Thursday, 25 May 2017

08:39 – It was 51.8F (11C) when I took Colin out around 0700 this morning, sunny and breezy. We’ve had about 3 inches (7.5 cm) of rain over the last couple of days.

Barbara arrived home about 1645 yesterday, driving through torrential rains at some points. When she got home, she checked the forecast and found we were under a tornado watch. Tornadoes are uncommon in North Carolina, and almost always small ones, but the morning paper reported a cluster of them yesterday afternoon, mostly between here and Winston. As Barbara said, she was unknowingly driving home through tornadoes.

She’s spending the morning doing outside work. She has plants to get in the ground, work to do in the garden, and assorted other stuff. This afternoon, I’ll have her labeling bottles while she watches TV.

My bout of vertigo appears to be clearing up. I was pretty unsteady yesterday, but I’m doing much better this morning. Still not 100%, but at least I don’t feel like I’m going to topple over any second.

I’m not sure if the meclizine helped, or if it just cleared up naturally. I was taking 25 mg every four hours all day yesterday, from 0700 to 1900. I’ll probably order more on Amazon just to make sure I have it in stock. I dislike taking any medication and, as a first-generation antihistamine, meclizine is particularly obnoxious. I took a few unintended naps yesterday because of it.

If you follow Franklin Horton’s books, you’ll want to grab his most recent one when it hits Amazon on June 28th.

 

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95 Responses to Thursday, 25 May 2017

  1. Harold says:

    Franklin Horton’s 4th book “No Time For Mourning” has been on my Kindle for a week or more and I just put the Audible (audio) version on my cars MP3 player. Is there another book on the way?

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yes, there’s another book due out on 6/28. I’m not sure if the new one continues the series or if he’s starting another series, which I know he plans to do.

  3. lynn says:

    You know, the old rule that it is better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission just bit a reporter on the butt. “Gianforte charged with election-eve assault”
    http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/politics/reporter-alleges-greg-gianforte-body-slammed-him-in-bozeman/article_9df533bb-9919-51aa-8d0d-5d5cb4e48923.html

    Why did the Sheriff not charge the reporter with office invasion ?

    Does this mean that one cannot throw a bothersome person out of one’s premises in Montana ?

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  4. dkreck says:

    @lynn
    Democratic sheriff?

  5. lynn says:

    I’m not sure if the meclizine helped, or if it just cleared up naturally. I was taking 25 mg every four hours all day yesterday, from 0700 to 1900. I’ll probably order more on Amazon just to make sure I have it in stock. I dislike taking any medication and, as a first-generation antihistamine, meclizine is particularly obnoxious. I took a few unintended naps yesterday because of it.

    I did not realize that meclizine was an OTC drug. “Rugby Travel Sickness, Tablets, 100 ea”
    https://www.amazon.com/Rugby-Travel-Sickness-Tablets-100/dp/B004FJFF2A/

    There is a rumor floating around out there that Amazon is getting ready to get into the Pharmacy business in a big way. I am not sure what that means but one wonders if they are getting ready to purchase Walgreens or CVS.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/05/19/amazon-online-prescription-drug-sales-mail-order-online/101837676/#

  6. lynn says:

    @lynn
    Democratic sheriff?

    No idea. The article says that the Sheriff charged the Republican candidate with misdemeanor assault instead of felony assault.

    I spent a week in Helena earlier this month. It struck me as a somewhat liberal place. Kinda the place that Californians go when their money runs out (Texas fits that description also).

  7. dkreck says:

    Of course real charge should be up to DA.

  8. MrAtoz says:

    lol! President tRump basically calls NATO members freeloaders.

    I am also going with #RESIST is going to fail and the Dumbocrats lose future elections. Independents aren’t buying #RESIST.

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    When are the Independents going to start running people for national office?

  10. dkreck says:

    Independents? Like Bernie?

  11. Greg Norton says:

    There is a rumor floating around out there that Amazon is getting ready to get into the Pharmacy business in a big way. I am not sure what that means but one wonders if they are getting ready to purchase Walgreens or CVS.

    CVS would make more sense, especially if Bezos wants to get into the mail order pharmacy business.

    I’ve driven past Walgreens’ huge HQ/warehouse in IL. I’m willing to bet that there are a lot of union jobs in that monstrosity.

  12. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “I’ve driven past Walgreens’ huge HQ/warehouse in IL. I’m willing to bet that there are a lot of union jobs in that monstrosity.”

    I’ve driven past Walgreens’ huge HQ/warehouse in IL. I’m willing to bet that they’ll relocate it to a right-to-work state that isn’t as bankrupt as Illinois.

    FIFY

  13. CowboySlim says:

    With United Healthcare supplementing Medicare, I was using it for mail order prescriptions. Quite convenient for those that you take continuously, like that for lowering cholesterol or blood pressure.

  14. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve driven past Walgreens’ huge HQ/warehouse in IL. I’m willing to bet that they’ll relocate it to a right-to-work state that isn’t as bankrupt as Illinois.

    Maybe I’m just hoping that Amazon will buy CVS and get rid of that god-awful carpet in the stores. That flooring has to be a health hazard … in a drug store!

    CVS trashed the old school Eckerd stores that are still around in FL. Jack Eckerd must be spinning in his grave.

  15. lynn says:

    _Unknown World (The EMP Survivor Series) (Volume 1)_ by Chris Pike
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1542879582/

    Book number three of three book post apocalyptic series. I read the nicely formatted and printed POD (print on demand) version in trade paperback. The author has plans to publish the 4th book in the series this year and the 5th book in 2018. All of the books so far are a quick read since they are around 220 pages long, in fact the author states that her book length target is around 200 pages to keep things moving along.

    For the second time that I have noticed, the author has credited an editor person, a formatter person, and a cover art person for this self published book. Interesting, I liked the attributions.

    An unexplained EMP happens to the USA in the southern region along the Gulf Coast. The book does not tell what happens to the rest of the USA. As with all EMP books, the damage is extreme, affecting all automobiles, computers, electrical grids, etc, etc, etc. And airplanes.

    This book is about two new protagonists returning home to the north Austin area several months after the EMP. Texas has suddenly become a very dangerous area to travel in.

