Cowlix Wearing my mind on my sleeve

Thursday, January 31, 2002 Permanent link to this day
U.S. strategy in Southeast Asia

A Questionable Strategy: on the risks of increasing U.S. anti-terror pressure in Southeast Asia.

Still smarting from the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. and buoyed by their swift demolition of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the Americans are opening a second front in their global war on terrorism. Initially, they'll send more than 650 troops to the southern Philippines to train local forces and join them on patrols against Muslim rebels. The fear is that the U.S. will lack the patience and subtlety needed to end the regional terrorist menace without destabilizing fragile administrations and disturbing religious and ethnic sensitivities.

On-orbit assembly

In 2003, SkyCorp is planning to demonstrate on-orbit satellite construction as a way of lowering cost to orbit with a prototype called SuperSat. Their goal is to launch components on a shuttle flight and build the satellite in orbit.

As a Shuttle, ELV, and sounding rocket payload developer the author has been exposed to almost every conceivable launch environment. This experience showed that the design of satellites is primarily driven by the launch environment and only secondarily by the space environment. Therefore, eliminating dynamic and acoustic loads will have large payoffs in terms of the design, manufacture, test and deployment of spacecraft. Additionally, if the designer is freed from the geometric constraints of the payload fairing, new capabilities and weight efficient architectures can be implemented.

In considering the above in designing spacecraft the author has developed a new methodology that can considerably reduce the cost, increase the capabilities, and decrease the development time for spacecraft. The term developed for it is the SkySat on orbit assembly method. In the SkySat method the designer takes each significant subsystem of a spacecraft and physically breaks it down into components that can be stored in energy absorbing material encased in a container. These sub assemblies are carried to orbit on the Shuttle or expendable launcher. The cargo must be taken to ISS, another manned space facility or the Shuttle itself to be assembled, tested, and deployed.

Dennis Wingo, Transforming Spacecraft Economics Via On Orbit Assembly

Immigration judges aren't happy

The National Association of Immigration Judges has filed a report with Congress asking to be removed from the Justice Department's control, in part because of complaints that America's "core legal values" are being undermined since 9/11. [via Undernews]

Axis of Evil

'To Fight Freedom's Fight': Safire on the Axis of Evil.

When a dramatist places a gun on the table in the first act, the astute playgoer knows that the weapon will be used before the drama ends.

In his State of the Union address, President Bush warned three nations sponsoring terror -- North Korea, Iran and Iraq -- that the U.S. "will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons."

Enron fallout in the U.K.

Enron-related questions are not just being asked in the U.S. There are questions being asked about how Andersen got back in the good graces of the British government after the DeLorean collapse in 1997. Andersen is defending itself, saying the size of it's new contract was won fairly and is small in comparison to almost everything else.

Timing is everything

Tuesday night, Bush points his finger at Iran and Iraq. Wednesday night, the EUVE reenters the atmosphere about 11:15pm Eastern over the Persian Gulf. The expected surviving bits are thought to have landed near the coast of Kuwait, Iran, and Iraq, but we won't know for sure for a few more hours. Who says we don't have space-based weapons?

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Copyright © 2001-2002 by Wes Cowley