[FPSPACE] Re: stuff [Was: ISS, Greenpeace]

Robert G Kennedy III robot@ultimax.com
Thu, 10 Jan 2002 15:51:22 -0400

Our colleague from the Cape writes:

>complain about the result? France, arguably a democacy, reportedly
>protects its >nuclear deterrance launch sites by automatically-triggered
>lethal devices.

These are operational military sites, that's why, not just for testing or
technical purposes. Perfectly reasonable to deny the approaches with land
mines, especially given the size of the retaliatory force (9 silos, right?)

My limited French dictionary doesn't have the word "frappe". Anybody know
the literal and idiomatic translations of "force de frappe"? I know it's
their expression for strategic deterrent, or retaliatory force, but what is
the exact translation and the French idiom?

After 9/11, France also stationed regular army units with mobile SAMs
around their uranium separation facility (and maybe operating reactors).
Eminently sensible move, I think.

>    More likely is that until a world boom has been underway for enough
>years >to increase the various states tax revenues, ISS will remain at the
>Mir level.

ISS is all about corporate/government PR and white collar welfare, not
scientific milestones, and not even particularly space. It has nothing to
do with the worldwide economy.

JimO wrote:
>In terms of accommodating science experiments, ISS as is now is already
>vastly superior to Mir at its best. This is in terms of environment,
>communications, power quality, and other features that made scientific
>research on Mir a combination of roulette and a nightmare.

Yeah, I agree the infrastructure is superior, but what science will
actually get performed if you don't fund the researchers and programs on
the ground to actually come up with experiments, and analyze the results
afterward, or if you don't fund the grand exploration programs that would
provide direction for scientific investigation? Science is being
eviscerated because Congress and Administration would rather give money to
fat-cats in the military-industrial complex. Even though any dollar is as
green as another, nobody wants to fund O&M (operations and management) line
items because O&M isn't not sexy. Political power is attracted to the
concentrations of wealth under the builders' control, and not to widely
distributed O&M money.

It's not that damned hard to build a space station and staff it. Remmeber
Skylab? If we had really wanted a permanent station in LEO, we'd have had
it one or two decades before now.

Robert Kennedy, PE