    I enjoyed the book very much, especially since it is set in Texas where I live and in Louisiana. However, I disagree with the author that an EMP over the USA will kill car computers. Regular computers wired to the grid, yes. But car computers live in the horrible environment of automobiles with under-voltage, over-voltage, current spikes, etc, etc, etc. Cars will probably survive the EMP but your electrical grid, not.

    My rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (106 reviews)

  16. Greg Norton says:

    But car computers live in the horrible environment of automobiles with under-voltage, over-voltage, current spikes, etc, etc, etc. Cars will probably survive the EMP but your electrical grid, not.

    Car computers under the hood may survive, but try to find a new vehicle where the driver isn’t dependent on touch screens in the passenger compartment or the backup camera exposed in the rear body panel.

    People are way too obsessed with their screens.

  17. DadCooks says:

    WRT Montana:
    While I was listening to KSFO this morning they were talking about the news in Montana. KSFO has quite a national audience that listens to their online stream so it was no surprise that a number of long-time Montanites called in. The gist of all their comments was how liberal Montana has become as it has become totally polluted with snowflake eco-weenies from Californication.

  18. Spook says:

    Check the location of your own car computer (engine control unit, etc.). Lots of them are under the dash. Straight up into the sky from there, it’s only plastic and glass. Of course, the computer itself is probably cased in metal. Also note that the “grid” of wiring and peripherals is mostly exposed, too.
    Guess we need a volunteer to pop an EMP for actual testing…

  19. CowboySlim says:

    Several days ago, there was a link here to a Popular Science article about the EMDrive.

    Well, as I mentioned I went to Wikipedia to read some more about it:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RF_resonant_cavity_thruster

    I saw nothing there that convinced me that it could provide thrust while not in compliance with Newton’s third law. Then something that was never mentioned struck me. The article uses the term “electromagnetic” repeatedly, such as: “…EmDrive, is a controversial proposed type of electromagnetic thruster where an anisotropic electromagnetic field inside the microwave cavity purportedly produces thrust.”

    OK, but that which I could find is the source of the electromagnetism. Now, I suspect that if one uses electricity from a conventional utility in the Winston, NC area the source is from generator driven by a steam cycle turbine whereby the steam is heated and vaporized from the combustion of coal. Nevertheless, they do not talk about burning coal on the spacecraft propelled by this electromagnetism. Much less the source of the coal, Appalachia or elsewhere.

    Worse yet, there is talk about NASA involvement in this. Our tax dollars at work? Was it the demand of NASA that the metric system be used for a spacecraft that consequently smashed into Mars as the mathematics were bungled. Did not NASA thing that measurement systems that the Wright brothers used at Kitty Hawk were sufficient. Did they measure the length of there first flight in meters? Does Algore talk about CO2 emissions in pounds or kilograms?

  20. Harold says:

    RE: the EM Drive

    I have been following this allong with Mr. Pournell. From what I understand (and I may be wrong) the device appear to violate Newtons law of Conservation Of Momentum. That is, it generates measurable thrust without “throwing” anything having mass out of the device. It ONLY uses electricty as “fuel”. It has been tested by the Chinese, Italians, and a NASA contractor and all have confirmed that even in a vacum it exhibits directional thrust without propellant. The scientists are skeptical because they don’t like the idea of Newton being a broken man, it would call into question too many long held principals. However, as Galleleo said, “But it moves.“. The attraction of the “electricity as fuel” idea is that electricity is easy to get. Reactors or solar cells can provide steady, long term power. Sure, the prototypes produce a tiny amount of thrust and would never be used in a gravity well. But if you want to get from earth orbit to Mars, a month of steady but tiny thrust will give you MUCH more velocity than 5 minutes of riding on a chemical rocket. In addition, you don’t need to devote 3/4s of your payload weight to fuel. I have my fingers crossed that these may open up whole new branches of physics. And these are prototypes, comparable in my view to the initial internal combustion engines that powered the Wright Flyer. A few yars of tinkering & development may well increase thrust from mili-newtons to newtons or more. I’m an optimist and want my grandchildren to see travel times to Mars in the weeks not months. Talk about a tourist destination …

  21. ech says:

    Worse yet, there is talk about NASA involvement in this. Our tax dollars at work?

    The drive is being worked on by a NASA team at JSC. As is typical of the work at most NASA centers, it is most likely a few civil servants and a number of contractors doing the project. Most people don’t know, but the contractors outnumber civil servants by 2:1 or more at the centers (and JPL is 99% contractors from Cal Tech). At JSC, the Engineering Directorate, where this is being done is about 3:1 contractors to civil servants. The contractors work side by side with civil servants, some have offices on JSC, others work onsite but have a desk offsite. They do this because they can lay off contractors with a couple weeks of notice, but civil servants pretty much can’t be laid off.

    I don’t know any of the team working on this, but the sub that they are using has some top-notch people working there.

    To me, this is exactly one of the things NASA, DARPA, NSF, and NIH should be putting money into – low probability of success but huge payoff it does hit. Polywell fusion is another technology that the government should be dumping money into. Basic research like this won’t get developed by publicly owned firms – the payoff horizon is too long term for them. Venture capital won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole because it’s also too long term.

  22. ech says:

    But if you want to get from earth orbit to Mars, a month of steady but tiny thrust will give you MUCH more velocity than 5 minutes of riding on a chemical rocket.

    Right now the thrust is so low that it would be outperformed in every application by existing systems. The power required for useful thrust is just too high and so the power system would be too massive.

    That said, if it works and can be improved, it may be a game changer. The exact utility will depend on how much the thrust can be improved.

  23. Harold says:

    ech: – I have confidence that there will be several orders of magnatude improvment over the first crude prototype. The first gasoline engine would never power an aircraft because it was too heavy and had too low an output. I’d love to have the time to play around with this as it seems dead simple, a microwave emitter and a copper chamber. Varying the dimensions and configuration of the chamber could lead to improvments in performance, even to an understanding of the forces at work. If only I had a sheet metal shop and the time … sigh … “Garage invention sends local man into orbit”

    But then I did grow up reading the stories of Tom Swift, boy inventor

  24. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I think it’s overwhelmingly likely that the apparent thrust was due to instrumental or procedural error. But I always remember that apparently solid laws have been shown to be only approximations that are valid only under certain conditions.

