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Comment Re: Should read "the intensifying Russia-China spa (Score 1) 262

Atlas 5 has nothing to do with the original Atlas. It has over twice the payload of the Titan II GLV used in Project Gemini (Project Mercury is tiny in comparison). Atlas 5 has almost as much payload as a Titan IV. Had they produced the Atlas 5 Heavy version it would have even more payload than the Titan IV, which is a contemporary rocket to the Space Shuttle, and would look not too dissimilar to a rocket named Rus-M the Russians at one time proposed to replace the Soyuz for launching the PPTS manned capsule. Problem with Atlas 5 is that it uses Russian RD-180 engines on the first stage. Which is why ULA is developing Vulcan to replace it.

The Falcon 9 has even more payload than an Atlas 5 though and all the major components are built in the US.

The engine technology used in both those rockets is easily better than what was available in the late 1960s anywhere in the world. The engines might be smaller than the Saturn V engines but the tech is better. Even the Falcon 9's Merlin-1D engine is better than the Saturn V's F-1 at everything but thrust. Be it ISP, chamber pressure, thrust-to-weight-ratio, reusability, etc. The thrust could have been increased by simply making the engine bigger. SpaceX instead chose to design the Raptor engine which is going to be a state of the art engine better than anything else available right now for the purpose it was designed to do. With technology which was not available during the space race and arguably more advanced than the Space Shuttle Main Engines.

Comment Re: Good (Score 2) 87 :

India ordered 45 MiG-29K aircraft and equipment worth $2.2 billion in two separate orders — in 2004 and 2010 — from Russia. It is the primary combat platform on Vikramaditya, which was acquired from Russia when it was known as the Admiral Gorshkov...
On problems with the engine, the CAG report said: "Since induction in February 2010, 40 engines (62 percent) of twin-engined MiG-29K have been withdrawn from service/rejected due to design-related defects." ...
Additionally, the serviceability of the warplanes was low, ranging from 21.30 percent to 47.14 percent, according to the report. ...
Detailing the defects of the engine on MiG-29K, the report noted that "even as the RD-33 MK engine (mounted on MiG-29K) was considered an advancement over the engine of the MiG-29K, its reliability remains questionable."

Comment Re: Good (Score 2) 87 :

In the past decade, the Indian Air Force has bought hundreds of Su-30MKI fighter jets from Russia. ...
But it turns out, the twin-engine jets have failure-prone motors. Their AL-31FP engines break down with alarming frequency. ...
Parrikar attributed the failures to faulty bearings that contaminated the plane’s oil supply. It seems that metal fatigue led to tiny pieces of metal shearing off the friction-reducing bearings, which then entered the oil system. ...
However, a more general worry for the Air Force is the poor serviceability of the Su-30MKI fleet—meaning the number of aircraft actually available for operations on a daily basis. ...
Based on figures given by Parrikar, only 110 Su-30MKIs are “operationally available.” From a total of more than 200 aircraft that Irkut and HAL had delivered by February 2015, that means 56 percent are ready at any given time. :

According to a report by the Beijing-based Sina Military Network, the Russian-built engine used in the J-10 is prone to malfunction, having caused multiple crashes in recent years. ...
The Russian-built engine had lost power at over 11,000 feet, said pilot Li Tong, who ejected at 1,000 feet following an abortive 198-second attempt to glide the aircraft to a local airfield. ...
According to Chinese naval publications cited by Sina, consultations with Russian providers to find a solution for the AL-31 compatibility issues have been delayed for want of funding.

It's not like this isn't a widely reported problem... It isn't exclusive to the AL-31 series engine used in the Su-27 and derivatives either. The RD-33 engines used in the Mig-29 allegedly have such low lifetimes that most of them have been retired in the countries that actually did buy them. While Mig-21 from the 1960s are still flying...

Comment Re:2 years seems rather excessive (Score 1) 87

IIRC the thing is the Russians operate two production lines in parallel to be able to keep the current Soyuz production output. If the US doesn't order more flights they'll just shutter one of the production lines. Oh and if you know anything about computer hardware, like CPU pipelining, you'll probably know that any pipeline (same model also applies to assembly lines) has startup latency and instruction latency. i.e. it may take a long time to restart production in a line until you get the first unit out, but then the following units come out a lot quicker. Try reading about CPU manufacturing for e.g. time to get first silicon after a tapeout. It takes months to get the first unit out.

Comment Re:years behind (Score 1) 154

Everyone who cared knew it was a Russian SAM that shot down the plane back when it happened. The Russians seemingly thought it was an An-124 Ruslan of the Ukrainian Airforce air resupplying a nearby military base they had surrounded with their little green men. The big question is why was a civilian airliner overflying a known conflict zone to begin with. It's not like that war started that day. It had been going on for a while. Shit happens.

Of course the Russians are going to deny anything involved with their little hybrid war. You think the US wouldn't do a war like this? Remember the Bay of Pigs incident? Heck it's happening in Syria right now.

Comment Re:Don't evernote have any backups? (Score 1) 31

What I don't understand is how someone who claims to be taking a PhD stores everything in one place. I mean I had like 4 backups in different media and in different places. I actually lost my main system once when my HD went to the shitter, but I had a backup so I lost like 1 months work.

Storing years work on one single place? Incredibly nearsighted.

Comment Re:mdsolar (Score 1) 108

Is Britain Secretly Funding Its Nuclear Submarine Program?


Why is the U.K. funding a risky $22 billion joint project with China to produce electricity at twice the cost? mdsolar quotes a nuclear specialist from the University of Oxford: only makes sense if one considers its connection to Britain's military projects -- especially Trident

No it doesn't. The UK already imports a couple GW via horrendously expensive HVDC cable from France. Plus if they wanted it to apply to their defense program they wouldn't be having the Chinese, of all people, build the plant and operate it would they?

Plus Trident is actually a joint project with the US. Now there were claims in the past that some in the UK were considering pooling military nuclear research with France, including the nuclear submarine and SLBM program, but this seems like the wrong way to go about it if they actually were doing it.

Not to mention the whole QE fiasco. The UK-France connection didn't work for the carriers.

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