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    Scolopax

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    • By Tied
      Yes
       
      i personally support it, by finding the KGB Felix Dzerzhinsky greatly improved state scurrility both inside the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and abroad (their jurisdiction was only domestic, but they kept the internationally influential people safe at night)   a dedicated defender of both the Revolution and all the Soviet peoples     what do you think of this news?
    • By Xoon
      Colonization Of The Solar System

       
      This thread is for discussing the colonization of the solar system, mainly focusing on Mars and the Moon since they are the most relevant. 
      Main topics include transportation, industry, agriculture, economics, civil engineering,  energy production and distribution, habitation, ethics and politics. 
       
       
       
       
      First order of business, our glories tech messiah Elon Musk has set his eyes on Mars:
      Reason stated? Because being a interplanetary species beats being a single planetary species. 
       
      How does he plan to do this?
      By sending two cargo ships by 2022 to Mars for surveying and building  basic infrastructure, then two years later in 2024 sending 4 ships, two cargo ships and two crewed ships to start the colonization. First thing would be to build fuel refineries and expanding infrastructure to support more ships, then starting to mine and build industry. 
       
      This could mark a new era in human history, a second colonization era, this time without the genocides. The economic potentials are incredible, a single asteroid could easily support the entire earths gold, silver and platinum production for a decade. The moon holds a lot of valuable Helium 3, which right now is worth 12 000 dollars per kilogram! Helium is a excellent material for nuclear reactors. 
       
       
       

       
       
      Speaking about the moon, several companies have set their eyes on the moon, and for good reason.
      In my opinion,  the moon has the possibility of becoming a mayor trade hub for the solar system.  Why is this? Simply put, the earth has a few pesky things called gravity, atmosphere and environmentalists. This makes launching rockets off the moon much cheaper. The moon could even have a space elevator with current technology!  If we consider Elon Musk's plan to travel to Mars, then the Moon should be able to supply cheaper fuel and spaceship parts to space, to then be sent to Mars. The Moon is also rich in minerals that have not sunk to the core yet, and also has a huge amount of rare earth metals, which demands are rapidly increasing. Simply put, the Moon would end up as a large exporter to both the earth and potentially Mars. Importing from earth would almost always be more expensive compared to a industrialized Moon. 
       
      Now how would we go about colonizing the moon? Honestly, in concept it is quite simple.When considering locations, the South pole seems like the best candidate. This is because of it's constant sun spots, which could give 24 hour solar power to the colony and give constant sunlight to plants without huge power usage. The south pole also contain dark spots which contains large amount of frozen water, which would be used to sustain the agriculture and to make rocket fuel. It is true that the equator has the largest amounts of Helium 3 and the best location for rocket launches. However, with the lack of constant sunlight and frequent solar winds and meteor impacts, makes to unsuited for initial colonization. If the SpaceX's BFR successes, then it would be the main means of transporting materials to the moon until infrastructure is properly developed. Later a heavy lifter would replace it when transporting goods to and from the lunar surface, and specialized cargo ship for trans portion between the Moon, Earth and Mars. A space elevator would reduce prices further in the future.  Most likely, a trade station would be set up in CIS lunar space and Earth orbit which would house large fuel tanks and be able to hold the cargo from  cargo ships and heavy lifters. Sun ports would be designated depending on their amount of sunlight. Year around sunlight spots would be dedicated to solar panels and agriculture. Varying sun spots would be used for storage, landing pads and in general everything. Dark spots would be designated to mining to extract its valuable water. Power production would be inistially almost purely solar, with some back up and smoothing out generators. Later nuclear reactors would take over, but serve as a secondary backup energy source. 
       
       
      The plan:
      If we can assume the BFR is a success, then we have roughly 150 ton of payload to work with per spaceship. The first spaceship would contain a satellite to survey colonization spot. Everything would be robotic at first. Several robots capable of building a LZ for future ships,  mining of the lunar surface for making solar panels for energy production, then mining and refinement for fuel for future expeditions. The lunar colony would be based underground, room and pillar mining would be used to cheaply create room that is also shielded from radiation and surface hazards. Copying the mighty tech priest, a second ship would come with people and more equipment. With this more large scale mining and ore refinement would be started. Eventually beginning to manufacturing their own goods. Routinely BFRs would supply the colony with special equipment like electronics, special minerals and advanced equipment and food until the agricultural sector can support the colony.  The colony would start to export Helium 3 and rocket fuel, as well as spacecraft parts and scientific materials. Eventually becoming self sustaining, it would stop importing food and equipment, manufacturing it all themselves to save costs. 
       
      I am not the best in agriculture, so if some knowledge people could teach us here about closed loop farming, or some way of cultivating the lunar soil. Feel free to do so.
       
       
      Mining:
      I found a article here about the composition of the lunar soil and the use for it's main components:

      In short, the moon has large amounts of oxygen, silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium and titanium in it's soil.
      How do we refine them? By doing this.
       
