But good for Finland!
But good for Finland!
SpaceX and Boeing may use their own funding to work on whatever they like, but they CANNOT charge the Government for the work they perform during the stop work. If the protest is not sustained and the contracts are left in place, the net effect would then be that they would complete their contracts for less than the negotiated cost. I don't know what sort of contract they have with NASA, but for a fixed-price contract it will come out in the wash and they'll be reimbursed for the work they did on their own dime during the protest (in effect, but not strictly legally).
If the contract is instead cost-plus (incentive or fee), they will come in under their bid and be: 1) unable to recover their investment, because it's illegal to bill the work after the fact if you weren't authorized to do the work, and 2) in hot water with NASA, because it's illegal for the Government to accept the work for free.
In short, reputable contractors do NOT perform work on Government contracts when told to stop. It's bad all around.
It's clear that our failure to respond to the extraterrestrials shorter burst of gamma rays have led them to try to get our attention with much bigger and more powerful technology.
Will someone please answer that phone?!
And they are complete and helpless victims of "open spying by satellites", with no spy satellites of their own.
When China finally reaches the modern era and actually lets its people have free access to information, such ignorant posts as yours might become less common. Well, no, this is Slashdot.
Then they conducted a reckless ASAT test at relatively high LEO altitudes and nearly doubled the number of trackable debris at that altitude [see Johnson Space Center's Orbital Debris Quarterly Newsletter for the chart]. At that altitude, the pieces of their defunct weather satellite will remain a hazard for many decades. That got them uninvited.
China needs to decide whether the PLA is running the show or not, and decide whether they want to be a responsible space-faring nation... or not.
It's all a matter of perspective.
A pending reversal of the Earth's magnetic dipole may somewhat increase atmospheric scouring, but you must remember that only the dipole moment is going to reverse direction. The higher order (e.g. quadrupole) moments won't go anywhere and will still deflect the solar wind. You'll just get aurora in unusual places for a while.
The idea has been tried before (big surprise). The Russians used to deliberately blow up their satellites or rocket bodies, and in doing so produced an enormous amount of debris. They eventually saw that this wasn't the best idea.
"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan