Tag Archives: politics

X-37B photographed in orbit

X-37B as seen by telescope
Click for full image.

An amateur astronomer this week was able to get a photograph of the X-37B presently in orbit about 200 miles high.

The [X-37B] is a small version of the classic Space Shuttle, it is really a small object, even at only 300 km altitude, so dont expect the detail level of ground based images of the real Space Shuttle. Considering this, the attached images succeeded beyond expectations. We can recognize a bit of the nose, Payload Bay and tail of this mini-shuttle with even a sign of some smaller detail.

The image on the right, reduced and cropped to post here, shows the image with a graphic of the spacecraft in comparison.

The graphic assumes the X-37B’s cargo door is open, but the actual image does not match this, to my eye. Instead, it appears partly open, with some kind of large object protruding from the cargo bay.

This X-37B spacecraft, one of two the Air Force flies, was launched by SpaceX in September 2017 and has now been in space more than 664 days, with no indication yet when it will return to Earth. The present record is 718 days for the longest X-37B flight, set by the Air Force’s other X-37B. It appears likely that this spacecraft will exceed that record.

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Russian Soyuz rocket successfully launches 33 satellites into orbit

In its first Vostochny launch in 2019, Russia today used its Soyuz rocket to successfully launch a variety of weather, engineering, and Earth observation satellites totaling 33 into orbit.

As I write this the satellites are in orbit but have not yet been deployed by the rocket’s Fregat upper stage, a process that will take several hours as it moves them into a variety of orbits.

Many of the smaller satellites on this rockets are commercial cubesats, and are Russia’s effort to regain some of its lost commercial business that had been captured by SpaceX. They are also a sign of the changing launch business. Previously Russia’s commercial flights were all on its larger Proton rocket because the satellites were larger. Now the business is shifting to the smaller and recently more reliable Soyuz, because smaller satellites are beginning to dominate the industry.

The leaders in the 2019 launch race:

9 China
8 SpaceX
6 Russia
5 Europe (Arianespace)
3 India
3 Rocket Lab

The U.S. continues to lead China 14 to 9 in the national rankings.

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An inteview with George Zimmerman

Link here. Read it all if you have any interest at all in finding out the truth. The key part of this story, which was confirmed by a not-guilty jury decision, is this:

Headed in the direction that the lights came from coming around the side of one of the townhouses to the “T” in the sidewalks [Zimmeran] was, without notice, punched in the face by Trayvon, instantly breaking his nose. Trayvon then grabbed George and tried to throw him to the ground multiple times. George held his own for a little bit but eventually was thrown to the ground. Once again George referred to the sketch showing me where they were by this time, which was a little further up the sidewalk from the initial attack. He said that the ground sloped down on one side of the sidewalk and his legs were down the hill while his head was on the sidewalk. Trayvon was now on top of George punching him repeatedly in the face, MMA style, as George described. Every time George tried to sit up Trayvon would slam him back down to the ground and in-turn his head would bounce off the sidewalk, causing him excruciating pain.

To get away from the pain being inflicted on his head, George tried sliding down the hill out from underneath Trayvon. This caused George’s red windbreaker to slide up revealing his Kel- Tec PF-9 9mm handgun holstered on his hip.

Trayvon noticed the gun and said, “You’re gonna die tonight!” At that point, George realized that it wasn’t his gun or Trayvon’s gun, it was “the” gun in the fight!

Without any prior experience of drawing and shooting from the holster, George knew it was either now or never. He unholstered the firearm and fired one shot at the man who he felt was trying to take his life. The response from Trayvon was like that of an old Western movie. He said, “Ya got me!” At that second George thought his shot missed. To him, it seemed as if Trayvon was making a statement to concede defeat and not that he actually was hit by the bullet.

In that instance George wasn’t worried about his safety or that somebody was trying to kill him, he was more concerned that he missed Trayvon and might have hurt somebody else in a nearby house. To me, this was one of many enlightening times in our meeting. More concerned for the life of his neighbors than his own life.

All Zimmerman was doing at that moment was trying to save his own life. All of this was obvious at the time, for all those who were willing to do any research into the facts. Yet, as punishment for not allowing himself to be killed by a street thug, our bigoted and political cultural elites decided to destroy this poor man’s life anyway, because it gave them a great vehicle for ramping up race hatred and anti-American propaganda.

