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Newly Revealed Russian Weapons Systems: Political Implications
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For those interested in the military implications of the recent revelations by Vladimir Putin about new Russian weapon systems I would recommend the excellent article entitled “The Implications of Russia’s New Weapon Systems” by Andrei Martyanov who offers a superb analysis of what these new weapons mean for the US and, especially, the US Navy. What I want to do here is something a little different and look at some of the more political consequences of these latest revelations.

The first two of the five stages of grief: denial and anger

Right now, the AngloZionists are undergoing something very similar to the first two of the Five Stages of the Kübler-Ross Grief model: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Mostly this manifests itself in criticisms of the quality of the videos presented by Putin and by simple incantations about “these weapons only exist on paper”. This is absolutely normal and will not last too long. That kind of denial is a normal coping mechanism whose primary function is to “soften the blow”, but not something one can base any actual policy or strategy on. However, it is worth looking into why exactly these revelations triggered such a powerful reaction as things are a little more complicated than might first appear.

First, a stunning revelation of sorts: the deployment of these weapons systems does not fundamentally change the nuclear balance between Russia and the US, at least not in terms of first strike stability (for a detailed discussion see here). Yes, it is true that the US nuclear arsenal is becoming increasingly antiquated, especially when compared with the Russian one and, yes, it is true that in an entire family of technologies the Russians are now clearly many years ahead of the US. But no, this does not mean that Russia could get away with a first strike against the US (neither could, for that matter, the US could get away with a first strike against Russia). Both countries possess more than enough nuclear warhead delivery capabilities even if their forces were to be reduced by a full 90% in any putative disarming (counterforce) strike. The point of Putin’s warning was not at all to threaten the West or to suggest that Russia could prosecute a successful nuclear war, far from it! First and foremost, his speech was a much-needed case of public psychotherapy. You could say that his intention was to force the Empire to eventually enter the next, more constructive, three stages of grief: bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Bringing a sense of reality to a deeply delusional Empire

The leaders of the Empire, along with their brainwashed ideological drones, live in a world completely detached from reality. This is why Martyanov writes that the US “still continues to reside in her bubble which insulates her from any outside voices of reason and peace” and that Putin’s speech aimed at “coercing America’s elites into, if not peace, at least into some form of sanity, given that they are currently completely detached from the geopolitical, military and economic realities of a newly emerging world ”. Martyanov explains that:

American power elites, the majority of whom have never served a day in uniform nor ever attended serious military academic institutions and whose expertise on serious military-technological and geopolitical issues is limited to a couple of seminars on nuclear weapons and, in the best case scenario, the efforts of the Congressional Research Service are simply not qualified to grasp the complexity, the nature, and application of military force. They simply have no reference points. Yet, being a product of the American pop-military culture, also known as military porn and propaganda, these people—this collection of lawyers, political “scientists”, sociologists and journalists who dominate the American strategic kitchen which cooks non-stop delusional geopolitical and military doctrines, can understand one thing for sure, and that is when their poor dears get a bulls-eye on their backs or foreheads.

The fact that in the real world these elites have had a bulls-eye on their backs for decades doesn’t change the fact that they also managed to convince themselves that they could remove that bulls-eye by means of withdrawing from the ABM treaty and by surrounding Russia with anti-missile launchers. The fact that some (many? most?) US politicians realized, at least in the back of their minds, that their ABM systems would never truly protect the US from a Russian counter-strike did not really matter because there were some uniquely American psychological factors which made the notion of an ABM system irresistibly attractive:

1) An ABM system promised the US impunity: impunity is, along with military superiority, one of the great American myths (as discussed here). From Reagan with this “weapons which kill weapons” to the current crisis in Korea, Americans have always strived for impunity for their actions abroad: let all countries drown in an ocean of fire, murder and mayhem as long as our “homeland” remains the untouchable sacrosanct citadel. Since WWII Americans have killed many millions of people abroad, but when 9/11 came (nevermind that it was obviously a false flag) the country went into something like clinical shock from the loss of about 3’000 innocent civilians. Soviet, and then later, Russian nuclear weapons promised to deliver many tens of millions of deaths if the USSR/Russia was attacked and that is why spinning the fairy tale about an ABM “shield” was so appealing even if it was technologically speaking either a pipe-dream (Reagan’s “Star Wars”) or an extremely limited system capable of stopping maybe a few missiles at most (the current ABM system in Europe). Again, facts don’t matter at all, at least not in American politics or in the US collective psyche.

ORDER IT NOW

2) An ABM system promised a huge financial bonanza for the fantastically corrupt US Military-Industrial Complex for which millions of Americans work and which made many of them fantastically rich. Frankly, I suspect that many (most?) folks involved in the ABM programs fully realized that this was a waste of time, but as long as they were getting their bank accounts filled with money, they simply did not care: hey, they pay me – I will take it!

3) The US military culture never had much of an emphasis on personal courage or self-sacrifice (for obvious reasons). The various variations of the ABM fairy tale make it possible for Americans to believe that the next war would be mostly fought by pressing buttons and relying on computers. And if real bombs start falling, let them fall somewhere else, preferably on some remote brown people who, well, ain’t quite as precious to God and humanity as us, the White “indispensable nation”.

Add to this a quasi-religious belief (a dogma, really) in the myth of American technological superiority and you understand that the Russian leaders began to realize that their US counterparts were gradually forgetting that they did have a bulls-eye painted on their backs. So what Putin did is simply paint a few more, different ones, just to make sure that US leaders come back to reality.

The goal of Putin’s speech was also to prove both Obama (“the Russian economy is in tatters”) and McCain (“Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country”) wrong. The Russian message to the US ruling elites was simple: no, not only are we not lagging behind you technologically, in many ways we are decades ahead of you, in spite of sanctions, your attempts to isolate us, the dramatic drop in energy prices or your attempts at limiting our access to world markets (the successful development of this new generation of weapons systems is a clear indicator of the real state of fundamental research in Russia in such spheres are advanced alloys, nanotechnology, super-computing, etc.).

To the warmongers at the Pentagon, the message was equally clear and tough: we spend less than 10% of what you can spend on global aggression; we will match your quantitative advantage with our qualitative superiority. Simply put, you fight with dollars, we will fight with brains. US propagandists, who love to speak about how Russia always uses huge numbers of unskilled soldiers and dumb but brutal weapons now have to deal with a paradigm which they are completely unfamiliar with: a Russian soldier is much better trained, much better equipped, much better commanded and their morale and willpower is almost infinitely higher than one of the typical US serviceman. For a military culture used to mantrically repeat that everything about it is “the best in the world” or even “the best in history” this kind of new reality will come as a very painful shock and most will respond to it by going into deep denial. To those who believed in the (historically completely false) narrative about the US and Reagan bankrupting the USSR by means of a successful arms race, it must feel very strange to have sort of “traded places” with the bad old USSR and being in the situation of having to face military-spending induced bankruptcy.

Nothing will change in the Empire of Illusions (at least for the foreseeable future)

Speaking of bankruptcy. The recent revelations have confirmed what the Russians have been warning about for years: all the immense sums of money spent by the US in ABM defenses have been completely wasted. Russia did find and deploy an asymmetrical response which makes the entire US ABM program completely useless and obsolete. Furthermore, as Martyanov also points out, the current force structure of the US surface fleet has also been made basically obsolete and useless, at least against Russia (but you can be sure that China is following close behind). Potentially, this state of affairs should have immense, tectonic repercussions: immense amounts US taxpayer money has been completely wasted, the US nuclear and naval strategies have been completely misguided, intelligence has failed (either on the acquisition or the analytical level), US politicians have made disastrous decisions and this is all a total “cluster-bleep” which should trigger God knows how many investigations, resignations, and numerous sanctions, administrative or even criminal ones. But, of course, absolutely nothing of this, nothing at all, will happen. Not a single head will roll…

In the “Empire of Illusions,” facts simply don’t matter at all. In fact, I predict that the now self-evidently useless ABM program will proceed as if nothing had happened. And, in a way, that is true. The zombified US general public won’t be told what is going on, those who will understand will be marginalized and powerless to make any changes, as for the corrupt parasites who have been making millions and billions from this total waste of taxpayer money, they have way too much at stake to throw in the towel. In fact, since the US is now run by Neocons, we can very easily predict what they will do. They will do what Neocons always do: double down. So, after it has become public knowledge that the entire US ABM deployment is useless and outdated, expect a further injection in cash into it by “patriotic” “Congresspersons” (my attempt at being politically correct!), surrounded by flags who will explain to the lobotomized public that they are “taking a firm stance” against “the Russian dictator” and that the proud US of A shall not cave in to the “Russian nuclear blackmail”. These colors don’t run! United we stand! Etc. etc. etc.

As for the USN, this won’t even be a topic. So some Russian guy (I mean Martyanov) wrote some stuff for the Unz Review. Who cares? That is just more “Russian propaganda” of course. It will be dismissed even before it is actually parsed and inevitably the reassuring conclusion will be, as always, “we are #1”, “America rules the waves” and all the rest of the usual jingoistic nonsense US admirals have been feeding the public for decades. Also, keep in mind that the smart folks in the USN, and there are plenty of those, knew what was going on all along, but they either had no influence or kept their silence for obvious career reasons.

The reality is that what Martyanov calls “the American myth of technological superiority” is so deeply ingrained in the US collective psyche that it has become part of the national identity and it cannot, ever, be successfully challenged. Even if Putin decided that videos and speeches simply aren’t enough and decided to make a live firing demonstration, the flag-waving zombies in the media, government and public will find a way to deny it all, pretend it did not happen, or put a mysterious smile on their faces and reply something along the lines of “yeah, cute, but if you only knew about the super-weapons we are not showing you!!” (as one drone actually wrote, “ there has to be weaponry up the US’s sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack.”). So, for the foreseeable future, expect the collective denial to continue.

When your head is in the sand, your ass is in the air”

And yet, reality exists. No matter how US propagandists have tried to spin it, deny it, obfuscate it or dismiss it, something very fundamental has changed for the United States. One such element of reality which, with time, will start to slowly seep into the minds of the people of the US is that their beloved “homeland” and they themselves are now personally and directly at risk. Indeed, for the first time in history, the United States is now targeted by powerful conventional weapons which can reach any target inside the United States. Not only that but unlike the bad old ICBMs, the launches of the weapons systems, which can now strike anywhere in the United States, the cruise missiles, are extremely hard to detect and can give the US little or no warning time. We already knew about the Russian cruise missiles 3M-54 Kalibr and the KH-101/102 with ranges of 2600km and 5500km (or more). Vladimir Putin has now announced that Russia also has nuclear-powered cruise missiles whose range is essentially infinite. Keep in mind that these missiles are very hard to detect since their launch does not generate a strong thermal signal, they fly most of their trajectory at subsonic speeds (only accelerating at the end), their thermal signature is therefore very low, their shape results in a very low radar cross-section and they can fly very low (nap of the earth) flight courses which further conceals them. Best of all, however, is that they can be launched from what externally appears to be a regular commercial container. Please take a look at this short propaganda video showing how such missiles could be concealed, deployed and used:

What Putin has now officially added to this arsenal are cruise missiles with an infinite range which could, in theory, destroy a command post in, say, the US Midwest, while being fired from the southern Indian Ocean or from the Tasman Sea. Even better, the launching platform does not need to be a Russian Navy ship at all but could be any commercial (cargo, fishing, etc.) ship, even a cruise ship. Russian heavy transport aircraft could also deliver such “containers” to any location in, say, Africa or even Antarctica and strike downtown Omaha from there with either a conventional or a nuclear warhead. That is also a fundamental game changer.

Conversely, you can think of the new nuclear-powered torpedo as a kind of “underwater cruise missile” with similar capabilities against surface ships or coastal installations. Except that this “underwater cruise missile” could “fly” under the polar ice cap. Needless to say, all of these cruise missiles can, if needed, be armed with nuclear warheads.

But it is not only the US mainland which is now targetable. All US military installations worldwide can now be attacked leaving the US very little or no reaction time.

It is not an exaggeration to say that this is truly a radical change, even a revolution, in modern warfare. I hate to admit it, but this is also an undesirable development from the point of view of first-strike stability as this places a good segment of the US nuclear triad in danger, along with almost all vital US military and conventional sites. Having said that, the entire blame for this situation is to be placed upon the arrogant and irresponsible policies of the United States since its disastrous US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in 2002. Furthermore, I am confident that the Russians will gladly sit down with the Americans and explore any reasonable means to come to a mutual agreement to restore first-strike stability between these two countries. Nobody, besides the corrupt leaders of the US MIC, of course, needs any kind of arms race between Russia and the US or the immense costs associated with such an endeavor. But since this arms race will probably continue (as said above, Neocons always double down), Russia has a huge advantage in this race for two key reasons

1) Unlike Russia, the US will, for absolutely idiotic prestige reasons, categorically refuse to scale down its useless ABM and carrier centered naval procurement programs and all the monies allocated to actually trying to counter these Russian capabilities will be spent on top, not instead of, these useless and obsolete programs. Russia, in contrast, will spend her money on programs which actually make a real difference.

ORDER IT NOW

2) The US is now dramatically lagging behind in many key areas all of which have long development cycles. Frankly, I can’t even begin to imagine how the US is going to extricate itself from such design-disasters as the littoral combat ship (LCS) or, even the worst of them all, the F-35. Just like Russia in the 1990s, the US is nowadays ruled by corrupt incompetent cowards who simply don’t have what it takes to embark upon a real, meaningful, military reform and, as a result of that, the US armed forces are suffering from problems which are only going to get much worse before they get better again. For the time being the difference between Putin’s Russia and Trump’s US is as simple as it is stark: Russia spends her money on defense, the US spends its money on enriching corrupt politicians and businessmen. With that set of parameters, the US doesn’t stand a chance in any arms race, irrespective of the talent and patriotism of US engineers or soldiers.

Russia and the US are already at war and Russia is winning

Russia and the US have been at war since at least 2014 (I have been warning about this year, after year, after year). So far, this war has been about 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% kinetic. But this could very well change, and very suddenly. Russia has therefore embarked on an immense effort to prepare against both a conventional and a nuclear atack by the AngloZionist Empire. Here are some of the measures which have been taken in this context: (partial, non-exhaustive list!)

In response to the conventional NATO threat from the West:

  • Putin has ordered the re-creation of the First Guards Tank Army. This Tank Army will include two Tank Divisions (the best ones in the Russian military – 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division and the 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division), and a total of 500+ T-14 Armata tanks. This Tank Army will be supported by the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army (in progress). This will be what was called a “Shock Army” during WWII and the Cold War.
  • The deployment of the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system (completed)
  • The doubling of the size of the Russian Airborne Forces from 36,000 to 72,000 (in progress).
  • Creation of a National Guard: which will include troops of the Interior Ministry (about 170’000 soldiers), personnel from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the OMON riot police forces (about 40,000 soldiers), the SOBR rapid-reaction forces (about 5000+ soldiers), the Special Designation Center of the Operational Reaction Forces and Aviation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs including the Special Forces units “Zubr”, “Rys’” and “Iastreb” (about 700+ operators) for a total of about 250,000 soldiers which will probably reach the 300’000 men figure in the near future.
  • The procurement and deployment of advanced multi-role and air superiority fighters and interceptors (MiG-31BM, Su-30SM, Su-35S and, soon, the MiG-35 and Su-57).
  • Deployment of S-400 and S-500 air defense systems along with very long range radars.
  • The adoption of about 70% of new, modern, systems across all the armed forces.

In response to the ABM “encirclement” of Russia by the US:

  • The deployment of the RS-28 Sarmat ICBM with hypersonic maneuverable reentry vehicles
  • The deployment of conventionally armed very long-range cruise missiles
  • The deployment of a nuclear powered cruise missile with a basically unlimited range
  • The deployment of a nuclear powered unmanned submersible with intercontinental range, very high speed, silent propulsion and capable of moving a great depths
  • The deployment of the Mach 10 hypersonic missile Kinzhal with a 2’000 kilometer range
  • The deployment of a new strategic missile Avangard capable of Mach 20 velocities

This list is far from being exhaustive, there is much more missing from it including new submarines, (air-independent propulsion, conventional diesel-electric, nuclear attack and SSBNs), strike aircraft, new armored vehicles of various types, new advanced (high tech) individual soldier equipment, new artillery systems, etc. etc. etc. But by far the most important element in the Russian readiness to confront and, if needed, repel any western aggression is the morale, discipline, training, and resolve of Russian soldiers (so powerfully illustrated in several recent examples in Syria). Let’s just say that in comparison US and EU servicemen (or their commanders, for that matter) are not exactly an impressive lot and leave it at that.

Si vis pacem, para bellum

The reality is, of course, that nobody in Russia plans for a war, needs a war or wants a war. In fact, Russia as a country needs many more years of (even relative) peace. First, because time is obviously on Russia’s side and that the military balance with the US is very rapidly shifting in Russia’s favor. But no less important is the fact that, unlike the US which strives for conflicts, wars, and chaos, Russia badly needs peace to deal with her still very numerous internal problems which have been neglected for all too long. The problem is that the entire US political system and economy are completely dependent on a permanent state of war. That, combined with an imperial hubris boosted by an increasingly vocal russophobia is a potent and potentially dangerous mix leaving Russia no other options than “bare her fangs” and engage in some saber rattling of her own. So will Putin’s speech be enough to wake up the Empire’s ruling elites from their delusional slumber?

Probably not. In fact, in the short term, it might have the opposite effect.

Remember when the Russian’s deflected Obama’s planned attack on Syria? The US reaction was to trigger the Maidan. Sadly, I expect something very similar will happen soon, most likely in the form of a full-scale Ukronazi attack against the Donbass this Spring or during the World Cup this summer. Of course, regardless of the actual outcome of such an attack (already discussed here), this will not in any way affect the actual correlation of forces between Russia and the Empire. But it will feel good (Neocons love revenge in all its forms). We can also expect further provocations in Syria (already discussed here). Hence and for the foreseeable future, the Russians will have to continue on their current, admittedly frustrating and even painful course, and maintain a relatively passive and evasive posture which the Empire and its sycophants will predictably interpret as a sign of weakness. Let them. As long as in the real world the actual power (soft or hard) of the Empire continues to decline, as long as the US MIC continues to churn out fantastically expensive but militarily useless weapon systems, as long as US politicians are busy blaming everything on “Russian interference” while doing nothing to reform their own, collapsing economy and infrastructure, as long as the US continues to use the printing press as a substitute for actual wealth and as long as the internal socio-political tensions in the US continue to heat up – then Putin’s plan is working.

Russia needs to continue to walk a very narrow path: to act in a sufficiently evasive manner as to avoid provoking a direct military confrontation with the US while, at the same time, sending clear enough signals to prevent the Americans from interpreting Russia’s evasiveness as a sign of weakness and then doing something really stupid. The Russian end-goal is simple and obvious: to achieve a gradual and peaceful disintegration of the AngloZionist Empire combined with a gradual and peaceful replacement of a unipolar world ruled by one hegemon, by a multipolar world jointly administered by sovereign nations respectful of international law. Therefore, any catastrophic or violent outcomes are highly undesirable and must be avoided if at all possible. Patience and focus will be far more important in this war for the future of our planet than quick-fix reactions and hype. The “patient” needs to be returned to reality one step at a time. Putin’s March 1st speech will go down in history as such a step, but many more such steps will be needed before the patient finally wakes up.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Neocons, Russia 
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  1. Giuseppe says:

    Saker at his best, a panoramic examination of geopolitical reality.

    This gives hope to all who long for a multipolar world where the USA can be a normal country again.

    • Replies: @ll
  2. Kiza says:

    A few quick thoughts.

    Firstly, Saker wrote another good political analysis with some minor misses. But I am exceptionally glad to see some initial alignment between The Saker and Andrei Martyanov, which I have been arguing for here at unz. These two guys have a great complementary expertise and could contribute a wholistic view of the political-military situation (whilst staying out of each other’s speciality area).

    Secondly, in all the deep, deep fluff surrounding it the core of the Putin’s recent revolutionary speech could be truly summarised as a paradime shift: the US trash (primarily the AngloZionist owners of the World) has finally got targets on their foreheads. It has been my long argued point that the key problem of the World is that US has been granted immunity and impunity from its actions by the geography (e.g. two large oceans), history (selling weapons whilst the Europeans were blasting each other out) and (low) technology of its opponents. This established war in the primitive US brain purely as a war porn (a la The American Sniper etc), encouraging the dishing out violence liberally and gratiotously without even risking a broken nail in return (oh the 911 end-of-the-World). Now no more: imagine one of those container launched cruise missiles, with conventional propulsion and conventional warhead lobbed into a Ziocon meeting room anywhere in the US. No more owners and bosses of the World, ey? They will deny, they will obfurscate, they will do BMSM (bullshit through their MSM), they will double down, but the unease of a target already painted on their foreheads will remain.

    Finally, my first thought when listening to Putin’s speech about the forthcoming deployment of the nuclear propulsion torpedoes and cruise missiles was – my God, imagine if the minds which came up with those weapons were employed to develop rocket propulsion for launching humans towards other stars instead of spending their time on countering this declining idiocratic shithole full of drooling Russiagate imbeciles called US. When will humanity as a whole manage to solve its US problem?

  3. @Kiza

    Saker has made more than a few minor misses. Putin has done some wishcasting, and that’s about all.

    The nuke powered cruise missile is good example. merely testing it would result in irradiating everything in the flight path. The US looked at such things and saw they were too dangerous to even test. The US placed hypersonic development in abeyance because of materials problems. Russian metallurgy is behind that of the west and barring a very unlikely breakthrough, those weapons don’t exist either.

    Putin is a KGB thug. In spite of what most people thought, the primary function of the KGB in the west was spreading disinformation. In spite of what grinning, drooling morons Putin told about these “weapons” think, the probability of such things existing are nil.

    The Russophobia thing is another bit of idiocy Saker is in love with. The Collusion thing the DimoKKKRats are taken with doesn’t exist. The Dims are simply trying to neutralize Trump, who would like to normalize relations with Russia, but can’t because of the criminality that is rampant in Putin’s regime. The business in Ukraine is only a symptom. The internals of Russia, however, will destroy the country.

  4. Excellent analysis. Forestalling: those who will say that I have high opinion because of Saker referring to me–shame on you. Now to substance.

    Right now, the AngloZionists are undergoing something very similar to the first two of the Five Stages of the Kübler-Ross Grief model: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

    Some powerful figures are now into the stage three with four and five fused and following almost in parallel.

    https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/amid-heightened-tension-markey-merkley-feinstein-and-sanders-press-trump-administration-to-jumpstart-new-strategic-talks-with-russia

    Thursday, March 8, 2018

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amid heightened tension with Russia, U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to begin a new round of strategic talks with Russia without delay.

    “A U.S.-Russia Strategic Dialogue is more urgent following President Putin’s public address on March 1st when he referred to several new nuclear weapons Russia is reportedly developing including a cruise missile and a nuclear underwater drone, which are not currently limited by the New START treaty, and would be destabilizing if deployed,” the Senators wrote. “There is no doubt we have significant disagreements with Russia, including Russia’s brazen interference in the 2016 U.S. elections; continued violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF); invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea; and destabilizing actions in Syria.
    “However, it is due to these policy rifts, not in spite of them, that the United States should urgently engage with Russia to avoid miscalculation and reduce the likelihood of conflict,” the Senators continued.

