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AstroMike
2002-Jan-27, 09:32 PM
Here's an e-mail of someone who thinks the Moon hoax is proved, but I doubt it.

From brian-marshall@usa.net Sat Mar 17 13:32:08 2001
Date: 10 Mar 2001 01:41:24 MST
From: brian marshall (brian-marshall@usa.net)
Subject: MOON HOAX PROVED


Please send this to all people in all nations. Tell them who solved the hoax
as my reward.
Lets get this thing buried. I need intelligent young open minded people who
can comprehend that today^Ňs society is sick, and is in the hands of evil men
who have been fighting good for two thousand years. To contact me, go to
http://www.makecashonline.com/nasahoax.htm
And or email ycon@home.com My mail is monitored and if you do contact me,
triple send it to the above and ooyes@usa.net and brian-marshall@usa.net

My name is Brian Leonard Golightly Marshall. My ax to grind is ancient, my
family is the true royal family of the United kingdom. The same cults that
dominate the world have stolen my Kingdom. I will get it back, and to do that
I have looked at the moon landings and have proven absolutely that it is a
World Order hoax.


I have just read through many Moon Hoax pages, most are in America and I
addressed the letter to them.

I have several comments.
.
I posted the information you seek at the above site last week, I started
looking at the Moon date on February 25th 2001 and this is what I observed to
be a Hoax.
.
I fully realize that it is not a proud moment for Americans to face the facts
that their government is a corporate club with ancient fraternities, but that
is how it is.
.
A good movie to watch is Skulls and Wag the Dog.
.
I feel for you all, and I do not make frivolous claims to hurt you or to
bolster my ego. I just look for the truth, it^Ňs the Jesus thing to do, and I
have always conducted my affairs as if I was looking through his eyes.
.
I have several astronomy programs, one by Carl Sagen and another called Home
Planet. They are very accurate; in fact the Home Planet program measures the
distance to the moon down to a Kilometer at any given time thousands of years
in the past or future on any date.
.
Being a scientist I have gad to deal with facts for many years.
.
These programs confirm the shadow on the Moon at the landing site as being in
the dark at 4:17 PM EDT July 20th 1969 the moment of the alleged landing.
.
The landing site was 0.67 North Latitude by 23:23 East Longitude.
.
The sunlight at the time of landing was at 35 degrees East.
.
The landing therefore was impossible. Not that the landing could not be done
in the dark, it would be a silly thing to do, but the film NASA shows of the
descent is in daylight and no shadow is seen at all from orbit and the film of
the touchdown is in the light.
.
We are looking for truth are we not?
.
The sunlight on the moon moves across the surface at 9 miles per hour, not
like the earth, as the moon turns on its axis once in 29 1/2 days. This means
that when the sun did rise at that location, the shadows would be miles long;
totally dark in the shadow, as defused light of an atmosphere is not present
on the Moon.
.
Some have said that there is an atmosphere on the moon, well there is not.
This is how it is, none. No atmosphere no wind, this is why there are
photographs of Aldrin setting up a solar wind experiment. Solar wind has no
effect as it is subatomic particles.
.
The flag waving is not a factor at all because there is no wind, so what ever
made it wave, could not be caused by moon wind. It is not important here as
we have adequate proof it is a fake and this is just another mistake.
.
The important issue here is the glare from the sun. If any of you have ever
used a welding rod, the light of it burns the white of the eyes, even if your
face is turned away. Not to mention the burnt skin of the face. I have done
years of welding, take my word for it.
.
Compared to the welding rod, the glare from the sun on the moon is so bright,
it would burn the skin let alone the white of the eyes and the retina is
magnified focusing the light. Speculating that you could walk around on the
moon with a shield up is absolute, it can not be done, the sun is so bright
that the lack of atmosphere combined with a surface temperature of 250
degrees, hotter than boiling point, means that a space craft, a lunar lander,
could remain for only a short time as the surface temperature of the machine
and the space suits would rocket up.
.
Lets get to the facts, it was a landing that would have to have occurred in
the dark.
.
The light is 20 times brighter than on the earth.
.
There is no atmosphere on the Moon.
.
The daylight temperature is 250 degrees.
.
They must have landed in the dark.
.
In addition, if you take the time and down load the 16mm frames taken from the
Lander while both astronauts were out of the Lander, the movie camera moves
about panning up and down and from side to side by several feet. And this
means someone in the Lander other then the two on the surface.
.
In later moon walks, no astronaut has his shield up.
.
As this was 1969 the information was not readily available on the web, so they
were not scrutinized as today, nor was there any doubt that there could be a
conspiracy, no mention of World Order, Freemasonry, Knights Templar or Skull
and Bones conspiracies, but the reality is that this is indeed the case.
.
I am an old man now, and have a great deal of interaction with people in high
places and all I can say is, take an old mans advise, it is all a war of power
in high places. Democracy is like two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have
for lunch.
.
All elections are subject to media owned by share holders who own every thing
and can make of break a politician overnight, and never will you read the
truth in a city paper, as they are all owned by the same club.
.
I am sad to reveal these things, I have many friends in America, but I also no
that if the America giant is made aware of what their government is up to,
watch out.

Brian.

Anybody care to debunk him?

odysseus0101
2002-Jan-27, 11:23 PM
Well, I'm not qualified to debunk any of the actual substance of his message, but his claim about being a member of Britain true royal family was quite interesting. First, I would really like to know which family he thinks is legitimate? He couldn't possibly be making a claim about the Restoration period or the Norman conquest, could he? I suppose I could e-mail him, but that's a can of worms I think I'll leave tightly sealed. Incidentally, one would not expect to find a monarchist distraught that various states are apparently run by self-interested cartels. Furthermore, when his ancestor was removed from the throne his family apparently moved abroad, because English is certainly not his native language. I don't even think we need astronomy for this one...

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-27, 11:57 PM
On 2002-01-27 16:32, AstroMike wrote that Brian wrote:
I am an old man now,
Shame. He must have lived through it even, and he can't remember it. The flag waving discussions, for instance, or the daylight/nighttime landing questions.

Kaptain K
2002-Jan-28, 12:18 AM
I'll pass! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif Where would one start with somebody who has everything wrong? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif Not even getting into the whole "New World Order" and "I am the true heir to the throne of England" load of **. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

WHarris
2002-Jan-28, 01:15 AM
"My name is Brian Leonard Golightly Marshall. My ax to grind is ancient, my family is the true royal family of the United kingdom."

And I am Czar of all the Russias. Pleased to meet you.

God, what a frelling idiot.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-28, 02:35 AM
<a name="20020227">

Anyone familiar with the Home Planet software, or the Carl Sagan software? Is it possible that either one is in error?

As near as I can tell, Apollo 11 landed fairly near the terminator, in sunlight. The ground would have recently been in shadow, and the surrounding terrain would have cast strong shadows.

Update: I checked all the landing times (http://www.nasm.edu/apollo/landsites.htm) and sites (http://www.nasm.edu/apollo/FIGURES/LandingSitesMaps.jpg) with SkyMap (http://www.skymap.com), and sure enough, all were at sites that were on the terminator just a couple days before--makes the area cooler, more apt to be in sunlight longer, and the relief more pronounced. Of course, they'd say that even if it were faked, right?

So, how does this guy think that a dark landing site would have escaped notice for thirty years?

<font size=-1>[Added Update]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GrapesOfWrath on 2002-01-28 07:09 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[Added name identifier]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GrapesOfWrath on 2002-02-27 13:10 ]</font>

AstroMike
2002-Jan-28, 02:55 AM
Anyone familiar with the Home Planet software, or the Carl Sagan software? Is it possible that either one is in error?

I don't think the programs are wrong. I just think the guy is simply wrong.

http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/images/pao/AS11/10075258.jpg

This is an image of the Eagle approaching the landing site. Note that the terminator is well defined.

Also read the caption: http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/images/pao/AS11/10075258.htm


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: AstroMike on 2002-01-27 21:59 ]</font>

Simon
2002-Jan-28, 10:10 AM
Only two things to say (ad homnium, I suppose, but it's just too easy to let go...)
1) I probably have as firm a claim to the British throne as he does, and

2) http://www.makecashonline.com isn't a homepage that fills you with credibility.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-28, 12:36 PM
I just found that http://www.makecashonline.com/nasahoax.htm is unable to be found, and http://www.makecashonline.com/ is forbidden access. Anyone else?

JayUtah
2002-Jan-28, 01:41 PM
http://www.makecashonline.com/nasahoax.htm

Hm. Make cash online.

My ax to grind is ancient, my
family is the true royal family of the United kingdom.

Which "true" royal family would that be? Britons, help me out here. How many ruling houses has the U.K. had over the centuries?

The same cults that
dominate the world ...

Or in other words, "rant rant rant Masons blah blah rant Illuminati rant rant Templars rant rant blah blah the phone company blah blah."

I have just read through many Moon Hoax pages

We're proud of you. Have you been to school and studied physics? Astronomy? Chemistry? Engineering? History?

A good movie to watch is Skulls and Wag the Dog.

Translation: Hollywood screen writers always get the facts right and never embellish anything, so that's what I'm basing my arguments on.

I have always conducted my affairs as if I was looking through his eyes.

Wow, delusions of grandeur and godlike vision.
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Being a scientist I have gad to deal with facts for many years.

So this guy is rightful heir to the British throne, a scientist, and Jesus' buddy. Oh, but it's not an ego thing.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Astronomy programs are great, and usually accurate enough, but knowing what you're looking at is a different thing altogether.

These programs confirm the shadow on the Moon at the landing site as being in
the dark at 4:17 PM EDT July 20th 1969 the moment of the alleged landing.

The problem is that in order to locate the terminator you have to have extremely accurate positions of not just the moon, but also the earth and the sun. Accuracy in these kinds of programs is accomplished by harmonic equations. It takes about 300 elements, for example, to accurately produce a sun-fixed location for the earth on any given date. So in order to evaluate the simulation's accuracy we need to peek inside and see whether they provide dozens or hundreds or thousands of harmonic elements.

And I'm sure Carl Sagan did not sit down and program the thing himself. I'm sure he put his name on something that someone else had done.

but the film NASA shows of the
descent is in daylight and no shadow is seen at all from orbit

That's a big negatory. One of the proof photos I use quite often shows Eagle headed right for the terminator.

