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Comment Re:Could be done by a single person in theory (Score 1) 128

One of the things SpaceX had been investigating from the beginning was a bang heard in distance before the explosion.

I really doubt this is what happened. But if it did... my god, this would be one of the biggest scandals in the entire history of spaceflight. Even if it was an employee acting on their own.

Comment Re: Insightful (Score 1) 128

Even ignoring the issue of whether a shock can make LOX react with aluminum (it can) or composites (it can very easily), the failure was in the helium system. The high pressure helium system, which stores all of the pressurant for the launch. Yes, if you shoot a pressurized COPV, it most definitely will release its pressurant in very short order.

That's not to back up this shooting hypothesis. But concerning whether a bullet could have caused the failure if present, I don't think there's any question about it. I don't think it should come as a surprise to anyone, but in case it does: shooting at fueled, pressurized rockets is a bad idea.

Comment Re:FAA is barred from legislating by sec 331 (Score 1) 127

So no, they cannot legislate for model aircraft. It isn't that they did not bother to legislate for model aircraft. IT'S THAT THE LAW DOES NOT LET THEM.

As a point of clarity, here, the FAA doesn't legislate anything. They regulate, with statutory authority FROM the legislature. Regardless the law that congress passed to prevent exactly this sort of nonsense is exactly why the Obama administration took advantage of what amounts to a loophole - they didn't use the FAA to require this absurd toy registration - they used the Department Of Transportation, which isn't explicitly mentioned in the law that prevents the FAA from requiring kids to be placed on publicly searchable federal databases for having the audacity to use 10-ounce plastic toys.

Comment Re:I don't think there's much of a case here. (Score 1) 127

The drone community has brought this on themselves entirely.

Please cite the number of tragic injuries and other horribleness resulting per year from the use of 10-ounce plastic mall copter toys that warrants the criminalization of their unregistered use ... compared to, say, the HOURLY rate of injuries in the country that result from, say, bicycle or skateboard use in public spaces. Really: get specific.

There are millions of "drones" in use with hundreds of millions of in-air hours booked. Surely there's a long parade of horrific accidents, injuries and death resulting from all of those millions of devices being operated? I'm carefully tuned into the topic, and no ... it's not real. This absurd toy regulation scheme is completely disconnected from any real-world risk (and we now have YEARS of real-world experience to examine), and the only real risk that people have reason to think about (actual malicious operation) isn't ever going to be impacted by rules anyway - because bad guys think such things are hilarious.

Comment Re:Common sense solution (Score 1) 127

People behave just fine.

Man, you must never leave the house.

OK, since you get out of the house so much, you've no doubt got lots of anecdotes and hopefully at least a few examples of the countless tragedies that have occurred because 14 year old kids with 10-ounce plastic copters from the mall kiosk weren't properly put in criminal jeopardy for failing to appear on a publicly searchable federal database of toy owners. There must be many, many injuries and deaths associated with this activity to warrant such a thing, right? Right?

Comment Re:Toys (Score 2) 127

When you can't play with your toys in a safe manner you get your toys taken away.

There are now many millions of these toys in use, with hundreds of millions of hours in the air. Please cite your long list of examples of these toys being used in such a dangerous way that the long list of injuries and mayhem require a publicly-browsable federal registry of their owners and the criminalization and fining of kids who fail to register their 10 ounce plastic copter with the federal government.

More people are hurt using soccer balls, garden tools, and bicycles in a given day than have been hurt by anyone, ever, using a little plastic toy copter. Why is your first instinct to involve government control, lists, fees, and public databases of toy owners?

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