    Yesterday’s hilarious statement by General John E. Hyten Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, that US can destroy Russia since Russia doesn’t know where US strategic missile submarines are is one of those cases of Duh! Thank you, nobody knew about this before, LOL.

    https://armedservices.house.gov/legislation/hearings/us-strategic-forces-posture-and-fiscal-year-2019-budget-request

    So, the movement already started and Lavrov already puts forth conditions for Russian-American discussion on strategic stability. About freaking time.

  5. Excellent articles by both Saker and Andrei Martyanov which compliment each other very well. Keep it up guys.

  6. @Kiza

    Lizards, I had exactly same thoughts but in more laconic form ;-)

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  7. kemerd says:

    I am really puzzled by the reaction of some Russians like Karlin. He appears to have no expertise or access to classified information in these matters but still feels that he have to downplay what has been said by Putin.

    The article in his latest piece (http://www.unz.com/akarlin/putins-wunderwaffe/) by one Michael Koffman that he cites acknowledges that these weapon systems migh have been in development for a long time and then dismisses the possibility of them being operational, and as if he has access to project schedule and says they would be operational not before mid 2020s. Why so?

    And, a question to both Martyanov and the Saker: why Russia keeps producing such people who openly takes position against their best national interests: this is not about being on the left or right or the economic model of the county, but the very existence of it! Why?

  8. Giuseppe says:
    @Quartermaster

    Stage one and stage two, denial and anger, a case in point.

  9. @Sergey Krieger

    Smart iPhone turned Kiza into Lizards, lol. Sorry

  10. @kemerd

    The article in his latest piece (http://www.unz.com/akarlin/putins-wunderwaffe/) by one Michael Koffman that he cites acknowledges that these weapon systems migh have been in development for a long time and then dismisses the possibility of them being operational, and as if he has access to project schedule and says they would be operational not before mid 2020s. Why so?

    Most of what comes out of the so called “analytical” (think-tank) American institutions about Russia is baloney. Most US “estimates” on Russia’s economy, military, science etc. are ideologically driven, confirmation bias impeded, fairy tales. The problem is deep and it is difficult to describe it in several sentences. It is a huge problem.

  11. @kemerd

    What a bizarre thing to say! We are talking about some cutting-edge weapons systems here, so there are legitimate questions as to whether Russia actually has the ability to develop and manufacture them, especially when you consider the scale of disfunction in the Russian government and military. Remember, this is a deeply corrupt country and Russia’s corruption natually extends to its “military-industrial complex”.

    Questioning Russia’s capabilities does not mean you wish destruction upon the country. lol Personally, I prefer Karlin’s approach to Martyanov’s, who is a mindless cheerleader for Putin regime.

  12. @Felix Keverich

    Andrei Martyanov got some background Karlin will never have. Andrei has background, education and experience and he speaks only about things he knows about. Karlin is all over the place talking expressing his opinion about things he has no background to talk at all. Also, Andrei stated many times as a fact he is not Putin fan. But considering job done in military and foreign affairs sphere Putin deserves huge credit. He would have never made statement he did without having things working as advertised. Regarding Karlin, it looks like the only Russia woryhs his praise is the one we lost pre 1917.

    • Replies: @yurivku
  13. kemerd says:
    @Felix Keverich

    No, you seem to not understand my point. Karlin has no expertise or information to verify whether these weapons exist or not; nor can he assess if these are the breakthrough developments as experts here argue.

    The point is that he feels the need to counter everything Russian nationalists say or do, irrespective of whether he has facts in front of him or not: I can see an American deny Russians having these weapons or their effectiveness if they exist without hard facts in front of them (as the Saker explains). But Karlin behaves the same as Americans as if he was against the survival of an independent Russia. A real Russian patriot who is an opponent of Putin and his ilk (there are a lot of reasons for doing so) would say or do nothing until hard facts are established. But he jumps to the American wagon immediately even though he (or Americans) have no way of verifying those claims.

    That is the issue and it seems Russia have a big problem of producing such people in large numbers.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @yurivku
  14. FB says:
    @Quartermaster

    Well…here we have a typical example of someone who clearly knows nothing about physics or engineering making some wild technical statements…such as…

    ‘…The US placed hypersonic development in abeyance because of materials problems.

    Russian metallurgy is behind that of the west and barring a very unlikely breakthrough, those weapons don’t exist either…’

    I had noted previously this phenomenon of an uninformed public’s fascination with ‘technology’…

    ‘…In a culture and at a historical time where ‘technology’ is fascinating to people…[despite the fact that they do not understand even the basic physical and technical side of it]… it is seen as a source of national power…’

    That from my comment #60 on the Martyanov article thread…

    The simple observation is that people who know absolutely nothing about things like metallurgy…should not make sweeping statements about technology superiority…which can be disproved quite effortlessly…

    A case in point…the US has been buying Russian RD180 rocket engines for more nearly two decades now…[since 2000]…

    These advanced engines power the US Atlas V rocket…which is used extensively to launch US military satellites and also the secret Boeing X37 ‘spaceplane’…

    Now let’s explore how Russian metallurgy is a key factor in the RD180 engine’s unmatched performance capability…and why the US has not been able to replicate that technology…

    I will get to the technical details in a moment…

    But first we note that during the Ukraine crisis of 2014 when Russia talked about possibly stopping the export of RD180 engines to the US [bye bye X37...]…the big question immediately asked was whether the US could replicate the RD180 metallurgy…which is the key to its capability…

    The DoD’s RD180 study committee expressed confidence the US could in fact replicate this technology…

    ‘…U.S. Can Replicate RD-180 Metallurgy Technology, Engine Study Committee Chair Says…’

    ‘…The head of the Defense Department’s RD-180 rocket study committee believes the United States could replicate the coding and metallurgy technology involved with the Russian-produced engine…’

    But others doubted this assessment [and rightly so...]

    ‘…Critics of the idea of replicating the RD-180 domestically have said the U.S. doesn’t have the expertise like Russia to reproduce its metallurgy…

    …which is the study of physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements and their mixtures, known as alloys…’

    Now I will explain in technical terms why metallurgy is the key to the Russian high efficiency rocket engine technology…

    The key to the RD180…and in fact Russian engine technology going back to the 1960s…has been a more efficient engine cycle known as ‘Staged Combustion Cycle’…

    ‘…its main advantage relative to other rocket engine power cycles is high fuel efficiency, measured through specific impulse, while its main disadvantage is engineering complexity…’

    ‘…Staged combustion (Замкнутая схема) was first proposed by Alexey Isaev in 1949….

    The first generation of successful staged combustion cycle engines was perfected by the Russians by the 1960s…with the NK33 engine…

    ‘…The NK-33 series engines are high-pressure, regeneratively cooled staged combustion cycle bipropellant rocket engines.

    They use oxygen-rich preburners to drive the turbopumps… These kinds of burners are highly unusual, since their hot, oxygen-rich exhaust tends to attack metal, causing burn-through failures.

    The United States had not investigated oxygen-rich combustion technologies until the Integrated Powerhead Demonstrator project in the early 2000s….

    The Soviets, however, perfected the metallurgy behind this method…’

    Interesting story here…the US had heard about the advanced NK33 engine but was skeptical…

    ‘…In the 1990s, [US rocket engine company] Aerojet was contacted and eventually visited Kuznetsov’s plant.

    Upon meeting initial skepticism about the high specific impulse and other specifications, Kuznetsov shipped an engine to the US for testing.

    Oxidizer-rich staged combustion had been considered by American engineers, but deemed impossible.

    The Russian RD-180 engine, purchased by Lockheed Martin (subsequently by United Launch Alliance) for the Atlas III and V rockets, also employs this technique…’

    ‘…Word of the engines eventually spread to America. Nearly 30 years after they were built, disbelieving rocket engineers were led to the warehouse.

    One of the engines was later taken to America, and the precise specification of the engine was demonstrated on a test stand…’

    ‘…The NK-33 closed-cycle technology works by sending the auxiliary engines’ exhaust into the main combustion chamber. This made the engine design unique.

    This technology was believed to be impossible by Western rocket engineers…’

    ‘…The fully heated liquid O2 flows through the pre-burner and into the main chamber in this design.

    The extremely hot oxygen-rich mixture made the engine dangerous: it was known to melt 3-inch (76 mm) thick castings “like candle wax”…’

    It is to be noted that the US has not to this day created a staged combustion cycle [aka closed cycle] engine of its own…

    This…despite the fact that Nasa scientists nearly 40 years ago called on the US to develop such engines…

    We note here also the specific technical details about chamber pressure of 4,000 psi…which is what the RD180 engine achieves…

    Chamber pressure 3,870 psi…

    We also note that the Rocketdyne F1 engine designed by Werner von Braun for the Apollo program achieved a chamber pressure 1/4 of that…1,015 psi…

    And also note that the SpaceX Merlin engine achieves barely 1/3′rd at 1,415 psi…

    As noted already…the US has yet to build a high-pressure rocket engine…[the newest Russian engines...which it is not selling...are well over 4,000 psi...]

    As noted in the introductory remarks of that Nasa paper of 1980…high chamber pressure is essential to rocket engine performance…

    Here is the explanation for that…in thermodynamics which is the study of energy and heat engines…we know that any type of heat engine…be it a rocket engine, a jet engine, a piston engine, or even an air conditioner [also a heat engine]…works with only two types of energy…heat and pressure…

    Only pressure energy can be converted directly to work energy…by means of expanding that pressure through a nozzle…which converts pressure into speed…ie kinetic energy…[it is the same principle as the nozzle on your garden hose...if you don't have water pressure there will be no water shooting out...]

    Heat energy by itself [ie without pressure] cannot be turned into work energy…[ie thrust]…heat energy only serves to make the pressure energy do more work…than it would on its own…

    The higher the pressure…the greater the speed of that fluid exiting the nozzle…whether in a garden hose or a rocket or jet engine nozzle…and the greater the thrust…

    The only way to achieve high pressure of the rocket fuel [kerosene] and oxydizer [liquid oxygen] is to pump those liquids up to a high pressure using a turbopump…

    …which is the heart of a liquid fuel rocket engine…

    In a simple gas generator cycle as used on US engines…a small amount of fuel is burned to drive the turbopump…and the exhaust is simply dumped overboard…

    We see the orange arrow showing the gas leaving the turbine is dumped overboard…

    This means that the turbopump can be small but the pressure it can put out is likewise small…[incidentally...SpaceX does not make its own turbopumps...those are made by Barber Nichols...]

    The Russian high pressure engines use much more powerful turbopumps in order to get that high chamber pressure…

    Here we see that the exhaust gas exiting the pre-burner flows into the main combustion chamber where it adds to the thrust…instead of being dumped overboard…

    Making these very powerful turbopumps is a technology the US has never mastered…hence their reliance on outdated gas generator cycle rocket engines…

    This is a fundamental shortcoming of US space technology…

    Incidentally the most powerful turbopump is found on the world’s most powerful rocket engine…the Russian RD170…

    The turbopump puts out 170 megawatts…which is ~230,000 HP…that’s the kind of power it takes to achieve high pressure in the fuel and oxydizer of a very large engine…

    and here is an interesting documentary about the previously mnentioned NK33 engine from the ’60s…which wowed US rocket scientists in the ’90s…

    I will address the issue of nuclear aircraft and cruise missile propulsion in my next technical comment…

  15. No, you seem to not understand my point. Karlin has no expertise or information to verify whether these weapons exist or not; nor can he assess if these are the breakthrough developments as experts here argue.

    Neither does Martyanov! The dude apparently used to be a sailor in the Soviet navy, but that was decades ago.

    Overreliance on Western sources is a arguably one weakness in Karlin’s analysis, however it’s probably due to the paucity of publicly available Russian research on this subject. Russia doesn’t have anything resembling the think-tank industry that exists in the West, the Kremlin doesn’t want Russians to have a public debate on the issues of foreign policy and national security, because allowing a public debate will encourage criticism, and Kremlin doesn’t take criticism well…

    Consequently, we find ourselves relying on Western sources when trying to assess Russia’s military capabilities, but that’s mainly Kremlin’s own fault for trying to keep this information hidden (from the Russian public).

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Murali Penumarth
  16. peterAUS says:
    @Felix Keverich

    …..especially when you consider the scale of disfunction in the Russian government and military. Remember, this is a deeply corrupt country and Russia’s corruption natually extends to its “military-industrial complex”.

    Questioning Russia’s capabilities does not mean you wish destruction upon the country. lol Personally, I prefer Karlin’s approach to Martyanov’s, who is a mindless cheerleader for Putin regime.

    Agree, up to a point.

    Corruption notwithstanding and the “Team Russia” cheering for their Great Leader and his team, I do believe that Russia can produce such weaponry.

    Not important, IMHO.

    Soviet Union was going to shit and it was produciing quite good weaponry.
    The same pattern being repeated now is simply……funny.

    The regime in Kremlin or better, Russia elites are, apparently, doing the same that brought the Soviet Union down: engaging in weapons race.
    Now, it is good for lining the pockets of fat cats at the top, but, not so good on making the life of lower strata of society happy.
    The same strata that had enough of Soviet shit and brought all that Potemkin village now.

    I have a feeling that Russian elites know all that, just, they don’t have another option.
    They haven’t been able to develop a coherent alternative vision of society and got locked into competition with similar ilk in the West.

    Bottom line: more resources they pour into those “superweapons” less they’ll allocate for the common man there.
    That will create an environment for an internal dissent.
    How is that internal dissent going to work out, or not, we’ll see.

    Maybe it will make the team in Kremlin listen and do something good.
    Or…maybe it will destabilize the regime enough to create a crisis.
    That crisis could, of badly managed by both parties, escalate in a serious confrontation with The Empire.
    And, the only important then would be: nukes or not.
    If yes, ah, well…..it was sort of good while it lasted. Especially for the fat cats.

  17. That reader-comment by “FB” is awesome, the best thing that I’ve yet seen as a comment on Putin’s speech. The Saker and Martyanov are the ultimate authorities on the big picture, but this explanation of why “Quartermaster”s reader-comment denigrating that big-picture presentation is just pompous BS is the icing on this ultimate cake, for me. If “Quartermaster” can point out any fatal falsehood in “FB”s presentation here, then I shall change my mind, but, otherwise, I can only conclude that “Quartermaster” is a fool.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @ploni alomoni
  18. Beckow says:

    What are the odds of us shooting these damn things at each other? During Cold War, there were 3-4 cases when the world came close to a nuclear exchange. We got lucky. When your success depends on luck, you will eventually lose. We will not make it through another 3-4 close calls. It would not be the end, but we would ALL be worse off.

    Political implications? Go inland, drones could pop out of oceans any moment, avoid large metropolitan areas, store some potatoes, and don’t count on your electronic wealth.

    What will trigger it? Maybe saving the Al Queda guys in ‘east Ghouta’, Bandera statues in Donbass, Melodonin slipped into the wrong drink (curling? come on that was random…), and foreigners calling Hillary the ‘Satan’. (I was completely ‘with Her’ until I saw that Facebook ad, one can never be too careful.)

    Oh, and one more consequence, the rolling bombing-for-fun-and-better-humanity could be a thing of the past. Too bad, I think Catalonia would really deserve it, damn ‘populists’ with their over-prices tapas…

  19. @peterAUS

    The regime in Kremlin or better, Russia elites are, apparently, doing the same that brought the Soviet Union down: engaging in weapons race.

    I don’t think so. Soviet Union was a leftist regime, that was fiscally irresponsible. Putin’s Russia is the opposite of that. You may not be aware of it, but since 2014 the government pursued an austerity program, that would have been impossible in any Western country. The federal budget is expected to have a positive balance in 2018. Russia will not be running out of money any time soon.

    These weapons do not seem to be particularly expensive to deploy but, if real, will make the American navy obsolete. So the implications are huge.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Sergey Krieger
  20. FB says:
    @Felix Keverich

    ‘…Overreliance on Western sources is a arguably one weakness in Karlin’s analysis…’

    Here is what I replied to Karlin’s ‘analysis’…

    ‘…Thanks for the fluff…

    Karlin cites a so-called US ‘expert’ on Russia weapons…one Micheal Kofman…whose background is this…

    ‘… Mr. Kofman holds a M.A. in International Security from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from Northeastern University…’

    We note here that Kofman does not hold any kind of hard science degree whatsoever…either physics, math or engineering…

    Ie he is a layman when it comes to technical matters…

    ‘…Russia doesn’t have anything resembling the think-tank industry that exists in the West…

    …the Kremlin doesn’t want Russians to have a public debate on the issues of foreign policy and national security, because allowing a public debate will encourage criticism, and Kremlin doesn’t take criticism well…’

    The first part of your sentence is correct…Russia does not have a ‘stink tank’ industry…to the huge benefit of Russian public and society at large…since they miss the opportunity to be influenced by special-interest groups and their agenda-driven messages…

    The second part of your sentence implies a somewhat remarkable ability to read minds…

    …would love to hear more…[another Kreskin in the making perhaps...]

  21. FB says:
    @Eric Zuesse

    Thanks Eric…

    I regularly read and value your important and honest contributions to geopolitical journalism…

  22. peterAUS says:
    @Felix Keverich

    …since 2014 the government pursued an austerity program…

    Interesting, especially that “austerity” word.

    These weapons do not seem to be particularly expensive to deploy but, if real, will make the American navy obsolete.

    Not expensive to design, manufacture and deploy?”Particularly” expensive that is. With that “austerity” thing.
    O.K.
    You mean US Navy obsolete in that, coming soon, full scale conventional war with Russia? Agree.
    Obsolete in all the rest that navy has been used and will be used for?
    O.K.

  23. peterAUS says:
    @Beckow

    What are the odds of us shooting these damn things at each other? During Cold War, there were 3-4 cases when the world came close to a nuclear exchange. We got lucky. When your success depends on luck, you will eventually lose. We will not make it through another 3-4 close calls.

    Agree.

    It would not be the end, but we would ALL be worse off.

    Maybe. Depends on a lot of variables.
    I do believe that going out full scale will be the end.

    What will trigger it?

    Hehe………
    My take: a combination of human error with system malfunction.

    Or, perhaps you are just too negative. I’d suggest the common remedy: take a day course in positive thinking, get immersed in social media and consumer society. Works a a charm until it doesn’t.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  24. @Beckow

    What are the odds of us shooting these damn things at each other?

    We are entering a new military-technological paradigm and at this stage Russia is ahead in some most crucial delivery and defensive systems. Paradoxically, this now IS a main guarantor of NOT shooting those damn things at each-other since the nature of Russian state, nation and its military doctrine is explicitly defensive and Russia has NO plans to conquer someone or attack someone. Although I had to rewrite Epilogue for my book, once it comes out in August-September all of it is dedicated to this issue. Should this have been 180 degree reversed–the United States would have unleashed a war against Russia long ago.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  25. Ivan K. says: • Website

    Here is an article of a sceptic who is apparently knowledgeable and speaking exclusively outside of mainstream media: I’m reading him right now, and I’m posting this here so that all the arguments & quasi-arguments are on the table :

    https://navalgazing.obormot.net/Russias-New-Nuclear-Weapons-A-Skeptical-Look

  26. @Felix Keverich

    Speaking about Soviet union financial irresponsibility show you are full of it. No wonder you like Karlin so much. You are currently talking to citizen of the country which is epithom of financial irresponsibility which has accumulated external and internal obligations larger than the whole world product few times over.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  27. MarkinPNW says:
    @FB

    I remember reading a book by a Russian immigrant journalist who went into great detail about the weakness of Soviet rocket technology, and especially metallurgy, who confidently put forth the argument that the Soviets could never achieve the metallurgy to make large rocket engines, hence the reason why large Soviet rockets consisted of large clusters of smaller engines. I wondered why the Soviets would have allowed the emigration of someone possessing such an intimate detail of state secrets on the Soviet space program, but it looks like this journalist and his book may have simply been disinformation to cover up the Soviets real abilities in metallurgy.

    • Replies: @FB
  28. peterAUS says:
    @Ivan K.

    A good find.

    Elements I’ve found interesting:

    ….completely change warfare as we know it.

    Yeah.
    Before these Russsian/Putin new wonderweapons:
    USA would’ve destroyed Russia xxx times over and Russia, retaliating, would’ve destroyed USA yyy times over. And most of the world along thte way.
    Now, after these Russian weapons:
    USA will destroyed Russia yy times over only and Russia, retaliating, will destroyed USA xxxx times over. And most of the world along the way.
    And that’s new and of extreme strategic and political importance.
    Pathetic really.

    Not so pathetic is diverting resources into having those weapons from better purposes. But, nothing new there. Worked well for Soviet Union. Why wouldn’t for Russia. Same guys on top. .And bottom.

    And in all those wonderweapons

    They’re building a new heavy ICBM

    The crux of the matter, though, is:

    So what is he up to, then? Again, we must look back to the Cold War. During that conflict, the Russians twice managed to convince the US that they had a major edge in strategic weapons, first bombers and then missiles. In both cases, the US was comfortably ahead,

    My take: how nice. That US xxx capability was actually xxxx and Russian instead yyyy was actually yy. Great.

    There’s also a domestic political angle. The Russian presidential election is on March 18th, and Putin is presumably trying to bring the opinion the country more in line with the election results.

    Agree.

    The other big question missed by the media is how all of this is being funded. Russia’s GDP is smaller than that of South Korea in nominal terms, and just behind Germany in PPP terms. Even with the mess that most of the west has made of military equipment procurement, it’s hard to see them being able to fund a strategic buildup of this magnitude, particularly when combined with ongoing operations in Syria and Ukraine, and the modernization of their conventional forces that we see articles about every so often.
    Ultimately, since the end of the Cold War, the Russians have established themselves as masters of military vaporware. Their systems arrive late or not at all, and it’s impossible to definitively say just how effective they are when they get there. Putin’s latest announcement of a bunch of repackaged Cold War-era concepts is entirely in line with traditional Russian strategy.

    Yup.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  29. @Ivan K.

    I have to disagree with you on the issue that this lack of “argument” is written by “knowledgeable” person. To start with, since you brought this up here, and I quote from this “knowledgeable” person:

    The nuclear-powered minisubmarine is much the same. Nobody wants to let nuclear weapons run around the oceans unattended, and communications have always been the Achilles heel of submarine operations. The characteristics described don’t go well together, as high speed means lots of noise and a relatively large size, while being undetectable also drives up size. The concept of using underwater vehicles to attack ports dates back to the initial plans for the first Soviet nuclear attack submarine, the November class.

    This quote alone demonstrates that the guy is extremely butt-hurt and, most likely, just making noises:

    1. First highlighted in bold. Evidently our “knowledgeable” person is not keenly aware of several major factors impeding a reliable location of the submarine among which are:

    a) Hydrology with oh-so-well known issue of the speed of sound “jump” (skachok);
    b) Depth. Just to illustrate to this amateur that5 he has no clue what writes about, but the Soviet Navy and, specifically, manned Project 661 (NATO-Papa-class):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_submarine_K-222

    and Project 685 (Plavnik) both hold world records for a depth which exceeds 1000 meters. This is precisely the depth beyond which no modern ASW weapon works. This was late 1970s through late 1980s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_submarine_K-278_Komsomolets

    c) Speed, of course, with this very pr. 661 holding world record in submerged speed of 44.7 knots which make pretty much any torpedo having a hell of a time catching up to this.

