NASA and SF

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Phil Fraering

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Sep 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/11/99
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feud...@my-deja.com writes:

> The consultant, whom I used to associate with (but no longer), once
>said this:

>"The entire NASA program was wasted."

>I asked, "Why?"

>He answered. "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Wall Street
>would have laughed about the whole idiocy. It would have been better to
>have spent the resources building bigger machines which could churn out
>gadgets faster and eliminate more jobs to improve the bottom line.

>Capital makes everything, not stones from Mars. The only thing that
>matters is the number which appears at your balance sheet, no more, no
>less. "

>That is how the elites of the world treat the Nasa and the SFers. Nice
>program to get govt pork, but not a good program to invest.

This sounds like a convenient straw man.

How's this for an argument: NASA has spent roughly 250 billion dollars since
shutting down the moon program, and hasn't really accomplished much besides
producing the single most expensive space launch system ever made?
--
Phil Fraering "My name... is Amiga Montoya.
p...@globalreach.net You killed my computer.
/Will work for tape/ prepare to die!"

Phil Fraering

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Sep 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/11/99
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Bananna 2000 <muw...@my-deja.com> writes:

> Are you trolling? Or sympathising?
> Does capital make art? Or literature?

Well, if capital==money, yes.

>Is the advancement of knownledge
>purely for monetary gain?(Well maybe a bit.) Hmmmm. Wall street doesn't
>fund NASA as far as I'm aware, the US Government does.

And has done its best to make NASA more useless than the PC's you decry.

>If the attitude
>is that things have to make a profit to be worthwhile then the attitude
>is wrong- so far it has led to low quality, high quantity merchandise
>that sells because it is marketed well-If someone had a car that broke
>down HALF as much as their windows PC did they would never buy that
>brand again. A world where profit obscures progress and greed outweighs
>dreams. this is the world you WANT? And if not WHY ARE YOU NOT DOING
>SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

You can also buy higher quality PC's if you want, and put a variety of
free or commerical OS's besides windows on them. Linux, various BSD's,
QNX, BeOS, Solaris x86...

Phil Fraering

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Sep 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/12/99
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Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> writes:

>Phil Fraering <pgf@lungold> wrote:
>> How's this for an argument: NASA has spent roughly 250 billion dollars since
>> shutting down the moon program, and hasn't really accomplished much besides
>> producing the single most expensive space launch system ever made?

>Sounds obviously wrong. Between Hubble and the current series of planetary
>probe, NASA has pulled in an absolute flood of astronomical and
>planetological data.

>Now, if you argued that that was a tiny minority of NASA's budget, and
>only the Hubble made any use of the Shuttle, you'd have a point.

>However, I tend to the opinion that people in space have *inherent* value,
>in this stage of our civilization. Mir, the Shuttle, and the ISS are all
>fulfilling that. It may be years before manned spaceflight really returns
>enough experience and knowledge to be "worthwhile", and decades after that
>before it returns a monetary profit; but if we don't keep slogging at it
>it'll just *sit* there.

If we continue to slog at it in the current fashion it will just
sit there being a billions-of-dollars-a-year endeavour to keep
up manned exploration of low earth orbit along with the odd probe...

I like Hubble, but compare its costs to Keck, for instance.

Phil Fraering

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Sep 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/12/99
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feud...@my-deja.com writes:

...
>The four launch systems, about $2 billion each, CANNOT be evacuated and
>will probably be destroyed. Ditto to one or two space shuttles waiting
>there.

>That means a loss of no less than $8 billion, before the damage to
>other installations were calculated.

>Floyd will be probably the strongest hurricane of this century, and if
>NASA was a private corporation it would probably not have been write
>off such losses. (What corporation does write off $8 billion and escape
>rightly? In private world, such corporation would probably have to
>declare bankruptcy.)

>After all, I was proven right by God and Floyd.

Let's see... your thesis is that 1) NASA is about to lose 8 billion dollars.
2) This would sink many commercial ventures. Therefore 3) Any commercial
ventures probably couldn't do space exploration.

This is true if you think NASA's way of doing space exploration, or of
building storm shelters, is the only way to do so.

If you don't, this line of reasoning is vapid.

All you've proved is that NASA couldn't survive as a private company,
even if it were paid by the government to explore space.

I have my doubts that Floyd will be the strongest hurricane of the
century; the winds were at 150 mph the last time I checked, and I
think the record's up in the 180's or higher.

Phil Fraering

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Sep 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/12/99
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Bananna 2000 <muw...@my-deja.com> writes:

>In article <9tvdr7...@127.0.0.1>,


> pgf@lungold (Phil Fraering) wrote:
>> Bananna 2000 <muw...@my-deja.com> writes:
>>
>> > Are you trolling? Or sympathising?
>> > Does capital make art? Or literature?
>>
>> Well, if capital==money, yes.
>>

> I disagree. Throwing money at something doesn't make it art.

No, but it does pay for it, eventually.


>Expensive crap is still crap. Would "Starry night" be less vivid if it
>wasn't so valuable? V.G. certainly didn't see any money from it's sale.

No, but he thought it was practice for the time when he'd finally
produce paintings worthy of sale.

[...]

> I was using PC's as an example. I work with them all day and somedays
>they really P me off. You could quite easily say the same about TV's or
>video players (what is it now, 4 years they expect them to last ,
>unless you pay 3 times the average price? Quantity vs. quality again).

> Poor old NASA haven't been that useless- I think they've done well
>given the resources they have. How old is Columbia now? 14? What kind
>of sucess rate do shuttles/boosters have? I dunno the precise
>percentage but it's in the high nineties. What percent of the time does
>your PC crash?

It also takes between three to five billion dollars a year to run
the shuttle program (irrespective of the rest of the space program).

The private boosters thus far produced here have problems because
they were originally government projects, and are seen as the
domain of a small number of well-connected companies (basically,
cost-plus government contractors LockMart and Boeing).

> Next time you watch satalite TV, make a long distance call, use the
>internet, or climb in a plane or boat (Sat-Nav) you might want to
>reconsider NASA's productivity.

GPS was produced by the military to preempt any civilian system a
company might develop which they wouldn't control. The Internet was
developed by DAPRA. Navstars were initially started by the Navy.

> Yeah I know- NASA came up with it somebody else made it viable, but
>if it wasn't for NASA it might never have been done. I also belive that
>space exploration and explotiation may become increasingly more
>plausable as time and technology marches on. Thats me though, always
>and optimist.


>> You can also buy higher quality PC's if you want, and put a variety of
>> free or commerical OS's besides windows on them. Linux, various BSD's,
>> QNX, BeOS, Solaris x86...

> Yeah, but the o/s suffer from lower support, less software and bad
>marketing. Plus they are not "fashionable". I would agree that hardware
>(at a higher price) can be pretty reliable. You still get crap though.
>Let the buyer beware.

Well, you can buy (or download for free) reliable software, and pay
for support (which is what you may wind up doing with a windows
PC anyway). Do you want reliability, or fashion?

feud...@my-deja.com

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
to
The consultant, whom I used to associate with (but no longer), once
said this:

"The entire NASA program was wasted."

