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Comment: Re:Ouch (Score 1) 74

by mbone (#48191099) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

I'm raised protestantian, as Martin Luther defined it.
Certainly there is no trinity.

Uh, my understanding is that Lutherans subscribe to the Nicene Creed. So do the Baptists (Southern and otherwise), Methodists, Presbyterians, the Catholics and the Orthodox, and in fact every Christian church I have ever been in*.

The Trinity, and the divinity of Christ (that "true God from true God" part), is built into the Nicene Creed. It is a feature, not a bug. You may not believe in it, but don't go saying all those churches don't know what they are doing when they recite it.

* You will get bonus points here by intelligently bringing up the Filioque.

Comment: Re:To me, this is good news (Score 1) 74

by mbone (#48182389) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

Well, it's an analogy. Generally, in the spacecraft case, the plug is just pulled, for a bunch of different reasons (which is why it doesn't happen all that often). In this case, L'Garde was trying to reuse a bunch of technology they developed for previous inflatable structures in space. This led to the sail inflation mechanism weighing more than the Sunjammer itself, which is not desirable, and likely not what you would do if you started from scratch. No new contractor would want to come in and try and make the L'Garde proprietary technology work, and NASA is well aware of that. So, there will be sails flown relatively soon, but they won't look like L'Garde's Sunjammer.

Comment: Re:To me, this is good news (Score 1) 74

by mbone (#48182265) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

Oh, yes. FAME (to pick my previous example) absolutely deserved to be canceled. It hurt some people I have real respect for, but there it is. I am sure the current situation is pretty similar. (This is analogous to firing a contractor when they are halfway finished building an addition to your house - it is so messy and represents such a real loss of money, and also such a loss of face, that it is almost never done without some real provocation.)

Comment: Re:Units hurt the brain (Score 1) 74

by mbone (#48182223) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

It's worse than that. There are slugs, pounds and poundals, and (IMHO) anyone who doesn't immediately convert these units to MKS is just being silly.

Sunjammer was to have a total surface area of ~ 1,200 square metres, so its thrust at 1 AU would have been 2 x 1361 W / m^2 x 1200 / c ~ 0.01 Newtons (assuming the sail had a near perfect reflectivity). On the surface of the Earth, that thrust would be generated by a weight of 0.01 / 9.8 ~ 1 gm, or ~ 0.002 pounds.

Comment: Re:Ouch (Score 2, Informative) 74

by mbone (#48182131) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

while that was an absolutely stupid thing to do, its not really relevant to the topic at hand here now is it??

It's not even really true; it's just bamboozlement for people who want to be bamboozled. If you listen to the actual fracking interview, he says that his goals, on this particular trip to the Middle East include outreach to the Muslim world, including reminding them in their role in the development of science. That is a non-surprising goal for an official trip to a particular region. I have a news flash - at the recent IAC meeting, he congratulated the Indians on the initial success of their MOM Mars mission. I suppose the Telegraph will take offense of that too.

I have met Mr. Bolden several times, and had the opportunity to see him in action. He is an excellent NASA administrator who is seriously focused on "boots on Mars," not self-esteem initiatives.

Comment: Ouch (Score 1) 74

by mbone (#48181779) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

A vote of no confidence. I remember when NASA canceled the USNO FAME satellite - they said it was over the budget, but really it was over the management team. I expect that there is something similar here - fortunately, there is still NASA Marshall's Solar Scout, which is much smaller and cheaper than the Sunjammer.

Comment: Re:Embalm, Burn, Bury (Score 1) 132

Oh, and most of these are not legally treaties, although they (unconstitutionally) try and have the effect of treaties (again, they do this precisely because they know they could never get an actual treaty with the desired terms through the Senate) . The one good side of doing it that way is that a future President could abrogate the existing agreements at the stroke of a pen.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.

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