  25. DadCooks says:

    WRT EM Drive:
    This is an area I do not have direct experience in or the theoretical background to discuss in a coherent way. I do have contact with many multi-PhDs who do actual applied research. When the discussions get around to EM Drive they all laugh and say that it has no real basis in fact, very similar to Cold Fusion. They do say that it does provide some very high paying gooberment contractor/subcontractor jobs with the requisite overload of gooberment “regulators”. They consider the scientists involved with this folly to be unemployable doing any real work.

  26. Harold says:

    From what I have seen, the “scientists” laugh and reject the observed results outright because they don’t have a framework to explain them. Maybe they are right. But given that EVERY agency and lab that I have seen report on this, do observe directional thrust, and that this has been tested by skeptics and in a vacuum, I’d be foolish to ignore the evidence in favor of supporting a theory.
    I could see ” instrumental or procedural error” in some cases but not all and not when real scientists have a reputation on the line. Call me a dreamy optimist but I prefer to put my faith in real world observation over theory. Theory has been proven wrong so many times. Especially in boundary conditions.
    My latest fun read is the speed of light may not be constant. It may be affected by the “quantum foam” of spontaneously created / destroyed particles and vary through the universe. That could explain some of the more bizarre astronomical observations.
    And I still don’t believe in “Dark Matter / Dark Energy” I see these as convenient terms to throw into equations to make observed reality fit theory.

  27. CowboySlim says:

    “….Reactors or solar cells can provide steady, long term power.”

    Recently, the Elon Musk, Solar City, rep was at my house and absolutely refused to accept a 20% savings offer from me. These solar people will not say, or don’t know themselves, how many tons of solar panels to make the electricity for the electromagnetic thruster in the EMdrive. All they offer is one lie after another. OTOH, one could do a rough estimate of how many pounds of coal can be combusted to make 10,000 KW-hrs of electrical energy.

    WRT to the billions of tax dollars spent by NASA in the past for what? Now they are expected to finally succeed here?

    How much tax money did the King and Queen give to Isaac Newton in comparison? Einstein? Kelvin? Curie? Copernicus? Galileo?

  28. ech says:

    When the discussions get around to EM Drive they all laugh and say that it has no real basis in fact, very similar to Cold Fusion.

    There have been enough anomalous results from some more recent Cold Fusion experiments to add it to my list of things to throw money at for a while.

    They do say that it does provide some very high paying gooberment contractor/subcontractor jobs with the requisite overload of gooberment “regulators”.

    Having worked there, I can assure you that the jobs aren’t “very high paying”. After 26 years as a contractor, I was making less than someone at Google, MSFT, or the like after about 5 years. Fortunately, my wife made more than I did, so I could work where I wanted. (The NASA PhD running this is probably a GS-14 s at highest, and mid-step pay for them in Houston is $130k.)

  29. lynn says:

    “Mark Zuckerberg joins Silicon Valley bigwigs in calling for government to give everybody free money”
    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/mark-zuckerberg-calls-for-universal-basic-income-at-harvard-speech.html

    Heck, why not ? Social Security for All ! Medicare for All !

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hey why not? Basic income for the feeders, and cashless society, and you’ve got total control over the population (thru extortion of withholding payments) and you know the total legit economy money supply to the penny, a central bankers wet dream.

    n

  31. Harold says:

    UBI (Universal Basic Income) immediately makes Libertarians want to puke.
    BUT (there’s always a big but) what do you do when a large portion of the population becomes unemployed and unemployable because of automation? Having a large percentage of the working age population without income or prospect of income is recipe for revolution. But if you do subsidize the unemployable they will essentially take over government as a voting bloc. You could say that those who take the UBI forego voting rights but that wouldn’t last if you could get it in the law. Looking at it, I don’t see a solution that preserves any liberty and prevents revolution.

  32. Nick Flandrey says:

    You ignore automation. You have the conservation corps picking up trash, building trails with hand tools, etc. You do like China and never use a machine when you have people standing idle….

    n

  33. Harold says:

    OH COME ON … private enterprise will EMBRACE automation unless FORCED not to by Big Government. How can you do like China “and never use a machine when you have people standing idle” without forcing the non-workers into effective government slavery? Slavery works in China because government has the guns. It won’t go over here. I am seriously looking for a workable solution to 50% of the working age population being unemploied. A pandemic? A CME / EMP? What can we really do????

  34. CowboySlim says:

    “…But given that EVERY agency and lab…”

    Does “EVERY agency and lab” include NASA? What a fraud! Remember 40 years ago when their Space Shuttle was going to replace the far more costly expendable launch vehicles due to the Shuttle’s reuseability? Not one subsequent Shuttle launch less than $1,000,000,000.

    Now, we rely on NASA to use our tax dollars to develop EM Drive for space travel?

    Then solar panels to provide the electricity for the EM Drive? Those solar people cannot guarantee me a 20% saving over my current electric service (CH4 fueled). Well, I’m on Earth at N33° 42.8497′; correspondingly, can they tell you the solar panel power density, kw/sq-ft, halfway between Pluto and Uranus? How many gallons of conventional rocket fuel just to get the EM Drive and its solar panels up to low orbit?

    Huh? Is this like when a federal leader said: “If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance”

    Any thoughts on the veracity of the WDC bureaucracy OFD?

  35. Nightraker says:

    “UBI (Universal Basic Income) immediately makes Libertarians want to puke.”

    I’m reminded of Jayne Cobb’s quotation to the effect that “If you can’t find work, you’re not looking hard enough”. Now Jayne is hardly a stellar source, being fictional and all, but really: Automation itself “should” employ at least as many as make cars what with designing, maintaining and building the stuff. I suspect that the strangulation of governmental regulation, licensing, fear of liability suits etc. has more to do with any lack of new jobs rather than repeal of scarcity.

    I’m happy to rethink that when I can’t put yet another RV in my driveway because the other yacht is in the way. 🙂

  36. lynn says:

    I suspect that the strangulation of governmental regulation, licensing, fear of liability suits etc. has more to do with any lack of new jobs rather than repeal of scarcity.

    Obolacare is the single biggest destroyer of full time jobs in this county. Nothing else comes within a magnitude.

