SLS Countdown Comments

Oh yes…we are going. The deluded spacex fan club fantasizes that America loves spacex and hates NASA when it is them, a small slice of libertarian manic obsession, that hates NASA and by extension America, and LOVES spacex. Bizarre and strange that since they have hijacked all these public space forums for going on ten years, they live in their own little Muskworld bubble.

Over 100,000 people are showing up for the SLS launch.

NASA will hold a prelaunch media briefing on the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration plans-“

They will not stop blathering about Mars….pathetic.

We are only going to Mars with something nuclear propelled (NOT nuclear thermal) and loaded with at least a thousand tons of water. That is not going to happen for a long time and when we do have such true Spaceships they will most likely not go to Mars. It has too much gravity and no ocean and is a dead end. Ceres is the best first destination for any Human Space Flight Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit (HSF-BELO).

The spacex fanboys have to trivialize radiation, as they are doing in their comments here. It is dogma to them and in their NewSpace bubble they know nothing else. What they are missing when they claim NASA is OK with radiation is that if you listen carefully to the way NASA words it, NASA officials are “managing” short stays on the Moon and Gateway (by saying Gateway will not be permanently manned, which translates to short stays). When they talk about radiation and Mars they always mention “fast trips” of around 3 months. They are waffling.

I had yearly sexual harassment assault response and prevention training in the military. And out of the 8 or 10 I attended while I was in, in all except one or two, there was always one guy that had to stand up and angrily inform everyone that “sometimes it is the females fault.” That is not really what they were saying. Most of us understood that anyway. When Trumpists get upset about this or that and blather their coded language, most people know what they are really saying. No different.

When people get upset about a female and person of color landing on the Moon….they are self-identifying. Believe it.


Trumpism, a whole new kind of fascism based on white grievance, gullibility, self-deception, and lack of education, will burn this country down by way of his minions if we let them. It is coming, or, as the Q-crazies say, the storm is coming, or, as the neo-nazis say, the day of the rope, or as the evangelicals say, the rapture, or, as the…..and the list goes on. They are all under one flag now and it is not the stars and stripes.


That was brought home to me fairly early in life when I was a county attorney and every month I had to go down the list of welfare recipients and sign ‘Robert J. Dole, approved.’ And every month I found my grandparents on that list. And they weren’t lazy, but they’d been farmers, tenant farmers. And they didn’t make it. And they didn’t have anywhere else to go but the welfare office.

Pretty soon Americans will have no place left to go except into the streets to stop the Trumpists from disappearing their “enemies.” Watch.

The way the Musk Cultists place loyalty to their bizarro Ayn-Rand-in-space demi-god above loyalty to their country, as in their space program, makes what is going to happen soon fairly obvious.

The only “countermeasure” to Dosing and Debilitation is massive shielding and artificial gravity.

The Moon is the only practical place to get the shielding, using 20 times less energy to lift water derived from lunar ice into space than water lifted from Earth. Though plastic is approximately a quarter less massive, the most utilitarian shielding is water. Some form of Nuclear Propulsion (NOT nuclear thermal which provides, at fantastic expense, only twice the Isp) will be required to go anywhere Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit (BELO).

To spin a structure with a tether system and provide artificial gravity by far the most efficient option is the wet workshop, an SHLV upper stage already stressed for multiple G forces. Configuring workshops with an inner and outer hull to contain a cosmic ray water shield, a “Fat Workshop”, is the best path to Space Station, Spaceship, and Lunar Cycler crew compartments.

These are the realities and most logical solutions to the problems of Human Space Flight.

As I have described in other comments, the logical course is to first place “Fat Workshops” in frozen lunar orbit and deploy Robot Landers to fill the workshops with cosmic ray water shielding derived from lunar ice.

Those two pieces of hardware (and the SHLV to loft them) can provide radiation sanctuaries within ten years. Spinning these constructs with a tether system will eventually provide a Near Sea Level Radiation One Gravity environment. Then a permanent presence in Cislunar Space is enabled.

Hundreds and then thousands of tons of water available in lunar orbit in larger and larger space stations will enable regular human landings. Of course, as above so below and some form of sanctuary will be required for astronauts when they descend to the surface. Either roofed-over regolith covered craters or, ideally, lava tubes. In other words, a Moonbase.

When Apollo 8 went around the Moon they moved the goalposts and Earth orbit stopped being space. Somewhat like the difference between balloons and heavier than air flight. Not the greatest analogy of course.

It is the difference between the Montgolfiers and the Wrights. Some may cite the first successful V2 rocket launch as the beginning, others Sputnik, others Gagarin. In my view, the first space age, from when we actually escaped Earth gravity, lasted just short of 4 years and then ended. When humans again leave Earth’s gravitational field the second space age will begin.

In reality GEO is the best demarcation line regarding where orbital flight ends and “space” begins. The difference between a duck pond and the North Atlantic. Again, not the best analogy when I also sometimes characterize Cislunar Space as the Mediterranean and missions to icy bodies starting with Ceres in the Asteroid Belt and beyond as the Pacific.