The problem is simulation. It's a common thing for someone to say, "My free astronomy program shows the moon was in shadow," or, "I modelled this scene in 3D Studio and didn't see the same lighting effects." Failure to create an accurate simulation is not proof that the real-life occurrence was fraudulent.

The intended landing site was published in the press kits. Armstrong was only a few miles off. Every single telescope on earth was no doubt trained on that spot. Don't you think some astronomer in Russia or China would have said, "Hey, they're landing ten degrees on the dark side of the terminator!"

Some have said that there is an atmosphere on the moon, well there is not. This is how it is, none.

Someone who claims to be a scientist would know that the moon does indeed have an atmosphere, just not one that's physically significant at the macro level. It doesn't "blow". It doesn't scatter light. It's just a somewhat denser concentration of gas molecules near the surface.

The flag waving is not a factor at all ... this is just another mistake.

A scientist would know what made the flag look and act as it did and would not call it a "mistake", whether or not it was irrelevant to his argument.

I have done years of welding, take my word for it.

Scientist, welder, heir to the British throne, and so forth.

Compared to the welding rod, the glare from the sun on the moon is so bright, it would burn the skin let alone the white of the eyes and the retina is
magnified focusing the light.

Well, compared to a welding rod the glare from the sun is composed of an entirely different spectrum of electromagnetic light. Welding arcs are heavy on the ultraviolet, which is what causes sunburn and retina damage. The shorter the wavelength, the nastier EM radiation is.

I think it was Dave Scott or John Young who complained that the sunlight gave him a headache. But it's only about 20% brighter than the sun as seen from the earth. You could easily walk around with the visor up, as long as you don't stare directly into the sun.

... a lunar lander, could remain for only a short time as the surface temperature of the machine and the space suits would rocket up.

Obviously our welder-scientist-king was sleeping during thermodynamics class. The temperature an object reaches on the moon is a factor of how much light it reflects versus absorbs, and the emissivity of the material from which it is made. Also, the lunar module was cooled by sublimation, as were the space suits.

Contrary to some outlandish claims made elsewhere on this forum, things in space near the earth an dmoon do not uniformly reach a temperature of 250 F.

The light is 20 times brighter than on the earth.

Twenty percent, not twenty times. No scientist would argue that the earth's atmosphere absorbs or reflects 95% of the incoming light.

The daylight temperature is 250 degrees.

The temperature of sunlit lunar surface material at high noon is 250 F or so. That's not the only temperature that exists on the moon.

In addition, if you take the time and down load the 16mm frames taken from the
Lander while both astronauts were out of the Lander, the movie camera moves
about panning up and down and from side to side by several feet.

Those are video frames taken from the television camera which was remotely controlled by flight controllers on earth. It was one of the lunar module's most publicized features. The 16mm DAC was only used to record traverses, when the rover's S-band antenna could not be stabilized.

And this means someone in the Lander other then the two on the surface.

Well, now I'm confused. Did they land in the dark because of the heat, or did they fake the whole thing and not go in the first place?

In later moon walks, no astronaut has his shield up.

False. Jack Schmitt spend most of EVA-3 with his visor up since he had scratched it so badly during prior EVAs. He couldn't see through it very well.

As this was 1969 the information was not readily available on the web, so they
were not scrutinized as today

But they were nevertheless available. Legitimate historians and researchers from all over the world have been examining them for decades. The only thing web publishing has accomplished is to bring this material into easy reach of the crackpots who otherwise didn't know how to obtain it.

I am an old man now

Hence his allegiance to the old-fashioned "All the anomalies are mistakes" theory instead of the much more fashionable "All the anomalies are deliberate clues from whistle-blowers" theory.

and have a great deal of interaction with people in high places

Most royal welders do. Does that mean he's now part of the conspiracy?

Anybody care to debunk him?

Fish in a barrel.

His entire argument is based simply on the prediction of a simulation of unknown fidelity.

As for his being a welder, I'd say that's the only plausible thing in this whole rant.

As for his being a devout Christian, probably true but irrelevant. My experience as a Christian is that their skill at critical thought is in inverse proportion to the degree of their professed devotion.

As for his being heir to the British throne, that's for geneologists to determine.

As for his being a scientists -- absolutely no way.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-28, 01:48 PM
Anyone familiar with the Home Planet software, or the Carl Sagan software? Is it possible that either one is in error?

If it's sold over the counter or downloaded from the net, it's likely in error enough to account for this. As noted above, these programs are very difficult to write.

Most of them assume an earth-fixed coordinate system and plot the paths of objects on the celestial sphere by means of harmonic equations. Harmonic equations are the mathematics behind Spirograph. It usually takes hundreds of terms to even closely approximate the true path of the object in the sky, and each of these terms has four coefficients with ten or twelve decimal places in each. Very easy to make a typo.

So, how does this guy think that a dark landing site would have escaped notice for thirty years?

As his rant demonstrates, I don't think he's really thought this through.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-28, 02:58 PM
On 2002-01-28 08:48, JayUtah wrote:
If it's sold over the counter or downloaded from the net, it's likely in error enough to account for this. As noted above, these programs are very difficult to write.
I did a quick search for Home Planet, and found it at www.fourmilab.ch (http://www.fourmilab.ch/homeplanet/homeplanet.html). Apparently, the author is John Walker, author of AutoCAD and founder of Autodesk. Pretty impressive credentials. I downloaded Home Planet lite ("has no accuracy or feature limitations"), and ran it for the date and time of Apollo 11. It appeared to be the same result that I got with SkyMap. Nice program, by the way.

odysseus0101
2002-Jan-28, 04:09 PM
The intended landing site was published in the press kits. Armstrong was only a few miles off. Every single telescope on earth was no doubt trained on that spot. Don't you think some astronomer in Russia or China would have said, "Hey, they're landing ten degrees on the dark side of the terminator!"


Utah,

Certainly your post rocks, but this part that I have quoted concerned me. It is my understanding that telescopes would be incapable of seeing Apollo activity on the moon, which I presume includes landings.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-28, 04:16 PM
On 2002-01-28 11:09, odysseus0101 wrote:
Certainly your post rocks, but this part that I have quoted concerned me. It is my understanding that telescopes would be incapable of seeing Apollo activity on the moon, which I presume includes landings.

I don't think that he is saying that they could actually see them through telescopes. It's just that, yep, there were a lot of telescopes looking at the site--and they would have surely pointed out that it was dark, if it had been.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-28, 05:28 PM
It is my understanding that telescopes would be incapable of seeing Apollo activity on the moon, which I presume includes landings.

Your understanding is correct, and Grapes has already given the correct clarification.

It's fairly easy to look up the landing coordinates and stick a push-pin on your lunar map at those coordinates. And it's fairly easy to visually locate that site relative to prominent lunography (e.g., the boundaries of the Sea of Tranquility). So even though you had no prayer of seeing the actual spacecraft on the lunar surface, you could see the portion of the lunar surface where the spacecraft is supposed to be. And it would be reasonably obvious whether or not it was in light or shadow.

Donnie B.
2002-Jan-28, 05:34 PM
Not to mention that NASA would have to be a pack of doughheads to make such a blatant blunder.

If I have to nominate a candidate for doughheaddedness between NASA and His Majesty the Welding Scientist, I think I'll choose...

[sound of grinding metal as Donnie tries to make up his mind...]

JayUtah
2002-Jan-28, 05:38 PM
Apparently, the author is John Walker, author of AutoCAD and founder of Autodesk. Pretty impressive credentials.

I have to agree. Although there is little in common between CAD software and astronomical modeling software, I've worked in the innards of both kinds of software. If you or I can understand both problem spaces well enough, there's no reason why an eminent software professional would have difficulty mastering both problems.

I've already mentioned the problems inherent with the type of modeling these programs typically use. I'll have to download it myself and see if I can determine the methodology. That helps us understand whether to attribute error to the software or to the operator.

You say you confirmed that Sky Map and Home Planet gave you the same results. (A good bit of conformation, by the way, and evidence that the software is not really at fault.) And you said that Sky Map showed that the Apollo 11 landing site had been in darkness. Did this refute the author's assertion that it was actually in darkness at the time of the landing? Is the author simply misreporting the results? Or is the author correctly reporting what these programs say for the given time and place?

AstroMike
2002-Jan-28, 06:35 PM
Jay, you used the term "lunography". I have never heard of that term. I presume you mean "selenography"?

JayUtah
2002-Jan-28, 07:24 PM
I presume you mean "selenography"?

Yeah, whatever the lunar equivalent of "geography" is.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-28, 07:37 PM
On 2002-01-28 12:38, JayUtah wrote:
And you said that Sky Map showed that the Apollo 11 landing site had been in darkness. Did this refute the author's assertion that it was actually in darkness at the time of the landing? Is the author simply misreporting the results? Or is the author correctly reporting what these programs say for the given time and place?
Both programs showed that the Apollo 11 site was sunlit at the time of landing. All Apollo landing sites had recently been in darkness--they were a day or two away from the terminator.

I think the author was misinterpreting the results. The programs don't really give a number value(s) for the location of the terminator.

J-Man
2002-Jan-28, 08:10 PM
JayUtah - Once more the righter of wrongs... good job. Do you have a moon hoax form response yet? You probably don't even need to cut and paste the outragous claims anymore... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

------------------
GofW said: "I just found that http://www.makecashonline.com/nasahoax.htm is unable to be found, and http://www.makecashonline.com/ is forbidden access. Anyone else?"
--------------------

The page cannot be found...
however a google search on the url turned up

http://www.cen.uiuc.edu/~akapadia/moonstuff/americans.html
This is the letter that was reproduced on the original post of this thread. Clicking the back button on the bottom takes us to

http://www.cen.uiuc.edu/~akapadia/moon.html
Same old same old with this moon hoax page, but they did provide one link to a nonhoax page.

A second link from google was
http://www.unsolvedmysteries.com/usm105577.html


Removing the http:// part on an additional google search reveals they have it cached at

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:_ih-MLozvmgC:www.makecashonline.com/nasahoax.htm+%22www.makecashonline.com/nasahoax.htm%22&hl=en

Here you can read about such great topics as "Life Without Debt", the "Jesus Index Page" and the moon hoax (dis)information. You could learn about the great pyramid dimensions... Washington's birthday... how to make up useless information by multiplying mission numbers... and more (or less).

