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(InformationWeek)   NASA and the FAA to collaborate on commercial space travel. Now if they can just get the TSA involved, it will be a self-fulfilling trifecta of awesome   (informationweek.com) divider line 41
    More: Fail, NASA, FAA, Geosynchronous Orbit, back issues, TSA, Orbital Sciences, Scaled Composites, InformationWeek  
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707 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Jun 2012 at 6:41 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-18 11:53:48 PM  
How about we toss those blue shirt fraks out the airlock?
 
2012-06-19 12:11:35 AM  
At least when the Motherships show up, we'll have folks ready to process their documents...
 
2012-06-19 06:30:37 AM  
I'd never considered it before but the security at spaceports is going to be doubly bad isn't it? The security folk will be even more angry, humourless and miserable because everyone passing through will be rich and going on an experience of a lifetime while they've got nothing. Hard to feel sorry for TSA folk though, or impossible.
 
2012-06-19 07:04:07 AM  
We have to involve the TSA because the Martians hate us for our freedoms.
 
2012-06-19 07:15:27 AM  
dl.dropbox.com
 
2012-06-19 07:33:34 AM  
Hey subs, I know you've got the herpy derps but NASA only put people on the moon and the FAA just keeps thousands of planes a day from crashing into each other. They both do what they do despite constant budget cuts and computer systems that couldn't power an iPhone. Both of these things are marvels.

Take your anti-government self fulfillment to Somalia where it belongs.

/TSA... another story...
 
2012-06-19 07:50:51 AM  

Slaxl: I'd never considered it before but the security at spaceports is going to be doubly bad isn't it? The security folk will be even more angry, humourless and miserable because everyone passing through will be rich and going on an experience of a lifetime while they've got nothing. Hard to feel sorry for TSA folk though, or impossible.


No. The rich will be able to complain and say 'we won't travel like this unless we get treated better'. So the TSA for rich space travelers will be well trained, intelligent, attractive and friendly people that will be interested in serving the best interest of their customers.
It's the rest of us that will get stuck with the bitter ones that got rejected for the prime jobs...
 
2012-06-19 07:54:33 AM  

EZ1923: Hey subs, I know you've got the herpy derps but NASA only put people on the moon and the FAA just keeps thousands of planes a day from crashing into each other. They both do what they do despite constant budget cuts and computer systems that couldn't power an iPhone. Both of these things are marvels.

Take your anti-government self fulfillment to Somalia where it belongs.

/TSA... another story...


Take your pro-government derp to North Korea, where it belongs.

/There is an appropriate level of government.
 
2012-06-19 07:55:26 AM  

Slives: It's the rest of us that will get stuck with the bitter ones that got rejected for the prime jobs..


The best freedoms money can buy, right here in the ol' USA.
 
2012-06-19 07:59:29 AM  

dittybopper: There is an appropriate level of government.


There is no such thing as a "level" of government. Government exists, and tends to form even when it doesn't. It represents a collective actor (not necessarily representative of the collective citizenry). The idea of the amount of government being a quantity is absurd.

Governments can be sage, or foolish. They can operate on the long view, gracefully tending the garden on behalf of future generations, or they can sell out for the quick cash-in. They can operate in the interests of the Utilitarian "greatest good for the greatest number", or they can operate in the interests of a chosen elite. And so on.
 
2012-06-19 08:10:01 AM  
How? By launching all the TSA agents into the sun?
 
2012-06-19 08:14:05 AM  
So what do we call the new mile-high club?
 
2012-06-19 08:17:15 AM  

Subdue their bellies: So what do we call the new mile-high club?


Actually, I have to confirm: is the mile high club AGL or ASL? Because if it's ASL, pretty much everybody in Denver is a member.
 
2012-06-19 08:22:25 AM  

Kittypie070: How about we toss those blue shirt fraks out the airlock?


Sure thing, but pursuant to galactic law we'd have to make them put on red shirts first.
 
2012-06-19 08:34:47 AM  
What's with the fail tag? Did QA submit this article?
 
2012-06-19 08:40:43 AM  

Slaxl: I'd never considered it before but the security at spaceports is going to be doubly bad isn't it? The security folk will be even more angry, humourless and miserable because everyone passing through will be rich and going on an experience of a lifetime while they've got nothing. Hard to feel sorry for TSA folk though, or impossible.


In other words - just like real airports today.
 