I asked, "Why?"

He answered. "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Wall Street
would have laughed about the whole idiocy. It would have been better to
have spent the resources building bigger machines which could churn out
gadgets faster and eliminate more jobs to improve the bottom line.

Capital makes everything, not stones from Mars. The only thing that
matters is the number which appears at your balance sheet, no more, no
less. "

That is how the elites of the world treat the Nasa and the SFers. Nice
program to get govt pork, but not a good program to invest.


--
Blessed are they which are persecuted for
righteousness' sake: for their is the kingdom of
heaven. --- Jesus.
9,000 years of human experience can't be changed.


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

Bananna 2000

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
to
In article <7ri1nt$1v$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Are you trolling? Or sympathising?
Does capital make art? Or literature? Is the advancement of knownledge

purely for monetary gain?(Well maybe a bit.) Hmmmm. Wall street doesn't
fund NASA as far as I'm aware, the US Government does. If the attitude

is that things have to make a profit to be worthwhile then the attitude
is wrong- so far it has led to low quality, high quantity merchandise
that sells because it is marketed well-If someone had a car that broke
down HALF as much as their windows PC did they would never buy that
brand again. A world where profit obscures progress and greed outweighs
dreams. this is the world you WANT? And if not WHY ARE YOU NOT DOING
SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
OOop ranty time is upon me.
As for SFers- SF pays. Big time. Look at all the TV franchises, Fan
clubs, toys (Chocolate Darth Mauls-aagh Lucas one day you'll pay), Film
spin-offs ect. etc. etc. New SF titles by well known authors regularly
stonk the book charts. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? SF is big
buissiness , mores the pity. Material from Mars became a very valuable
thing after NASAs' (in)famous declaration. Why? Stephen Hawkins "A
bbreif history of time" didn't include any wildly useful or appliable
things, but it was (is) a best seller. Why? David Attenbouroghs' book
and series' enjoy a large audience from around the globe.Why?
Because the aquisition of Knownledge , no matter how irrelevant, is
one of our largest driving forces. We are insatiably curious creatures.
NASA serves the public fascination with the universe around us (and
providing useful things like communication satalites.)
Elites are irrelivant.
We are borg.....:-)
J.
--

"Your finger, You fool."

Douglas Muir

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
to feud...@my-deja.com
Hello all,

FWIW, the poster who calls himself "feudalist" is a troll who has migrated
over from soc.history.what-if.

Feudalist (also known as Quonster) isn't a *really* bad troll, but he
consistently posts OT (case in point), and has an almost uncanny knack for
starting long, low-quality threads that degenerate into flamewars. He's sort
of amusing the first few times, but trust me, it's going to get old _really_ fast.

OTOH, he'll lose interest and wander away if not fed with attention.

FYI.


Doug M.

Jordan S. Bassior

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
to
Feudalist said:

>The consultant, whom I used to associate with (but no longer), once
>said this:
>
>"The entire NASA program was wasted."
>
>I asked, "Why?"
>
>He answered. "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Wall Street
>would have laughed about the whole idiocy.

The Kings of Spain in an ATL said:

The Dominican, with whom I used to associate, once said this:

"The entire Exploration program was wasted."

I asked, "Why?"

He answered "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Fuggers would have


laughed about the whole idiocy."

So we stood at the balustrade, and enviously watched the great galleons of
England and France, bearing the treasures of the Aztecs and Incas, sailing past
on the Ocean Sea. And wished we had something better than galleys, so that they
couldn't raid our coastline at will. Oh well ...

(Incidentally, the Fuggers and Medicis, being less foolish than your
consultant, DID finance the voyages of exploration).

>It would have been better to
>have spent the resources building bigger machines which could churn out
>gadgets faster and eliminate more jobs to improve the bottom line.

The best way to "improve the bottom line" is to become more productive. This
may involve eliminating or expanding employment, depending on what strategy you
pursue. Probably it will involve reducing the size of part of your workforce,
and expanding the size of another.

>Capital makes everything, not stones from Mars.

But in the long run, "stones" ...whether from Central European iron mines,
American uranium mines, or Asteroidal <fill in the blank> mines, are one of the
things which make wealth, which makes capital. An economy does not support
itself through the pompous flaunting of degrees and pedigrees, but rather
through actual productive labor.

>That is how the elites of the world treat the Nasa and the SFers. Nice
>program to get govt pork, but not a good program to invest.

They take satellites seriously, though. There's a major industry built around
constructing and maintaining various comsats, landsats, reconsats, etc. That
was science fiction 50 years ago, and 50 years from now there will be massive
investment in enterprises which are science fiction now. That's called
"progress", and the smarter and more forward-looking among the rich and
powerful are well aware of its existence.

Sincerely Yours,
Jordan

"Man, as we know him, is a poor creature; but he is halfway between an ape and
a god and he is travelling in the right direction." (Dean William R. Inge)

Joseph Hertzlinger

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
to
On 13 Sep 1999 15:10:38 GMT, Jordan S. Bassior <jsba...@aol.com> wrote:

>The Kings of Spain in an ATL said:
>
>The Dominican, with whom I used to associate, once said this:
>
>"The entire Exploration program was wasted."
>
>I asked, "Why?"
>
>He answered "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Fuggers would have
>laughed about the whole idiocy."
>
>So we stood at the balustrade, and enviously watched the great galleons of
>England and France, bearing the treasures of the Aztecs and Incas, sailing past
>on the Ocean Sea.

In this ATL, did England and France go bankrupt in the late 16th century?

> And wished we had something better than galleys, so that they
>couldn't raid our coastline at will. Oh well ...

In this ATL, was the English Armada wrecked?

The Spanish government didn't benefit much after a century or so.


J. Moreno

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
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<feud...@my-deja.com> wrote:

> The consultant, whom I used to associate with (but no longer), once
> said this:

Starting an off topic thread -- bad. Don't do it again.

--
John Moreno

Nancy Lebovitz

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
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In article <7rjdt1$7...@dfw-ixnews6.ix.netcom.com>,
It's an interesting premise: If Spain hadn't been a player, would
Inca gold have wrecked Northern Europe?

--
Nancy Lebovitz na...@netaxs.com

Calligraphic button catalogue available by email!

Jordan S. Bassior

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
to
Joseph Hertzlinger said:

>In this ATL, did England and France go bankrupt in the late 16th century?

Probably not. Spain went bankrupt because of its extreme obsession with the
cult of martial gentility, not because of its pillaging of gold and mining of
silver per se. The Spanish cultural and political hostility towards its own
professional and mercantile classes, which often took the form of accusing them
of being "secret" Jews or Moors, essentially destroyed Spain's ability to make
constructive use of the wealth it was gaining from the New World. This trend
pre-dated serious Spanish explorations and overseas conquests.

Portugal had a similar problem, coupled with a smaller population. Also, for a
century, Portugal was actually under Spanish rule.

>In this ATL, was the English Armada wrecked?