The point is that human beings going farther than in circles a couple hundred miles up is Human Space Flight. Beyond Earth Orbit is Human Space Flight.

The last astronauts returned from the Moon in 1972 on Apollo 17 and that was the end of the first space age. NewSpace is THE END of the dream as its proponents seek to end “government employees” from getting “free rides” in favor of handing it all over to “commercial interests” and pinning faux astronaut wings on billionauts. The obscene spending displays of the uber-rich on space tourist trips are the worst thing that could happen to space exploration. And the disgusting sycophants worshiping Rocket jesus idiotically clap and spew spam. There is no ROI in Human Space Flight. The last bunch of tourists were unhappy about having to work so hard and it did not go well. The novelty of floating in a radiation bath and throwing up while looking out a window will wear off. Musk is all about taking over the internet with Starlink and that is going to fail when he can’t get any more free billion tax-dollar grants. He did not get the last one. His Mars fantasy was always just a scam. 

The Cult of Musk, like the Cult of Trump, is a corrosive pernicious force ruining everything it touches.

The American space program has been attacked by this legion of Ayn-Rand-in-space-libertarian-whackjobs for going on ten years. The Musk Cult is anti-American in every way and made up of individuals attracted to the bizarre and autocratic character of a narcissist billionaire hobbyist. They are the worst of the worst on the internet, gullible, toxic, cyberthugs.

The SLS is going…to the Moon. And the spacex fanboys, despite years and literally libraries of death-to-SLS propaganda, have not stopped NASA, mostly thanks to Jim Bridenstine, from returning to that prize we never should have taken our eyes off of- the Moon. That place Musk made verboten because his hobby rocket was far too little to go there. Now the shiny, that space shuttle redux that has blown up more times than any other rocket this century, with no escape system, is going nowhere while the SLS goes to the Moon.

The Redwire Greenhouse is being developed through an award from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, manager of the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

Like almost all progress, paid for by taxpayers and the government. As forces prepare to try and replace that government with a fascist autocracy.

BNNT material would not be that much of an improvement on simple plastic. As the actual structure of the spacecraft it might reduce secondary somewhat but likely at great expense. Might save some mass in a storm shelter but….no effect at all on heavy nuclei from Cosmic Rays. Really. You would still not go in there unless it was during a solar storm because the radiation from secondaries would normally make it the highest dose area in the spacecraft. It may work on SEP but is not really going to help with secondaries much and claiming so is misleading.

No mass means no secondaries but a thin skin space craft is not a great idea. More mass to soak it ALL up is best plan. Near Sea Level Radiation is the ideal. Along with a tether system this level of shielding would provide what I call a Near Sea Level Radiation 1 Gravity (NSLR1G) environment. I strongly suggest the article by Parker. It is available online by googling “Shielding Space Travelers” UCLA.

People may cite Parkers article regarding “magnetic shields” but he is actually describing at length why it is impractical. He calls a water or plastic shield “impractical” only in regards to the space shuttle payload, which is also misquoted by NewSpace fanboys. All they know how to do is trivialize radiation and will lie and mislead as a standard practice to defend that dogma.

A water shield is heavier than a plastic shield but far more desirable because it can of course be used in a life support system and for other things like dampening out oscillations in a tether-generated artificial gravity system. Both systems are massive and would require Nuclear Propulsion and NOT nuclear thermal, which is just not good enough. Only Nuclear Pulse (bombs) now, or possibly some new form of Nuclear Electric may soon be available.

Space radiation shielding is not something like a computer or rocket engine that can be improved upon. The blabbering spacex fans do about this or that “new thing” is about very small increases in ability to block radiation from solar events or “solar storms” and these are often called “storm shelters.” What most people do not understand is that crews stay out of those shelters unless they are bombarded by solar radiation. Why? Because the 24/7 radiation constantly penetrating spacecraft and astronauts is COSMIC RADIATION and is very different. When the heavy nuclei component of galactic cosmic radiation hits these storm shelters they actually produce “secondaries” and generate more radiation. Only when a solar storm hits do they save the astronauts from profound dosing but normally they have the highest level of radiation in the spacecraft. See how that works?

Unless you stop almost all the cosmic radiation you get no benefit and end up with more or less the same dosing as no shielding at all, except when Solar Energetic Particle levels go up. What does it take to stop cosmic rays and the secondary radiation effects? From “Shielding Space Travelers” by Eugene Parker (the guy they named the solar probe after):

To match the protection offered by Earth’s atmosphere takes the – equivalent to the air mass above an altitude of 5,500 meters. Any less would begin to be counterproductive, because the shielding material would fail to absorb the shrapnel. If the material is water, it has to be five meters deep. So a spherical water tank encasing a small capsule would have a mass of about 500 tons.”