2012-06-19 08:54:32 AM  

gingerjet: Slaxl: I'd never considered it before but the security at spaceports is going to be doubly bad isn't it? The security folk will be even more angry, humourless and miserable because everyone passing through will be rich and going on an experience of a lifetime while they've got nothing. Hard to feel sorry for TSA folk though, or impossible.

In other words - just like real airports today.


Yes, but even more, although

Slives: Slaxl: I'd never considered it before but the security at spaceports is going to be doubly bad isn't it? The security folk will be even more angry, humourless and miserable because everyone passing through will be rich and going on an experience of a lifetime while they've got nothing. Hard to feel sorry for TSA folk though, or impossible.

No. The rich will be able to complain and say 'we won't travel like this unless we get treated better'. So the TSA for rich space travelers will be well trained, intelligent, attractive and friendly people that will be interested in serving the best interest of their customers.
It's the rest of us that will get stuck with the bitter ones that got rejected for the prime jobs...


Is a good point. I need to get rich quick.
 
2012-06-19 08:57:05 AM  

Slaxl: I'd never considered it before but the security at spaceports is going to be doubly bad isn't it? The security folk will be even more angry, humourless and miserable because everyone passing through will be rich and going on an experience of a lifetime while they've got nothing. Hard to feel sorry for TSA folk though, or impossible.


Not only that, but just imagine what it will be when we make contact with ET. They will come in peace, but then they will have to deal with the TSA. So any species that is Purple, pink, green will get put on the watch list and one that has a gelatinous body type will automatically be put on the banned substance list

/so yeah, Aliens won't attack because of water, or to enslave us. It will be due to the TSA.
 
2012-06-19 09:02:27 AM  

t3knomanser: dittybopper: There is an appropriate level of government.

There is no such thing as a "level" of government. Government exists, and tends to form even when it doesn't. It represents a collective actor (not necessarily representative of the collective citizenry). The idea of the amount of government being a quantity is absurd.


So you are saying that a government of 1,000 people ruling over 100,000 is no different than a government of 100, or of 10,000? That there aren't any qualitative differences that come from quantitative differences?

Think of government as the "overhead" of society. Some overhead is certainly inescapable in any collective endeavor, be it corporate or government. The question is what level of overhead strikes the best balance between control and lack of it. Too much overhead is inefficient: It eats up resources unnecessarily without providing adequate return for the resources used. Surely we can agree on that. Excessive bureaucracy is, well, excessive.

Government, like all things, can be measured. Its size and output can be quantified and compared to others. You want to know the size of the US federal government? Excluding the military, it's 3 million people. With the military, it's 5.9 million, or actually a bit less because of overlap (national guard and reserve troops that have federal government jobs).

You can quantify their output also. For legislative and regulatory agencies, you can take the number of laws or regulations they enact, and subtract the ones they repeal, and get a net legislative or regulatory output. Not all laws or regulations are comparable, obviously, but then neither are all widgets. An iPad is different from a $2 calculator, but that doesn't mean we can't find a metric to compare the respective outputs of the companies that make them.

If you start with the idea, though, that government can't or shouldn't be measured, you are setting yourself up for having more than you might need. We can all agree that too much government control over individuals is bad, right? Going back to my quantitative analogy, it's much easier for a government of 10,000 to micromanage the lives of the remaining 90,000 than it is for a government of 1,000 to rule over 99,000.

The problem with organizations in general (including corporations, governments, and even the personal 'fiefdoms' that develop within them) is that like living populations, they tend to expand until they eat up all the available resources, unless limited in some fashion. We are seeing this in Greece now: The government expanded past the resources available to it (the limited amount of taxes it was able to collect), and now they are teetering on defaulting. Organizations also don't like to die, even when they've outlived their usefulness. The canonical example of this is the Women's Christian Temperance Union, which is *STILL* advocating for complete abstinence from things like alcohol despite the fact that its biggest triumph, Prohibition, was shown to be a complete failure that was actually worse than the evils it purported to fight, by giving rise to increased violence and organized crime.

Government departments are no different: It took 10 years to get rid of the CoBIS system in New York State (which required that all handguns sold in the state submit a fired casing to the state government for entry into a database). It didn't solve a single crime, and it ate up several tens of millions of state tax dollars that could have either resulted in a tax cut, or gone to more effective use. It took a budget crisis to get rid of it, and even then, the money was just reassigned to a different program.

If you act like government can't be measured, though, you give up any hope of being able to control its growth. Or maybe that's the point?
 
2012-06-19 09:03:09 AM  

t3knomanser: dittybopper: There is an appropriate level of government.

