2020·05·30 KMAG Daily Thread

Back to Space!!

Obola made a mistake when he killed NASA’s manned spaceflight capability.

But perhaps not in the way you’re thinking.

We’ve been having to hitch rides to the ISS on Russian boosters ever since the Space Transportation System (the “Space Shuttle”) was decommissioned in 2011. At the time Obola said it was to encourage private enterprise to take up the slack, and NASA should concentrate on exploration…Lunar and Mars missions, unmanned exploration; the sorts of things NASA excels at.

This is actually a stated rationale I can agree with. (Settle down…I know it wasn’t the real reason.) If we are to become a truly spacefaring people…should we be leaving regular transportation to the government? The same government that couldn’t build an Obolacare website or that takes twenty years to widen an interstate?

And let’s face it, when Trump is no longer in charge, that’s the government we’ll have–grossly incompetent or grossly slow and cautious.

No. Get out of the way, and let innovative companies take it on. And so we have SpaceX and Boeing building transportation systems, the Dragon and the CST-100 Starliner, respectively. NASA contracts with them for ISS transportation. But unlike past NASA contracts, where they buy the equipment (Atlas, Delta, or Titan boosters, etc) from somebody but then manage it themselves, NASA is letting SpaceX run the show today.

It’s the same structure as buying airline tickets.

If space travel is ever to become routine and common–if we are ever to become a spacefaring species on anything more than an ad-hoc basis–this is the way it’s gotta be. Private companies running a service, that the government can buy–or not. They expect to have other customers.

This is what Obola dangled in front of us as he canceled the Space Shuttle [Edit–no, he canceled the system that was supposed to replace the shuttle]. He was almost certainly pulling a bait-and-switch of some sort. There’s be some reason not to put people on the SpaceX Dragon2 and the Boeing Starliner, some excuse…delay, delay. Just like how we knew he wanted to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline but had to clothe it in ordinary procedural bullsh*t.

In neither case did he bargain on his successor being a loyal American.

But that happened, and now we stand on the threshold of private manned orbital spaceflight. People are even booking tourist flights with companies planning to use the Dragon2!!

Alas it’s still only for people with huge amounts of cash…but it’s happening nonetheless.

Dragon2? They named it after ME? Cool!!!!

The Dragon2 capsule that (we hope) will go into orbit today can hold up to seven people, but typically is set up for four, with the remaining space given over to cargo that can’t be exposed to vacuum. It can run autonomously, or it can be controlled by astronauts. (Some of the space tourism flights are slated to have no human pilot.) Shots of the interior look “clean” rather than crammed full of instruments and controls–imagine the cabin of an airliner, not the cockpit, though even the passenger space on an airliner can look a bit “busy.” It does look a lot more spacious than cattle class on an airliner.

That’s the pressurized capsule. There’s an non-pressurized “trunk” right behind it, a cylindrical section that can carry cargo that need not be pressurized, in other words, cargo that can withstand vacuum. The trunk is abandoned before returning to Earth.

The Commander of the flight will be Douglas Hurley, joined by Robert Behnken as Joint Operations Commander. Hurley was also the pilot on the very last Space Shuttle mission, on the Atlantis. I’ll bet he’s looking forward to this! The spacecraft’s name should be announced today (if the mission is not again scrubbed).

They’ll dock with the International Space Station on Sunday. Before then they will test the spacecraft in orbit. The mission is otherwise expected to be automated, with the crew only taking over if something goes wrong.

The stage lifting the capsule will return to earth and land on a barge out in the Atlantic ocean, ready for re-use. This is something SpaceX has been doing for a few years now.

Once at the ISS, the crew will spend 30 to 90 days up there, and return in the same capsule for a splashdown in the Atlantic. The capsule, too, is intended to be reused.

If this launch doesn’t happen, (and the weather does look about as iffy as it did on Wednesday) then the next window is on Sunday, shortly after 3 PM ET. As in seven seconds after 3 PM.

These launch windows are exact, because the ISS is moving at 4.75 miles per second, 17,100 miles per hour, and it does little good to get to orbit when the ISS isn’t in the right location. Missing by a minute means missing by 285 miles, about the “height” of Colorado on a map. Fuel would have to be expended to change the Dragon2’s orbit, then change it back once it has synced up with the ISS. And that fuel would cut into payload. And it’s called a payload because it, and only it, is what the customer is actually paying for.

