Elon’s Space Pinto

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket recently had trouble getting off the ground – well, in one piece – and it’s an awfully long way to Mars.space-pinto-lead

There’s also an awful lot of money involved.

Taxpayer money.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts. Which Musk hopes to wrangle for his Space Pinto – er, SpaceX rocket. It’s the ballistic version of his Tesla electric car.

Both seem to have issues with catching on fire.

And burning through cash.

Houston, we have a problem. 

Maybe that’s why SpaceX is shopping conspiracy theories that “someone” (hinted-at rival for government payload payola United Launch Alliance) deliberately monkey-wrenched the rocket – like Gary Seven, from the original Star Trek series, Assignment Earth. Or maybe sniped at it with a rifle from the roof of a building more than a mile away, Texas School Book Depository-style.

Elon’s minions – and Elon himself – have actually suggested the latter.

According to The Washington Post, a SpaceX employee visited the ULA building shortly after the rocket blew up and asked for access to the roof. You know, to look for the sniper’s nest.

Yes, really.

From the article: “SpaceX (says it) had still images from video that appeared to show an ‘odd shadow’, then a ‘white spot’ on the roof” of the ULA facility, which has “a clear line of sight” to the launch pad where the Falcon9 rocket grenaded.pinto

Mel Gibson, your phone’s ringing…

“Particularly trying to understand the quieter bang sound a few seconds before the fireball goes off,” Musk himself Tweeted. “May come from rocket or (cue ominous sound effects) something else.

But not even Lee Harvey Oswald – and whomever was behind the Grassy Knoll – could make that shot.

Besides which, why would they? 

Musk – like the Warren Commission – appears to want a diversion. A politically acceptable explanation for the debacle.

Back in ’63, the Commission’s job was to sweep the serial incompetence of various government agencies, especially the FBI and Secret Service, under the rug and focus all the blame for the president’s murder on the “lone nut” who came out of nowhere. In the case of SpaceX – which is investigating itself – the object seems to be to not look into potential problems with the engineering of the Falcon9 rocket, procedures or personnel involved with the botched launch.

The Oswald Solution is apparently preferable. musk  

Particularly odd is this business of self-investigation, an oddity given that while SpaceX is nominally a “private” company, it is subsidized by taxpayer dollars and effectively operates as a kind of quasi-NASA. Where is the oversight? Haven’t taxpayers got a right to know how their cash is being burned up?

SpaceX concluded its secretive self-investigation in less than one month.

A NASA investigation of a launch failure typically takes at least six months, often longer. And NASA is a government agency, subject to all the normal disclosure laws that provide at least some degree of accountability.

SpaceX  quickly “ruled out all the obvious possibilities” … except, apparently, the Lone Gunman Theory.

Which, if true, would absolve SpaceX of responsibility for the loss of the rocket. And, perhaps, financial responsibility for the financial losses – not just of the Falcon9 and its payload, either.

Future payload payola is on the line. 

But what’s more likely? That there was a mechanical/engineering/procedural problem of some kind that SpaceX is shying away from acknowledging or just doesn’t want to know about? Or a that Gary Seven (or Lee Harvey Oswald) was on the roof of the ULA building a mile away and took down the Falcon9 with a well-placed rifle shot?

All of this would be entertaining – in a Mel Gibson-ish way – if it weren’t our money that’s paying for the show.

SpaceX is one of those weird for-profit/sort-of government operations. It doesn’t earn money through voluntary free exchange between a willing seller and a willing buyer. It uses the coercive power of the government to take people’s money; to force them to “buy” things they’d rather not – like a Falcon9 rocket (or a $60,000 Tesla electric car for some rich West Coast celebrity to drive around in).    

NASA, of course, also takes people’s money and spends it on things many people would (if they had the choice) rather not spend it on. But in defense of NASA, at least there’s no billionaire middleman (Musk) making money off the transaction.

The Apollo Program was not a for-profit operation. It was a straight-up government operation with the goal of getting men to the Moon and back. Not to make men rich. And taxpayers had the consolation of the magnificent Saturn V rockets – which never blew up on the pad.

And actually did take men to the Moon and back.musk-deux

To be fair to Musk, he did did put a sizeable amount of his own money – reportedly $100 million – to launch SpaceX (the company, not the rockets) back in 2001. Good so far. But SpaceX depends almost entirely on government contracts (about $500 million as of  2012) to actually launch its Falcon re-usable rockets.   

Another contract – worth a reported $440 million – was awarded recently for development of the “next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities.”

And, of course, Musk has Great Plans – all his plans are Great Plans – to send humans to Mars.

And, naturally, to make a buck off each trip.

Which isn’t the issue here. The making of bucks.

The issue is making bucks off the backs of other people, using the state  as your muscle.

The rent-seeking, crony-capitalism that defines all of Musk’s operations.musk-crony

Musk considers this “privatization” – and himself a real-life Tony Stark.

But privatization is a term that properly applies to private transactions, which are voluntary transactions. If government is involved then coercion is involved and private citizens aren’t given the option to decline to buy in.

That’s not heroic.

Congressional Republicans especially – who constantly pay lip service to the free market and deride “wasteful” government – ought to take a harder look at all of Musk’s operations – from SpaceX to Tesla. And quit making excuses – and better yet, stop opening taxpayers’ wallets up – to a guy who sees himself as Iron Man but whose operations always seem to have trouble getting off the ground.  