Again probably not ... after the Portuguese lost their early technical lead
thanks to the Inquisition, some bad monarchs, and incorporation into Spain,
Spanish design essentially froze into the 16th century galleon. This was not
unrelated to the destruction of their own mercantile and professional classes
in the 50 years preceding. The galleon could handle anything the Mediterranean
or Mid-Atlantic was normally likely to throw at her.

Meanwhile, the more mercantile British, French, and Scandinavians were
perfecting more maneuverable and rugged sailing ships to deal with the rough
northern waters. Dr. John Dee, an eccentric mystic of exactly the sort who the
Spanish would have burned at the stake or expelled for his "wizardry",
assembled a group of men interested in astronomy, navigation, and shipbuilding
around him, including (I believe) Frobisher, Gilbert, and Raleigh. They
listened to the suggestions of men like Drake (who in Spain would have been
ignored for his humble origins) and paid attention to the nautical exploits of
the Dutch "sea-beggars".

This led to the design of the "razed" or "race-built" galleon, forerunner of
the later "ship of the line". Lower, faster, more maneuverable, and able to
work its guns faster than the older galleons, it was this ship class which gave
the English the edge at the Battle of the First Armada (1588). The fireship,
pioneered by the Dutch and adopted by their English allies, struck the decisive
blow which converted the Armada into a disorganized mass of individual ships,
all attempting to flee around Britain the long way.

>The Spanish government didn't benefit much after a century or so.

That wasn't because it lost money on exploration, but rather because its
society was too immature to properly handle the vast wealth its explorers and
conquistadores brought back from the Indies.

You could argue that the Portuguese lost out because of too much effort put
into exploration, but here the problem was one of manpower rather than money.
Portugal got rich, but was not able to replenish its population (lacking enough
flexibility to promote immigration or extend its citizenship to non-Portuguese
populations).

R.D. Elliott

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
to
In article <37DD01F6...@yale.edu>, Douglas Muir
<dougla...@yale.edu> wrote:

- Hello all,
-
- FWIW, the poster who calls himself "feudalist" is a troll who has migrated
- over from soc.history.what-if.
[snip]
- OTOH, he'll lose interest and wander away if not fed with attention.


Flamed once for the hell of it and then killfiled.

Over and out.

R.D. Elliott

Phil Fraering

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
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alei...@f1n7.u.arizona.edu (Andrea Leistra) writes:

>In article <v08gr7...@127.0.0.1>, Phil Fraering <pgf@lungold> wrote:

>>I like Hubble, but compare its costs to Keck, for instance.

>This isn't entirely a fair comparison. The real value of space
>telescopes doesn't generally come in the optical, but in wavelengths
>that get badly attenuated or blocked out entirely in the atmosphere,
>like UV and higher, or that suffer from the thermal effects, like
>infrared; atmospheric OH lines are very annoying in ground-based infrared
>spectroscopy. That's why future space missions are moving away from
>optical, and NGST will be optimized for infrared.

Oddly enough, Keck is optimized for near-IR work.

Phil Fraering

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Sep 13, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/13/99
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jsba...@aol.com (Jordan S. Bassior) writes:

>Helen & Bob said:

>>Titan
>>may cost a bit more, but Titan has yet to lose a crew. There is more to cost
>>than money.

>The Shuttle Orbiter system's only lost one crew in over 15 years of operation.
>That's not bad.

>The loss of 7 crew is sad, but compared to the 15th-16th century Age of
>Exploration, it's trivial.

It's pretty bad to spend $ 500 million to launch a TDRS satellite
and wind up killing seven people instead.

feud...@my-deja.com

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
In article <SrPdAeM-ya0240800...@news.ican.net>,

Some people are too young to understand the truth.

Ostriches bury their heads to the sand to avoid seeing their enemy.
But, that does not prevent the predator from eating these birds.

>
> Over and out.
>
> R.D. Elliott
>

--

nanorc

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
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Jordan S. Bassior <jsba...@aol.com> wrote
> Feudalist said:
>
> >The consultant, whom I used to associate with (but no longer), once
> >said this:
> >
> >"The entire NASA program was wasted."
> >
> >I asked, "Why?"
> >
> >He answered. "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Wall Street

> >would have laughed about the whole idiocy.
>
> The Kings of Spain in an ATL said:
>
> The Dominican, with whom I used to associate, once said this:
>
> "The entire Exploration program was wasted."
>
> I asked, "Why?"
>
> He answered "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Fuggers would have
> laughed about the whole idiocy."

A bankrupt analogy.

IF Spanish exploration consisted of sailing out into the Ocean Sea,
stopping and turning around then you might have a point. But it didn't
so you don't.

Nanorc

Bananna 2000

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
In article <9tvdr7...@127.0.0.1>,
pgf@lungold (Phil Fraering) wrote:
> Bananna 2000 <muw...@my-deja.com> writes:
>
> > Are you trolling? Or sympathising?
> > Does capital make art? Or literature?
>
> Well, if capital==money, yes.
>
I disagree. Throwing money at something doesn't make it art.
Expensive crap is still crap. Would "Starry night" be less vivid if it
wasn't so valuable? V.G. certainly didn't see any money from it's sale.
Similarly All the money in the world can't write a book like LOTR.
Austen, the Brontes, Dickens, Hardy, Wells, even Tolkein and Lewis -
all written by well to do middle class who wrote to say something and
who wrote for the love of writing. Things may be different today, but
it definitely doesn't make them better.

> >Is the advancement of knownledge
> >purely for monetary gain?(Well maybe a bit.) Hmmmm. Wall street
doesn't
> >fund NASA as far as I'm aware, the US Government does.
>
> And has done its best to make NASA more useless than the PC's you
decry.
I was using PC's as an example. I work with them all day and somedays
they really P me off. You could quite easily say the same about TV's or
video players (what is it now, 4 years they expect them to last ,
unless you pay 3 times the average price? Quantity vs. quality again).
Poor old NASA haven't been that useless- I think they've done well
given the resources they have. How old is Columbia now? 14? What kind
of sucess rate do shuttles/boosters have? I dunno the precise
percentage but it's in the high nineties. What percent of the time does
your PC crash?
Next time you watch satalite TV, make a long distance call, use the
internet, or climb in a plane or boat (Sat-Nav) you might want to
reconsider NASA's productivity.
Yeah I know- NASA came up with it somebody else made it viable, but
if it wasn't for NASA it might never have been done. I also belive that
space exploration and explotiation may become increasingly more
plausable as time and technology marches on. Thats me though, always
and optimist.

someone had a car that broke
> >down HALF as much as their windows PC did they would never buy that
> >brand again. A world where profit obscures progress and greed
outweighs
> >dreams. this is the world you WANT? And if not WHY ARE YOU NOT DOING
> >SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
>

> You can also buy higher quality PC's if you want, and put a variety of
> free or commerical OS's besides windows on them. Linux, various BSD's,
> QNX, BeOS, Solaris x86...
>
Yeah, but the o/s suffer from lower support, less software and bad
marketing. Plus they are not "fashionable". I would agree that hardware
(at a higher price) can be pretty reliable. You still get crap though.
Let the buyer beware.