The estimates are that there is one chance in 276 that the crew won’t survive the mission, and one chance in 60 that the mission will fail with the crew being safe. (This is actually a better safety record than the Space Shuttle had–let’s hope that in the years to come we exceed it by a huge margin.)

It has been nine LONG years, but we’re going back to space, in a way that long-term will be vastly better than clunky government projects that take decades. It was painful, but I believe 20 years from now we will look back and say “it was worth it.”

So what was Obola’s mistake? As I alluded to before, he was probably trying to kill US manned spaceflight permanently. Turning NASA into nothing but an SJW advocacy organization.

Instead, he has done us some good.

Which can’t possibly be what he intended.

Oops! Sorry, Shithead! And no do-overs, not while in prison.

The Future

Space travel is expensive, and will continue to be expensive. We’re no longer throwing away the entire spacecraft after every flight, but they must still go through expensive refurbishment after every flight–and then the launch vehicle has to be re-assembled. SpaceX is doing this more cleanly than NASA, but even so, it’d be soooo much nicer if we could get to orbit with one stage. “Single State To Orbit” (SSTO) is the holy grail of space travel. It’s just out of our grasp, but close isn’t good enough.

Imagine if that spacecraft could be turned around and reused in a week…or a day.

That was the aim of this program…a valiant effort that fell short.


Add to that the fact that if you can get into and out of orbit…you can go anywhere on Earth in less than an hour, because a round trip in orbit is about ninety minutes. Imagine the Space Force delivering commandos to…well, fill in the blank! On an hour’s notice. Of course, that’s a lot harder, because you’re unlikely to be able to gas the sucker back up in hostile territory. Doing TWO orbits and reentries on one tank of gas is well beyond us. So far. But assuming a friendly destination, imagine what we can do if we can deliver something to (say) Diego Garcia in an hour.

And actually going to orbit will be significantly cheaper. As routine as the Pan Am flights in 2001? Maybe!

Of course the real answer is the space elevator, but that’s totally beyond our capabilities right now. We basically need SSTO before we can even think about building something that ambitious in orbit. The fundamental problem is we’re stuck “down here,” and have to get not just ourselves but everything we need to function, “up there.” But with a space elevator…it takes nothing but electricity to get “up there.” And once in orbit, the rest is easy.

Related Post

I wrote this on Apollo 11, for the 50th anniversary of the first landing of men on the Moon.


The Riots

Honestly, I wanted to focus on something positive today…so I’ll say nothing beyond that I’m sure this will not have the intended effect of bringing Trump down…or long distracting him and us from the quest for Justice.

But I will post my by-now standard quote, just to keep us “centered.”

Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American People...Our campaign represents a true existential threat, like they’ve never seen before.

Then-Candidate Donald J. Trump
The Point of The Movement

By one interpretation (the likeliest one, I think), the current unpleasantness is just yet another tactic by that corrupt political establishment, to prevent the President from doing to them, what they badly need to have done to them. (Though I doubt POTUS really intends to use 12 gauge wire bore brushes on them.)

Memorial Day (Traditional)

Memorial Day wasn’t always the last Monday in May (sliding bears and all), it was once the 30th of May and did not move. So Saturday/Today is the “real” Memorial Day, if you want to look at it that way.

Lawyer Appeasement Section

OK now for the fine print.

This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Poltical correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines,  here, with an addendum on 20191110.

We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.

And remember Wheatie’s Rules:

1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. The gun is always loaded.
4a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
5. Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
6. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
7. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.

(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)

Today’s Coin

Now it wouldn’t be one of my posts without a coin, would it?

And yes, there’s one appropriate to our theme…a coin that depicted, allegorically, one of our proudest achievements. We put men on the Moon. So far, no one else has. And maybe we will again, soon. Unfortunately Eugene Cernan, the last man on the Moon, who surely must have hated holding that record, passed away in 2017 and did not live to see us go back. But soon, I think. During Trump’s third term.

The Eisenhower Dollar, 1971-1978 (In 1975 and 1976, it was issued with a different reverse, to celebrate the bicentennial of the American Revolution.) This particular coin was produced in San Francisco in 1971.
The reverse is our focus here, as it is an adaptation of the Apollo 11 patch. In 1971 we were still taking trips to the Moon, and of course we were justifiably proud of the achievement.

“The Eagle Has Landed,” indeed.

The Eisenhower Dollar was the last full-sized “silver” dollar to be issued; in 1979 we went to the “Carter Quarter,” the Susan B. Anthony dollar, a coin just a bit larger than a quarter, and at a casual glance indistinguishable. Those were produced until 1981, then again in 1999, after which we went to the Sacajawea “golden dollar” which was the same size but colored quite differently.