  37. Ray Thompson says:

    Al Gore made a shitload of money with global warming fraud. A lot of people, myself included (although not a whole lot) in the Y2K scare. I was one of the few who said it was not going to be a big deal but when a couple of companies called on my expertise in coding date routines to do some fixes I did not turn down the work. There was a lot of money made in Oak Ridge when ColdFusion was the big buzz word. Company I worked for managed to scam some money out of that effort. I suspect the same is true with this effort but I could be (and hope I am) wrong.

    You missed your calling Mr. Slim. You should have come up with some hair brained scheme and sold it to the masses with the pocket books. Start a solar energy company, bilk the government out of millions, pay yourself an enormous salary, then go belly up. (Oh wait, that has been tried). But you get my drift. PT Barnum was correct.

  38. CowboySlim says:

    10-4, Ray, and now this:

    “…Automation itself “should” employ at least as many as make cars what with designing, maintaining and building the stuff. ..”

    Yes, at the foundation of this nation 93% of the people here were producing food for themselves and the other 7%. With the automation provide by the steam engine and then internal combustion, 7% were producing food while the 93% were making the engines and moving the food.

  39. Nightraker says:

    “Obolacare is the single biggest destroyer of full time jobs in this county. Nothing else comes within a magnitude.”

    Sure. Anecdotally, there is a dog food plant down the way that operates with a skeleton staff of full timers and 3 temp agencies worth of line workers. I’m sure that is to stay under the magic Obamacare number as much as anything else.

    More generally, Everett Dirksen said “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money” back when the whole federal budget was $100 billion. The cretins in Washington can do their cranial rectal thing because they are convinced they can print their way to prosperity (or at least, re-election). The whole panoply of Federal foolishness is due to their monopoly definition of money.

    You suspect the reset is a decade or more away whereas I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the triggering event was later today. Somewhere between those SWAGs, we do agree that such an event is coming. It is my fairly dim hope that the resulting carnage will produce a new decentralization of power.

  40. nick flandrey says:

    Not private enterprise, .gov. You want the money you gotta do some work. Mop the hall in your project, pick up litter, whatever. Not slavery, they get paid and can chose to starve. How do you think day labor works? The clipboard asks the room for 5 people to go do something. Five people stand up and get in the van… Basically the same at the union hall, except the union pukes know what field they’ll be working in.

    If you have half the pop unfit for work, you don’t give them money, you figure out work they can do, and you figure out WHY they are unfit, and fix that.

    There are jobs unfilled in every city and every state. There aren’t people who will do those jobs because they get a handout for less work. Make it MORE WORK to get the handout, and more of them will opt for the job.

    They aren’t unable to work, they are unable to do the work that pays better than their stipend.

    Get rid of the illegals and you have yardwork available again. Get rid of the illegals and you have positions in construction again. Get rid of the illegals and you have positions in food service again. Some large percentage of 30 MILLION jobs become available if the illegals aren’t there to do them.

    n

  41. ech says:

    Now, we rely on NASA to use our tax dollars to develop EM Drive for space travel?

    Given that NASA scientists invented it and have the patents, why not?

    Then solar panels to provide the electricity for the EM Drive?

    Nope. NASA buys solar panels from private companies. There is a substantial private market for space rated solar panels. They are more efficient (over 30%), reliable, and expensive than the ones used on the ground.

    How many gallons of conventional rocket fuel just to get the EM Drive and its solar panels up to low orbit?

    Who knows right now? That’s what systems engineers (like I was) figure out in trade studies. Besides, fuel is the cheapest part of a launch.

  42. nick flandrey says:

    Cut inflation and devaluation of the currency down, and half the pop can remove themselves from the job market, and go back to working at home.

    Single worker families used to be the norm, before women entering the workforce devalued the cost of labor, and the monetary inflation devalued the money.

    Hell, ordinary people had domestic help, some full time. There were even multiple tv shows about it.

    n

  43. lynn says:

    Hell, ordinary people had domestic help, some full time. There were even multiple tv shows about it.

    The minimum wage laws ruined cheap domestic help. You could not include their room and board in the wage calculations.

  44. Ray Thompson says:

    the union pukes know what field they’ll be working in

    And the union workers will do half the work for twice the cost.

  45. CowboySlim says:

    “More generally, Everett Dirksen said “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money” back when the whole federal budget was $100 billion. ”

    Yes, I am in total agreement with Senator Dirksen and I lived in Chicongo at that time, 1948 – 1962.

  46. Dave Hardy says:

    As Ben Stein’s late dad used to say, if something cannot continue, it won’t. The current situation cannot be sustained indefinitely.

    I believe our two biggest threats are 1.) financial collapse, and 2.) Grid failure. Terrorism is down the list here for now, but could be a factor later, as also the inner city populations blowing up and out, with those cities becoming “failed cities.”

    Today’s local rag reports a conference and study done in southern Vermont concerning the increasing ‘plight’ of rural areas here, and elsewhere in the country, thanks to all available jobs being filled, allegedly, and the kidz leaving the farm for the bright-lights-big-city.

    So I can foresee a time when places like this AO will end up becoming a lot like they were back in 1900, with a few lingering modern tech sectors here and there. North-country Vampire State to our west has been looking pretty grim for quite a few years now; some towns already semi-abandoned, and the locals are not happy people. It’s hard to be happy when the choice every winter is between the house payment or rent, heating oil, groceries, or medicine. Also hard to grow tons of veggies and fruit trees right off the bat with zero experience or inclination.

    Back from vets group earlier; some guys having a hard time w/personal and family and household issues, and Memorial Day is pending, which we all take seriously as it was meant to be, so plans afoot for this and that event around the greater AO. I don’t do crowds, and least of all a couple of thousand motorcycles blasting across the landscape between Sharon/Randolph and Enosburg Falls (about 150 miles). So will continue working around here, hit one or the other mass between now and then, and see wife off to Wilmington, DE on Monday for a few days, followed by a week in Philadelphia. I shall endeavor to persevere accordingly…

  47. CowboySlim says:

    “”How many gallons of conventional rocket fuel just to get the EM Drive and its solar panels up to low orbit?”

    Who knows right now? That’s what systems engineers (like I was) figure out in trade studies. Besides, fuel is the cheapest part of a launch.””

    10-4, I agree with that, 100%. It was my job to validate the quantity of the 1st fuel required for the Delta II rocket launches from 1995 – 2001. It was like diesel fuel and typically between 7,200 – 7,300 gallons per launch. Just a mere fraction of the total launch cost.