This says far more about them than it does about Zimmerman, or Trayvon Martin.

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Paper ballot count puts establishment Democrat ahead of socialist in NYC primary

The count of paper ballots submitted during last week’s Democratic Party primary for Queens district attorney has put the establishment candidate Queens Borough President Melinda Katz ahead–by 20 votes–of Tiffany Cabán, the socialist endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is now leading lefty insurgent Tiffany Cabán in the Democratic primary for Queens district attorney — a stunning reversal of fortunes after the race went into a paper ballot count with Cabán ahead by more than 1,000 votes last week.

About 6,000 paper ballots remained to be counted, and as the Board of Elections tallied the final votes Wednesday night, Katz was leading Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez-backed Cabán by a razor-thin 20 votes, two sources told The Post.

Both sides acknowledged the narrow margin would trigger a recount — but that didn’t stop Katz from declaring victory Wednesday night.

I find this story most amusing, as it reminds me of Minnesota and the recount of paper ballots that gave Democrat Al Franken his victory over Republican Norm Coleman in 2008. Many fishy things seemed to occur during that recount that has always made it suspicious.

Either way, it appears the Democratic establishment, having realized what a political disaster Ocasio-Cortez has been, did not want another such socialist representing them in New York and appears to have moved to make sure it didn’t happen. For example, there’s this story: Queens DA frontrunner Tiffany Cabán dedicates ‘victory’ to Rikers inmates

Rikers Island inmates are first in Tiffany Cabán’s heart.

“Our victory belongs to folks who have been locked up on Rikers simply because they could not afford their bails,” she said Saturday, days after early results showed her the likely winner of the Democratic primary for Queens district attorney.

Though politically this position by her, allied more with criminals than ordinary honest citizens, isn’t really much different than the bulk of today’s Democratic Party, her willingness to state those positions openly is why the establishment Democrats in Queens are desperate to stop her.

Hat tip reader Cotour.

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Update on planned Russian additions to ISS

Link here. The article describes present status of Russia’s new modules to ISS, along with their tentative launch dates in the early 2020s.

We should not take these dates too seriously. Russia is literally decades behind schedule in launching this stuff. Whether they can finally get them in orbit now, with their present shortage in cash, remains unknown.

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Want to get off gmail? Behind the Black might provide an option

I am exploring the possibility of offering email services through my server for those who want to get off of gmail and google. However, before such a service can be offered, we need to know the amount of interest there might be. The demand will effect the cost, which means I can’t even give you an idea of what we might charge.

Regardless, if you are interested in having “your.name@behindtheblack.com” as your email address, please say so in the comments. There will be no obligations, by you or me or my server, but the response however will help us decide if we can do it.

And if we can do it, and many people sign on, we will then be taking the proper free enterprise approach for combating the corrupt business practices of giants like Google. Our federal government might still act to break Google up, but I think it would be far better if the free market did the job instead.

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Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters dox and threaten little girl

They’re coming for you next: The family of a little girl who had been doing silly videos making fun of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) has shut down all of her social media accounts and will no longer allow her to do videos because they were doxed and they have been receiving death threats on their home phone.

Here is the family’s tweet:

MiniAOC tweet

Words fail me. I wonder what Ocasio-Cortez’s response will be for this disgusting behavior. I expect nothing, or if she does say something she will equivocate somehow, trying to put some of the blame on the little girl and her family.

It increasingly appears that the left and the Democrats (I repeat myself) are now willing to threaten little children for making silly fun of the politicians they support.

As I have said repeatedly, they’re coming for you next.

UPDATE: More details here, including one of the girl’s truly hilarious videos.

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Roscosmos creates new design bureau to build reusable rocket

The Russian bureaucracy marches on! Roscosmos has formed a new design bureau, dubbed Bartini after Italian-born Soviet-era aircraft designer Robert Bartini, to build a new reusable rocket

The article says this rocket will be “based on the preliminary design of the Krylo-SV (Wing) project.” I cannot find any references anywhere for such a project, though this webpage notes that a test pilot for the Soviet Buran shuttle worked in 1999 for a “Krylo Company.” I suspect this was one of the many failed attempts to form a private space company after the fall of the Soviet Union, and it had produced designs for a reusable winged spacecraft, which is why that test pilot had worked for them. (It likely failed because the big already existing organizations in Russia teamed up with the government to squelch this new competition.)

