Thursday, April 30, 2009

No Lunar Base in 2020? Say it ain't so!

New Scientist article by David Shiga that was posted on their website on April 29, 2009; suggest that NASA is backing off the idea of building a outpost on the moon.

According to acting NASA administrator Chris Scolese told congressional lawmakers on the 28th that the agency is "... open to putting more emphasis on human missions to destinations like Mars or near-Earth asteroid(s)."

While NASA is working towards the return to the moon by the year 2020, other space analysts and advocacy groups such as Planetary Society are urging NASA to cancel plans for a permanent moonbase.  They instead urge shorter moon missions, and focus on getting astronauts to Mars

Scolese's comments suggest that the White House might be undergoing a shift in space policy.  Chris Scolese was speaking to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies of the House Committee on Appropriations.

Reporters kept asking Scolese about the 2010 budget and how it would impact the agency as it moves forward to lunar flights by 2020.  But Mr. Scolese declined to give out a clear yes or no answer.  His answers instead gives the clue that NASA's plans are in flux.  

Check out this answer he give to reporters (reguarding the short trips to moon and the asteroids).  "Recall (that) the Vision (for Space Exploration) was not just to go to the moon as it was in Apollo, it was to utilise space to go on to Mars and to go to other places.  We've demonstrated over the last several years that with multiple flights we can build a very complex system reliably - the space station - involving multiple nations.  and we'll need something like that if we're going to go to Mars."

NASA's associate administrator for exploration systems, Doug Cooke; give out similar vague answers to the subcommittee's chair Congressman Alan Mollohan wondering if the space agency has been new directions.

More specifics are explected to come out in May when the Obama administration releases it's detailed 2010 budget proposal. 

Image is of the UFO tv series Lunar Lander landing at the SHADO moonbase.

Ref. New article by David Shiga. April 29, 2009 (

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Red Rover Going for Google Lunar X Prize

Carnegie Mellon/Raytheon team planning lunar robot rover mission to the Apollo 11 landing site while in pursuit of the $20 Million dollar Google Lunar X Prize contest. There are 16 other teams in the running for the Google Lunar X Prize. The winning team has to be able to launch a rocket and payload to the moon. Land there. Then have it move at least 1,640 feet (i.e. 500 meters) and then beam back to earth high definition views.

Articles from from last October(October 30, 2009) and today (April 29, 2009) about the "Red Rover" planned mission to the moon and in the process, it will photograph the Apollo 11 landing site with HD cameras.

"Red Rover" takes it's name from Mr. Red Whittaker who is a Carnegie Mellon University roboticist who led his team to victory in the DARPA 2007 Grand Challenge.  The main mission for Red Rover for scouting and prospecting, and mining.  All the sorts of things that are needed for human return to the moon.

From the latest article, reporter Jeremy Hsu states that Raytheon and other partner institutions have already poured over $3 million into the project.  

Image is from the lunar rover webpage. 
Ref. Red Rover ( from October 30, 2008 & April 29, 2009. ( & (

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Train vs UFO on January 14, 2002

Train - UFO collision report.  This was a most unusual report I decided to post ths link to it for others to read it as well.

Article posted on Phantoms & Monsters blog, Saturday, April 25, 2009. There was a report of a UFO / Train Collision in Paintsville, KY.  The original incident took place in January of 2002 (specifically. 2:47am on 01/14/2002). There are photographs showing damage to a diesel locomotive. Read that article there.

Monday, April 27, 2009

China's new aircraft carrier-moved to new port

On both the Information Dissemination and the China Defense Blog, photographs were posted on each showing China's new aircraft carrier (former Russian carrier Varyag) being moved from one side of a harbor to the Dalian shipyard.

No doubt that it is time for that ship to undergo fitting out. 
Ref ( and China Defense Blog ( Monday, April 27, 2009). 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

USA, USSR vs the Flying Saucers

A little tidbit from the Christian Science Monitor posted on their website and a link to that page from the Coast to Coast Am webpage (April 24, 2009 original posting on CSM).

