power grid. That's something missed when looking at prices per kWhr in contracts for power plants.

    Many providers claim to offer cheap green energy, but in practice they buy any energy going (including coal) - there are three providers who only buy green energy, and they also have a specific exemption from ofgen to allow them to charge more than the energy price cap (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56602674). EDF, using nuclear power, don't have this exemption

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    To be fair, at this point solar power is just plain cheaper than nuclear as well as faster to roll out and less likely to get resistance from the locals when you try to build a power plant. I've always been pro nuclear, but the economics no longer add up and I think it can only be justified in terms of keeping a diversity of power sources.
    Solar is way to dependent on the sun to be a primary source of power - winter/night/clouds all decimate power output, which being as we need a steady source of power makes it a non starter. Nuclear at least works whenever you want it too. In the uk wind is pretty good as it's pretty well always windy somewhere, but to do it efficiently you'd build on-shore and have wind turbines the size of the shard - nobody wants that. The only reason offshore took off despite not be massively efficient is it was a great way of giving ex north sea oil workers a job while appearing green so appealed politically. Tidal barrages are also super reliable way of generating power, but they might upset some fish so we can't have them.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by Dribble View Post
    Solar is way to dependent on the sun to be a primary source of power - winter/night/clouds all decimate power output, which being as we need a steady source of power makes it a non starter. Nuclear at least works whenever you want it too. In the uk wind is pretty good as it's pretty well always windy somewhere, but to do it efficiently you'd build on-shore and have wind turbines the size of the shard - nobody wants that. The only reason offshore took off despite not be massively efficient is it was a great way of giving ex north sea oil workers a job while appearing green so appealed politically. Tidal barrages are also super reliable way of generating power, but they might upset some fish so we can't have them.
    tidal doesn't "upset some fish" it can wreak havoc with the entire local ecosystem, so is far from ideal.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    tidal doesn't "upset some fish" it can wreak havoc with the entire local ecosystem, so is far from ideal.
    And large solar arrays take up huge amounts of space, destroying plants and wildlife. Wind kills huge numbers of birds. Hydro floods huge areas and destroys down stream ecosystems. Nuclear creates radioactive waste. Gas pollutes. Big coal pollutes... and where does this madness get us?

    Mental gymnastics which means we're burning wood pellets and calling it green and where our mix / supply is so terrible, we're using emergency oil generators lined up on airfields and paying industry to shut down.

    The worst part is the thinking turns people anti-human as if we have no right to any concequences on other species or the ecosystem from our existance. Which is usually typed in a hateful, nihilistic diatribe on their smartphones full of rare metals and lithium batteries, transported around the world by oil.

    Unless we wipe out humanity, there will be concequences. We have to pick our poison, quite literally. I vote nuclear and CCGT, supplemented with home solar where possible.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Radioactive waste is massively overstated. If your entire lifetime was powered by Nuclear energy, and no reprocessing were done, your waste would fit in a coke can, and could be safely buried next to you, six feet under. Add reprocessing (which is essential!) and the waste is fuel.

    With proper investment to expand capacity, the cost of nuclear would plummet. We'd have excess energy to use for hydrogen production and carbon capture.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    And large solar arrays take up huge amounts of space, destroying plants and wildlife. Wind kills huge numbers of birds. Hydro floods huge areas and destroys down stream ecosystems. Nuclear creates radioactive waste. Gas pollutes. Big coal pollutes... and where does this madness get us?

    Mental gymnastics which means we're burning wood pellets and calling it green and where our mix / supply is so terrible, we're using emergency oil generators lined up on airfields and paying industry to shut down.

    The worst part is the thinking turns people anti-human as if we have no right to any concequences on other species or the ecosystem from our existance. Which is usually typed in a hateful, nihilistic diatribe on their smartphones full of rare metals and lithium batteries, transported around the world by oil.