THAT…is “state of the art.” For any practical living space for long duration missions at least, at the very least, double that figure to a thousand tons.

A couple thousand cubic foot greenhouse or a couple thousand cubic feet of storage is the choice on a Spaceship.

Some rough calculations show you can store about 10 years of food for 8 people in that space (about 60 tons). A greenhouse can supposedly provide for the same number of people. For missions under ten years it would probably be far more efficient to carry the food instead of growing it. A mix of stored dehydrated food and a smaller greenhouse and whatever product can be had from water grown plants/organisms in the radiation shielding might be the best solution.

The critical problem is Climate Change….and all resources should be focused on a solution.
And there appears to be only one solution: Space Solar Power by way of Lunar factories.

The more “renewable” energy that is manufactured on Earth presently creates carbon because ironically fossil fuels are used to make wind turbines and solar panels. Because demand continually increases as third world countries seek a western standard of living, we will never be able to meet demand while decreasing greenhouse gases to any meaningful degree.

Hydrogen/Oxygen Super Heavy Lift Vehicles sending refinery and manufacturing tooling to a Lunar Industrial infrastructure project is the only way to produce Space Solar Energy components Off-world relatively carbon-free and eventually power civilization from orbit.

A robotic Lunar Lander that can exploit ice deposits and repeatedly carry water up to “Fat Workshops” and create radiation sanctuaries for astronauts is, in my view, the key to human expansion into Cislunar Space and beyond. If not for the corrosive influence of NewSpace such a program would likely have been started in 2008 after strong evidence for ice at the poles was found. One of the reasons NewSpace is the worst thing that has ever happened to space exploration.

Growing full crops in space will be critical to future space exploration missions as plants provide food, oxygen and water reclamation. Increasing the throughput of crop production research in space, through commercially developed capabilities, will be important to deliver critical insights for NASA’s Artemis missions and beyond.”

Multi-year missions to the outer solar system will of course require a closed-loop life support system to provide air and water. Growing enough calories is problematic in the confines of a Spaceship so radiation resistant algae (thousand ton plus cosmic ray water shields facilitate this) is the most likely feature. Not radishes. Some kind of algal product may supplement food supplies but most of the calories will likely come from storage. 

Complaining about going to the Moon instead of DOD waste. LOL. Transparent: it is all about supporting the Cult Leader instead of the nation of birth.

And that is what is happening in this country; populism, treason, insurrection. All of it can be traced back to one thing- the rich evading taxes and regulation. Their faux think tanks have pushed free-market ideology decade after decade. Our post-depression mixed economy is now failing because of that. It all goes back to that, which is likely going to end as badly for them as it does for the rest of us.


Rocket jesus is slowly spiraling toward disaster. From a recent Time Magazine article:

“Musk admitted to his biographer Ashlee Vance that Hyperloop was all about trying to get legislators to cancel plans for high-speed rail in California—even though he had no plans to build it.”

“In crafting his future visions, Musk draws on the libertarian tendencies of Robert Heinlein and a technocratic longtermism inspired by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, not to mention the dreams of Nazi-turned-NASA rocket engineer Wernher von Braun. Future visions cribbed from the pages of science fiction—often of the dystopian variety—and reshaped to fit the desires of the richest man in the world don’t serve the broader public.”

“That’s exactly where we find ourselves now: having our future dictated by powerful people who seek to recreate the space colonies or dystopian virtual reality worlds they read about as kids without considering the consequences.”

“Kim Stanley Robinson- has called Musk’s plan “the 1920s science-fiction cliché of the boy who builds a rocket to the moon in his backyard” and one that’s dangerously distracting us from the real problems we face here on Earth.”

“The tech industry enjoys casting itself as our savior, delivering empowerment and convenience, but along with it has come an unprecedented expansion of surveillance, an erosion of workers’ rights, and the empowerment of white nationalist and fascist groups.
For years, Elon Musk sold us fantasies to distract from the reality of the future he’s trying to build, and to get people to accept his growing belligerence.

-complaining about going to the Moon instead of DOD waste. LOL. Transparent: it is all about supporting the Cult Leader instead of the nation of birth.

And that is what is happening in this country; populism, treason, insurrection. All of it can be traced back to one thing- the rich evading taxes and regulation. Their faux think tanks have pushed free-market ideology decade after decade. Our post-depression mixed economy is now failing because of that. It all goes back to that, which is likely going to end as badly for them as it does for the rest of us.

Through Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone to send astronauts to Mars.

They ALWAYS mention Mars. Pathetic. Mars is a dead end. Ceres is a far better destination for the first human mission Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit.

Landing on the Moon is a fantasy until they have a lander other than that bizarro version of the shiny, which was absurd. It reminded me of when they killed Sidemount. It was hard to believe they could do something so stupid. If they had built Sidemount we might actually be landing back on the Moon by now, or close.