AstroMike
2002-Jan-28, 08:42 PM
I had just viewed this guy's www.makecashonline.com/nasahoax.htm+%22www.makecashonline.com/nasahoax.htm%22&hl=en (http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:_ih-MLozvmgC:site. Boy, he's a total crackpot, who has no clue what he's talking about.

J-Man
2002-Jan-28, 08:54 PM
right on mike...

he's also too obsessed with numerology... and not good at it either. Let's hope he's not welding anything that we might use. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

johnwitts
2002-Jan-28, 10:48 PM
Some have said that there is an atmosphere on the moon, well there is not. This is how it is, none.

Someone who claims to be a scientist would know that the moon does indeed have an atmosphere, just not one that's physically significant at the macro level. It doesn't "blow". It doesn't scatter light. It's just a somewhat denser concentration of gas molecules near the surface.

Am I correct in thinking that the Apollo missions actually doubled the concentration of gas at the surface of the Moon? Did I read that somewhere?

JayUtah
2002-Jan-28, 10:51 PM
Do you have a moon hoax form response yet?

Yes. It goes something like this:

"You're all nuts."

You could learn about the great pyramid dimensions.

I love how people only pay attention to the Giza pyramids. They just happen to be convenient to Cairo and thus suitable for package tours. I'm something of an Egypt-phile, and have been there a few times. There are about 70 major pyramids along the Nile, and I've seen many of them. They don't have "magic" dimensions. Some, in fact, are clearly learn-as-you-go exercises in pyramid design.

Poor reasoning is like potato chips. You can't have just one. You have to have the whole bag.

Russ
2002-Jan-28, 11:59 PM
On 2002-01-28 12:34, Donnie B. wrote:
Not to mention that NASA would have to be a pack of doughheads to make such a blatant blunder.

While I agree that the royal welder is every bit the crackpot Piper was, I would encourage you not to pursue this line of thought. These "doughheads" blew one Mars orbit insertion by using the wrong engineering units, another by programing the probe to ignore them at a critical point in deorbit.....youknowtherest. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

AstroMike
2002-Jan-29, 01:19 AM
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: AstroMike on 2002-01-31 19:55 ]</font>

JayUtah
2002-Jan-29, 01:32 AM
These "doughheads" blew one Mars orbit insertion by using the wrong engineering units, another by programing the probe to ignore them at a critical point in deorbit.

Thank Dan Goldin and his misguided "faster, better, cheaper" philosophy. It's quite contrary to the way the program was run in the 1960s, and quite contrary to the way an engineering-intensive operation should be run. The idea that "faster" and "cheaper" can be at all compatible with "better" is pure crap.

To save money college student interns were asked compute the orbital manuever parameters and JPL didn't have the manpower to check the figures until it was too late. For the other probe, integration testing that was eliminated as an overpriced luxury would have caught the failure.

All for the sake of the almighty buck. "Dough"-head is right. Never let bean-counters run something that depends on reliable engineering. Goldin tried to reduce the cost of space exploration by shaving programs. Instead he ended up wasting the money that was spent.

Kaptain K
2002-Jan-29, 03:43 AM
faster, better, cheaper
Pick any two!

odysseus0101
2002-Jan-29, 05:07 AM
Your understanding is correct, and Grapes has already given the correct clarification.


Perhaps if I had taken a moment's thought before questioning you I would have realized how obvious your original meaning was. Thanks.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-29, 01:05 PM
Pick any two!

The sign on my office door reads,

"Software: fast, cheap, reliable. (Pick two.)"

Unfortunately when it comes to engineering in the larger sense, you can't choose "better" if you've chosen either one of "faster" or "cheaper". Good engineering takes time and money. So Goldin demanded "faster" and "cheaper" and deluded everyone into thinking he was getting "better".

You can never achieve 100% reliability. The fear over at NASA was that $2 billion projects like Viking would be political catastrophes if they failed. Galileo (the spacecraft, not the scientist) was just such a failure. It sat in a warehouse for two years while the space shuttle fleet was grounded, so when it got out to Jupiter its high-gain antenna was stuck shut. Congress reacted like the stereotypical New Jersey mom: "A fortune, pissed away!"

Better, Goldin decided, to send fleets of small, cheap spacecraft with redundant missions so that if one failed it wouldn't be a big deal. Unfortunately there's really no such thing as "cheap spacecraft" only a "poorly built spacecraft", so the political sting is just as bad for the Mars failures as it was for Galileo.

What's the answer? We need to realize that space travel is expensive because it relies on reliable, cutting edge engineering, and such engineering is inherently costly. We need to accept that it's both costly and risky, and either decide to do it or decide not to do it. We can't "sorta" do it and expect favorable consequences.

ToSeek
2002-Jan-29, 01:50 PM
On 2002-01-29 08:05, JayUtah wrote:

Better, Goldin decided, to send fleets of small, cheap spacecraft with redundant missions so that if one failed it wouldn't be a big deal. Unfortunately there's really no such thing as "cheap spacecraft" only a "poorly built spacecraft", so the political sting is just as bad for the Mars failures as it was for Galileo.


I am comfortable with the "better, faster, cheaper" approach if only due to my fear that it's that or nothing. (But then I also work at one of the primary beneficiaries of this philosophy, so I may be biased.) I mean, we got MGS, Pathfinder, and the two failed missions for the same price as the Mars Observer failure, so I think we came out ahead.

The problem is that the political cost of failure is the same no matter the risk. Too, Goldin never really defined "better, faster, cheaper" - it seemed like more of a mantra than anything - so the engineers didn't know how to implement it and ended up cutting too many corners and too many of the wrong ones.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-29, 05:24 PM
I am comfortable with the "better, faster, cheaper" approach if only due to my fear that it's that or nothing.

That's my fear too. What I wrote above sounds like an ultimatim: give us two billion dollars or don't give us anything. The taxpayers might solve the dilemma by giving us nothing.

In the culture of governmental funding, you always ask for more than you need, regardless of the nature of your work. But Congress knows that's what you're doing, so if you ask for a billion dollars they "know" you can really get by on $750 million. Congress and the taxpayers are used to hearing inflated cost estimates, so when NASA says, "No, we really need that much," it falls on jaded ears.

The problem is that the political cost of failure is the same no matter the risk.

Yes, and this is where the program failed. It was based on the assumption that the taxpayers would think, "The failure of a $100 million mission is more easily borne than the failure of a $1 billion mission." Rather, the taxpayers think, "More missions are failing than used to -- NASA is losing its edge."

Taxpayers regard missions as discrete entities of roughly equal stature, not pie-slices of budget allocations. Go grab someone off the street and ask him to compare the cost of the Mars Pathfinder and the Viking landers. The average person will assume they cost roughly the same.

Too, Goldin never really defined "better, faster, cheaper" - it seemed like more of a mantra than anything

And that's the problem: it's contradictory. What he said is not exactly what he meant. You simply can't have a "better" spacecraft if you shorten its development schedule and slash its budget. What he meant was that by making each spacecraft "cheaper" and "faster", he would provide a "better" space exploration program.

Goldin was thinking like an engineer. He was trying to localize and contain the cost of failure. If you have a budget of $1 billion, you can either buy one Lexus spacecraft for $1 billion or ten Ford Escort spacecraft for $100 million each. Granted, the Lexus will have a much greater probability of success than each of the Escorts, but if it fails there's zero return for the entire budget expenditure. If one or two of the Escorts fail, you may be out $200 million but some of your program will succeed.

That is correct thinking. If the probability of failure is significant and unavoidable, you limit the consequences of failure. So Goldin can't necessarily be faulted for mismanaging the agency's funding. But the public policy consequences are disastrous. Because Goldin was not able to sell the strategy and benefits of "better, faster, cheaper" to the public, he lost the battle. Much of the public sees the modern NASA as a bunch of buffoons who can't even convert pounds to kilograms.

the engineers didn't know how to implement it

Correct. Using a fleet of spacecraft depends on redundancy of tasking and independence of operation. You can't assign any of the Escorts a mission-critical role, because if that's the one that goes wonky your whole plan is down the crapper. But the Mars exploration plan does some of this. A spacecraft is given the comm relay task, and subsequent spacecraft are designed to use that. Failure of the comm relay means the whole fleet goes silent.

ended up cutting too many corners and too many of the wrong ones.

Also right. There is confusion at the mission planning level (which isn't my area of expertise) but also at the spacecraft design and testing level (which is).

From 1960 to 1990 the aerospace industry had evolved a procedure for designing, building, and testing spacecraft. That equates to an organization, procedure, and associated expenditure of funds. Now when you tell them they have to provide the same level of service at one-tenth the cost, they have to start over from Square One. They have to invent a new process and a new organization. Obviously there will be mistakes.

CJSF
2002-Jan-29, 05:40 PM
Yes, and this is where the program failed. It was based on the assumption that the taxpayers would think, "The failure of a $100 million mission is more easily borne than the failure of a $1 billion mission." Rather, the taxpayers think, "More missions are failing than used to -- NASA is losing its edge."


I would add that most taxpayers really don't understand the difference between millions and billions, either. They are just HUGE sums of money, in taxpayers eyes.

Relatedly,
NASA's budget has been roughly 0.85% of the Federal budget... last year it was about 14 billion. If a major project goes overbudget or wastes a billion dollars, that is about 0.06% of the Federal budget. But "we" hear this colossal number "ONE BILLION DOLLARS" and freak out...

So when a mission costing "HUNDREDS" of millions of dollars goes bust, it's seems immesurably huge... even if it is a fraction of the previously mentioned "ONE BILLION."

CJSF

odysseus0101
2002-Jan-29, 05:43 PM
the taxpayers think, "More missions are failing than used to -- NASA is losing its edge."

Taxpayers regard missions as discrete entities of roughly equal stature, not pie-slices of budget allocations. Go grab someone off the street and ask him to compare the cost of the Mars Pathfinder and the Viking landers. The average person will assume they cost roughly the same.

Much of the public sees the modern NASA as a bunch of buffoons who can't even convert pounds to kilograms.