Ike dollars are readily available at coin shops, they will charge a little bit over a dollar for them (they do have to make a living) but probably well under two dollars unless you want an uncirculated one…or a SILVER one.

Yes, some were made in silver for collectors, both in regular and proof finish, but alas not 90% silver like the older real silver dollars, but rather a 90% layer on each side surrounding a much-less-pure silver/copper alloy in the center, for a net 40% silver content. (Kennedy half dollars from 1965-1970 are like this too.) As long as the coin doesn’t start to tarnish, however, it will look like silver even on the edge, whereas our dime, quarter and half dollar today have that red-turning-to-brown edge on them. That solid silvery edge looks nifty.

Obligatory China Truth Bomb

Just one more thing, my standard Public Service Announcement. We don’t want to forget this!!! The President sure hasn’t. With the Chinese full takeover of Hong Kong…I sure hope this guy is doing OK.

I hope this guy isn’t rotting in the laogai somewhere!

中国是个混蛋 !!!
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!

943 thoughts on “2020·05·30 KMAG Daily Thread

      1. Last night was alarming, with protesters outside the WH. Today, Pres. Trump was completely confrident and totally calm, going about his business and watching the space launch. He didn’t seem concerned in the least. I wouldn’t expect him to show concern for his own safety or even for his family, publicly, but possibly for the state of the country. But I think his approach is better. It denies the rioters the attention they seek. He also places responsibility on the governors to protect their states and cities, and he has AG Barr putting everyone on notice about the laws that are being broken. It is the most effective way of handling this kind of thing that I’ve seen.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Plus there seems to be more police out everywhere shutting rioters down. Something went down behind the scenes. POTUS was twitter dark for about 5+hrs last night. I bet he was working the phones to the Govs. ‘Stop it or I will stop your money.’

          Liked by 5 people

  1. WATCH – one of our good guys – special forces or some level one operator – disarm an Antifa goon – then another one comes and takes the goon away – lightning fast action!!!

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Cop did a great job disarming the terrorist, dropping the magazine and ensure no loaded round in AR. Very fluid movements…muscle memory or sorts.

      Liked by 8 people

    1. great teamwork there. Doubling the push vehicles at the barricade ..
      Snowplow effect heh heh…
      looks like they’ve practiced that move

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah but it’s the same reason – the same problems that motivate us to reach for the stars are the same problems that are behind the rioting.


      Liked by 6 people

    1. 🦋🦋🦋🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🚀🚀🚀🤩🚀🚀🚀🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🦋🦋🦋

      Liked by 5 people

  2. I don’t understand at what point does lethal defense begin? Cities burning all over the country. Arrests made, they’re let go. Cops being pummeled. WTH?

    Liked by 5 people


    Liked by 7 people

    1. That’s because the cops know white hats from black hats. The armed counter protesters aren’t carrying signs that say “death to cops”.

      Liked by 6 people

  4. Imagine how bad things have to get before we finally reach The Storm. If a Chinese bio-weapon, mass house arrest, intentional economic destruction, mass nursing home murder, mass rioting, and forcing everyone to wear a mask isn’t the Storm, then what will it take?

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Yeah, I’m salty right now that that my city is being looted and destroyed while the government’s top concern is whether I’m wearing my legally mandated face mask at the grocery store “for safety.” In Clown World, it’s safe to march around in a massive, tightly-packed crowd for hours, but not safe to shop without a mask or eat inside a restaurant.

      I found a real estate listing in a different state for a cabin literally on top of a mountain, and I am so sorely tempted right now to buy it, pack what I can in a truck, and say sayonara to “civilization.”

      Liked by 11 people

      1. Not one second have I regretted leaving California. Every day I appreciate the desert just a bit moar.

        Civilization? The mountain top is moar civilized living than California or big city life. IMO.

        Liked by 9 people

  5. Liked by 8 people

    1. “released”? . . . I hope they have adequate numbers, and defensive and offensive weapons and tactics, with savvy leadership that knows how to employ them.

      Dem Governor: I want you guys to stand between those rioters and my police so that you intercept any thrown objects or bullets. Oh, and you won’t need helmets, body armor, batons, mace or other weapons. Good luck and . . . have a nice day!

      Liked by 5 people

    1. Brad Parscale will have Biden folks paying bail for Antifa…on a Trump commercial. Hope Antifa is designated terrorist organization soon.