Mikhail Gorbachev was recently interviewed by Charlie Rose along with former Secretary of State George Shultz when the former leader of the USSR drop this little bit of news.  The interview was taking place on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

President Gorbachev was laughing when he said he wasn't all that impressed with President Ronald Reagan's challenge about tearing down the Berlin Wall.  But added that he did believe that Ronald Reagan "was a great president."

George Shultz began talking about the Lake Geneva summit and mentioned that the two world leaders ducked out of a meeting to take a walk to a nearby cabin.  

Gorbachev told Shultz and Rose that "From the fireside house, President Reagan suddenly said to me, 'What would you do if the United States were suddenly atacked by someone from outer space?  Would you help us?'"  Gorbachev replied to that question thusly, "No doubt about it."  Reagan responded , "We too."

"So that's interesting," President Gorbachev added to much laughter.

On the Christian Science Monitor webpage with this article is the video of that interview.  Check out the link below.  And who knows, maybe we already have a real life SHADO organization fully operational now...  Plus any excuse to show off Lt. Ellis in her purple wig glory!

UFO tv series home page (

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Steve Eves And His 1/10th scale Saturn V Moon Rocket

Found this on the National Space Society blog page.  See link below. At 1/10th scale, the Saturn V is 36 feet tall.  He is hoping to get into the record books as flying the largest model rocket in history.  He is hoping to reach 3 to 4,000 feet in altitude with this monster.

I'm rooting for his success.

UPDATE:  April 30, 2009.  It's Flown!  Check out the New website for the YouTube video. 

Ref.  (

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Unidentified Submerged Object (USO) Video

Check this short video out.  Its of a supposed Unidentified Submerged Object (USO) that was posted on  Check out the link below.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hitch a Ride with China - Maybe?

America is hell bent on retiring the space shuttle fleet in 2010 no matter what.  At least to me it seems. So, if the U.S. astronauts cannot hitch a ride with the Russians, then maybe with the Chinese.

At least that idea was floated by the presidential science adviser John Holdren, the ehad of the White House Office of Science and Technology, in an interview posted on Science Insider - a webblog with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Holdren underscored the fact that President Obama's administration wants to retire the shuttle in 2010.  When that happens, there will be a five-year gap in US manned spaceflight capability until Orion/Aries is operational.  And Holdren also hinted at the possibility of hitching a ride with the Chinese.  But that is currently depending on America's and China's relationship.

Holden also talked about the formation of a space council if the "thorny civil and military space issues" to assist President Obama in decision-making process.  As to how it will be structured, that still has to be worked out.  But Holden said, "But there will be a space council." 

Ref., April 16, 2009.  Article by Leonard David "U.S. Astronauts Might Hitch Rides on Chinese Spacecraft."  ( Image was in association with teh article.

Monday, April 20, 2009

NATO Considers a Nuclear First Strike Option

In a original article by Ian Traynor that was published in The Guardian (Jan. 22, 2008), the Main Stream Media(MSM) dropped the ball and this little bit of news never ever made it out to the rest of the world.  Considereing the time of year that Mr. Traynor published the article, originally entitled:  "Pre-emptive nuclear strike a key option, NATO told".  

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officials were considering a first strike nuclear option to be used anywhere in the world should a threat arise.  Former armed force chiefs from the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, and the Netherlands authored a 150-page document calling for urgent reform of NATO, and a new pact drawing the US, NATO, and the European Union (EU) together into a "Grand Strategy" to tackle the challenges of a brutal world.  

I first discovered this article from another article entitled:  "Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009." From a quick scan, it seems to be President George W. Bush was bad, etc, etc., etc.  But this article on NATO really caught my eye.

I mean, the list of authors for this paper makes interesting reading by itself.  From the U.S., we have former chairman of the US joint chiefts of staff General John Shalikashvili.  General Klaus Naumann, ex-chairman of NATO's military committee.  General Henk van den Breemen, Former Dutch chief of staff.  Admiral Jacques Lanzade, a former French chief of staff.  And from the United Kingdom, we have Lord Inge, field marshal and ex-chief of the general staff and the defense staff in the UK.  They painted a dire picture of the threats and challenges that will confront the West in the post-9/11 world and they deliver a withering verdict on the ability to cope with those situations.  The five commanders argue that the West's values and our way of life are under threat, and at the same time, trying to suck up the will to defend those same values.