Regardless, it appears that Russia is going to dust off those plans. Note that this new organization is a top-down creation, not a new independent company. I expect therefore that its biggest goal is to provide jobs. Whether it gets much built is another story.

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Democratic congresswoman wants to prosecute anyone who ridicules a member of Congress

They’re coming for you next: Democratic congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-Florida) said today that she wants to “shut down” and “prosecute” those online who have been ridiculing members of Congress.

“Those people who are online making fun of members of Congress are a disgrace and there is no need for anyone to think that is unacceptable,” Wilson said during a press conference. “We are going to shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted.”

The Democratic Party today is a party of fascists. If you are registered Democrat you better start reconsidering who you are supporting, or else you will be complicit in some very oppressive abuses of power.

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Strike on July 4-5 against censorship on Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc

A strike protesting the censorship of conservatives on social media giants Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, is being organized for July 4 and 5.

According to organizer Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia (who has since split with the project), “This means we will not use social media on those days, except to post notices that we are on strike. We’re going to make a lot of noise. Nobody will be able to ignore what’s happening. We’re going to flex our collective muscles and demand that giant, manipulative corporations give us back control over our data, privacy, and user experience.”

More details at the link.

I would love to join them, but since I do not use any of these corrupt social media, essentially striking against them continuously, there isn’t much I can do. However, if you use Facebook for example you might be able to have an impact.

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India hires Russia to train its astronauts

The new colonial movement: India’s space agency ISRO has hired the Russians to train its astronauts for its first home-built manned mission, Gaganyaan, presently scheduled to fly in 2022.

This decision makes a lot of sense. First, the space programs of Russia and India have cooperated a lot in the past, with Russia launch India’s first astronaut on a Soyuz in 1984. Second, Russia has a great deal of experience training new astronauts from other countries, including tourists. Third, neither of the other countries with manned programs, the U.S. and China, have established systems for this kind of training. China has never training any outsiders, and NASA’s systems for this are not designed for efficiency. Moreover, it has been eight years since the U.S. put anyone in space. If I was India I would prefer using someone with recent experience.

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Chick-fil-A vandalized in NY during gay pride march

They’re coming for you next: A Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant was vandalized in NY during gay pride march, with the obscene graffiti clearly political.

The damage was relatively minor, but this is only the beginning. Anyone with that much anger and hate for a store simply because it closes on Sunday and its owners are devout Christians will eventually decide that more violent action is justified.

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Fascist mob sends journalist to emergency room in Portland

They’re coming for you next: A fascist mob today attacked a journalist so violently today that they sent him to the emergency room.

Andy Ngo, a photojournalist and editor at Quillette, landed in the emergency room after a mob of antifa activists attacked him on the streets of Portland during a Saturday afternoon demonstration.

The assailants wore black clothing and masks, and were engaged in a counter-protest against several right-wing groups, including the Proud Boys. Ngo is a well-known chronicler of antifa activity, and has criticized their illiberal tactics on Fox News. He attended the protest in this capacity—as a journalist, covering a notable public event.

According to Ngo, his attacker stole his camera equipment. But video footage recorded by another journalist, The Oregonian’s Jim Ryan, clearly shows an antifa activist punching Ngo in the face. Others throw milkshakes at him:

It increasingly appears that Portland is now controlled by the modern version of the KKK, fascist hooded thugs who act to physically attack anyone who might be opposing them in any way at all. And like the KKK, these modern fascist thugs have deep links with the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, the police and government in Portland does nothing.

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Seminar at Cornell will question use of “reason” and “rationality”

The coming dark age: A six-week seminar this summer at Ivy League Cornell University will question the use of either “reason” and “rationality.”

The goal of the entire seminar is to demonstrate that knowledge, and truth, is always tied to power, which means that all knowledge, and truth, is entirely subjective, and if discovered by some ethnic groups in power (whites or Christians or Jews), other ethnic groups out of power have the right, the obligation, to reject that knowledge, and truth, in order to establish their own power base.