    So, if this “knowledgeable” person wants to tell me how he will intercept (let’s assume it is detected) a nuclear power drone on the depths of more than 1 kilometer and with the technology of not 1970s, not even 1980s but of 2010s–I am all ears (or eyes).

    2. Per last highlighted in bold. The guy obviously talks here about 1950s concept of an enormous nuclear tipped torpedo which was proposed for Pr. 627 November class. That was in 1950s, since then a lot of water went under bridge but he still uses outdated and irrelevant historic facts as a base for his so called “argumentation”.

    Next:

    The Kinzhal hypersonic missile was quickly identified by the internet as an air-launched version of the existing Iskander ballistic missile. This is yet another system with roots in the Cold War, and it’s nowhere near as revolutionary as it’s made out to be. Iskander is an impressive weapon, but it’s not exempt from the laws of physics, and it’s well within the envelope of the SM-3 and SM-6 missiles.

    The guy obviously is not well-educated since he doesn’t understand basic physics of M>5 salvo and if he needs some education on application of basic (and augmented) Salvo Models, granted he understands what math expectations are and how probabilities are calculated–I see no reason to discuss his amateurish butt-hurt BS written for fanboys. He obviously never heard that even today Iskander for ground troops boasts 7 (seven) different missiles 6 of them hypesonic, in excess of M=6. It is precisely the velocity not only on a burn-out phase but on terminal too, but this fact doesn’t bother our self-proclaimed “expert”, as well as the fact that he has no understanding of both Course Parameter and the Engagement Cone, not speak of other things which are not for a discussion here. I can guarantee you–he has no idea what he is talking about, nor does he know much on a professional level about Cold War. In other words, another version of Ralph Peters.

    I am not interested in answering the rest of this “argumentation”. Saker excellently described all stages of Grief Model. Expect more of those “knowledgeable experts” popping up with each day.

    P.S. American “version” of the Cold War has very little relation to Soviet realities and experiences.

  30. FB says:
    @MarkinPNW

    ‘…who confidently put forth the argument that the Soviets could never achieve the metallurgy to make large rocket engines, hence the reason why large Soviet rockets consisted of large clusters of smaller engines…’

    Yes…the large cluster of smaller engines was the approach for the Soviet manned moon rocket…N1…which used 30 NK33s…

    However…this had nothing to do with metallurgy…the problem with a big engine…like von Braun’s F1…is combustion instability…

    This was the major challenge faced by the F1 program…and arguably the entire Apollo program…the very large combustion chamber…[the F1 is still the biggest single-chamber engine ever built]…brought with it a very complex gas flow inside the chamber that was difficult to solve…

    In fact many technical books have been written on that subject…here is a <a short excerpt from the wiki on the F1…

    ‘…Early development tests revealed serious combustion instability problems which sometimes caused catastrophic failure.

    Initially, progress on this problem was slow, as it was intermittent and unpredictable…Eventually, engineers developed a diagnostic technique of detonating small explosive charges (which they called “bombs”) outside the combustion chamber, through a tangential tube (RDX, C4 or black powder were used) while the engine was firing.

    This allowed them to determine exactly how the running chamber responded to variations in pressure, and to determine how to nullify these oscillations.

    The designers could then quickly experiment with different co-axial fuel-injector designs to obtain the one most resistant to instability. These problems were addressed from 1959 through 1961.

    Eventually, engine combustion was so stable, it would self-damp artificially induced instability within one-tenth of a second…’

    The RD170 which I mentioned in my previous comment is even more powerful than the F1…but uses four combustion chambers [and nozzles]…all of them fed by a common turbopump…

    Using multiple small engines has its drawbacks…we note that the SpaceX Falcon Heavy that made its maiden flight last month with great fanfare…used a total of 27 Merlin 1D engines…9 in the Falcon heavy core…and 9 each in two strap on boosters…

    Each of those Merlins have just half the power of an NK33…

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  31. Beckow says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Should this have been 180 degree reversed–United States would have unleashed a war against Russia long ago

    There was never a good moment for it. The 90′s were too friendly, 2000′s – the demonisation was just getting started, by 2014-18 the risk has become too high (even before the 3/1/2018 speech).

    Western population has to be prepared for something like a nuclear attack, or even general bombing. It takes a few years of media campaigns, staged incidents, political posturing. Because Putin is a low-key, patient guy, and because Europeans can show some smarts occasionally, the timing just didn’t work out.

    By late 2017, the public preparation was almost in place. The general view (undisputed by almost anyone who matters in the West) was that Russia is menacing, aggressive, attacks countries around the world at will, annexes their territories, kills opponents with evil methods, and micro-manages all opposition in the West. To that has been added everything from homophobia and racism, to doping and election ‘interference’. The pieces were slowly falling in place, the campaign was successful, except for the small detail of timing. Brexit, Trump, Merkel migrants, all of those delayed and confused the story. They have run out of time. Interestingly enough some of the initiatives are still ongoing, e.g. scuttle the World Cup, or possibly the poor guy whacked in Salisbury, but they are kind of hanging in a vacuum. There is no ‘happy’ ending to this story and that can be disorienting.

    I agree that by now it is too late, unless there are weapons we are not aware of. So much work, so much preparation, and nothing? The devil is on the loose and the good humanitarians in the West cannot save us? This will be awkward.

    • Replies: @Dissident X
  32. FB says:
    @Ivan K.

    That short article from an anonymous blogger is simply an opinion piece…as it present no physical facts of any kind…nor any attempt at technical explanations whatsoever…

    He is basically saying…’I think it’s vaporware…’

    Not exactly QED…

    Not to mention that reading this article and some other on his blog makes quite clear that this person has no technical/scientific background whatsoever…

    The site is a joke…

    In one article he talks about the WW2 era Iowa battleship as being the pinnacle of propulsion…making something like 60,000 hp from its steam engine…

    Which is pretty laughable when you compare that to just the turbopump of the RD170 engine which makes 230,000 hp…just for the turbopump [ie nothing to do with thrust...which is over 1.7 million pounds...]

  33. Large engines are good for some rockets, but SpaceX are doing just fine with their “small” Merlin engine, in fact for what they are doing 9 engines is clearly better than 1 RD-180 which the Atlas 5 uses

    FB will say that the RD-180 is better than the Merlin, true, but strangely the Falcon 9 is a better rocket than the Atlas 5, its not all about size

    SpaceX and Blue Origin are also working on staged combustion engines, both will be finished soon, Blue will launch around 2020, New Glenn will have 7 engines on the first stage, next year spaceX may launch the BSF next year, it will also have 7 engines, the BFR will have 31 engines

    Both SpaceX and Blue may not try to achieve the same engine pressures as the Soviets/Russians because they plan to use their engines/rockets many times, the Russian rockets/engines are one use only

    • Replies: @FB
  34. hunor says: • Website
    @Quartermaster

    What kind of a thug are you? Analysis or comment make sense , but your judgement is what you are.

  35. Faker says:

    Hey Faker,

    Nobody bought the corny Super NES missile videos.

    In the days that followed cartoon-network-hour at the Kremlin, the West announced the delivery of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, increased sanctions on Russia, possible boycotts of the World Cup (although I think ultimately they will relocate the tournament so that TV networks don’t lose money) – oh and Kim Jong Un folded (perhaps Kim had imagined Xi and Putin would actually help… poor guy, he probably was not familiar with Serbia, Iraq, Lybia and Novorussia). :-)

    Say, Faker are you going to be predicting the upcoming apocalypse in the west while living in Florida for the rest of your life?

  36. Kiza says:
    @Beckow

    My favorite scenario for the end of the World (yes, the end – not just everyone worse off as you say) is not even related to any Western created crisis point such as Eastern Ghouta or Donbas etc. The end of the World would start as a random effect of the totally unneccesary military build up on Russia’s borders. A drunken Estonian “air-defence” officer orders a shoot-down of a Russian military transport plane full of military officers for rotation on the way to Kaliningrad, because it missed the very narrow international airspace corridor by a couple of hundred meters. Putin cannot let that random and dumb act pass as he let pass so many deliberate US provocations before: MH17, Su-24, the assasinations of ambassadors and generals, destruction of field hospitals, sabotages etc etc.

    Another thought that has been occupying my mind is about the Putin’s successor. If it turns out to be the man who is apparently the one most responsible for the stellar efficiency of the Russian MIC, Dmitry Rogozin, a former Russian ambassador to NATO, then I remember that he was also the one on whose civilian plane NATO/US pirates harassed with menacingly armed military jets. I believe that from that moment on the Russians realised that their leaders cannot fly anywhere in the international airspace without own fighter jet escort. Rogozin, after his civilian jet almost got shotdown by the biggest humanitarians and the most honest people on the planet, would now be as tolerant of NATO/US crap as Putin? Do not think so. In other words, one day when Putin steps down or is assasinated, after his replacement starts paybacks, the Western crapsters will wish for the thuggish dictator Putin to be back. Rogozin is a very cool-headed guy, but he strikes me as an eye for an eye sort of guy.

    On the funny side, I find it pleasant that two positive commenters managed to beat the usual troll brigade to Saker’s articles and post before them.

    • Replies: @FB
  37. Beckow says:
    @peterAUS

    Maybe. Depends on a lot of variables.

    I think it is a fairly good assumption that after a nuclear war we would all be worse off. I think parts of the world would survive, but life would be worse for everyone.

    I am very positive. The best rational response to increased risk of annihilation is to live well. In some ways the geo-political circus is liberating because it puts a lot of things in perspective. There is also the amusing part of it as one watches the creme-the-crop ‘elites’ go deep into an-ever more absurdist thinking, looking for Putin under their bed, losing even a semblance of having some principles.

    How far are they going to take it? I have always wondered how far absurd thinking can go, seeing designated ‘smart people’ go nuts over silly made-up narratives is fun. Let’s enjoy the moment…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @The Scalpel
  38. peterAUS says:
    @Faker

    Nobody bought the corny Super NES missile videos.

    Correction:
    The “Team Russia” everywhere bought it. A peculiar mix of character types.
    That’s not important, though. What is important is that an average Russian, perhaps, bought it, so that daily life there just became a bit more bearable. And, I do agree; it’s better than drowning in vodka. Or emigrating into that miserable West just about to fall apart.
    Not sure about the latest, though; just last evening, while strolling along the beach, I came across a new Russian couple. Ah, well….

    In the days that followed cartoon-network-hour at the Kremlin, the West announced the delivery of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, increased sanctions on Russia

    Ah, well, that’s not important, really. Those superweapons will take care of all that. Somehow.

    – oh and Kim Jong Un folded (perhaps Kim had imagined Xi and Putin would actually help… poor guy, he probably was not familiar with Serbia, Iraq, Lybia and Novorussia). :-)

    Are you sure it wasn’t the result of that multidimensional chess played by The Great Leader in Kremlin? The resident “Team Russia” will explain all that to you/us here.

    Say, Faker are you going to be predicting the upcoming apocalypse in the west while living in Florida for the rest of your life?

    Of course.
    Pays well. Better than doing that from Russia. Food’s better too, and last, but not the least, the climate.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FB
  39. nickels says:

    Another obvious death from this Russian technical coup d’etat is the whole notion that ‘diversity makes us stronger’.
    Russia has no such notions (to my knowledge), and the fact that a handfull of crazed Asiatic scientists could so thoroughly clean the technological clocks of a highly transgenderized, feminized and ‘man-bun’ized Western science carnival, means a return to the all white (slightly Judaized) patriarchal scientific culture of the 1950′s is absolutely essential if America is not to be overrun by the Mongolian hordes.

    On a side note, for the student of Russian, Putin never ceases to present a historic speech of epic impact once every few years, for translating bliss!

  40. @peterAUS

    Those Armata tanks are due in 2030. These “new” weapons will need the 7% growth rate to be sustainable. Oil is down for along time.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @bluedog
  41. @FB

    Interesting. I always wondered about reliability. How to ensure even ignition in large clusters of rockets. I thought it was a production issue. Series production of smaller, less stressed components.

  42. peterAUS says:
    @Beckow

    I think it is a fairly good assumption that after a nuclear war we would all be worse off.

    Definitely.

    I think parts of the world would survive, but life would be worse for everyone.

    I guess that is the most, if not only, important part of all this “whose dick is bigger” nonsense.
    Well….if the Big Boys go full at each other, one of projections was/is that we’d get a “nuclear winter”.
    Another was that the levels of radiation around the world would get to lethal levels. Not lethal as “5 days” but more like “a couple of months”. Anyway, I believe they are all available somewhere on the Internet.
    Or, the world of mutants living in stone age. That definitely qualifies as “much worse”.

    I am very positive. The best rational response to increased risk of annihilation is to live well. In some ways the geo-political circus is liberating because it puts a lot of things in perspective.

    Agree.
    Depends of age of course.
    We, oldies, fine with us really.
    For our offspring and those under,say, 30…….not good.

    There is also the amusing part of it as one watches the creme-the-crop ‘elites’ go deep into an-ever more absurdist thinking, looking for Putin under their bed, losing even a semblance of having some principles.

    An individual perception.
    Another would be “look at these pompous idiots, not even aware how stupid they are”. And they do have my/our life in their hands. Hence, what does that make of me? What kind of person I am when have these as masters of my life and death? Let alone all these around who are so into their leaders?Anyway……..

    How far are they going to take it? I have always wondered how far absurd thinking can go, seeing designated ‘smart people’ go nuts over silly made-up narratives is fun.

    As I wrote before somewhere around, my theory is:
    We, humans, simply didn’t evolve our core nature along our intellectual capability.
    In essence, we are still, by nature, in Babylon era. Then, though, we were slaughtering each other with edged and blunt weapons. We evolved, intellectually, into nuclear weapons of megatons yield. Something like that.
    We’ll pay for that difference.

    There are even some theories that we aren’t the first doing all that; those “pre-diluvian” civilizations, cataclysm, reset, Gobekli Tepe etc. Anyway.

    Let’s enjoy the moment…

    Yup.
    Off I go for the beach.

  43. FB says:
    @(((They))) Live

    ‘…SpaceX are doing just fine with their “small” Merlin engine, in fact for what they are doing 9 engines is clearly better than 1 RD-180 which the Atlas 5 uses…’

    ‘Clearly better’how technically speaking…?

    Stating an opinion is fine…as long as it’s coming from a credible rocket scientist who is able to explain technically his reasoning…

    So I will wait for the response…

    Many small engines…27 total in the Falcon heavy…means that even one engine failing will fail the entire flight…

    When you add more engines you increase the chance of an engine failure…it’s a simple numerical and statistical fact…which is why you don’t see aircraft with 27 engines…

    ‘…SpaceX and Blue Origin are also working on staged combustion engines, both will be finished soon…’

    ‘Will be’ is the very definition of vaporware…

    Of course the many non-qualified people calling the new Russian technologies vaporware…do not seem capable of understanding that when it comes to the US…

    ‘…Both SpaceX and Blue may not try to achieve the same engine pressures as the Soviets/Russians because they plan to use their engines/rockets many times, the Russian rockets/engines are one use only…’

    ‘May not’ is in reality Never Will…

    Blue Origin…headed by noted ‘rocket scientist’ Jeff Bezos [of Amazon and Washington Post]…is making some pretty big accomplishments…

    ‘…The first developmental test flight of the New Shepard,[5] named after the first American in space Alan Shepard, was April 29, 2015.

    The uncrewed vehicle flew to its planned test altitude of more than 93.5 km (307,000 ft) and achieved a top speed of Mach 3 (3,675 km/h; 2,284 mph)…’

    We note here that speed of Mach 3 is ~1 km/s…

    And we also note that orbital velocity for low earth orbit is about ~8 km/s…so…clearly they are pretty close…LOL…

    As for the Bezos BE4 vaporware engine…its stated goal is a chamber pressure of 1,950 psi…half that of the RD180…[and don't hold your breath either...]

    We note also that its stated thrust goal is 550,000 lb…three times as much as the SpaceX Merlin…so perhaps Bezos didn’t get your memo that a large number of smaller engines is ‘better’…

    Anyway…the US has a lot more to worry about than trying to catch up in high pressure engine technology…they have not had human space flight capability for seven years now…

    Even a low pressure engine will get you to space as long as you have everything else worked out…ie life support systems etc.

    We will all be thrilled if the day ever comes that Musk and/or Bezos actually send a human into orbit…

    Notice I said orbit…not space…big difference…will explain later…[or maybe you would like to give it a shot…?}

    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
    , @Erebus
  44. FB says:
    @Kiza

    Agree with you on Rogozin…

    He is not the kind to turn the other cheek…

    While working as Russia’s representative to Nato in Brussels he famously quipped that he would love to plant a poplar on that fine big lawn…

    The poplar being known in Russian as ‘topol’ as in the Topol M roadmobile ICBM…

  45. FB says:
    @Philip Owen

    ‘…Those Armata tanks are due in 2030. These “new” weapons will need the 7% growth rate to be sustainable…’

    Interesting…

    Clearly there is a rigorous mathematical analysis behind this assertion…would you be kind enough to share that with us…?

    ‘…Oil is down for along [sic] time…’

    Interesting again…

    Where exactly does one get a degree in fortune-telling…?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @Philip Owen
  46. FB says:
    @Faker

    ‘…Nobody bought the corny Super NES missile videos…’

    I agree…nobody in the village idiot demographic…

    Of course the reaction in Washington was slightly more telling…as US senators quickly urged Trump to start arms negotiations with Russia…

    ‘…A U.S.-Russia Strategic Dialogue is more urgent following President Putin’s public address on March 1st when he referred to several new nuclear weapons Russia is reportedly developing including a cruise missile and a nuclear underwater drone, which are not currently limited by the New START treaty, and would be destabilizing if deployed…’

  47. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    Hey Petey…

    I recall on another thread your self-described military career as an officer commanding a battalion-size unit…

    Certainly your comments since then have only served to…shall we say…‘cement’ your reputation…

    So I was wondering if you could give us a take on this article…by former Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong…

    He gets into the ‘nuts and bolts’ as you like to do here…

    ‘…The Chinese have a genius for pithy expressions and few are more packed with meaning, while immediately understandable, than “paper tiger”.

    NATO is one, but paper tigers that overestimate their powers can be dangerous…’

    He talks some real numbers here…like you like to do…you know divisions strengths etc…

    ‘…So, altogether, bringing everything home from the wars NATO is fighting around the world, under the most optimistic assumptions, assuming that everything is there and working…

    …(fewer than half of France’s tanks were operational, German painted broomsticks, British recruiting shortfalls), crossing your fingers and hoping, NATO could possibly cobble together two and a half dozen divisions: or one-fifth of the number Germany thought it would need…’

    And…he quotes noted weapons expert Scott Ritter…who although not exactly in your league [who is...]…is still considered credible…

    ‘…“only five of the U.S. Army’s 15 armored brigade combat teams are maintained at full readiness levels“. A paper tiger…’

    Would seriously be interested in hearing your analysis…

  48. @peterAUS

    Bottom line: more resources they pour into those “superweapons” less they’ll allocate for the common man there.

    Logically, of course, this would appear to be true. On the other hand, official sources indicate that Russian military expenditures (2.85% in 2018 and in absolute terms lower than the UK) are actually declining (9% in ruble terms in 2018). Are they to be believed?

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Philip Owen
  49. @Faker

    oh and Kim Jong Un folded

    This seems to be a quite common view, but is it true? North Korea has proposed bilateral negotiations for years, the US has consistently refused, or placed preconditions that constituted an effective refusal. Now the US, after making lots of threats, accepts talks with no preconditions.

    Who has folded?

    • Replies: @Bill
  50. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    Oh…almost forgot…for Pete’s sake…

    ‘…And, I do agree; it’s better than drowning in vodka…’

    And while Russians are ‘drowning in vodka’…they still manage to graduate twice as many engineers as the US…despite less than half the population…

  51. FB says:
    @Faker

    ‘…oh and Kim Jong Un folded…’

    Oh yes that…quite spectacular how Kim folded…

    …By getting Trump to agree to negotiations…as opposed to US carrying out that ‘Bloody Nose’ and ‘Decapitating Strike’ that the Big Men in DC have been threatening for months…

    ‘…I won the fight…didn’t you see how I hit him on the fist with my face…?

    • Replies: @Faker
  52. Faker says:
    @FB

    Do you mean like when Reagan agreed to meet Gorbatchev in Reykjavik and a couple years later the mighty USRR, which for decades had a segment running on the nightly news saying the U.S. was about to collapse, was history, only to fall back to third-world status?

    Of course Kim folded, saying he would de-nuclearize if his family was guaranteed to stay in power (there is a guy who thinks of his people first apparently).

    You guys are a joke!

    All I can think about when you guys drone on about Russia’s military might is Shakespeare:

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    • Replies: @Dissident X
  53. peterAUS says:
    @for-the-record

    Are they to be believed?

    Depends.

    For the “Team Russia” and the team “USA bad” for sure they are to be believed.

    For the rest, a minority for sure, a simple principle: “Do you really trust anything coming out of Washington and Moscow”?

    And, declining whatever…does not matter. And it’s not just money; it’s overall resource being commited to that effort. The resource that could’ve been used to actually do something good for an average Russian there.

    But, free will at work.

    Arms race, last time, collapsed Soviet Union from within.
    Not even 30 years later we see the very same method at work.

    Good.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  54. FB says:

    ‘…Of course Kim folded, saying he would de-nuclearize…’

    Well you are certainly persistent for an imbecile…

    When did North Korea ever say they would de-nuclearize…?

    Please provide a link…

    Here is the actual story…[as opposed to the delusional village idiot version]…

    North and South Koreabn talks have been progressing very well…ever since the breakthrough with the Olympics…

    South Koreans elected a leader Moon Jae In…who is in favor of peace with DPRK…and has opposed publicly US threats of war and President Donald Dump’s hard line…

    Also the Russians and Chinese have been urging the so-called double-freeze…where North Korea freezes its Nuclear tests…and the US freezes its provocative military exercises…

    This is what has happened…the US folded…like a cheap suitcase…full of bluff and bluster which got called…

    Because nobody would have any more of the US BS…first of all the South Koreans…who have made it plain that they are not on board with any US plan to attack the North…

    [Not that the US ever would have grew a pair to do so anyway...they had ample opportunity to shoot down the many DPRK missiles that overflew Japan...with their so-called 'ballistic missile defense' which doesn't actually work...see my technical comment here...]

    Now…Donald Dump is all of a sudden ready to negotiate…with no preconditions…

    Knockout Win for Kim

    Everyone always knew even little North Korea could wipe the floor with delusional US…

    • Replies: @Faker
    , @Erebus
    , @Kiza
  55. peterAUS says:

    There is one element of all this bullshit re Putin speech that, still, somehow eludes me.

    I know why Putin said all that.
    I know why Putin Team likes that arms race. The same reason Washington elites like it. Money.

    I get that the regime in Moscow is concerned about The Empire’s push to execute the regime change in Kremlin and are creating countermeasures.