These are the key threats facing the West:
1.  Political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism
2.  The threat of globalization, such as international terrorism, organized crime, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
3.  Climate change and energy insecurity.  This entailing a contest fro resources and potential "enviromental" migration on a mass scale.
4.  Weakening of the nation state as well as their organizations such as the United Nations, NATO, the EU, etc.

In order to rpevail, the generals call for a major overhaul of NATO decision-making methods.  The need for a new "Directorate" of US, European, and NATO leaders to respond rapidly to crises, and an end to EU "Obstruction" of, and rivalry with, NATO.  

Below are soem of the radical changes this group recommends.

1.  A shift from consensus decision-making in NATO bodies to majority voting, resulting in faster action throught an end to national vetoes.
2.  The abolition of national caveats in NATO operations that have been plaguing the Afghan campaign.
3.  No role in decision-making on NATO operations for alliance members who are not taking part in the operations.
4.  Use of force without UN Security Council authorization when "immediate action is needed to pretect large nubmers of human beings."

Ian Traynor concluded his article with this closing paragraph, and a update for the Top 25 list posting.

(NATO) reserving the right to initiate nuclear attack was a central element of the West's Cold War strategy against the Soviet Union.  Critics argue that what was once a method used to face down a nuclear superpower is no longer appropriate.  Then the update adds:  "I was the only person to write about this and nothing much has really happened since."  

Well, maybe now since the (Ameican) MSM has finally got their guy into the White House for (pick any of the following reasons:  1) the first black man, 2) He's not George W. Bush, 3) By hook or crook, the MSM was going to choose the next President of the United States - Not the people themselves, or 4) all of the above).  Now that the two year long election of 2007/2008 is now over with, the MSM will try to find something new to actually report on.  That is if any of them still have any jobs in any still working news bureaus.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bad Chinese Chips = US Security Penetrated. Chinese Propose Copper base Currency

I found on a article back in 2007 about China's quest to become a military superpower.  This aphorism that old Charlie Chan himself could have utter:  "Listen to what they say, but observe what they do."  

What Beijing is saying is quite different from what it is doing.  

It has been reported recently that Chinese cyber-spies have penetrated the US computer system.  Such things as Banks, Power Grids, etc.  Now comes word some computer chips in our fighter planes may also be comprimised.  I.E. a modern-day Trojan Horse put into place by the Chinese security forces.  China says its not resposible (I'm sure that is the case - just haven't found that news report yet). 

National Counterintelligence Executive, Joel Brenner of the University of Texas at Austin stated in a transcript released on Wednesday, "Chinese penetrations of unclassified DoD networks have also been widely reported.  Those are more sophisticated, though hardly state of the art.

He added, "We're also seeing counterfeit routers and chips, and some of those chips have made their way into the US military fighter aircraft.  You don't sneak counterfeit chips into another nation's aircraft to steal data.  When it's done intentionally, its done to degrade systems, or to ahve the ability to do so at a time of one's choosing."

Joel Brenner said that the Chinese were mapping our the US network systems.

China has also realized that it has WAY TOO much of USA's debt on its hands.  So they are dumping the dollar and buying up copper.  They have also been aquiring huge stocks of aluminium, zinc, nickel, and rarer metals such as indium (thin-film technology).  Also titanium, rhodium (that can be used in such thngs as catalytic converters and praseodymium (for glass).  John Lennon, head of commodities at Macquarie Bank said, "(Chinese)They are definitely buying metals to diversify out of US Treasuries and dollar holdings."

UBS Metals Chief, John Reade said, Beijing may have made a strategic decision to stockpile metal as an alternative to foreign bonds. "We're very surprised by Chinese demand.  They are buying much more copper than they will need this year.  If this is strategic, there may be no effective limit on the purchases as China's pockets are deep."  

