Is A Lunar Crew Dragon Possible? (And Other Questions)
In today’s lightning round video, I explore questions like whether Falcon Heavy could launch a Crew Dragon around the moon, whether or not pool covers could help save water in drought regions, and really important stuff like pineapple pizza and um… mushrooms.
Mark Hoffman – Patreon – May
Main question: What’s your take on these anomalous areas known as blue zones?
Expanded question: It seems the phenomenon of blue zones don’t get much attention beyond pushing some sort of diet. Yet the commonalities seem much more complex than that. There seem to be five “officially” cited, yet emerging data could suggest more. Thoughts?
Robin – Patreon – May
During my landing approach to beautiful Scottsdale last month, I was not surprised by the vast number of swimming pools I could see throughout the Phoenix area. I was, however, surprised that I was seeing few pool covers. In an area threatened by severe water shortages, is this just a “drop in the bucket?” Does it matter or not?
You know for someone who was always so bad at math, I do love this kind of thing.
Because I bet I could actually answer that. I want to work that out.
So of course this sent me down a rabbit hole and I think I have a solid answer, let me show you my math. It’s at the bottom of the rabbit hole.
So first I had to find the number of pools in Phoenix, she mentions Scottsdale and Phoenix, I went with Phoenix for this thought experiment but anyway according to this from the Morrison Institute at Arizona State University, they say that 2/3 of homes don’t have pools.
That means 1/3 of them do. Okay, so I look up the number of homes in Phoenix, according to the United States Census Bureau the number of homes is 626,977, that would make the number of homes with pools 208,979.
So now we have to figure out how much gets lost to evaporation from the average pool, for that we need to find the average pool size, so I started looking around for that and got a bunch of charts of different pool sizes.
And this website that says, “the average size of a rectangular pool is 10 feet by 20 feet at the low end of the scale, to 20 feet by 40 feet at the larger end.” And that shakes out, I saw that pop up a lot on the size charts so we’re just looking for an average here, split the difference and you get 15×30′.
By the way, I know everybody in the non-America parts of the world are cringing right now, but these were the units they were found in, and I’ve already got enough math to do.
In fact I got it to liters as fast as I could but then I realized it wasn’t about now much water was in the pools it was about how much it was evaporating.
So that’s when I happened on this site that says, Water evaporation rates vary based on water temperature, air temperature, wind speed, wind volatility, sun exposure, and humidity levels. The average pool water evaporation rate is about a quarter of an inch of water per day or more than two inches in a week, which on a 33′ x 18′ swimming pool (an average pool size) This checks out with what I was speculating before…is more than 2500 liters or approximately 600 gallons a week; this may vary depending on your climate and the factors listed above.
Okay so here comes the caveat, the website where I got this from is for a company called Katch A Kid, and they make pool covers. They are using this figure as part of their marketing basically and I don’t see a source for it here. With that in mind, there’s every possibility that this is inflated or on the high end.https://katchakid.com/pool-evaporation/
But Phoenix is possibly the hottest and dryest city in North America, they would be well above average so I think maybe the high end is where we should be.
So there’s some wiggle room in this one but I’m going with it. I think my logic is sound enough for this.
All right, here comes the math and I did look ahead to see what units I needed to get this in and it needs to be in acre-feet, which is an absurd volume of water one squared acre wide and one foot deep. It ranks number 5 on the list of most American units of measurement.
Cole Parker – Patreon – May
Hey Joe, this might need to lean on your space friends like Tim and Scott to answer but could they launch the dragon on the falcon heavy and send it on a fly by of the moon? Or could they add two more boasters to get stuff into lunar orbit?
Fishtail – Discord – May
What are some of your pet peeves about what science educators, like yourself, do?
Not throwing shade
“You see” Cadences bother me, the spooky pasta guy Science creators especially can get into the word salad
John Regel – Discord – May
This may be too hot to touch, but what is your stance regarding pineapple on pizza?
Honestly… I’ve had the Hawaiian pizza – don’t hate it. I never order it but maybe that’s because whenever I eat pizza I’m with other people who would never get near it
But I haven’t had one in years… Kinda want one.
John Regel – Discord – May
And in history, MegaRaptors… thank goodness for extinction events?
Mark Hoffman – Patreon – May
Additional question: Do you think an adequate amount of resources are being allocated to oceanic floor/deep sea exploration and documentation? Clearly there is so much more “out there” worth exploring (by surface area, even in our own system, there is vastly more to explore than what the ocean floor covers). However, many oceanographers advocate for more intensive research, and for valid reasons. Would you agree?