That’s certainly true in the longer term. I don’t know if Putin understands that, though, or cares enough to use it as leverage in Ukraine.
Dennis Wingo has the 2014 edition. Long but worth a read. I disagree with him on the first flight for commercial crew. I think it may happen as soon as next year.
Eileen Collins explains why it will be successful.
I say it’s time to end it, over at PJMedia.
A live blog of the Senate hearing, with Elon Musk and Michael Gass. ULA is running scared, and Shelby is running interference for them, spouting economic lunacy.
A brief review of the stupid movie by Lileks:
I made two attempts this weekend to watch “Elysium,” but was hampered by the fact that it was stupid.
There’s actually a little more, but that’s the bottom line.
…is a myth. Eric Raymond on the history of open source, and the ahistorical knowledge of young programmers.
The magical thinking behind it:
This mission requires more magical thinking than a leprechaun trying to predict the track of a flock of flying unicorns on their annual migration.
MPCV employs a heat shield designed for lunar return and its CM is ~20% (thousands of pounds) overweight for its parachutes. But we’re going to equip MPCV with an even heavier heat shield for Mars return and magically it will be capable of a safe Earth landing?
There’s practically no element of the ISS ECLSS that lasts more than a year. But magically every component will remain operating for 17 months in a new vehicle when applied to a Mars flyby mission?
ASAP is warning about the lack of an ECLSS shakedown on MPCV before sending astronauts around the Moon for a few days. But magically we’re going to decide that the ASAP membership are all wimps of the highest order and decide to risk astronaut lives for 17 months on the first shakedown of the MPCV ECLSS?
At best, SLS is scheduled to have an upper stage capable of launching this mission a half decade after the mission’s 2021 window closes. And magically that half decade of development is going to be accelerated by more than a decade?
Congress can’t find funding to perform testing like AA-2 or to finish development like MPCV ECLSS in a timely fashion, and the White House is wrapped around the axle of ARM. But magically billions of dollars of federal funding are going to appear in a timely manner to develop a new ECLSS, a new hab module, a new heat shield, and a new upper stage for this mission?
If Tito really wants to see this happen, he has to give up on getting NASA to pay for it, and for it to happen with NASA hardware. He needs to sit down with SpaceX and Bigelow.
I ran across this old piece I wrote a few months after the loss of Columbia. It has some of the underlying themes of what later became the book, and holds up pretty well, I think.
We’re starting to resurrect extinct animals.
What could go wrong?
…has just had an unfortunate life-altering experience, but he’s got a great attitude. As I noted on Twitter, we’ve come a long way with prosthetics, and they’re only going to get better (I suspect a lot of the progress has been driven by the wars over the past decade).
This is an interesting interview, but Beck seems to be confusing “life” and “consciousness.” The appropriate answer to his question is something that self replicates using local resources, but that has nothing to do with AI, or uploading.
Over an Space News, Donald Robertson has an op-ed that could be a summary of my book, though he doesn’t mention it.
Thoughts on the policy stupidity of it. As noted, truckers already have plenty of incentives to get their trucks as fuel-efficient as possible. This also applies to CAFE (which in turn is equally stupid to the new light-bulb rules).
[Update a while later]
The single-entry bookkeeping of the Left. This is particularly the case with carbon mitigation, which the warm mongers always ignore, or fantasize that it will be less than the cost of changes in the climate.
Gee, Gerst, surely you didn’t just figure this out?
Although payloads are yet to be announced, Mr. Gerstenmaier confirmed the flight rate has to be once a year as a minimum requirement, in response to a question from Bejmuk – who had assumed SLS would only launch once every two or three years.
Mr. Gerstenmaier noted that ”repetitive cadence is necessary” as the reason SLS will launch every year.
And yet, there are no plans, or budget, to do that.
Here’s what I wrote in the book (and I wrote this at least a year ago):
It should be noted that NASA currently plans only two flights for the SLS — one in 2017 to demonstrate the 70-ton capability, and one with a crew in 2021, to . . . somewhere. They have said that, when operational, it may only fly every couple of years. What are the implications of that, in terms of both cost and safety?
Cost wise, it means that each flight will cost several billion dollars, at least for those first two flights. If, once in operation, it has a two- or three-billion-dollar annual budget (a reasonable guess based on Shuttle history), and it only flies every couple of years, that means that each subsequent flight will cost anywhere from four to six billion dollars.
From a safety standpoint, it means that its operating tempo will be far too slow, and its flights far too infrequent, to safely and reliably operate the system. The launch crews will be sitting around for months with little to do, and by the time the next launch occurs they’ll have forgotten how to do it, if they haven’t left from sheer boredom to seek another job.
