Monday, August 27, 2012

Calls for a State Funeral for Neil Armstrong
Texas Lawmakers Mull Giving Prostitutes Rehab Rather Than Jail
The World Notes the Final Passage of Neil Armstrong from Earth
Russia Proposes Year-Long Stay on International Space Station

Jim Oberg has more details. It looks like planning is more advanced than hitherto revealed

Hurricanes are Not Caused by Denial of Global Warming
Obama Campaign Tries to Pass Off Democratic Women as Republicans
Partisan politics intrude on Obama, Romney Neil Armstrong tributes

Iowahawk looks into the Moonwatcher in Chief's mind and finds it to be a scary place.

Texas Senate Debates School Choice, Charter Schools
Iran Wages a Real War on Women and Obama Does Nothing
Season Five of 'True Blood' Ends in Lots of Blood
Romney Made the Birth Certificate Joke to Make Obama Angry
Ron Paul Has His Last Hurrah at the 'We Are the Future' Rally
Biden 2016? Say it Aint So, Joe
Would a Bin Laden Movie by Spielberg Be Worth Seeing?
To Honor Neil Armstrong, Obama Posts Photo of Himself

The mind boggles


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Romney met with Neil Armstrong weeks before the moonwalker's death

Paul Spudis pays tribute

Big Government reveals the dirty little secret behind "Solyndra in space.". Tom James, like most defenders of the commercial crew program, fails to grasp the point. Taking nothing away from the technical achievements of SpaceX, et al, without the massive government subsidies, these "commercial" crewed space projects would not exist. In light of that fact, to tout the commercial crew program as somehow being capitalistic or free market is laughable.

Addendum: Rand Simberg has some incoherent words about how capitalistic Solyndra in space really is.

It’s unfortunate that so many supposed conservatives are opposed to competitive markets in spaceflight, to the point that they embarrass themselves with ignorant rants against the Obama space policy, one of the very few things that the administration has gotten sort of right.
It is unfortunate that so many alleged libertarians support a system of government subsidies for alleged commercial space craft that are totally dependent on those subsidies and government contracts. Thus far none of the participants have developed any private markets for their government funded space ships beyond the talking about it stage. It continues to amaze me how this is so hard to understand.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, has died

I once had an idea, back before Obama cancelled the Constellation program, that when the first Americans returned to the moon, Neil Armstrong, along with Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, would have played capcom for the landing and perhaps the first footsteps. Alas,even if the president had not been a jerk, it was never to be. Perhaps in some alternate reality.

The Next Small Step - an Alternate Future

Paul Spudis muses about sample return missions and suggests rather than bringing the Mars rocks to the lab, how about bringing the lab to the Mars rocks? Of course, by preference, I would bring the researchers to the Mars rocks as well...
More thin gruel about space in Republican Party Platform

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Opposition to 'I Can't Remember the Alamo' Trademark Brews
Report: NASA's Bolden mulling removal of three center directors
Mars Curiosity Rover Goes on Its First Drive from Bradbury Landing
Romney Free Market Energy Policy More Likely to Succeed
Prince Harry Naked Shows the Perils of Lewd Conduct in the Internet Age

Dark Hunt is now out

Vampire vs. Terrorist

On September 11, 2001, the second day that will live in infamy, Gabriella Doria, an Italian noblewoman and an over 500 year old vampire, was meeting with investment partners at the World Trade Center when the building and her world fell on top of her. Later, when she had been dug out of the rubble, she vowed vendetta.

Her dark hunt for Osama bin Laden would take longer than she had imagined, would cost more than she had thought to bear, and would involve more dangers than she could imagine. Her enemy would himself turn to dark powers to fulfill his dream of a world enslaved to a perverted version of a world religion.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New 'Big Chill' Theory of the Universe's Beginning Challenges the Big Bang

Does this mean that the show "The Big Bang Theory" is going to have to undergo some changes? How does Sheldon Cooper view this idea? (I can guess.)

Court: Texas Can Cut Women's Health Program Funding to Planned Parenthood
Atheists Obnoxious for Wanting to Remove the 9/11 Cross
Write-In Candidate Could Be Best Option in Missouri
Gene Cernan attacks Obama's short changing NASA's space program

Addendum: Keith Cowling screams and leaps.

President Obama was born in Hawaii (a U.S. state, by the way) and has lived in the United States for his entire life except for 1967-71. Between 1966 and 1969 Mitt Romney lived in France. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone and spent much of his youth living abroad. So what? As for what the phrase "traditional America is all about" means, perhaps Cernan will enlighten us as to what he's implying if/when he participates in the Republican national convention.