There is no such thing as a "level" of government. Government exists, and tends to form even when it doesn't. It represents a collective actor (not necessarily representative of the collective citizenry). The idea of the amount of government being a quantity is absurd.

Governments can be sage, or foolish. They can operate on the long view, gracefully tending the garden on behalf of future generations, or they can sell out for the quick cash-in. They can operate in the interests of the Utilitarian "greatest good for the greatest number", or they can operate in the interests of a chosen elite. And so on.


Are you being pedantic or stupid? I can't tell.
 
2012-06-19 09:03:49 AM  

Subdue their bellies: So what do we call the new mile-high club?


I suggest the Kármán Line club.
 
2012-06-19 09:08:27 AM  
I actually think it is a good idea that when spacecraft go into the air, there are no other aircraft in the way, and conditions are safe for launch. You know, major jobs which the FAA and NASA are known for.
 
2012-06-19 09:10:19 AM  

Slives: Slaxl: I'd never considered it before but the security at spaceports is going to be doubly bad isn't it? The security folk will be even more angry, humourless and miserable because everyone passing through will be rich and going on an experience of a lifetime while they've got nothing. Hard to feel sorry for TSA folk though, or impossible.

No. The rich will be able to complain and say 'we won't travel like this unless we get treated better'. So the TSA for rich space travelers will be well trained, intelligent, attractive and friendly people that will be interested in serving the best interest of their customers.
It's the rest of us that will get stuck with the bitter ones that got rejected for the prime jobs...


So the rich will get full body cavity searches, but they'll be performed by tall blondes with D-cups?

*thinks about it*

Man, I wish I were rich.
 
2012-06-19 09:13:38 AM  

dittybopper: That there aren't any qualitative differences that come from quantitative differences?


I'm saying that you can't generalize based on something as trite as numbers of people. A government that enlists every single citizen in its operation may be fantastically efficient, or it might be a police state.

dittybopper: Think of government as the "overhead" of society


I disagree that it's necessarily overhead. Overhead would be anything that isn't related tho basic business of running a civil society- which includes huge swathes of the private sector, as well as the public sector. Things like police, for example, are a clear "value added" aspect of governance- they're not overhead, they're a crucial part of the process (they're also not the only way to implement the process, but they're a popular one).

dittybopper: For legislative and regulatory agencies, you can take the number of laws or regulations they enact, and subtract the ones they repeal, and get a net legislative or regulatory output.


That metric is retarded. You're better off measuring the raw output by entropy. Because the number of regulations is utterly meaningless- there's no useful information in that. The number of bits required to represent those regulations is far more useful- and as a result, the number of repeals won't decrease the number of bits, they only increase it slightly.

Again: government's just another actor in society. It's one that we've granted a few special monopolies to (like the use of force), and it's worth discussing whether that monopoly is justified. I actually feel that the true problem is that there isn't enough governments. The idea that a single government should manage across a geographic region and not a functional area is absurd. There should be hundreds of governments.
 
2012-06-19 09:18:48 AM  

untaken_name: We have to involve the TSA because the Martians hate us for our freedoms.


And that's why you're super-green.
 
2012-06-19 09:20:57 AM  

gingerjet: Slaxl: I'd never considered it before but the security at spaceports is going to be doubly bad isn't it? The security folk will be even more angry, humourless and miserable because everyone passing through will be rich and going on an experience of a lifetime while they've got nothing. Hard to feel sorry for TSA folk though, or impossible.

In other words - just like real airports today.


If we consider these to be private aircraft operating from private terminals, the TSA shouldn't have any involvement.

/The launch provider would be responsible for its own screening.
/with them minding every ounce, the strip search will be epic.
 
2012-06-19 09:29:26 AM  

t3knomanser: Subdue their bellies: So what do we call the new mile-high club?

Actually, I have to confirm: is the mile high club AGL or ASL? Because if it's ASL, pretty much everybody in Denver is a member.


Not you, because you're a farker, and we know farkers don't get laid
 
2012-06-19 09:37:48 AM  
Yeah, subs I think you're missing the point. If you had RTFA, you'd see that the FAA and NASA are basically working out a deal so that they don't overlap. They're trying to minimize the bureaucracy, so that commercial space travel goes off without a hitch. They basically sat down at a table with a list of things that had to be done to get from the ground to space and back, then split up the list so that each side knew what their responsibility was and to minimize any overlap. This is a good thing.

Also, this is the first mention I've seen in the press of "Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket" or its launch later this year. Who are these guys?
 
