Are there any estimates how far China is behind the US, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea in developing its own processors, memory, graphics doohickeys and the like?
4367 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007
‘...Boeing selected as the prime contractor back in 1958. Full operational capability of the Minuteman III was declared in 1975,’
17 years of development cheques from the Pentagon that probably had to be printed on extra-wide paper to hold all the zeroes. Surely not even the masters at BAE have been able to take so long in delivering something.
The Moon isn't exempt - it falls under COSPAR (COmmittee on SPAce Research) planetary protection guidelines which are linked to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. COSPAR guidelines go from zero (essentially missions to the Sun) which require no special biological contamination protections through to Category V which is reserved for sample return missions to bodies where there is a serious risk of contamination by Earth microorganisms.
Since the Moon is blasted by UV, the Solar Wind, has a massive temperature range and no atmosphere, it is highly unlikely that any organisms or complex organic molecules will be found there. Under COSPAR, missions to the Moon are considered Category II - destinations which might contain information about the origin of life but where terrestrial contamination is unlikely to interfere with data.
As for the COSPAR II requirements - basically fill out a form saying what you plan to do and any potential risk of contamination; then another form if you should do anything bad when you were there. The probes themselves don't need any particular sterilisation before launch.
TLDR - crap on the Moon if you want, but fill out the paperwork afterwards.
The Soviet Union included a couple of balloon probes in their two Vega landers. These explored the upper Venusian atmosphere for a couple of days before their batteries died. The two balloons were made of PTFE-coated plastic to protect them from sulfuric acid (and the hydrofluoric acid they discovered) and floated at just about the altitude you suggested, not just because it is a good pressure, but because it has the strongest winds. More info here:
A shame there haven't been any further missions along these lines; if only to try and pin down whether Venus has lightning and perhaps to listen for infrasound from any volcanoes that might be grumbling away down there.
The Falcon 9 doesn’t have that big a payload fairing which limits its ability to throw telescopes into space. This is one reason why NASA is going to use an Ariane 5 to fire the James Webb into orbit - if and when it is ever finished. If you want an all-American rocket for your telescope either the Delta IV Heavy or the Atlas 5 are the ones for putting mirrors into space.
A real problem with flying wings as passenger aircraft is that people sitting some distance from the central access will experience relatively large vertical accelerations and decelerations as the plane banks. Apparently those sorts of motion are linked to serious barfage - so I'm guessing we'll see them round about 'never' - unless the airlines take the next step in making air travel more 'efficient' by anaesthetising people at check-in and stacking them like cordwood.
'For example, the Foreign Secretary has responsibility for the National Cyber Security Centre, which is responsible for incident response, while the Home Secretary leads on the response to major cyber incidents. To add to the confusion, the Defence Secretary has overall responsibility for cyber techniques as "warfighting tools" and for the National Offensive Cyber Programme, while the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) leads on digital matters'
So that would be:
Foreign Secretary - Dominic Raab
Home Secretary - Priti Patel
Minister of Fun - Oliver Dowden
You'd be hard-pressed to find three less suitable people to oversee intelligence matters. Though Gavin Williamson probably comes close.
A lot of this will boil down (ahem) to how much water is in the Venusian Mantle. Water has a major effect on lowering the temperatures at which rock undergoes partial melting to produce magma. Add a few percent water to the Mantle and the lowest temperature minerals melt and separate from the solid residue. If water is absent, then the high pressures of the Mantle can prevent any significant melting.
The lack of plate tectonics on Venus has been used as an argument that there is very little water in the Venusian interior which means melting is extremely limited compared to what is going on down here.
Magellan's data has raised the possibility that the Venusian interior accumulates heat over hundreds of millions of years until temperatures reach a point where massive partial melting occurs all across across the planet and the whole surface is resurfaced in a very short period of time by catastrophic volcanism. The evidence is that Venus has relatively few observable craters compared to the Earth, Moon and Mars even allowing for its thick atmosphere; but if there are no plate tectonics there should be a long record of major impacts. In this theory the whole of Venus was remodelled at some point between 300 and 500 million years ago.
