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Comment: Re:Speaking of the future... (Score 1) 108

by FatLittleMonkey (#47504151) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

How about lobbying for increased funding to NASA for the things it needs,

Two reasons. 1) NASA's funding has been relatively constant, as a percentage of the Federal budget, for 30 years. Lobbying for more funding has resulted in precisely zero effect.

2) It would be worthless giving NASA more funding if it is incapable of managing the funding it already receives, additional funding would be entirely absorbed by the flagship programs, such as SLS/Orion, or on the science side JWST. NASA could already increase the amount of mission it buys with its existing budget by spending it better. And that agency would actually deserve more funding.

And for the record, I wasn't calling for more funding for COTS/CC. (Especially since COTS is finished development and is operational.) But for more programs to be designed like COTS. Multi-vendor, fixed-funding fixed-goal, payment-on-delivery programs. Eliminating the cost-plus model. Eliminating the single massive program that everyone throws their pet dev project into.

For example: There are calls to replace the Russian-made RD-180 engine on Atlas V. This will inevitably end up being an eight year, sole-source, multi-billion dollar, FAR (cost plus) contract for ULA (subcontracting to Aerojet, subcontracting to...) to develop a local version of the RD-180. Every spec will be spelled out in excruciating detail, even though the USAF will invariably approve variations due to the resulting engine under-performing. Probably late and over-budget. All to replicate a surplus 1960's Russian engine that operates in a way US engines traditionally don't.

If, otoh, the same funding was used in a COTS-style multi-vendor program, you would end up with 3 or more brand new engine families, delivering a hell of a lot faster than 8 years, with multiple redundancy for vendor failure. This would not only solve the actual problem (being dependent on Russian engines), it would stimulate a whole new generation of low-cost rocket development, and a whole new generation of engine-development engineers. That knowledge-base could then be set a new task of building the next generation of (say, larger) rocket engines.

Comment: Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (Score 1) 667

by FatLittleMonkey (#47503951) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

I only ask because Singapore Airlines said right after the shootdown that:
"Customers may wish to note that Singapore Airlines flights are not using Ukraine airspace."

Flightradar24. Singapore Air Flight SQ351, 2014-07-17.

SA lied and are being shredded in social media for that comment. Finnair did exactly the same thing. Both have done the "if anyone was offended" non-apology and claimed they were referring to future flights.

Comment: Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (Score 3, Insightful) 667

by FatLittleMonkey (#47498683) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

No. I'm pointing how how empty it is today, compared to the airspace around it. Obviously keeping such a big chunk of airspace empty is something that the whole airline industry would want to avoid like the plague.

If Nyder had his way, all of Ukraine, plus Russian and European airspace near Ukraine, plus Iran, Iraq, Syria , Israel, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, the Pakistan/Indian border, Kashmir, the Strait of Hormuz, Sea of Japan, South China Sea, etc etc, would all be kept clear of civilian air traffic at all times.

And then he'd complain about the density of air traffic in the remaining few routes, and the inherent safety risk.

Comment: Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (Score 1) 667

by FatLittleMonkey (#47498033) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

That's the same point looneycyborg was attempting to make

You might not have realised that Loony was invoking or just naively repeating certain conspiracy theory Shibboleths, "the plane was a set up, why would civilians be in a warzone?", "whose interests were really served by accusing Russia?" etc.

Comment: Re:Speaking of the future... (Score 5, Insightful) 108

by FatLittleMonkey (#47497955) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

NASA, other than a place for research money to go to die.

NASA still produces excellent research. PICA heat shield and the FasTrac experimental rocket which SpaceX developed into PICA-X and Merlin 1. HL-20, which became Dreamchaser. Transhab, became Bigelow. And so on.

It's on the operations side that they suck. Shuttle. ISS. Constellation/Area. SLS. Orion.

NASA would be an amazing place if you could divert the $3b from SLS/Orion and the $3b from ISS into aerospace research and competitive programs like COTS/Commercial Crew.

Comment: Re:lol (Score 5, Informative) 667

by FatLittleMonkey (#47497637) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

The commander of the eastern Ukrainian militia is a Moscow native and "former" GRU (Russian military intelligence) officer with no ties to Ukraine prior to the war.

No-one disputes that. Not on either side, Ukraine or Russian. The only dispute is over that "former". The Ukrainian government says he's still an active duty officer taking direct orders. They even know the name of his immediate GRU commanding officer in Moscow. Russia claimed he "retired" a month before he entered Ukraine.

The "Prime Minister" of the break away territory is a Moscow native. He ran a right wing news service for several years, with the protection and support of the Russian government. He was widely believed to be FSB. He had no ties to Ukraine before the war. He was sent into Crimea as a political "consultant" on behalf of Moscow during crisis there, then "retired" and moved on to eastern Ukraine.

No-on disputes any of that. The only dispute is whether he's FSB and whether he's still working for the FSB.

It seems that it's only really the western media which persists in treating it like a spontaneous uprising by local (ethnic-Russian) Ukrainians.

Comment: Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (Score 5, Informative) 667

by FatLittleMonkey (#47497543) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

There's also question of motivation. Why would soldiers waste expensive missiles for some irrelevant passenger plane?

To shoot down Ukrainian military aircraft. They had already shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian fighter within the previous week. They were on a roll.

Why would be there a plane over a warzone in the first place? That just doesn't make sense.

It was a major air route. There were over 50 civilian airliners over eastern Ukraine at the time MH-17 was shot down. And about 24 aircraft flew through the precise area MH-17 was hit, over the previous day. There was a Singapore Airlines jet close enough to MH-17 at the time for the pilots to see it explode.

Aircraft are currently flying over northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel...

Comment: Re:04.10.2010 (Score 1) 503

by FatLittleMonkey (#47487491) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Interesting differences. In the Iranian-655 incident, the US admitted it's actions. And Russia used it as an excuse to demand that the US withdraw from the region.

In the Siberian-1812 incident, Russia immediately went into cover-up mode - along with Ukraine, it's then-ally - with Putin claiming that it wasn't even technically possible for the missile to hit.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.