So, if an leftist Antifa fascist thug hits me, a white Jew, over the head with a rock and kills me, I can declare I am still alive because my interpretation of knowledge and truth is different than that leftist Antifa fascist thug.

Even more important, that leftist Antifa fascist thug will be justified in claiming he or she did nothing wrong, because from his or her perspective of knowledge and truth they did not kill me, but merely stopped me from oppressing them unjustly.

That dark age is coming on very fast. Be warned.

Hat tip Robert Pratt of Pratt on Texas.

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Court reduces Oberlin total judgment by smallest amount

The court in Ohio has reduced the total jury award in the Oberlin slander case against Gibson’s Bakery to $25 million total, but by what looks like the smallest amount possible based on its interpretation of the law.

The jury originally returned a total compensatory verdict of $11 million and punitive verdict of $33 million. In these posts we detailed the arguments of the parties as to how to Ohio’s tort reform caps applied to the calculation:

The key disputes as to how to apply Ohio tort reform caps on noneconomic compensatory damages centered on whether each claim for each plaintiff was separately subject to the cap, or did the cap apply to all claims of each plaintiff. The court appears to have ruled, as plaintiffs argued, that the cap was per claim.

More significantly, the tort reform law limits punitive damages to 2X compensatory, but the issue was whether that applied to pre-cap compensatory damages or post-cap compensatory damages. That was about a $10 million swing. The court appears to have agreed with the plaintiffs argument that under the plain reading of the statute, the 2X cap applied to pre-cap compensatory damages.

Another way to put it is the court has awarded Gibson’s the maximum award possible based on its legal interpretation. To me, this suggests that the court is as offended as everyone else by Oberlin’s refusal to accept the decision while spreading falsehoods about the case and maligning the jury.

They will have a hearing on how much Oberlin will have to pay for Gibson’s attorney’s fees on July 10.

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The travels of China’s Yutu-2 rover on the Moon

Yutu-2 and Chang'e-4
Click for full image.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) science team today released images that track the travels of China’s lunar rover Yutu-2 from its landing on January 30, 2019 through June 3, covering the rover’s first six lunar days on the Moon.

The image to the right, cropped, reduced, and annotated to post here, shows the relative positions of both spacecraft as of June 3, 2019. In the release they also included a gif movie showing the progression of Yutu-2’s movements since landing.

Once a month, LRO passes over the Chang’e 4 landing site, allowing LROC to capture a new image. LROC has now imaged the site five times (since the landing) and observed Yutu-2 to have traveled a total of 186 meters (distance measured using the rover tracks). If you squint, portions of the rover tracks are visible as a dark path in the images from April, May, and possibly June.

table of Yutu-2's movements through June 2019

The LRO release also included a table showing the distance Yutu-2 has traveled with each lunar day, shown on the right. The table does not include the 23 meters (75 feet) the rover traveled on its sixth lunar day. My estimate yesterday that Yutu-2 was traveling an average of about a 100 feet per day, with the distances per day shrinking with time, seems largely correct. During the rover’s fourth and fifth lunar days it moved very little, either because they had found something very interesting they wanted to inspect more closely, or they were moving more cautiously as the rover’s life extended past its planned lifespan of three lunar days.

On the sixth day however they increased their travels again, suggesting that either they had finished the observations at the previous location, or they had gained more confidence in the rover’s staying power.

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Supreme Court rules federal judges have no right to overturn gerrymandering

A victory for democracy: Supreme Court has ruled that federal judges have no authority to overturn congressional districts created by state legislatures.

The 5-4 opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by the court’s other conservatives said partisan election maps drawn by North Carolina Republicans and Maryland Democrats are constitutional despite their one-sided nature.

It was a dramatic withdrawal by the nation’s highest court from the political battles that have consumed states for decades, and it was loudly denounced by the court’s liberal justices.

“How do you decide where the line is between acceptable partisanship and too much partisanship?” Roberts said from the bench in announcing his ruling on the last day of the term. “At some point, it should occur to you that what you’ve been asked to do is not judging at all.” The chief justice said the challengers from North Carolina and Maryland asked for “an unprecedented expansion of judicial power” that would have broad consequences. “There will be no end to the litigation,” he said.

