Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rather's Claim of No Liberal Media Bias Doesn't Pass Laugh Test
The Dragon has splashed down, ending an outstanding mission for SpaceX and NASA. Much more anon.

Addendum: Rand Simberg crows about the success of the SpaceX Dragon, as well as anyone should. But then, as the advocates of "New Space" tend to do, he gets carried away:

Bottom line, in terms of our ability to get the job done if it’s important, America has returned to space. The dreaded “gap” caused by the shuttle retirement didn’t even last a year, thanks to the foresight of the previous administration and the vision of an entrepreneur.

Sadly, that is untrue. There will be no government subsidized "commercial" crewed spacecraft until 2017. It's just this sort of thing that causes eye rolling among the adults. The flight was a great achievement. But SpaceX is years away from sending people and, in the interim, it still has to prove that it can run a space business as well as a space program. 
No More Democratic Presidents If Obama Defeated?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Finds Nothing Succeeds like Success
ISS Astronauts Begin to Unload Dragon After Successful Docking

Meanwhile, Keith Cowing waxes wroth about Scott Pace's impertinence.

More Griffin era, out-of-date, sour grapes thinking from a Romney campaign advisor. Please tell me, Scott, where are the legal or agency requirements or 6 or 7 cargo flights prior to crew flights on Falcon 9/Dragon? Answer: there are no such requirements. You are just throwing imaginary hurdles in front of SpaceX so as to make their successes look less impressive than they are. And where is a precedent for such hurdles? Certainly not in the historical record of American human spaceflight. Why was the Space Shuttle allowed to fly with a crew on its very first flight? Human crews flew on the third Gemini/Titan II flight, Apollo crews flew on the third Saturn V flight, etc. How many cargo-only Ares 1/Orion flights were you and Mike going to have before you flew crews? Certainly not "six or seven times consecutively". So why are you suddenly calling for SpaceX to meet criteria never levied upon NASA by you or anyone else?

Because SpaceX is not proposing to run a space program where loosing an occasional flight could be considered an acceptable loss. It is proposing to run a space business where deliveries are made safe and on time every time.

Besides, Dr. Pace is only suggesting that SpaceX do what it says it is going to do anyway.
Oil Boom in the Americas Means Weakening of OPEC's Power
Texas Steps Up Efforts to Attract SpaceX Commercial Space Port
Bill Maher Should Leave Creating New Words to Sarah Palin

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Paul Krugman apparently want to build high speed rail in order to fight space aliens. It is not the first time he has raised the specter of alien invasion to justify spending.
Back from Denver and tried as hell. Full fledged wisdom likely not until tomorrow.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rand Simberg had a fascinating exchange with Mike Griffin, the former NASA administrator about Rand's favorite subject: how heavy lift is evil. Dr. Griffin gave Rand the brush off, which has made him incandescent with rage.

Of course the reason that Griffin was so dimissive to Rand is that he does not react well to Rand's Dr. House "Because you're an idiot!" mode of making an arguement. Griffin is much too lofty a person in the aerospace pantheon to have to take notice of that sort of thing.

Of course if the case against heavy lift were accompanied by facts and real world numbers, and less in the way of accusations of bad faith, that would be a different story.
Congratulations to SpaceX and NASA for the successfull docking of the Dragon with the ISS.

Much more anon when I an back home.
The Obama campaign is making a little hay because Mike Griffin, a Romney space advisor, called for a moon base even though Romney slammed Newt Gingrich wheb he proposed one.

Nice try, but the attempt to distract from Obama's dysfunctional space program is not working. Romney is ahead in Florida by six points.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I was honored to witness this campaign speech in the guise of a graduation commencement at the Air Force Academy. Suffice to say the One wants to make a new American Century -- his way.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I shall be out of pocket until late Saturday, celebrating the translation of my carefree college student niece into a sober and mature married lady. I will also be witness to a speech by President Barack Obama at the Air Force Academy.

More of that anon.