    What I don’t get is this, commentariat here and all over the Internet, fascination and obsession with conventional war between superpowers.
    A big number of commentators, and authors in Russia’s sphere (but not The Empire’s) are obsessed with that repelling of an invasion of Rodina by The Empire. Ghosts of Napoleon, Hitler, blah, blah.
    I get the emotional appeal there,but, still.

    They really believe that The Empire is going to try to invade, by conventional forces, Russia proper.

    What puzzles me, is why they do not get that the another scenario is much more likely: collapsing and changing the regime through internal unrest?
    Because they believe Russia is impervious to that? Hehe…sure it is.
    And the arms race simply can’t help there; on the contrary actually. It contributes to that unrest. As the last time.

    Or, more likely, they know the truth there but seek pure on-line escapism.
    And the puppet masters in Kremlin are more than happy to provide that. Can’t argue that.
    Besides, no harm there. Keeps the depression at bay, especially at middle-age.

  56. Faker says:
    @FB

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    Russia Today article:

    “Announcing the monumental breakthrough in the Korean stalemate, Chung Eui-yong noted that Kim Jong-un is now “committed to denuclearization,” and has “pledged” to refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests until talks with Trump take place. Surprisingly, Kim also made concessions towards the never-ending joint US-South Korean drills, which have greatly contributed to the ongoing tensions in the region. “He [KIM] understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue,” the Security Adviser noted during his announcement. The South Korean official further credited Trump’s leadership and the US policy of “maximum pressure” for bringing North Korea to the table.”

    https://www.rt.com/usa/420830-korea-kim-trump-letter/

    • Replies: @Faker
    , @FB
  57. @FB

    the Falcon 9 is better than the Atlas 5 and similar sized rockets because it delivers the same payload to orbit for a lower price, the customer paying for the launch doesn’t care about chamber pressure, they only want their satellite to reach orbit

    The Falcon Heavy could lose one or more engines and still reach orbit, engine out is one of its features

    The Shuttle main engine used staged combustion

    The SpaceX/Blue Origin engines are NOT vaporware both are on the test stand now and will be used on rockets

    SpaceX will send people to space later this year, in fact they could have done it years ago using the dragon 1

    I know you can’t admit it but SpaceX are clearly ahead of the Russians and everyone else, failure to admit this is failure to understand what they are doing

    • Replies: @FB
  58. Faker says:
    @Faker

    Worse than folded… the guy groveled, crawled, genuflected.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  59. Erebus says:
    @FB

    Great post on turbo pump pressures above, but a nit begs picking in this one…

    Many small engines…27 total in the Falcon heavy…means that even one engine failing will fail the entire flight…

    is diametrically opposed by SpaceX’s claim that…

    With its nine first-stage Merlin engines clustered together, Falcon 9 can sustain up to two engine shutdowns during flight and still successfully complete its mission.

    and the Falcon Heavy…

    … under most payload scenarios… can sustain more than one unplanned engine shutdown at any point in flight and still successfully complete its mission.

    Musk may be master of hyperbole, but I doubt SpaceX are lying here.

    • Replies: @FB
  60. Erebus says:
    @peterAUS

    The resource that could’ve been used to actually do something good for an average Russian there.

    Keeping Sergei6Pack(ov) and his family from getting nuked isn’t “something good”? For him, and for the rest of the world too? Who knew? You’re upside down in more ways than 1.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  61. Erebus says:
    @FB

    Not to mention:
    - how & where exactly they got those Huasong 12 & 15 rocket engines, and
    - the “9 Bridges” deal for N. Korean development Putin and Moon announced in Vladivostok, and
    - China’s statement that they will honour their treaty if N. Korea is attacked,

    When did North Korea ever say they would de-nuclearize…?

    There’s some confusion about whether the DPRK has offered to abandon its nukes, or to simply freeze the program in place, but if the S. Korean officials that stated last week that N. Korea is willing to abandon its nuclear program for security guarantees are to be believed, N. Korea indeed appears to have agreed to some variant of “de-nuclearization”. Lots of mainstream links on that.

    I have no idea where N/S Korea rapprochement is going, but it sure looks like the USM’s dominance of the ECS is on the wane. A new security structure is forming in that theatre, and it is not unlikely that Putin’s announcement was related to that development.

  62. Kiza says:
    @FB

    Even if we would give Trump the benefit of the doubt that he is genuinely suing for peace, even his tough and dumb talk could have been an internal manoeuver to relax the real US crazies, his chances of pulling off peace on the Korean Peninsula against US MIC are close to absolute zero. He would be knocking off billions, if not trillions, out of the pockets of the “deserving dual citizen patriots”.

    As one wise commenter wrote ironically on moonofalabama: What would be next, peace in Palestine? Trump will sooner end near some grassy knoll then initiate peace in Korea.

  63. FB says:
    @Faker

    ‘…“Announcing the monumental breakthrough in the Korean stalemate, Chung Eui-yong noted that Kim Jong-un is now “committed to denuclearization,” and has “pledged” to refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests until talks with Trump take place…’

    Chung Eui-yong…the person quoted there is a South Korean National Security Adviser…

    This is not a statement from DPRK…which did not make public any such statement…

    ‘…Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made…’

    ‘This period of time beinig until the Kim-Trump talks in May…the above from Trump’s own tweet…

    We not here that Kim sent a letter with a personal inivitation to Trump…which Trump has accepted…

    This is far from North Korea saying it will de-nuclearize…

    There never was any such statement and we shall see what comes of the talks…May is only weeks away and the DPRK promising not to fly any more missile tests is in practical terms meaningless…

    The fact is that you have been saying here that DPRK has agreed to de-nuclearize…

    That is demonstrably false…

    DPRK has maintined the same line it has from the beginning…that it is will to discuss the issue of giving up nukes…under specific circumstances…such as a treaty with security guarantees…ie a non-aggression treaty with the US…

    So the DPRK position has not changed one iota…it is Dump and his fire and fury BS that has been jettisoned…

    Right after the US realized that it could never successfully carry out a military attack against heavily defended DPRK…which is not Iraq or Libya by any stretch…

    Naturally the US loser mentality is to try to see a ‘win’ in every situation…even in a case where the US has obviously reversed their position…

    Everybody who has been watching this is not surprised that the US caved…they were completely isolated on DPRK…and their military threats were not credible…end of story…

    • Replies: @Faker
    , @kemerd
    , @TT
  64. Faker says:
    @FB

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
    See you in May!

  65. FB says:
    @(((They))) Live

    You will notice my reply to you above said this…

    ‘…Stating an opinion is fine…as long as it’s coming from a credible rocket scientist who is able to explain technically his reasoning…’

    It is clear that you are not a rocket scientist and have made not even a layman’s attempt to explain your reasoning…

    You are simply repeating a layman’s opinion that the Falcon 9 is ‘better’ than the Atlas V…based on a supposedly ‘cheaper’ launch cost…

    But ‘cheapness’ is not the primary concern in rocket launches…reliability is…

    We note that SpaceX Falcon 9 has had two catastrophic failures in 50 total launches…

    Atlas V has a perfect success rate…

    ‘…In its more than 75 launches (as of March 2018), starting with its maiden launch in August 2002, Atlas V has had a perfect mission success rate.

    This is in contrast to the industry failure rate of 5–10%…’

    Clearly your talk of Falcon 9 being ‘better’ is considered by actual industry professionals as quite ridiculous…

    …which is why the US military is not switching from the Atlas to the Falcon…fortunately these decisions are made by sober scientists not chat room space cadets…

    ‘…SpaceX will send people to space later this year, in fact they could have done it years ago using the dragon 1…’

    ‘Coulda woulda shoulda’ is not an operating principle that is used in spaceflight…

    The Dragon spacecraft is not human-rated…it is used to deliver cargo to the ISS [with a spotty record]…

    Turning a cargo ship with no human life support systems into a crewed vehicle is a very ambitious and difficult undertaking…

    …in which neither Boeing nor Spacex have any track record whatsoever…

    The fact that you can make such a ridiculous layman statement speaks volumes about your non-existent qualifications to even be in this discussion…

    As for SpaceX ‘will’ send people to space later this year…well…the latest real info suggests otherwise…[if ever...]

    Just a few weeks ago…January 17…the Government Accountability Office [GAO] informed a congressional hearing on the status of the program…as reported by the WaPo…

    ‘…In prepared testimony submitted to a congressional hearing on the status of the program, the Government Accountability Office said ongoing “delays and uncertain final certification dates raise questions about whether the United States will have uninterrupted access to the [space station] after 2019…’

    The ‘certification’ refers to achieving human-rated seal of approval from Nasa…which is a daunting technical specification…

    Few Nasa aerospace professionals believe that either SpaceX or Boeing are ever going to get there…

    ‘…If SpaceX and Boeing, the companies NASA has hired to fly its astronauts to space, can’t meet NASA’s rigorous requirements for human spaceflight by late next year, the space agency would have to continue to rely on the Russians…’

    ‘Late next year’ means end of 2019…so clearly your statement that SpaceX ‘will’ fly humans this year is delusional…

    The people in a position to judge are saying they are doubtful for even end of next year…

    ‘…“We are here today looking at not one, but two companies that are behind schedule, may not meet safety and reliability requirements and could even slip into cost overruns,” said Rep. Brian Babin (R-Tex.), the chairman of the House Science subcommittee on space…’

    ‘…He added that the “situation gets even worse when we look at safety and reliability concerns surrounding these two new systems.”

    As a result, NASA may have to seek additional funding or accept greater risk. “Neither of those options is viable,” he said…’

    ‘…Before they fly humans, Boeing and SpaceX must overcome complex technical problems with their spacecraft, the GAO said…’

    ‘…Before it allows SpaceX to fly, NASA must first determine whether it can safely fuel its rocket while the astronauts are on board — an issue that the both the GAO and the agency’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel said could be a safety risk.

    In 2016, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded into a massive fireball while it was being fueled ahead of an engine test…’

    That was one of two SpaceX failures…resulting in the loss of the payload…an Israeli satellite…

    The other SpaceX catastrophic failure occurred the year prior…June 2015…on an ISS cargo resupply mission…

    ‘…It disintegrated 139 seconds into the flight after launch from Cape Canaveral, just before the first stage was to separate from the second stage.

    It was the ninth flight for SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft and the seventh SpaceX operational mission contracted to NASA under a Commercial Resupply Services contract…’

    I’m sure that was a real confidence builder for the folks at Nasa…who will be responsible for certifying the human-rating for any spacecraft…a failure on just the seventh flight does not leave a good impression…

    So technically speaking both the SpaceX and Boeing human sapceflight ‘programs’ are at this point vaporware…

    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
  66. FB says:
    @Erebus

    In spaceflight there is a big difference between making claims and actual demonstrated capability…

    As for the Falcon 9 engine failure…we have had one such instance…on a cargo resupply mission to the ISS in 2012…on its very first such flight…

    ‘…During the launch, one of the nine engines suffered a sudden loss of pressure about 80 seconds into the flight, and an immediate early shutdown of that engine occurred; debris could be seen in the telescopic video of the night launch.

    The remaining eight engines fired for a longer period of time and the flight control software adjusted the trajectory to insert Dragon into a near flawless orbit…’

    So there you have proof that the more engines you have…the more that one is likely to fail…it is a statistical fact…ie all engines [or any complex device for that matter] will fail sooner or later…this is a quantifiable engineering principle and is called mean time before failure [MTBF]…

    If you have a one-engine rocket…and it has a certain demonstrated MTBF…then x number of flights will be completed before a failure…

    If you have 9 engines…then you have just reduced your flight success ratio by a factor of 9…[since even one engine failure...even if the mission is completed...still counts as a 'partial failure'...]

    In this one instance it turned out okay…but the basic engineering rationale for not having multiple engines is sound…the next time an engine fails it might not go so well…

    Bottom line is this…we have more chance of flights having an engine failure…but the outcome is unpredictable at this point because there is not enough empirical data to derive a probability of overall mission success…

    That flight with the failed engine was able to eventually dock with the ISS…but it was touch and go all the way…it was far from routine for the ISS crew…

    After the subsequent 2015 catastrophic Falcon 9 in-flight breakup [carrying the Dragon resupply cargo craft]…Nasa renegotiated with SpaceX for a lower price…due to the loss of the $112 million payload…

    Also the Nasa investigation contradicted the SpaceX conclusion that it was a ‘single’ failure…indicating multiple issues…

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  67. kemerd says:
    @FB

    I am afraid Faker has a point. Indeed, NK did not release an official statement but they did not deny his statement, either.

    On the other hand, I think this is another step in placing a wedge between the south and the US. I think, NK will demand withdrawal of all US forces as a condition for de-nuclearization. This, of course, is unacceptable by the US as that would ruin its policy of China encirclement but and helps keep South’s leash tight.

    In the end, the NK will look as the reasonable party while US the aggressive and the South leadership and its citizenry will get it. And likely, make the south elect more and more of nationalist figures. I think that is the plan

    • Replies: @FB
  68. FB says:
    @kemerd

    ‘…I am afraid Faker has a point. Indeed, NK did not release an official statement but they did not deny his statement, either…’

    Yes faker has a point…

  69. @FB

    I’m well aware of SpaceX failures, and know what the root cause of both was, it was not the Merlin engine, BTW I’m sure you know that ULA’s Atlas was only seconds away from a launch failure back in 2016

    The US military WILL be launching satellites on the Falcon 9 and Heavy, in fact they have already at a much lower cost than ULA, its lower space launch costs that is killing ULA, using an engine with a high combustion chamber pressure does NOT seem to be saving them, why is that FB ?

    Could you give me your definition of the word vaporware, because a number of things you are call vaporware are clearly going to happen

    SpaceX will send people into orbit
    SpaceX will finish the Raptor and use it to launch a new family of rockets
    Blue Origin will finish the BE-4 and launch the New Glenn, it might be delayed but Bezos clearly has the capital to get the job done

    Which rocket company will launch the most payload to orbit this year ?

    its only a matter of time, maybe 2 years, and SpaceX will be launching more rockets than the rest of the world combined, but but high combustion chamber pressure you say

    About ten years from now SpaceX will land people on Mars while you continue to obsess about high combustion chamber pressure

    The Russians are behind for now but they have the ability to close the gap very fast, I hope they do

    • LOL: FB
  70. Nils says:

    Not within most people’s paradigm but there is a good academic case that nuclear weapons are just science fiction. Very good website: http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/on-this-atom-bomb-anniversary-youre-being-lied-to-about-hiroshima-and-much-more-to-make-you-fearful/

    If you don’t have the time, then only have a look at this 360 degrees of ‘ground zero’ in Hiroshima:

    https://www.360cities.net/image/hiroshima-after-atomic-bomb-nuclear-3

    Look at what is still standing? Look at the crater, what crater… firebombing…

  71. @FB

    “So there you have proof that the more engines you have…the more that one is likely to fail…it is a statistical fact…ie all engines [or any complex device for that matter] will fail sooner or later…this is a quantifiable engineering principle and is called mean time before failure [MTBF]…”

    A point in case is the soviet N1 rocket that had 4 stages, with a total of 43 engines, the 1st stage having 30 engines alone. Not surprisingly, the rocket had 4 failures in 4 attempted launches.

    Frankly, am perplexed to see someone attempt to create such a complex design since, statistically speaking, the chances of failure increase substantially.

    As for the Falcon 9 engine failure, they were lucky that the failure was not catastrophic, that is, the engine did not explode (rocket engine failures are usually catastrophic in nature).

    • Agree: FB
  72. peterAUS says:
    @Erebus

    Keeping Sergei6Pack(ov) and his family from getting nuked isn’t “something good”?
    For him, and for the rest of the world too? Who knew?

    I think that’s, actually, something that will get him/them nuked more likely. You….”Team Russia” Putin fanboys simply can’t see anything wrong with your Great Leader. You guys feel as a cult. Those true believers I mean; the rest are just doing their job.

    I’ll try to explain (not that you’ll get it):
    Nobody is going to invade Russia with conventional forces. Ever.That option died after Soviet Union developed the first thermonuclear nuke, if not earlier.
    That…fetish….of great (conventional) land war in defense of the Rodina is funny actually.

    What is not funny, well, for an average Russian that is, is diverting resources into the arms race with West. From education, health care , social services etc. As not so long time ago. Time still in living history.
    It is funny for Russian elites, oligarchs in particular, because arms business as everybody here is oh so happy to point out re MIC, is very good for lining their pockets. And, not to miss a beat, stash/invest that money in West. Funny because the masses there buy it.

    The problem with that setup is it creates a resentment in those who can think a bit, most of the middle class. The same class that brought down Soviet Union when realized that playing the game wasn’t bringing them anything good. And all that even more felt by minorities.
    Now, admit, there is a safety valve there now: immigration into West. Still, not good enough.

    That resentment shall be utilized by The Empire. It will create an internal unrest.
    That internal unrest is likely to destabilize the regime.
    And that’s the crux here: unstable regime with tremendous nuclear capability.

    You’re upside down in more ways than 1.

    Hehe…you can’t help it, a? Seeing somebody simply not buying all that “new paradigm” shit Kremlin has been trying oh so hard to sell around? You can always try harder. Or just burn the heretics.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  73. It is hilarious to watch how much time and energy are people prepared to waste in those pointless, heated discussions about whose weapons are better. The specifics of weapons, particularly the new ones, are confidential. Very few people are familiar with these details and none of the contributors to this forum belong to this group. Putin speech was rich in generalities and short on specifics. He actually boasts quite regularly about his unstoppable ballistic missiles so I am not sure why so much fuss about his latest claim. He usually does it when he feels threatened. Perhaps he does have some miracle weapons , more likely not. I am not sure what gives him his confidence because the US military is surely not sharing the technological details of their weapons with him. The only test of whose weapons are better, and not just weapons because war is more complex than that, is the battlefield. After the battle one can say whose weapons were better but not before. One can judge the quality of weapons based on past encounters between Russian and US technology. The overall record does not speak in favour of Russia, but trying to extrapolate the future conflict based on that evidence can be risky. So whose weapons are better? I do not know and frankly do not want to find out. It is my humble opinion that all the US bases, weaponry,etc., are not there to attack Russia but to prevent it from doing something foolish while it is getting strangled. Of course according to the very well educated pro Russians with poor manners who seem to have flooded this forum I do not understand anything. Only they do, but everything is simple for a simpleton. According to them when I see a car winning a race and say that the manufacturer of that car makes faster cars I am talking nonsense because I do not have a degree in automotive repairs.

  74. peterAUS says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    Agree.

    As for this

    Of course according to the very well educated pro Russians with poor manners who seem to have flooded this forum I do not understand anything. Only they do, but everything is simple for a simpleton. According to them when I see a car winning a race and say that the manufacturer of that car makes faster cars I am talking nonsense because I do not have a degree in automotive repairs.

    I’ll offer an explanation:
    That’s the method Russians, in general, use when discussing/debating. It’s a cultural thing, they simply can’t help it. Nothing personal there, most of the time (not always), just the way they..ahm…communicate. Poor manners combined with memorized irrelevant data.
    Seldom simple observation and common sense.

    Try discussing some uncomfortable facts from Afghanistan and especially Chechnya with a retired Russian Colonel…hahaha.
    Sometimes it did feel like we, simply, lived in different worlds.

    I, personally, believe it’s a proven method to preserve a position of power regardless of facts.
    Actually, similar to what “educated” class uses all the time everywhere.
    Take for example, history.
    How many times you’ve seen historians dismissing a guy’s opinion because he is not a scholar?
    Or anything really.

    The problem with Russians is they do it on turbo-charge and with …peculiar….manners.

    Just my 2 cents.

  75. @Regnum Nostrum

    What do you want? The key from apartment with safe full of money? Unlike those shitty cartoons i was watching on Soviet Tv showing Reagan pre Alzheimer dreams of lasers shooting down Soviet ICBM with ease which were just wishful thinking dreams with no technologies in sight to back , Russian videos are of those weapons which are either deployed or are in the last pre deployment stages and are backed by real technology developed just to show you your place near the lavatory. Specifics? If you cannot smell them it is not Russia problem.

  76. Svigor says:

    A case in point…the US has been buying Russian RD180 rocket engines for more nearly two decades now…[since 2000]…

    IIRC, The NASA/ULA/etc are in the process of switching from RD180s to Blue Origin’s rockets. SpaceX has been eating both the Russians’ and the US gov’t’s lunch for years, though.

    Being better than NASA and ULA is nothing to brag about. That said, obviously being NASA or ULA is even less to brag about.

    These advanced engines power the US Atlas V rocket…which is used extensively to launch US military satellites and also the secret Boeing X37 ‘spaceplane’…

    NASA/ULA are a giant boondoggle, and the crony capitalists that run our defense/space budgets would rather give business to a Russian firm than cut out their Boeing/Lockheed cronies and save the taxpayer 80%+ on launch costs by going with SpaceX. I’m not sure how long this can last; eventually it’s going to become somebody’s campaign issue and then the heat will be on.

    We can talk “advanced engines” all day, but the fact is, SpaceX is cutting everybody’s throats on overall efficiency and innovation.

    the Russian rockets/engines are one use only

    Sounds like a rapidly dwindling niche.

    ‘…SpaceX are doing just fine with their “small” Merlin engine, in fact for what they are doing 9 engines is clearly better than 1 RD-180 which the Atlas 5 uses…’

    ‘Clearly better’…how technically speaking…?

    You don’t need a rocket scientist. Just look at the launch numbers:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_launch_market_competition

    Check out the curve for SpaceX launches.

    Look at launch costs, too.

    Many small engines…27 total in the Falcon heavy…means that even one engine failing will fail the entire flight…

    You’d think even one failure on a Falcon 9 would result in launch failure, too. It just doesn’t seem to be happening much. Or at all. SpaceX’s “failures” lately have been in landing their boosters on ships out in the Atlantic. Or should I say, “failure” and “has”? I admit I’ve only been reading about space recently, and I’m playing catchup.

    When you add more engines you increase the chance of an engine failure…it’s a simple numerical and statistical fact…which is why you don’t see aircraft with 27 engines…

    Ceteris paribus, sure, but rockets aren’t ceteris paribus. So it’s not a simple numerical and statistical fact.

    (But the aircraft analogy is a super-bad one – multi-engine airplanes can usually fly with one engine out, the reverse of the situation with rockets, AFAIK. Multi-engine aircraft certainly survive engine failure better than single-engine aircraft do, lol.)

    The Falcon Heavy could lose one or more engines and still reach orbit, engine out is one of its features

    I stand corrected, TL, thanks. Like I said, I’m still catching up.

    ‘Will be’ is the very definition of vaporware…

    If you think SpaceX is “vaporware” you’ve got your head jammed all the way up your ass.

    ‘…Both SpaceX and Blue may not try to achieve the same engine pressures as the Soviets/Russians because they plan to use their engines/rockets many times, the Russian rockets/engines are one use only…’

    ‘May not’ is in reality Never Will…

    This sounds a lot like “may not lose” and “in reality never will lose.” Seriously, multi-use rockets are obviously better than single-use rockets, ceteris paribus (since not all applications are ceteris paribus, I allow for the possiblity that some niche may favor single-use rockets).