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113 COMMENTS

    • PtB, driving along Thurs. I noticed my chest was very hot. I pulled my Galaxy out of my pocket and it was HOT and this was a cool day, windows down type driving. Checked the screen and it wasn’t showing anything, just the badged crowd checking my location I guess even though I had that feature turned off. Glad I don’t have one of those 2.5 million new Samsung’s that just start burning. I’ve had several Motorola’s and several Samsung’s. I’ve had Samsung’s cause they could be had for $12.74 at Wally, last about a year and you’re out that much again for a new one. I never had a Motorola quit though. I bought this Galaxy because of the price, $200 new at Amazon. I could have gotten a Motorola for more and would have but they don’t have replaceable batteries……ain’t that just great?

      That said, I may change to T Mobile with unlimited data for less than Verizon if their coverage is close……which I doubt. At least somebody will buy my Galaxy since it’s been in an Otter Defender since day one. They won’t have any idea how many times it’s bounced off the top step of a big rig and landed on concrete. And to that end, the girl who works at the Verizon store has a Motorola with Gorilla glass. Her 3 year old tossed it out the window on I-20. They found it in the dark by calling it. It had been run over but it’s still fine, no broken anything. I liken the difference between Samsung and Motorola as similar to XP and 8.1 with being able to maneuver around in XP straightforward and 8.1 anybody’s guess. I don’t think I’ll ever figure out some of the crap this 8.1 does and I damned sure won’t upgrade to 10 no matter how many times they offer it for free.

  1. Speaking of things that don’t fly……..
    Had an real Orwellian moment over the weekend. The cable TV public access channel I sometimes help out with (my brother runs it) has a drone. It was the fall festival this weekend (Friday night), so of course we wanted to fly the drone to video the fest from above.

    So we set up the drone. It wouldn’t fly. Why? Barry was in town (Chicago area). Yes, one of the lovely results of the regulation of drones by the FAA. The stupid drone wouldn’t fly because it has to check with the mother hive for “permission”. The FAA makes every city Obama visits a no fly zone! So even though he was likely 30 or more miles from us (and probably not actually flying), and a two pound drone would be no threat to a 747, we couldn’t fly. We tried turning off GPS etc but that made no difference. Super lame.

    So the feds know when your flying a simple drone. The sad thing, I was the only one who didn’t think this all was bullshit.

    We didn’t fly until Saturday.

  2. I noticed another pattern with Musk’s failures. And truth be told, almost all of his companies are failures.

    There is plenty of self-dealing going on around them.

    He recently made arrangements for Tesla to buy Solar City, his company that creates solar farms with the apparent mission of covering Arizona with pieces of solar-gathering sheets of glass. Solar City was funded mostly by him, but also had his cousin and another close relative as executives. As this merger was going on, he did his best to prevent news about the Tesla car fire from leaking into the press, even though his company’s own internal investigation already uncovered the real reason for the crash and death of its driver. This was probably done to prevent his Tesla company’s stock price from cratering while the merger was still ongoing.

    Now we have a case where the rocket explodes on the pad. Does anyone think there’s a possibility that it was due to internal error at SpaceX? I don’t know the answer; I’m just asking.

    It seems there are some weird cases of disaster that spring up around his spending programs. And he always appears with an (unusual) explanation for what happened.

    I’m not buying it. And I’m not buying one of his cars, either.

    • Hi Travis,

      I share your views. Musk is a carny barker, basically. He swoons the crowd with his gorgeous claims of a Bright New Future… and few bother to ask any hard questions.

      He’s a finance guy/speculator. Why is he considered by so many to be a real-life Tony Stark… who was an engineer who made things?

      • Eric, “He Swoons the crowd with his gorgeous claims of a Bright New Future.”

        A friend of mine was fond of saying, “If at all possible, they will send us a leader to lead us into defeat.”

        If the goal is to put a man on Mars, the chance of success with Musk at the helm is less than zero.

        I’d say the real goal is to PROVE private space endeavors are too dangerous ergo they must be banned.

  3. In my opinion, flim flam artists like Musk will only delay by many years or be part of what prevents people from getting to Mars altogether.

    What would be the irony of that?

  4. According to what I read, NASA awarded contracts to SpaceX after they successfully landed a rocket intact, because SpaceX orbital delivery fee is _much_ lower than the competition. So yes, SpaceX is getting money stolen from us tax cattle which is a bad thing, but on the other hand they’re lowering our cost burden which is a good thing.

  5. I was at the conference in Guad where Musk made his big Mars presentation. Breathtaking scope. All new tech. But the question was always “who pays”? Well, apparently, anyone with $250k. And he wants to fly 100 people a launch, with many many launches during each 26-month window, until he’s sent at least 100,000 people.

    People went nuts. Elon is the biggest corporate welfare whore on the planet, but the space community fawns and drools and gurgles over him because…Mars. And Musk.

    But I’ll hand him one thing. Like Trump, he stakes out an extreme 1st proposal, dares the world to meet him there, then dials it back as reality kicks in. So he may only end up sending 50 people in one shot, or 25…but that’s still better than what we’re flying now. And yes, he’s spending taxpayer dollars. So are all the military industrial whores swallowing 100x what NASA gets each year, and no one sees that gravy train ending anytime soon.

    The zero-government libertarians treat the MIC and NASA equally, wanting no tax funding for anything. I get that, and even agree in principle. But it’s not going to happen in our lifetimes, unless private-sector biotech vastly extends them. So we all bitch and whinge, while Elon retains the hot hand. But I’m still betting he gets people to Mars many years ahead of NASA – and that would be a monumental embarrassment.