China may be worried that the U.S. Federal Reserve is in the process of creating a (covert) default on America's debt by printing money.  Premier Wen Jiabao issued a blunt warning last month that China was tiring of US bonds.  He is concerned about the huge amount of money lent to the U.S. and thus worried about the safety of those assets.  

By going the metal route instead of buying more U.S. bonds is that it "Kills so many birds with one stone.  It stops the yuan rising, without provoking complaints of currency manipulation by Washington, D.C..  Metals are mroe esily stored in warehouses, unlike oil.  The holdings are likely to rise in value over time since the earth's crust is gradualy depleting its accessible ores.  Above all, such a policy safeguards China's industrial revolution - while the West will one day face a supply crisis.  

China is not buying gold.  They say that there is just as much chance of having a "Copper Standard" backing the currency as there is the old standby, "Gold Standard." 

"Listen to what they say, but observe what they do."  

Ref. Times Of India, April 17, 2009 "Chinese spies may have put chips in US planes" (
Stop the Liberals Now. article by Crabbycon, April 17, 2009 (

Monday, April 13, 2009

P-8A to Take on Other Roles

Boeing's P-8A patrol plane, based upon the 737 airframe, is evolving into other military missions for the Navy.  Such as creating a variant for signals, communications, and intelligence gathering services.  The EP-X is a competition being set up to find a replacement for the current EP-3Es in Navy service.  

"The patrol (VP) and sigint (VQ) communities have been merging since 1998." said Tim Norgart, Boeing's director of business development for airborne antisubmarine warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.  

Quoting from that article:  "(We envision) using a baseline architecture with one (Open Microprocessor Initiative) across both programs and then pushing it out to the other services as they start upgrading their capability.  We don't want the Navy to have to invest in a (separate sigint) architecture and operator-machine interface since there are going to be a lot of VQ guys going to VP squadrons and vice versa.  Our idea is that the radar operator on a P-8 can, the next day, go flying on an EP-X and everything will look the same.  Capability packages that are in the sigint mission set today could be balled up and run as applications on an architecture that is as robust as the P-8.  All these architectures are going in that direction."

And then cooperative data links will be developed to allow the EW suite on a P-8A and EP-X has the ability to reach into an EA-18G to find out where it has been, what it is collecting and what it is goiing after next.

One scenario of interest has a carrier battle group moving toward an area of interest with three P-8s in the air.  One escorts the battlegroup and the other two collect information on the route ahead.  Even farther out - over the coastline and perhaps up to 50 miles inland - are three UAVs linked to the P-8s.  And EP-X would be at the top of the operational pyramid putting data into the network and ensuring the systems can all talk with one another.

Ref. AW&ST, "EP-X Program Starts To Take Shape" by David A. Fulghum, April 12, 2009.  (  

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Area 51 Backstory (LA Times Article)

Reporter Annie Jacobsen of the LA Times, had her article on the history of Area 51.  Much of the article focus on the cold war aspects of the most famous non-existant Air Force Base on the planet.  Operations such as the U-2 flights and reverse engineering of captured Soviet Migs. Underground tunnels.  New hangers large enough to hold a blimp... 

Area 51 is the focus of conspiracy theorists conducting such things like faking the Moon Landings in the 1960s and 1970s.  Recovered flying saucers and extraterrestrial beings (alive and dead) area stored for future research.

Ms. Jacobsen interviewed Kenneth Collins who was a CIA test pilot who flew the A-12, codename: OXCART (forerunner of the famous SR-71 Blackbird).  He along with Harry Martin and Hugh "Slip" Slater. Slater was even the base commander in the 1960s.  

Please check out the entire article by finding the link below.  I also posted a copy of this over on my other blog (

Ref. LA Times (April 5, 2009)"The Road to Area 51" by Annie Jacobsen, (,0,3355162.story).
The UFO Chronicles website (
Dreamland Reprot website ( )

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Websites and Blogs Added to My Lists

Some great Defense Information related blogs that I have recently discovered.  I am posting them here for future reference.

