I was thrilled with how solidly Outrage backed OpenGL, including the driver-finding service you guys set up. Too bad Direct3D took hold so strongly.
A Descent reboot would need someone with serious vision to translate the greatness of the game forward a decade(!) The style of play was such a good fit to that era of technology--another issue, I think, with D3. It wasn't mammoth in terms of sales, either, IIRC...odd blend of pure action and cerebral controls (although I did get a kick out of the fact the PC Gamer reviewer puked while playing it.) Seems Volition made the right call going with Red Faction. Wish they'd take that money and make FS3, though.
TFA does not mention warranty
You mean on the first page of TFA, in the giant chart that compares features, the first line that isn't prices?
The additional drawings don't address the biggest problem: Cannon is one rotten mountain. It's regularly crumbling apart in pieces large and small. (Sort of the reason the Old Man fell in the first place.) I can't envision trying to build a system of tunnels in crumbly rock and then hanging a walkway out in front. Then there's the question of what happens when a boulder from above hits all that glass.
Satellites are usually built in pairs just in case one of them fails during launch
Not usually...at least none of the NASA or AFRL projects I'm familiar with has a full-build spare. It's not entirely uncommon to have a second of some of the instruments, and it's pretty common to have enough spare parts to build another copy of an instrument. (Much easier to buy a couple of spares up front rather than wait around if someone screws something up.) Then testing and integration can go much more quickly and cheaply, having done it once before. It still can take awhile, though.
(Incidentally, the title and summary for this article suck...the OCO didn't fail, it was lost in a launch failure, and it didn't "fail its mission," it didn't get a chance to start. That's like saying your car broke down because someone ran a red light and T-boned it. No offense intended to the launch team.)