I’m back in Florida, not for fun. Still trying to get another house ready to sell, so we’ll finally be done with real estate in this wretched state. I hope to see the Falcon launch on Sunday, but from afar (I’ll be down in west Palm Beach County). So probably not a lot of blogging for the next week, but I’ll post a couple of things a day, to keep the conversation going. Just to let you know, you know, that I am at least keeping an eye on comments.

And congrats to SpaceX for another successful launch and getting closer on fairing recovery. I’m sure Mr. Steven is disappointed. Though I’ve heard that ships get upset when you anthropomorphize them.

35 thoughts on “Busy”

  1. Good luck, Rand.

    For others, here is something to discuss: The patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement
    (link goes first to Instapundit, but ultimately, this is NBC clickbait)

    Quote: “This Columbusing attitude — a strident business acumen laced with an imperialist ethos — comes with an air of benevolence: Musk doesn’t just want to colonize Mars to satisfy his ego. No, he wants to colonize Mars to help his fellow humans. “I really think there are two fundamental paths [for humans]: One path is we stay on Earth forever, and some eventual extinction event wipes us out,” he said.

    To NBC and this woman, helping fellow humans is a bad thing. So from that, you can see this is less about Elon Musk, and a lot more about progressive hatred of humans and worship of Gaia.

    1. Just wait, settling Mars presents opportunities that progressives have been waiting for.

      Progressives can finally create their own society. Mars is about new beginnings, creating new societies from year zero. New cities will arise with every aspect planned and plotted.

      On Earth, you can possibly escape their rule but on Mars, people will face significant barriers. The very environment itself lends support to an ideology of control.

      It could be that a group of progressives will strike out on their own to do this but it is a certainty that they will try and co-opt the efforts of others. Its not like Musk or Bezos are going to exclude them.

  2. “Its not like Musk or Bezos are going to exclude them.”

    Do you seriously think anyone is going to let SJWs control the air supply on a Mars colony?

    Oh, yeah. I guess you’re right.

    Another reason I want to live in my own habitat, and not Mars.

    1. I’m thinking a successful colony with be a cluster of habitats close enough together to conveniently trade, but sufficiently independent for a habitat to survive and recover should a neighbor have a catastrophic failure.

  3. so we’ll finally be done with real estate in this wretched state.

    You’re describing Florida as wretched in February? I guess in August it would be “hellish”? I would think “wretched” would apply to CA all year long.

      1. But Florida doesn’t have a state income tax. Looks like California is getting worst, and worst. When you get the chance, can you have a look at this?

        They talked to two scientist, and they said you can’t operate a gas station on the Moon. They also say you can’t make money on the Moon. I have done a lot of reading, and from what I have read, yes you can make money on the Moon. But I think those two scientist might be leftist.

          1. He doesn’t appear to be super crazy though, even if he does have a soft spot for ANTIFA.

            Notice that Vanity Fair is actually contradicted by their interviewees. They point out that the Moon does have water that can be used for fuel but that its not something we can do right now. They also say the start up costs are huge but eventually people will make money on the Moon.

            Phil Plait and Dr. Kevin Peter Hickerson both know that government wont be doing anything without the private sector. Hickerson is a SpaceX fan, Plait probably is too. While there will be some science and some prospecting being done on initial missions, those efforts will be supported by companies making money.

            Both of them might be all, “Trump’s an idiot and so is everyone who works for him.” But you know they probably support public private partnerships, which is what the Trump admin is pushing, just like Obama and Bush did.

            Maybe Vanity Fair thinks NASA does everything but then they would be the idiots.

          1. I like Florida quite a bit, though I live in Tampa. The weather is better here, too. Don’t care much for SE Florida.

        1. Whether they are leftist or not, why would you ask scientists about a business decision? Unless, of course, you are a reporter looking to support an agenda.

          1. In this case, it looks more like Vanity Fair had an agenda. The interviewees might agree with the agenda but I bet a discussion with them would lead to views on commerce that are different than what was expressed by Vanity Fair.

        2. Asking a scientist about potential lunar business opportunities is about like asking a PhD. in solid-state physics how he thinks Apple’s latest iPhone is going to do. Journalism really has become one of those careers where dim-witted college grads can be parked who’d otherwise be forced to do something icky and blue-collar for a living. A bit like stock-brokering used to be before financial markets were partially deregulated.

  4. Rand, have you seen a F9 launch in person yet? How about one with a RTLS booster recovery?

    This upcoming launch of Hispasat 1F (Saturday night / early Sunday morning @ 00:35 EST) isn’t an RTLS, and wasn’t expected to be recovered at all given the mass of the satellite headed to GTO, but then legs and titanium grid fins were spotted on the booster, and sure enough, the landing barge was towed out of port Wednesday afternoon. The assumption is that the only way they can recover this stage is with little to no boostback burn (hence the early barge departure allowing it time to be taken far downrange), a truncated reentry burn, a glide at a higher angle of attack than normal (enabled by the larger titanium grid fins) so that the increased drag will slow it even more, and a hard and short three engine landing burn. Most recoveries these days have shifted from experimental to normal/operational, but this one is clearly back in the experimental category.