J.
"Your finger, You fool."

feud...@my-deja.com

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
In article <62jdr7...@127.0.0.1>,
pgf@lungold (Phil Fraering) wrote:

> feud...@my-deja.com writes:
>
> > The consultant, whom I used to associate with (but no longer), once
> >said this:
>
> >"The entire NASA program was wasted."
>
> >I asked, "Why?"
>
> >He answered. "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Wall Street
> >would have laughed about the whole idiocy. It would have been better

to
> >have spent the resources building bigger machines which could churn
out
> >gadgets faster and eliminate more jobs to improve the bottom line.
>
> >Capital makes everything, not stones from Mars. The only thing that
> >matters is the number which appears at your balance sheet, no more,
no
> >less. "
>
> >That is how the elites of the world treat the Nasa and the SFers.
Nice
> >program to get govt pork, but not a good program to invest.
>
> This sounds like a convenient straw man.
>
> How's this for an argument: NASA has spent roughly 250 billion
dollars since
> shutting down the moon program, and hasn't really accomplished much
besides
> producing the single most expensive space launch system ever made?

The single most expensive space launch system is in mortal danger, by a
big hurricane named Floyd (after Floyd Patterson, the boxer).

The four launch systems, about $2 billion each, CANNOT be evacuated and
will probably be destroyed. Ditto to one or two space shuttles waiting
there.

That means a loss of no less than $8 billion, before the damage to
other installations were calculated.

Floyd will be probably the strongest hurricane of this century, and if
NASA was a private corporation it would probably not have been write
off such losses. (What corporation does write off $8 billion and escape
rightly? In private world, such corporation would probably have to
declare bankruptcy.)

After all, I was proven right by God and Floyd.

> --


> Phil Fraering "My name... is Amiga Montoya.
> p...@globalreach.net You killed my computer.
> /Will work for tape/ prepare to die!"
>

--


Blessed are they which are persecuted for
righteousness' sake: for their is the kingdom of
heaven. --- Jesus.
9,000 years of human experience can't be changed.

Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
Phil Fraering <pgf@lungold> wrote:
> How's this for an argument: NASA has spent roughly 250 billion dollars since
> shutting down the moon program, and hasn't really accomplished much besides
> producing the single most expensive space launch system ever made?

Sounds obviously wrong. Between Hubble and the current series of planetary


probe, NASA has pulled in an absolute flood of astronomical and
planetological data.

Now, if you argued that that was a tiny minority of NASA's budget, and
only the Hubble made any use of the Shuttle, you'd have a point.

However, I tend to the opinion that people in space have *inherent* value,
in this stage of our civilization. Mir, the Shuttle, and the ISS are all
fulfilling that. It may be years before manned spaceflight really returns
enough experience and knowledge to be "worthwhile", and decades after that
before it returns a monetary profit; but if we don't keep slogging at it
it'll just *sit* there.

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Jonathan W Hendry

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
Andrew Plotkin <erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
> Phil Fraering <pgf@lungold> wrote:
> > How's this for an argument: NASA has spent roughly 250 billion dollars since
> > shutting down the moon program, and hasn't really accomplished much besides
> > producing the single most expensive space launch system ever made?

> Sounds obviously wrong. Between Hubble and the current series of planetary
> probe, NASA has pulled in an absolute flood of astronomical and
> planetological data.

> Now, if you argued that that was a tiny minority of NASA's budget, and
> only the Hubble made any use of the Shuttle, you'd have a point.

Don't forget the new Chandra observatory, which was placed in orbit
by the Shuttle.

Coyu

unread,
Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
Quonster (aka Feudalist) wrote:

>Some people are too young to understand the truth.
>
>Ostriches bury their heads to the sand to avoid seeing their enemy.
>But, that does not prevent the predator from eating these birds.

Yes. Have I noted that Quonster has me killfiled?

He also calls me Coyote. 8-)

[glyph borrowed from Steve Stirling]

Q/F - lives in SoCal, drives a Tercel, has tried (and failed) to learn
COBOL, descended from Japanese collaborators in Korea, illiterate
in Spanish. Has posted calls for the euthanasia of the mentally
retarded. Is sexually aroused by the hypothetical architecture of
a successful post-WWI Imperial Germany - try 'the Feudalist rebuilds
Berlin' on DejaNews - "I am almost having an orgasm right now, so I
have to continue this at another day."

I couldn't _make_ this stuff up.

I'm vaguely tempted to do the tasutin thing, and drive him into madness.

Andrew Plotkin

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to

Mmm, did it have to be, though? I was thinking of the Hubble repair and
upgrade missions, not the initial launch.

Jonathan W Hendry

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to

Dunno if it had to be. Maybe it did, since they had to modify
the shuttle's cargo bay in order for Chandra to fit. I'm
not sure they would have done that had it been easily launched
otherwise. The shuttle's plenty expensive without the cost
of special modifications.

Perhaps they wanted to have the shuttle handle the launch so
that the astronauts could fix any problems, rather than
risking the observatory turning into another piece of
very expensive space junk.

Dan Goodman

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
In article <7rkol8$uu8$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, <feud...@my-deja.com> wrote:
>In article <SrPdAeM-ya0240800...@news.ican.net>,
> SrP...@ican.net (R.D. Elliott) wrote:
>> In article <37DD01F6...@yale.edu>, Douglas Muir
>> <dougla...@yale.edu> wrote:
>>
>> - Hello all,
>> -
>> - FWIW, the poster who calls himself "feudalist" is a troll who has
>migrated
>> - over from soc.history.what-if.
>> [snip]
>> - OTOH, he'll lose interest and wander away if not fed with attention.
>>
>> Flamed once for the hell of it and then killfiled.
>
>Some people are too young to understand the truth.
>
>Ostriches bury their heads to the sand to avoid seeing their enemy.
>But, that does not prevent the predator from eating these birds.

Thanks for conveniently demonstrated that you tend not to get your facts
right. Ostriches don't do any such thing. Hint: they're built for
running. Hint: there are books on natural history in libraries, and
you're allowed to read them.
--
Dan Goodman
dsg...@visi.com
http://www.visi.com/~dsgood/index.html
Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.