    Anyway…the US has a lot more to worry about than trying to catch up in high pressure engine technology

    Oh, on that we definitely agree. :)

    All the money in space flight is currently in delivering satellites and other non-human payloads into orbit. SpaceX is right to concentrate on that, because SpaceX is a private company, not a gov’t boondoggle. It seems pretty obvious that at some point in the near future, SpaceX will get human-rated and put men into space. And probably get us to Mars first, too.

    • Replies: @Pavlo
  77. Erebus says:
    @peterAUS

    Nobody is going to invade Russia with conventional forces. Ever.That option died after Soviet Union developed the first thermonuclear nuke, if not earlier.

    Not much earlier, as a few years before they developed their first nuke they were indeed invaded. Does “Barbarossa” ring a bell? Is there a bell left?

    I’ll try to explain (not that you’ll get it)

    I guarantee I won’t get it if you’re incoherent.

    Anyhow, invasion by a land force is irrelevant. What is not irrelevant is that a significant faction in the US’ military-strategic brain trust thinks it can and must destroy Russia (using nukes if necessary) before it’s too late. The Empire needs control of Eurasia’s resources, or to at least prevent their control by anyone else, or it is, by its own admission, doomed. That has been the US’ publicly stated, explicit, pre-eminent Imperial Imperative since the early ’90s. You speak as if you are utterly unaware of it, but you can bet the Russians, Chinese, and most of your interlocutors here are. To interpret events in ignorance of the policies that drive them is to fall into the morass of nonsense and/or irrelevance you continue to dump on the table here.

    Carrying on…
    Since then, the US’ elites have proved more than willing to sacrifice their citizens’ well-being, indeed to create/exploit domestic socio-political divisions, in pursuit of that end. You may not be aware of this either, but there’s at least as much resentment (however inchoate) in the US at being impoverished by this policy as there may be in Russia’s defence against it. Russia will overwhelmingly elect Putin, whereas Trump’s election has exposed both the resentment and the divisions.

    Given that, and given that all non-kinetic attempts to get them to back off have failed, and further given that all non-kinetic and kinetic efforts by the Empire towards that end have also failed, the nuclear option looms ever larger. Putin’s announcement can be seen as yet another attempt at a non-kinetic attempt to get the Empire to back down.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Philip Owen
  78. Pavlo says:
    @Svigor

    because SpaceX is a private company, not a gov’t boondoggle

    Are you actually a paid shill for Musk’s outfit? If you actually believe this then I suspect you couldn’t pass the mirror self-recognition test – Musk gobbles up government funds like you gobble up twinkies.

    • Agree: Kiza
    • Replies: @FB
    , @Kiza
  79. FB says:
    @Pavlo

    ‘Svigor’ is simply another fanboy who knows zero about anything to do with aerospace…

    Let him believe his delusional nonsense…you can’t do anything with indoctrinated koolaid drinkers…

    Reality will hit soon enough…just watch and see…

  80. Svigor says:

    How many times you’ve seen historians dismissing a guy’s opinion because he is not a scholar?
    Or anything really.

    Which is really a hallmark of ignorance; history is probably the least credentialist field there is (which is, no doubt, a constant source of irritation to credentialists who made the mistake of choosing history as their field).

    About ten years from now SpaceX will land people on Mars while you continue to obsess about high combustion chamber pressure

    Last I heard, Musk was saying 2025 for Mars landing. Maybe he’s talking out his arse, maybe not. But dismissing Musk with a hand-wave is way too 2013 for my tastes.

    The Russians are behind for now but they have the ability to close the gap very fast, I hope they do

    Maybe. Maybe not. Have the Russians shown anything at all in reusability? That’s part of SpaceX’s cost-cutting, and will key to their plan to get launches down under $10 million each. Way under, IIRC.

    So there you have proof that the more engines you have…the more that one is likely to fail…it is a statistical fact…ie all engines [or any complex device for that matter] will fail sooner or later…this is a quantifiable engineering principle and is called mean time before failure [MTBF]…

    What happened to your “one engine fail = mission fail” statement/implication? Bleeding out in the woods somewhere?

    No, it’s not proof. Maybe you need to look that word up in a dictionary; it doesn’t mean what you seem to think it means. There is no proof, because it’s not true. E.g., a rocket with one engine with a 10% chance of failure has a higher chance of failing than a rocket with 5 engines that each have a 1% chance of failure.

    You are simply repeating a layman’s opinion that the Falcon 9 is ‘better’ than the Atlas V…based on a supposedly ‘cheaper’ launch cost…

    But ‘cheapness’ is not the primary concern in rocket launches…reliability is…

    Reliability and cheapness are largely synonymous in this context. I.e., private enterprise, where firms actually have to pay for their mistakes, carry insurance, etc.

    We note that SpaceX Falcon 9 has had two catastrophic failures in 50 total launches…

    Atlas V has a perfect success rate…

    ULA has a perfect success rate at gorging at the public trough. They’re already shitting their pants over SpaceX, cutting back their workforce, scrambling to cut costs ($400 million to $200 million, lol), etc. Same as ILS. If you don’t think SpaceX is gonna eat their lunch, you’re in denial. Maybe ULA’s perfect launch record will keep them warm at night when they’ve lost all their business to SpaceX. Maybe RD180′s “technical superiority” will do the same for the Russians.

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/spacex-elon-musk-competition-companies-rockets-2018-3

    Once the butt-end of rocket industry jokes, SpaceX has completely disrupted the world’s market for launches with high-performance, increasingly low-cost, and ever-more-reusable rockets.

    Founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX did not have an easy start – it was bordering on bankruptcy in 2008 after three failed launches.

    Today the aerospace company has about $US10 billion worth of launches booked, built the world’s most powerful operational rocket, and touts an ambitious goal to colonize Mars.

    Its success has so far relied on its workhorse launcher: the 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket. But continued industry dominance is anything but guaranteed.

    In the near future, Musk and SpaceX will face competition from a number of companies, including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, that are developing reusable, next-generation rocket engines and boosters.

    Here’s how the competition in the new space race stacks up.

    Manned space flight aside, it’s easy to see how SpaceX will continue to eat ULA’s lunch; launch costs. E.g., a hypothetical:

    1. SpaceX:

    10 launches at $5m each, each carrying $100m payload.

    2. ULA:
    1 launch at $50m, carrying a $100m payload.

    Obviously the numbers are pulled from my ass. My point is, in this scenario, SpaceX can lose a rocket and its payload and still win the overall race against ULA. In this sense, the hypothetical reflects reality. You can’t spend reliability. You can spend cash. Spacex

    The thing to keep in mind is that Boeing and Lockheed have been doing aerospace since…when? I don’t even know. The fifties? The sixties? SpaceX started in 2002:

    In 2001, Elon Musk conceptualized Mars Oasis, a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse and grow plants on Mars, “so this would be the furthest that life’s ever traveled”[22] in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration and increase the budget of NASA.[23][24][25] Musk tried to buy cheap rockets from Russia but returned empty-handed after failing to find rockets for an affordable price.[26][27]
    Falcon 9 carrying CRS-7 Dragon on SLC-40 pad.

    On the flight home, Musk realized that he could start a company that could build the affordable rockets he needed.[27] According to early Tesla and SpaceX investor Steve Jurvetson,[28] Musk calculated that the raw materials for building a rocket actually were only three percent of the sales price of a rocket at the time. By applying vertical integration,[26] producing around 85% of launch hardware in-house,[29][30] and the modular approach from software engineering, SpaceX could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70 percent gross margin.[31] SpaceX started with the smallest useful orbital rocket, instead of building a more complex and riskier launch vehicle, which could have failed and bankrupted the company.[32]

    I bet the Russians are still kicking themselves over that one.

  81. peterAUS says:
    @Erebus

    Mine:

    Nobody is going to invade Russia with conventional forces. Ever.That option died after Soviet Union developed the first thermonuclear nuke, if not earlier.

    Yours:

    Not much earlier, as a few years before they developed their first nuke they were indeed invaded. Does “Barbarossa” ring a bell? Is there a bell left?

    Interesting, on a funny side.
    No wonder you guys have a problem in selling that mantra around.

    Anyhow, invasion by a land force is irrelevant.

    It is?
    Re “Barbarossa” and bells ringing?
    O.K.

    What is not irrelevant is that a significant faction in the US’ military-strategic brain trust thinks it can and must destroy Russia (using nukes if necessary) before it’s too late. The Empire needs control of Eurasia’s resources, or to at least prevent their control by anyone else, or it is, by its own admission, doomed. That has been the US’ publicly stated, explicit, pre-eminent Imperial Imperative since the early ’90s.

    Except that “doomed”, agree actually.

    Since then, the US’ elites have proved more than willing to sacrifice their citizens’ well-being, indeed to create/exploit domestic socio-political divisions, in pursuit of that end. You may not be aware of this either, but there’s at least as much resentment (however inchoate) in the US at being impoverished by this policy as there may be in Russia’s defence against it.

    Oh, so you can post a paragraph without snarky attempts of wit. Not bad.
    And, agree again.

    Given that, and given that all non-kinetic attempts to get them to back off have failed, and further given that all non-kinetic and kinetic efforts by the Empire towards that end have also failed, the nuclear option looms ever larger.Putin’s announcement can be seen as yet another attempt at a non-kinetic attempt to get the Empire to back down.

    Wow, another paragraph without teen snarks. Two paragraphs in a row. You O.K?
    Agree.

    So……all that what Putin said was about “yet another attempt at a non-kinetic attempt to get the Empire to back down”.
    Emphasize on “yet”.
    Of course they won’t back down. So, what’s the big deal about?

    And, in all your reply you, for some reason, didn’t mention that arms race.
    Or the effect of that arms race on Russian society.
    The effect which could be very similar to the effect the arms race had there during USSR.
    Which created certain…….issues, even problems?
    That the same/similar issues and problems could happen again?

    No prob, I understand why not.
    Back to Putin “superweapons”, your “multipolar world” and “Russia great/US falling apart” mantra.
    Do you guys chant these? Once or twice per day? Does it help?

  82. Svigor says:

    Aerospace industry titans Boeing and Lockheed Martin formed ULA in 2005, and the company currently relies on its Delta IV Heavy launcher to get the biggest payloads into space. But that rocket costs at least $US350 million per launch – several times more expensive than SpaceX’s new and reusable $US90 million Falcon Heavy system. Plus, Delta IV Heavy can only lift half as much payload as the Falcon Heavy.

    Read that until it sinks in. Let’s compare:

    SpaceX Falcon Heavy:
    Payload to LEO: 64t
    Payload to GTO: 26t

    Reusable cost: $90m
    Expendable cost: $150m

    ULA Delta IV Heavy:

    Payload to LEO: 29t
    Payload to GTO: 14t
    Expendable cost: $350m

    SpaceX cost to LEO = $1.4m/ton
    ULA cost to LEO = $12m/ton

    SpaceX already has launch costs little more than 10% of ULA’s, and they’re looking to cut costs substantially as they perfect reuseability.

    Really that article understates what SpaceX is doing. If they keep on the same trajectory, they’re going to totally dominate space launches in a few years.

  83. Svigor says:

    ‘Svigor’ is simply another fanboy who knows zero about anything to do with aerospace…

    Let him believe his delusional nonsense…you can’t do anything with indoctrinated koolaid drinkers…

    Reality will hit soon enough…just watch and see…

    ULA is a giant, bloated, rotting corpse. You’re not even making the right arguments. You’re talking about “perfect reliability” and “superior engines.” Those are nice things to have. The economic bottom line is the thing to have, and SpaceX has it in spades. Their innovations in reuseability are much more germane than a perfect record or a technically superior one-use engine.

    SpaceX deserves fanboys. Yes, I am now a Musk fanboy. The private firms are going to drag us into space while gov’t and gov’t cronies sit on their asses collecting checks.

  84. Svigor says:

    Hell, I’m a Bezos fanboy now, too. Musk is that good; he’s succeeded so spectacularly that now I’m willing to give Bezos the benefit of the doubt, too.

    These guys are going to make space colonization a reality by making it profitable. Gov’ts had 60 years to do it and spent it on make-work. They had their chance (though Chinese gov’t may actually prove capable of doing something useful), and they blew it.

    • Replies: @FB
  85. Erebus says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    It is hilarious to watch how much time and energy are people prepared to waste in those pointless, heated discussions about whose weapons are better.

    Is it also hilarious when wine lovers debate vintages, car fans debate engines, art lovers debate painters, sports fans debate teams/players etc, etc? If so, you must spend most of your days rolling on the floor splitting a gut.
    I’d venture that debating the nature and capabilities of weapons that may go active in a town near you is [a] not hilarious, and [b] may be existentially vastly more important than anything else one could debate.

    Buried in the hilarity, however, you voiced a wonderfully insightful assessment of the situation. To whit:

    … all the US bases, weaponry,etc., are not there to attack Russia but to prevent it from doing something foolish while it is getting strangled.

    If by “something foolish” you mean anything militarily kinetic that would put an immediate stop to the strangulation process, you’ve hit the nail dead centre. Yes, Russia is being strangled, but what it’s saying is that its resistance to that process is has a long way to go before it’s exhausted.

    In 2004, Putin told the US that its pullout from the ABM treaty will force Russia to respond asymmetrically. It’s been telling the US since at least 2007 that it will not allow itself to be strangled, and that the US will fail. Failing is what it’s been doing since then. Finally, on Mar 1, Putin told the US that Russia’s asymmetrical response is ready to go live, and that the US will be destroyed if it continues to try.

    In other words, in the course of the last decade the worm turned and now Russia’s telling the US “Don’t do something foolish”. He may be bluffing, or at least partially so, but there are very cogent reasons to think that he’s not, and therein lies the reason that the US now finds itself in an Imperial Dilemma.

    • Agree: FB
    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum
  86. Svigor says:

    China is working on nuclear propulsion for space. At first blush (haven’t looked into it at all yet), I’m optimistic, because the Chinese have the resources, and more importantly, the hard-nosed attitude to make it work. Westerners are far too big a bunch of pussies to push nuclear propulsion as hard as it needs to be pushed to get through all the political and public opposition. With any luck, China will develop a huge lead here and force the US and EU to catch up. Otherwise, I see too much of a chance of us slacking off on nuclear.

    • Replies: @FB
  87. Svigor says:

    [SpaceX is] producing around 85% of launch hardware in-house

    I mean God-damn, how can you not be a fanboy? Musk could be doing all this in Russia or EU and I’d still be a fanboy.

  88. Kiza says:
    @Pavlo

    I cannot believe the morons that unz is now attracting. Except for a few really informative commenters, such as FB, Martyanov, Beckow, Kreiger and so on, the troll morons are really polluting the comments.

    So this certifiable Hasbara troll and a moron Svigor (and his other sock puppet) turns reality completely upside down and declares probably the newest and the most blatant example of US crony capitalism embodied in all Elon Musk enterprises to be the free market working. It is not that Boeing is not a classical example of US crony capitalism, it is only that the new crony capitalism gets more promotion in the Zio-MSM and apparently by trolls in the new media.

    I have concluded that the reward scheme for these paid trolls is based on the number of comments and the number of words, so they type complete crap empty of any information or meaning just to get paid. The more you engage them in discussion, the more you increase their income.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Anonymous
  89. Svigor says:

    I want space colonization. I don’t care if it’s Papua New Guineans getting us there. I admit I’m proud that SpaceX is doing it in America, but that’s waaay down my list of concerns (Hell, he’s South African, right?). But really, truth be told, I’d rather see SpaceX and Blue Origin and a wide variety of other commercial players driving space colonization, than any national gov’t.

    It’s going to be fun watching Musk deploy a vast network of VLEO comm satellites and pour the billions he makes back into space exploration. Space colonization is personal, not bureaucratic, for guys like Bezos and Musk. I hope they eat the crony capitalists’ lunch.

    I would like to hear more from Musk about asteroid mining, permanent space habitats with “gravity” provided by centripetal force, and resource extraction from Titan, and a bit less about Mars, but hey, nobody’s perfect.

    • Replies: @FB
  90. FB says:
    @Svigor

    Thank you for your input…the technical professionals in the aerospace industry…from pilots to engineers to rocket scientists have noted your effusion of verbal diarrhea…

  91. FB says:
    @Kiza

    Well said…

    Only I doubt they are actually paid trolls…

    I have no idea how the troll industry works…but I would think that they would try to employ those with at least some credible knowledge…

    I think we have here the typical technology fanboy syndrome…ie a non-technical person who has zero credentials in the hard sciences, engineering, aerospace, piloting…etc…

    I have noted this already…and it is well known in scientific/technical circles…this phenomenon of a technically illiterate public’s fascination with ‘technology’…[which they do not understand]

    I would bet you dollars to donuts that people like this ‘Svigor’ buffoon could not actually solve a basic geometry problem from middle school…

    Yet they just know about satellites, space flight, or even aircraft because they read soemthing in the pop-sci press…it’s quite silly really…

    They have no idea how the sausage is made…ie the pop-sci press writers have zero technical creds or hard science degrees of any kind…and behind their articles is the multi-billion dollar PR industry…whose job it is to ‘encourage’ articles of a certain subject matter…

    These fools should first start by understanding the PR industry…something that is within their comprehension grasp…[unlike science and math]…

    They have never been exposed to actual scientific peer-reviewed literature…since these sapheads have no way of understanding such technical journals…

    They have no reference points other than the PR flack and wikipedia…and god help that they actually learn something when a coherent technical explanation is provided…

    Typical of the dumbed down US public…they avoid hard science like the plague…and gravitate to things like reality TV and America’s Got Talent…etc…

    ‘…does it have math…?…OMG…I don’t want that…’

    • Agree: Kiza
  92. FB says:
    @Svigor

    ‘…China is working on nuclear propulsion for space. At first blush (haven’t looked into it at all yet)…’

    Well…when you do look into it…please make sure to publish your findings…

    The aerospace industry awaits your brilliant insights…[try AIAA......I'm sure you have a long history there...]

  93. Svigor says:

    So this certifiable Hasbara troll and a moron Svigor (and his other sock puppet) turns reality completely upside down and declares probably the newest and the most blatant example of US crony capitalism embodied in all Elon Musk enterprises to be the free market working. It is not that Boeing is not a classical example of US crony capitalism, it is only that the new crony capitalism gets more promotion in the Zio-MSM and apparently by trolls in the new media.

    Lol, you’re bereft of all sense, man. Do you call Mars the Moon, and the Moon Mars, too? Anyone who is paying any attention knows I’m the opposite of “Hasbara.” As for sock-puppets, I have never used one once, in my entire life. The very idea is beneath me. Like I’m a WOG, or something, lol.

    You guys are obviously obsessed with the Russia vs. USA (or world vs. USA) thing. I don’t really give a shit about it. I find you guys funny, but the idea that I’m shaking my fist back at you the way you’re shaking yours at me is pretty funny. Don’t…care. I care about space colonization. I only care about “best rocket” and “hypersonic bla bla” and “[your choice here]” insofar as it brings us closer to space colonization. If the Chinks or the Russians or the Papua New Guineans were in the lead, I’d be cheering them on.

    Big Media’s covering Musk now because he’s putting asses in seats. The conventional wisdom was to laugh at Musk back in 2012. Not so much laughing now. More like crying.

    P.S., the idea that SpaceX is crony capitalism is laughable. They’ve gotten some gov’t funding, but so has pretty much everyone in the aerospace industry. SpaceX is at the very low end among launch players in this regard. I don’t care what he’s done in terms of other industries – separate issue, AFAIC.

  94. Svigor says:

    I think we have here the typical technology fanboy syndrome…ie a non-technical person who has zero credentials in the hard sciences, engineering, aerospace, piloting…etc…

    I have noted this already…and it is well known in scientific/technical circles…this phenomenon of a technically illiterate public’s fascination with ‘technology’…[which they do not understand]

    This is credentialism. It’s a mark of limited intellect. The Earth doesn’t stop revolving around the Sun, just because a [your choice here] says the Earth revolves around the Sun.

    You have fuck all to respond with, so you cling to “muh credentialism.”

    They have no idea how the sausage is made…ie the pop-sci press writers have zero technical creds or hard science degrees of any kind…and behind their articles is the multi-billion dollar PR industry…whose job it is to ‘encourage’ articles of a certain subject matter…

    Yes, the pop-sci press is pretty bad. The problem is the huge gap between technical literature and the press. I wish there was something between the two that cut out the fluff but kept the jargon to a minimum for laymen, but I’ve yet to discover anything yet.

  95. FB says:
    @Svigor

    ‘…I would like to hear more from Musk about asteroid mining, permanent space habitats with “gravity” provided by centripetal force…’

    Why ask Musk…?…any science teacher could explain this to you…[and had you been paying attention in class you might not even need to ask...]

    A ‘gravity’ environment in space where the gravitational force from earth is not present can be made by using a spinning wheel…

    Think of a hamster wheel…

    Only instead of you spinning the wheel…the wheel would be spinning while you stood there or walked along its circumference…or sat down or whatever…

    The important thing is that the ‘gravity environment’ is the area along the inside circumference of that wheel…

    In space y0u would not feel the wheel actually moving…since the only inertial frame of reference is the wheel itself…

    So as long as the habitable quarters were confined to the outside perimeter of that wheel it would feel quite ‘normal…’

    We recall the centrifugal force pulls a spinning object out…and centripetal force resists the object from flying away…[if there is something to hold it with]

    Think of the hammer throw in the Olympics…the guy spinning that heavy ball on the end of a chain is creating a centrifugal force on the spinning ball that wants to hurl it outward…while the chain is providing the opposite centripetal force that keeps it from doing so…

    Ie they are equal and opposite forces as long as the guy spinning it holds on to it…

    In the case of the gravity wheel…the structure holding it from flying away would be the radial spokes…ie radiating from the center like a bicycle wheel…

    So to put some numbers to our gravity machine…

    Let’s say the thing has an overall diameter of 10 meters [33 ft]…which gives a radius of 5 m…

    It would need to spin at about 0.22 revolutions per second in order to produce a force of 9.5 m/s^2…earth’s gravity is 9.8 m/s^2 at the earth’s surface…so this would be very close…

    We find this result by recalling that centrifugal force [like any force] is mass times acceleration…in the case of a wheel it is angular acceleration…

    So we get Force = Velocity^2 / radius…[radius is 5 m]

    The circumference of a 10 m wheel is 31.4 m…[10 m * pi = 31.4 m]

    Rotating at a speed 0.22 rev/s gives an angular velocity of 6.9 m/s…

    So… 6.9^2 / 5 = 9.55 m/s^2…close to the force of gravity…

    Now the main challenge is where to get the power to spin that giant hamster wheel…

    To calculate the power we consider the hamster wheel as a flywheel…whose energy [angular kinetic energy] is given by…

    E = Inertia * angular velocity squared / 2

    Here we note that most of the mass of the wheel will be concentrated on its outside perimeter where the gravity will be felt…and where the living quarters will be…we will consider the mass of the spokes negligible…

    We make these assumptions in order to find the moment of inertia…which for a thin-walled empty cylinder [similar to our geometry...and unlike a flywheel of solid cylindrical geometry]…

    Moment of inertia for a thin-walled empty cylinder is given as mass times radius squared…

    so…10,000 kg * 5^2 = 1,250,000 kg*m^2

    The rotational energy required is given by

    E = 1/2 Inertia * angular velocity squared…[as noted above]

    Our angular velocity is given in radians per second…which is our rotational speed of 0.22 rev/s times 2pi…= 1.38 rad/s

    So our energy required is ~2.4 million joules…[1,250,000 * 1.3^2 / 2 = ~1.2 million joules...