1.  Information Dissemination - Navy related.  (

2. The U.S. Naval Institute website.  I'm ashamed to have forgotten all about them in my blog list and will correct that oversite now.  Until recently, I had a membership with them and loved reading the monthly Naval Proceedings magazines. Also, the books that they put out are top rate.  (

3.  Aviation Week & Space Technology (

4.  China Defense Blog.  This is a blog covering recent Chinese defense matters.  (

5.  China-Defense website.  Covers the Army, Navy, and Air Froces of the PRC. (

6.  Russian Navy Blog ( ).  

7.  HG's World Blog.  A History and Commentary site. (

8.  Ricks Foreign Policy Blog. ( )

9. World Wide War Pigs.  (

Monday, April 6, 2009

American Defense Cuts

AP News Report (Washington D.C.) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates announched deep cuts to some of the Pentagon's biggest weapons programs like stopping production of the USAF's $140 billion F-22 fighter jet prgram.

The U.S. Army modernization program will be rolled back and a new search-and-rescue helicopter will be cut out as well.

So far, it looks like the battle between the air-tanker companies will go on and more and more KC-135s are grounded for much needed repairs and upgrades.  

UPDATE:  F-22 not totally cancelled.  Enough pressure was brought forth to keep production going at a trinkle.  Boeing's C-17 was also, it seemed, saved. New replacement long-range bombers have been scrapped. 

What appears to be scrapped right now Future Combat System.

Missile Defense Program scaled back program cost by $1.4 billion.  The second Boeing airborne laser demonstration aircraft is cancelled.

For the Navy, Gates proposes a 5-year build cycle of Aircraft Carriers. (This projects the Navy operating just 10 aircraft carriers by the year 2040). Plus the new DDG-1000 destroyers are to be built in just one shipyard in a cost savings move.  And at General Dynamics, they will restart DDG-51 building at the Northrop shipyard.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Mish Sci Fi Musings: Real Live Battle in Space

Mish Sci Fi Musings: Real Live Battle in Space

Humans and Robots on the Moon by 2020

Reported by AP News, Tokyo - Japan announced on April 3, 2009 that it has some plans for a joint-mission with humans and their two-legged walking robots to the moon by the year 2020.

Size of the budget and technology specific plans for this endeavour are still being worked on and will be finalized in two years according the Japan's Strategic Headquarters for Space Development. This is a Cabinet-level working group that is charged with a broad strategy for space development and exploration.

The group also proposed more research into military satellites like early warning systems for detecting ballistic missile launches and systems to analyze radio waves sent in space.  Other recommendations include using space research as a tool to develop diplomacy with other countries and developing advanced satellites to predict and monitor natural disasters.

The Strategic Headquarters was set up last year by law to advance Japan's space technology and exploration.  It allows the country - with its peaceful constitution, to use space for military defense.

In added Robot news dated April 2, 2009, the Financial Times reported by Clive Cookson (Science Editor); that a robot named Adam has the honor of being the first machine in history to make a new scientific discovery independently of its human creators.

Adam formed a hypothesis on the genetics of baker's yeast and carried out experiments to test its predictions, without human intervention at Aberystwyth University.  The result, according to the article, ..was a series of "simple but useful" discoveries, confirmed by human scientists, about the gene coding for yeast enzymes.  The research is published in the journal Science. 

Creator of Robot Adam, Professor Ross King, says that Adam will not supplant human researchers but make their work more productive and interesting.  "Ultimately we hope to have teams of human and robot scientists working together in laboratories," he said.

Adam is the result of a five-year collaboration between computer scientists and biologists at Aberystwyth and Cambridge universities.  

Adam has access to a huge database of yeast biology, automated hardware to carry out experiments.  Plus supplies of yeast cells and lab chemicals, and on top of all that, powerful artificial intelligence software.

Although they did not intervene directly in Adam's experiments, they did stand by to fix technical glitches, add chemicals and remove waste.

Professor King added, "Adam is a prototype.  Eve is better designed and more elegant."  

In future experiments, Robot Adam and Robot Eve will work together to devise and carry out tests on thousand of chemical compounds.  Working towards discovering new antimalarial drugs.  