Carl Crosby

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
nanorc wrote:
>
> Jordan S. Bassior <jsba...@aol.com> wrote
> > Feudalist said:
> >
> > >The consultant, whom I used to associate with (but no longer), once
> > >said this:
> > >
> > >"The entire NASA program was wasted."
> > >
> > >I asked, "Why?"
> > >
> > >He answered. "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Wall Street
> > >would have laughed about the whole idiocy.
> >
> > The Kings of Spain in an ATL said:
> >
> > The Dominican, with whom I used to associate, once said this:
> >
> > "The entire Exploration program was wasted."
> >
> > I asked, "Why?"
> >
> > He answered "What was the rate of return? Quite low! The Fuggers would have

> > laughed about the whole idiocy."
>
> A bankrupt analogy.
>
> IF Spanish exploration consisted of sailing out into the Ocean Sea,
> stopping and turning around then you might have a point. But it didn't
> so you don't.
>
> Nanorc

This makes me think about how much space industry is not being counted
as space industry. It's kind of like how some critic/reviewers believe
all sf is bad so when some sf they like comes along, it isn't sf in
their view.
Sometime back Dennis Miller had Tom Hanks on his HBO show. Miller was
saying space is a waste and the USA should be doing other Earth based
things instead. I don't know if he was playing devil's advocate or what,
but it was a doubly stupid postion for him to take. HBO is a space
industry. Without the comsats, it would not exist. If the USA got out of
the space business, who would put up the comsat that beams Denny down to
Earth? The French! Might they wish to remove Dennis, "Hey, Pepe, if you
hit a skunk, there's an extra twenty francs in it for you." Miller from
the air waves. Then consides the disruption caused when the comsat with
all of the pagers hooked up to it crapped out.
I could go on awhile, but I have other things to do. Before I go
though, consider LandSat and GPS.

holef...@webtv.net

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to

>>Feudalist said:

>A bankrupt analogy.


What about the hundreds of pounds of Moon-rocks the Astronauts brought
back?

Mr. Hole, wasn`t the always yummy "Tang" developed specifically for the
space program?
We also have Bubblewrap thanks to the Rocketmen. Who among us doesn`t
enjoy popping those fun little bubbles?
Kermit the frog was created at by NASA in the earl........


Samuel Paik

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
Jonathan W Hendry wrote:
> > > Don't forget the new Chandra observatory, which was placed in orbit
> > > by the Shuttle.
>
> > Mmm, did it have to be, though? I was thinking of the Hubble repair and
> > upgrade missions, not the initial launch.
>
> Dunno if it had to be. Maybe it did, since they had to modify
> the shuttle's cargo bay in order for Chandra to fit. I'm
> not sure they would have done that had it been easily launched
> otherwise. The shuttle's plenty expensive without the cost
> of special modifications.

Just about any pure launch mission that can go on the Shuttle
can go on a Titan IV. However, the Titan IV is the launch system
that makes the Shuttle's cost look acceptable...
--
Samuel S. Paik | http://www.webnexus.com/users/paik/
3D and multimedia, architecture and implementation
Solyent Green is kitniyos!

WWS

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to

The friend of University museums everywhere. Wow! A Rock!

The only thing that really turned out to be a disapointment was that
they're really weren't any Amazon Women on the moon that could be
enslaved and carried off, and they didn't have a bunch of gold
so we could burn down their cities and steal it. I mean, that's
what worked for the Conquistadores. If there had been some natives
hanging around that we could have raped, beaten, and killed I'm sure
everyone would be feeling a whole lot better about the project.

>
> Mr. Hole, wasn`t the always yummy "Tang" developed specifically for the
> space program?
> We also have Bubblewrap thanks to the Rocketmen. Who among us doesn`t
> enjoy popping those fun little bubbles?
> Kermit the frog was created at by NASA in the earl........

--

__________________________________________________WWS_____________

Ground control to Major Tom....

Helen & Bob

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to

Samuel Paik wrote:

>
>
> Just about any pure launch mission that can go on the Shuttle
> can go on a Titan IV. However, the Titan IV is the launch system
> that makes the Shuttle's cost look acceptable...
> --
> Samuel S. Paik | http://www.webnexus.com/users/paik/
>

I worked, for 15 years, at Aerojet in Sacramento, CA. Specifically, I worked
on Titan engines (purchasing hardware) and on the OMS for the shuttle. Titan


may cost a bit more, but Titan has yet to lose a crew. There is more to cost
than money.

Bob

Robert Patrick Meyer

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
In article <37def49f...@netnews.worldnet.att.net>,
p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net says...

> >Q/F - lives in SoCal, drives a Tercel, has tried (and failed) to learn
> >COBOL, descended from Japanese collaborators in Korea, illiterate
>
> Is that last part relevant? I mean, he can't help his parents'
> crimes. Remember, there's no "corruption of blood" here in the US of
> A.

Except that Quonster supports such actions. And that he thinks Japanese
rule was one of the best things to ever happen to Korea.

I understand that we should not track down children to the seventh
generation. This is quite different.

Quonster would be a lot better kook if he wasn't so damn scary, in his
own way.

--
------------
RobM...@resnet.gatech.edu

" Dude, at this point, I'll take a walk with her, if
that's all I can get. " -overheard in my building

Christopher J. Henrich

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
feud...@my-deja.com wrote:

> >
> > Flamed once for the hell of it and then killfiled.
>
> Some people are too young to understand the truth.

That'll do fine for me, ... what's your excuse?

>
>
> Ostriches bury their heads to the sand to avoid seeing their enemy.
> But, that does not prevent the predator from eating these birds.

Prosaic truth: ostriches put their ears to the ground, to hear sounds which

are better conducted through the solid medium.

Larger truth: if you want to draw moral lessons from the behavior of
other species, you must decide your moral lessons in advance and then
carefully select the species.

Chris Henrich

Samuel Paik

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
Helen & Bob wrote:
> Samuel Paik wrote:
> > Just about any pure launch mission that can go on the Shuttle
> > can go on a Titan IV. However, the Titan IV is the launch system
> > that makes the Shuttle's cost look acceptable...
>
> I worked, for 15 years, at Aerojet in Sacramento, CA. Specifically, I worked
> on Titan engines (purchasing hardware) and on the OMS for the shuttle. Titan
> may cost a bit more, but Titan has yet to lose a crew.

True. However, Titan IV/IVB has a much higher failure rate than the
Shuttle (4 losses out of 27 launches, compared to 1 loss in about
a hundred launches).

Note 1: I'm not claiming that the Shuttle is safe.
Note 2: two of the Titan IV failures may be upper stage failures.

> There is more to cost than money.

--

Phil Fraering

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Sep 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/14/99
to
jsba...@aol.com (Jordan S. Bassior) writes:

>Phil Fraering said:

>>It's pretty bad to spend $ 500 million to launch a TDRS satellite
>>and wind up killing seven people instead.

>Yes indeed. And the moral is?

Do you often ask your accountant that?

--
Phil Fraering Now I lay me down to sleep
p...@globalreach.net Try to count electric sheep
/Will work for tape/ Sweet dream wishes you can keep
How I hate the night. - Marvin, the Paranoid Android.

feud...@my-deja.com

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
In article <7rllg8$jgp$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Bananna 2000 <muw...@my-deja.com> wrote:

> > Well, if capital==money, yes.
> >
> I disagree. Throwing money at something doesn't make it art.
> Expensive crap is still crap. Would "Starry night" be less vivid if it
> wasn't so valuable?

Yes. (Lewis Lapham)

>V.G. certainly didn't see any money from it's sale.

Cuz he was crazy enough to paint that for the first place. If he had
stuck himself at selling paintings, he would have done better.