2012-06-19 09:46:52 AM  

phyrkrakr: Yeah, subs I think you're missing the point. If you had RTFA, you'd see that the FAA and NASA are basically working out a deal so that they don't overlap. They're trying to minimize the bureaucracy, so that commercial space travel goes off without a hitch. They basically sat down at a table with a list of things that had to be done to get from the ground to space and back, then split up the list so that each side knew what their responsibility was and to minimize any overlap. This is a good thing.

Also, this is the first mention I've seen in the press of "Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket" or its launch later this year. Who are these guys?


No, no. We can't have NASA or the FAA involved in anything. Clearly subby's preferred solution is to create two entirely new agencies and assign this to them, instead of using existing agencies with experience in this sort of thing.

In the name of small government, of course.
 
2012-06-19 09:51:47 AM  

phyrkrakr: Also, this is the first mention I've seen in the press of "Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket" or its launch later this year. Who are these guys?


An Antares rocket is a single-use, two-stage launch system that can haul 11,000 pounds per trip into low-Earth orbit that was designed primarily to carry the Cygnus spacecraft, an unmanned resupply spacecraft designed to transport supplies to the ISS after the retirement of the Space Shuttle.

The Antares will have its test flight in August, and if that's successful then it will launch its first Cygnus in October/November, and then launch its first actual Cygnus Resupply Mission (CRS) some time after that. By 2014 it's scheduled to be using Enhanced Cygnus, which carries like 2,000 more pounds.
 
2012-06-19 10:02:15 AM  

phyrkrakr: minimize the bureaucracy


phyrkrakr: minimize any overlap


phyrkrakr: FAA and NASA


dl.dropbox.com

One of them isn't even a regulatory agency. The other knows nothing about exploration, space, or risk taking.
I predict this will end in nothing but MORE bureaucracy and DOUBLE the overlap!

/I'll even wager money that, if commercial space becomes a serious thing, these two will be forced to spawn a new agency devoted exclusively to tripling that double overlap of regulatory oversighty-ness.
 
2012-06-19 10:26:26 AM  

t3knomanser: dittybopper: That there aren't any qualitative differences that come from quantitative differences?

I'm saying that you can't generalize based on something as trite as numbers of people. A government that enlists every single citizen in its operation may be fantastically efficient, or it might be a police state.


Which do you think, given human nature, is more likely?

dittybopper: Think of government as the "overhead" of society

I disagree that it's necessarily overhead. Overhead would be anything that isn't related tho basic business of running a civil society- which includes huge swathes of the private sector, as well as the public sector. Things like police, for example, are a clear "value added" aspect of governance- they're not overhead, they're a crucial part of the process (they're also not the only way to implement the process, but they're a popular one).


Even the police are overhead. Necessary overhead, but overhead nonetheless. When a factory makes widgets, it needs certain things to implement the production process, and management is one of them. Management is a crucial part of the process, but that doesn't mean they aren't "overhead".

dittybopper: For legislative and regulatory agencies, you can take the number of laws or regulations they enact, and subtract the ones they repeal, and get a net legislative or regulatory output.

That metric is retarded. You're better off measuring the raw output by entropy. Because the number of regulations is utterly meaningless- there's no useful information in that. The number of bits required to represent those regulations is far more useful- and as a result, the number of repeals won't decrease the number of bits, they only increase it slightly.

I agreed it's a retarded metric, but the idea that government can't be measured is equally retarded.

Again: government's just another actor in society. It's one that we've granted a few special monopolies to (like the use of force), and it's worth discussing whether that monopoly is justified. I actually feel that the true problem is that there isn't enough governments. The idea that a single government should manage across a geographic region and not a functional area is absurd. There should be hundreds of governments.


Actually, in the US, the government doesn't have a monopoly on force by design, and that's a feature, not a bug.

I would worry less about a hundred governments all with differing ideas about what they want then one large government controlling everything. Local and regional (for example, state governments in the US) governments aren't seen as a danger to freedoms as much as a federal government because federal governments command much more power generally.
 
2012-06-19 10:27:47 AM  

scarmig: untaken_name: We have to involve the TSA because the Martians hate us for our freedoms.

And that's why you're super-green.


Well, I don't know if that's good or bad, but since weed and money are both green, I'm gonna go with: thank you!
 
2012-06-19 10:34:05 AM  
The FAA? Eh, they're alright. I can see how the regulation would get annoying after awhile but on the other hand, there's a reason we have some of the safest skies on the planet and other countries call in our officials when there's problems with their air transportation.