Of course McCain spent most of his time overseas being tortured for his country in Hanoi, so Keith may want to walk back his statement just a bit. Romney spent his time in France trying to convert the natives to Mormonism, an American born religious denomination if there ever was one. Both of their life experiences caused the two men to appreciate their American identity all the greater.

It can be argued that Obama does not appreciate the country he was elected to govern. He is on record as sneering about American exceptionalism and suggesting that America has "shown arrogance." In his infamous speech at the Kennedy Space Center, Obama ridiculed the idea of going back to the moon with a "been there, done that" trope that could only be described as off putting and embarrassing. That must be especially true for Buzz Aldrin who will never live down the statement, "Buzz has been there."

In the meantime much of the commentary on Keith's little screed consists of "Captain Cernan may have walked on the moon, but he is surely a crazy old man now." What ever happened to respecting ones elders?

Addendum 2: Cavuto: Gene Cernan is my hero

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Study, Based on NASA Data, Suggests that Mars Has Plate Tectonics
Apparently there was a false report that Maggie Thatcher had died. But death will not have the Iron Lady that easily.
Court Rules Against EPA in Texas Flexible Air Permitting Case
Why Hecklers at Ryan Iowa Rally Got Physical
Left-Wing Pacifists Don't Like 'Stars Earn Stripes'
Rep. John Culberson, R-TX to propose NASA reform bill

Addendum: The Slashdot link also links to some posts that raise some objections to the Culberson bill. Since the bill is a work in progress, I'm not sure how he will address it, but here are some of my thoughts.

What if we're stuck with a bad NASA administrator?

I will presume this to mean someone who is either incompetent or insubordinate and not someone whose approach to space policy makes a particularly blogger upset. In that case, I imagine that such a person could still be forced to resign for cause.

Aren't multi-year budgets unconstitutional?

The way entitlements get around this is that Congress is always free to modify spending on -- say -- social security. In the case of a NASA project, such as a Mars lander, a future Congress could vote to modify spending if the project goes into cost overruns. However the default would still be to spend the multi-year budget. It would this be harder to mess with a NASA project by proactively defunding it rather than just failing to provide funding. This also answers the objection on how to handle situations such as Kepler. Congress could still proactively cancel it or appropriate more money if the project gets out of control.

Multi year budgets would help to mitigate against projects that get out of control since NASA managers would have an understanding of exactly how much money they have to spend. Situations such as when the Bush administration promised a certain amount of money for Constellation and then OMB failing to deliver could be avoided.


The cover art for Dark Hunt, in which Gabriella Doria, heroine of Dark Sanction, goes up against the greatest enemy of civilization in the first decade of the 21st Century.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Obama, Romney Touch on Mars Curiosity Landing in Public Statements
NBC Orders Pilot for Cleopatra Series -- with 'Sorcery, Gods and Monsters'
Ron Paul is Not Impressed with Paul Ryan
Rand Simberg has leaped the length of his chain once again over my pointing out that Obama's commercial crew program constitutes a subsidy for certain private companies' spacecraft projects. One of the definitions of a subsidy as noted by Websters is "a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public." The is the exact definition of what the commercial crew program does, which is to give money (a grant) to private companies such as SpaceX and Boeing to build spacecraft that it is hoped will one day service the International Space Station, which is deemed advantageous to the public. I fail to understand why this is so hard for the Internet Rocketeer Club to understand.

Addendum: Rand needs to get a sense of irony. Otherwise he would not post things like this. "Awwwww, isn’t that cute? Mark still fantasizes both that I have a “chain,” and that I ever “leap the length” of it. It seems to be one of his favorite expressions. That’s the autism, rather than the Tourette’s."

Rand should also look up the term "metaphor" and while he is pretending to be a shrink, contemplate his own obsessive compulsive disorder.

Is Paul Ryan or Has He Ever Been an Acolyte of Ayn Rand?
Sarah Palin, the Unconventional, Chooses Not to Speak at the RNC

For your viewing pleasure, how the lamestream media always trash republican vice presidential candidates.

NASA engineers examine cause of Morpheus accident
Romney campaign offers thin gruel for future NASA space policy

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Boeing and SpaceX will split most of the next round of commercial crew subsidies with Sierra Nevada getting a smaller cut. More anon, especially after the official announcement.
Sir John Keegan, Military Historian, Passes On
Some Media Reactions to Ted Cruz's Senate Victory
NASA's Bolden Speaks on Future Mars Mission, Chinese Moon Landing
Bolden actually believes that the world should cheer a Chinese lunar landing the same way that they did Apollo 11. He also doesn't think America should lead in space and that, given an "unlimited budget" for NASA, he would not deviate from the current Obama plan.
Why Harry Reid Thinks Mitt Romney is Guilty Until Proven Innocent
How the Chick-fil-A Kerfuffle Became About Free Speech