Daily Archives: September 16, 2011

Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (6)


                                                                                                                                        
SPACE WATCH

September 14, 2011

NASA Announces Design for New
Deep Space Exploration System

NASA – NASA is ready to move forward with the development of the Space Launch System — an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. The Space Launch System will give the nation a safe, affordable and sustainable means of reaching beyond our current limits and opening up new discoveries from the unique vantage point of space.

The Space Launch System, or SLS, will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment and science experiments to Earth’s orbit and destinations beyond. Additionally, the SLS will serve as a back up for commercial and international partner transportation services to the International Space Station.

“This launch system will create good-paying American jobs, ensure continued U.S. leadership in space, and inspire millions around the world,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “President Obama challenged us to be bold and dream big, and that’s exactly what we are doing at NASA. While I was proud to fly on the space shuttle, tomorrow’s explorers will now dream of one day walking on Mars.”

 

Designating Orion as NASA’s Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle provides our nation with an affordable solution for multiple mission capability by continuing the technology innovations and spacecraft development the NASA-industry team has accomplished. more> http://twurl.nl/wxv7e4

How AT&T conquered the 20th century


By Matthew Lasar – As the reconstituted AT&T makes its bid to buy T-Mobile, another interesting question presents itself. Why did the United States of America, supposedly the land of free market competition, accept the near total dominance of AT&T over telephone service for about 60 years?

If you accept their observations and arguments as mostly compatible pieces of a larger story, what stands out is a corporation that, at crucial moments, did just about everything right…

The master narrative of the early Bell system is about struggles over patents. On February 17, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent for a method of electronically transmitting speech “by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sounds, substantially as set forth.” more> http://twurl.nl/35zwnl

Further reading

  • Gerald W. Brock, The Telecommunications Industry: The Dyanamics of Market Structure
  • Claude Fischer, America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940
  • Richard A. John, Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications
  • Roland Marchand, Making America Corporate
  • Milton Mueller, Jr., Universal Service: Competition, Interconnection, and Monopoly in the Making

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Carbon Capture and Green Technology


By S. Julio Friedmann – The world is emitting more carbon dioxide than even the worst-case IPCC models allow. In 2010, roughly 35 billion tons of man-made CO2 entered the atmosphere — about 70 times the weight of all human beings on earth. That annual volume is about seven billion tons more than it was in 2004, largely because of rapid economic growth in developing countries.

Unfortunately, energy technology, on the whole, has not evolved fast enough to cope with the CO2 problem. Novel nuclear reactor research continues, including new fuel cycles (like thorium), proliferation-resistant designs, new “inherently safe” designs, and lower-cost approaches. However, the tragedy of the tsunami-induced reactor failures in Japan has delayed the deployment of new nuclear technologies. more> http://twurl.nl/posymb

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Why Swiss medicine men swallow a strong franc


By Katie Reid and Ben Hirschler – In recent months, a red-hot Swiss franc has made Switzerland an expensive place to buy a slice of pizza, let alone run a business. Yet the medicine men of Basel, who have spent 500 years pioneering drugs on the banks of the Rhine, insist it will take more than a currency crisis to dislodge them.

A strong currency is supposed to force manufacturers out — and indeed, a majority of Novartis’s and Roche’s routine drug making is now done in cheaper countries. But for the really important stuff, the big drug companies say Switzerland’s advantages — a mix of rich skills, intellectual property and low taxes — outweigh both its high costs and its runaway currency, up almost 40 percent over the past three years. It’s the same lesson German precision tool companies and Japanese carmakers have learned: a strong currency does not have to mean the end. more> http://twurl.nl/k4a6wb

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Specter of credit crunch returns as banks pump money into markets


By James Kirkup – The central banks’ fresh intervention, which will run from October until December, was driven by the deepening crisis in the euro zone, which is struggling to cope with the debts of countries including Greece.

Investors, particularly US money-market funds, are increasingly worried that the European banks are exposed to huge losses on loans they have made in Greece and other indebted euro zone countries. more> http://twurl.nl/2oumbu

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