November 30, 2018: Weekly Spatial Resolutions

This site contains my opinions and ideas only, not the opinions or ideas of any organization I work for. It’s my idea playground, and I’m inviting you in. Welcome!

Lego Space Construction Book

I’ll admit, the book isn’t out yet. It’s also not a book about building “realistic” spaceships, astronauts, and rovers. But the book seems to have some simple plans for someone to build and have fun with. There’s some more information about this book on the Brickset site.

lego spaceship GIF
Image from Giphy

Do you know someone interested in this sort of thing?

China Is Building a $9 Billion Rival to the American-Run GPS

Let’s not call it a rival. Let’s call it gaining geolocation all independence for China. Can anyone blame China for developing it’s own GPS-type system? It’s not like this is a bad thing, even if the nation is building this system out for military purposes. The same reason was the initial driver for GPS and U.S. military forces. But that GPS has proven to be a versatile tool, and a lot of people and commercial companies are thriving because of it.

Plus, if China can build out the BeiDou constellation for only $9 billion, then it’s a bargain. After all, just the ground system for GPS, the GPS OCX (Next Generation) system alone costs at least $6 billion (and it wasn’t supposed to have cost that much, initially, at all–but, who can put a price on national security?).

China isn’t the only one doing this, by the way.

India is doing the same thing. Something about how the U.S. wouldn’t let that nation have access to GPS for its hostilities with Pakistan encouraged India not to rely on foreign systems. Europe would really like to make money from this type of thing and become less dependent on GPS, too. The Europeans’ constellation, Galileo, is behind schedule and over budget (one estimate was for nearly $29 billion) .

But yes, China has been launching BeiDou satellites for a while–this year especially, launching a lot of those satellites into orbit. The nation’s been doing this for years. Why, then, is this news now?

Lost In Space: The Weird & Wonderful, Cold War-Era Satellites Still Circling Earth

A few satellites launched during the beginnings of the Cold War are still in Earth’s orbit. One has been orbiting the Earth since 1958—that’s sixty years! No real word in this article about whether any of these satellites are still operational.

I somehow doubt it.

Why Is NASA Covering Up The Real Reason We Have Never Returned to the Moon?

Beware of bloggers with “the Answer.”

Depending on who you listen to in the industry, people will soon be wandering around the Moon’s surface again. If so, then maybe the Real Answer will become apparent. But I don’t think that will be enough.

To be fair, this is a problem with big government agencies–and NASA’s not even the biggest. It’s very easy to view bureaucracies such as NASA as menacing, especially since there have been, and are, some scientists and engineers who can’t relate to regular people very well (have you ever…?:-)).

Probably more problematic, though, is how easily government agencies can lose the public’s trust. Especially if these agencies have a history of downplaying life-threatening possibilities while somehow avoiding culpability when those possibilities become reality. There was a time when NASA appeared to be able to do no wrong. That changed and we all know why. We don’t even have resort to cover up theories.

Of course, the next story IS funny, even if some will take it seriously…

Space official says Russia will ‘verify’ U.S. moon landings

I wonder if Rogozin’s smirk was also present when he suggested contractors test space capsule integrity by stuffing a live contractor in one, and then shooting machine guns at the capsule?

Russian humor is very…dry?

Study Confirms Technical Superiority of Telesat’s Global Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Constellation

Have I ever given you details about the obvious technical superiority of HD-DVD or the Sony Mini Disc?

What are those?

My point exactly.

tropic thunder GIF
There was a critical HD-DVD discussion in this film. Image from Giphy.

SSTL is Talking About a Moon Mission for 2021

I do think it’s significant that companies are talking about going to the Moon, not just NASA. They may even make it before NASA. They will likely spend less money than NASA doing so.

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