(VG's paintings did enrich his family, however. VG's brother Theo had
supported his crazy brother's lifestyle, and when VG shot himself Theo
was stuck with all of his unwanted paintings. He died one after his
brother, and his son, also named Vincent after his crazy uncle, got the
paintings.

Like his uncle, younger Vincent never married, and lived frugally as an
engineer in Holland. By then, VG's reputation rose, and suddenly
younger Vincent found himself as the richest man in Holland because he
owned so many VG paintings!

When the younger Vincent died in the 1950s, there were no more van
Goghs in anywhere in the world, and everything was willed to the
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam where the paintings originally went before the
Dutch queen built a special museum for VG alone.)

> Similarly All the money in the world can't write a book like LOTR.

But all the money in the world CAN hire a book like LOTR.

> Austen,

Who never sold a copy in her life.

> the Brontes,

who died in extreme poverty and illness.

>Dickens,

Who knew how to market books.

>Hardy,

Suffered from ill criticism in all his life. He abandoned writing prose
at 1900 because he was sick of criticism, and only wrote poetry after
that.

>Wells,

Also a greater marketteer, although his reputation has been made secure
by somebody with a similar surname and a first name of Orson.

>even Tolkein

As an Oxford don, he didn't need the money.

> and Lewis -

He wrote to prove his theological point.

> all written by well to do middle class who wrote to say something and
> who wrote for the love of writing. Things may be different today, but
> it definitely doesn't make them better.

That is because capitalism has conquered everything.


> > >Is the advancement of knownledge
> > >purely for monetary gain?(Well maybe a bit.) Hmmmm. Wall street
> doesn't
> > >fund NASA as far as I'm aware, the US Government does.
> >
> > And has done its best to make NASA more useless than the PC's you
> decry.
> I was using PC's as an example. I work with them all day and
somedays
> they really P me off. You could quite easily say the same about TV's
or
> video players (what is it now, 4 years they expect them to last ,
> unless you pay 3 times the average price? Quantity vs. quality again).

When quantity and quality fight, quantity wins in almost all cases.

Pete McCutchen

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
On 14 Sep 1999 15:01:55 GMT, co...@aol.com (Coyu) wrote:


>
>Q/F - lives in SoCal, drives a Tercel, has tried (and failed) to learn
>COBOL, descended from Japanese collaborators in Korea, illiterate

Is that last part relevant? I mean, he can't help his parents'
crimes. Remember, there's no "corruption of blood" here in the US of
A.

It strikes me that the problem with Q/F is not so much that he's a
kook; it's that he's an _uninteresting_ kook. Many kooks are fun to
talk with; he just strikes me as tiresome.


Pete McCutchen

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
On Tue, 14 Sep 1999 06:06:36 GMT, feud...@my-deja.com wrote:


>
>Ostriches bury their heads to the sand to avoid seeing their enemy.
>But, that does not prevent the predator from eating these birds.

Speaking of which, on my last vacation, I visited Busch Gardens in
Tampa. They had this little tour, which you had to pay extra for,
where they take you in the back of this truck in among the animals.
Oh, not carnivores -- just giraffes and such.

Anyway, I hadn't realized, until I saw them close up, just how damn
_big_ ostriches are. I find it hard to imagine that they have that
many natural predators. Other than humans, of course.

Jordan S. Bassior

unread,
Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Helen & Bob said:

>Titan
>may cost a bit more, but Titan has yet to lose a crew. There is more to cost
>than money.

The Shuttle Orbiter system's only lost one crew in over 15 years of operation.
That's not bad.

The loss of 7 crew is sad, but compared to the 15th-16th century Age of
Exploration, it's trivial.

Sincerely Yours,
Jordan

"Man, as we know him, is a poor creature; but he is halfway between an ape and
a god and he is travelling in the right direction." (Dean William R. Inge)

Jordan S. Bassior

unread,
Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Feudalist said:

>Ostriches bury their heads to the sand to avoid seeing their enemy.
>But, that does not prevent the predator from eating these birds.
>

Actually, that's a myth. Ostriches deal with predators by kicking them. Hard.
Very few things are able to successfully prey upon them, for that reason.

Jordan S. Bassior

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Nanorc said:

>A bankrupt analogy.
>
>IF Spanish exploration consisted of sailing out into the Ocean Sea,
>stopping and turning around then you might have a point. But it didn't
>so you don't.

But we derive profits even from orbital flights .. the analogy being learning
to cut across the Bay of Biscay instead of sailing close to shore.

Douglas Muir

unread,
Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to Pete McCutchen
> Anyway, I hadn't realized, until I saw them close up, just how damn
> _big_ ostriches are. I find it hard to imagine that they have that
> many natural predators. Other than humans, of course.

They're mean as hell, actually. I've seen a claim that they kill more people
in Africa than lions do. An ostrich can kick like one of Niven's
puppeteers... given a clean shot, they'll punt your heart out through your
shattered spine. Avoid; do not annoy.

Doug M.

nanorc

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Jordan S. Bassior <jsba...@aol.com> wrote
> >A bankrupt analogy.
> >
> >IF Spanish exploration consisted of sailing out into the Ocean Sea,
> >stopping and turning around then you might have a point. But it didn't
> >so you don't.
>
> But we derive profits even from orbital flights ..

No, we don't. At least not the manned ones anyway.

>the analogy being learning
> to cut across the Bay of Biscay instead of sailing close to shore.

I don't like Bisquick.

Nanorc

jeff wiel

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Pete McCutchen (p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net) wrote:
: On Tue, 14 Sep 1999 06:06:36 GMT, feud...@my-deja.com wrote:


: >
: >Ostriches bury their heads to the sand to avoid seeing their enemy.


: >But, that does not prevent the predator from eating these birds.

: Speaking of which, on my last vacation, I visited Busch Gardens in


: Tampa. They had this little tour, which you had to pay extra for,
: where they take you in the back of this truck in among the animals.
: Oh, not carnivores -- just giraffes and such.

: Anyway, I hadn't realized, until I saw them close up, just how damn


: _big_ ostriches are. I find it hard to imagine that they have that
: many natural predators. Other than humans, of course.

And big sharp claws. They can disembowel you with one kick.

feud...@my-deja.com

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
In article <t98gr7...@127.0.0.1>,

pgf@lungold (Phil Fraering) wrote:
> feud...@my-deja.com writes:
>
> ...

> >The four launch systems, about $2 billion each, CANNOT be evacuated
and
> >will probably be destroyed. Ditto to one or two space shuttles
waiting
> >there.
>
> >That means a loss of no less than $8 billion, before the damage to
> >other installations were calculated.
>
> >Floyd will be probably the strongest hurricane of this century, and
if
> >NASA was a private corporation it would probably not have been write
> >off such losses. (What corporation does write off $8 billion and
escape
> >rightly? In private world, such corporation would probably have to
> >declare bankruptcy.)
>
> >After all, I was proven right by God and Floyd.
>
> Let's see... your thesis is that 1) NASA is about to lose 8 billion
dollars.
> 2) This would sink many commercial ventures. Therefore 3) Any
commercial
> ventures probably couldn't do space exploration.
>
> This is true if you think NASA's way of doing space exploration, or of
> building storm shelters, is the only way to do so.
>
> If you don't, this line of reasoning is vapid.
>
> All you've proved is that NASA couldn't survive as a private company,
> even if it were paid by the government to explore space.
>
> I have my doubts that Floyd will be the strongest hurricane of the
> century; the winds were at 150 mph the last time I checked, and I
> think the record's up in the 180's or higher.

