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Submission + - OCO2's 1st map of CO2 output (

WindBourne writes:

This past summer, NASA launched its first satellite devoted to measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that is driving global warming.

.... scientists with the space agency unveiled the first carbon maps obtained by the spacecraft, named the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2.

This map is little bit more than a month's worth of data.
Note that the large CO2 emissions in the southern hemisphere is due to Ag with a temporary burns, while the emissions in the north are basically at its lowest points. Also note the CO2 to the east of China over the Pacific.

Submission + - SolarCity to be panel maker in America. (

WindBourne writes: Following the Elon Musk recipe, Solar City has been using solar panels from China making them the largest importers of panels from China.
As of today, they have bought Silevo, a panel maker. In addition, they are announcing that they will build a new GW factory in Buffalo New York, with replication of that factory to follow.

Submission + - Branson wants to work with USA on IFR (

WindBourne writes: British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has written to President Barack Obama seeking help commercializing an alternative type of nuclear reactor known as an Integral Fast Reactor. This contrast with Bill Gates who is approaching China to share American technology with them.

Submission + - China 'has up to 3,000 nuclear weapons hidden in t (

WindBourne writes: China may be using thousands of miles of underground tunnels to hide a nuclear missile arsenal that is far bigger than current estimates, according to researchers.

They spent three years translating secret military documents, scouring the internet and studying satellite images for clues – and concluded that China may have as many as 3,000 missiles, compared with general estimates of between 80 and 400.

Submission + - China says Space Weapons are inevitable. (


Submission + - Bigelow Aerospace pushes "Orion Lite" conc (


Submission + - Orion to shrink in crew size (

WindBourne writes: Due to Ares I's payload limits, it appears that Orion is about to reduce to a crew of 4 rather than 6 for LEO. Nothing is being said about Moon access which was expected to be 4. Even though the ISS is about to jump to 6 crewmen, this will have no impact since it is expected that Soyuz will be there as well. But will it have an impact on Congress's mind set? With yesterday's news about Ares V slipping, is this the opening that Direct is looking for?

Submission + - Cap and Trade or VAT

WindBourne writes: Regardless if you believe in Global Warming or Not, it appears that the US is about to join the rest of the west in combating CO2 output. At this time, Obama and the Dem's are pushing cap and trade. This approach was developed by Bush I as a means of dealing with SINGLE point of pollution emissions. That approach makes sense for a LIMITED number of emitters. But CO2 is dominantly from our autos, power plants, and manufacturing. In addition, China has moved to be the largest emitter of CO2 (as well as pollutions). This is in large part due to companies moving manufacturing bases there, while the Chinese gov has ignored the pollution problems. Since Kyoto, China has promised to address CO2 if US joined in.
Now, china has changed its tune. In particular, it is claiming that it and other developing countries should not have to control CO2 for anything that is to be exported, while insisting that they west, particularly the US, uphold the current Kyoto. Of course, under cap and trade that will encourage more commerce to shift elsewhere, while ignoring the real issue; solving the CO2, and perhaps pollution issues.
Since Kyoto, the nations involved have been shown to be cheating at all aspects of it. Basically, all the participating countries have tried to argue that their cap is much higher, so that it does not harm their industry. IOW, it should be seen that Cap/Trade does not really cut production since all knows that it will in fact, put the country at a disadvantage. It seems that the ONLY way to do this, is to shift the Kyoto protocols from cap/trade to a time incrementally increasing VAT on all goods (those produced locally as well as imported) applied based on where the good came from and how much emissions from there (ideally, including pollution). That would give an advantage to countries such as Japan and France who have moved heavily towards nuke power and encourage AE. In addition, it would encourage ALL countries to lower emissions.
My question is, does something like this violate trade agreements? This is not a tariff, but a VAT that would be applied on all goods. Why do many of the Kyoto protocol countries, and now the US, seem to be preferring the cap/trade over a VAT (or a "sin" tax)? This appears to be the only way to level the playing field and get all nations to solve this problem.

Submission + - China's new military space stations coming soon (

WindBourne writes: China will be launching 2 news space stations this next year. One is for their civil program as ran by the military, while the second is openly for the military. It appears that their will be multiples of the military version to be launched in 2010. It appears that they are developing the same U.S. Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) that was canceled in 1969. In addition, it appears that China is accelerating their timelines on a number of the earlier space announcements.

Submission + - Google and others are investing in geo-thermal (

WindBourne writes: While Pickens, anschutz and others are investing billions pretty much into Wind energy, Google, Paul Allen, Kleiner Perkins, and others are investing into geo-thermal power. In particular, 2 new start-ups in AltaRock for EGS (fracturing deep rocks and sending water through the cracks to be heated) and Potter Drilling for new deep drilling rigs, and a small grant to Southern Methodist University Geothermal Lab for mapping heat. Just google's investment alone is more money into geo-thermal than USA feds has invested in geo-thermal. Various European countries have several small RD operations while Australia is building a 1/2 GW plant. Unlike Wind and Solar PV, geo-thermal is capable of being a base power plant. That is it can run 24x7. Solar thermal is the only other main Alternative systems that can run as base load power( with cheap salt thermal storage ). Solar thermal has 10's of gigawatts expected to come on line over the next 4-8 years.
It appears that a number of companies want to make money by producing lots of much cheaper cleaner energy.


Submission + - second COTs selection to be delayed? (

WindBourne writes: Rocketplane Kistler threatened NASA or pay them another 10 million or else they would involve Congress. Apparently, the house of rep. are now involved and telling NASA to not chose the next selection until the issue with kistler is resolved. In addition, they are calling for Government Accountability Office to investigate the situation. Finally, the reps are calling for the COTS to be cut by 1/3 and provides only 160M, of the requested 263M. So, the question is, will kistler be able to get by with this blackmail? Will a very real attempt to replace the shuttle be scuttled by the US congress?

Submission + - Bigelow cancels next text mission, but speeds up. (


Submission + - Ever wondered how it feels to be a billionare?

WindBourne writes: Here is an excellent story about Elon Musk and watching his 2'nd launch. Elon Musk is betting his 2x fortunes for the chance to put mankind into orbit CHEAP. Even now, his timing could not be better. It appears that America will be without a man-rated launcher (again) for at least several years. Spacex could be the only American player during that time. If so, then he will be launching not just people to the ISS, but to multiple Bigelow space ships and doing cargo. But then again, with another failure or 2, he may end up broker than he was at age 12. Now the question is, will he also be able to build a launcher that is cheaper and bigger than the planned ares V due out in a decade?

Submission + - Gates to go into space, before Paul Allen?

WindBourne writes: Paul Allen has a long history of being the true dare devil with regards to being on the ground floor of businesses. Now, in spite of Paul's funding of the winning X-Prize, it would appear that Bill Gates may actually beat Paul Allen into space. Of course, one possible side effect would be that Gates would get into the space race, perhaps funding some of the current attempts such as t/space or even a lunar base.

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?