Ref>  National Space Society Blog ( 
Drudge Report/Google News April 3, 2009: (
Financial Times ( )

UFO over Morristown, N.J. - A Hoax

I've discovered today that the Morristown UFO event earlier this year was a hoax.  This is teh link to that article (  I have also updated my original post of that event with this link as well.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dominance in Space – Concerns about U.S. Leadership?

Space industry executives attending the latest Space Foundation's annual National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado this week, are worried that the United States is losing its competitive edge in space unless it somehow improves the way it goes about buying hardware. They recommend that the U.S. MUST shore up its industrial base. And most importantly of all – make a firm commitment to human spaceflight. (Que Homer Simpson's “Doh” sound effect here please!).

These same executives also told Reuter's reporter Andrea Shalal-Esa, that companies must be more innovative and flexible to respond to rapidly evolving threats. The U.S. Commercial and military space has grown dramatically in recent years and last year in 2008 – it generated $257 billion. With the onset of the global recession, all these companies can expect tighter defense budgets in 2009 and beyond.

The U.S. And Russia are still top dogs when it comes to the business of space business. China is knocking on the door with it's recent manned space flights. The European Space Agency (ESA) is still in the planning process for their own manned spaceflight capability. India has its own manned spaceflight plans too. Smaller players such as Iran and North Korea have their own plans to get into space.

Vice Admiral Carl Mauney, deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees America's space operations, told reporters that ten (10) countries now have space-launch capabilities, compared to just the two – Russia and the Untied States – several years ago.

President of Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, Jim Maser; told those conference attendees that the U.S. Government lacked “an integrated, stable road map for space. In the absence of that, we're placing belts, and in some cases, blind bets.”  Translation: U.S. Industry is always in a guessing game as to America's future priorities. Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne gets 50% of its revenue from work on human spaceflight programs. And Maser is worried over what the Obama administration will do if it doesn't make a long-term commitment to human spaceflight, and thus provide the funding to ensure a smooth transition from the NASA space shuttle to the Constellation (Orion/Aries) Program.

Quoting: “A prolonged period without U.S. Human spaceflight would mean that we could lose that capability,” Maser told Reuters at the Space Foundation's annual National Space Symposium.

Add to this mix the recent new release from the group Taxpayers for Common Sense this last week, that U.S. Government spending on the unclassified satellites and space programs soared 42% up to $16.9 billion in fiscal 2009. This money was given out all across the government with no central authority to track the spending. Taxpayers for Common Sense is a Washington-base watchdog group. As for the Black Ops side of the budget, another $13 billion more can be added to that previous $16.9 billion. Or so reported by Micah Walter-Range who is an analyst with the Space Foundation.

Taxpayers for Common Sense site 12 space programs that had racked up costs of more than 200 percent in the past 5 years.

Jim Maser said that the U.S. Space Command was focused on space, advocated for new capabilities, and worked well with all the other space agencies on operational issues, but there had been many studies on how best to coordinate space policy all across the U.S. Government.

Current oversight procedures with the Pentagon splits classified intelligence programs from those focused on weather, communications, and other unclassified satellite programs.

CEO William Schuster of GeoEye Inc. was one of two companies that provide satellite imagery to the military – to expand its use of cheaper, commercial products.

Orbital Sciences Corp CEO David Thompson added the following, ..the biggest challenges facing the industry were “our own deficiencies in space architecture choices, acquisition practices and program implementation performance. If we do not shorten our space system acquisition cycles and better control their costs, other countries will inevitably narrow the substantial competitive advantages we possess today.”

Hmmm. Lets see. We could go with the Jupiter Direct program option that has been posted to this blog (January 12, 2009) and reported in the magazine Popular Mechanics (February 2009). Or the Skylon/Sabre that I posted (December 18, 2008) which is based off of an article that appeared in Aviation Week and Space Technology (December 8, 2008). Or – lets go back to what I posted about the DC-X on (September 10, 2008).

How about the true civilian space programs that are out there now? Burt Rutan building the White Knight Two/SpaceShipTwo for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space tourism venture.

These last two paragraphs sound logical to me. Too bad that our government doesn't believe in logic anymore.

Ref., posted by Andrea Shalal-Esa, Colorado Springs, Colorado, on April 1, 2009 ( ).