Non-Space Media Coverage

John Johnson, who I saw out at the test site in Mojave on Wednesday, has a story about the Masten feat at the LA Times today, illustrated with a photo by XCOR’s Mike Massee. My only problem with it is that he understates NASA costs:

NASA’s next-generation rocket, the Ares 1X, which was test-launched Tuesday, has cost tens of millions of dollars. Xoie and her predecessors have cost about $2 million.

Actually, while it’s technically true that Ares 1-X cost “tens of millions” (over forty tens of millions), it would be more accurate and less misleading to say that it cost hundreds of millions. Not to mention the fact that it flew Wednesday, not Tuesday. Tuesday was the originally scheduled launch date, but it was delayed until Wednesday.

So much for those much-vaunted “layers of editors and fact checkers” at the Dog Trainer.

Following Masten

Ian Kluft is tweeting progress. Sounds like a much calmer day than the last two, which should be good for accuracy. I think that Armadillo got overconfident. As people noted in comments at Clark Lindsey’s place, they had another opportunity in September to go for a tighter landing, and declined it. They may end up regretting it, but only if Masten can shake whatever’s been jinxing them for the last couple days.

[Update at 10:10 AM PDT]

They should be flying in a minute or sofew minutes.

[Update at 10:20]

They took off and are hovering off their required three minutes before landing.

[11:25 update]

They’re refueling and preparing for the trip home. They landed about a foot from the target on the first flight. I don’t know how that compares to Armadillo’s flight, but I suspect it’s tighter.

[11:29 update]

The vehicle is fueled (alcohol). Now it just needs to be oxidized, with LOX.

[Update early afternoon]

I missed it, because I was in a meeting, but congratulations, Masten. They not only accomplished the goal, but they snatched first place from Armadillo.

John Carmack is understandably unhappy, but as he admits, he had a chance to better his score earlier, and didn’t take it.

[Update a few minutes later]

Alan Boyle has a fairly up-to-date story, including a preview of this afternoon’s first attempt by Unreasonable Rocket.

The Saga Continues

Lileks finishes out Frankenstein movie review week in grand style:

This one has Boris Karloff, but he doesn’t play the Monster; he’s a Mad Scientist who’s escaped from jail with his assistant, who naturally has a hunchback. It was the law in those days. (If you weren’t Mad, but merely Peeved or perhaps an Irritable Scientist, you could get someone who stood erect but tended to slouch.)


Know What A Bandwagon Is?

This is a bandwagon:

Former New York Gov. George Pataki endorsed Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman tonight, the clearest sign yet that even the most establishment New York Republicans now view Hoffman as having the best shot at preventing a Democrat from winning next Tuesday’s special election.

When a squish like Pataki is jumping aboard, you know it’s got unstoppable momentum. And you know who started it? That idiot ex-governor from Alaska, who endorsed him before it was cool. Wonder how long Gingrich will hold out?

“There go my people. I must catch up so that I can lead them…”

Some Advice For Obama

…from the previous most powerful writer in history:

No doubt the brother would rather lay down the slapahoe against his domestic haters, but even then he’s just a punkass Roman wannabe. Take this Fox News / radio orators thing. Plebeian bitches serve him some straightup insolent haterade, and what does Obamacus do? Sends out his Praetorian guards to whine like pu**ies and rattle their fasces. Yo Obamacus, Rome up your s**t! If you knew the first thing about handlin’ your s**t SPQR-style, you’d be turning Capitol Hill into Crucifixion Hill. Glennus Beckus? Boom! Up on the cross, bitch. Rushus Limbavus? Boom! You been served. Shit, send the survivors a bill for the nails. Believe the Juice, if you want to consolidate power and keep it real with your base, start lining that Washington Mall with Fox talking heads. Up on pikes.

Same thing with these tea party douchebags. Back in the BC, a mack dictator like the Juice didn’t put up with that open rebellion s**t. Come on player, get your game on! Confiscate that damn football stadium you got sitting over across the Potomac, and get yourself a couple bargeloads of pit lions from the Ethiopians. Let’s see how those teabaggers enjoy being the halftime entertainment at the Redskins-Giants game. LMAO bitches, thumbs down. And believe me, nothing boosts an imperator’s public approval rating like turning the opposition into lion snausages. Your loyal plebes will love it, and after the games you can hand out free bread. And healthcare.

They just don’t make dictators like they used to.

A Second Chance

Well, actually a fifth chance, when they were only supposed to get four. The judges have ruled that Masten can have one more shot this morning.

I can understand why Armadillo and Unreasonable Rocket might be upset about this, though Unreasonable Rocket has more of a legitimate gripe, since Armadillo benefited from lenient judges themselves last year when they won Level I.

Anyway, here’s hoping for success, finally. Clark has links to resources for following it.

The Democrats In Honduras

…have to cave in to the fascist dictator huggers in Washington. This is shameful. Obama has given this country something to really apologize for.

[Update mid morning]

More thoughts:

The Obama team did an excellent job of undermining the Honduran economy by cutting off economic assistance, throttling tourism with travel warnings, yanking visas away from Hondurans, and creating a climate of massive uncertainty that spooked U.S. investors and businesses. The U.S. embassy in Honduras did yeomen’s work watching out for the interests of the Zelaya clan, leaving many to wonder which side it was pulling for. In short, against a small, friendly, anti-Chávez ally, the administration mustered the sort of muscle it would never dare use against Iran, Russia, or Venezuela.

Guess it’s just more of that bullying people that you vastly outweighspeaking truth to power, like they did with Fox News.

[Late morning update]


…the administration can’t show that it actually saved any jobs — other than Manuel Zelaya’s.

That one may prove very expensive.

Equal Rights For Illegal Aliens

What we have here is an interplanetary travesty of justice:

…if the plaintiff is not a person in that he is neither a human being nor a corporation, he cannot be a plaintiff as contemplated by the Rules of Civil Procedure. The entire basis of Mr. Joly’s actions is that he is a martian, not a human being. There is certainly no suggestion that he is a corporation. I conclude therefore, that Mr. Joly, on his pleading as drafted, has no status before the Court.

Careful, you’re going to make him very very angry indeed.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!