    Yes, and what we don’t know is how many millions of gallons diesel type fuel to get how many thousands of pounds of solar cells up for the EM Drive to get some absolutely unneeded spacecraft from Jupiter to Saturn.

  48. lynn says:

    If you follow Franklin Horton’s books, you’ll want to grab his most recent one when it hits Amazon on June 28th.

    A nice birthday present for me. But it is not listed on Big River yet.
    https://www.amazon.com/Franklin-Horton/e/B00JTXX6BE/

  49. ech says:

    “More generally, Everett Dirksen said “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money” back when the whole federal budget was $100 billion. ”

    Alas, he never said that.

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Everett_Dirksen

  50. lynn says:

    Yes, and what we don’t know is how many millions of gallons diesel type fuel to get how many thousands of pounds of solar cells up for the EM Drive to get some absolutely unneeded spacecraft from Jupiter to Saturn.

    If having a thousand EM drives on a spacecraft cuts the Mars journey from 200+ days to 40 days then I am all for it. Of course, that would kill the realism of the awesome “The Martian” book and movie.
    https://www.amazon.com/Martian-Andy-Weir/dp/0553418025/
    https://www.amazon.com/Martian-Matt-Damon/dp/B017S3OP7A/

  51. DadCooks says:

    Having personally met Senator Everett M. Dirksen several times (2 of those times at the Big Boy restaurant in Morton Grove IL in the early 1960s), and having personally heard him say to me: “A million here, a million there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” I will swear on a stack of Bibles that he has said that quote, many many times, and to me personally during one of the times we ran into him at the Big Boy restaurant. He may not be the originator, but that doesn’t matter. He said it and is correctly known for it, so that’s that.

    WikiQuote is wrong and so are several other sites.

    An FYI reference: http://www.conservapedia.com/Everett_Dirksen

  52. Dave Hardy says:

    As a teenager in suburban Boston during the Glorious Sixties, I remember having the .45 record of what’s-his-name doing the impressions of both Saint Bobby on one side and Dirksen on the other, singing “Wild Thing.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBR6ndAwJJs

  53. Greg Norton says:

    President Zuckerberg. Shudder.

    It is bad enough that a faction of Disney shareholders want to make the “Lean In” bimbo their new CEO. I’ll sell my stock the day that happens.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/mark-zuckerberg-calls-for-universal-basic-income-at-harvard-speech.html

  54. Dave Hardy says:

    Ah fuck it; it’s just one clown after another. Don’t forget, we had the unknown junior senator from Chicongo; the peanut farmer; the 20-Mule-Team-Borax actor and government informer; the two scions of the Bush Crime Family; Tricky Dicky the old Navy card sharp; and how could we forget Larry Klinton, serial adulterer, rapist, pedophile, narcotics smuggler, dealer and junkie, thief, grifter, and war criminal, aided and abetted by his shambling and stumbling simulacrum hag and fellow grifter, thief, and war criminal.

    So what if it’s Zuckerberg, the Rock, Oprah, or President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho?

    Yes, I know the post was about the Disney Empire, but I felt like ranting and venting on the other stuff instead.

  55. Greg Norton says:

    Yes, I know the post was about the Disney Empire, but I felt like ranting and venting on the other stuff instead.

    I was rambling a bit. No one in management at Facebook is truly qualified to run that company much less a major movie studio … or the country.

    The upside of a stock market crash is that the “Lean In” bimbo will go back to teaching aerobics at the Hah-vahd Co-Op. She was yet another hanger-on in the Larry and Cankles administration.

    Disney fired Trent Dilfer a few weeks ago. As a near Tampa Bay native, I’ll let ’em slide for a while. They earned a little slack in my book.

  56. Dave Hardy says:

    And once again, from OFD’s Sixties Memories Department:

    I recall as a teenager skipping skool and hitching into Beantown via the MassPike on-ramp at the Framingham-Natick exchange. From there, a subway ride to Cambridge and Hahvud Square and the Coop. They’d have albums playing on their Klipsch and KLH and MacIntosh sound systems, various musical and political event posters on the walls, and the smell of various types of incense in the air, usually patchouli and sandalwood. Sometimes at this late date, a little group of cells in my cerebral cortex or wherever will fire up and I’ll not only remember the sounds and the visuals from that time, but the smells, too. Just for a few seconds. It beats later sounds and visuals and smells I was to experience just a few years later.

    I remember them playing Carol King’s “Tapestry” album my senior year of high skool, as I was eyeballing the hippie chicks in there, and getting whiffs of perfume and patchouli, while also rooting through the stacks and stacks of LP and .45 records.

    Drop some acid on the way home and spend the night listening to blues, early rock and jazz on WBCN through headphones, all night long, and then up and back off to skool still wired.

    I sit here and wonder how in hell I survived all that plus the later chit and yet here I am.

  57. lynn says:

    I miss Richard Nixon.

    Few people know that he reimbursed the federal government for his Secret Service detail. You’ve got to admire that, he always cared about the taxpayer.

    His replacement was … ineffective though.

  58. Dave Hardy says:

    @Mr. Lynn; hey amigo, get Pat’s latest book on the Nixon years at the WH if you want a good read.

    Tricky Dicky was my CINC during most of my time working for Uncle and then we got Ford, a time-serving hack.

  59. lynn says:

    Ford, a time-serving hack

    You are being way too generous.

  60. lynn says:

    “Trump talks terrorism while Europe shouts ‘Climate!’”
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article152681564.html

    What the heck is wrong with the Europeans ? Their house is on fire and they are trying to turn the thermostat down.

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  61. Dave Hardy says:

    “What the heck is wrong with the Europeans ?”

    Like the Repubs here, they thirst for death.

    More fun reading from 30+ years ago: “The Suicide of the West,” by the late James Burnham. Boy, did he call it.

  62. brad says:

    EM-Drive: I haven’t looking into this very much, but my very crude understanding is this: There is a microwave generator in a tuned cavity. The cavity is tuned (originally by accident) in such a way as to provike a quantum effect: The waves cannot quite resonate, but they are within a quantum unit of doing so. As such, there is essentially a “rounding error” at the quantum level that results in thrust.