    We recall that power is defined as energy over time...so the power required is 12. million j/s= 1.2 million watts...

    That is 1,200 kW...or 1.2 MW...which is ~1,600 horsepower...

    We consider that the ISS is capable of producing ~100 kw [134 hp] from all of its solar panels…

    So we see that this gravity machine would require about 16 times more power than is available to the entire space station…

    Where does that power come from…?

    Maybe Musk will figure it out…[but don't hold your breath...he still hasn't figured out how to build turbopumps for his rocket engines...which are built by Barber Nichols...]

    In any case it is clear that the only viable source of that much power would be nuclear…

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Alfa158
    , @foolisholdman
    , @J-P
  96. FB says:
    @FB

    Have to correct my above computation…

    the artificial gravity numbers are correct but I made a typo on my computation on the power required to turn that wheel…

    Ie…Inertia = mass times radius squared…

    So the mass of 10,000 kg * radius of 5 m (squared) = 10,000 * 25 = 250,000 kg*m^2…

    Not 1,250,000 as I had put down…

    So the energy required is 238,000 joules…which gives a power of 238,000 watts or 238 kw…which is ~320 hp…

    However…the number of 10 tons for the weight of this device is almost certainly way too low…

    I had originally figured about 50 tons…which is why that figure of 50,000 kg slipped in there…

    For a mass of this size the power of 1.200 kW is correct…ie 1,600 hp…

    Also we can get a more accurate figure by consiedering this machine as a thick-shell cylinder…which will give us a more accurate number for the inertia…

    In this case the math is…

    Inertia = 1/2 mass times (radius external squared minus radius internal squared)

    If we consider a 2 meter thick outer ring which would give headroom of 6.5 ft [2 m]…with the same outer radius of 5 m…

    This would give an inertia of just 80,000 with a 10 ton total weight…and 400,000 with a 50 ton weight which is more realistic…

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Polymath
  97. Svigor says:

    Why ask Musk…?…any science teacher could explain this to you…[and had you been paying attention in class you might not even need to ask...]

    A ‘gravity’ environment in space where the gravitational force from earth is not present can be made by using a spinning wheel…

    Think of a hamster wheel…

    Talk about building them, you nitwit. There are concept drawings of stations from the thirties (IIRC), but nobody has built one yet.

    LOL.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  98. Svigor says:

    As for your math, we don’t know what kind of mass we’ll be dealing with, or size (Bigelow habitats will be far less dense than the ISS, for example). Or propulsion efficiency.

  99. Svigor says:

    Musk is the same way with nuclear thermal and nuclear electric power. He acts like they aren’t even a thing. I guess his policy is not to get too far into the weeds, but I like the weeds.

  100. FB says:
    @FB

    But there is actually much more to this artificial gravity machine…

    The small diameter of 10 meters would mean that when you are standing up…your head will feel a lot less ‘gravity’ than your feet…

    This could cause some physiological issues with blood flow in your body…depending on position and movement…

    If you are 1.75 m tall your head would feel a ‘gravity’ force of just 6.2 m/s^2…one third less than your feet…

    The same thing happens on earth…as you get higher gravity decreases…it is less on Mt Everest…but not by much…at 200 km altitude where low earth orbit sats and the space station fly…it would still be 9.5 m/s^2…

    Although here you are weightless and don’t feel gravity because the orbital speed of about 7.8 km/s creates a centrifugal force that is equal to gravity…

    Ie the centrifugal force pulling the spacecraft out is in equilibrium with the force of erath’s gravity…so you feel weightless…

    In any case we would need a hamster wheel diameter of about 100 meters in order to minimize this effect…

    At this size of hamster wheel the difference in ‘gravity’ that your head feels would be very similar to that at your feet…

    This would require a much slower rotation speed of ~0.07 revolutions per second…

    It is the tangential velocity that is relevant here…ie a smaller wheel needs to spin faster to have the same tangential velocity as a big wheel spinning slower…

    Tangential velocity being the circumference times the rotation speed…

    So we see here that a 100 m object of this size to be built in space would be much more challenging…even building a 10 meter such device would be very challenging…

    There are literally hundreds of engineering problems here…

  101. Alfa158 says:
    @FB

    If one percent of the ISS power capacity or, 1kW, is used to spin up the wheel, then in 1200 seconds or 20 minutes, it will be up to the speed of 1.38 radians per second. In the almost zero friction environment of space inertia will maintain the spin, with no need to expend power to maintain it. How much power the station needs to generate is a function of how quickly you need to get it up to speed. 1200 kW are only required if the space station is to be spun up to speed in one second.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @FB
  102. paulllll says:

    Magnificent claims are made for Russian weapons systems. And it certainly seems clear, based on what has happened in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria, that the Russian military is far from incompetent these days. At the same time, Russia’s involvement in those conflicts seems to demonstrate that the Russian military is far from invincible. Meanwhile, the more extreme claims made for the Russian military, especially for its supposedly wondrous new technologies, do increasingly come off as bogus. Russian air defense systems, for example, can be invincible as long as they are never used. Russian futuristic technology can look like a game changer as long as it remains in the form of bad animation. Technical prowess is claimed for Russian weapons and this leads to sales. That perhaps is the real point of such claims. It may be that the real purpose of the Russian military is the same as the real purpose (0r a real purpose) of the US military: to be a cash cow.

    Meanwhile Russia seems to forget that there is a difference between an ally and a vassal, though Putin used to talk about this difference a lot. The US treats all other powers as vassals. As a result, the US has no real allies. It seems the US wants more to be feared than loved. Russia still has many allies, but it treats them like vassals. Here too Russia seems to emulate exactly those characteristics of the US that it once rightly critiqued. I suspect that Russia will end up with neither allies nor vassals.

    Putin attracted global attention because of some of the startlingly brave and true things he used to say, long ago. Who can ever forget Putin saying to the Western Powers, about Syria, “do you finally realize what you have done?!” He then seemed to represent a global conscience. But that morally courageous Putin is long gone. The Putin we see now wants one thing and one thing only: a seat at the table where deals are made.

    So the most important message to come out of Putin’s recent grandstanding may simply be the one he sent to Russia’s allies, which was yet another reiteration that Russia will NEVER defend an ally. I’m sure both Syria and Iran have gotten the message loud and clear by now. Russia thinks in terms of power. Those who have power that Russia must respect Russia will negotiate with for a chunk of whatever deals are made. The US is at the top of that list. The US’ key vassals are close to the top of that list too. Vassals, those nations who to some degree depend on Russia’s protection, must kowtow to Russia. They must recognize that their cooperation is a lot of what Russia brings to the table when it looks to cut deals. If they fail to cooperate they risk being left to the ruthless mercies of the US and its vassals.

    Russia thus has played an important role in the rise of the global police state, the absolute global Hegemon. Russia has been like the seemingly brave guy on the playground who challenged the bully’s rule. In the end it turned out that the seemingly brave kid really just wanted to be the bully’s liutenant. Any resistance to the bully ended up more disorganized and disheartened than before, because it was misled by the ‘brave kid’.

    Whatever Russia does, it has a fine line to walk. One must hope that Russia will somehow come to realize – though it looks like such realization cannot come via Putin or the folks around him – that realpolitik, by itself, is a road to hell. Truth and justice do matter. There is much more to real leadership than the ‘art of the deal’.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @peterAUS
    , @Johnny Rico
  103. I wonder if there are any political implications, except strenghtening the position of Trump.
    According to prof Laslo Maracs, Amsterdam UVA university, Trump and his rich friends recognise that the USA economically no longer is able to control the world.

    Obama had to lower the two war standard to one and a half.
    What a half war accomplishes we see in Syria, just mess.

    The Russian systems now make me remember the two atomic bombs on Japan.
    Contrary to what I long supposed these bombs, with the defeat of the Japanese Kwantung army, made it possible for the emperor to end the war.

  104. ll says:
    @Giuseppe

    Anyone else react to this statement?

    “the White “indispensable nation”.”

    -Kinda suggest he says that USA is a white supremacist state bombing brown people in the interests of white people

    • Replies: @Giuseppe
  105. @kemerd

    I need to question if you have even read that article, where:

    1. I do not say that Russia does not have those superweapons (namely, Status-6 and nuclear-powered cruise missile), just a list of pros and contras to consider in deciding on the likelihood that they add up to anything more than plans on paper or faulty prototypes at best.

    2. Suggested that if Russia is serious about Status-6, its stated role as a harbor destroyer makes no sense (and suggested an alternative).

    I also need to question that you read me in general.

    For a start, I am a Russian nationalist – probably the most prominent one who identifies as such writing in the Anglosphere. Neither The Saker nor especially Martyanov identify as such.

    • Replies: @kemerd
  106. @Sergey Krieger

    ~60% (off the top of my head) of which is owed to its own citizens, and virtually 100% of which is denoted in USD, which can be inflated away should the eternal prognostications of American collapse finally materialize. US budget deficit temporarily peaked at 10% around 2009, but otherwise rarely exceeds 4%.

    USSR: Budget deficit at 12% of GDP in 1989, reaching 30% by 1991, at which point it owes $97 billion to Western banks while depleting its own foreign currency reserves. Thus, incidentally, ruling out any forcible solution to arrest its spiraling breakup.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  107. Hence and for the foreseeable future, the Russians will have to continue on their current, admittedly frustrating and even painful course, and maintain a relatively passive and evasive posture which the Empire and its sycophants will predictably interpret as a sign of weakness. Let them… and as long as the internal socio-political tensions in the US continue to heat up – then Putin’s plan is working.

    As an imperial sycophant, i.e. someone not into masochism, it would be nice if The Saker could give some hard limits on when precisely he would consider the “Putin Plan” to be in trouble.

    1. When the “best choice of the Ukrainian people” Poroshenko seizes back the LDNR through military force and on Ukrainian conditions (as he promised to do just yesterday).

    2. When “good friend” Erdogan shoves another “knife in our back”?

    3. When the “Western partners” organize a Maidan to overthrow Lukashenko?

    4. When Russia gives Crimea back to the Ukraine?

    5. When Arkady Babchenko drives an Abrams tank onto Red Square?

    6. When Putin is hauled before the Hague and President Navalny starts negotiating reparations terms with the Ukraine?

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @EliteCommInc.
  108. Polymath says:
    @FB

    FB, how the heck do you get away with converting energy to power by dividing by the unit “second”? You are confusing the power that would be needed to get the wheel up to speed in one second with the power that would be needed to get it up to speed in however long it takes; and you’re also confusing a one-time expenditure of energy with an ongoing need for power. There is something called “conservation of angular momentum” involved here: once it is spinning it keeps spinning, the vacuum of space in earth orbit is not perfect but the amount of power needed to overcome that friction is minuscule.

    • Replies: @FB
  109. Antiwar7 says:
    @Quartermaster

    Quartermaster, anxiously waiting for your substantive reply to FB…

    Or do you just stop talking when proven to be full of baloney?

  110. @Anatoly Karlin

    Anatoly, anyone who brings 1989-1990 as an example has no clue. You better bring on numbers of 1985… Or you are unaware who was rocking Soviet boat rather successfully starting since 1985? in 1985 situation was drastically different, but someone decided to accelerated USSR right into the wall removing brakes and anything that would prevent this.

  111. @Erebus

    Is it also hilarious when wine lovers debate vintages, car fans debate engines, art lovers debate painters, sports fans debate teams/players etc, etc?

    They can discuss art, cars engines, sport and similar subjects because none of them is classified. Nothing hilarious about that unless the debate is between two nincompoops. What is hilarious is when people discuss matters of highly clasified nature of which they do not even have the slightest idea. All they are doing is spinning fantasies. Only people with the highest security clearance know something about these subjects and do not discuss them in the open.

    I’d venture that debating the nature and capabilities of weapons that may go active in a town near you is [a] not hilarious, and [b] may be existentially vastly more important than anything else one could debate.

    The dicsussions would still be hilarious for the same above mentioned reasons. You most likely meant deployment and that of course would be less hilarious. No worry there though. Since fairly early in my age I realized how dangerous humanity is and I have always lived on its fringes just in case it looses its collective mind, something it is never very far off of doing.

    If by “something foolish” you mean anything militarily kinetic that would put an immediate stop to the strangulation process, you’ve hit the nail dead centre. Yes, Russia is being strangled, but what it’s saying is that its resistance to that process is has a long way to go before it’s exhausted.

    Russia’s enemies are not in a hurry. Their main objective is to proceed slowly in order not to provoke any rush reaction that could result in a nuclear exchange.

    In 2004, Putin told the US that its pullout from the ABM treaty will force Russia to respond asymmetrically.

    Not very original. Just another term he borowed from the West which coined the term first.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Beckow
    , @Erebus
  112. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Beckow

    “How far are they going to take it?”

    I think Stanley Kubrick was close to being correct

  113. Kiza says:
    @Alfa158

    I believe that the truth is somewhere in between you and FB. It is true that the gravity wheel would be spinning frictionless and that one needs to add momentum to it, the usual favorite would be by propulsion thrusters. But over time there would be small gravitational disturbances and the movements inside the wheel which would reduce the momentum and would thus require a small periodic addition of momentum.

    The only friction component of the gravity wheel could be the entry point or the space-craft docking station, as in Space Odyssey 2001.

    Finally, obviously having gravity in space would be necessary only for the long-term stay or long-range flight and this is why the gravity wheel was never been employed yet, except in SF.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  114. Kiza says:
    @paulllll

    I just had a very hearty laugh at your comment, with its sweeping statements and cheap, trashy moralising. In the dirtiest of dirty global fight for domination over resources, you are looking for at least a saint and probably even as much as a Son of God to come down and bring fairness to humanity. Putin is not the Son of God and the Russians are not the chosen people, unlike some US mugs who declare themselves exceptional and chosen by someone to own all those resources.

    I am guessing that most Russian allies are happy to have Russia on their side, even if they get a good dose of Realpolitic in the package, even if Russia does not send its sons and daughters to die defending them. For example, it just happens that the people of the country I originate from have been bombed and occupied ruthlessly by US and its vassals, when neither Russia nor China could help. Do I need to assure you that my little nation would have been most happy if it had an ally such as Russia to offer any kind of support (like Syria got). Therefore, the key problem of your “analysis” is that you are comparing, if not even equating, the devil incarnate (US) and the fallible human beings operating in an imperfect Realpolitic world (Russia). In other words, another commenter who has got no-idea what he is hacking the poor keyboard about.

  115. There were plans for a small centrifuge on the ISS but it was cancelled in the end, we may see something like it soon enough, its pretty easy to do all you need is two space habs and a tether between them, you can then rotate the habs for Earth gravity or Moon/Mars gravity ect

  116. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    Agree. Obviously Russia is a serious country that has nukes. But the claim they are “decades” ahead of us seems a wee bit exaggerated. Both the US Establishment and the pro-Russia crowd talk a lot of trash, to be blunt.

    Also, an election is coming up in Russia soon, so it is smart politics for Putin to give Russian men something to beat their chest about.

    Of course, there are those mysterious UFO objects the military reported off the coast …. could it be new technology?

    • Replies: @Cyrano
  117. kemerd says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I read the article and that is why I found it puzzling (or not). You cite an article which you most probably found through internet search to cast doubt on what Putin says. Even worse is the fact that the article you cite is full of non-sense such as expected operational dates of these weapons (claims to be mid-2020s). How would he know that? In fact, how would you know that?

    From that I conclude the urge to cite a lousy article from a pseudo-expert can only stem from a blind hate of Russian ruling elites.

    Your claim to be being a nationalist is akin to our Turkish islamo-nationalists: they would collaborate and indeed accept to be cannon fodders of imperial forces as long as it undermines the position of their opponents, never mind that also might weaken the very core of the nation and the pose an existential threat to the state.

  118. TT says:
    @FB

    FB, didn’t we had both said last year, Kim win Trumps hands down when come to calling bluff. Kim already tested Trumps is paper tiger by threaten to shoot down US plane in international airspace.

    Now that he had completed all his nuke missiles testing, enjoyed a Deluxe Winter Olympics(pretty sure Samsung gave truck load of S9 phones to please NK not to whack its Olympics), its time to sit down for another round of game with Uncle Scam.

    China news mention Kim will only negotiate without any precondition. But latest news, he agreed to de-nuclearize…without saying under what condition. I believe kim will walk away with all he wants, with nuke.

    Dumps: Little Rocket man, you said agreed to de-nuclearize if i meet up without pre-condition, so don’t make me lose face ok. The whole world is watching me now….

    Kim: ok ok…Dotard, we NK always kept our promise, we will de-nuclearize if ….if…if…
    US & everyone do first under UNS law. A Nuke free world.

    Dumps: oh damn it LRM, im doomed. Now how am i gonna face the world?

    Kim: Don’t worry Dotard, i will teach you a face saving way. You announce to the world NK has agreed to de-nuke, so US will stop all war games & shut down SK bases. Then i silent, who know.

    Dumps: you are real genius man, deal. I always said im a born great negotiator. All the de-nuke fees will be in my pocket. Now i can boast how i achieve what all past Potus had failed. Don’t you leak ok.

    Kim: sure, promise as usual. You are true great negotiator. Here, your kimchi present for all your great peace effort.

    • Agree: FB
  119. Joe Hide says:

    To Saker,
    Good article. Informationally largely correct. Realistic and logical.
    The only addition.that we Americans that are awake would make, is that this isn’t about Trump against Putin. Rather it is about the Good Guys and their Alliances against the globalists, the deep state, the international banksters, the protectors and enablers of drug cartels, human sex slavery traffickers, legal and illegal weapons traffickers, and against psychopath murderous monsters of all kinds. Trump and Putin are repositioning the predatory degenerates into weaker and more vulnerable positions. The evidence of this is, and will be, the lessening of human suffering as years and decades pass.
    To Saker, Your articles back to brilliant again. Stay on track.

  120. KenH says:

    Russia’s new weapons systems have the capability to shock and awe the U.S. and render our surface fleets inert and obsolete unless we have countermeasures nobody is aware of. The money we’ve earmarked for five new aircraft carriers is down the drain. If these weapons systems are truly operational then then all ships, especially aircraft carriers, will be floating death traps.

    Russia also has a great advantage in that it doesn’t have a large and increasing affirmative action work force as well as a growing third world population in need of government services. If a major war comes, government services will likely be drastically scaled back which will cause great internal strife in the U.S. which would damage any war effort.

  121. FB says:
    @Alfa158

    ‘…If one percent of the ISS power capacity or, 1kW, is used to spin up the wheel, then in 1200 seconds or 20 minutes, it will be up to the speed of 1.38 radians per second…’

    That’s not correct…first some basics before we get into the math…[which you have not explained as to how you are going to get that massive flywheel turning with just one kW...but I will get to that...]

    First you missed my comment that simply being at a height of 200 km altitude…is not a zero-gravity environment…the gravity here is ~9.5 m/s^2…

    Ie if you took a giant ladder and put on a space suit and climbed to 200 km height…you would be subjected to gravity force of ~9.5 m/s^2…just 5 percent less than gravity on earth’s surface…

    It is only because the orbiting spacecraft is flying at a speed of ~7.8 km/s relative to the earth’s surface…that its centrifugal force equals the earth’s gravity pull…which is why you feel weightless…

    This is why the control moment gyroscopes [CMGs...ie small spinning flywheels] on the ISS have electric motors… because changes in dynamic coupling and non-conservative effects mean those flywheels do not keep spinning with no power…

    If in your example…it takes 1,200 seconds to get up to rotational speed…that would require an angular acceleration of 0.00115 rad/s^2…

    Torque would be ~1,440 joules/radian…

    The power required would be ~2kW by the time it reaches its peak angular velocity of 1.38 rad/s…

    Here is the math…

    So the angular acceleration = 1.38 rad/s / 1200 s = 0.00115 rad/s^2

    Angular acceleration [α] is related to torque [ τ ] and inertia [ I] by…

    α = τ / I

    So rearranging that relation to solve for torque gives

    τ = α * I

    Our inertia is 1,250,000 kg*m^2 for a 50 ton wheel with radius of 5 m…[which would be unworakable for human physiological reasons as pointed out already]

    But just to stay with that particular example for illustrative purposes…

    So the torque is 0.0015 * 1,250,000 = 1,440 joule/radian…

    Where ω is the instantaneous angular velocity in rad/s…

    So at our final angular velocity of 1.38 rad/s…the power required is…

    1,440 * 1.38 = 1,990 watts…or ~2 kw…

    So your math that it would take 1 kW to get up to the rotation speed in 20 minutes is off by half…

    Anyway…the basic principle you mentioned is correct…ie in a frictionless environment it would take zero power for the flywheel to keep spinning in perpetuity…

    However…you leave out a crucial physical fact here…

    That wheel is producing a centrifugal force of ~9.5 kg*m/s^2 [per unit mass...ie 1 kg] = 9.5 newtons of force…almost identical to earth’s gravity…

    The centripetal force acting on the spokes holding the outer ring to the central shaft is therefore also 9.5 N…

    Therefore the bearings are working against friction…they are not in a frictionless environment…but in a friction environment almost identical to that on earth…

    And we find the friction force by taking the product of the coefficient of friction and the force…[we can compute this but I won't get into that now...]

    Also the starting torque of that friction must be overcome…which we have not taken into consideration…[again something that can be computed if we know the bearing friction coefficient...]

    However…the major challenge here is the massive amount of inertia that such a huge spinning wheel would create…

    The big question is…how do you control the attitude of the spacecraft when you have such a huge rotating inertia…

    The control moment gyroscopes on the ISS are crucial to maintaining the spacecraft attitude so that its solar panels are always oriented toward the sun…and for docking maneuvers etc…

    And those gyro wheels are tiny…with inertia many orders of magnitude smaller than that of such a large wheel…

    Remember…we found that for physiological reasons…the wheel cannot be much smaller than 100 m diameter…

    A 10 m wheel would cause the blood in your body to rush to your feet when you are standing…your heart would need to overcome that centrifugal force acting downward toward your feet in order to pump blood to your brain…the same as an airplane in a steeply banked turn pulling gs will cause the pilot’s blood to flow to his feet…and enough gs will cause blackout…

    For sustained habitation…a wheel of 10 m is simply not viable…it is better for the human body to be in a weightless condition than in such an environment of constant g working towards your feet…the only time this would be okay is when you are lying down and the g force is equal across your body length…

    So a massive wheel of 100 m diameter is going to weigh many hundreds of tons…its inertia will be truly massive…

    In order to be able to control the attitude of the spacecraft…even just to make small corrections…would require at least three more control gyros of equal inertia…

    They would not need to necessarily be as big because inertia is function of radius, mass and angular velocity…so a smaller radius and mass but spinning at a higher speed can still provide an equal amount of inertia…

    Now…adjusting the spacecraft attitude with those control moment gyros requires applying a force that will tilt their axis of rotation…

    Overcoming that inertia is going to require application of a huge quantity of force…that requires huge amounts of power…

    And here we get into the coupling effects…ie how changes in the inertia of one spinning wheel affect another…

    And just as with the small gyros on the ISS…there are non-conservative effects…which requires application of power to those gyros to overcome…which is why they have electric motors…

    Those gyro bearings do fail…here is an interesting Nasa technical article on that…and lessons learned…

    Bottom line is this…it will take massive amounts of power to implement an artificial gravity environment in orbit…or even in deep space outside of earth’s orbit…

    Your point about spinning up the ‘hamster wheel’ requiring little relative power is correct [although your math is not]…

    But your simple assertion is too general to be of any practical use…and fails to take into account the other major factors I have discussed here…

  122. peterAUS says:
    @paulllll

    A very good post.
    Agree with all.