A related phenomenon is that when it comes to government-related activities most people think they are experts. There is some research on this, but I can't recall the cites off the top of my head. The point is that when Mr. X's car breaks he goes to a mechanic, and when his tomato plants aren't growing he asks an experienced gardener (or just lets the plants die), but as soon as he hears a 10-second soundbite on the "Drive at Five" about the federal budget or some new point of public policy he thinks he's qualified to accurately critique the policymakers. I think some of this spills into NASA territory as well. Example: A few years ago I was on a commercial flight to New Orleans (I think) and several minutes into the flight the pilot said we had to return to the airport because the aircraft had experienced "an engine stutter." All of a sudden everyone on the plane was an aerospace engineer, authoritatively explaining causes and effects of such a stutter. Of course there are various explanations for this phenomenon, from psychological to biological, there is even a class-oriented analysis, but whatever the explanation I think this is a part of people's reaction to NASA failures. People really do often think they could have corrected NASA's mistakes if they had been involved.

Kaptain K
2002-Jan-29, 05:49 PM
The real shame is that there are private citizens (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, the Bass family, the Cox sisters, etc) who, if they chose, could better afford to fund a space mission than the Gov't.

2002-Jan-29, 05:50 PM
<a name="20020129a"> page 20020129a {aka Night or day}?
1:dark at 4:17 PM EDT July 20th 1969
2:. PAGE 268 We Reach The Moon "4:17pm edt" [so i agree so far]
3:The landing site was 0.67 North Latitude by 23:23 East Longitude.
4:. page 269 it required 1.3 seconds for radio waves / 238,000 miles
5:The sunlight at the time of landing was at 35 degrees East.
6: "It was just just before dawn over the sea of Tranquality
7: with the Sun low over the Eastern horizon behind them."
8:thus? I must `poise that much of the landing light was
9:Earthshine, and that Earth shadows must exist at 4:22 [VIDEO]?
----------------------------------------------
I think the Landing Shadows ? VERY Valid
as its based upon TIME of arival
Posted 3 IMIX 19 MUAN
at the start of a 20 DAY Mayan Calendar ROUND
at 11:18 A.M. PST

AstroMike
2002-Jan-29, 06:03 PM
JayUtah: NASA is losing its edge.

I'm not sure about that. They seem to be slowing down a bit.

JayUtah: Much of the public sees the modern NASA as a bunch of buffoons who can't even convert pounds to kilograms.

No, I don't think so. I think the general public still sees NASA as a bunch of scientifically intelligent people who do complex calculations. Some people at NASA are quite ignorant, but not everybody.

I'm sorry Jay, but it seems you're rambling a bit. I still enjoy NASA today, as much as back then.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-29, 07:19 PM
No, I don't think so. I think the general public still sees NASA as a bunch of scientifically intelligent people who do complex calculations.

Sure, but that's always going to be a matter of opinion. Your view of the game depends on where you sit. It's difficult to distill the whole space exploration experience down to a single one-dimensional metric.

It's not as fashionable as it once was to work for NASA, so there's something of a brain-drain. But I don't think that's the real problem. It's not really valid to compare NASA of the 2000s to NASA of the 1980s or NASA of the 1960s. Today NASA isn't on a "wartime" footage. There's no race for some goal. The motivation is different.

If the media explains NASA's failures as insufficient testing or failing to convert measurement units, these sound to the public like elementary mistakes. They say NASA should be above such things. And they are correct according to that simplistic conceptualization.

But you and I and other insiders know how incredibly complicated and complex these things are, and how mistakes in high-stakes engineering very often come down to simple elementary errors. Rocket scientists are not immune from making dumb mistakes.

And we know that NASA is trying to meet and exceed mission expectations that were formerly funded at the billion-dollar level by systems engineered at the million-dollar level. It's very hard to maintain the same level of performance at a tenth the cost.

In the late 1950s and 1960s NASA had to solve some very fundamental problems with working in space. They evolved ways of dealing with them. My point is that in the 1990s they had to learn how to solve those same problems with only a small fraction of the resources. So it's a relearning process accompanied by the same sorts of failures we saw in the early space program.

In the 1960s some very smart people worked on those problems, nevertheless there were setbacks. So if equally smart people work on reinventing those solutions in the 1990s, we should still expect some failures. It's most certainly not a matter of NASA being dumber than it used to be. But it's easy for people to misinterpret the recent failures that way. It's natural to expect monotonic improvement.

My point is less that NASA has diminished in skill and more that public perception of NASA suffered from the effects of Goldin's strategy. The problem is that Goldin's plan was partly intended to improve public perception. It simply backfired for reasons that Goldin probably didn't anticipate.

There will always be people who think NASA is a waste of money at any funding level. And there will always be people who think NASA needs more money. It's that large middle-of-the-road group whose imagination we need to capture -- the couch potatoes who cheer when the lunar module touches down and jeer when Mars probes auger in.

As usual the key is taxpayer education. You and I may believe that NASA still has brains, but it's up to us to explain to people why NASA is different now, and what the challenges are, and the value of having patience while they engineer a different type of program.

AstroMike
2002-Jan-29, 07:41 PM
Ah, I see your point Jay. You're suggesting NASA is more careless with it's failures than back then.

The Curtmudgeon
2002-Jan-29, 08:01 PM
On 2002-01-28 17:51, JayUtah wrote:
You could learn about the great pyramid dimensions.

I love how people only pay attention to the Giza pyramids. They just happen to be convenient to Cairo and thus suitable for package tours. I'm something of an Egypt-phile, and have been there a few times. There are about 70 major pyramids along the Nile, and I've seen many of them. They don't have "magic" dimensions. Some, in fact, are clearly learn-as-you-go exercises in pyramid design.

Ah, Jay, but if you listen to the right people, that's simply explained: only the Giza pyramids were built by The Aliens/The Atlanteans/The Time-Travellers/Your Auntie Bertha, while the others are evidence of Mere Humans trying to learn to copy them. See, they're proof that ancient Egyptians couldn't have built such perfect structures, when they couldn't even copy them correctly.

That's why Orion's Belt doesn't have 70-some-odd stars in it, only three. No, wait, that's back'ards, ain't it? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

The (the voices in my head can out-rant the voices in your head) Curtmudgeon

ToSeek
2002-Jan-29, 08:08 PM
On 2002-01-29 12:40, Christopher Ferro wrote:
I would add that most taxpayers really don't understand the difference between millions and billions, either. They are just HUGE sums of money, in taxpayers eyes.


Or taxpayers just assume that every NASA mission costs a billion dollars or more. I've had a number of online discussions with people who talk about the "billions" wasted on the failed MPL and MCO missions without realizing that the two of them together cost about the same as Pathfinder (which in itself was much less than Mars Observer, which was much, much less than Viking).

ToSeek
2002-Jan-29, 08:11 PM
If you have a budget of $1 billion, you can either buy one Lexus spacecraft for $1 billion or ten Ford Escort spacecraft for $100 million each. Granted, the Lexus will have a much greater probability of success than each of the Escorts, but if it fails there's zero return for the entire budget expenditure. If one or two of the Escorts fail, you may be out $200 million but some of your program will succeed.


You've also got to figure out at what point this ceases to be useful: it may be better to have ten Escorts than one Lexus, but you're probably better off having ten Escorts than fifteen Yugos. I think that's effectively where the recent Mars missions got into trouble.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-29, 08:54 PM
So when a mission costing "HUNDREDS" of millions of dollars goes bust, it's seems immesurably huge.

Yes, people have a hard time evaluating such immense budgets.

There is also a qualitative difference. Grab someone off the street and ask him which mission costs more: a Boeing 601HP communications satellite or the Mars Pathfinder. The answer will likely be the Mars Pathfinder, when in fact the Pathfinder mission cost about $150M while construction and launch of a Boeing 601HP costs between $175M and $250M depending on customer-specified configuration.

Because the Pathfinder mission is unique it receives more media coverage, and rightly so. But we tend to believe that one-of-a-kind things are inherently more expensive than a similar commercial product.

People often apply personal budget principles to national finance. That is, we start out with a fixed amount of money each month. We allocate that fixed amount with the idea that if there is a cost overrun in some area of our budget, it will have to be compensated for by subtracting funds from some other area. When it comes to national finance, we fund we believe is worthwhile to fund, to the extent we believe it's worthwhile. There isn't as much compensatory shifting of allocation. The U.S. doesn't have a fixed income.

The entire Apollo project is estimated to have cost $30G in 1970 dollars. By comparison, funding for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was on the order of $75G per year during that time. Social aid is generally held up as the natural opponent of space exploration, but if we had not decided to spend the $30G on Apollo, don't think that HEW would have received a $30G budget increase.

Consider also the visible effects of funding. An STS orbiter costs about $2G. If NASA wanted another orbiter, it would have a very hard time selling the need for it to the American public. That's mostly because the $2G is concentrated into a single piece of machinery not much bigger than a Boeing 737.

But if it were announced that HEW's budget has been increased from $75G to $77G, people would see the figure, nod their heads, and then turn to the sports page without another thought. Another sobering thought: the war on terrorism is estimated to be costing us a billion dollars a day. We spent half a space shuttle yesterday, and most of us probably don't know what was accomplished with that money.

Because NASA deals with single pieces of equipment with enormous price tags, the public perceives NASA's spending differently than it does other kinds of government spending.

Then there's the difference between the perception of success and the perception of failure. Mars Pathfinder was an enormous success. We cheered for a few weeks and then went back to watching sitcoms. We never really thought, "Wow, the did all that on only $150 million."

But when another $150 million spacecraft plows into the surface, we lament for years about how $150 million was wasted for want of a little testing.

It's all perception. Goldin didn't correctly anticipate how the public would react, nor did he anticipate the difficulty contractors would have translating the new paradigm into a mode of operation.

ToSeek
2002-Jan-29, 09:01 PM
On 2002-01-29 15:54, JayUtah wrote:
The answer will likely be the Mars Pathfinder, when in fact the Pathfinder mission cost about $150M ...

Because NASA deals with single pieces of equipment with enormous price tags, the public perceives NASA's spending differently than it does other kinds of government spending.