“Through Artemis”, as in the SLS, is not a fantasy because they have a working Moon rocket. However, the original goal of the boosters/core/engines Shuttle design was a Saturn V class launch vehicle that expends everything except a tank, and expending it all has thrown that baby out with the bathwater. Fortunately, that can also change. Future iterations of the SLS can be made partially reusable. Because of spacex propaganda people will not acknowledge the Shuttle was actually more reusable than the F9 because it did not expend engines.

A “long-term lunar presence” is a fantasy until they have a way to exploit those ice resources at the poles. My best recommendation is large semi-expendable robot landers to process lunar ice onsite and ferry water shielding up to “Fat Workshops” and when a radiation sanctuary is complete, only then send astronauts.

Mars is absolutely a fantasy. Too much gravity and no ocean makes it a dead end. Even when we finally have “true” spaceships with a kiloton range cosmic ray water shield, tether-generated artificial gravity, closed loop life support, and Nuclear Propulsion, Ceres becomes the place to go, and Mars will likely be bypassed.

Nuclear Thermal is another dead end and while Nuclear Pulse is the only viable option right now, technology is emerging that may soon make some form of Nuclear-Electric Propulsion practical.

Starship is in many ways a Shuttle redux. And we know that “airliner” philosophy killed two crews. No escape system is unacceptable.

Jimmy Carter signed the check after being convinced it was a good deal. They went cheap on everything, and it ended up costing as much per launch as the Saturn V but instead of going a quarter million miles up it went a couple hundred.

Reaganomics pushed NASA to make good on their promise to “make space pay for itself.” Instead, Challenger destroyed itself.

There is no cheap.

The RL10 is about as simple, powerful, efficient, and dependable, as a small rocket engine can get. All the work to make it variable thrust was done long ago and the technology put on the shelf. So I think… could be the key to getting a lander built very very quickly. Almost all the work has already been done.

Well, we disagreed/agreed on that before (because of radiation) if you recall.

It is just more of the permanent damage the astronauts suffer on the ISS and is unacceptable in my view. We know all we need to know about that.

The only other possibility I can see is….a lava tube find. That would solve so many problems it would make a Moonbase almost a sure thing. We could actually just move right in with inflatable structures. Getting water would be a problem because there are no geologically likely lava tubes anywhere near the poles but that could be solved in a couple ways.

Just need a lava tube….and a lander.

The new stealth bomber program will cost at least 203 billion.
The Ohio submarine replacement fleet has a life-cycle cost of 347 billion.
The Space Force yearly budget for satellites is now 24.5 billion and that will go up and up.
And every year the ISS is in operation is another 4 billion.

No solid reasons for cold war toys anymore. Not in the age of drones and hypersonic missiles. Bombers are targeted on the ground and they can’t buy enough to keep them in the air 24/7, Submarines are being tracked by sea gliders now and cannot hide….it is all just Military Industrial Complex robbery. And the Trump Force weaponizing Earth orbit? The new money machine. Might as well build spaceships and put the nukes in deep space. Cost about the same. It’s true. .

Boomers used to disappear into the depths but that is not happening. They are constantly tracked due to the oceans of the world being infested with cheap sea glider drones. They can be destroyed at any time now and are no longer a viable deterrent. And with a 347 billion dollar life cycle cost that is as bizarre as it gets. 

Space is the answer to most of the world’s problems. Nuclear deterrence, asteroid and comet defense, Climate Change, and we can even create new worlds to live inside of instead of on the surface of. Vast oceans for submarines to explore beneath the surface of a dozen or more icy bodies. It is all out there waiting. The biggest obstacle is NewSpace, which is not about space at all, but only about filthy lucre. They see no money to be made with a Moonbase but gazillions from rural video gamers and megaconstellations of space junk.

Maybe life is just too stupid to survive in this universe.

The answer to the Fermi Paradox. We do not seem to be truly intelligent.

-my definition of “truly” intelligent would not be that (being able to destroy ourselves). Any aliens observing us would probably categorize us as having a kind of faux cleverness, but not really capable of surviving.

There are no “real” plans to go to Mars with chemical propulsion.

It was studied to exhaustion, and nothing came of that except “Battlestar Galacticas” that were completely impractical. Nuclear Thermal, much in the news lately because they are spending money on it again, is a dead end because for fantastic expense it only doubles Isp. Far better than that is required to enable any missions beyond the Moon.

That is not even considering the problem of cosmic radiation, let alone solar events and zero G debilitation, both of which make permanent damage much worse than that from a 1 year ISS tour a certainty. Cosmic rays are the real showstopper and nobody will take a stand about that except the world authority on space radiation, Eugene Parker. And his view generates shock and outrage among NewSpace fans because it makes a mockery of their standard practice of trivializing radiation.

Spacex is scamming, plain and simple, and the Musk worshipers are either gullible fools or simply disingenuous enough to go with it. I had one argue with me back and forth for dozens of comments until it became obvious he was just playing that toxic creep game they love. Disgusting.