    This

    Any resistance to the bully ended up more disorganized and disheartened than before, because it was misled by the ‘brave kid’.

    is the most interesting part I think.

    I believe that Novorossya is a rather good example of that.
    Maybe even Serbia and Macedonia.

    Probably some nationalist movements in West too.

  123. @Kiza

    It is true that the gravity wheel would be spinning frictionless and that one needs to add momentum to it, the usual favorite would be by propulsion thrusters. But over time there would be small gravitational disturbances and the movements inside the wheel which would reduce the momentum and would thus require a small periodic addition of momentum.

    It would not be spinning frictionless. These gravity wheels are greatly misunderstood by the science fiction crowd who seem to erroneously assume that they are capable of exerting an endless amount of force. In fact the so-called “artificial gravity” is nothing but friction—i.e. the static friction of your feet against the interior surface of the wheel which, acting along with the normal force, provides an impediment to your instantaneous linear velocity which is experienced as the centrifugal force, that is to say the artificial gravity.

    With every step you took inside the wheel, you would be exerting a frictional force on the wheel acting in a direction opposite of the spin and would be steadily converting the wheel’s angular momentum into heat. This is the cost of “feeling” the force of artificial gravity, which can be easily demonstrated by the following thought experiment.

    Suppose you were inhabiting a non-spinning toroidial space station. You and the station are both in orbital free fall and are not in relative motion. You are floating in the annulus section equidistant between the floor and the ceiling. It is only then that the wheel is spun up. Would you experience any artificial gravity? No, you would continue to float there as the ring spun past you. It would only be after making contact with some surface within the ring—perhaps by huffing and puffing and blowing your way back down to the floor—that the ring’s angular momentum would impart to you a tangential velocity that you could “feel” as artificial gravity. This situation would essentially repeat itself with each step you took, as with each step you briefly reenter that state of free fall. Angular momentum would continue to be exchanged between you and the wheel with no net loss, but the frictional cost of constantly recovering that tangential velocity would be lost as heat.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Kiza
  124. peterAUS says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    My thought on the “red line” for the regime in Kremlin:
    When Putin and his team realize they’ll be hauled before the Hague.

    Not before.

    The “plan”

    as long as the internal socio-political tensions in the US continue to heat up – then Putin’s plan is working

    is for the masses.

    The real plan is “enjoy while it lasts by trading terrain for time, hoping that something will change in US. Change enough to be able to cut that last deal as his predecessor.”
    Not a bad plan if you are one of them.
    For the rest, ah well…..

  125. @KenH

    This is an important point. I don’t know how anybody within the USA can believe that we can continue to service a $20 trillion dollar national debt, import endless amounts of cheap crap by maintaining massive trade deficits, dole out welfare and transfer payments to an ever-growing population of dependents, and somehow fight a war with Russia and China at the same time. It is easy to see that any general mobilization would completely destroy the American domestic arrangement that has been taking for granted for so long. Just about everything we assume to be the ordinary condition of our daily life, all the assumptions upon which we make our plans and weave are actions, would go crashing to the ground and quite other conditions would take their place. This is why all our military threats are hollow. America simply cannot afford to go to war.

    • Replies: @pogohere
  126. peterAUS says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    Agree.
    Especially with

    Russia’s enemies are not in a hurry. Their main objective is to proceed slowly in order not to provoke any rush reaction that could result in a nuclear exchange.

    and, on a personal level, if I may say, with

    Since fairly early in my age I realized how dangerous humanity is and I have always lived on its fringes just in case it looses its collective mind, something it is never very far off of doing.

    Watching all this “Russia collusion” thing, for me, shows that we are probably getting uncomfortably close to that point.

  127. peterAUS says:
    @Michael Kenny

    Agree.
    Especially with

    an unaffordable arms race

  128. prusmc says: • Website
    @KenH

    The money for the new carriers goes to the emerging democrat strong holds. All these purchases were made before Trump came on the scene and the uniparty Congress will do nothing to stop that gravy train.

  129. Obviously the “Putin’s invincible arsenal” line isn’t selling! Putin’s problem is that he doesn’t have a democratic culture. He’s just a recycled secret policeman. It doesn’t seem to have dawned on him that those of us who have lived all our lives in democracies were inevitably going to see a speech so close to the election as mere empty electioneering. Thus, he has now lurched into yet another blunder (his seventh by my count) and has ended up with the worst of both worlds. The wider public simply doesn’t believe him but NATO leaders will steal his American supporters’ clothes, so to speak, by pretending to believe him and use the speech to bog him down in an arms race. Thus, the more said American supporters frantically try to convince us that all these wonder weapons are real, the more they bog their champion down in the very things that brought the Soviet Union down: an unwinnable guerrilla war and an unaffordable arms race.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @ValmMond
  130. FB says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    ‘…It would not be spinning frictionless. These gravity wheels are greatly misunderstood by the science fiction crowd who seem to erroneously assume that they are capable of exerting an endless amount of force…’

    Absolutely correct…

    As I noted in my above #119…

    Besides the force exerted by the human movement…we also have the centripetal force acting on the bearings…just like on earth as I explained above…

    ‘…Angular momentum would continue to be exchanged between you and the wheel with no net loss, but the frictional cost of constantly recovering that tangential velocity would be lost as heat…’

    That’s a very sound physical explanation that takes into account conservation of energy…

    I admit that I made a basic error in terms of continuous power required to keep that wheel spinning…

    However…the critiques were even worse as you point out…and once we take into account all the other major factors…such as the power required to control the craft attitude with control moment gyros of massive inertia…we find that the overall power requirements are still huge…

    • Replies: @foolisholdman
  131. FB says:
    @Polymath

    ‘…FB, how the heck do you get away with converting energy to power by dividing by the unit “second”?..’

    In consistent units…ie SI… the time unit is second…

    Power is work …which is force * distance… ie newtons * meters…or in the case of rotational work it is joules/radians…

    Maybe you need a refresher…

    ‘…You are confusing the power that would be needed to get the wheel up to speed in one second with the power that would be needed to get it up to speed in however long it takes; and you’re also confusing a one-time expenditure of energy with an ongoing need for power…’

    Yes…this is basically correct…as I have already admitted…and have provided an accurate computation of how much power would be required to get it up to speed…

    However…and this is a very big one…the ongoing need for power would still be huge as I explained above…just not for the same reason I originally stated…

    ‘…once it is spinning it keeps spinning, the vacuum of space in earth orbit is not perfect but the amount of power needed to overcome that friction is minuscule…’

    This is completely incorrect…as I have discussed already in detail…and is based on a faulty assumption about the ‘vacuum’ of space…

    Please see my comments above and that of ‘Intelligent Dasein’…

    In short the artificial gravity produces just as much bearing friction as on earth…by means of the centripetal force…

    Even more important as Dasein noted is that human movement will cause loss of angular velocity…

    So we have two very real losses…ie bearing frriction [not a vacuum] and human force interaction…both of which will shed energy as waste heat…and will need to be recovered…by application of power…

    And the biggest issue is the huge amount of power that will be required to keep the spacecraft controllable with such a huge inertia produced by the gravity wheel…

    All of these factors combined…plus the need for a much bigger wheel [due to physiological reasons] will likely increase my original power estimates greatly…

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  132. @FB

    There was a Russian language announcement by the defence minister nearly a year ago about the Armata. It was in Russia Gazette. I have actually visited Russian factories including those owned by the Ministry of Defence Industry. Maths beyond the eyesight theorem is not needed. Anyway, there is no capital around. Most private firms capable of investment did it already and are carrying too. Uch debt.

  133. @FB

    The oil price comes from Prof Minford.

  134. Not to worry.
    We have Common Core math!

    Augmented by Common Core science.

    What could measure up to that!

  135. Cyrano says:
    @Anonymous

    Also, an election is coming up in Russia soon, so it is smart politics for Putin to give Russian men something to beat their chest about.

    You are absolutely right, because the Russians have nothing else to be proud of in their history. They are so devoid of any major achievements – especially in the military domain, unlike US who have accomplished so much – like Vietnam, Grenada, Afghanistan, Libya and so many more epic victories.

  136. USSA says:

    In which Saker pops the last crucial zit every USA apparatchik tries to cover up. The thing that dooms US mobilization is the third-degree path dependence of its kleptocratic defense industrial base. Monopsony procurement anchors a rigid hierarchy of dependent firms. Profit recapture requires revenue growth based on malversation at the highest echelons of DoD. The revolving door is only one part. The thing that casts the corruption in concrete is institutionalized diversion of resources from current work to more and more prospective programs. This is procurement fraud, but the Pentagon cannot stamp it out. Suppression would destabilize the revolving door. It’s a vicious cycle that dissipates expenditure. That’s why the US spends ten times as much as Russia, and pisses away 95% of it, falling further and further behind.

    People will be surprised at how brittle the US regime turns out to be. When the beltway goose succumbs to gavage, smaller, saner successor states can emerge by the simple expedient of accepting the responsibility the US government shirks. By acceding to the UN Charter, the International Bill of Human Rights, and the Rome Statute, states gain the legal sovereignty that the US regime forfeited long ago. It’s secession at a stroke, authorized by international law and precedent. The inducement, the newest deal, is the American peoples’ right to peace and development. These principles of customary international law require diversion of resources from war back to economic and social rights. American states and regions simply turn to the authority Saker mentions: a multipolar world jointly administered by sovereign nations respectful of international law. That’s here now. It’s already in place. The only thing that keeps Americans from seeing it is immersive state propaganda.

    Russians know that because they’ve been through it. When COMECON collapsed, successor states like Russia had no time to reconstitute their state. They grabbed at the only support they had, the Helsinki Final Act. That is why Russia has leapfrogged the US in human rights compliance and international standing as advocates of rule of law.

    It’s time to do to the USA what we did to the USSR. Make it go away.

  137. ValmMond says:
    @Michael Kenny

    Americans won’t believe any story of which they are not the heroes.

    “those of us who have lived all our lives in democracies”

    I’m afraid, these “democracy” places of yours are just voices in your head. Actually, coming from your TV set. Democracy has been invented by and for courageous, free and smart people. Those Athenian citizens who voted for a war were the first ones to go fight the Spartans. The so called “people’s representatives” in the collective West are either cowards and pussies or powerless stooges of your corporate overlords.
    Your Congress has been bought and paid for by lobbyists and foreign countries. You have dual passport-holders with big conflicts of interest conducting your foreign policy.
    Realize that terms as “democracy”, “justice”, “equality” etc. are empty tropes and ideological constructs. They are thrown at you not to inform you, but to exact your consent.

    “the very things that brought the Soviet Union down: an unwinnable guerrilla war and an unaffordable arms race.”

    None of these things brought the Soviet Union down. It was the fatal, momentary naivety of the Soviet leaders and their blind trust in the West’s “good intentions”. We’ve came to our sense since.

  138. @FB

    I think you are wrong about the power needed to keep the wheel spinning. Once it had got up to speed there would be very little, even in LEO to slow it down. True it might take a while to spin it up to speed, but once there, it would take very little to keep it going.

    • Replies: @skrik
    , @CanSpeccy
  139. edNels says:

    The development of standard size ocean shipping containers has been occurring for over 50 years. Whole dedicated ships and dock facilities were in place by the mid 1960′s and have continuously expanded to overtake all other systems except bulk.

    However even as long back as…(+/-) 1980′s there was still extensive dockside surveying of cargo for many reasons including quality, legitimacy, infestation, smuggling etc. When the containers reached a certain stage of dominating the amount of cargo coming into port at docks, inspections became more spotty, and also moved to other designations where cargo was ”devanned” often out of state with non union labor (how cool is that?$).

    But the idea that ”Containers” could be used to HIDE things, isn’t new! They even use them for Illegal Immigration! So, bad things can be in containers going down the Freeway, and it looks so ordinary, nobody even looks into them anymore, it would be Too Expensive, and take too much valuable real estate to do so more clever surveillance is employed instead of open inspection requiring untold time and labor.

    Supposedly there are huge X-ray devices that could see inside and see it, but who know’s how good that works? The way they do things since the bldgs collapsed, no telling if there could be stuff secreted away prepositioned like by the bad guys huh?

    They never should have let those containers get away like that, ruined the waterfronts all over the world, nothing but tin cans everywhere. Stevadores are more in danger of getting board from the sameness of the damned things.

  140. @Erebus

    The Russian obsession with resource control is a Marxist hangover. Oil still gets sold despite all those National Oil Companies. Resources are no good in the ground. Even the Norwegians and Kuwaitis still sell oil.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  141. @Quartermaster

    Russia does not bluff, especially with the lives of hundreds of millions at stake – beleiveing whqt Putin says is true. Of course it is, and you know it.

  142. Beckow says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    Russia’s enemies are not in a hurry. Their main objective is to proceed slowly in order not to provoke any rush reaction that could result in a nuclear exchange

    They have rushed the Maidan thing, and messed it up. The side that is not in a hurry is the one that has time on its side. Who has time on their side? Who is getting strategically stronger?

    If you plug in resources, demographics, technology and geography, Western Europe will decline and so will Middle East, India and Africa. China, Australia, southern part of South America and parts of East Asia will get stronger.

    Eastern Europe, Canada, US and rest of Latin America are a toss-up – it depends on what they do. They have the resources, but politically they are very weak and they can collapse demographically (Third World migration or simply being already inescapably part of the Third World.)

    Russia is well positioned. It has 1/4 of world’s resources – energy, minerals, arable land, water – for a stable, well educated population of 140-160 million people. It can keep up with the technology because of its educated population. It can keep itself from being overrun by migrants from the south. And, it has the f..ing nukes. Russia usually collapses because of internal discord or a collapse of will (something to do with DNA predisposition that tends towards extremes). The current hostilities have stiffened Russia’s internal will.

    Who has time on their side? US and its allies are slowly losing grip. The ‘soft power’ collapse is a subjective event, it might not happen for a while, or it could happen suddenly (Hollywood really sucks today). The problem is that the allies are in deep trouble. Especially the hapless, post-modern Western European societies that march under rainbow flags, demanding open borders and an end to ‘hatred’. Good luck with that.

    Russia seems better positioned, their main allies like China are solid for now. They have the geographic and resources upper hand. If they play it cool, time will be on their side. Power always follows material strength. That’s why Washington has rushed a few things lately, they know that time is not on their side.

  143. @Anatoly Karlin

    My encouragement to Ukranians:

    democracy is a slow process– just because it is rife with issues — is not cause for revolution every ten years — especially violent revolutions.

    And one of the features of elections is that when you don’t like the direction the country is going — you can always vote for new leaders with a different direction in mind.

    the next time the west comes calling encouraging violent revolt, consider what stakes they have in the game and what they willing to invest in the success of said revolution or might simply say,

    “get lost” there’s very little if anything democratic about democracy at the point of a knife. No better evidenced than by black US citizens.

    ___________________________________

  144. @FB

    I don’t know how practical it would be, I am too lazy to do the maths, but perhaps the “artificial gravity” part of your spacecraft could be in the form of an assembly of two counter-rotating wheels, thus giving you zero (external) gyroscopic effect. Admittedly, it would put a pretty large strain on the bearings, but it would also give you a place from which to exert the force required to make the wheels rotate.

  145. skrik says:
    @foolisholdman

    an assembly of two counter-rotating wheels

    Neat idea! Just put an electric motor in the hub ‘joining’ the two wheels, with one of the wheels connected to the stator and the other to the rotor. Spins up perfectly synchronized, all on its own! rgds

  146. “The US military culture never had much of an emphasis on personal courage or self-sacrifice”

    Never is a pretty strong word, and by that I mean that this is such a silly statement that it begs the question whether the author has any experience whatsoever to draw from.

    If he’d written that this generation lacks those virtues, I couldn’t argue because I don’t really know by and large what kind of people the 21st Century military employs. But having grown up in an extended family full of servicemen, I can attest that “never” is a sweeping generalization that smells of the body part from which it came.

  147. Erebus says:
    @Philip Owen

    The Russian obsession with resource control is a Marxist hangover.

    Really? I wasn’t aware that the Russians had an “obsession with resource control” beyond what any sovereign would have. Please elaborate.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  148. Svigor says:

    In short the artificial gravity produces just as much bearing friction as on earth…by means of the centripetal force…

    Assuming you have bearings, which isn’t a good assumption. You can turn the whole station. This is pretty famously depicted in 2001. It isn’t even a good assumption vis-a-vis spacecraft, let alone habitats.

    As for Earth’s gravity and atmosphere, neither is properly assumed; there are other places to put habitats and craft.

    • Replies: @FB
  149. Svigor says:

    “The US military culture never had much of an emphasis on personal courage or self-sacrifice”

    Never is a pretty strong word, and by that I mean that this is such a silly statement that it begs the question whether the author has any experience whatsoever to draw from.

    If he’d written that this generation lacks those virtues, I couldn’t argue because I don’t really know by and large what kind of people the 21st Century military employs. But having grown up in an extended family full of servicemen, I can attest that “never” is a sweeping generalization that smells of the body part from which it came.

    Cultural differences rear their ugly heads. Did Americans ever push draftees into combat under threat of summary execution? With 1 rifle per 3 men, said rifle to be picked up when the previous man dies? Did Americans ever purge half the officers from their army when ideological purity demanded it? I think not.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  150. Svigor says:

    Re spinning a wheel, I was wondering about a wheel spun from the outside. I.e., picture a ship with the wheel aligned “horizontally,” with the entire “outer” surface of the wheel in contact with the structure of the ship. I g**gled for an hour but I have 0 engineering skills so I had no way of describing what I was looking for, and got bumpkiss.

  151. Aedib says:
    @Faker

    Just another one entering into the Butthurt team.

  152. Svigor says:

    Are you actually a paid shill for Musk’s outfit? If you actually believe this then I suspect you couldn’t pass the mirror self-recognition test – Musk gobbles up government funds like you gobble up twinkies.

    As I said already, SpaceX is at the far low end of taxpayer teat consumption in the aerospace biz. ULA is the godzilla here, and conflating Musk’s other ventures with SpaceX fools no one.

  153. Svigor says:

    If you want a giant gov’t boondoggle, you need look no further than NASA’s Space Launch System. $20 billion for 0 launches. And they want $200+ billion more to get us to Mars. LoL.

    But ULA’s pretty great if you want to burn money: roughly 10x SpaceX’s launch costs. A Crony capitalist’s dream.

  154. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @foolisholdman

    I think you are wrong about the power needed to keep the wheel spinning.

    Whatever power is required to keep the capsule spinning is no more than the power exerted by astronauts walking around inside, which is not much, and only that if they generally walk in the direction counter to the direction of capsule rotation. If some walked in the other direction, the effect of astronauts walking back and forth would cancel out and the speed of capsule rotation would be unaffected. Is that not so?

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Intelligent Dasein
  155. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Kiza

    “I cannot believe the morons that unz is now attracting.”

    I’ve been thinking that myself ever since you decided to start leaving your turds here. Seriously, when have you ever added anything of substance.

    The only interesting part of your comments is how you persistently accuse others of the things that you are doing. I suppose it’s part of some clumsy mindless propaganda you saker drones seem to be intent on pushing.

    If criticism upsets you, snowflake, perhaps you then you should confine your reading to ideologically pure sites that are heavily censored. I hear that saker guy runs one.

    You may now return to your regularly scheduled childish name calling and saker drone virtue signaling.

    • LOL: Kiza
  156. FB says:
    @Svigor

    ‘…This is pretty famously depicted in 2001…’

    …which is a science fiction movie…

    Again…thanks for your lobotomized contribution…

    ‘…As for Earth’s gravity and atmosphere, neither is properly assumed; there are other places to put habitats and craft…’

    Where would that be…?

    Out your wazoo…?

    If I wanted to hear from a crazy cat lady I would go to the funny farm…

  157. @Svigor

    Children’s Sci Fi Kemlo and the Star Men had Kemlo IMG on a rotating wheel.

  158. Giuseppe says:
    @ll

    Anyone else react to this statement?

    “the White “indispensable nation”.”

    -Kinda suggest he says that USA is a white supremacist state bombing brown people in the interests of white people

    Bombing, shooting, scalping, whatever it takes. Public outcry at the bombing of blond blue-eyed Finns or Swedes would soon shut down the imperial war engine. Brown people work much better. Less outrage.

  159. FB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    No…it’s not just about astronauts walking around…

    If you had read my posts on this you would realize that the major challenge here is changing the attitude of the spacecraft…which needs to maneuver for a number of reasons…

    The huge amount of inertia of a 100 meter diameter hamster wheel [this would be the size required for physiological reasons as I already explained...]…would be very difficult to counter…

    The craft…like an aircraft…needs to be able to rotate about all three axes…its longitudinal…horizonatl and vertical axes…

    The space station is equipped with gyros that are manipulated with electric motors to do that…but these gyros would have to many orders of magnitude greater and use huge amounts of power due to the inertia of that huge wheel…

    Counter-rotating does not solve the inertia problem…in fact it doubles it…inertia of a spinning wheel acts in one plane…having a second one rotating opposite merely cancels the torque…as with a helicopter with coaxial blades turning in the opposite direction…

    This type of helicopter does not need a tail rotor whose only function is to stop the fuselage from rotating counter to the rotor rotation…

    But the coaxial helicopter still needs to be able to change direction…which is accomplished by changing the attitude of the rotor blades…

    This change in direction causes quite large gyroscopic forces…larger than in the single rotor craft…due to the larger inertia in that plane of rotation…

    This is because inertia is defined as ‘an object going in a certain direction wants to keep going in that direction’…as per Newton’s First Law…

    The rotational inertia of a chopper rotor…either single or coaxial is huge…due to its large diamter and mass…

    The size we are talking about here with this wheel is monstrous…and so is its propensity to ‘want’ to keep going where it is pointed…

    Overcoming that in a chopper is done by using the air as something to ‘grip’ to if you will…the aerodynamic forces generated to change the chopper’s direction can easily exceed the inertia of the rotor…due to the viscosity of the air…

    You don’t have that in space…you can only change direction in one of two ways…either with thrusters…[where does the fuel for that come from...?]…or with control moment gyros as used on the space station…

    These comprise three in total to affect a change in attitude about each of the three axes…

    They also require force to change their own inertia and make the craft roll…pitch up or down…or yaw side to side…

    The power for that comes from electric motors…

    Since the space station has little inertia of its own…this works quite well…

    With a huge rotating mass the size of a football stadium the power required to change directions would be unbelievable…

    At some point I may crunch some basic numbers…since people seem to have a hard time understanding the physical principles involved…

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @CanSpeccy
  160. @CanSpeccy

    Is that not so?