      Aluminum could be used for most kinds of wiring to requiring high conductivity to density ratio. Meaning power lines, building cables and such. Aluminum is not very suited for building structures on the surface because of the varying temperatures causing it to expand and contract. Iron or steel is better suited here. Aluminum could however be used in underground structures where temperatures are more stable.  Aluminum would also most likely end up as the main lunar rocket fuel. Yes, aluminum as rocket fuel. Just look at things like ALICE, or Aluminum-oxygen. Aluminum-oxygen would probably win out since ALICE uses water, which would be prioritized for the BFRs, since I am pretty sure they are not multi-fuel. 
       More on aluminum rocket fuel here:
      https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/88130-aluminum-as-rocket-fuel/&
      http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/realdesigns2.php#umlunar
      https://blogs.nasa.gov/Rocketology/2016/04/15/weve-got-rocket-chemistry-part-1/
      https://blogs.nasa.gov/Rocketology/2016/04/21/weve-got-rocket-chemistry-part-2/
       
      Believe it or not, but calcium is actually a excellent conductor, about 12% better than copper. So why do we not use it on earth? Because it has a tendency to spontaneously combust in the atmosphere. In a vacuum however, this does not pose a problem. I does however need to be coated in a material so it does not deteriorate. This makes it suited for "outdoor" products and compact electrical systems like electric motors. Yes, a calcium electric motor.  
       
       
      Lastly, a few articles about colonizing the moon:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization_of_the_Moon
      https://www.sciencealert.com/nasa-scientists-say-we-could-colonise-the-moon-by-2022-for-just-10-billion
      https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/HEP_Lunar.html
       
      NASA article about production of solar panels on the moon:
      https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20050110155.pdf
       
      Map over the south pole:
      http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/images/gigapan
       
       
      Feel free to spam the thread with news regarding colonization. 
       
       
    • By Khand-e
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35333647
       
      Like I said a couple days ago actually, I said I thought it was very likely that Ma Ying-Jeou would lose the next election as he and his administration are very unpopular, and I guess it turned out to be true, also, aside from being the first female president, She's also the second candidate to win under the Democratic Progressive Party as opposed to the more traditonal Kuomintang which has held it for 5 (arguably 6) terms. and her party has also won a majority in the legislative Yuan, which is actually a pretty significant swing.
    • By Jeeps_Guns_Tanks
      I thought it was disgraceful we had a thread on Russian race cars, and other cars, but not one on American muscle cars and race cars, IE the best cars. 
       
      Over the weekend I'll put a little write up on the GTO and why it kicked off the musclecar, and why the Mustang was an overrated econo box for girls until the 67 model, more akin to a nova then a truly great car like a Pontiac GTO. 
       
      UPDATE:
      My thoughts on why the muscle car era was teh awesome.
       
      The reason 64 to 73 was one of the most interesting era for American cars, is they went a little nuts on how much power they started putting into cars, and all the GM brands for the most part still had their own engine types.
       
      The birth of the muscle car era started in 1964 when John Delorean, Jim Wangers and Pete Estes snuck the GTO option on the 64 mid-size Pontiac Tempest/Lemans platform that was based on GM A-Body platform. There were a few reasons it had to be snuck in, all mainly the fault of GM head executives being stodge old fogies. They had come up with two policies that caused boring cars. The first was their decision to pull out of any GM sponsored racing and the ban on developing performance parts. They also had a ban on putting motors bigger than 330 cubic inches in mid-size cars.
      The sad thing is GM had a thriving race scene and a set of dealers and race teams using their products. Pontiac and Chevrolet in particular had really bumped up their market share through their winning race teams. They were doing crazy stuff like Swiss cheesing frames, producing aluminum front ends (hoods, fenders, bumpers), and producing multi carb manifolds and there’s more I’m sure I’m forgetting. Then BAM, in the span of weeks GM killed it all off in 63.
        
      The heart of GTO option on the Lemans was the 389 cubic inch V8 used in Pontiac full size cars. The V8 was rated a 325 horsepower. The biggest V8 the car came with normally was the 326. The GTO option also included the choice of a close ratio four speed Muncie transmission, and heavy duty suspension and brakes. It could also include Pontiacs Safe-T-track limited slip differential with gear ratio choices of 3.23, 3.55, 3.90, 4.10, and if I recall right, 4.56.  The name was strait up ripped off from Ferrari, by Delorean. You could also order the package with triple carburetors, also known as tri-power, and it upped the engines horsepower to 335.
       
       
      GM and Pontiac found out about it, but Wangers had gone out and showed the car to some big dealers in the Detroit area and they already had big orders so GM corporate, and Pontiac let it be produced, the general manager told Delorean he would have the last laugh because there was no way they could even sell the 5000 that had been authorized, and Pontiac would have to eat the loss on inventory they couldn't sell, and it would be his ass. It sold more than 32,000 units, as a really un advertised option, so Delorean and Estes won the day, and the ban on big engines in mid size cars was lifted, and the GTO became its own model, still based on the Lemans/tempest platform,  but with no small engine choices.
       