This is a problem even within NASA (as I know from personal experience). It's a lot easier to get a budget approved for something that costs a moderate amount per month for a long time than something that has a big initial cost but is a lot cheaper in the long run.

And a nit: the Pathfinder lander cost $150 million; the whole mission (including launch and operations) cost more like $265 million. Still a bargain, IMHO.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-29, 09:46 PM
You're suggesting NASA is more careless with it's failures than back then.

Closer, but not quite.

Every NASA mission, regardless of budget, carries a distinct chance of failure. Even a Lexus can break down. At a certain point it stops being a matter of funding and effort and starts looking like the inherent properties of any complex system.

You don't put all your eggs in one basket because if you drop the single basket you lose all your eggs. Goldin's idea was to put NASA's eggs into several baskets so that the loss of any one basket wouldn't disastrously affect the egg supply.

"Careless" isn't a word I would use for this. It implies that NASA is not interested in mission success. That's not precisely the idea. NASA accepts a greater probability of failure for each individual mission and compensates for it by placing less responsbility on each mission for the success of the entire program.

If you graph programmed reliability on the vertical of a graph and budget on the horizontal, the curve looks something like an inverse proportion, or similar to 1/x. (Reliability is probability of failure; low numbers are desired.) The point is that at the high end of the budget scale, huge additional expenditures buy only small increases in reliability.

The goal is to move the budget line back toward zero and find the ideal cost-benefit breakpoint. Scaling back accepted probability of failure from, say, p < 0.01 to p < 0.05 may reduce cost by half an order of magnitude. If by doing that you increase the number of possible missions from, say, three to 12, the overall reliability of the program (encompassing all missions) is increased.

(There are qualitative procedures for scaling back costs too, but I don't want to bog this down.)

In engineering-speke, this approach decouples the system. The failure of any one component (mission) is limited in how it can affect the system (exploration program). This is a desirable circumstance.

So where did it go wrong?

As I already explained, Goldin was not able to communicate to Congress and to the public what I've just explained. I'm sure he did the best he could, but some people just never get it. That's not necessarily Goldin's fault.

Second, moving the cost line on the graph until a suitable reliability is obtained doesn't translate well into the procedures of an aerospace corporation. They achieve reliability in their product by following procedures and employing processes they've spent years or decades developing. They've found a way to consistently produce good results, and that comes at a predictable cost.

When you tell them they have to meet the same goals with an order of magnitude less money and half the time, they have to come up with new processes. They can't usually just scale them down. If a design process takes ten engineers one month to do, you can't just assign one engineer to it and expect an answer in two weeks. You have to invent a new process that can produce a usable result in two man-weeks.

It can be done, but it cannot be done painlessly. Goldin did not anticipate this, either. He didn't fully realize that if you force the industry to reinvent itself, it will have to go through all those Apollo-era growing pains again. It was hard for smart people to do it back then, therefore it will be hard for smart people to do it now. That means the reliability curve flattens and his carefully established global reliability estimates are no longer valid. The probability of failure increases for each individual mission, and the probability of overall program success decreases.

Finally you have to consider the linearity of the system. This is another way of organizing systems so that component failure is contained and manageable. Mission planners didn't fully account for this when implementing Goldin's program, so there are nonlinear elements in the Mars exploration program, such as the shared communication system.

Unfortunately here's where you get to a catch-22. You can only linearize the system by enhancing each component, and that's contrary to the component design philosophy of "better, faster, cheaper". So again you have to find a happy medium and again that requires another iteration through the design paradigms which historically take years to complete a cycle.

It's not a matter of being careless. It's a matter of how you distribute your capacity to care. You concentrate your efforts on where it does the most good. The only hard part is trying to figure out where that is. We're witnessing NASA undergo that process of discovery, and unfortunately the fickle and impatient public isn't cutting them much slack.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-29, 09:52 PM
This is a problem even within NASA (as I know from personal experience). It's a lot easier to get a budget approved for something that costs a moderate amount per month for a long time than something that has a big initial cost but is a lot cheaper in the long run.

NASA has matured into a federal agency. In the 1960s it was primarily an organization for engineers, managed by engineers or ex-engineers. Nowadays it's a government organization managed by accountants and bureaucrats.

Still a bargain, IMHO.

No question about that. It's difficult to get hard-and-fast cost estimates for the Boeing 601HP too. When you're spending that much money, Boeing doesn't necessarily want its future customers to know how much it either gouged or coddled its previous customers. They're surprisingly tight-lipped. And now they're pushing the 701 series, which I've heard has a spacecraft sticker price of about $300M.

AstroMike
2002-Jan-29, 11:14 PM
Jay, you know plenty more about NASA than I do, so I guess my statements would be pointless. I'm not an engineer or a scientist; I just read astronomy books.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-29, 11:27 PM
Jay, you know plenty more about NASA than I do, so I guess my statements would be pointless.

I don't think your statements are pointless. We may disagree on interpretation or some insignificant technical detail, but your opinion is just as worthy of being heard as mine is.

I hope you don't think I'm trying to swamp you into silence. I just get excited when someone demonstrates interest in things I know about. Engineers aren't invited to parties because system decoupling is not a fun topic of party conversation. So for the sake of social compatibility we spent a lot of time pretending to be interested in things that don't interest us. When someone implies that he's interested in the behavior of complex systems, that's an engineer's dream come true. Don't take it personally. I talk everyone's ear off.

johnwitts
2002-Jan-29, 11:33 PM
I'm still willing to have my ears talked off. To everyone I know, my talking about the Moon, Apollo and engineering is about as welcome as a talk about Anthrax. It's a welcome change to be able to disapear into cyberspace for a couple of hours a night to discuss stuff I'm interested in, intsead of everyone else's problems of the day and how their kids are doing. Thanks for that, Jay.

2002-Jan-31, 04:40 AM
On 2002-01-29 14:41, AstroMike wrote:
Ah, I see your point Jay. You're suggesting NASA is more careless with it's failures than back then.

4me currently I see the problem of having
to link thru a Lookup central for every
move on the BB Like post or jump
ITS just not right. Thats the only problem
I see left however. the EDIT Delete solved
many problems..now where was that post of mine with the NaSa link

2002-Jan-31, 04:49 AM
<a name="20020130g"> page 20020130g
On 2002-01-29 18:33, johnwitts wrote: To: 4 IK 0 PAX
Well for me the tail goes to the Link
of the Video of the Lunar Landing Touchdown
Beginning with the Line "Drifting Right"
to the moment of contact.. as I recall
there was talk about dusk being kicked UP
and i recall watching the TV and wondering
How you get a landerr to drift right without
a cross wind.. I dont recall the shadows but I would calculate there should have been Earth Shine shadows visable at that camera angle

2002-Jan-31, 12:59 PM
<a name="20020131a"> page name 20020131a
On 2002-01-30 23:49, HUb' wrote:
<a name="20020130H"> page 20020130H
Well? allright I admitt having trouble doing
THIS 1:First do this to link to your post:
2:<a name="hubspost">
3:Then put this link anywhere you want there to be a link to your post!
4:This is a link to my post! (threadURL#hubspost)
5:There you go!
6: Now i need to finger in the.....
7:.........threadURL# 6:28 A.M. see line after next1
8:which right now i donno just a second "TRYING"
http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=511&forum=3&start=50&51#20020131a

SpacedOut
2002-Jan-31, 03:11 PM
Jay -
I agree with “johnwitts” – While I am somewhat intimidated by the intellectual level of the discourse – I thoroughly enjoy the information. What I’m always amazed at is no mater how inane the start of these threads, they always seem to evolve into interesting discussions.

Just to weigh in on the actual cost vs. public perception issue – one of the biggest problems is that a lot of people don’t feel there is any benefit to the “masses” from the dollars expended by NASA. “Why waste all that money in space” (I hear it from my better half all the time!). Spending billions on pure intellectual research is seen as unnecessary and that is the way a lot of the big NASA projects are presented to the public – what good to the general public comes from Hubble, NEAR, Pathfinder, or the Space Station.

No matter how hard I try I can never win the argument that NASA money is well spent – I’m just the “space nut” who had his Dad get him out of bed to watch Mercury launches!!

ToSeek
2002-Jan-31, 05:04 PM
On 2002-01-31 10:11, SpacedOut wrote:

Just to weigh in on the actual cost vs. public perception issue – one of the biggest problems is that a lot of people don’t feel there is any benefit to the “masses” from the dollars expended by NASA. “Why waste all that money in space” (I hear it from my better half all the time!). Spending billions on pure intellectual research is seen as unnecessary and that is the way a lot of the big NASA projects are presented to the public – what good to the general public comes from Hubble, NEAR, Pathfinder, or the Space Station.


Well, there are a lot of ways of responding to this, from pointing out that NASA doesn't spend a cent "in space" - it's all here on the ground - to the spinoffs to the pretty photographs.

However, my ultimate conclusion is along the lines of "Who wants to spend their entire life being practical?" If we can't dream and strive and expand our horizons, then what's the point of existing?

odysseus0101
2002-Jan-31, 06:46 PM
However, my ultimate conclusion is along the lines of "Who wants to spend their entire life being practical?" If we can't dream and strive and expand our horizons, then what's the point of existing?


I am in complete agreement with you on this, but the other side does have a good point. If a chunk of NASA money was spent on providing free medical care to low-income kids, that wouldn't be such a bad thing, either. As I see it, this oversimplifies the situation, but one must admit that such an argument does have some pretyy decent face value.

JayUtah
2002-Jan-31, 07:11 PM
If a chunk of NASA money was spent on providing free medical care to low-income kids, that wouldn't be such a bad thing, either.

Yes, it is an oversimplification because it falls back into the "either-or" mindset which doesn't accurately describe national finance. You can explore the solar system and provide free medical care to low-income kids. It's a matter of the taxpayers deciding what they want to fund, not deciding how to apportion some fixed amount of money.

ToSeek
2002-Jan-31, 07:40 PM
On 2002-01-31 13:46, odysseus0101 wrote:

I am in complete agreement with you on this, but the other side does have a good point. If a chunk of NASA money was spent on providing free medical care to low-income kids, that wouldn't be such a bad thing, either. As I see it, this oversimplifies the situation, but one must admit that such an argument does have some pretyy decent face value.