    • Remember the guy who sells Springfield a Monorail in “The Simpsons”?

      That’s how I see Musk. As that guy. Now maybe what he is peddling works better but it’s the same game.

  6. Hi ARYLIOA, Eric,
    I was friends with an old timer car guy who used to cruise around the country roads in a red MG. Even in his 90’s, we would unsnap the top and he would take me cruising around the corn fields with the needle buried. The old man had balls.

    He personally knew Von Braun and the rest of the Nazis who worked on Apollo. ARYLIOA, you might even recognize his name. Helmut Korst. Mrs. Korst told me he was the man responsible for safe jet engines with his invention of the Korst Tail for turbines. Apparently the early jets had a nasty habit of ingesting the exhaust and blowing up.

    One day his wife caught us getting ready to go for a little drive and she made us help her do some spring cleaning outside. They had been married over 60 years at the time and he told me that if we were ever to take the MG out again, we should comply with her wishes.

    Turned out to be an all day affair with 40 or so bags full pine needles and such. So no driving that day.

    But we did get into a conversation about the shuttle disintegrating over Texas. I made the point that the pilot could have saved that glider, if it weren’t for the government mandated procedures. McCool (or whoever had the stick at the time) had to make a decision. Go against procedures and never fly for NASA again, or comply.

    They complied and died.

    If they had used one of the most BASIC maneuvers in aviation, the slip, they probably would have been able to land on the interstate somewhere. But Uncle didn’t allow them that option.

    After dinner that day, Helmut took me down to his basement and showed me an inch thick three ring binder of correspondence he had with NASA shortly after the disaster. He insisted that the slip be put into the emergency procedures for the shuttle. Thirty or Forty pages of government bullshit later, they sent him notification that the procedures had been changed.

    Today, I don’t think there exists a person with the patience, let alone the balls to demand something from NASA (or any other government agency). And that was just a dozen or so years ago.

    Now, a man like Korst, has been intellectually neutered by the time he is in high school. Even if a modicum of intellect were to survive in such an individual today, any demands to change a procedure (after a government caused disaster) would merit a SWAT team.

    • That’s a fascinating story; you are fortunate to know Herr Korst!

      The obsequious, rule-following timidity so characteristic of people today appalls me. I bet it appalled Korst as well. Those Apollo guys had steel balls. They weren’t reckless; but they took calculated risks. Today’s society is proto-Eloi. Helpless, servile… perhaps destined to be food for Morlocks.

      • Eric,

        “I bet it appalled Korst as well.”

        The timidity yes, but the obsequious and rule following part, maybe not so much.

        I had always suspected that he got here via Operation Paperclip or one of the associated programs after WWII.

        He was very into manners. Even when busting ass out on the roadway. He would never blow by someone. If he did pass them, he would slow down before he did. Never liked to cruise around when the corn was up because he couldn’t see traffic coming from right angles.

        I told Korst about how this asshole had pushed his way past me and barged into my house flashing a DARPA ID card. Apparently the No Such Agency was recruiting my next door neighbor, a math professor at the University of Illinois, and DARPA dude was checking out his background.

        Less than a week later, DARPA dude is standing a respectful distance from my doorway apologizing. Turns out that Herr Korst had done a bit of consulting for DARPA when he was a younger man.

        Pretty sure he was a government man.

    • The system knows who can think and who will be a problem in pre-school and so begins the intellectual and emotional beat-down. The only option is superficial obedience with subversion.

      • BrentP,

        How does one teach “superficial obedience with subversion” to a kid who hasn’t yet made it to kindergarten?

        Serious question Brent, don’t mean to pick on you.

        And since we’re on the topic of Musk’s Pinto, I DO know how you can teach that to older kids – Private School.

        Musk is a pro at superficial obedience with subversion. And not in a good way. He learned that at private school.

        He even started his own private school to teach kids how to legally loot.

        • It can’t be taught. It was a survival mechanism I used.

          Private schools for the children of the so-called elite and their servants do not follow the same model as the government schools for all of us. Those schools follow the old model of the traditional american schools. Only us mundanes are subjected to Prussian style schooling.

          • Hi BrentP,

            First you say, “The only option is superficial obedience with subversion.”

            I then ask how that can be taught.

            Your reply, “It can’t be taught. It was a survival mechanism I used.”

            My first instinct was to call Bullshit Sir! It is just Doublethink.

            But then I pulled up the Appendix to 1984.

            “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

            Turns out you are doubleplus right.

            Then I looked at the Bible of Newspeak, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

            Holy guano Batman, simply unbelievable how right you are.

            Especially the part about “The system knows who can think and who will be a problem in pre-school”.

            Three felonies a day and everyone has a mental disorder. Especially, the children.

            1 Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence
            1.1 Mental retardation
            1.2 Learning disorders
            1.3 Motor skills disorders
            1.4 Communication disorders
            1.5 Pervasive developmental disorders
            1.6 Attention-deficit and disruptive behavior disorders
            1.7 Feeding and eating disorders of infancy or early childhood
            1.8 Tic disorders
            1.9 Elimination disorders
            1.10 Other disorders of infancy, childhood, or adolescence

            I can only quote George Carlin, “Shit out of luck and jolly well fucked”.

            In fact, we may even have past the point where beheadings are the least of our problems.

            • We play the game.

              For example, when I was younger and trying to establish myself as a writer, I didn’t write about certain things. I knew that to do so would be fatal to my career at that time. So, I bided my time. Built a career. Got to the point, both career and finance-wise, that I was free to write about the thing I wanted to write about. But even so, there is a price to pay – as anyone who writes will tell you.

