Y'herd thisun? 

“You can export from and to any data format... once you know the middleware trick.”

from this classic page by smith

Why I joined the BIS (again)


The last Shuttle launches are now underway and so with each one we get full out coverage from all the previously silent major new orgs, and with each segment is the "reading the queue cards" lament about how NASA is pulling out its pockets to find spare change and the US is out of the picture.  Thank you Mr. Obama, Mr. Bush, Mr. Clinton and all the way back to Nixon killing Apollo.

And you read all about the Russians building the new Soyuz dual use ICBM heavies for shots starting in 2011 from the ESA's French Guiana Centre and you wonder along with the talking heads why oh why and how oh how did we lose the ball on that huge market (and isn't that facility now going to be putting dual use tech about the same geoloc as we all were worried about with Cuba in 62?).

And you know that Iran has already successfully launched two sats using dual use tech (with some help from our Russian friends, but still, from Sacred Persian ground)... and you scratch your head when you didn't and don't hear a peep about that every time the newsdoodes talk of Iran having nukes but 'no launch capabilities'.

And maybe you even assemble the reports of the launches as bullet points and send them off to FOX-MSNBC-CNN but hear nothing on air and nothing back.

And you read your annual updates from the Space Foundation about all the countries in the world's relatively small space budgets even compared to NASA and not including the bigger DOD arena... and scratch your head again over Japan being the proven world's leader in Asteroid retrieval and Russia being the only ones who really can get to and from the ISS now.

And you know that Boeing and Lockheed and the brunt of the sub-biggies are all pretty much done setting up the cooperative agreements ("ULA/U.S.A." being Boeing and Lockheed and both of them are doing co-ownerships with Russia's Energia national Space Agency).

And you just can't get it ... America has a truly screwy and perhaps even corrupt government money system, but still.  Beyond even the most allowable pork skim you have to wonder: Where is all of that money going?

And then come May you get your monthly SpaceFlight Magazine mailed from London's British Interplanetary Society and there... not in your expensive weekly Space News 'trade paper of the Space Industry'... there in the Brit's for-the-people journal you see it on page 209 (vol 52, #6):

"First Air Force spaceplane launches into blackout"

"The X-37B, which has been likened to a scaled-down space shuttle, is unpiloted and will carry out the first autonomous re-entry and landing in the history of the US space programme."...

"Built by Boeing Phantom Works..."

"The craft is planned to land within nine months at a military air base in California either Edwards or Vandenberg..."

"The Centaur upper stage put the vehicle in a 450km circular orbit at around 33 degrees inclination, its official desgination is OTV-1 or USA 212"

A full page, from the Brits.

Not a peep from us.

I have GOT to stop watching FOX and CNN and MSNBC.  What they had me thinking was a full spectrum of reporting just ain't as good as watching the US from more "transparent" angles.

Join the BIS... get Spaceflight Magazine, it's a bit pricey this side fo the pond but they do a great job.

>>update July3rd 2010.  Now you can hit around the web and get a few X-37B paragraphs here and there from hereabouts.  But still not from any of your first, second, or third choices for "news"

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