    Unless we wipe out humanity, there will be concequences. We have to pick our poison, quite literally. I vote nuclear and CCGT, supplemented with home solar where possible.
    A combo of nuclear and hydro (damns) is by far the best option we currently have at our disposal to provide the guaranteed baseline and controllable surge loadings. You could even then couple nuclear to seawater hydrogen and oxygen production for fuel cells and solid fuels to help promote cleaner transportation and hydrogen turbines for emergency spikes in energy demand where a rapid spin-up is required. It's not the most energy efficient, but it is clean, and emissions are the current battle we have to win. Using overproduction to manufacture clean fuels for batteries, cars, planes, and rocket assisted planes, is an ideal solution. It allows you to run plants at peak efficiency consistently without wasting surplus power.

    It's far more madness to be peeing into the wind on dreams that don't yield enough energy consistently enough when a practical, low emissions alternative is right there and ready if we'd bothered to build the power stations soon enough.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by TeePee View Post
    Radioactive waste is massively overstated. If your entire lifetime was powered by Nuclear energy, and no reprocessing were done, your waste would fit in a coke can, and could be safely buried next to you, six feet under. Add reprocessing (which is essential!) and the waste is fuel.

    With proper investment to expand capacity, the cost of nuclear would plummet. We'd have excess energy to use for hydrogen production and carbon capture.
    This is what I was taught at uni too.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    Is that including the cost of energy storage?
    When a nuclear plant costs £20B and takes a decade to build, having anything now seems a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    ... and where does this madness get us?
    Bitcoin!


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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    When a nuclear plant costs £20B and takes a decade to build, having anything now seems a good idea.



    Bitcoin!


    I'll get me coat...
    It would be a valid argument had the engineering institutes not written to Blair in the late 90s / early noughties flagging the need to build nuclear now and fast. Politicians are a waste of space when it comes to long-term strategic matters.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    Politicians are a waste of space when it comes to long-term strategic matters.
    100% - 20 year thinking doesn't get you elected does it. Virtually no one sees past the next year, let alone 10, 20 years. Its why I worry for the human race.
    Trust

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    It would be a valid argument had the engineering institutes not written to Blair in the late 90s / early noughties flagging the need to build nuclear now and fast. Politicians are a waste of space when it comes to long-term strategic matters.
    Ah yes, but in the 90's we have cold fusion to look forward to I have to wonder if the really hot fusion efforts underway right now will end up contributing the same amount of power

    There were some pretty neat nuclear power designs out there. So we chose poor designs, and tied them up in circles until now they are basically obsolete. Nice going political dudes.

    Cheap solar and wind power (which we have) stored in electric cars (on the increase) on a smart grid (almost inevitable at this point, but uncertain timeline) could well happen before we get new nuclear plants.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic completes its first crewed space flight

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    It would be a valid argument had the engineering institutes not written to Blair in the late 90s / early noughties flagging the need to build nuclear now and fast. Politicians are a waste of space when it comes to long-term strategic matters.
    Aye, here today and gone tomorrow governments just don't seem to care about what happens 10+ years down the line. This is why the health service is in such a mess, because it's politically ruinous to actually do anything more than poke at the problem and feed it more mulah.

    The reason I suggest solar is it's doable by individuals on a local level. People can place panels on their own roofs (including businesses) and pay less for electricity into the bargain. With appropriate subsidies I think you'd get a fair amount of take up and that alone would make a dent in the demand issue with individuals absorbing some of the cost (and benefit).

    Hydro is a decade or two long project just like nukes, because there's all the environmental considerations for building the dams and the people to get to move and rehome and arguments that go round in circles. At least with nukes we have existing sites we can expand or develop further without the NIMBY stuff (I used to live next to Ferrybridge power station and loved riding past that beast every day, give me a nuclear power station any day).

    I would also hope these small scale, modular civilian reactors are going to be available soon with the ability to stick em underground and so no one can complain ("if I can't see it, it's not illegal!"). We'll just tell the locals we're burying a new water tank. A glowing one.


    EDIT - where were we? Oh, yes.... Beardy. And his teeth.
    Last edited by philehidiot; 15-07-2021 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Insulting Richard Branson, mostly.

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