Well, there is the separate but related question about what the government should spend its money on. I could certainly understand a fellow taxpayer saying, "Well, if you want to spend your money on that, go right ahead, but don't make me spend my money on it." (Of course, I have my own list of government programs that I would rather not be contributing to.)

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Jan-31, 08:28 PM
If a chunk of NASA money was spent on providing free medical care to low-income kids, that wouldn't be such a bad thing, either.

Another example of specious reasoning: roughly the same amount is spent on NASA every year as Americans spend on their pets. Why not take that money and put it towards feeding the poor? Which is more important?


When people use this type of argument on me, I tell them that there is money enough to go around, if people stopped wasting it. The military's budget is quite a bit bigger than NASA's, so why not start there?

odysseus0101
2002-Jan-31, 08:49 PM
When people use this type of argument on me, I tell them that there is money enough to go around, if people stopped wasting it. The military's budget is quite a bit bigger than NASA's, so why not start there?


Alas, I don't think most people will ever be convinced of that, even if they are shown the published Federal Budget.

Does anyone still argue that humans should not go into space because it is somehow unnatural or against the will of some deity?

Jim
2002-Jan-31, 09:10 PM
If a chunk of NASA money was spent on providing free medical care to low-income kids, that wouldn't be such a bad thing, either.

Of course, you can always argue that spending on NASA projects actually does help feed the poor. Or, perhaps more directly, keeps a lot of people off welfare by providing them with jobs.

The arguements here can get very convoluted and - as BA points out - it's specious anyway.



When people use this type of argument on me, I tell them that there is money enough to go around, if people stopped wasting it. The military's budget is quite a bit bigger than NASA's, so why not start there?


Interesting you mention this. There was a story on the news earlier this week about waste in the defense budget. It seems the DoD has no idea what happens to (grab something solid) about 25% of its budget. That works out to about $2.3 trillion annually... which would feed a lot of kids and fund a lot of space exploration.

Squirm
2002-Jan-31, 09:16 PM
odysseus0101: Does anyone still argue that humans should not go into space because it is somehow unnatural or against the will of some deity?

I would argue that we should not be looking to explore space until we get our own planet in order. Going to the moon and sharing a lump of rock with other countries is only symbolic of our stupidity.

ToSeek
2002-Jan-31, 09:51 PM
On 2002-01-31 16:10, Jim wrote:

Of course, you can always argue that spending on NASA projects actually does help feed the poor. Or, perhaps more directly, keeps a lot of people off welfare by providing them with jobs.



It does it for me! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Kaptain K
2002-Jan-31, 09:58 PM
Please note that we are spending 1/2 billion dollars a day to get George re-elected - sorry I meant on the war on terrorism. Compare that to NASA's budget.

_________________
TANSTAAFL!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2002-01-31 16:59 ]</font>

JayUtah
2002-Jan-31, 10:28 PM
I would argue that we should not be looking to explore space until we get our own planet in order.

But we've had thousands of years to get our planet in order without the distraction of going to other planets, and it didn't happen or look like it was ever going to happen. Would you have had Spain or England or Italy get their own houses in order before setting off across the seas to discover new continents?

Just as we can pay for it all at the same time, we can do it all at the same time. Delaying exploration won't accelerate the resolution of domestic issues.

But I'm reminded of the universal observation of astronauts as they see the earth from above with no national boundaries. They all say they have a perspective that transcends nationalities and races, given to them by looking at a very small blue and white marble from a great distance away. Perhaps if more people had this perspective, some of the problems in the world would seem as petty as they really are.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JayUtah on 2002-01-31 17:29 ]</font>

odysseus0101
2002-Jan-31, 11:06 PM
But I'm reminded of the universal observation of astronauts as they see the earth from above with no national boundaries. They all say they have a perspective that transcends nationalities and races, given to them by looking at a very small blue and white marble from a great distance away. Perhaps if more people had this perspective, some of the problems in the world would seem as petty as they really are.


Next Israeli/Palestinian summit on the ISS? I suspect that would only make things worse. They'd see that small blue and white marble and realize that's all we have, and they'd suddenly understand that the stakes are higher than they thought and that no compromises should be made. Perhaps too cynical...

JimB
2002-Jan-31, 11:51 PM
Back to the topic of reliability...

I seem to remember a lot of early Mars missions failed or even missed entirely. Anyone have an idea what the cost/success ratio for expensive projects compared to the more recent less expensive ones?

Squirm
2002-Feb-01, 12:41 AM
Jay: But we've had thousands of years to get our planet in order without the distraction of going to other planets, and it didn't happen or look like it was ever going to happen.

We are slow learners. That said, I can't help but feel that this generation should know better. Hm, it does know better. We just need somebody to step forth and rally us in a different way. I honestly don't believe we have tried hard enough. Is the fear of embarrassing ourselves and the cold light of day really going to stop us from making true progress?

Jay: Would you have had Spain or England or Italy get their own houses in order before setting off across the seas to discover new continents?

Ideally, yes! We in the UK had no right to go gallivanting around the globe pillaging from other countries, but we did. We became rather good at it, too. Is that part of evolution? Perhaps it is. Perhaps rivalry amongst nations is inevitable in a society of flawed beings. Even so, for considerable time, we have been confined on this planet. Our troubles are just that, our own. If we wonder further out into space now it will be with a fake smile and under the pretence of a united front.

Jay: Perhaps if more people had this perspective, some of the problems in the world would seem as petty as they really are.

Yes, I agree with you. But how can you convey that feeling on TV? How can you convey it to the masses? Many who will never get to see the blue Earth from space can still imagine and appreciate that feeling and know its true worth. But there is a bottleneck somewhere. I really think the problem is that we, as a people, are not trying hard enough.

I'm suddenly reminded of Tasmin Archers Sleeping Satellite (http://www.night-sun.co.uk/downloads/tass.mp3).

odysseus0101
2002-Feb-01, 04:56 AM
Perhaps rivalry amongst nations is inevitable in a society of flawed beings.

It seems to me that our constant contentiousness is a good thing because it creates situations that necessitate invention. Where would the space program be today if Hitler hadn't really wanted to attack London? If the US and USSR hadn't been trying to prove to each other how awesome they were by putting people in space? If the National Recon Office didn't need high-res pictures of NBC weapons sites?

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-01, 09:12 AM
On 2002-01-31 23:56, odysseus0101 wrote:
It seems to me that our constant contentiousness is a good thing because it creates situations that necessitate invention. Where would the space program be today if Hitler hadn't really wanted to attack London?
Yeah, I think Newton was just brilliant enough to see that coming. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

WHarris
2002-Feb-01, 12:06 PM
On 2002-01-31 16:10, Jim wrote:
Interesting you mention this. There was a story on the news earlier this week about waste in the defense budget. It seems the DoD has no idea what happens to (grab something solid) about 25% of its budget. That works out to about $2.3 trillion annually... which would feed a lot of kids and fund a lot of space exploration.


2.3 trillion?!? If I'm not mistaken, that's bigger than the entire Federal budget!

ToSeek
2002-Feb-01, 01:39 PM
On 2002-01-31 18:51, JimB wrote:
Back to the topic of reliability...

I seem to remember a lot of early Mars missions failed or even missed entirely. Anyone have an idea what the cost/success ratio for expensive projects compared to the more recent less expensive ones?


We have at least one analysis along those lines posted (in paper form) here at APL. I'll have to see what the source is and if it's available online.

JayUtah
2002-Feb-01, 11:08 PM
I can't help but feel that this generation should know better.

It should, but it doesn't and it won't. The problems with society are the same problems that have existed since society: greed, envy, self-preservation, the need to control.

We in the UK had no right to go gallivanting around the globe pillaging from other countries, but we did.

Yeah, that taxation without representation thing really chapped our hides. Seriously, if you had waited until Europe was a continental Utopia before striking out for new territories, you'd all still be there and I wouldn't be here.

Is that part of evolution?

I believe it's innate human nature. No amount of philosophical erudition will erase it.

Perhaps rivalry amongst nations is inevitable in a society of flawed beings.

I think perfection is an unrealistic goal. Therefore we must learn to deal with how we treat each other. And we must not let it deter us from other goals. We can, in a perverse sort of way, turn it to our advantage. Leonardo da Vinci did some of his best work under the patronage of a Tuscan warlord.

... we have been confined on this planet.

As we were once confined to continents, plains, and valleys. The scope of confinement is not an issue. The fact that humans by nature stretch the boundaries is.

Yes, I agree with you. But how can you convey that feeling on TV? How can you convey it to the masses?

I have no idea, unless you have Klaatu's phone number. The point is not so much that everyone ought to have that perspective as it is that some already have. And had we waited for utopia there would be no such perspective today.

I really think the problem is that we, as a people, are not trying hard enough.

I agree. We are not motivated to try hard enough, and I believe we won't unless we have a universal view of our planet, not merely a collection of arbitrary lines on the map. If we keep our vision local we just make those local problems appear so much more pervasive, when from orbit they are trivial.

We won't have Israelis and Palestinians joining hands and singing from the space station. That's not what I'm on about. But somebody has to have that perspective. We have to know that there is a real, tangible perspective outside that of our nation or world.

SpacedOut
2002-Feb-02, 11:05 AM
Just a thought – maybe the reason that we (Space Exploration Enthusiasts) have such a hard time convincing others of the true value of the exploration is that we are so reasonable. When someone asks “Wouldn’t the money be better spent on …..” we sit back and give a thoughtful response sometimes conceding to the partial validity of the other’s point. We don’t have the blind emotional fervor of most activists that simply refer to people who disagree with them as dumb or ignorant.

Back to an earlier part of this discussion – failed missions – I can’t recall any of the U.S. inter-planetary missions of the 60’s and 70’s failing esp. the ones to Mars. I believe the USSR even had their Mars missions succeed but I could be wrong. It goes right to the fact that you cannot do all three of the “faster, cheaper, better” at the same time – the point is that in the early U.S. programs we only strived for better!

If we did have missions that failed I’d be interested in reading about them if for no other reason to fill in memory gaps.

JayUtah
2002-Feb-02, 03:19 PM
I can't recall any of the U.S. inter-planetary missions of the 60’s and 70’s failing esp. the ones to Mars. I believe the USSR even had their Mars missions succeed but I could be wrong.