            • I spent some considerable time learning what the system did to me and why. A five year old cannot defend himself against it any more than he can defend himself against the lies the schools teach.

              The only defense is that he goes to school at age five after certain things may already be cemented. That’s why the government now wants them at age 2.

              • “That’s why the government now wants them at age 2.”
                It also reduces the attachment that the parents, esp. the mother, feel to the child.

        • ” I DO know how you can teach that to older kids – Private School.”
          And the ‘privatest’ of private schools is home school.

  7. Not a complete hijack, but something I have been searching for over the years with no success. Some Car Guy, someplace, might have it. I’d love to find a copy.

    Back in late 1999 or early 2000 Speedvision ran a long interview with the Apollo 12 crew. Pete Conrad, Alan Bean, and Dick Gordon. It was filmed only about a week or two before Pete was killed riding his motorcycle. All three geezers, once studly jet-jocks, are sitting around a picnic table telling mission stories. We watched it several times but we lived on a boat at the time and did not have a video recorder on board.

    I have tried Speedvision’s ghost, Speed, NASA, youtube, even Alan Bean’s daughter, but no one seems to have a copy available, anywhere. It is not only a fabulous historical film, but a hoot, listening to them.

    One highlight was a great story about Alan Bean, generally quite talkative, being kind of quiet just before lifting off from the moon. Pete asks what’ bothering him. Alan, the lunar-lander pilot, says he wonders what will happen if the darned thing doesn’t light. Pete tells him something like “We become the first permanent residents of the moon.” Maybe “first museum on the moon”, it’s been a long time….. Alan allows as how that’s OK, perks right up, and off they go. Real men, when it was OK to be such.

  8. Sorry for the hijack, but it’s too good not to share.

    Not Musk in Space, but relevant to his other ‘venture’:

    Cobalt mining for lithium ion batteries.

    This remote landscape in southern Africa lies at the heart of the world’s mad scramble for cheap cobalt, a mineral essential to the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power smartphones, laptops and electric vehicles made by companies such as Apple, Samsung and major automakers.

    Oh, and Musk specifically?

    Most Tesla models use batteries from Panasonic, which buys cobalt from Southeast Asia and Congo. Replacement batteries for Tesla are manufactured by LG Chem. Tesla told The Post it knows LG Chem’s Tesla batteries do not contain Congolese cobalt, but it did not say how it knows this.

    Tesla, more than any other automaker, has staked its reputation on “ethically sourcing” every piece of its celebrated vehicles.

    “It is something we do take very seriously,” Kurt Kelty, Tesla’s director of battery technology, said in March at a battery conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “And we need to take it even more seriously. So we are going to send one of our guys there.”

    Six months later, Tesla told The Post it is still working on sending someone to Congo.

    Fucking frauds.

    Check out how much cobalt is in the typical EV. I wonder how the watermelons will spin this.

    • The dipshit is trying to merge Tesla and SolarCity. Actually, he’s pretty smart – keep one from collapsing while wringing more money from Uncle.

      Bottom line – we’re gonna be subjected to his fantasies for some years yet, I think.

    • AJ,

      The body count will have to be magnitudes more than Branson’s before the NTSB will come out with their favorite “pilot error.”

  9. The Soviets stole people’s wealth and used it to shoot stuff into space to prove how great the state is.

    How did the government in the Land of the Free respond? It stole people’s wealth and used it to shoot stuff into space to prove how great the state is.

    Yep, we really showed those commies.

  10. First, I’m tired of all this “we can’t get to the moon anymore” crap. I’m sure that the fine Americans who built Saturn V in the 1960s saved the blueprints. You’d think with advances in engineering and research in the last 50 years, it would be even easier now.

    Second, the sooner we scrape this Musk turd off our national boot, the better off we’re all going to be. He’s a con-artist and a fraud, and I’m tired of him stealing our money.

    • Hi Brother J,

      Agreed (obviously) on Musk. Werner Von Braun he’s not. Henry Ford, either. He’s a financial flim-flam man.

      On the Moon: I have my own suspicions. I think people could go back at any time, too. You’re right. We “have the technology.” The question arises… why don’t they? I think it’s for a reason. The same reason they aren’t admitting the truth about Mars.

      • If we did go to the moon (and I’m not saying one way or the other if it’s true), there is no reason we can’t go back, other than it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars, just like everything NASA does.

        • One thing that (to me) is odd about the Moon thing is the premise that a handful of visits to a few areas was sufficient to know “there’s nothing there worth going back for.” Really? Imagine if Columbus made it to the New World, brought back a couple samples and then Europe decided they didn’t need to know more. Yes, I know there are differences (airless Moon, no obvious resources) … but what do we really know about this closest-to-us planetary body? The dark side, especially.

          It strikes me as… odd.

          In the same vein, the apparent lack of (what, to me) ought to be extreme curiosity about what is now known to be true about Mars: Liquid water in enormous quantities, over long spans of time and – probably – until quite recently in geologic time. There were oceans on Mars. Which strongly implies a dense, Earth-like atmosphere. The planet shows evidence of abundant oxygen (hint, the planet is red). Sedimentary deposits made over millions of years.

          There was almost certainly life on Mars. Perhaps – probably – evolved life. Not just simple bacteria and one-celled organisms.

          Going a little farther, there is evidence to suspect artificiality on Mars. There are things – structures – that are hard to explain as the result of natural processes. Bilateral symmetry suggestive of design.