The last I read the career lifetime dose was being reduced and that means it is impossible for a Mars mission astronaut to not exceed it, which would indicate nobody is going until that is addressed.
I doubt they would waive it.

These artist renderings of astronauts on the surface are misleading though.

Very little bunny hopping is going to happen. Maybe a few for P.R. but the astronaut corps will be trying everything they can to limit dosing.

It would be far better to robotically roof over a small crater, dozer regolith on top for radiation shielding, and use an inflatable shelter as a place to immediately go after landing. I don’t see any kind of human mission without a radiation sanctuary. Even a relatively short Apollo length stay is not a good idea due to solar storms.

Hiroshima Day 2022

77 years ago we nuked Japan. On a show I really like, Amanpour and Company, a recent episode tried to argue, on this very liberal program, that dropping the bomb was necessary to force Japan to surrender. Which greatly disappointed me. I had thought that issue had been decided years ago by works examining Japanese discussions in the last days of the war which clearly indicated the bomb was consider just another weapon while Russia declaring war was a far more frightening development.

We can remove Nuclear Weapons from planet Earth only by building human-crewed “space-boomers” that take them months away into deep space. Interestingly, these true atomic spaceships would be propelled by nuclear explosions using Nuclear Pulse Propulsion. Fissile material production would be removed to the Moon and the weapons only assembled far, far, from Earth. Spaceships are the only workable solution as getting rid of all Nuclear Weapons would once again immerse civilization in a new cycle of world wars.

Too Bitter to Contemplate

Listening to On Point and an interview with co-authors on a book about democracy. One of them talked about Trump as “the great persuader” and it was very enlightening. He ended by saying that this sub-literate whose only guide is Hitler’s speeches could be the greatest persuader in history is too bitter to contemplate.

Americans believe in exceptionalism, that nothing like what happened to other nations can happen to us. Yet it is happening right now. Right before my eyes. And it is bitter.

“The internet allows the angriest among us to interact, and actually reinforce each other.”

The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion by Zac Gershberg  (Author), Sean Illing (Author)

“Democracy as an act of persuasion.”

And in another article citing another book:

“As an exercise, try thinking “Party of Lincoln” (or Reagan) as you recite aloud this partial list of post-1994 GOP leaders, grandees, enablers and influencers: Gingrich, Kenneth Starr, Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, Ralph Reed, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Lee Atwater, Andrew Breitbart, Ann Coulter, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Karl Rove, Tucker Carlson, Rupert Murdoch, Jack Abramoff, Michael Flynn, Jim Jordan, Steve Bannon, Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz, Mark Meadows, John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, Rudy Giuliani, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Madison Cawthorn, Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, Mo Brooks, Ron Johnson, Lauren Boebert, Elise Stefanik and the 147 members of Congress who on Jan. 6, 2021, voted not to certify Biden’s election, hours after the Capitol was attacked by an insurrectionary mob. Got an ashy taste in your mouth?

The baton that Reagan passed to a new generation became a truncheon in Gingrich’s hands. For those scratching their heads and moaning, “How did this happen?” Milbank has the answer. It all began with the honorable gentleman from Georgia.”

SLS Comments

The Musk fanboys never, NEVER, acknowledge anything except the myth of Musk. So of course they are “satisfied” with their wonderful Ayn-Rand-in-space fantasy.

The truth is this; backroom deals and political influence are the reason spacex exists. Spacex employees generally despise Musk for the nutcase he is. An expendable rocket would do the same thing for about the same price.

That is not to say reusability is not the future, but F9 is likely not breaking even.

Comparing the Falcon and the Shuttle is a sad exercise in that the Shuttle was a Saturn V class launch vehicle based on the concept of reusing everything except a single expendable tank. Unfortunately, it was actually a cheap and nasty design in many ways, and this ruined it. Wasting most of its payload on a 737-size glider, the SRB’s, and other features were failed logic, and instead of making it economical, well…. everybody knows.

The most efficient progression would have been to make the Saturn V reusable one part at a time over a couple decades. The Shuttle was meant to leap ahead and failed. The SLS could reuse liquid side boosters and perhaps crossfeed propellants, reuse the RS-25s with a module, reuse the escape tower and capsule, and this would have been a more conservative configuration for the original Shuttle.

“Its not completely clear to me why SpaceX have not pushed for faster turnarounds; it might be that the Falcon 9 system has reached a technical limit and in most cases its not possible, or at least not cost effective, to do it so quickly.”

Pretty clear to me. Too many engines. Too many technicians required, which is the biggest expense and also what spacex fanboys have always screamed bloody murder at; the thrice-damned “standing army.”

We both know who does all the “blowing up on the pad.” (Regarding a comment including the SLS blowing up)
The DOD blows hundreds of billions on worthless projects to enrich defense shareholders….and you cry about NASA. It is so obvious what this NASA-bashing is all about is a cult of personality that wants it all handed over to Musk. Their Howard Roark/John Galt/Tony Stark hero is in reality a freak and his rocket company is the poster child for government subsidy.

