Friday, July 22, 2005
NOTICE: Maryland has the WN search engine running. There's not
enough space in WN for URL's of all relevant back issues. Just
go to http://www.bobpark.org and click on "search."
They won't know for sure if the fuel sensor is working properly
until they fill the external tanks. There hasn't been a shuttle
flight in 32 months. If they don't launch in July they won't have
another window until September. The shuttle is still needed to
make Hubble repairs and eventually dismantle the space station.
For all they've been doing, you might have thought Congress was
already in recess. Now they're in a hurry to get out of town by
the end of next week. Better they left yesterday. Today, in the
first space authorization in five years, the House endorsed the
Bush "Vision for Space Exploration." The "Vision" calls for
sending humans back to the moon in 2020. President Kennedy, in
1961, promised it "within a decade." It was done in seven years,
but it's much harder now, and less urgent. The Cold War is over.
In the other technology initiative of the Bush administration,
House subcommittees on both energy and research heard Wednesday
about some of the problems. They could have found out a year ago
by reading the APS Panel on Public Affairs report on the Hydrogen
Initiative http://www.aps.org/publicaffairs/index.cfm. But while
members of Congress never tire of hearing about the absence of
greenhouse emissions and how hydrogen could reduce dependence on
Arab oil, they seem less interested in production and storage.
Avant-garde film director David Lynch ("Mulholland Dr.") wants to
raise $7B to create world peace through a massive Transcendental
Meditation program. A corps of 8,000, trained in TM, would
create a coherent unified field over Earth. I don't mean to be a
cynic, but in the 1993 Demonstration Project to reduce violence
John Hagelin had 5,000 meditating over an 8 week period for only
$1M. He offered to end the war in Kosovo with 7,000 Yogic flyers
(flyers are better trained). After 9/11, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
himself, in a full-page ad in the NY Times, turned to "the
world's wealthiest." He proposed to create world peace with a
corps of 40,000 flyers for $1B. "There must be a few peace-loving
billionaires who can raise the money in one day," he said. We
see from Iraq that not one cheapskate billionaire came through.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III, director of the Missile
Defense Agency, quoted in today's Washington Post: "We have a
better than zero chance of successfully intercepting, I believe,
an inbound warhead. That confidence will improve over time."