Author Archives: Chris Stelter

Initial BFR (Starship) is not much more powerful than Falcon Heavy

In 2016 when Elon Musk unveiled ITS, everyone thought it was ridiculous and huge. It dwarfed the Saturn V. People were scratching their heads as to how it could possibly launch from LC-39A as pictured, since the 42 Raptors were … Continue reading

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Disabilities as enabling for space travel

So, the other day I listened to a presentation from the FISO (Future In-Space Operations) working group. They have regular online telecons which anyone can listen to and follow along after the fact on their web archive: http://fiso.spiritastro.net/archivelist.htm It was … Continue reading

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Amistics of Human Spaceflight, or How Autonomy and Miniaturization can be the Enemies of Human Spaceflight (Part 1)

Neal Stephenson in his novel Seveneves coined the term “Amistics”, deriving from how some Amish people have strong preferences for certain technological paths to achieve the same goal. For instance, these Amish folk swear off modern technology, which for them … Continue reading

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Blue Moon: Is this really it?

By Chris Stelter Blue Moon, the recent announcement of an uncrewed lander by Blue Origin, had flare and pomp. A starfield surrounded the select audience as they watched Jeff Bezos, the richest man (okay, if you count his family) in … Continue reading

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Airbreathing hypersonic travel is less energy efficient over long distances than rocket travel

There’s a certain misunderstanding common in aerospace that rockets are horribly inefficient and that long term we need air breathing ramjets or scramjets to efficiently launch things, with the idea that we can thus avoid accelerating oxygen to flight speed, … Continue reading

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Plan D for space settlement

Plan D There are three companies I take seriously for making true spacefaring (ie including Mars because I’m a Mars Firster) truly accessible: SpaceX, Blue Origin, And Masten Space Systems. I would have taken XCOR seriously, but unfortunately they went … Continue reading

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Megacharger costs… (Tesla Semi Part Two)

Elon Musk announced the Tesla Semi months ago, now. Besides the low cost, one of the things people are most incredulous about are the Megacharger costs. Tesla announced just 7 cents per kWh, flat price, to charge at a Megacharger. … Continue reading

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Tesla Semi is reasonable, part 1

Tesla finally unveiled their semi truck: tesla.com/semi/ An electric monster with 4 Model 3 motors, one for each drive wheel, with an astounding 500 mile range (beating most people’s expectations). Fully loaded (i.e. 80,000 lbs total), it can accelerate from … Continue reading

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Space-based Bitcoin Mining

Preface: if you’re a bitcoin expert, gird your loins because I’m probably going to be making a LOT of technical errors in this post. So: space based solar power, but instead of beaming the power to Earth, we mine bitcoin … Continue reading

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Energy needed to get to orbit using various fuels from various planets.

EDIT: I made a big mistake on how I calculate bulk density. I’ll fix it. EDIT AGAIN: I fixed it. I think. I will pick stoichiometric mixes, oxygen as oxidizer and fuels of hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide. The three … Continue reading

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