In any case, limited to no wisdom to be imparted here until then. But enemies of freedom and truth be warned. I shall return.
SpaceX Dragon Flies on the Second Launch Attempt
What If Young Obama Had Gone to Prison for Drug Abuse?
Why Are Obama Media Surrogates Playing the Mormon Card?
Congrats to SpaceX for a great launch.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Biography: Walter Cronkite was Liberally Biased

Jim Oberg offers some further insights:

March 6, 2006
Cronkite on space: inspiration, not information. Honoring the enthusiasm, overlooking the inaccuracies

May 31, 2007

Walter Cronkite, the NY Times, and the Korean Airliner Massacre. [endorses US to blame for KAL-007 airliner shootdown]

Feb 20, 1996

Open Letter to Walter Cronkite re Michel Brun's Distortions. [asking correction of endorsement of KAL-007 conspiracy theory]
How to cook a unicorn.
NASA May Sponsor Its Own Space Tourism Program
Latest Poll Points to Runoff in Dewhurst/Cruz Texas Senate Race
Mike Griffin's talk tomorrow will likely be the first illumination into what a Romney space policy will be. It is interesting that he is touting a "Space Exploration Policy Goals Which Transcend Partisan Political Concerns," which suggests that the current one is very partisan indeed. Since both parties in Congress have not greeted Obamaspace with very great enthusiasm, that might make a good talking point. Sadly, I will probably not be able to comment until late Saturday or early Sunday as I will be out of town at a family celebration.
Could Romney Out-Fundraise President Obama?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why Mitt Romney Leads Among Women

Ever since the contraception mandate controversy and continuing through the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke kerfuffle, the Obama campaign has been trumpeting the idea of a Republican "war on women."
Paul Spudis has some words of wisdom in advance of the hopefully successful flight of the SpaceX Dragon.

My Favorite:

The creation of SpaceX capability is not “commercial” in the sense that we in the capitalist United States of America understand it.  Likewise, a government space program is not “socialism.”

Yeah verily yeah. 
Ron Paul Downsizes Campaign, Changes Strategy
Refurbishment of NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building Begins
Chris Matthews Does Worse Than Sarah Palin Would on 'Jeopardy'

Plus, Sarah Palin was right - Noam Chomsky?

If Obama Dumps Biden, Would He Choose Gabrielle Giffords?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Texas Conservatives Push for Tax Reform, Ending Property Tax
Julia's circle of life by the incomparable Iowahawk.
We saw Avengers last night and concur completely with this review.

As good as the performances are, and as extravagant as the movie’s gleaming art design is, the most rousing aspect of The Avengers is the liberation it surely prefigures for Whedon. Having successfully subordinated himself to the purposes of the Marvel empire, he can now move on to bring his own visions to the screen, with the larger budgets his unique talent warrants. Unlike the pitiful Loki, Whedon would seem to be a man who really is on his way to world conquest.

Does this mean that the long yearned for sequel to "Serenity" can now be made?
Bill Maher Wrong About Obama, Race and Conservatives
Obama's Appeasement in Face of Russian Threats Not Working

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Paul Spudis weighs in on the Planetary Resources plan to mine asteroids.
Bin Laden's Execution Does Not Buy My Vote for Obama
Here is a delicious bit of alternate history:

Imagine if President Nixon had decided to base his 1972 re-election campaign on the boast that he landed on the moon. His predecessors tried and failed for eight years. It wasn't an easy decision--what if something went wrong? But that's why you hire a president, to make those gutsy calls. Which path would George McGovern have taken?
That's analogous to President Obama's effort to campaign on the killing of Osama bin Laden. His absurd braggadocio is turning one of the few successes to occur under his leadership into a political liability.

I wonder how McGovern would have responded?
Ron Paul Clashes with Paul Krugman on Economic Policy
Obama's bin Laden Gambit Blows Up in His Face
Stephen King Feels Liberal Guilt for Not Paying Enough Taxes
The big bad guy in J.J. Abrams' second reboot Star Trek film is Khaaaaaaan!
Neil Armstrong on the Space Race thanks to Australian TV,