Successful SpaceX Launch, Land

SpaceX Dragon Capsule Landing – Private Space Test – Popular Mechanics

Congratulations to SpaceX for their successful launch of the Dragon capsule. More importantly congratulations to SpaceX for becoming the first private company to have a spacecraft re-enter from orbit.

More info on SpaceX Dragon: SpaceX Dragon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SpaceX Dragon Launch

Much Rides on Upcoming Launch of SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft

My only real problem with the article is trying to give President Obama credit for SpaceX’s work. SpaceX and companies like them have been working on private commercial space craft long before President Obama even thought of becoming President.

My hope is the Dragon launch goes smoothly. Whether you support private space launch or not, all can agree that NASA has become a bloated organization subject to the whims and machinations of politicians and scientists that have disrupted and, in some cases, crippled U.S. space capability. Whether those manipulations are based on budget considerations (e.g. the Federal government inability to manage its budget wisely) of socio-political agendas (via programs designed solely to support theories rather than test them such as global warming) the fact is the private sector is needed to provide a much needed spark of technological development and innovation that no longer exists due to the bureaucratic nature that has taken hold at NASA.

There will be some privatization of space whether people like it or not, but agencies like NASA will also remain.

It’s a plane, not a missile…

Experts: Mystery Contrail Was Plane, Not Missile

Much as I hate (and dismiss) most conspiracy theories I’m just not buying the explanation being touted. I’ve seen a lot of atmospheric anomalies, visual mis-perceptions, jets, and rockets. Maybe not as much as some people, but enough to question the conclusion presented. After all, if it is simply a plane then why the FAA lack of knowledge regarding the location of the plane/missile? Where’s the pilot? Or for that matter, where is the plane itself? These are but a few questions to add on top of others (like why is there a burn from the engine similar to what one would see in a missile or rocket?)

Note that the claim is that plane/missile was likely America West Flight 808 from Hawaii to Phoenix. I don’t really buy that because the Hawaii to Phoenix flight is pretty regular. (Note US Airways re-branded all America West flights to US Airways but still retain America West’s callsign and code.) That being the case, why would such sight not be seen before? Sure it’s possible that the anomaly wasn’t noticed before but seems a little unlikely given the heavy air traffic of the area.

Personally, I figure the military was doing a test of some sort (as seemed to be indicated in a recent NGA advisory for the area) and it happened to get seen. If that was the case, admit it and move on. Most Americans wouldn’t have noticed or even cared if not for all the contradictory statements.

News Bits May 03, 2010

Judge orders U.S. militia members released on bond | Reuters

In a blistering attack, U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts in Detroit said prosecutors had failed to persuade her the defendants were a danger to the community.

While they may have engaged in “offensive and hate-filled speech,” it was not at all clear that they had conspired to break any laws, Roberts wrote.

Hmm. Curious.

Border Wars continue: Arizona deputy shot by suspected drug trafficker, officials say – CNN.com

The Pinal County deputy, who was not immediately identified, contacted authorities after being wounded in the desert, saying he had been shot by an illegal immigrant with an AK-47, said Lt. Tammy Villar, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

The only good thing about the shooting was it resulted in the arrest of 17 suspected illegals while the search for the suspect goes on.

Arizona Shooting Stokes Immigration Debate – WSJ.com

He says the law will force him and his family to move out of the state. Hailing originally from Mexico, Mr. Rodriguez and his family have lived in Arizona illegally for the past 10 years.

And I’m supposed to feel sorry for one illegal alien admittedly breaking the law? Worse, this idiot as much as admits he’ll remain illegal by heading for California or New Mexico acting like he’s the victim instead of the criminal. Talk about a warped sense of entitlement.

Interesting how the MSM ignores the violence from this weekends May Day protests:
Media Miss Of The Day
Rioting, violence, arrests mar protests of AZ immigration laws
At least 18 Santa Cruz businesses suffered damage during May Day riot – San Jose Mercury News

NASA Awards Engineering and Technology Support Services Contract — WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —

NASA has awarded a sole source bridge contract for Multidisciplinary Engineering and Technology Support, or METS, services to Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT), Inc. of Greenbelt, Md.

Newsbits: Immigration Reform Plan, Raytheon, Moon Robots

Democrats unveil immigration reform plan | Reuters

Not going to believe it until I see genuine reform, not useless identification cards that’ll be forged faster than you can say illegal and more laws that Congress and the administration will de-fund or order they be ignored as has been done for decades. Congress and past Presidents sold out the American public long ago to the illegals rather than secure the border as is their duty and responsibility.

Avionics Magazine :: Raytheon Awarded Radar Contract

Japan sees moonwalking humanoids by 2015 | Crave – CNET

Just as the Obama administration ditches NASA plans to return to the moon, a group in Japan is vowing to send humanoid robots there by 2015. Call it a giant leap for droidkind.

Space News: X-37 Space Plane

Air Force to launch X-37 space plane: Precursor to war in orbit? – Yahoo! News (Author’s note: I hate the fear mongering title to this article.)

‘Arms control advocates say it is pretty clearly the beginning of a “weaponization of space” – precursor to a precision global strike capability that would allow the US to hover for months at a time over anywhere it chose with little anyone could do about it.

The “weaponization of space” is inevitable as long as mankind intends to go into space. Some would say it’s already been weaponized by the use of satellites for spy satellites, GPS, et al, for military and national security uses.

Some history of the X-37:  X-37 Spacecraft History – Central Florida News 13

Fact Sheet: NASA – X-37 fact sheet (05/03)

X-37: Ready for Launch | The Daily Planet

On Thursday, April 22, the U.S. Air Force will finally launch its little, unmanned X-37 orbital spaceplane on top of an Atlas V rocket. The liftoff, which will take place in a window between 7:52 p.m. and 8:01 p.m., will mark the culmination of years of development for the newest U.S. spacecraft—and the world’s only reusable one after the space shuttle’s planned retirement toward the end of this year.

It’s a beauty, that one.

AvNews: VSS Enterprise, British Space Agency

VSS Enterprise’s first ‘captive carry’ flight! | International Space Fellowship

Commenting on the historic flight, Burt Rutan said: “This is a momentous day for the Scaled and Virgin Teams. The captive carry flight signifies the start of what we believe will be extremely exciting and successful spaceship flight test program.”

Britain to set up new space agency | Reuters

Britain’s space and satellite sector employs 68,000 people and contributes 6 billion pounds ($9 billion) a year to the economy, the government says. It has grown in real terms by around nine percent a year since 1999, more than three times faster than the economy as a whole.