The Latest From SpaceX

I just got an email from Stephanie Bednarek:

The demonstration launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft has been rescheduled for no earlier than Wednesday, December 8. The delay is due to a crack in the engine nozzle on the rocket’s second Stage that was discovered during a routine review of close-out photos of the rocket on Monday. More information on the launch schedule will be announced when available.

This will be the first-ever test flight of a Dragon spacecraft, an entirely new spacecraft designed in the last decade, and only the second test flight of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. It also marks the first time a commercial company is attempting to re-enter a spacecraft from orbit. As noted in a recent Wall Street Journal Article:

“Placing the vehicle into a such an orbit at speeds exceeding 17,000 miles per hour, then maneuvering through a fiery reentry and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean will require a flawless trajectory, a reliable heat shield and finally, perfect operation of the redundant parachutes.”

This will also be the first flight under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program to develop commercial supply services to the International Space Station. After the Space Shuttle retires, SpaceX will fly at least 12 missions to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Resupply Services contract for NASA. The Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft were designed to one day carry astronauts; both the COTS and CRS missions will yield valuable flight experience toward this goal. An informational fact sheet on the COTS program is attached for your reference.

This has been a strong government-commercial partnership. SpaceX has only come this far by building upon the incredible achievements of NASA, having NASA as an anchor tenant for launch, and receiving expert advice and mentorship throughout the development process. With the savings NASA will see by using SpaceX for low-Earth transportation, billions of dollars are freed up for other activities such as accelerating exploration efforts that go beyond low-Earth orbit, advanced telescopes and Earth science missions.

SpaceX plans to broadcast the entire launch live at www.spacex.com. NASA TV will also provide coverage.

So, it could still happen tomorrow. Best of luck.

Res Ipsa Loquitur

Well, not entirely. Ed Morrissey has some thoughts.

This is what happens when you put in place either economic incompetents, people who actively want to wreck the economy for their own political ends, or both. There are, after all, people who would rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.

[Update a few minutes later]

Liberal math:

John Kerry was extolling the stimulus effects of unemployment benefits, as in more money returns to the economy for each dollar paid out to the unemployed. If so, why not simply put us all on unemployment benefits and watch the economy grow?

Or perhaps Kerry could advocate a national boat sales tax to collect the sort of revenue that he so carefully had tried to avoid. Or perhaps he might look carefully at zillionaire family trusts and the billions they divert from the strapped federal Treasury. Or perhaps he could take away the tax deductions on third or fourth homes above a certain square footage, maybe ending the deduction for property taxes on multiple homes?

My point? Why do Democrats always go after the orthodontist, electrical contractor, or insurance agency owner, and never the Buffetts, Kerrys, or Gateses? Bill Gates and Warren Buffett will defer more money from the federal Treasury by avoiding inheritance taxes (to channel their profits into their foundations) than all the billions lost this year by keeping tax cuts for small businesses.

Part of the problem is that these new aristocrats aren’t really liberals.

More Bristol Derangement Syndrome

Well, at least these people didn’t shoot their television:

“I … believe that the program was fixed by extreme supporters of the Tea Party and Radical Right-Wing,” wrote one viewer. “There is no disclaimer that it is a political show, and instead that is what it has become. It is tragic to say that it could have been fixed but I hope ABC’s ratings blow-up and go down in flames.”

“You need to investigate the fraudulent voting practice on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars,” another viewer complained.

A third viewer protested that DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s hugging of Bristol Palin was “unfair treatment” that “was a signal for GOP/Tea Party supporters of Sarah Palin to ‘stuff’ the vote for Bristol Palin.”

“My 96 year old Mother-in-Law can dance better than Ms. Palin,” continued the viewer. “I want my Government to protect me the viewer from deceptive practices.”

Actually, I prefer the television abuser to people who want the federal government to regulate what I watch. Time to rein in the FCC.

“No Future For The Jews”

In the Netherlands?

“I see no future for recognizable Jews, in particular because of anti-Semitism, specifically in Dutch Moroccans, who continue to grow in number,” Bolkestein reportedly said.

The former politician added that the many Arab television channels in the Netherlands contribute to the spread of anti-Semitism. He said he has no confidence in proposed measures to combat anti-Jewish sentiment.

“The Palestinian-Israeli conflict continues to fester,” Bolkestein said. “I foresee no quick solution, and anti-Semitism will continue to exist. Moroccan and Turkish young people won’t care about the measures.”

Politician Geert Wilders, who visited Israel this week, responded that “Jews shouldn’t emigrate, anti-Semitic Moroccans should.”

It is tragic that Holland, for centuries a bastion of tolerance and accepting of the oppressed from all over (e.g., before the East Anglian Puritans came to New England they had gone to Leyden) has absorbed an intolerant poisonous culture into its body politic. Charles Martel would be appalled. This won’t end well.

Honesty From Gene Simmons

He wants his Obama vote back, and admits that he voted for him because he was black. I suspect that there are a lot of people in the same boat, and they won’t make the same mistake twice. They expiated their racial guilt in 2008.

[Update a while later]

This seems right to me:

…ask yourself this question: How many people do you know who voted for Obama in 2008 but now express regret about the vote or reservations about his leadership?

Probably plenty.

Now ask yourself this: How many people do you know who voted against Obama in 2008 but have since been won over?

Probably not a single one.

The buyers’ remorse is strong in this One.

Dwindling

Sixty-nine years later, there aren’t many survivors of Pearl Harbor left. The war itself is passing out of living memory. And sadly, many of the lessons learned from it will probably have to be relearned, at the cost of how knows how many more innocent lives.

[Update a few minutes later]

Bing remembers. But it’s just another day to Google. You’d think it a significant date even to a “citizen of the world.”

[Update a while later]

When Japan attacked.

Pearl Harbor, Apollo 17, and Dragon

What do they all have in common? Well, as it turns out, not as much as I thought, or at least hoped, when I wrote this post at The Corner, because we now know that SpaceX won’t be flying tomorrow, due to a nozzle issue on the second stage. But the main points of it stand.

By the way, if they can change out a nozzle with only an additional two-day delay, that’s pretty remarkable. That kind of problem on the Shuttle could mean weeks. As I noted in comments over at Clark Lindsey’s, though, I wonder how many spares they have for upper-stage nozzles? If it were a first-stage nozzle, it would probably be no problem, because with nine engines, they have to really be cranking them out. But the single engine on the firstsecond stage, while using the same powerhead, has a different nozzle, because it has a higher expansion ratio for vacuum operations. But presumably, they have at least one in Florida, or if not, it’s a one-day trip from Hawthorne.

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