As a last-ditch effort to try to preserve the Shuttle in 2010, some suggested that it be maintained until we had a replacement, but to fly it only once per year to save money. The worst part of such a proposal would have been the degree to which the system would have been even less safe, given that it was designed for a launch rate of at least four flights per year. It was unsafe to fly it too often (as NASA learned in the 80s as it ramped up the flight rate before Challenger), and it would be equally so to fly it too rarely. NASA’s nominal plans for SLS compound this folly, which is magnified by the fact that both internal NASA studies and independent industry ones have demonstrated that there is no need for such a vehicle to explore beyond earth orbit (existing launchers could do that job just fine, with orbital mating and operations), and it is eating up all the funding for systems, such as landers and orbital propellant storage facilities, that are necessary. All of this is just more indication that actually accomplishing things in space is the lowest priority for Congress (and unfortunately, the space agency itself, otherwise, the administrator would be more honest with the appropriators on the Hill).
According to a Zero-G press release, Kate Upton did a weightless photo shoot in a Zero-G flight for the fiftieth Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
[Update a few minutes later]
From the release:
The shoot took place on March 18, 2013; Upton and ZERO-G flew out of Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida. A specially modified Boeing-727, known as G-FORCE ONE®, performed a series of 17 parabolas – 13 zero gravity and four replicating lunar gravity – as Upton bounced and soared through the plane for the cameras. Upton’s weightless experience was not simulated; ZERO-G is the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless airline flights for the public.
“The ZERO-G experience was really exhilarating for everyone involved,” said MJ Day, editor of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. “We have been almost everywhere in the past 50 years with SI Swimsuit, but we have never done anything like this. It was certainly the most out-of-the-box shoot. Once again, Kate surprised us all with how she handled modeling in weightlessness.”
Hard to really capture it in stills. I assume they shot video as well. I wonder if we’ll see it.
[Late morning update]
OK, due to unpopular demand, I’m moving the pics under the fold to make it Safe for Married Men @Home.
The equipment for the home cook is getting better and cheaper.
Mine was very cheap. I just bought a controller for less than twenty bucks, and plugged an old slow cooker into it. It even included the temperature sensor for that price. The only problem with it is that it only reads out in Celsius, but that’s not a big deal (you can fix it by spending $35 instead). For bigger pieces (like the small rib roast I made last night), add an immersion heater for eight bucks (in my case, from Bed, Bath and Beyond) and use an insulated cooler. The only issue with that is that there’s no circulation, so I had to stir it occasionally to get it evenly up to temp. But it still beats hundreds of bucks for a fancy kitchen machine. And there are DIY guides for building circulators out of an aquarium pump.
Of course it secures the right to carry a gun. It’s astounding that anyone would argue otherwise.
[Update a few minutes later]
Eugene Volokh analyzes the ruling:
I think the Ninth Circuit majority’s analysis is correct on this, and the dissent’s is mistaken. The dissent keeps stressing that the case should be about whether the California ban on concealed carry is constitutional, and that Heller says that the concealed carry ban is indeed constitutional. But the California ban on concealed carry is part of a general scheme that bans the great bulk of all carrying in public for self-defense (unless one has a permit that the police may choose not to grant). It is this general scheme that violates the Second Amendment, even if a ban on concealed carry that left people free to carry openly would not do so.
The California ban was just an attempt to get around the Second Amendment, and even the Ninth Circuit recognized that.
Well, here’s something you don’t see every day.
It’s interesting how the thing first tumbles, then stabilizes as it probably hits terminal velocity. Also that it stabilized looking down, and not up, which made it all the more interesting.
Alan Boyle has a longish piece on what the place is all about.
…is made in Congress.
The biggest problem with this piece (by a professor of journalism) is its fundamental false premise — that the purpose of human spaceflight is science.
[Sunday morning update]
We’re up within 35,000 today, and there are three new (all five-star) reviews.
I think this is the highest ranking the book has ever had on Amazon. Sales must have picked up this week (I hawked it quite a bit while in DC, both at the conference and with a couple think tanks — I’ll probably be doing a ReasonTV interview in the next couple weeks).
Also, it’s once again number one in the category “Aviation and Space Law.” Plus, it’s selling for full retail, which I’d assume means that Amazon thinks there’s sufficient demand for it that they don’t have to discount (not that I’ve given them a lot of room to do so, but they have had it down a buck or so in the past).
[Update a while later]
OK, based on numbers at the printer, it looks like I sold 27 books last week. Compare that to 18 for the entire month of January. Hopefully those will continue to build with more publicity, and good reviews at Amazon (six right now, all five star).
Am interesting interview over at Forbes.
[Update a couple minutes later]
This bit is interesting:
Her advice is to avoid enterprises that are in long-term decline, such as General Motors starting in the 1970s. In business and public policy, try to learn from well-conducted experiments — but recognize that successful trials can’t always be replicated on a large scale.
I think that also applies to NASA human spaceflight as practiced for the past fifty years.
Marcia Smith has a good description of the highlights, including the discussion on space safety on Tuesday afternoon, at which I felt like the elephant in the room that no one talked about. It was an excellent conference.
From John Walker.
He found a misspelling that I’ve been missing. Guess it will have to remain for the next revision (the first one will be available this week).