          There is much to learn from Mars. And, perhaps also, the Moon.

          • What I find interesting isn’t the just the lack of interest in the Moon and Mars, but the lack of interest in the oceans of our own planet. There is so little relative funding going into ocean exploration which is 70% of our planet’s surface, that I have to wonder why no one searches it more? The Marianas Trench has only been explored once by a submersible in the 60’s? Forget Mars and the Moon, why can’t we look in our own backyard pool?

            • ” Forget Mars and the Moon, why can’t we look in our own backyard pool?”
              Anybody that wants to is welcome to look. But there should not be $1 of ‘stolen’ (i.e., tax) money spent on it. Do we believe in the NAP or not?

          • “there’s nothing there worth going back for.”
            Just edit that to “there’s nothing there worth spending tax money going back for.”
            And there you have the truth. But unprecedented that the gunvermin would see it that way. They must have some other reason.

          • eric, you have to consider how much our taxes would increase since NASA and real wars are using the same source. Of course, going to the moon, deploying a robotic drill and samplers would be pennies on the dollar compared to sending people. Somehow I doubt it’s all green cheese.

            On another note, Ford is helping the cops play dirty and say it’s for “occifer safety”, that too many lightbars hang over the windshield and block the view. I guess I missed that. Never seen a lightbar anywhere near the windshield or any other window for that matter. They have lights mounted inside front and rear on most vehicles in Texas now and silver colored vehicles are common as are plain black with a strange looking POlEEZ barely visible on the side. I can tell the poleez ones from the others by their stance for the most part but dammit, Chevy makes a civilian version that looks just like it, rear sway bar and all along with dog pan hubcaps and chrome lugnuts. Back to Ford:

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2016/10/03/how-ford-police-vehicles-get-even-sneakier/91454966/

        • NASA says they first have to figure out how to get humans safely through the Van Allen Radiation belt….. You know, the one they went through in 1969 and subsequent “missions”- but according to [I think it was] Buzz[ed] Aldren when questioned about how they did it then, the answer was “We didn’t know about it then”. So I guess being ignorant of something is the ultimate protection, even in an uninsulated tin-can from 1969…..

          Funny too, how they got those nice clear audio AND video transmissions from “240,000 miles” away in outer space….with 1969 technology.

          And let us not forget the shot of the capsule touching down on the Moon for the first time. I guess somebody beat us there, ’cause someone had to be there to take that picture!

          But alas, we can not learn from these past endeavors, because NASA conveniently “LOST” virtually everything having to do with the early Moon missions] over 700 boxes of crap, including the original video footage and data records…..

          Conveniently, it all went missing right around the same time that the masses started getting internet access and home computers with things like Photoshop/GIMP which can easily be used by anyone to imagine forensics…..

          Ooooppppsss! Don’t ya hate it when they lose the entire results/documentation of a $39Billion project? Ah well, it’s probably in the last place they’ll look, like the bottom of the Marianas Trench or an incinerator.

          • “And let us not forget the shot of the capsule touching down on the Moon for the first time. I guess somebody beat us there, ’cause someone had to be there to take that picture!”

            You never saw footage of that from NASA. If you did see it at all, you saw someone’s attempt to convince people the moon landing was fake.

            We never even saw a return liftoff until near the very end of the program, after they figured out how to pan the camera with a 1 1/2 second difference in “time”. It took 3 tries to make it work. Now you could probably just set a smartphone on the ground, 1970s, no. You greatly underestimate the folks who worked the project.

            • A decade or so ago, pics were posted on the net, forget who did it. They showed the NASA “real” photos and the ones that NASA admitted they paid for in a Hollywood studio. I couldn’t see a bit of difference.

            • I have a relative who worked at the plant where they built the Lunar Rover. He was the first person I had ever heard expressing doubts about the Moon missions [I was just a kid at the time]. His doubts arose because he got to see the Rover being operated in the parking lot, a task which was almost too much for it. It was a cheesy POS.

              Arylioa, I watched the “Moon landing” on TV when I was 7 years old. Sadly, I don’t remember if what you say is correct or not, and I guess we’ll never know for sure, since NASA “lost” all the sh*t.

              One thing i do know though: You can not have a vacuum (which they say space is) existing alongside a non-enclosed non-vacuum (Earth’s atmosphere) without the smaller entity being devoured by the larger- i.e. a vacuum can not exist in nature.

              Also, check out the so-called “images of earth” taken “from space”. Despite decades of “space travel”, there are literally only a handful, and when you examine them, you notice things like the size of continents in relation to the hemisphere they are in varies wildly!

              There are just so many absurdities and inconsistencies, really, it’s amazing that anyone at all believes the NASA BS.

                • “Earth’s gravity holds the atmosphere is place.”
                  And how do you know that? Because ‘they’ told you so?
                  Just how does that work, anyway? Does that mean I should be more attracted to big women than small ones? Because I can tell you that is certainly the case.

                • Hmmmm, so gravity can hold the atmosphere in; it can hold air down, etc. but it can’t hold a helium balloon?

                  C’mon, don’t fall for this state-sponsored tax-payer funded BS with which we’ve all been indoctrinated from day one in the pooblik mind-control centers…

              • Hi Nunzio,

                I’ve read some interesting stuff about the Apollo missions; that while the astronauts did get to (and land on) the Moon, many of the images (and video) were altered or are outright fakes. Various reasons given for this, including the desire to have something better to show the public (and Russians) than the crappy actual photos and videos. More sinister is that there are things on the Moon that aren’t natural; the evidence of which had to be suppressed.