There were quite a few failures on both sides. I'll see if I can find a concise list of the missions. In fact, it was so hard to get anything to Mars that engineers concluded there must be a great big space monster out in the vicinity of Mars gobbling up spacecraft, and it had developed quite a taste for Soviet ones. I think Burroughs' book has a cartoon drawn of the alleged monster. The conspiracy theory is that there's something on Mars someone (or something) doesn't want us to see.

It goes right to the fact that you cannot do all three of the "faster, cheaper, better" at the same time

Not if that's how you're designing spaceships. You can only design spaceships faster and/or cheaper. The "better" was supposed to come from the more effective use of resources. But because of the public's stilted reaction to space expenditures it never materialized. Goldin made the mistake of assuming the public would react rationally.

ToSeek
2002-Feb-02, 03:31 PM
Here's a table of missions to Mars (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/log/index.html)

I count 30 total missions (including Mars Odyssey as a success, which may be premature), with the US successful 9 out of 14 attempts and the Soviets successful 6 out of 16, and that's being generous - I don't think the Soviets have had an unqualifiedly successful Mars mission.

I didn't count Nozomi.

Russ
2002-Feb-02, 07:20 PM
On 2002-01-31 15:28, The Bad Astronomer
The military's budget is quite a bit bigger than NASA's, so why not start there?


Without landing too hard on it... Osama bin Laden, Arafat, N. Korea et. al.

I've been one of the grunts swapping lead with the bad guys and believe me, NONE of these folks hold our respect for peace and brotherhood. Every time we cut military budgets they see it as a sign of weakness that makes us more worthy of attack. Do the terms "Ground Zero", WTC, Pentagon, prove their commitment to this line of thought?

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Feb-02, 09:33 PM
I am not denigrating the military in any way, nor do I underestimate its importance. However, the military is by far the largest single place where our money goes. I used it as an example of better places to look for places to trim money over NASA, the budget of which is a tiny fraction of the military's.

If you are running out of room on your hard drive, for example, you can delete all the text files you want, and it will take hours. However, deleting a single image file will dwarf the amount of the text files, and take a few seconds.

I have no desire to cut flesh from the military. However, I am quite sure there are places where the budget could be trimmed without affecting the quality of our defensive and offensive capabilities.

You may note I also said that Americans spend roughly the same amount on their pets every year as NASA's budget. Add in cosmetics (a several billion dollar a year industry) and you can see that we spend money on far less important things than NASA.

My point: there is money to go around, more than enough to do what we need. The problem isn't amount, it's targeting.

Donnie B.
2002-Feb-02, 11:33 PM
Oops, BA, I think you misstepped a bit.

The largest segment of the Federal budget is not the military. It's the entitlement programs, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

However, of the non-entitled portion of the budget, the military is the biggest dipper. And I agree with the rest of your comments, but it quickly becomes a question of politics.

My pet peeve at the moment is the proposed missile defense system -- a huge expenditure for an unproven system of limited usefulness.

2002-Feb-03, 08:35 AM
<a name="20020203.1:58"> page 20020203.1:58 aka Moon Shadow
On 2002-02-02 18:33, Donnie B. wrote: To: 1:58 A.M. PST JD2452309
.1 Yeah, I got the "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO" message2
http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=511&forum=3&start=25#20020129a same topic 5 days ago?
4My part? I wish to mention Earth Shine
which as i view this tail should have been
EASILY able to cast shadows on the DARK side
of the terminator, where I will guess, 4now,
the Eagle landed over the line? however as i read it
it was dayligh by the time the hatchopenedd? donno tho

SpacedOut
2002-Feb-03, 11:01 AM
Thanks ToSeek for the Mars Mission List.

I hadn’t remembered the 2 early U.S. failures to even get out of Earth’s neighborhood. I don’t recall ever hearing a good explanation of why Mars Observer failed – can’t help wonder if it wasn’t related to the fact it wasn’t custom built for the mission but rather a modification of a communications satellite.

James
2002-Feb-03, 12:08 PM
On 2002-02-02 10:19, JayUtah wrote:

But because of the public's stilted reaction to space expenditures it never materialized. Goldin made the mistake of assuming the public would react rationally.


When has the American public ever reacted rationally? To anything?

As the saying goes: "You can never underestimate the _______ of the American public." I know that there's two versions of this, but I can't spit it out. One's on the tip of my tongue and I forget the other...

_________________
"It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated." -- Alec Bourne

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: James on 2002-02-03 07:12 ]</font>

Kaptain K
2002-Feb-03, 05:36 PM
As the saying goes: "You can never underestimate the _______ of the American public."
H. L. Mencken said: "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public".
Is that what you were thinking of?

James
2002-Feb-03, 11:40 PM
On 2002-02-03 12:36, Kaptain K wrote:

As the saying goes: "You can never underestimate the _______ of the American public."
H. L. Mencken said: "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public".
Is that what you were thinking of?



That one, and I think the other version is "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

2002-Mar-02, 03:05 PM
8:Chapter 20 "On The Moon" of John Noble Wilford's book(cc1969
7:{appearenttly from The New York Times}[at the time] begins
6:" At 10:56 P.M., E.D.T. on July 20, 1969, Neil A. Arm-
5:strong stepped into history"from the bottom paragraph:
4:" It was Just befor dawn over the sea of Tranquality,
3:with the sun low over the eastern horizon behind them."
2:now for MY.PART i cannot read that any other way than
1:that the Sun had not risen & their4 there were no Sun
--shadows! and the only shadows looking out were Earth Shine1
<a name="20020302.8:56"> _Line 20020302.8:56 aka [x]Con
yeah at this time ?due to the "SHADOW" stories
my CONvict'ION`s that I was Easily Duped
and can only say when the comment was "drifting Right", what did THAT? now bak ito Shad.0

2002-Mar-02, 03:09 PM
1:i do want to do a second preprep on this thread at
2:this time. And my point heres this. Because it's
3:actually an ASTRONOMICAL question, and not an
4:Astrological one {like for example
5:[ was Earth square Sun]} but the Question would
6:have to have been when was Sunrise at that Elevation!
7:in the prior chapter (4Days) it say the module was at
8:an angle of four and a half degress. but not whitch way?
9:thus my opinions already set, the Photos do show an Angle!
<a name="20020302.9:02"> _Line 20020302.9:02 aka [x] 2Dup

Lisa
2002-Mar-03, 04:21 AM
On 2002-02-02 16:33, The Bad Astronomer wrote:

My point: there is money to go around, more than enough to do what we need. The problem isn't amount, it's targeting.

You're right about the targeting, especially with military spending. For example, a certain elected official insisted that the AF needed more C-130 aircraft. The AF replied, no, we really don't. We're almost giving the things out as enlisted bonuses as it is. Elected official got his way. Hmmm, wonder where that money goes.
Targeting the money would go a long way toward everyone getting a shot at the pot. Politicians will resist this if the money isn't being spent in their district.
Lisa

odysseus0101
2002-Mar-03, 05:14 PM
You're right about the targeting, especially with military spending. For example, a certain elected official insisted that the AF needed more C-130 aircraft. The AF replied, no, we really don't. We're almost giving the things out as enlisted bonuses as it is. Elected official got his way. Hmmm, wonder where that money goes.
Targeting the money would go a long way toward everyone getting a shot at the pot. Politicians will resist this if the money isn't being spent in their district.
Lisa


This happens often, and it is an unfortunate but inevitable part of the structure of representation in the US government. For example, for the past few years the Pentagon has said it would like to close several more domestic bases in order to reroute those base's operations funds to other projects. But of course every base is a major economic player in a district represented by 3 Congresspeople (1 Representative's Congressional District, and 2 Senator's state), so those Congresspeople want the base to remain. The process of 'logrolling', trading favors among Congresspeople (e.g. you vote to keep my base open, and later this session I'll vote for your highway project), means that those who represent districts with bases can negotiate to keep their bases open, for reasons that have nothing to do with military matters and everything to do with the local economy.

While the common assumption is that things like logrolling and pork barrel projects are bad, there is significant evidence that they are both inevitable and desirable for the smooth functioning of our government. As those arguments are even further afield from the avowed topic of this list, I won't get into them, unless somebody besides me cares.

CJSF
2002-Mar-04, 12:21 PM
I seem to recall that the B-2 "Stealth" bomber is another example of Congress pushing unwarrented spending. The "military" found that the B-2 was no longer necessary for it's strategic objectives, but Congress forced their purchase.

CJSF

Silas
2002-Mar-04, 03:20 PM
So all we have to do is persuade each and every Congressman and Senator that if they vote for lots of Astronomy and Science research money, then lots of that money will be spent in their district...

Which would, after all, likely be true!

And research investment pays MUCH greater dividends than military investment!

(In budgetary terms, the military is a cost center, not a profit center... although neglecting it can also incur costs... like being invaded...)

Let's have guns *and* galaxies!

Silas

odysseus0101
2002-Mar-04, 04:33 PM
Let's have guns *and* galaxies!

Silas



Do you mind if I use that in lecture today?

Another potential way to get more astronomy research money is to convince the Congress that military and astronomy spending are intimately interrelated. This can be done by faking convincing proof of imminent alien invasion.

Wiley
2002-Mar-06, 07:05 PM
On 2002-03-04 11:33, odysseus0101 wrote:

Another potential way to get more astronomy research money is to convince the Congress that military and astronomy spending are intimately interrelated. This can be done by faking convincing proof of imminent alien invasion.


It may be easier to uncover the real proof of the imminent alian invasion that our government has been suppressing.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

photonbucket
2002-Mar-10, 08:56 PM
Just a quick question.

What did cause the flag on the Moon to flutter???

odysseus0101
2002-Mar-10, 10:06 PM
On 2002-03-10 15:56, photonbucket wrote:
Just a quick question.

What did cause the flag on the Moon to flutter???


The quick answer (the only answer I am qualified to give) is:
1) The movement was the result of the different levels of inertia on different parts of the flag, as a result of the process of setting it up and the structure of the hanger on which it was placed.
2) The wrinkles were the result of the way the flag was packaged. The flag was a commercially-available product purchased in a retail store.

