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+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"
User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Thirty Four

Journal by mcgrew

Engine
An alarm woke me up at quarter to seven and for once I didn't mind a bit, and in fact I was glad it woke me up. I was in the middle of a really weird dream. A herd of cows was stampeding towards me, only they were running on their hind legs and somehow carrying big butcher knives in their front hooves, all singing a Chartov song while coming at me. Too many westerns, I guess.
It was engine seventeen, somethin

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Journal: Morgan Freeman on Mars

Journal by mcgrew

As I was going through Google News this morning I ran across an item about actor Morgan Freeman talking to a couple of astronauts on the ISS at a round table discussion at JPL before an audience of what looked like two or three hundred people, all of whom were JPL employees.

He was there with the producer of his show on the Science Channel Through the Wormhole and with its writer, a physicist.

Comment: Re: Local testing works? (Score 1) 772

by guspasho (#47497047) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Yes, let's have a minimum wage adjusted for inflation. Then it would be around $21/hr, which is what the minimum wage would be if it had kept up with inflation since it was instituted. Yes, at one point the minimum wage was a true, reasonable living wage. That's why our parents and grandparents remember being able to do so much more with their money than we can now, like buying houses right out of college.

Comment: Re: Local testing works? (Score 1) 772

by guspasho (#47497009) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

No, progressives advocate income redistribution because extreme income inequality chokes economic growth. Give money to the people who have none, and they are the likeliest to spend it, and spending money is how you grow jobs and an economy, you grow the pie. Conversely, restrict all the money to the hands of an increasingly elite few, and nobody will have money to spend, the economy will be effectively limited to the handful of wealthy people while the rest of us are shut out. Businesses will close up, people lose their jobs, that's one of the surest ways to kill an economy, the pie shrinks. Time and again this has been borne out, e.g. in the article here.

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Journal: Nobots Chapter Thirty Three 2

Journal by mcgrew

Coffee
An alarm woke me up at quarter after six. What the hell? Fire in P117? I put on a robe, and as I trudged down there Tammy was running into the commons. I wondered what was going on.
I got to Passenger quarters 117 and it was a damned drill, the light wasn't flashing and I didn't smell any smoke. I really didn't expect to, because except for Tammy's quarters none of the rest of the passenger section was occupied and

Comment: Re:Finally! (Score 2) 472

by mcgrew (#47489035) Attached to: World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

It might cause a few deaths but it also sustains the multi billion dollar prison industry and employs well over 1 million people in the US alone

None of those jobs help the economy. Why should people be employed in occupations that have no benefit to society whatever and are in fact detrimental to society?

The government profits from illegal drugs even more than drug cartels do.

Colorado's pot legalization and the multi-billion dollar alcohol industry shows that governments profit a lot more from legal, regulated drugs than outlawing them.

I've known drug addicts, and the WHO is also right about compulsory addiction treatment; compulsory treatment flat out doesn't work. The addict has to want to stop, and it's very hard even when they want to. Alcoholics and other drug addicts relapse more often than not after treatment.

However, should they ever invent the fictional drug in the novel I'm writing (see my journal, the first crude draft is being posted there) I sure hope it's not legal!

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Journal: July 20, 1969 4

Journal by mcgrew

In 1969 I was a seventeen year old nerd in high school, using my slide rule to cheat in math class. I was probably the only one in the school who even had a clue how a slide rule worked, let alone owned one.

Comment: Re:Evolution (Score 1) 253

by Bruce Perens (#47485313) Attached to: New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

:-)

You make it sound like starving people are getting fat too.

If they are becoming obese, the particular individual has a surplus of caloric intake, if only for this year or month. This is not to say that they have proper nutrition. So I am not at all clear that the fact that there is obesity in the third world is confounding evidence.

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Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Thirty Two

Journal by mcgrew

Kowalski
The CEO's fone buzzed; it was time to look over the papers from engineering staff, then meet them in the engineering department. He pulled them up on his tablet.
Most of the answers to his queries were interesting and original. He noted that every single one of his engineers rated Robertson as the worst engineer in the shop, regardless of their own engineering specialty, and the one they least wanted to be chief.

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