    There have been several experiments now, which have found no other explanation for the (admittedly very small) offsets achieved. It could still be experimental error, or it could be a nifty way to take advantage of quantum mechanics on a macro scale. I’m not disbelieving it just yet – the quantum world is weird enough for it to be true. If true, the current pathetic thrust levels could be the beginning of something really amazing.

    – – – – –

    Re the terrorism in Manchester: The MSM here is just as SJW-converged as in the US.

    The most widely read newspaper here has comment sections on it’s articles. They’ve had a lot – 30 or 40 – articles about the incident in Manchester. Funny, no comments allowed on most of thsoe articles. Why? Because the discussions would probably turn to the obvious: Stop the flood of unwanted migrants. That’s a very widespread viewpoint here, but it just isn’t PC.

    They did have the comments open on one article a couple of days ago, and I posted a very calm comment suggesting that the Europe should follow the Australian solution: close the borders and turn uninvited people away. Never appeared. Today, they opened the comments on another article, and I posted a similar comment. Bets?

  63. Eugen (Romania) says:

    WRT universal basic income. Zuckerberg supports it because, he said, it will make people more eager to try new ideas, knowing they’ll have a “cushion” to land on in case of failure. I don’t agree: I believe people will just get lazy.

    Thinking about Zuckerberg’s motivation, I came up with this proposal: 3 years of “cushion” pension at age 35. It requires you contribute to this “cushion” fond, and when you reach 35 yo, you are entitled to a paid “retire” for 3 years. You should have at that age, the necessary wisdom and energy to decide and act on your ideas, or be lazy – it’s your money after all. When the “cushion” period ends, you can get back into the normal workforce and paid for the normal pension, or whatever. Of course, everybody can do that now already, but having some kind of legislation will help with that, and make it more social acceptable behavior.

  64. Eugen (Romania) says:

    “the Europe should follow the Australian solution: close the borders and turn uninvited people away”

    This is the norm already.

  65. Eugen (Romania) says:

    “What the heck is wrong with the Europeans ? Their house is on fire and they are trying to turn the thermostat down.”

    US, EU and others don’t disagree regarding terrorism, but climate. The question is not justified.

  66. SteveF says:

    Eugen, that’s an interesting idea on short-term early retirement. It may have difficulties in practice but it’s worth looking into.

    (That’s assuming a state-centered framework like we have now. I’d prefer getting the state entirely out of the matter, letting people save, or not, on their own. The US seems unlikely to return to that point.)

    re EM drive, all of the tests have been conducted within earth’s magnetic field. Let’s take one of those puppies into high orbit and see if it still works. Similar to RBT, I doubt this will turn out to be anything useful, or anything at all, but remain hopeful.

    It beats later sounds and visuals and smells I was to experience just a few years later.

    It’ll sometimes come up in conversation, “Do you know what a pile of week-dead corpses smell like? I do.”

  67. brad says:

    Aaaannnndddd…no.

    Some 200 comments later, my comment is not there, nor are any others that are too critical of migrants or Islam or terror attacks in general. But they did publish comments about people who had nice vacations in Egypt or Turkey, or any comments that were just totally off topic.

    The press is not neutral. News at 11:00. Oh, wait, they won’t tell us that…

  68. brad says:

    @Eugen: No, sadly, it’s not the norm.

    What happens, when a boatful of migrants makes their way from Africa to Italy or Greece? They are taken into centers, and enter the years-long asylum process. Many of them disappear and try to sneak north to Germany or Sweden or whereever. If they are found, and avoided registering in Italy/Greece, then are then registered in the country where they were found. There are NGOs directly involved in smuggling people into Europe.

    What should happen: Their boat should be promptly towed back to Africa. The boats should actually be caught as soon as they launch – what else are all those expensive NATO surveillance satellite and planes good for? Catch them early, turn them back, and hole the ships so they can’t be used again.

  69. nick flandrey says:

    WRT the EM drive, I’m wholly confident that if aliens landed tomorrow, with a FTL drive or a reactionless drive, we’d revise our physics and figure out how they did it.

    Everyone is SO sure it can’t be done, they scoff and dismiss out of hand. Talk about close minded reactionary thinking…

    Like every WRONG generation before us, today’s “scientists” seem to believe that theirs’ is the answer, the end, and the final word on the subject. They’re just trying to confirm what they already believe. History laughs at this sort of hubris again and again. Everyone is SURE they know, until the consensus shifts in favor of the new idea, and then it seems obvious to all.

    Punctuated equilibrium.

    n

  70. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I think it was Carl Sagan who said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    I don’t know of any scientists who “scoff” at these claims. All they’re saying is that if you present an observation and a proposed explanation that contradicts accepted theory you’d better be able to provide reproducible experimental data that supports your position. Again, I think my position is a pretty common one among scientists: doubting that there’s really anything there, but willing to be convinced.

  71. Ray Thompson says:

    re EM drive, all of the tests have been conducted within earth’s magnetic field

    I thought I remember reading where one of the tests was in a chamber that had the effects of the earth’s magnetic field neutralized. Maybe I am mistaken but it seems like the description of the test was in a vacuum, no magnetic field, different orientations, different suspension systems, etc. The results of that test showed a very tiny thrust which was attributed to magnetism in the power cables or instrument cables, or was an error in the measuring system.

    today’s “scientists” seem to believe that theirs’ is the answer, the end, and the final word on the subject

    Global warming comes to mind. If the data does not fit the agenda, modify the data. The scientist must always be correct, their funding depends on being correct. Anyone who disagrees with their findings is an idiot and deserves to be run out of town.

  72. nick flandrey says:

    I heard some scoffing here, and I’ve seen plenty online.

    At least 3 different groups have reproduced the data according to the articles.

    The ‘willing to be convinced’ part seems to be lacking for a bunch of people.

    Anyway, if it works out, it’s a game changer because it changes our understanding of how things work.

    I’ll wait for more results, but I’m hopeful.

    n

  73. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Global warming comes to mind. If the data does not fit the agenda, modify the data. The scientist must always be correct, their funding depends on being correct. Anyone who disagrees with their findings is an idiot and deserves to be run out of town.”

    I know a lot of scientists. All of them are inclined to believe data presented by other scientists, and are loathe to question findings that are outside their fields. Science runs on trust. If I say that I did this and observed that, other scientists will take what I say at face value until and unless it’s proven wrong.