      The other GM brands caught up with their own special models in 1965, Chevrolet with the SS 396 Chevelle, Oldsmobile with the 442, and Buick with the GS. GM still put a size restriction on motors and their A-Body mid-size models, but it was now 400 cubic inches, and all the brands had motors that could be grown well past this and already had been and were used in the full-size car lines.  Even this restriction would be pulled in 1970 because other major brands were stuffing huge motors in mid and even the newer smaller cars and GM was losing out.
       
      Ford and Chrysler and even AMC didn't just sit back and watch GM reap the reward, Ford had come out with their ‘Pony’ car the Mustang, in 1964, and it was also a huge success, but it was no performance car, even with the top of the line V8 option, a GTO would eat it alive, handing and acceleration wise.  Ford also had mid-size cars with large V8 options, but none that had been packaged like the GTO and they were light on good large V8s in the early 60s, plus their mid-size cars were ugly as hell.  The Mustang would grow into its own later in the 60s, in particular, when Carol Shelby started playing with them. They never had a great mid-size muscle car that wasn't ugly though.
       
      Chrysler had cars that could be considered muscle cars, but before 68 they were all so ugly, no one but weirdos drove them. They did have some very powerful engine combos, and they really hit the scene hard with the introduction of the cheap as hell but big engine powered Plymouth Road-Runner in 1968, you could buy a very fast Road-Runner for a lot less than you could even a base model GTO.  For a classier Chrysler they had their Plymouth GTX line, and Dodge had their beautiful Charger. The Cuda got an update in 1970, so it wasn’t really really ugly anymore, and the same platform was used to give Dodge the Challenger.  These cars fit more into the pony car scheme though. The main point is Chrysler produced ugly cars until 1968.
       
      GM would jump into the pony car scene in 1967 with the introduction of the first gen F-body. Chevrolet got the Camaro, and Pontiac got the Firebird. These cars were introduced with engine options up to 400 cubic inches, though, when they got a 396, or 400, they were slightly detuned so the mid-size cars still had an ‘advantage’, there was just a little tab that restricted the secondaries on the quadrajet carb.
       
      The whole thing came crashing down and by 1973, the muscle car was all but dead, and the US car industry was in a slump it would not recover from until the late 80s, also when the muscle car returned in a weird way with the Buick Gran National. While it lasted the muscle-car era produced some iconic cars, and some very rare but interesting ones. Most of them looked pretty damn cool though, and by now, they are very rare to see as daily driven cars. They exist; I pass a 68 SS Camaro all the time. Now even a base model muscle car or pony car that's rusted all to hell can be more then 8 to 10 grand, and you will spend triple that making it into a nice car.
       
      1970 was probably the peak year, and some very powerful cars came out that year and that year only. Chevrolet offered the SS Chevelle with the LS6 454, pumping out 450 HP. Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac all had very high horsepower 455 cubic inch V8s in the GSX, 442, and GTO models. Government safety restrictions, smog restrictions that required a lot of crap to be added to the engines, and high insurance prices all worked to kill these cars, and the final straw was the gas crisis.  The US Auto industry was a barren waste land unless you liked trucks, until about 1986.
       
      The cars never lost popularity though, but their worth has fluctuated a lot. You could buy just about anything in the late 70s and early 80s, and you could gate rare stuff a low prices, but by the late 80s the collectors had started getting into muscle cars and the prices went crazy. No, unless you want to spend a lot of money, you’re not going to be driving around a classic car from that era. On the upside, the aftermarket parts scene has gotten so extensive, you can build a 1968 Camaro, or 1970 Chevelle almost from scratch, since the body shell and just about all the body panels are being produced. You’re looking at about 14 grand just for the body shell of a 1970 Chevelle, from there you looking at a huge chunk of change to build it all the way, but it could be done. I suspect they are used to put a very rare, but totaled cars back into shape.
       
      It’s nice to be helping with the restoration of one of these cars, without being tied to the cost. I can have fun taking it apart, and putting it back together without worrying about how I was going to fund it. I also have more tools for working on cars than my father in law, and know more about GM cars, so I’m appreciated, and that’s nice. I just with the owner was willing to upgrade the thing a little, you can really go a long way to making an old muscle car handle and stop well, and be more reliable and safe with upgrades not much more than rebuilding everything dead stock, and putting upgraded suspension on a otherwise numbers matching car really doesn't hurt the value, especially if you put all the stock shit in boxes and save it. I’m not paying for it though so it is of course his call, and putting it back together stock is easier in most cases. I really wish it was a 68 GTO because, man I still know those cars, and every time we run into some stupid Chevy thing, I’m like, man, Pontiacs are so  much better, and I get dirty looks.  BUT THEY ARE!!!
       
      Anyway, I said I would write something up, and there it is. 
       
       
       
      Hopefully we have a few guys in here who dig on American Iron and will post about the cars they loved, and yes, I mean in that way,

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