    This will be the first flight of booster #1044, and this looks like both an attempt to extend the circumstances in which a booster can be recovered, as well as recovering a Block IV booster with the hope of reusing it if Block V rollout takes longer than expected. But SpaceX isn’t just risking booster and possibly barge in this attempt, but is also taking a chance by flying those huge (roughly the dimensions of a full sized bed) and very expensive titanium grid fins. They stand a good chance of losing them, but couldn’t begin to pull off this landing attempt without them. Gotta love SpaceX’s willingness to take risk.

    1. I’ve seen five Falcon 9 launches, three close up, two at the Cape, one at Vandenberg. The only RTLS I’ve seen was the dual one with the heavy, which was spectacular.

    2. And have you guys seen this photo of the Falcon Heavy before launch, showing a SpaceX photographer apparently mounting a remote camera on the Fixed Service Structure. I know how large the Falcon 9 / Heavy cores are, but to my eye their fineness ratio makes them seem smaller than they really are. It is usually a photo with workers walking under a landed booster (albeit having to duck under the engine exhaust nozzles) which brings home the booster’s actual size. This one does an even better job.

      Some of my favorite launch imagery is the ground-to-air video of the boosters, between the end of the reentry burn and the start of the lading burn, falling/flying back to their landing zone. For me, those images have the most “science fact catches up with science fiction” feel. I think I will get a good pair of binoculars mounted on a solid tripod to view that portion of flight for the next RTLS launch I go see.

      1. Thanks for linking that pic. Very cool. Also agree with you about the oblique booster-hurtling-downward videos. Awesome stuff. Gives me chills every time. Especially when the landing burn starts.

      2. The Kerbal Space Academy video was a much better view of the boosters landing than the official SpaceX livestream.

  5. Rand,
    I’m seriously considering leaving the Peoples republic of CA as the lunatics are running the asylum here and FL is fairly high on my potential place list…. what is it about FL that bothers you so?

    1. The climate and lack of scenery. And in south Florida, the culture (it’s like the sixth borough of New York, or New Jersey). But northern FL might not be too bad, it’s really deep southern Georgia.

    2. Northeast Florida is great; please just don’t move to St Augustine, as we’re already becoming overrun with newbies

  6. One of my neighbors (a marine biologist) is a former resident of FL, the Keys in his case. He likewise despises SE mainland FL. He says the rest of the state is fine.

  7. The Democrats memo is out.

    Pretty much just stuff they have already been saying in the media and short on specifics.

    One redaction of note, at the top of page 3, the number and identities of people being spied on is blacked out.

    1. I’m amazed that redaction is still done in a way which allows one to estimate the length of words or sentences being redacted. I suppose they’re not giving too much away (as long as they don’t screw it up where the unredacted text is still in the raw PDF, as has occasionally happened), but I’d think that they would want to avoid giving away any clues. Might it be possible, for instance, to use the spacing of “against [BLACKBOX] individuals” to determine how many people the FBI had under related investigation?

    2. I think the redaction on top of page 5 is also significant. It claims other sources were used other than the Dossier, but its pretty much all redacted. And then there is the silly notion on page 6 that the FBI didn’t mislead the FISA court about the Yahoo News article, because they maybe didn’t know at that time. Then Page 7, the FBI made proper use of news article. How do you make proper use of news article as evidence of fact? Was the bibliography correct to AP standards?

      It seems to mostly wax eloquently on unimportant items. The FBI didn’t initiate COIN on Page because of the Dossier, but FBI did use the Dossier to extend the FISA warrant 3 times (note the difference between COIN and FISA). The FBI only learned of Steele’s bias and ethical problems after they used him to obtain FISA, which is like claiming “we couldn’t provide the exculpatory evidence earlier, because we learned it after finding you guilty, but before the execution; good luck on death row.”

      1. Wasn’t their point about the Yahoo! News article that the FBI didn’t use it as a further charge against Mr. Page, “but instead to inform the Court of Page’s public denial of his suspicious meetings in Moscow”. (Pg. 7)

    3. Pg. 6: “… evidence that Russia courted another Trump campaign advisor, Papadopoulos, and that Russian agents previewed their hack and dissemination of stolen emails.”

      Does “previewed their hack and dissemination of stolen emails” refer to anything which has been made public before?

  8. Ive been to the “Space Coast”, the “Treasure Coast”, Palmetto (effectively Tampa) and Carrabelle. Carrabelle was last July. I liked it; FL is on the retirement list.

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