    I accepted the AGW stuff initially, simply because one doesn’t (or didn’t then) question the honesty of other scientists. That is the great crime against science that’s been perpetrated by the AGW crowd in particular and the progs in general. They took the trust of other scientists and abused it. Scientists simply don’t falsify data to support their hypotheses. It’s just not done. Anyone who does that is NOT a scientist. But the AGW crowd did that and have continued to do it. As a result, just about every scientist I know discounts AGW claims as fake science, and have done for years now.

    Making truth claims that are not just not supported by the data but are in fact contradicted by the data is not the action of a scientist. These bastards may have doctorates in one or another field. They may wear white lab coats. But they are NOT scientists.

  74. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, one thing that’s concerned me for decades is the change in science papers. Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was pretty common to see papers that proposed a hypothesis, described the experimental setup they used to test the hypothesis, and then presented the data and conclusion that they’d been wrong. Nothing there to see. They were doing real research.

    That started to change in the 40’s and 50’s, and by the 70’s and 80’s you saw very, very few papers like that. It used to be that the goal was to do research and then publish a paper to tell the rest of the world’s scientists what you’d learned, positive or negative. Now, the goal is to get positive results. I haven’t seen a “we tried this and it didn’t work as expected” paper in many years.

  75. DadCooks says:

    We have missed a very important “science” person’s opinion: Bill Nye The fakeScience Guy.

  76. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, and the real shame is that he used to do some pretty good stuff to get kids involved in science. He was co-opted by the progs long ago. The most recent outrage is him editing old shows for netflix and removing the segment on X and Y chromosomes, which determine sex (NOT gender).

  77. Eugen (Romania) says:

    “There are NGOs directly involved in smuggling people into Europe.”

    @brad: You went from speculations read from a very biased article to straight certainty. This is how disinformation spreads.

  78. brad says:

    @Eugen: Fair enough, the direct involvement is not proven, only suspected.

    However, I just went to the website of Doctors without Borders (as one of the charities that I generally think does good work). They have a web page about their work in the Mediterranean. They specifically point out that they run search-and-rescue operations, now using three ships. They bring them to the EU, specifically Italy.

    A larger organization, MOAS, puts it this way: They run search-and-rescue operations. The people smugglers know this and take advantage of it by launching barely sea worthy boats where they know that search-and-rescue operations are likely to find them. MOAS also takes the people it rescues intu the EU, mostly to Italy.

    What they need to do, is rescue the people, and put them back onto the coast they launched from. If there were no hope of a successful crossing, most people would stop trying to get here. These aren’t refugees – they are young African men trying to migrate to the mythical land of “milk and honey”.

    The thing is: I genuinely have the utmost sympathy for an individual person trying to better his (it’s almost entire men) life. But it doesn’t work. There are crowds of young African men hanging around the train stations here. They don’t speak the language. They have no education. They have no job skills. There is nothing here for them..

    Worse, African culture apparently makes it impossible for them to return, after they discover their mistake. It would be admitting failure, and they cannot accept that shame. So they talk up a good story, send as much as their welfare back home as they can…and hang around, getting into petty crime out of sheer boredom.

    I even know of one “success story”. An African guy who married a Swiss woman and landed a job, carrying stuff around construction sites. He’s been here for 10 years, but still doesn’t speak the language, just some passable English. His wife tells us that he is desperate to go back to Africa, but cannot face his family, so he stays. He just had no idea what he was getting into in Europe – none of them do.

    There’s no benefit to us (Europe) for having people like that here. There’s no benefit to them, as individuals. Their families back in Africa benefit from Swiss welfare, but – guess what – that’s not where I want my taxes going. Close the damned borders already.

  79. dkreck says:

    Ten years and doesn’t speak the language? That tells me a lot right there.

  80. Dave Hardy says:

    Simply more of the left-libturds making themselves feel good and feel superior by pushing this sort of thing and then letting the consequences fall on those people who had nothing to do with it and actually opposed it, and to their permanent detriment.

    While our own overlords would love to replicate that situation here and triple-down on it, evidently. Cui bono?

  81. MrAtoz says:

    We have missed a very important “science” person’s opinion: Bill Nye The fakeScience Douchebag Guy.

    FIFY

  82. lynn says:

    “What the heck is wrong with the Europeans ? Their house is on fire and they are trying to turn the thermostat down.”

    US, EU and others don’t disagree regarding terrorism, but climate. The question is not justified.

    I note that Romania is taking an extremely small amount of refugees compared to Germany, France, and the rest of the EU.
    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2016/12/01/refugees-relocated-by-e-u-struggle-to-get-by-in-romania

    Looks like Romania is not the welfare haven that the rest of the EU is.

  83. MrAtoz says:

    Looks like Romania is not the welfare haven that the rest of the EU is.

    Yay?

  84. brad says:

    Ten years and doesn’t speak the language? That tells me a lot right there.

    I don’t understand it either, but it’s typical. Our business has a cleaning service, which seems to mostly hire Turkish women. They have all been in Switzerland for a long time. Some of them can understand simple things, if you speak slowly. Some of them can’t even say “Guten Tag”.

    The problem is this: They gather in communities. They hang out together, take care of each others kids, socialize together. They can get by without German, so they do.

    These concentrations become a real problem. Back when our kids were kindergarten age, there was a problem: The local kindergarten had more Turkish kids than Swiss kids. This makes integration hard, because the Turkish kids naturally play with each other, rather than being embedded in the local culture and integrating.

    FWIW the same problem applies to the Americans and Brits working for the pharmaceutical companies and banks. There are whole colonies of English speakers who’ve been here for years, and yet can barely say “hello” in a local language. I have no more sympathy for them than I do for the Turks.

  85. Eugen (Romania) says:

    @Brad, I agree with what you said in your reply comment.

    I wonder too, why the rescued migrants are not returned by the rescue ship immediately back to the Libyan coast? Sure there is a reason for that, but what?