While this decision ends the use of the federal courts to override the decisions of elected state legislatures, the court has let stand state court actions that overrode gerrymandering. In the end, however, the essence here will shift political power back to the states and their legislatures.

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Vostochny contractor charged with embezzlement avoids jail

The new colonial movement: The contractor who embezzled almost $6.5 million from the Vostochny spaceport project in Russia has avoided jail time, getting merely a suspended sentence and and a $3,000 fine.

Viktor Grebnev, who headed the TMK contractor until it was declared bankrupt 2015, was accused of knowingly signing loss-making contracts and using company money to buy yachts and a mansion.

A district court in Far East Russia handed Grebnev a five-year suspended sentence and fined him 200,000 rubles ($3,000) for large-scale embezzlement, Interfax cited the court as saying.

It appears from this story that the corruption in Russia remains as strong as ever, which bodes poorly for its future in space. Space engineering is hard. If you allow any dishonesty to linger around it you are guaranteed to have something go wrong.

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Europe finally admits it must build reusable rockets

The new colonial movement: Europe has finally admitted that its refusal with Ariane 6 to make it reusable was a mistake, and has begun a major engineering research project to design and fly two different types of reusable rockets.

This month, the European Commission revealed a new three-year project to develop technologies needed for two proposed reusable launch vehicles. The commission provided €3 million to the German space agency, DLR, and five companies to, in the words of a news release about the project, “tackle the shortcoming of know-how in reusable rockets in Europe.”

This new RETALT project’s goals are pretty explicit about copying the retro-propulsive engine firing technique used by SpaceX to land its Falcon 9 rocket first stages back on land and on autonomous drone ships. The Falcon 9 rocket’s ability to land and fly again is “currently dominating the global market,” the European project states. “We are convinced that it is absolutely necessary to investigate Retro Propulsion Assisted Landing Technologies to make re-usability state-of-the-art in Europe.”

What is interesting to me is what appears to be some internal politics within Europe surrounding this effort. France is generally the most dominate member of the European Space Agency. Yet, according to the press release for this announcement, France is not involved in these new reusable rocket projects. Instead, Germany dominates, with companies from Switzerland, Portugal, and Spain participating.

It could be that the failure of Ariane 6 to garner customers, due to its higher costs, has forced these ESA partners to push for their own reusable rocket projects.

Either way, the competition in rocket technology is heating up, more evidence that the 2020s will be the most exciting decade in space since the 1960s.

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Chang’e-4 and Yutu-2 awake for 7th lunar day

The new colonial movement: Chinese engineers have awakened both the Chang’e-4 lander and the Yutu-2 rover to begin work on their seventh lunar day on the Moon’s far side.

The text of this Chinese news report is almost identical to the text in the news report a month ago, when both spacecraft were awakened for the sixth lunar day. And as before, it tells us little.

What today’s story reveals is that Yutu-2 traveled only about 75 feet during the sixth lunar day. With an overall odometer reading of 695 feet, it appears it is averaging about 100 feet per lunar day, with the per day number dropping with time. Either the science team is becoming cautious, or they have had unstated issues that have slowed them down.

Still, the rover’s nominal mission was only three lunar days, so it is survived more than twice as long as designed.

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Leftist backed by socialist Ocasio-Cortez wins in Queens

They’re coming for you next: A leftist candidate, Tiffany Cabán, backed by socialists Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), has won an election for Queens District Attorney in New York.

Cabán, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s preferred pick for the office, garnered 39.5% of the vote compared to Democratic rival Melinda Katz’s 38.3% with 98% of precincts reporting.

…Cabán is a 31-year-old public defender who wants to decriminalize sex work, close Rikers Island and end cash bail. The young lawyer was joined on stage with city Comptroller Scott Stringer and state Sen. Jessica Ramos.

The election was close enough that they will do a recount, but I don’t think that will change the result, which clearly shows that New Yorkers have not been put off in the slightest by Ocasio-Cortez’s extreme leftist positions, as many conservative pundits have assumed. If anything, her upfront willingness to push her beliefs, no matter our senseless or impractical or ignorant, have garnered her side more support.

