"There Has Been An Incident On Praxis…"
it was the Klingons, now it’s SpaceX.
you were here last month you may recall my lack of enthusiasm of Vice President
Pence’s call for getting to the moon by any means necessary, as he alluded to
possible help from the private sector. I’m all for going back to the moon and
beyond but after many years now without a man rated NASA vehicle, turning to
the private sector seems a little desperate to me and here’s why…
On April 20, 2019, the
SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule experienced an anomaly at Cape Canaveral AFS, during
a Dragon 2 static test fire. Fortunately,
according to officials at the 45th Space Wing there were no injuries
caused when one of the capsule’s 8 engines suffered a malfunction during the
test. Beach goers reported large plumes of smoke rising from the area, indicating
something had gone wrong.
Of course, test failures are
part of the game and anyone that has ever been involved with rocketry at any
level has suffered a setback or two during the development process. The thing
that irks me is that in order to save a buck politicians of all flavors want to
depend on the private sector to keep the U.S. space program limping along
rather than boldly roaring into the future.
In almost any normal
function you might mention, i.e. medical, mail, education, etc. the private sector
might well do a better job
than the government but when it comes to missiles/rockets no country or private
entity has ever come close to matching the American military complex and
they’re the ones with decades of experience and $$$ to get us back to the moon
but that realization is being ignored.
Back in 2010, right here on Fire
& Smoke, I posted that as the
shuttle system prepared to shutdown, the lack of leadership from Bush II and
newly elected Obama, and their indication that they believed the private sector
was the way to go, would set us back to
1958 when it came to manned flight and it would be 30 years before the U.S.
Space Program was back to where it was January 1, 2010. You see, any entity
outside the military complex has to go through the same learning curve NASA went
through all those years ago, even when they are handed the lessons learned by
NASA along the way. Why? It’s new tech and hardware, simple as that and without
the power of tax dollars to fund it, it’s going to take a lot longer than if
the previous industrial complex had continued to operate rather than allowed to
Basically, the problem has
always been political. The men and women at NASA are more than capable and
willing but those that hold the purse strings and that should be leading the
way in D.C. are to blame; ALL OF THEM and for the last 50 years!
Dragon or Orion, they’re
still the new kids on the block and no matter how brilliant they are, they
still have to learn the ropes. I hope they learn quickly but we’re 10+ years in
Only 20 more to go?
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Above you see a rare photo of Dave Miller, appropriately dressed in black as owner of the clandestine black ops organization
known as Sirius Rocketry! What does he do in his spare time? He reads Rocket Babe, what else?
That's a nice looking Cestris Fighter he's holding too! Get yours from https://www.siriusrocketry.com
Verna Starr Cestris Fighter!
This is our favorite Sirius kit, the Cestris.
The kit is intended to fly on a single engine but it was easily modified to a 3 engine cluster complete with Verna Starr fighter
decals, also available from Sirius.
Just click the BLUE link below the banner!
T-Minus July 16th And Counting
Estes 1/100 single engine.
You may not see or hear them but all over the country
rocketeers are building and refurbishing their Saturn V’s in anticipation of a
commemorative Apollo 11 launch this coming July. As of the day of this post
they have 77 days to get their rockets ready.
If you still haven’t gotten started on yours it’s not too
late but if it were me, I’d get on it. Building a Saturn V is a great
experience no matter which kit you use or going from scratch and you don’t want
to rush through it, especially if you’re building one for the first time. But
since July is coming up fast it’s past time to get moving.
Estes 1/100 5 engine cluster
If you’re not going to scratch build, which kit to use and
how to power it will be your biggest decisions. Estes has 2 available at the
moment, the traditional 1/100th scale and a 1/200 scale ready to fly.
For those with deeper pockets and who like a higher skill level, Sirius
Rocketry has what I think is the best HPR kit and value with their 1/64 scale Saturn
V but note that it is a limited production item.
Once you have your kit/parts on hand it’s time to get down to
the biggest decision for most Saturn V flyers; power. Do you go single engine
or cluster? Single stage or more? Our response is always “why not build several
versions and power them for different uses?”
Even though we’ve clustered several, including 3 stages with
11 engines, we still get a kick out of the Estes 1/100 stock build with a
single D12-3 engine. The simple D12 allows for a very realistic, slow lift off
and can easily be flown on a small field. They’re great for flying at school
and scout demo’s. You can see, smell, hear and sometimes taste
everything. Yes, if the BP exhaust gets up your nose, you can taste it. Just make
sure the wind is below 7 mph and
you’re fine. No guts, no glory.
Of course, you always have the Tim The Tool Man Taylor power
freaks that think every rocket should reach 10,000 feet in under 2 seconds.
That’s great for 3 fins and a cone but when you’re flying a Saturn V, super
fast, defeats the whole purpose of the kit. Do you really want to spend hours
and hours with meticulous details just to have it launch so fast it can’t be
seen? Your choice, not mine.
Regardless of what you build or how you power it you better
get going. The countdown clock is on and there won’t be any, holds, on this
She'll go with you anywhere! Kevin, owner and moderator at the Alien Soup  sci-fi
forum, enjoys Rocket Babe - Dust Storm between innings at a recent ballgame!
"Incident / Anomaly... indeed!"
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April 2006 Finishing
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