“The contractor would be responsible for producing hardware and services for up to 10 Artemis launches beginning with the Artemis V mission, and up to 10 launches for other NASA missions. NASA expects to procure at least one flight per year to the Moon or other deep-space destinations.”

NASA will likely shut down the ISS and “at least” double the launch cadence to the Moon and the other ten missions to FOUR launches a year…which will, as every spacex fan knows, bring the costs down. Considering the years, if ever, it will take to rate the shiny to actually carry a human being (not going to happen without an escape system), it is not going anywhere for a long time.

SLS is here to stay.

And….Debunking Musk – TED talk 2022 Finale debuted on YouTube.

If Space Solar became the solution to climate change then an international effort pouring TRILLIONS of dollars into space might be an economic reason. Setting up an industrial infrastructure beneath the surface of the Moon would require thousands, and more likely tens of thousands, of technicians.

You see Robert, that single sentence that idiot uttered, “-the stupidest thing ever”, may lead to the needless deaths of billions. His BA (not a BS) in physics informed that very influential statement concerning Space Solar Power. Truth. And all these right-wing Ayn-Rand-in-space whackjobs will share the responsibility for promoting him.

The reason these billionaires don’t want anything to do with Space Solar is they cannot own it. It is such a tremendous undertaking only governments can finance it. Much like the Koch’s spending millions (pennies to them) to create climate change denial, Musk and Bezos both could choose NOT to be greedy sociopaths and support Space Solar….but they won’t.

I would say they will try and screw up some people for life. And then stop trying.

The only way it will work IMO is to use semi-expendable robot landers that make their own propellants with ISRU and ferry those hundreds of tons of water shielding into space from the lunar poles to the station.

In my view, just as the rocket equation dictates much about launch vehicles, the “Parker Minimum” is the main limiting factor concerning Human Space Flight Beyond Earth Orbit (HSF-BEO). And the minimum cosmic ray shielding equates to: “If the material is water, it has to be five meters deep. So a spherical water tank encasing a small capsule would have a mass of about 500 tons.” (from Shielding Space Travelers, by Eugene Parker)
Using Polyethylene drops that figure to 400 tons. Taking a wild guess that the FH could transport perhaps 20 tons at a time to the gateway that would be 20 FH missions carrying nothing but a slab of plastic. But water is a far better choice for many reasons. That much water would first of all provide a medium for a closed loop life support system that could provide air and drinking water for years.

For any practical living space at least double the shielding mass. At least. And then there is the problem of zero G debilitation ….

This is why bringing water up from the lunar poles is so important.

Exactly…it is a rock. (Regarding Mars) Too much gravity, not enough solar energy, no ocean.
The Moon is the gateway, the prize we never should have taken our eyes off of. It is the place to lift cosmic ray water shielding into space using 20 times less energy than from Earth. It is the place to assemble, test, and launch nuclear missions.

The first human missions Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit will be to Ceres, then Callisto, and then even farther out using more and more advanced nuclear propulsion systems. Carrying submarines to the places that have subsurface oceans. Mars is a dead end that will be bypassed.
The spacex plan is a farce.

People, State, Mob

“-An all-white planet achieved through profound violence and assymetric warfare.”

She nailed that one…crystal clear. They all fantasize about “the day of the rope.”

“I think that it is difficult to be too worried about this at present. In my view there are two major dangers posed to everyone in the United States right now from this movement. One of them is that groups like the Oathkeepers and the Proud Boys become a sort of paramilitary shock force of the most extreme parts of the GOP and lead us toward a sort of authoritarian politics that is enforced by violent action, intimidation, and all of the things we would expect from reading the history of those movements. The other is that there will be a contingent of people in those groups like the Oathkeepers and the Proud Boys that are not at all interested in the United States or gaining power as part of the GOP but who are actually interested in overthrowing the United States and creating their own ethno-state, which is not at all interested in democracy, or freedom, or voting, or any of the things I think of as patriotic. Both of these are dangerous to our society, and I think that one thing the committee is showing us is that the time to respond is growing short.”

“This is our opportunity to see behind the curtain, and so far, what we are seeing is very alarming and should escalate everybody’s sense of urgency about this problem.”

“We’re talking about huge sorts of “contortions” to make that OK with everybody (Christians and skinheads together) The thing that motivates that ability to be flexible and bring everyone together is an intense sense of emergency that the white race is under attack and will be eradicated without swift action.”

“That sense of emergency is able to pull in all kinds of different social issues into one sort of conspiratorial apocalyptic belief system.”

We cannot say we have not been warned. The storm is coming.

Taxes are “The Secret”

Quoted excerpt by David Klepper AP

“Daniel Charles Wilson believes the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were an inside job. The war in Ukraine is “totally scripted” and COVID-19 is “completely fake.” The Boston Marathon bombing? Mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas? “Crisis actors,” he says.

