Archive for September 4th, 2008

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Sarah Palin facts

September 4, 2008

First there was Chuck Norris.

Then there was Jack Bauer.

Then, of course, there was Fred Thompson.

Now they all bow before their acknowledged superior, Sarah “Barracuda” Palin.

Sarah Palin facts to come…

OK, someone beat me to it: www.palinfacts.com

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Okay, so we have McCain/Palin, but we could have had…

September 4, 2008

Romney/Palin

Guiliani/Palin

Rice/Palin (Condoleezza, not Jerry!) – wouldn’t that have been something?

Thompson/Palin

Well, we can dream…

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A great opportunity for companies getting into the space access business

September 4, 2008
Lynx suborbital concept from Xcor

Lynx suborbital concept from Xcor

Apparently the recent disagreements between the US and Russia about where Russia should park its tanks – at home or in, say, Georgia – are creating a problem for NASA. The schedule for the Orion spacecraft has been slipping, and it looks like we will have at least two years, 2010-2012, where we will not have any human launch capacity in the US. NASA officials seem to think the Russians will not be willing to provide additional launch services to help us out in staffing and supplying the ISS. (Article link.)

First, this is stupid. I know the Shuttle orbiters are wearing out, but with the level of refurbishment they supposedly go through after each flight – far more than the designers originally anticipated, at far higher cost – can’t we stretch it a couple more years?

There has been sort of a half-assed NASA initiative to help commercial companies develop launch capability, but only SpaceX has seriously been working toward a manned orbital vehicle.

SpaceX Dragon

SpaceX Dragon

SpaceX has been having some problems with their unmanned launch vehicles so far. I think a big part of the problem is this roadblock the US government threw at them requiring that they must launch from Kwajalein Atoll instead of here in the continental US. (There was a huge delay with the first launch, for example, because another shipment of liquid oxygen had to be brought in by ship, pretty much to the ass end of nowhere. There is virtually no support out there in the Pacific. Why not let them launch from Vandenberg or Canaveral?)

If NASA was smart, they would be dumping dollars into companies like SpaceX and cutting the hell out of red tape holding them back. Unfortunately, they historically have promoted more red tape to control companies like that to protect the huge number of employees used to refurbish and launch the Shuttles. As Pournelle has said time and time again, the Shuttle is not a space transportation system – it’s a government jobs program.

Still, maybe companies like SpaceX will still get it done, with the support of NASA or not. We can hope.

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Best compliment Sarah could receive!

September 4, 2008
Sarahcudda!

Sarahcudda!

Watching Sarah Palin’s speech last night, my wife paid her the ultimate compliment when she said, “Ronald Reagan would love her!”

She’s absolutely right…Sarah walked into the room, with 17,000 cheering Republicans, and OWNED IT.

She even did the Bush “lean on the podium thing.” I loved that.

What confidence this woman has!

I don’t even know what else to say…she was truly outstanding last night. She also moved the McCain camp much more firmly to the right than they’ve been in a long while. That ain’t bad, either.

If the selection of Sarah Palin is any indication of John McCain’s judgement, he will be a FAR better President than I ever expected. I was hoping for Mitt Romney, but the next couple of months are going to be fun!