The precarious contraption used to align the much-smaller Saturn 1B with the launch platform designed for the Saturn V was known as 'The Milk Stool'. Presumably someone had the enviable job of explaining to senior management that it was just fine to put a fully-fuelled rocket on top of a 40m tower and then get three men to climb into the pointy-end before lighting the blue touch paper.
I finally got to fly in the little upstairs cabin on the 747 last year. Decades after seeing drawings of one in a kiddies' magazine, the spiral staircase had long gone, but just 14 or so seats and excellent service was a nice change from the usual row upon row of seats. A shame BA let their 747s get quite so tatty though - an overnight flight back from Vancouver in 'premium' economy late last year was a wretched experience with what must be some of the most unpleasant seats ever designed, moth-eaten trim and a screen that didn't work - almost put me off these handsome beasts.
It was visible to the naked eye in SE England about midnight last night even despite some low haze and the inevitable sky glow. It was sitting very low on the horizon and quite easy to spot.
No of course I didn't have my camera with me! I got home, charged it and now that the forecast for the next few days is cloudy.
Chinese funding of Hinkley Point C was purely on the understanding that the UK would approve China General Nuclear Power Group and China National Nuclear Corporation's Hualong One PWR for installation at Bradwell B.
The Hualong One is a copy of a 900MW French reactor design with slightly higher power output and largely Chinese components replacing those licensed from France. Approval is expected next year unless politics intervenes.
The Moon appears to have an iron-rich core, but we're not sure exactly how big. There is very limited seismic data from the Apollo missions in part because the Moon isn't very active and partly because we didn't crash nearly enough Saturn V third stages into the Moon. So not many earthquake waves have ever been recorded passing through the deep lunar interior - which appears to be very weird and sort of slushy deep down (stop me if I get too technical).
In 2010, a paper* reprocessed the Apollo data and suggest the Moon has a solid core with a radius of 330km +/- 20km. The mass of this core is uncertain because its composition is also unclear, but the usual iron-nickel alloy seems likely with up to 6% dissolved sulfur by weight.
* Weber, R. C.; Lin, P.-Y.; Garnero, E. J.; Williams, Q.; Lognonne, P. (2011). "Seismic Detection of the Lunar Core" (PDF). Science. 331 (6015): 309–312.
Most of the scooters are on the 'deckles' model where you pick them up from wherever you find them and leave them as close to your destination as possible. This is apparently more convenient for the people who want to zoom along pavements on a scooter than leaving them in a stand a few tens of metres from where they are going.
Here in MK we've got two bike hire schemes - one red sponsored by Santander, and one green by Lime. The Santander system is docked and you don't find their bikes littering the pavement (those few bikes that haven't been thieved by the local scallywags that is); the Lime bikes get dumped everywhere and the company appears to be completely incapable of recovering them.
So I expect we'll have their wretched scooters to deal with next.
Arianespace pretty much created commercial space and has had a sizeable chunk of the market for decades now - but what is the long-term plan? Obviously, there is going to be a political demand in Europe to have its own access to space for defence, science and the like so those launches will continue, but what about the ones that put food on the table? SpaceX is much cheaper than anything Arianespace has right now and will be cheaper than the Ariane 6 which is supposed to cut costs over the Ariane 5.
Have they said anything about trying to compete with SpaceX for the commercial market?
The later amendments to the CMA are especially poor. Most notably, The Police and Justice Act 2006 Section 37 (Making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in computer misuse offences) created a new section 3A in the CMA which effectively makes a lot of cyber security tools illegal in the eyes of a well-motivated prosecutor.
Having grown up in Cornwall, may I suggest blackberry jam (or jelly if you don't like pips) as an alternative to strawberry? All the better if you picked the blackberries yourself in the last few days of the summer holidays before going back to school.
Another Cornish alternative - thunder and lightning. In this case the cream goes on the scone and then you drizzle it with either treacle or golden syrup.
There seems to be a widespread opinion that this change all goes back to the takeover of McDonnell Douglas by Boeing. The engineering-led culture of Boeing was replaced with MDD's corporate culture and the move of Boeing HQ to Chicago further separated the engineers from the people making the decisions.
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