                I don’t discount the latter because I am confident this is the case with regard to Mars.

                They are “slow motion” revealing the truth about that. Acknowledging the existence of a Martian ocean and all that implies was a huge first step. The next step will be admitting that the oceans of Mars existed for perhaps billions of years and only relatively recently sublimated/froze out, in parallel with the destruction of Mar’s breathable/oxygen-rich atmosphere.

                • The still cameras they took to the moon were excellent. Hasselblads to be exact. The images in the book I have are very high quality and were taken by those cameras.

                  I believe the problem was what they found on the moon. Most likely ancient man made structures.

                  The missions likely stopped because they no longer served a political purpose. The real space program, the military space program, has remained entirely secret. When people can go out to the desert because they know on this day at this time there will be something to see that’s not aliens. It’s the US military.

                • Hi Ya, Eric!

                  Hey, just think, all this Moon/space/Mars/Little Green Men stuff or what they would has us believe is “science” is all predicated upon the state and the info and images which they provide us; and upon what their chosen few tell us, and an agency which employed former Nazis, and which has a budget greater than many countries, and which is used to funnel our money to certain chosen industries.

                  And think about it: In our lifetime, what more than anything has fostered great confidence amongst the masses in the state, and made them willing to gleefully fork over their money and be ruled by the state? The “fact” that “they can put a man on the Moon”.

                  Hey, if we just forget about that pesky individual freedom and “all work together” we “can accomplish anything”. [Or at least have the opportunity to pay for it, and be shown images to make us think it’s real).

                  • ‘Hey, if we just forget about that pesky individual freedom and “all work together” we “can accomplish anything”.’
                    It’s true that voluntary cooperation can accomplish much more than individual effort. Just look at the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis.
                    But coerced ‘cooperation’ is not cooperation at all. And the goals and methods are only those of the instigators, not the whole group.

                    • Yes siree, Phil. The modern state model seems to be: “Just give us all of your resources, as well as the power to control everything, and this is what we can accomplish”. (Of course, they’re hoping few will notice that all they’ve accomplished is death, destruction, slavery, and deception. And I guess they’ve been pretty successful, as few indeed do seem to notice)

              • Hi Nunzio,

                Your car would perform like a cheesey POS in 6G’s too.

                What’s your point?

                Perhaps ARYLIOA would be nice enough to fill us in on the finer points.

                I’ve done 6G’s before and it becomes quite a task to even keep the sphincter closed.

                  • The 6Gs is the comparative gravity. The Rover was designed to operate in 1/6th the gravity of earth. So by definition it could be quite different from a HumVee. Just enough to hold up a couple of 28 pound astronauts and about 30 pounds of equipment. On the moon, the showroom model of the rover weighed about 80 pounds, all up, less passengers and snacks.

                    Any one they drove around a parking lot was a “how would it work” prototype. I would guess partly for publicity pictures, but perhaps to get the feel of the controls. The astronauts didn’t have Italian Driving Gloves, but big, clumsy things akin to mittens in those days. The stuff had to work where they had to work, dressed as they were to survive. There used to be several prototypes sitting outside at the Alabama Space and Rocket Center, in Huntsville.

                    Prototypes and simulations are common in aerospace. I have even docked the OMV (Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle) to the Hubble Telescope. Even though the OMV was never built.

                    • So, it could operate in the hostile environment on the surface of the Moon, in extremes of heat and cold and all, but the gravity in a parking lot on Earth was too much for it?

                      Wow…..

                    • No wonder those fuckers are always “getting stuck”. Just give the specs to John Deere and wait for something that will work properly.

                    • “the gravity in a parking lot on Earth was too much for it”
                      It wasn’t designed for that. Unnecessary weight, etc., to transport.

                    • ” Just give the specs to John Deere”
                      Or Cat. Or Case-NewHolland. Etc., etc.
                      Better yet, put it up for competitive bid.
                      THAT is the beauty of the free market.

      • He’s our Oscar Schindler, without the redeeming qualities. Go back and watch Schindler’s List and focus on Oscar’s business and his relationship with the local Governing Authorities.

        Perhaps the best movie on modern economics, business and its relationship to The State.

        Spoiler Alert: After the war Ol’ Oscar couldn’t cut it in manufacturing in a country that was desperate for manufactured goods…

    • But the Saturn engines were dirty technology. Emissions were excessive.

      I came to aerospace at the end of the moon program and all but the final tweeks were in place. But I worked with folks-who-knew-the-folks. (Those 12 really did walk around up there.) The problem with it all is that much of it is political, not scientific. And politics is a lot more expensive than science. Re: Elon Musk.

      Apollo 13 proved that man was handy when crap happens, but the need in that case was primarily to save men, not the scientific mission itself. Admittedly, we are a lot more flexible (literally and figuratively) than robots. But that is changing fast, and manned missions are not cost effective. Think “Track Ready” when hearing “Man Rated” and compare the price of an Indy car to a Miata.

      My main concern with Mars, and all the “we found a neighboring planet that should support human life” is should we act like the Zika virus and contaminate other planets with man? (That, and the minor detail that the “neighboring planet is “only” 53 light-years away.)

      • Hi Arylioa,

        Very cool that you got to work with those guys. I envy you. They had balls – and brains.

        On Mars: I’ve read that not only is much of the water probably still available, so also the oxygen – sublimated into the soil. If the greenhouse could be re-started, atmospheric pressure recreated, water could flow on Mars again. There could be breathable air.