Wilson, a 41-year-old from London, Ontario, has doubts about free elections, vaccines and the Jan. 6 insurrection, too. He accepts little of what has happened in the past 20 years and cheerfully predicts that someday, the internet will make everyone as distrustful as he is.

“It’s the age of information, and the hidden government, the people who control everything, they know they can’t win,” Wilson told The Associated Press. “They’re all lying to us. But we’re going to break through this. It will be a good change for everyone.”

Wilson, who is now working on a book about his views, is not an isolated case of perpetual disbelief. He speaks for a growing number of people in Western nations who have lost faith in democratic governance and a free press, and who have turned to conspiracy theories to fill the void.

Rejecting what they hear from scientists, journalists or public officials, these people instead embrace tales of dark plots and secret explanations. And their beliefs, say experts who study misinformation and extremism, reflect a widespread loss of faith in institutions like government and media.

A poll conducted last year by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that just 16% of Americans say democracy is working well or extremely well. Another 38% said it’s working only somewhat well.

Other surveys reveal how many people in the United States now doubt the media, politicians, science and even each other.

The distrust has gone so deep that even groups that seem ideologically aligned are questioning each others’ motives and intentions.

On the day before Independence Day in Boston this year, a group of about 100 masked men carrying fascist flags marched through the city. Members proudly uploaded videos and photos of the march to online forums popular with supporters of former President Donald Trump and QAnon adherents, who believe a group of satanic, cannibalistic child molesters secretly runs the globe.

Instead of praise, the white supremacists were met with incredulity. Some posters said the marchers were clearly FBI agents or members of antifa — shorthand for anti-fascists — looking to defame Trump supporters. It didn’t matter that the men boasted of their involvement and pleaded to be believed. “Another false flag,” wrote one self-described conservative on Telegram.

Similarly, when an extremist website that sells unregulated ghost guns — firearms without serial numbers — asked its followers about their July 4th plans, several people responded by accusing the group of working for the FBI. When someone claiming to be Q, the figure behind QAnon, reappeared online recently, many conservatives who support the movement speculated that the new Q was actually a government plant.

This past week, when a Georgia monument that some conservative Christians criticized as satanic was bombed, many posters on far-right message boards cheered. But many others said they didn’t believe the news.

“I don’t trust it. I’m still thinking ff,” wrote one woman on Twitter, referencing “false flag,” a term commonly used by conspiracy theorists to describe an event they think was staged.

The global public relations firm Edelman, based in New York City, has conducted surveys about public trust for more than two decades, beginning after the 1999 World Trade Organization’s meeting in Seattle was marred by anti-globalization riots. Tonia Reis, director of Edelman’s Trust Barometer surveys, said trust is a precious commodity that’s vital for the economy and government to function.

“Trust is absolutely essential to everything in society working well,” Reis said. “It’s one of those things that, like air, people don’t think about it until they realize they don’t have it, or they’ve lost it or damaged it. And then it can be too late.

For experts who study misinformation and human cognition, the fraying of trust is tied to the rise of the internet and the way it can be exploited on contentious issues of social and economic change.

Distrust and suspicion offered obvious advantages to small bands of early humans trying to survive in a dangerous world, and those emotions continue to help people gauge personal risk today. But distrust is not always well suited to the modern world, which requires people to trust the strangers who inspect their food, police their streets and write their news. Democratic institutions, with their regulations and checks and balances, are one way of adding accountability to that trust.

When that trust breaks down, polarization and anxiety increases, creating opportunities for people pushing their own “ alternative facts.”

“People can’t fact check the world,” said Dr. Richard Friedman, a New York City psychiatrist and professor at Weill Cornell Medical College who has written about the psychology of trust and belief. “They’re awash in competing streams of information, both good and bad. They’re anxious about the future, and there are a lot of bad actors with the ability to weaponize that fear and anxiety.”

Those bad actors include grifters selling bad investments or sham remedies for COVID-19, Russian disinformation operatives trying to undermine Western democracies, or even homegrown politicians like Trump, whose lies about the 2020 election spurred the Jan. 6 attack.

Like Wilson, people who believe in one conspiracy theory are likely to believe in others too, even if they are mutually contradictory. A 2012 paper, for instance, looked at beliefs surrounding the death of Princess Diana of Wales in a 1997 car crash. Researchers found that subjects who believed strongly that Diana was murdered said they also felt strongly that she could have faked her own death.

Wilson said his belief in conspiracies began on Sept. 11, 2001, when he couldn’t accept that the towers could be knocked down by airliners. He said he found information on the internet that confirmed his beliefs, and then began to suspect there were conspiracies behind other world events.

“You have to put it all together yourself,” Wilson said. “The hidden reality, what’s really going on, they don’t want you to know.”

Everything, EVERYTHING, can be traced back to a single thing and that singular truth is…avoiding taxes.