    I went through the Frontex (EU border agency) annual report, for more informations: http://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Publications/Risk_Analysis/Annual_Risk_Analysis_2017.pdf

    It’s quite informative with many data and graphs. Here are some highlights:

    WRT to Libya -Italy sea route:

    “Important changes were observed
    on this migratory route in 2016. Dur­ing 2015, and the first months of 2016,smuggling groups instructed migrants to make satellite phone calls to the Mari­
    time Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome to initiate targeted rescues on the high seas. SAR operations were mainly undertaken by Italian law-en­
    forcement, EUNAVFOR Med or Frontex vessels with NGO vessels involved in less than 5% of the incidents. As shown in Figure 5, more than half of all rescue
    operations were initiated in this man­ner. From June until October 2016, how­ever, the pattern was reversed. Satellite phone calls to MRCC Rome decreased sharply to 10% and NGO rescue opera­tions rose significantly to more than 40% of all incidents.
    Since June 2016, a significant number of boats were intercepted or rescued by NGO vessels without any prior distress call and without official information as to the rescue location. NGO presence and activities close to, and occasionally within, the 12-mile Libyan territorial wa­ters nearly doubled compared with the previous year, totalling 15 NGO assets (14 maritime and 1 aerial). In parallel, the overall number of incidents increased dramatically.”

    […]

    “In this context, it transpired that both
    border surveillance and SAR missions close to, or within, the 12-mile territo­rial waters of Libya have unintended
    consequences. Namely, they influence smugglers’ planning and act as a pull factor […]
    Apparently, all parties involved in SAR operations in the Central Mediter­ranean unintentionally help criminals
    achieve their objectives at minimum cost, strengthen their business model by increasing the chances of success.

    And some justifications for the efforts:

    “In conclusion, SAR efforts will con­tinue as long as the migratory crisis per­sists in the Central Mediterranean not only because they relate to international legal obligations, but also because they stem from European values.”

  86. Eugen (Romania) says:

    Yes, that report shows clearly that this route is used vastly by economic migrants from Africa, helped by smugglers in 96% of cases.

  87. Dave Hardy says:

    “There are whole colonies of English speakers who’ve been here for years, and yet can barely say “hello” in a local language. I have no more sympathy for them than I do for the Turks.”

    Ditto. No one is more a fanatic for the English language than I am, but that just blows. If you’re gonna live and work in a foreign country for more than a few weeks, learn the local lingo, Gomer. If I had to, for some insane reason, live and work in Turkey or Mexico, I’d damn sure learn Turkish or Mexican Spanish as fast as I could, if for no other reason than my own survival benefit. WTF is wrong with people?

    Saw the same deal a million years ago in SEA; G.I.s would simply yell louder and gesticulate to get their thoughts across, such as they were, and you could see the resentment and anger in peoples’ eyes. I learned some Vietnamese, Khmer and Laotian, plus went to Thai language school for two months, and made every effort to communicate accordingly, even employing middle skool French at times. And I was treated like fucking royalty by those folks as a result and invited to their homes for dinners and parties and they couldn’t do enough for me.

    Think any of the young vets coming back from the Sandbox and the Suck bothered to learn any Iraqi Arabic, Pashto, or Farsi? Think again. So just as we had our gooks, slants, etc. they have their dune-coons. And that’s as far as we and they ever got. Mission in all cases SO not accomplished but we had, and have, zero business in either place anyway.

  88. Eugen (Romania) says:

    “I note that Romania is taking an extremely small amount of refugees compared to Germany, France, and the rest of the EU.”

    Yes. Syrian refugees headed to Germany mostly (where they were invited at some point).
    In general Romania is avoided by refugees or other migrants if better alternatives exist due to its low wages and possibilities. After all, millions of Romanians went to work or settled in other EU countries.

    Romania is also not on a migratory route, because it’s not part of the Schengen area (EU border-free space), the migrants don’t want to be stucked here and the South border is mostly protected by the Danube river. However, about 20 migrants are caught daily trying to cross the green border between Romania and Serbia, hoping later to reach West countries. They are returned back to Serbia. Hungary said they will built a fence at the border with Romania, if migrants will use Romania as a route.

  89. Miles_Teg says:

    Lynn wrote:

    “Looks like Romania is not the welfare haven that the rest of the EU is.”

    The “refugees” know this too. Note the demand to be taken to “any western country”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_affair

    “During the rescue, Rinnan received a call from Jakarta advising him to disembark the passengers at the ferry port of Merak, Indonesia.

    About half an hour after the Tampa had set sail toward Indonesia, a delegation of five asylum seekers visited the bridge to demand passage to Australian territory, specifically Christmas Island, or any western country.[7] The group was quite aggressive and agitated and Rinnan agreed to alter course for Christmas Island.[8][9]

    When interviewed by UK newspaper The Observer, Rinnan explained: “A delegation of five men came up to the bridge. They behaved aggressively and told us to go to Australia. They said they had nothing to lose.”[9]”

  90. Eugen (Romania) says:

    And about that EU program in which 160,000 refugees from Italy and Greece would be relocated to the other EU countries, only about 12,000 happened so far, from which Romania took about 600 of them (I don’t have the right numbers now). Poland, Austria and Hungary took not a single refugee in that program, and are under the official “threat” from the European Commission.

  91. Miles_Teg says:

    Poland, Austria and Hungary took not a single refugee in that program, and are under the official “threat” from the European Commission.

    Heh, they should call the EU’s bluff. Tell ’em to FROAD and see what happens.

  92. ech says:

    Maybe I am mistaken but it seems like the description of the test was in a vacuum, no magnetic field, different orientations, different suspension systems, etc.

    They tested it in one of the vacuum chambers at JSC. They have chambers there that vary from about a meter across to one that is 55 ft in diameter and 90 ft tall (Chamber A). That one is capable of using liquid N2 and other gases to chill the walls to 35 K and has lamps that can simulate on-orbit solar light loads. It’s also clean-room capable. Several of the chambers are man-rated, with airlocks, emergency dump valves, and places for rescue crews. I’ve been involved with some tests in the larger man-rated chamber. Some of the smaller chambers have very large pumps that allow them to be used for tests that outgas quite a bit. One project from my department tested small cold-gas thrusters in it.

    I don’t know if the chambers are free of the Earth’s magnetic field, but they are large and metallic in construction.

  93. lynn says:

    They tested it in one of the vacuum chambers at JSC.

    The only real test is in orbit around the Earth.

  94. ech says:

    The only real test is in orbit around the Earth.

    Sure. But to justify the expense of a flight experiment, you have to prove that there is something there. A vacuum chamber is a good first step – you can eliminate a lot of sources of experimental error.

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