I am reminded again of this quote from Walter Miller’s great end-of-the-world science fiction novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz:

Listen, are we helpless? Are we doomed to do it again and again and again? Have we no choice but to play the Phoenix in an unending sequence of rise and fall? Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Carthage, Rome, the Empires of Charlemagne and the Turk. Ground to dust and plowed with salt. Spain, France, Britain, America–burned into the oblivion of the centuries. And again and again and again.

Are we doomed to it, Lord, chained to the pendulum of our own mad clockwork, helpless to halt its swing?

It doesn’t seem to matter that communism, socialism, fascism, Nazism, all top-down authoritarian systems no matter what their name or design, have consistently failed, and failed horribly, causing the deaths of millions and millions. Worse, these failures have not been in the distant past, but within the lifetimes of almost everyone living today. Several (Venezuela and North Korea) are occurring right this minute.

Yet, Americans want to try it for themselves. Sadly, they (and we) will reap the whirlwind, for it will fail again, as horribly as it has every other time.

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SpaceIL decides Beresheet-2 will not be lunar mission

The new colonial movement: The Israeli nonprofit company SpaceIL has decided that its second Beresheet spacecraft will not go to the Moon.

The association’s board of directors decided to involve the public in the process of choosing the challenge that Beresheet 2 will lead, as was done in the national mission to the moon. At the same time, the association will continue to focus on establishing the values ​​of the “Beresheet effect” among the younger generation in Israel.

What I think is really going on is that they have realized that they cannot raise the necessary cash to fly another lunar lander, and are therefore setting their sights lower in order to find a mission they can fund.

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Hacker steals JPL data

A hacker last year was successfully able to hack into the computer system at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California and steal 500MB of data.

Who did the hacking is not revealed in the inspector general report [pdf], but the report lists six different hacks of JPL’s computers going back to 2009, two of which were linked to China. It is therefore reasonable to assume that China, which routinely steals new ground-breaking technology rather than develop it itself, was the likely culprit. In addition, the timing of these hacks, from 2009 to 2017, fits well with the steady growth of China’s lunar program. If you wanted to find out how to build an unmanned probe to go to the Moon, JPL would be the ideal facility to steal the technology from.

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Soyuz has problem during return to Earth

In returning three astronauts safely to Earth yesterday from ISS the Soyuz spacecraft experienced a technical problem immediately after its engines had fired, causing it to go to a backup system.

Moments after the completion of the braking maneuver, the emergency signal was heard inside the Descent Module and the communications between the crew and mission control discussed a failure of the first manifold in the integrated propulsion system of the Soyuz spacecraft and the switch to the second manifold. Kononenko first reported K1B (Manifold DPO-B) emergency at 05:02:54 Moscow Time and subsequently confirmed a switch to the second manifold. NASA later confirmed the problem, but did not provide any details.

There is no explanation what the “first manifold” is, though I suspect it is a direct translation from Russian for their term for a primary system. That the system automatically switched to its back-up is a good thing. That there was a failure of the primary system is not.

Once again, this raises more questions about the quality control throughout Russia’s aerospace industry. While so far none of the recent Soyuz problems, which have also included a launch abort and a still-unexplained drilled hole, have caused a loss of life. I fear that soon or later they will.

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China successfully launches GPS-type satellite

Using its Long March 3B rocket, China yesterday successfully placed into orbit another satellite for its GPS-type constellation.

The leaders in the 2019 launch race:

9 China
8 SpaceX
5 Russia
5 Europe (Arianespace)
3 India

China has now narrowed the U.S. lead in the national rankings, 13 to 9.

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What the resurgence in animal life at Chernobyl can teach us

Link here. From the lead paragraph:

Three decades after the Chernobyl disaster—the world’s worst nuclear accident—signs of life are returning to the exclusion zone. Wild animals in Chernobyl are flourishing within the contaminated region; puppies roaming the area are capturing the hearts of thousands. Tourists who have watched the critically acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl are taking selfies with the ruins. Once thought to be forever uninhabitable, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has become a haven for flora and fauna that prove that life, as they say in Jurassic Park, finds a way.