Simple. Except the small number of ultra-rich like the Kochs and others who have invested fortunes (well, fortunes to us but pennies to them) over the decades in think-tank-disinformation and sowing chaos as a distraction, may have done themselves in.

They have destroyed the concept of truth to such an extent that civilization as we know it may soon be burned to the ground.

Once the bloodletting starts, there is no stopping it.

The Question Now

Opinion by Chauncey DeVega writing for Salon (Abridged):

As documented by historian Nancy MacLean in her book “Democracy in Chains,” the leaders of today’s “conservative” movement have utter disdain for democracy, the Constitution, human rights, human freedom, the common good and the rule of law. This anti-democracy movement also wants to impose a type of Christian fascist regime on the American people.

In a recent essay for ScheerPost and Salon, Chris Hedges argues that the “Christian fascists are clear about the society they intend to create”:

“In their ideal America, our “secular humanist” society based on science and reason will be destroyed. The Ten Commandments will form the basis of the legal system. Creationism or “Intelligent Design” will be taught in public schools, many of which will be overtly “Christian.” Those branded as social deviants, including the LGBTQ community, immigrants, secular humanists, feminists, Jews, Muslims, criminals and those dismissed as “nominal Christians” — meaning Christians who do not embrace this peculiar interpretation of the Bible — will be silenced, imprisoned or killed. The role of the federal government will be reduced to protecting property rights, “homeland” security and waging war. Most government assistance programs and federal departments, including education, will be terminated. Church organizations will be funded and empowered to run social welfare agencies and schools. The poor, condemned for sloth, indolence and sinfulness, will be denied help. The death penalty will be expanded to include “moral crimes,” including apostasy, blasphemy, sodomy and witchcraft, as well as abortion, which will be treated as murder. Women, denied contraception, access to abortion and equality under the law, will be subordinate to men. Those who practice other faiths will become, at best, second-class citizens. The wars waged by the American empire will be defined as religious crusades. Victims of police violence and those in prison will have no redress. There will be no separation of church and state. The only legitimate voices in public discourse and the media will be “Christian.” America will be sacralized as an agent of God. Those who defy the “Christian” authorities, at home and abroad, will be condemned as agents of Satan.”

The world imagined by today’s Republican Party and the larger neofascist movement is a world of rules and hierarchies. White people rule over Black and brown people. Right-wing Christians will rule over other religious groups and non-believers. Men will rule over women. The rich and moneyed classes will have total power over the poor, the working class and the middle class, most likely all of those outside the top 5 percent.

 The “rights” of property, corporations and guns will fully supersede those of human beings, the natural world and the commons. “Democracy” will exist in name only, and in practice will be what political scientists call “competitive authoritarianism” or perhaps even an outright authoritarian state adapted to fit the mold of American exceptionalism.

Too many Americans — especially leading Democrats and mainstream liberals, along with the guardians of approved public discourse in the national media — have continued to tell themselves comforting lies. Republicans are “exaggerating” or being “hyperbolic” because “we are all Americans” who have “the same fundamental values”. Those comforting lies were always cowardly, now they are just contemptible. In fact, the Republican-fascists and their allies told us clearly who and what they were from the beginning. The question now becomes whether it is too late for the majority of Americans to take them at their word, and use the precious time remaining to defend, preserve and rebuild our democracy.

So much in the news today, so much culture war craziness; Jordan Petersen and Elon, talk about the shooting being about women not dating him…. etc. etc.

Elon did pull the curtain aside a little when he tweeted about taxes. THAT is what almost everything is about, but nobody seems to see it. Ending taxes and regulation on the rich.

Mammon will murder us all in the end.


Atomized and Degraded

Back in 2013 Chomsky talked about jobs being the critical issue to the population yet ignored by powers that be. Plenty of work to be done but not enough profit to make it worth the while of the ultra-rich. We are kept “atomized” to keep us from interfering.

99 out of 100 have never heard of the Knights of Labor. Security forces destroyed them in the 1890’s. And Jews were among the most prominent leaders. There were German immigrant and Italian immigrant anarchist movements, but they had been mostly crushed by the late 1920’s. Europeans were appalled at the way America treated labor activists. The civil war never really ended as race and immigrant antagonisms were used to keep labor from organizing.

“People may accept obedience and deference and following orders but not very far below the surface; they don’t like it. And when people can express themselves, you see it.”

“So, (they) have to block democracy, that’s a real threat.”

“In the United States, for example, we are a very free country by comparative standards, roughly seventy percent of the population has no influence on policy at all.”

“You take a look at popular opinion; the public thinks the deficit is not a major problem. The major problem is jobs.”

“But that’s not what the financial institutions want, that’s not what the wealthy want, so therefore it doesn’t enter into political discussion.”

“It’s a business-run flawed democracy.”

“Functioning democracy, would mean, for example, that stakeholders, workforce, and community, take over enterprises and run them themselves. They say it is impossible.”

“Impossible is their term, reality is what we want to construct.”