It was on the way of becoming the strongest hurricane of the century,
but another hurricane, named Guy, appeared and sucked some of its
energy.

Still, it is expected that Floyd would cause damages which would
greatly exceed those of Andrew, and it is still expected that the NASA
facilities would be seriously damaged, in the best case.


>
> --
> Phil Fraering "My name... is Amiga Montoya.
> p...@globalreach.net You killed my computer.
> /Will work for tape/ prepare to die!"
>

--

Jordan S. Bassior

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Phil Fraering said:

>If we continue to slog at it in the current fashion it will just
>sit there being a billions-of-dollars-a-year endeavour to keep
>up manned exploration of low earth orbit along with the odd probe...

I think that within 5 years we're going to have a real private launch industry,
and that within 10 years you're going to see private commercial manned
spaceflight too. Then NASA can turn its attention to deep space exploration,
where it as yet would not be profitable for private firms.

Brenda

unread,
Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to

Douglas Muir wrote:

> > Anyway, I hadn't realized, until I saw them close up, just how damn
> > _big_ ostriches are. I find it hard to imagine that they have that
> > many natural predators. Other than humans, of course.
>

> They're mean as hell, actually. I've seen a claim that they kill more people
> in Africa than lions do. An ostrich can kick like one of Niven's
> puppeteers... given a clean shot, they'll punt your heart out through your
> shattered spine. Avoid; do not annoy.
>
> Doug M.

Emus are wussier. I have defeated an emu with a well-placed blow from a Coach
handbag. (It was trying to steal my lunch.)

Brenda


--
---------
Brenda W. Clough, author of HOW LIKE A GOD, from Tor Books
http://www.sff.net/people/Brenda/

Charlie Stross

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Stoned koala bears drooled eucalyptus spittle in awe
as <jsba...@aol.com> declared:

>I think that within 5 years we're going to have a real private launch industry,
>and that within 10 years you're going to see private commercial manned
>spaceflight too.

If Rotary Rocket, Inc. succeed, make that "within eighteen months" for both.


-- Charlie

Chris Taylor

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Phil Fraering wrote:

> I like Hubble, but compare its costs to Keck, for instance.
>

Not really an even comparison, as Hubble can do things that are
impossible for Keck, and vice versa. It might be more relevant
to ask if the Shuttle (or something like it) is necessary for
things like Hubble which get periodic maintenence in orbit. I
don't know, but I'd guess it could have been done with a much
cheaper system.

-- Chris Taylor

Jordan S. Bassior

unread,
Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Charlie Stross said:

>If Rotary Rocket, Inc. succeed, make that "within eighteen months" for both.

Yes, and I hope they do succeed. Even if they don't, though, there are half a
dozen other firms engaged in similar ventures at present, which is why I think
that it would be very improbable for NONE of them to succeed within 5-10 years.

The face of space travel is going to change, and soon.

Dwight Williams

unread,
Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to

Jordan S. Bassior (jsba...@aol.com) writes:
> Phil Fraering said:
>
>>If we continue to slog at it in the current fashion it will just
>>sit there being a billions-of-dollars-a-year endeavour to keep
>>up manned exploration of low earth orbit along with the odd probe...
>
> I think that within 5 years we're going to have a real private launch industry,
> and that within 10 years you're going to see private commercial manned
> spaceflight too. Then NASA can turn its attention to deep space exploration,
> where it as yet would not be profitable for private firms.

COnsidering all the recent developments on the deep space front, I'd
certainly like to see greater attention paid to that...and the other
planets in *this* system as well...
--
Dwight Williams(ad...@freenet.carleton.ca) -- Orleans, Ontario, Canada
Maintainer/Founder - DEOList for _Chase_ Fandom

Dwight Williams

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to

Charlie Stross (cha...@antipope.org) writes:
> Stoned koala bears drooled eucalyptus spittle in awe
> as <jsba...@aol.com> declared:
>
>>I think that within 5 years we're going to have a real private launch industry,
>>and that within 10 years you're going to see private commercial manned
>>spaceflight too.
>
> If Rotary Rocket, Inc. succeed, make that "within eighteen months" for both.

Whoever these guys are, if they're for real, I'll keep my fingers crossed
for them...

Lucy Kemnitzer

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
On Wed, 15 Sep 1999 10:13:24 -0400, Brenda <clo...@erols.com>
wrote:

>
>
>Douglas Muir wrote:
>
>> > Anyway, I hadn't realized, until I saw them close up, just how damn
>> > _big_ ostriches are. I find it hard to imagine that they have that
>> > many natural predators. Other than humans, of course.
>>
>> They're mean as hell, actually. I've seen a claim that they kill more people
>> in Africa than lions do. An ostrich can kick like one of Niven's
>> puppeteers... given a clean shot, they'll punt your heart out through your
>> shattered spine. Avoid; do not annoy.
>>
>> Doug M.
>
>
>
>Emus are wussier. I have defeated an emu with a well-placed blow from a Coach
>handbag. (It was trying to steal my lunch.)
>
>Brenda


I am having a hard time putting a Coach handbag, an emu, dogtags,
and a duck call into the same image.

Lucy Kemnitzer

Keith

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
Dwight Williams wrote:

> >>I think that within 5 years we're going to have a real private launch industry,
> >>and that within 10 years you're going to see private commercial manned
> >>spaceflight too.
> >
> > If Rotary Rocket, Inc. succeed, make that "within eighteen months" for both.
>
> Whoever these guys are, if they're for real, I'll keep my fingers crossed
> for them...

RRI are the owners of the Roton system, an SSTO that uses a helicopter
style landing system after it slows during re-entry. The advantage is
that it doesn't have to balance on a rocket plume to land and that it
requires less fuel.

--
Keith

Jordan S. Bassior

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
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Dwight Williams said:

>Considering all the recent developments on the deep space front, I'd


>certainly like to see greater attention paid to that...and the other
>planets in *this* system as well...

Indeed. Now we know that Mars probably had, and Europa may have life. And the
Moon has water. Abruptly the Solar System looks friendlier than it has since
the 1960's revealed that our dreams of canals and jungles on Mars and Venus
were false ones.

Orbital infrastructure, of course, also makes interplanetary expeditions
easier. If we have a lot of commercial space launch capability, manned voyages
to Mars or Europa become more practical propositions.

Nancy Lebovitz

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
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In article <19990915132150...@ng-cd1.aol.com>,

Jordan S. Bassior <jsba...@aol.com> wrote:
>Dwight Williams said:
>
>>Considering all the recent developments on the deep space front, I'd
>>certainly like to see greater attention paid to that...and the other
>>planets in *this* system as well...
>
>Indeed. Now we know that Mars probably had, and Europa may have life. And the

I thought it was closer to "Mars *possibly* had life", rather than probably.