JayUtah
2002-Mar-11, 10:15 PM
The flag was a 3x5 foot commercial nylon flag, most likely manufactured by Annin and purchased through retail channels. A hem was added to the top edge of the fabric. An aluminum rod was threaded through the hem. At the "star" end of the flag (the edge closest to the flag pole) the rod was connected to a locking hinge at the top of the upper pole segment. The bottom corners were folded up at 45 degree angles and the fabric was rolled around the aluminum rod. This was placed in a sleeve and attached to the LM landing strut. This is the flight configuration of the flag.

To deploy the flag, the flag was unrolled from around the pole, and the lower corners were unfolded. The upper segment was screwed into the lower segment which had been pounded into the lunar regolith with a geology hammer. (On Apollo 11 the pole was a single shaft. Because the compacted density of the lunar regolith had not been fully estimated, later missions' flag poles were segmented to allow the pole to be fixed in the regolith by hammering.)

The rod through the top hem was raised to the horizontal position whereupon the hinge locked to hold it in that position. (Apollo 14's hinge malfunctioned, leaving the flag hanging limply.) The bottom inside corner of the flag was attached to the pole. Thus only one corner -- the lower outside corner -- was free to move.

The wrinkles are indeed due to "fabric memory" caused by the peculiar folding and tight packing of the fabric. In most photos the lower outside corner retains a visible crease from the 45-degree angle at which it was folded. Owners of nylon flags can attest to the presence of fabric memory when the fabric is tightly folded. When I purchased my flag, it had likely been folded in its packaging for weeks or months. The creases took approximately 72 hours to "hang out" in earth gravity.

Further, a nylon flag will never appear perfectly smooth. This same flag has flown outside my house every day for six months and still has a faintly rumpled appearance. This, I surmise, is due to the distortions and tension differentials across the surface caused by the stitching. The location of the rumples correlates most closely to seams between stripes and other panels.

The astronauts generally felt that the rumpled flag looked more natural than a tightly-stretched one, so they intentionally did not make a great attempt to smooth out the wrinkles.

Imagine the flag in its deployed position. Draw an imaginary line from the upper outside corner diagonally to the lower inside corner. The triangular portion of the flag above this line represents a planar segment fixed at all three corners. It is thus not expected to be able to move. The triangular portion below this line is fixed at two corners only, and so can rotate about the axis formed by the imaginary line.

(It is of course possible that the upper portion can move because various forces will cause torsion in the hinge despite the lock, and the rod can be deflected inertially by the displacement of the pole. But we recognize that the principle motion will be observed in the segment of the flag which has the greatest mechanical degree of freedom.)

The resulting physical system closely resembles a pendulum. As can be easily confirmed by intuition and experiment, moving the fulcrum of a pendulum adds energy to the system which results in either greater or lesser pendulum motion, depending on the vector analysis of the two motions. A stationary pendulum can be made to oscillate by sharply moving its fulcrum.

Thus by twisting the flagpole to more deeply seat it in the regolith, or by deflecting the pole to adjust the center of mass, high delta-v displacements will be induced at the outer tip of the horizontal rod. The free corner of the flag beneath will respond inertially by oscillating in a pendulum-like fashion.

It is ironic to hear contentions that the flag motion in the Apollo films and videos is due to the presence of an atmosphere. My empirical tests of mounting the flag in an Apollo-like manner and repeating the motions of the astronauts have shown that you cannot duplicate the motion of the flag in an atmosphere because the atmosphere damps the pendulous oscillations of the flag. The greater gravity on earth limits the amplitude of the oscillation anyway. The exaggerated oscillations of the flag's free corner in Apollo videos seems only possible in diminished gravity and in a vacuum.

It is, of course, ludicrous to argue that the motions of the flag in the videos are caused by wind currents. The flag only "flutters" when an astronaut is manipulating the flagpole. This clearly indicates and inertial response rather than gas pressure loading. Unless, of course, the hoax beleivers wish to theorize why the wind is blowing only when the astronaut is holding the flagpole.

In summary, the expectation that the flag shouldn't be fluttering is based on an ignorance of the principles of physics governing the system. I believe it is up to the hoax believers to provide a physics-based explanation for why the flag shouldn't flutter.

Martian Jim
2002-Mar-15, 10:52 AM
Going all the way back to the first post i have to say this:

MY FAMILY IS THE TRUE ROYAL FAMILY OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.

BEING A SCIENTIST I HAVE "GAD?" TO DEAl WITH FACTS FOR MANY YEARS.

I HAVE DONE YEARS OF WELDING, TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.

1) "GAD" whats that?

2) the guy is a royal scientist welder?
even a monkey could tell you his lying.
i bet he will also say his a dentist and a movie star

3) all his evidence is just bull(beep). it looks like a 5 year old made it up. i bet he is also stupid enought to belive in ufos and conspricy.
he sits at home all day typing out rubbish about ufos and goverment stuff.






_________________
the guy that has come from mars, for no reason

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Martian Jim on 2002-03-15 05:52 ]</font>

Andrew
2002-Mar-15, 12:46 PM
I think he hit the 'G' key instead of the 'H'. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

He does say that it's a "World Order conspiracy" doesn't he? Showing that maybe he could do with a course of anti-psychotics.

Roy Batty
2002-Mar-15, 01:49 PM
On 2002-03-15 07:46, Andrew wrote:
I think he hit the 'G' key instead of the 'H'. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

He does say that it's a "World Order conspiracy" doesn't he? Showing that maybe he could do with a course of anti-psychotics.


Probably couldnt even find the 'H' key under all the mouth froth /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

odysseus0101
2002-Mar-15, 03:18 PM
Probably couldnt even find the 'H' key under all the mouth froth /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


Roy, you should be more respectful to your King! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

SpacedOut
2002-Mar-15, 03:33 PM
And Jeremy Clarkson calls us yanks “feeble-minded lunatics”

roidspop
2002-Mar-23, 04:34 AM
I've wanted to shout at Dan Goldin, "Better, you cheap *******!"

a little late now, hm?

Roy Batty
2002-Mar-24, 02:08 PM
Umm language, language. Children do read this site as well (ok they probably swear/cuss better than us but...).

samkent
2009-Mar-12, 04:30 PM
Galileo (the spacecraft, not the scientist) was just such a failure. It sat in a warehouse for two years while the space shuttle fleet was grounded, so when it got out to Jupiter its high-gain antenna was stuck shut.

Was there any investigation that concluded the delay WAS the root cause of the stuck antenna?

Buttercup
2009-Mar-12, 04:46 PM
If Apollo had only included 1 lunar landing I might listen to the nay-sayers.

But there were multiple lunar landings.

All those astronauts, engineers and scientists LIED? Repeatedly?

Scientists still aren't aware those are "fake moon rocks" or they're STILL lying?

Baloney.

Studioguy
2009-Mar-12, 05:44 PM
Wow, 12 days shy of a 7 year dead thread.

How's that for some thread necremony?

R.A.F.
2009-Mar-12, 06:09 PM
Wow, 12 days shy of a 7 year dead thread.

How's that for some thread necremony?

WoW....before I even joined...

Paul Beardsley
2009-Mar-12, 06:10 PM
Oh no! I've just read part of a very old, recently-resurrected thread! My life is ruined!

More seriously, it's quite interesting to see the subtle difference in some posting styles.

peteshimmon
2009-Mar-12, 06:24 PM
These things that go bump in the night.

Oh well...get this out of mind!

The recent Chinese and Indian lunar probes.
Using the latest imaging technology.
Sure they did a good job!

Now if they covered all areas at low Sun
angles, then there are six sites that should
have a nice long sharp shadow! Even at
moderate ground resolution they should be
visible.

Are the people with the data just letting
NASA sweat a bit?

Forty plus years ago the lunar orbiter
picked out the shadow of Surveyor One,
a much smaller object than the Apollo
landing stages!

Starfury
2009-Mar-12, 11:35 PM
Wow, 12 days shy of a 7 year dead thread.

How's that for some thread necremony?

That's thread necromancy worthy of Xykon the Lich from the Order of the Stick webcomic! :lol:

Count Zero
2009-Mar-13, 03:33 PM
That's thread necromancy worthy of Xykon the Lich from the Order of the Stick webcomic! :lol:

http://logo.cafepress.com/2/1221917.6257882.jpg

Mind you, at the rate we're going, a certain main character may have to wait longer than this thread to get resurrected...

Donnie B.
2009-Mar-14, 01:49 PM
Thread necremony? Somebody married this thread?

mugaliens
2009-Mar-14, 09:45 PM
Where is this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tkB3raSbyo&NR=1)from? I'm curious... Some movie? A spoof? A dry rehearsal at NASA?

What?

Obviously dubbed...

As for necromony, apparently samkent has been doing a lot of that lately...

LaurelHS
2009-Mar-14, 10:13 PM
It's a spoof.

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/moon.asp

JayUtah
2009-Mar-14, 10:27 PM
Snopes only has part of the story.

About a month after the video first appeared, a new page showed up at the URL revealing it as a hoax, citing the marketing firm The Viral Factory as its author, and explaining in sufficient detail how it had been done. They had used authentic period TV cameras and a rented space suit. The set had been built by their in-house set designer.

However, days after the clip's release, I and others had assembled a portfolio of evidence that it was fake: the reference to "Mister Gorsky," the uninflated space suit, and the lettering having been added by a software procedure. When The Viral Factory came clean about it, it was only a confirmation of what we had already determined.

boppa
2009-Mar-21, 07:36 AM
google brian leonard marshall and be amazed- hes still out there and if there isnt a hoax/scam invented yet that he hasnt subscribed to....

overunity magnetic motors is his latest thats from march 2009....

seems to do the rounds on various forums thats for sure

(7 years - is that the record for thread necromacy??)

astromark
2009-Mar-24, 08:53 AM
Its now done and dusted... yep thats right the team at 'Myth Busters' have once and for ever proven the hoax was in fact, not true. Busted compleatly... America in 1969 sent men to the moon and until mission's end in 1972 landed 12 of them and brought them back unharmed. A great deal of irrefutable hard evidence was presented and facts explained. For the mentality ninth graders who will still deny this as a fact. Its you that has been duped. wake up, smell the coffee... Its over.
Thank you Jamie....mark.