NASA still leads the world in space exploration.

The TSA? Nah, die in a fire.
 
2012-06-19 10:57:52 AM  

dittybopper: the government doesn't have a monopoly on force by design


Um, yes it does. We're not talking about self defense here. I cannot go into my neighbor's home with a weapon and demand that they turn over their property. The government can. It is restricted by due process, but only the government can implement its will by force.

dittybopper: Even the police are overhead.


No, they're a value-add component of the governmental business process. They're one of the vital services that provides for civil society. While many of their operations are not value added steps, the organization itself exists as a value-added feature of governance.

dittybopper: Which do you think, given human nature, is more likely?


It depends on implementation.
 
2012-06-19 11:05:17 AM  

t3knomanser: Um, yes it does. We're not talking about self defense here. I cannot go into my neighbor's home with a weapon and demand that they turn over their property. The government can. It is restricted by due process, but only the government can implement its will by force.


Police departments around the country will be ecstatic to find out that armed robbery is no longer possible.
 
X15
2012-06-19 01:25:12 PM  

Sargun: phyrkrakr: Also, this is the first mention I've seen in the press of "Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket" or its launch later this year. Who are these guys?

An Antares rocket is a single-use, two-stage launch system that can haul 11,000 pounds per trip into low-Earth orbit that was designed primarily to carry the Cygnus spacecraft, an unmanned resupply spacecraft designed to transport supplies to the ISS after the retirement of the Space Shuttle.

The Antares will have its test flight in August, and if that's successful then it will launch its first Cygnus in October/November, and then launch its first actual Cygnus Resupply Mission (CRS) some time after that. By 2014 it's scheduled to be using Enhanced Cygnus, which carries like 2,000 more pounds.


AKA the rocket formerly known as Taurus II, the sixth launch vehicle Orbital has developed in their 30 year history.
 
2012-06-19 01:38:18 PM  

t3knomanser: dittybopper: the government doesn't have a monopoly on force by design

Um, yes it does. We're not talking about self defense here. I cannot go into my neighbor's home with a weapon and demand that they turn over their property. The government can. It is restricted by due process, but only the government can implement its will by force.


So can the people, if the will of the government is at odds with the will of the people:

[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. - Tenche Coxe 1788

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive. - Noah Webster 1787

"The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both." - William Rawle 1791


"The next amendment is: 'A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' "

"The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

- Supreme Court justice Joseph Story, 1833.


Think of it as the ultimate in checks and balances. The government (whether federal, state, or local) doesn't have a monopoly on the use of force. A monopoly means that only they have the right to use it, but the Second Amendment, when properly understood, acts as a brake against such a monopoly by ensuring that no government can become so oppressive that it can't be resisted by force of arms, and in fact if there were a move to take that right away, it can be used to prevent that from happening.

It's kind of like a pre-nuclear bomb version of "mutually assured destruction", and it's worked amazingly well. I should also point out that like MAD doctrine, you don't actually have to be able to *WIN*, you just have to make it expensive enough so that the other side doesn't try it in the first place.

Now, I recognize that these ideas make some people uncomfortable, but that's OK. I can't imagine a scenario in the near future where resorting to a Second Amendment option would be even a remote possibility. But 20, 50, 100 years from now? Who knows? I'd like my grandkids and great-grandkids to have the option if they need it.
 
2012-06-19 01:40:15 PM  

t3knomanser: dittybopper: Which do you think, given human nature, is more likely?

It depends on implementation.


If we only get the right people in charge, right? It'll work this time *FOR SURE*.
 
2012-06-19 02:07:24 PM  

EZ1923: Hey subs, I know you've got the herpy derps but NASA only put people on the moon and the FAA just keeps thousands of planes a day from crashing into each other. They both do what they do despite constant budget cuts and computer systems that couldn't power an iPhone. Both of these things are marvels.


Seriously. NASA and the FAA have issues, but most of them are due to lack of funding and direction from Feds. Give them both unlimited funding and we'd have colonies on the Moon and Mars and much more efficient air travel. Give the TSA unlimited funding and you'd be going through full rectal exams just to leave the house.
 
2012-06-19 08:31:49 PM  

dittybopper: If we only get the right people in charge, right? It'll work this time *FOR SURE*.


If you've enlisted every citizen into the government, I don't think anyone could (or should) be in charge.

dittybopper: So can the people, if the will of the government is at odds with the will of the people:


Should I be putting the word "legitimate" in front of it? Revolutions are only legitimate uses of force when they're successful.
 
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