Commercial, One For One

Government, Oh For Two:

A half-Russian, half-Korean rocket likely exploded a few minutes after liftoff Thursday, dealing a second blow the South Korea’s $400 million program to develop its own satellite launcher.

They spent almost as much on this as SpaceX has in their entire company history, to develop two rockets and a capsule, not to mention manufacturing and test facilities, and launch infrastructure.

There’s an idiot commenter (well, there are a lot, actually) over at Space Politics who keeps repeating the mantra, “There is no cheap.” Well, maybe not, but there does seem to be inexpensive and affordable, as long as a government isn’t intimately involved.

More Of That Smart Diplomacy

Mahmoud Abbas:

Pressed repeatedly by Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations Chairman Alan Solow and others, Abbas didn’t directly answer the question of why he wouldn’t simply accede to Netanyahu’s demand for direct talks.

Abbas blamed the hold-up in talks on the White House, noting that they had raised the issue of settlements: “They are the ones who requested for the Israelis to stop settlements, what do you expect of me? Less than them?” he was quoted saying in paraphrase.

Come to think of it, they’re the ones that compared the Arizona law to Chinese human rights violations with the Chinese, too.

Just brilliant.

[Update a couple minutes later]

More smart diplomacy, with the UK:

[London] Mayor Boris Johnson demanded an end to “anti-British rhetoric, buck-passing and name-calling” after days of scathing criticism directed at BP by the President and other US politicians.

Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit branded Mr Obama’s conduct “despicable”. And with the dispute threatening to escalate into a diplomatic row, Mr Johnson also appeared to suggest that David Cameron should step in to defend BP.

He spoke as the US onslaught against the firm became a “matter of national concern” — especially given its importance to British pensions, which lost much of their value today as BP shares plunged to a 13-year low.

Will someone wake me when it’s 2012? Some time in the fall?

Stop The Power Grab

at the EPA. Especially if you live in Virginia.

[Update a few minutes later]

Yes, that’s exactly what it’s like:

Senator Boxer lost any credibility she might have had left when she said that the Murkowski Resolution would be like Congress “saying the Earth is flat.”

I’ve got two idiots for senators in California, but only one of them is blithering.

[mid-afternoon update]

The amendment failed:

I don’t want to hear a liberal bemoan executive supremacy ever again. This is Congress abdicating its own authority because the Democrats know they can’t get the votes to pass cap-and-trade.

Yup.

Legal Games

There’s been a lot of whining from the Ares huggers about how NASA is “violating the law,” by shutting down Constellation in the face of the appropriations language. Now, I think that continuing Constellation is horrible policy, both from the standpoint of taxpayers and space enthusiasts, but I haven’t had any strong sense of or opinions on the legality of continuing it or not, and was sort of resigned to it continuing to zombie into next year until we finally get some sort of actual appropriations bill (as opposed to a continuing resolution. But now, it turns out that actually, Mike Griffin was violating the Anti-Deficiency Act, a much older (over a century, I think) law that requires that funds be available for contract termination. Jim Muncy explains in comments over at NASA Watch. I’m pulling it up to the front page here.

[Update a few minutes later[

Jeff Foust has more at Space Politics (including another Muncy comment). But follow over the fold for Jim’s thoughts:

Continue reading Legal Games

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!