[FPSPACE] Report: North Korea ICBM test--missile used copy of RD-250 rocket engine

jameseoberg at comcast.net jameseoberg at comcast.net
Mon Jul 10 10:04:16 EDT 2017


No reputations need rescue -- as I've written, the unexpected benefits of a joint station were large enough to justify it in hindsight, even if all the original promises were spurious [not dishonest, but more imaginary and hopeful than well-based]. 

----- Original Message -----

From: "John Pike" <john at globalsecurity.org> 
To: "fpspace" <FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org> 
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2017 8:38:45 AM 
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Report: North Korea ICBM test--missile used copy of RD-250 rocket engine 

At 04:36 PM 7/9/2017, jameseoberg at comcast.net wrote: 
> interdiction was a failure, and mostly for show. 

as one of the leading proponents of space cooperation for 
non-proliferation at the time, let me try to rescue my reputation 

1 - It seemed like a good idea at the time, and had both political 
and non-proliferation components - the political [the Cold War 
is really over] was the more important, and it worked. 
The Plan B [keeping the human spaceflight enterprise going 
in the event of another Shuttle accident] also worked 

2 - it could have been much worse - rather than a trickle from 
Miass there could have been an avalanche from the entirety of 
General Machine-Building [in which case by now we might 
be worried about ICBMs from Zimbabwe, which is at present 
under heavier sanctions than the DPRK] 

3 - James is correct that the enterprises that were mainly 
working on ISS had gotten out of the missile business some time 
earlier, but the overall policy was also to facilitate Russian entry 
into the SLV business, and Makaeyev [the chiefest culprit in the 
case of the DPRK] was interested in that line of work [without 
much in the way of success]. Yuzhnoye managed to swing 
both ways, and all the others tried. But the issue was not just 
the NPOs and OKBs, it was also the people, who were a bit 
more fungible 

4 - more generally on the space/missile walk across, if one 
looks at the OCD application of MTCR to India on LOX/LH2 upper 
stage, the USG position was that they were completely fungible 

5 - At the time, I saw this as a missile counterpart to the nuclear 
Nunn-Lugar, which would have made sense from a non-proliferation 
perspective. I was a voice crying in the wilderness. The nuclear 
non-proliferation crowd at DOE/DoD didn't see it that way, and 
pretty much thought that non-proliferation only involved 
14MeV neutrons [that is, non-proliferation was nuclear] 

6 - But at least the agencies who owned nuclear non-proliferation 
actually owned that account. NASA did not own missile non-proliferation 
and was too busy with Cheaper/Faster/Better[tm] to worry about it, 
and the fine folks at State who worried about missile proliferation 
were of the view that they had solved that problem with MTCR, 
so the policy was an institutional orphan, 

7 - Nunn-Lugar did not pose a threat to the American Military 
Industrial Complex, but space cooperation with the Russians did 
seem to pose a threat to the American Space Industrial Complex. 
In Congress, at least the Armed Services Committees gave some 
attention to the national interest, whereas the space Appropriators 
had long ago been captured by industry. 

8 - Carl Sagan made sure I did not get the Space Council job, 
so I could not argue for a policy of broader engagement from 
within the Administration [fortuately for me, since I would not 
have been happy in that job, and my subsequently life would 
have taken a turn for the worse, so it was one of the best 
things that ever happened to me - bad for the world, maybe, 
but good for me, for sure]. So I remained a voice crying 
in the wilderness 

9 - it is surely more complex than this, but these are some 
of the main points as I saw them 

10 - as Keynes said, in the long run, we are all dead 


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