      Or even better, a PAC can create and run the commercial.

      Liked by 5 people

    1. They gave up swords when they invented guns.

      Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

      sorry that guy got hurt, but what the hell was he thinking?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We are watching it happen –

    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
    Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
    . . .

    Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    And prudent in their own sight!

    . . .
    Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
    And take away justice from the righteous man!

    Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
    And the flame consumes the chaff,
    So their root will be as rottenness,
    And their blossom will ascend like dust;
    Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
    And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

    Liked by 12 people

  7. Just finished working through this thread… The amazing launch today. Heartbreaking terrorism in the streets, of too many towns across America.

    Just now, Pandora plays Johnny Cash, Ragged Old Flag.


    Liked by 6 people

  8. I won’t even show this one but my God, the poor man is crumpled on the pavement and the animals are trying to go through his pockets.

    BREAKING: man critically injured at Dallas riots

    It appears he attempted to defend a shop with a large sword

    Looters ran at him, then he charged rioters

    They then beat him with a skateboard and stoned him with medium sized rocks

    I called an Ambulance and it’s on the way

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes. Just once, I’d like to see him given back everything he’s given out to us. Let him sit in his fancy house while a bunch of morons throw bricks and bombs at him and burn it down. Let him see exactly what it’s like.

      Liked by 5 people

  9. Hey ya’ll… I’m…………………DONE!! NOT with You Patriots… BUT ……….. with this … bullshit of Antifa…and our city got kicked ass last night…. Places.. we went…I have just loaded Thelma and Louise!…Hubby has been locked and loaded…. Marica is DONE WITH EVIL!!!!!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Oh, honey.

      We haven’t even BEGUN to saddle up, much less fight.

      We Americans are actually the world’s paragon of patience and tolerance.

      Deep breaths. POTUS has this.

      Trust me, when and IF we ever have to saddle up, no one will need to tell you. Although I think Q(+) would.

      ALWAYS good to see you, sister. 🙂

      Liked by 5 people

          1. Steve!!! thanks!!! I never wanna go on my site and be F*ing Pissed!!! But I Am So Damned PISSED!! THese Antifa bullshit Are making me…

            Liked by 4 people

        1. I know. I get it.

          But no one is getting shot. Throwing bricks through windows is a hellava lot different than throwing rounds down range. no one is invading homes in dragging homeowners out into the street and killing them.

          let’s give the police and the National Guard the time and room to do what they are trained to do.

          Trust me…. The police and the military are on our side.

          these violent protesters are a cowardly bunch who will run at the first sign of real kinetic violence. They are no match for either our police force is or most particularly our military.

          if it ever does get to the point where folks like me and your husband have to take to the streets with arms, God help those sons of bitches because no one else will.

          Liked by 4 people

    2. I had just passed a a couple extra boxes of buck-shot to a friend today,when another friend and his wife pulled up and stepped out of their car .As I passed them, I asked, hey can I get ya a couple boxes of buck-shot?
      No ,he says…I don’t have a shot-gun,,thanks.
      Me: ..well do ya want one, I’m going that way??
      He says no..that’s OK. .. Oakie Dokie/and side-eye glance..
      I then I saw a red white and blue mask hanging around his neck..
      I thought I knew him better..turns out he’es a closet mask and goggle wearer …
      ..and he just blew his anti-2ndA cover too.. ha ha ha!!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I was thinking…..if it were my city, and some armed men were patrolling the street protecting businesses….would it be reasonable to walk up to one and say, “anyone here short 9mm? Y’all might need it sooner than I do.”

        Unfortunately, I don’t have much of a selection.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Terrorists are also raising hell in Reno, NV. Curfew declared. Cops are holding the line near city hall, which has been damaged – windows. Cops in the past few minutes have shifted into helmets with face shields. Using pepper spray, tear gas and flash bangs.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Don’t know extent, business windows broken, looting… Crowd is NOT large. Guessing, hoping police reinforcements enroute to shut this shit down.

      Liked by 4 people

  11. Liked by 3 people

    1. Like I’ve said many times in the past, these past three + years are analogous to the allies preparing for the invasion of Normandy during World War II. The long time of preparation is over. With declass, the invasion has begun.

      this is the beginning of the end of our nations enemies both abroad and, most especially, within.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. And btw, we saw a particular sign of that today with the forced resignation of Dana Boente… One of the chief anti-trumper’s inside the DOJ/FBI.

        Liked by 3 people

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