Tuesday, July 29, 2014

5th Times the Charm

Tired of politics, tired of war, tired of airplane crashes, tired of arguing; here's something nice.

I have done this for thirty one years and could easily do it for thirty more without getting the least bit bored.  Twenty-eight years ago I watched the space shuttle Challenger turn from a target and vector into a cloud of uncorrelated targets on a radar screen, it took a while for what we just saw happen to sink in.  I have gone from working on radars, to ground stations, to the satellite programs themselves.  

I have watched probably close to two dozen launches and about six shuttle landings in person, innumerable others on a radar or tv screen and to this day, I can still stand on the beach in awe as I watch a twenty story tube of steel and aluminum rise on a column of flame and turn into a bright dot that gradually grows dimmer and dimmer until it finally winks out, and I could to it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.

From the AFSPC Factsheet:

GSSAP satellites will be a space-based capability operating in the near-geosynchronous orbit regime supporting U.S. Strategic Command space surveillance operations as a dedicated Space Surveillance Network (SSN) sensor.

GSSAP satellites will support Joint Functional Component Command for Space (JFCC SPACE) tasking to collect space situational awareness data allowing for more accurate tracking and characterization of man­ made orbiting objects. From a near-geosynchronous orbit, it will have a clear, unobstructed and distinct vantage point for viewing Resident Space Objects (RSOs) without the interruption of weather or the atmospheric distortion that can limit ground-based systems. GSSAP satellites will operate near the geosynchronous belt and will have the capability to perform Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO). RPO allows for the space vehicle to maneuver near a resident space object of interest, enabling characterization for anomaly resolution and enhanced surveillance, while maintaining flight safety. Data from GSSAP will uniquely contribute to timely and accurate orbital predictions, enhancing our knowledge of the geosynchronous orbit environment, and further enabling space flight safety to include satellite collision avoidance.

AFSPC Factsheet 

United Launch Alliance 

ULA Mission Brochure 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Can I take a Mulligan?

Photo: Gage Skidmore

That raging bastion of conservative thought, CNN released a poll on Saturday showing that if Americans had to do it all over again they would overwhelmingly elect Mitt Romney by a nine-point spread: 53% - 44%

Of course, the same poll showed Hillary would kick Romney to the curb if the election were held today in an overwhelming 13 point trouncing: 55% - 42%.

Better get your act together Republicans.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

On Pacifism (Graphic Content)

Mohamed Elomar urges you embrace pacifism

Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
John Stuart Mill

“If [pacifists] imagine that one can somehow "overcome" the army by lying on one's back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen.”
George Orwell

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
 Edmund Burke
Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Tranquility Bass

Tranquility Bass is the stage name of Mike Kandel and the genre is known as Ambient House, one of a variety of chill-out styles. Ambient music puts emphasis on tone and atmosphere over traditional structure and rhythm. Ambient music is the style pioneered by Brian Eno, the third selection below.


And if you're unfamiliar with Brian Eno, he also wrote this piece, that you probably are familiar with:


Friday, July 25, 2014

It shouldnt take 2 hours

to carry out an execution.


There are people out there that are so depraved, so sociopathic that they can never safely be allowed to rejoin society. Personally, I consider life imprisonment with no possibility of parole to be more inhumane than execution.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

By the rocket's red glare

photo: paffairs_sanfrancisco

Since the beginning of the month roughly 1,700 missiles have been launched at Israel.  In June it was 53, in May it was 4, April - 19, March - 65, February - 9, January - 22.  In 2012 a total of 2,257 rockets were launched against Israel.

In 1845 Congress admitted the former Mexican territory of Texas to the United States.  In 1947 the United Nations created the nation of Israel.

Imagine if you would that this July 1,700 missiles launched out of Ciudad Juárez fell upon El Paso Texas, launched by Mexican nationals demanding the return of Mexican territory.

All I can say is that 90% of the whining liberal jackasses currently wearing Keffiyehs and waiving Palestinian flags would be cheering the M1 Abrams as they rolled across the border leveling everything in sight.

So tell me, what difference does 102 years make?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

East meets West

In China

One dead from bubonic plague, 151 in quarantine, and Yumen, a city of 30,000, has been reportedly sealed off.  The man in China supposedly caught it from a Marmot. 

In Colorado

Four cases of pneumonic plague in Colorado... and, nothing. Pneumonic plague is the most dangerous variant of Y. Pestis as it can be spread from person to person whereas bubonic and septicemic plague requires a transmission vector such as the flea. The Colorado case supposedly was transferred from Prairie Dog to pet dog, to owner. In the Colorado case only the dog is reported to have died.

Cooperative Medicine

In China the New Rural Cooperative Medical Care System covers roughly 80% of the population.  The cost is 50 Yuan per person ($7) per year, of that 20 is paid by the central government, 20 by the provincial government and only 10 ($1.61) by the individual.

But hey, everybody's covered. 



On another note, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down the federal subsidy for those enrolled in the states that are using the federal exchange.  Of course, this is just a technicality.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Glass Ceiling

Meet AF Lt Gen Lori Robinson

Finally a woman breaks the glass ceiling in PACAF...

She's not a pilot!