>Moon has water. Abruptly the Solar System looks friendlier than it has since
>the 1960's revealed that our dreams of canals and jungles on Mars and Venus
>were false ones.
>
>Orbital infrastructure, of course, also makes interplanetary expeditions
>easier. If we have a lot of commercial space launch capability, manned voyages
>to Mars or Europa become more practical propositions.
>

--
Nancy Lebovitz na...@netaxs.com

Calligraphic button catalogue available by email!

Paul F Austin

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
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Douglas Muir wrote in message <37DF1EE3...@yale.edu>...

>> Anyway, I hadn't realized, until I saw them close up, just how damn
>> _big_ ostriches are. I find it hard to imagine that they have that
>> many natural predators. Other than humans, of course.
>
>They're mean as hell, actually. I've seen a claim that they kill more
people
>in Africa than lions do. An ostrich can kick like one of Niven's
>puppeteers... given a clean shot, they'll punt your heart out through your
>shattered spine. Avoid; do not annoy.
>
The primary predators against ostriches are egg eaters, I imagine.

--
Sincerity is the key in politics.
If you learn to fake that, you've got it made.

Paul F Austin
pau...@digital.net

Andrea Leistra

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
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In article <v08gr7...@127.0.0.1>, Phil Fraering <pgf@lungold> wrote:

>I like Hubble, but compare its costs to Keck, for instance.

This isn't entirely a fair comparison. The real value of space
telescopes doesn't generally come in the optical, but in wavelengths
that get badly attenuated or blocked out entirely in the atmosphere,
like UV and higher, or that suffer from the thermal effects, like
infrared; atmospheric OH lines are very annoying in ground-based infrared
spectroscopy. That's why future space missions are moving away from
optical, and NGST will be optimized for infrared.

There's no doubt that building a space telescope to do something you can
do from the ground is more costly; the whole point is that you can build
space telescopes to do something you _can't_ do from the ground.

--
Andrea Leistra


jeff wiel

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
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Brenda (clo...@erols.com) wrote:


: Douglas Muir wrote:

: > > Anyway, I hadn't realized, until I saw them close up, just how damn


: > > _big_ ostriches are. I find it hard to imagine that they have that
: > > many natural predators. Other than humans, of course.
: >
: > They're mean as hell, actually. I've seen a claim that they kill more people
: > in Africa than lions do. An ostrich can kick like one of Niven's
: > puppeteers... given a clean shot, they'll punt your heart out through your
: > shattered spine. Avoid; do not annoy.

: >
: > Doug M.

I once heard an interview with a South African woman who had killed a big
male ostrich in single combat. It had attacked her while she was out
jogging. She kicked it, and then wrung its neck like a chicken. It was a
life-or-death situation, and, as she put it she did what she had to do.

: Emus are wussier. I have defeated an emu with a well-placed blow from a Coach


: handbag. (It was trying to steal my lunch.)

: Brenda


: --

J. Brad Hicks

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
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In article <19990915111759...@ng-fe1.aol.com>,
jsba...@aol.com (Jordan S. Bassior) wrote:

>Charlie Stross said:
>
>>If Rotary Rocket, Inc. succeed, make that "within eighteen months" for both.
>

>Yes, and I hope they do succeed. Even if they don't, though, there are half a
>dozen other firms engaged in similar ventures at present, which is why I think
>that it would be very improbable for NONE of them to succeed within 5-10 years.
>
>The face of space travel is going to change, and soon.

If we're going to keep up manned spaceflight, it's going to have to. The
existing shuttle fleet isn't aging much more gracefully than Mir (which is
to say, more gracefully than was expected, but approaching end of useful
life). And a slight shift in the winds last night -- say, a slowing down
of the current cold front that just came over the Appalachians, so that it
didn't push Floyd out too sea -- and we could have lost the entire shuttle
fleet to a single disaster. It was on CNN yesterday: none of the shuttle
storage buildings are rated to survive a direct impact with a hurricane of
over Force 3.

And you know, I can't see Congress paying for new ones, at least not until
the next generation space plane designs are done. We could have lost all
manned space flight for much of a decade, unless the private sector could
cook up something soon. And how much short-term profit is there in
=manned= space flight?

--

J. Brad Hicks
U.S. Shamanics & Mechanical Zen
mailto:in...@us-shamanics.com
http://www.us-shamanics.com/brad/


tomwomack00

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
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Chris Taylor <ch...@fcrao1.phast.umass.edu> wrote in message
news:37DFB46C...@fcrao1.phast.umass.edu...

> Phil Fraering wrote:
>
> > I like Hubble, but compare its costs to Keck, for instance.
>
> Not really an even comparison, as Hubble can do things that are
> impossible for Keck, and vice versa. It might be more relevant
> to ask if the Shuttle (or something like it) is necessary for
> things like Hubble which get periodic maintenence in orbit. I
> don't know, but I'd guess it could have been done with a much
> cheaper system.

You need something like the Shuttle if you want in-orbit maintenence (food and
lodging for three astronauts for four days, plus carrying the hardware up); the
Shuttle is convenient because it has a wide working area with its bay doors open
in which you can anchor the satellite while you work on it, whilst I'm not quite
sure how you do that on Rotan.

It might, however be economically better to build a large number of 2.4-meter
optical tube assemblies with one instrument at prime focus of each and launch
them on discardable rockets, reckoning that when the instrument becomes obsolete
or the orbit goes wrong you would launch another satellite; Hubble was $2
billion and each repair mission cost the thick end of $1 billion, and I suspect
six simpler Hubbles would have cost no more than $500 million each.

Tom

Jordan S. Bassior

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
to
J. Brad Hicks said:

>If we're going to keep up manned spaceflight, it's going to have to. The
>existing shuttle fleet isn't aging much more gracefully than Mir (which is
>to say, more gracefully than was expected, but approaching end of useful
>life).

This isn't the last type of shuttle NASA will ever build, though. However, I
agree with you that if there were more payload providers we would be in a
stabler position ... the destruction of our shuttle fleet would essentially
give control of Earth orbit over to foreign fleets, probably the ESA.

>And you know, I can't see Congress paying for new ones, at least not until
>the next generation space plane designs are done. We could have lost all
>manned space flight for much of a decade, unless the private sector could
>cook up something soon. And how much short-term profit is there in
>=manned= space flight?

Not a lot ... YET. We're getting very close to the point where manned orbital
industries will be profitable though.

Coyu

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99
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Pete McCutchen wrote:

>>Q/F - lives in SoCal, drives a Tercel, has tried (and failed) to learn
>>COBOL, descended from Japanese collaborators in Korea, illiterate
>
>Is that last part relevant? I mean, he can't help his parents'
>crimes. Remember, there's no "corruption of blood" here in the US of
>A.

He's proud of it. It's like being proud that one's great-uncle was a
Gauleiter in the Ostlands.

tomwomack00

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Sep 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM9/15/99