Read it all. What the story really reveals is that the fear-mongering of the anti-nuclear movement (second cousin to the global warming movement) was at a minimum over-wrought and over-stated, and at its worst mostly a lie. The worst nuclear accident ever, that made a 1000-square-mile area forbidden territory due to radiation, has produced no truly terrible long term damage. Things are different, the radiation release had consequences, but the overall situation today appears generally positive, only three decades later.

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Google censors Project Veritas expose on Google censorship

Leftist fascism: While I have noted this in my earlier post about Google’s effort to block both Trump’s election and many conservative sites, it is necessary to highlight: Google, the owner of youtube, has removed Project Veritas’s video expose from youtube.

The only reason they could have to do this is to block people from knowing about Google’s partisan and fascist behavior. You can still watch the video at the Project Veritas site.

As I said, people have to stop using Google. Both DuckDuckGo and StartPage are viable search engine alternatives, though the former is preferred because the latter depends on Google’s search engine.

If you have gmail, find an alternative. There are many.

And as I have said numerous times in the past, I would love it if those suggesting evening pauses for this website could find alternative sources other than youtube for those videos.

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Google’s hidden agenda: Stop Trump’s re-election

Project Veritas strikes again! A whistle-blower at Google has revealed that the internet company that dominates all search engines has a conscious policy to oppose the re-election of Donald Trump while simultaneously suppressing conservative websites.

Jen Gennai is the head of “Responsible Innovation” for Google, a sector that monitors and evaluates the responsible implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. In the video, Gennai says Google has been working diligently to “prevent” the results of the 2016 election from repeating in 2020: “We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again.

“We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?”

There’s more at the link. For example, Google is also working to adjust its search algorithms to automatically suppress conservative websites from those searches. The goal, to use Google’s own words, is to make the company “the single point of truth” for news, with a perspective that is decidedly leftist and partisan.

The public has got to stop using Google. There are plenty of viable search engine options, such as DuckDuckGo and Startpage. I’ve been using both for almost a decade.

Regardless, it appears that this information will likely fuel the political movement to have the government break this company, as well as Facebook, apart. Though I’d rather the market did the job, these companies are very clearly violating the law that treats them not as news sources but as objective utilities, and thus protects them in certain ways. They need to find out that breaking the law will have negative consequences.

I have embedded the Project Veritas video below the fold. Watch it. It will horrify you. Not surprisingly, the fascists at Google/Youtube have censored the video. If you wish to see it, you need to go the Project Veritas link above.
» Read more

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Opposition candidate wins redo election in Istanbul

The opposition candidate to the party of President Erdogan in Turkey today handily won the redo election in Istanbul.

Turkish opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won the redo of the Istanbul mayor’s race by a landslide on Sunday, in a stinging indictment of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic policies and his refusal to accept an earlier defeat.

Imamoglu, backed by opposition parties including CHP, won 54% of the vote, and the ruling AK Party’s candidate, former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim captured 45%, according to state media. The political upstart broadened his margin of victory to nearly 800,000 votes from 14,000 in the March 31 balloting, in a clear sign voters are concerned about the crumbling of Turkey’s democratic foundations and an economy reeling from a spike in consumer prices and unemployment. [emphasis mine]

What this victory suggests is that there still remains in Turkey a semblance of democracy, despite the effort of Erdogan to eliminate it. What will happen next will tell us whether that country will reinforce that democracy, or end it entirely.

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More delays for Long March 5?

It appears that there might be more delays in the next launch of China’s largest rocket, the Long March 5, which in turn will cause delays to the Moon, Mars, and space station projects.

The Long March 5 heavy-lift rocket is China’s most powerful launch vehicle and was designed to launch large spacecraft to geosynchronous orbits and planetary bodies. It was being prepared for a third flight in July, Yang Baohua, vice president of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), China’s main space contractor and developer of the Long March 5, announced in a Jan. 29 news conference in Beijing.

The mission would come two years after the failure of the second launch. However that schedule appears to have slipped as the launch vehicle has yet to be delivered to the launch site, with knock-on effects possible for China’s major space plans. [emphasis mine]

The Chinese have said nothing to explain the situation.

Without this rocket they cannot launch their next lunar mission, Chang’e-5 sample return mission, their next Mars mission, set for the launch window 2020, and their space station, set for construction beginning in 2021.

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