        Mars may have had a viable biosphere before Earth did – and life may have originated there. Not here. Was carried here, by a meteor, and took hold when conditions for life were more viable (early Earth may have been more like Venus). Mars may have been Earth-like for as many as 2-plus billion years and only relatively recently “died.”

        If you’re interested in some real rabbit hole stuff, check out the work of John Brandenburg…

        • Some of the engineers had balls, too. A story that should be in every engineering anthology: Night launch of a Saturn hit a hold when a console got a signal that would scrub the mission. A friend of ours, Bill Glass, who worked on the engine design and who was about 60 at the time, had never seen a launch. The program was nearing an end, as was Bill’s work-life, so his managers sent him from Huntsville to The Cape to have a chance to see one. When the light came on, someone remembered that Bill was in the VIP stands and said they ought to bring him in to talk about it. He studied the data, and asked for a piece of wire, about five feet long with alligator clips on both ends. He “jumped around” the erroneous signal in the console and they launched.

          I personally have seen the gift they gave him when he retired. A poster from the mission, framed behind glass, signed by all three Apollo astronauts, and with that darned piece of wire snaking around inside the frame.

          He was the kind who probably would have said “I don’t care if Reagan is in the stands. It is too darned cold to launch a shuttle today!”

        • If the greenhouse could be re-started, atmospheric pressure recreated, water could flow on Mars again

          not much a chance of that unless we have the means to restart the dead red ones core
          without the core no/magnetosphere is there to hold in any type of atmosphere
          solar wind would strip it in days ,[hyperbole]
          screw it use the genesis device

      • ARYLIOA,

        “should we act like the Zika virus and contaminate other planets with man?”

        Would man really contaminate the other planets? I think the contamination would come from man’s inhumanity to man – Government.

        The Astronaut Farmer comes to mind. If it was possible to secretly “slip surly bonds of Earth” and make it to “the high untrespassed sanctity of space,” what problems would that pose?

        Other than the tax farmers being short a few human livestock.

        • “Would man really contaminate the other planets? I think the contamination would come from man’s inhumanity to man – Government.”

          As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”. Unfortunately, “we” make up governments. The more I see of “us” the less I feel like we have much merit, and I form the conclusion that the universe would be better if we didn’t emigrate. Containment and isolation might even be the program if there is truly intelligent life out there.

          Occīdō, ergo sum!

          Could Clinton and Trump even be their version of the CIA, arrived in pods, and perhaps incineration is the plan to remove the contaminant? I sure can’t think of a more rational explanation for their existence.

          • “Would man really contaminate the other planets? I think the contamination would come from man’s inhumanity to man – Government.”
            If the trip is planned and/or financed by gunvermin, then the conclusion is forgone. But if it were truly private enterprise, the NAP might hold sway in the rest of the cosmos.
            Re: containment and isolation – see C. S. Lewis’s ‘Space Trilogy.’

    • Brother John:

      According to Bill Bryson in “A Short History of Nearly Everything” the blueprints for the Saturn V were thrown out in some kind of NASA housecleaning.

      • Well, the rocket motors still exist and I think there may even be a static display of the first and second stages. But in any event, what was doable in 1968 should be more doable today, as far as technology. For example, why use a chemical booster to lift the men and the craft to orbit? Why not build the craft in orbit and then propel it to the Moon – or Mars – from orbit? Why not launch unmanned “pods” to the Moon or Mars, containing living environments ready to go? So that when men get there, they have a living environment and plenty of supplies? Could stay there for weeks or even months at a time? Build a facility to make fuel out of the hydrogen/other resources already there?

        Etc.

        • eric, why go old school anyway? Space stations have been built and that gets easier as problems arise and are solved. I haven’t been in space but I’ve hauled many things that were eventually tied together and work as one unit.

          I’m assuming there are no limitations of how something can be constructed in space. No lawyers or bureaucrats I’m hoping, nor “space owners” to deal with and obtain their permission. No bullshit bureaucratic rules a construction company has to conform to for “safety” for people or “the environment”.

          I’m guessing oil companies and pipeline companies and drilling companies could cut some serious costs with no bureaucrats or govt. to be mollified and bribed(plenty hands out). Drilling companies need no supervision in getting a well completed. They’re the last ones who want to lose a string of pipe or anything else. Pipeliners need no direction in using materials that will hold up best since spills are what my former company lived for.

          Of course this may all be a moot point. As far as I know there could be any number of humans on the moon doing countless good or nefarious things. Plenty of places in the world to launch with no supervision and collaboration between countries that could detect those launches could benefit them all. DIA, CIA, NSA and all the rest of those “A’s”(sic) have that unlimited budget to do whatever they desire.

          Plus we know there are great differences in composition of the near and far(dark)side of the moon, more mountainous on the dark(not really dark) side so there could easily be things close to the surface that can’t be reached without sophisticated, deep drilling on the visible side.

          http://www.iflscience.com/space/55-year-old-mystery-about-dark-side-moon-solved/

    • Re the saturn V, I recall reading on Jerry Pournelles page that the saturn V plans were destroyed by the NASA bureaucracy. Apparently to force the space bus AKA shuttle to be used.

      • Even without intentional destruction there would be precious little left today. There would have had to have been an active preservation program because of how meaningful the Saturn V was. It would have been too old and too long disused to bother with scanning into any computer engineering documentation system and thus lost as files were cleaned out, offices moved, closets cleaned out, etc. little by little it would have gone away.

        That said there may be some documentation left at the suppliers who are still in business and even the smaller companies that have disappeared people would have kept moon mission stuff. A monumental task to track down.

        • Similar to obtaining technical data/schematics about the WWII-era Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi. Their general characteristics are known, but the drawings and details were reportedly destroyed shortly before the surrender.

  11. The only reason NASA’s rockets “succeed”, is because the whole space program is a big hoax. When you REALLY try to go up there…this is what happens. Musk needs to land these things in Nevada somewhere and tell ’em it’s Mars….that’s the only way anyone’s going to Mars….. (He can learn all the techniques from NASA on how to fake it)

          • If it doesn’t fit, you MUST acquit!
            Of course no mention was made of the fact that the leather glove had gotten wet (soaked in blood?) and was now dry and stiff. A judicious application of neatsfoot oil might have changed the verdict. Or should we now use emu oil, 8?

              • Dr. Naylor’s Udder Balm has a lot of lanolin in it. Best thing I’ve found for chapped skin. I say this as someone who has milked cows in upstate NY winters.

                • I have some Corona Udder Butter but I prefer the all-purpose ointment. It has a lot of Lanolin but has some camphor too that’s great for abraded or chapped skin. If I have to work outside all day in a cold, dry wind I might use it on my whole body. Some days when you come in from west Tx. winter wind your entire body will be so chapped it hurts to take a shower.

                  • I can believe that.
                    I went to look Corona up and they also have an antiseptic version with Oxyquinoline. Ever tried that?

                    • That’s what the multi-purpose is. It has beeswax also among other things. It is a miracle salve. I’ve used more on me than cattle or dogs(idiots like it off). I have used it on abrasions and cuts with a wrap over it. It seems to work much better than a cream anti-septic.

          • I was running a route for a courier service back then. I serviced a lot of banks, working almost exclusively with women at banks. They must have gotten paid a couple dollars an hour since I never saw one man at any of the banks except in a managerial position.

            One day I stop at BOA in Midland, Tx. prior to the SW Airlines noon flight. The women in the back were all going bananas as I later found out were doing the same at other banks. This was immediately after the OJ verdict. They were happy as pigs in mud, happy as cheerleaders after the big win. I noted it for my book I was contemplating writing about human behavior in general.

            For the life of me I couldn’t ascertain if they were happy because he’d gotten away with murder because they hated his ex for being so good looking or because he was their dreamboat sex object, because the prosecutorial bunch was such a collection of sleezeballs or any number of reasons. No one could even answer me as to why they were so happy. It was truly one of the strangest things I’ve seen in my life. In my life I’ve been through more leather gloves than I can count. The worst thing to happen to them would be to get soaked and dry completely. I’ve had to re-wet them and wear them till they were dry to make them useable again. You have to acquit if the glove don’t fit. I guess if it’s catchy nobody even notices it’s bullshit. Read my lips, no new taxes.

            • Yeah, my wife was working at Georgetown U (DC) at that time. She and her supervisor were the only whites in the entire department. Everyone else was celebrating the verdict. I guess because he ‘stuck it to Whitey.’
              My thought, even if he didn’t kill her, he was still a low life wife beater, not someone to be idolized.
              btw, I have a friend who is convinced OJ did not kill Nicole, because he would not have ‘changed weapons’ to a knife, but beat her if he wanted her dead.

    • Read “Moon Shot” by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton. You might change your mind. There is stuff in that book that wasn’t even widely known by folks with good tickets to the program. We had the technology, and we had the men willing to die to test it. And you can even see how Deke Slayton was wise enough to use the politics (which I refer to in an earlier post) to finally get to fly. He understood.

      I changed my mind about Gus Grissom, who I always saw as Joe Btfsplk (you older readers will remember Joe) when I read what they had to say about him.

      You can bet that Musk will not be on the manned mission to Mars.

      • I admit to having had my suspicions aroused by the “moon hoax” stuff. Because, after all, can we trust anything the government tells us?

        But then facts re-assured me. I suspect some photos may have been altered and that the public has not been told the full story about the program and what was found on the Moon. But I have no doubt men did indeed travel there, land there, and return safely to the Earth.

  12. Republicans are just fine with Musk. When they talk about the private sector doing things better Musk is exactly what they mean. Just another way that members of the club get to fleece the population at large.

  13. Great,,,,,,Musk is paranoid too………..Just what we need……

    When I was in Florida last year, I took the Kennedy Space Center tour, very interesting thing to see for sure.

    But one of the things the tour guide (on the bus tour of the grounds) was talking up, quite a bit, all the “private” industry “leasing” portions of the enormous NASA grounds for various enterprises…….. Probably to mask that NASA activity levels are actually pretty low right (at least in Florida) now, since the Space Shuttle is retired, and Orion likely won’t fly a human for at least another decade. And of course to fool folks into thinking there is private money being spent instead of tax dollars. NASA’s main activity seemed to be blacktopping the many roads, some of which are at or near interstate standards even though they are closed to the general public and have little traffic.

    SpaceX of course is at Kennedy Space Center (they are using the pad NASA used for the now retired space shuttle). I bet the lease is just as much a sweetheart deal for Musk as well.

  14. Why isn’t the TSA investigating this?

    Why wasn’t the TSA providing security at the launch site?

    When did sending a payload into space become something OTHER than transportation?

    • Tuanorea, I guess it’s because NASA was never anything other than a military venture. It was only after funds were cut they allowed a civilian on and we saw how that worked out one morning when we had a meteor shower.

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