    Not really, no. Any astronaut walking in the retrograde direction would impart a small amount of additional angular momentum to the wheel as he stepped off with his traction foot, and the same amount of angular momentum would transfer back to the astronaut when he stepped down upon his landing foot. For an astronaut walking in the prograde direction, this would be exactly reversed. In neither case is net angular momentum either lost or gained by the system when considering these interactions alone, but in both cases a small amount of friction is required to accelerate the astronaut against the surface so that he once again “feels” the artificial gravity. This process is not reversible and the energy thus expended will be lost as heat.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  161. @Svigor

    Did Americans ever had any need to do any of those drastic things? Oceans on both sides and weak neighbors are a nice thing. You have no understanding what is to be threatened and what it takes to repeal invaders set upon your utter extermination or subgugetion.

  162. @Felix Keverich

    I don’t believe your the lack of understanding of Russian Federation. Today’s Russia is not old Soviet Union, now they have free press and i can’t recall the name of the TV personality but he has a weekly TV interview of various Russians with different political views. Do you know Putin has a regular TV interview where people can ask him or may be even challenge his positions/policies. Good luck finding such a political leader in the so called free west, where the sheeple are fed a constant barrage of propaganda. Also the various Think Tanks you are marvelling are funded by mega corporations and guess who they shill for? Thanks

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  163. Erebus says:
    @Regnum Nostrum

    What is hilarious is when people discuss matters of highly clasified nature of which they do not even have the slightest idea.

    You misunderstand. Nobody’s discussing the classified aspects of weapons here. What’s being discussed in the comments I’ve read (E.G.: FB’s) is whether what’s being claimed is physically possible, and what sorts of engineering problems would have to be overcome to make them possible. How & whether the engineering problems have been overcome is what would be classified, not whether they’d have to be. When the former is discussed, everyone acknowledges that the conversation turns speculative.
    If Putin was claiming physically impossible properties, there wouldn’t be much of a discussion, and you wouldn’t have Senators writing letters pleading that POTUS open arms control talks with him.

    Russia’s enemies are not in a hurry. Their main objective is to proceed slowly in order not to provoke any rush reaction that could result in a nuclear exchange.

    That was true 2 decades ago, and deceptively looked that way up to 2007 when, on the eve of the GFC, Putin made his famous Munich speech.
    Since then, the Empire stumbled while China and Russia have placed so many impediments in their way that the Imperialists are now the ones who are forced to act rashly if they want to maintain the Empire. That is where the danger now lies. It is now Russia (and China) who are forced to go slow.

  164. @peterAUS

    How many divisions does The Hague have for that to happen?

    • Replies: @FB
    , @peterAUS
  165. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “At some point I may crunch some basic numbers…since people seem to have a hard time understanding the physical principles involved…”

    When I was a child and they were introducing us to rigid body motion they let us stand on a little square with casters. Then they had us hold out a small bicycle wheel vertically and spun it up until it was going quite fast. Once it was up to speed they asked us to turn to a horizontal orientation from vertical. Rotating the wheel in the manner caused an unexpected, to us children, movement around the platform.

    This is a simple way to convince someone of the reality of the principles you have just outlined even if they don’t believe your math.

    • Agree: FB
  166. @FB

    In my innovation days, I was asked to find other applications for the bearing monitor of the London Eye. Heavily loaded slow speed bearings are rather difficult to monitor. The power consumption to move the wheel was minute. 500 W maximum demand. Accelerations were of course very modest but frequent – passenger loading for every car.

    The question of spokes and a bearing in space is interesting. I don’t see the need. A ring could be fitted with actuators to compensate for fluctuations in I. That said, the best place to dock a ship would be at the centre with requirements to spin the ship to match the space station and to compensate for momentum changes as ships docked and left. Also, maintaining the circular shape of the ring against uneven loading would require spokes.

    • Replies: @skrik
  167. El Dato says:
    @Faker

    I admire your tenacity in wanting to have Nork fight a war to embiggen your ego.

    No war is always preferable to war.

    In other news:

    Cuba Embassy NOT under attack by sonic weapons.

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/devices/finally-a-likely-explanation-for-the-sonic-weapon-used-at-the-us-embassy-in-cuba

  168. @Erebus

    Look at the TV series Sophia, which is a good list of Russian nationalist concerns. There is one conversation between a Russian and an Italian discussing the vast but unexploited/able riches of Russia. Or read Sputnik I Pogrom. Read the Russians writing/translated on Russia Insider. Watch RT. Watch Dimitry Kisleyev sometime. The explanation for US interest in controlling Russia is often the desire to control resources.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  169. Vidi says:
    @FB

    IMHO, that was a knockout blow to Quartermaster’s ignorant rantings that the Russians are behind in metallurgy. The RD-180 engine can tolerate an oxidizer-rich and high-pressure mixture that would melt the best American alloys like “candle wax”. The U.S. still can’t do it, even after decades of trying.

    The metallurgical advantage isn’t minor. Of course, it enables practical hypersonic weapons, as Putin has announced. But I suspect that Russia also has the upper hand in engines for fighter jets, such as the one for the Su-57; I don’t know when or even if the U.S. will ever catch up.

    Yes, as the Saker says, Americans need to stop their denial and anger, and start the next stage of grief. If they can make it through all five stages, maybe the U.S. will start behaving like a civilized country.

    • Replies: @FB
  170. FB says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    Are you actually reading ol’ Petey’s comments…?

    Sheesh man…that takes some strong discipline…

    Seems pretty clear he’s lost his marbles…

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    , @Kiza
  171. peterAUS says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    As many as The Hague had to get Milosevic there.

    That guy arrested by his own people.
    Promised, by those very people, that he would NOT be delivered to The Hague.
    Delivered then, by those, his own people to The Hague.
    And, then, he, somehow, died there. Nobody cared.

    Both Presidents, quite skillful in the game, made some enemies in the West. Expansion and such.
    Ah, yes, the dead one was also, for a quite some time, praised as a very good partner etc.

    There is more.
    The dead one also, to keep on good terms with Western partners, betrayed his own people in a little rebellious enclave. Little as around 200 000 people.
    After promising them he’d act to defend them should the opponent attack.
    Cyrano here could enlighten you about that. Or plenty of Serbian refugees currently living in Australia. Have a beer with some, and listen.

    Yes, I know that any parallel with the current President who’s pissing of The Empire has no meaning.
    Superweapons will take care of all that.

    • Replies: @Cyrano
  172. @FB

    The London Eye I discussed previously has a diameter of 120 m. Enough to be comfortable as a generator of artificial gravity. Much bigger wheels could be built. 500 W actuators would not consume huge amounts of fuel for a wheel in Earth orbit with regular resupply. A space ark would require gyroscopic control and a bearing at the centre as you suggest but given the likely time available for attitude control, forces need not be large. In fact should not be large for crew comfort not just structural reasons.

  173. pogohere says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Unhealthy state of affairs: Three-quarters of young Americans unfit for military service, study says

    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=167028

  174. FB says:
    @Vidi

    ‘…The metallurgical advantage isn’t minor. Of course, it enables practical hypersonic weapons, as Putin has announced.

    But I suspect that Russia also has the upper hand in engines for fighter jets, such as the one for the Su-57…’

    Yes…I was going to get to that on Martyanov’s thread where I discussed first the Kinzhal and the technical feasibility of that…

    Might do it here when I find the time…lots to unpack there…

    Also the nuclear propulsion jet engine for the cruise missile…

    • Replies: @Kiza
  175. @peterAUS

    Just to be clear, I don’t, of course, literally consider that Putin & Co. will be hauled off to the Hague in any but a miniscule fraction of possible universes. I think #1 is quite possible if not likely (I hope), #3 may happen but probably not during this decade, and #4 and higher I would basically exclude.

    My point with this is to encourage The Saker & Co. to actually draw a line in the sand so far as their faith in Grandmaster Putin’s skill at 666D chess is concerned.

    • Replies: @Pavlo
    , @peterAUS
    , @peterAUS
  176. Vidi says:
    @peterAUS

    The regime in Kremlin or better, Russia elites are, apparently, doing the same that brought the Soviet Union down: engaging in weapons race.

    With economic support from China, Russia can afford an arms race. The U.S. can’t — especially as it is clearly decades behind in many aspects.

  177. @Murali Penumarth

    Dimitry Kisleyev is the name you want.

    Putin enjoys the advantage of not being confronted with his political opponents. So his authority is not questioned. It makes him look much more authoritative than a candidate who has to deal with debate.

  178. Erebus says:
    @Philip Owen

    The explanation for US interest in controlling Russia is often the desire to control resources.

    Not just often, always.
    The US’ Defence Planning Guidance of 1994 makes it quite explicit that the Empire’s primary objective is to: “… prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

    That is what it is all about. Russia has denied them control of Russia’s, quite “unfairly” in SoS H.R. Clinton’s words, but has moved (along with China) to prevent the rest of Eurasia’s resource wealth from falling into their hands. The drive to Global Hegemony has stalled on that very point.

  179. @for-the-record

    Maybe they aren’t building submarines any more?

  180. The debate over whether or not Russia really has these weapons is over now. Russia has just successfully tested the hypersonics.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-11/russia-successfully-test-fires-hypersonic-missile

    • Replies: @FB
  181. Pavlo says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    #1 Will not even be tried.

    #2 Guaranteed at some point in some form, because that’s how Erdogan deals with everybody.

    #3 Will be tried and will fail as usual. Probably.

    The RF government’s plan may or may not be the best plan possible, but it’s the best that could have been devised by cautious, risk-averse men who never wanted conflict with the United States to begin with but have had it repeatedly thrust upon them.

    Still don’t think Saker has quite reached the level of the MAGAtards who see every act of the Donald as some overwhelming triumph and change their worldview on a dime to match whatever brainfart the old man is chasing today.

  182. This what happens when one country (Russia) produces graduates with degrees in science and engineering while another (the USA) produces graduates with degrees in social planning and black history.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  183. @FB

    I do skip the long ones, as much due to the poor writing as to the immature and ego driven content but I couldn’t resist reusing the reply that Stalin is reported to have used when threatened by the Vatican.

  184. @FB

    I loved the post.
    Thank you.

  185. FB says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Did y0u read some of the comments there…?

    One guy posted this link…

    Turns out Russia got these technologies from the Clintons…

    ‘…Stunning. Hillary Clinton Gave Russia the US Technology for Hypersonic Intercontinental Nuke Missiles…’

    Wait…which one of the ‘five stages of grief’ does this fall into…?

    I didn’t know mushroom trip was among them…

  186. bjondo says:
    @FB

    So, you think reverse engineering of alien space craft, other alien tech items by US in mid 20th century baloney?

  187. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Russian economy is smaller than that of South Korea.

    Can it sustain any kind of prolonged conflict?

    • Replies: @Avery
  188. peterAUS says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Can’t disagree.
    Nobody knows, of course, for sure.

    As for likelihood of certain options, well, human nature being what it is….I think that the last option is not that unlikely.

    Who would’ve thought in mid 90s that Serbs would give their President on a platter to The Empire?
    Who would’ve thought in early years of this millennium that Qaddafi would be killed as a dog in a ditch and his murder transmitted over Internet?
    And, when we are on the topic that the elderly Ceausescu couple would have that treatment, even after they got captured ?

    All powerful leaders who do not deliver what’s promised tend to be simply sacrificed by coming elites simply to placate the masses.

    One way to find out, of course.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  189. Cyrano says:
    @peterAUS

    You talking to me, Cro-magnon? If I was you I wouldn’t gloat too much about your military “successes” against the Serbs. You know that in a fair fight you wouldn’t last a month against Serbia.

    In the 90’s you simply took advantage of unfavorable international situation (for the Serbs), same as in WW2, when you took advantage of Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia to commit your crimes.

    The success of Oluja was mostly as a result of the air cover by the greatest democracy of them all.

    How about the siege of Vukovar – which the Cromagnons named: Croatia’s Stalingrad. Shouldn’t you have named it Croatia’s Berlin or something – since that’s who’s side you were on in WW2?

    Or maybe because not too many heroic things happened in Berlin – from German perspective. But let’s go along with Stalingrad comparison – since you too are retarded and you can’t keep even your historical references straight.

    The real Stalingrad held, the Croat “Stalingrad” – Vukovar fell to the Serbs – so even from that perspective the reference is baloney. Either way, your luck is going to run out one day, you won’t have “the greatest democracy of them all” to protect you, and you know that on your own you are cowards – what are you going to do then?

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  190. @Beckow

    How do you layer the pre-requisite work to establish the gold-backed petroyuan, and pending petroleum contracts denomination in the same (actually already done, I think, with Venezuela?! If not done yet, then shortly, measurable in days); thus the introduction of an alternative to the existing monopoly on settlements?

    BRI as a factor?

  191. Ron Unz says:
    @peterAUS

    Can’t disagree.
    Nobody knows, of course, for sure…

    All powerful leaders who do not deliver what’s promised tend to be simply sacrificed by coming elites simply to placate the masses.

    While I certainly endorse this perspective, I think it’s an extremely naive form of “range restriction” to consider such possibilities for Putin, while conversely failing to consider them for America’s ruling elites.

    Consider that Putin is enormously popular in Russia, partly because life for ordinary Russians has greatly improved in the last decade or two. Meanwhile, there is a vast ocean of smoldering hatred directed toward America’s elites, partly because the life for ordinary Americans has grown dramatically worse in recent decades. After all, that’s exactly why so many Americans voted for an ignorant buffoon like Trump.

    Here’s a much longer comment I published on some of these issues a couple of weeks ago:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/wagner-debacle/#comment-2221533

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  192. peterAUS says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    One little detail more.

    With the Great Leader, multidimensional chess and superweapons, among other awesome things, there is a tiny little……..oversight…perhaps.
    Just perhaps.

    Novorossya defense absolutely depending on Kremlin.

    The time and resources not used to create an independent, in effect, an army of that tiny republic. In fact, rudimentary effort, somehow, got doused at the very beginning. An assassination, unsolved of course, here and there of potential local leaders, have no relation to that.

    Not enough time?
    Not enough smarts in that part of the world?
    Not enough resources?

    Muslims in Bosnia could do that in the period ’92 to ’94. There and then, in that environment.
    And Novorossya couldn’t.
    Yeah……..

    Not important, probably. Yes, that must be it. Irrelevant.

    Perhaps Cyrano here could add his view re “Krajina” in Croatia ’91-95′. Especially ’95.

    Just a thought.

  193. peterAUS says:
    @Ron Unz

    Hello Chief.
    Glad you chimed in.

    While I certainly endorse this perspective, I think it’s an extremely naive form of “range restriction” to consider such possibilities for Putin, while conversely failing to consider them for America’s ruling elites.

    You mean bringing the ruling elite to “international justice”, OR, “internal justice”?

    Let’s address the former first.

    The thing in Hague is…just a thing. Its main purpose is to give some veil of legitimacy to The Empire’s rule over certain parts of this world, Balkans in particular. In effect, keeping Balkans nationalists in check.
    Creating some other, real, internanational court of justice, well, I’ll wait to see that happen. Speaking of which, well, why, for example, The Great Alternative (Russia, China, whatever) haven’t come up with something?
    Anyway…..

    As for “internal justice”, well, I think we should consider cultural differences based on historical examples. In short, Western and Eastern approach to the rule of law, at least formal. Big topic of course.

    On practical terms, well, I could envisage bringing certain elites in US to justice. End result, I feel, would be a moderate time spent in a decent correctional facility.
    As for Russian elites, well, let’s just say that I could envisage much harder outcome.

    Consider that Putin is enormously popular in Russia, partly because life for ordinary Russians has greatly improved in the last decade or two.

    You sure about that? Ordinary Russians that is? Could be. I’ll tell you that I see growing number of Russian immigrants here, in my place of living. I do speak with them often. Something, then, doesn’t compute there.

    Meanwhile, there is a vast ocean of smoldering hatred directed toward America’s elites, partly because the life for ordinary Americans has grown dramatically worse in recent decades.

    Agree.

    But, all said and done, life for an ordinary American is still better than the life of ordinary Russian.

    And, back to the topic here, arms race will harm Russia more than USA. It will divert resources etc…..in fact very similar to what happened to Soviet Union.

    So, while I am looking forward to bringing Deep State to some sort of justice, can’t help it but believe that’s a rather remote possibility.
    More remote than bringing the Team Putin to the same.

    Say……30/70?

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  194. Svigor says:

    …which is a science fiction movie…

    Again…thanks for your lobotomized contribution…

    Humans are depicted in that science fiction movie, too.

    Which is probably why you skipped past the part where you actually explained the inherent problem (there isn’t one)…because even you aren’t nitwitted enough to try to explain how being in a science fiction movie is relevant in this regard in one direction or the other.

    I don’t have enough advanced math to check your math, but your basic logic skills are nil, ergo by extrapolation…

  195. Svigor says:

    I mean, this is how badly you set yourself up (“hur durr, it was in a science fiction movie”):

    Yes, you nitwit, it was in a science fiction movie. And the whole habitat/craft can’t spin because?

    Hur durr, it was in a science fiction movie!

    You say plainly idiotic shit. Don’t need advanced math to point it out, either.

    • Replies: @FB
  196. Ron Unz says:
    @peterAUS

    As for “internal justice”, well, I think we should consider cultural differences based on historical examples. In short, Western and Eastern approach to the rule of law, at least formal. Big topic of course.

    Well, France is located pretty far west in Europe, and during the French Revolution, Madame Guillotine seemed to represent the “rule of law.” I’m not saying it’s likely, but I can see a somewhat plausible future trajectory that involves a widespread popular massacre of a good fraction of America’s ruling elites.

    You sure about that? Ordinary Russians that is?

    I’ll freely admit my knowledge of the domestic Russian situation is quite scanty. Based on the numerous articles by AK and others, and the polls and data he cites, plus what slips through in the NYT/WSJ, it certainly seems that life in Russia has gotten much better over the last 15-odd years. But I certainly might be mistaken.

    And, back to the topic here, arms race will harm Russia more than USA. It will divert resources etc…..in fact very similar to what happened to Soviet Union.

    I agree entirely. But this time round, America is in the Soviet situation…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  197. Svigor says:

    Did Americans ever had any need to do any of those drastic things? Oceans on both sides and weak neighbors are a nice thing. You have no understanding what is to be threatened and what it takes to repeal invaders set upon your utter extermination or subgugetion.

    Yeah when I’m faced with existential threats I always murder/gulag/purge half my army officers for ideological purity.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  198. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FB

    If you had read my posts on this you would realize that the major challenge here is changing the attitude of the spacecraft…which needs to maneuver for a number of reasons…/blockquote>Um, yes, well, sorry. Point now taken.

  199. peterAUS says:
    @Ron Unz

    Well, France is located pretty far west in Europe, and during the French Revolution, Madame Guillotine seemed to represent the “rule of law.” I’m not saying it’s likely, but I can see a somewhat plausible future trajectory that involves a widespread popular massacre of a good fraction of America’s ruling elites.

    That’s an interesting point.
    Tells about hatred, even rage, not just simmering frustration.

    Well, I don’t live in USA so, can’t say I disagree with that assessment.

    If true, though, it’s …….not good.
    I’ve seen (or so I say) that …..mindset….in action, with a heavy cannon to back it up. Not………good.
    The Monster from Id will have a field day then.

    On another note, that could, maybe, explain all this “disarm gun nuts” in USA.

    Interesting.

    I’ll freely admit my knowledge of the domestic Russian situation is quite scanty. Based on the numerous articles by AK and others, and the polls and data he cites, plus what slips through in the NYT/WSJ, it certainly seems that life in Russia has gotten much better over the last 15-odd years. But I certainly might be mistaken

    Well, for my part, I am always a bit wary of immigrant opinions. The truth is somewhere in the middle, most likely.
    Still…they are coming here. Nobody from here is going to Russia. That’s, for me, good enough to make the comparison.

    I agree entirely. But this time round, America is in the Soviet situation…

    Be that as it may, nothing to be happy too much about. It will, most likely, push the elites there to escalate with Russia.
    In any case, we’ll see, rather soon, how much of the Putin speech was just talk…or not.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    , @FB
  200. Avery says:
    @Anon

    {Russian economy is smaller than that of South Korea.
    Can it sustain any kind of prolonged conflict?}

    You are judging Russia by US yardstick.

    By your economic yardstick US should have won in Vietnam, and Afghanistan, and Iraq.
    Afghanistan has no economy to speak of: how is it that the only thing US-backed government controls is Kabul? US, for all practical purposes, was defeated in Afghanistan.
    Same with Iraq.

    As to Russia: invade Russia and find out if they can sustain a prolonged conflict.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  201. Ron Unz says:
    @peterAUS

    Unfortunately, I’m very busy with my software work and really can’t be drawn into these comment-threads. But if you haven’t already read it, you might want to take a look at one of my articles from a few years ago, and perhaps others, including from the same series. It might provide some of the basis for my rather aggressive speculations:

    http://www.unz.com/runz/our-american-pravda/

    Since my own articles are always prominently displayed on my webzine, I naturally assume everyone’s already read them, but again, perhaps not…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  202. Erebus says:
    @Svigor

    Yeah when I’m faced with existential threats I always murder/gulag/purge half my army officers for ideological purity.

    I bet Sadaam wished he’d done something like that.

  203. FB says:
    @Svigor

    ‘…Humans are depicted in that science fiction movie, too…’

    ‘…Yes, you nitwit, it was in a science fiction movie. And the whole habitat/craft can’t spin because?..’

    Holy smokes…

    I was actually only half-kidding before…but do you actually realize there is a difference between fantasy and reality…?

    Never mind the math…do y0u know how to dial 911…?

    You need to talk to a medical professional pronto…

  204. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    Hey Pete…

    I notice ‘the chief’ gave you the polite brush-off…[after realizing he was talking to a potato-head...]

  205. peterAUS says:
    @Ron Unz

    Well, I do have a hard case of the “problem with authority figures”. Often worked against me, admit, but can’t help there. Besides, a couple of times when it really mattered, worked very well indeed.
    That does apply to webzine authorities too, I am afraid. Long story.

    Having said that, well, one can’t really refuse such an invitation, can he?
    I’ll definitely take a good look at those.

    And, besides, simply contemplating that “french justice” thing just feels good.

    • Replies: @Sam J.
  206. Kiza says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    But over time there would be small gravitational disturbances and the movements inside the wheel

    What I called above “the movements” are possible only thanks to the friction between the soles of the feet and the wheel, you just ignored what I wrote and re-stated it as your own.

    As to any other friction, it is needed only between the wheel and any non-rotating section, but one could easily envisage a design without any non-rotating section, it really depends on what the wheel is for.

    Otherwise, you and FB totally exaggerate the energy needed to keep the wheel rotating. Based on your descriptions I am imagining poor astronauts or cosmonauts with soles of their feet constantly on fire (from friction) to spend the momentum of a “100 meter rotating wheel” – LOL. Really silly.

    Finally, you are jumping between different applications of a rotating gravitational wheel: is it for an orbital station or is it for a spaceship going somewhere? If it is for a spaceship going somewhere then the gyroscopic-effect of rotation would be negligible part of the overall linear momentum of the ship towards its destination.

    Sorry, but I have no more time to engage in this discussion, although it is somewhat interesting and a nice break from politics.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  207. Kiza says:
    @FB

    FB, I for one do not read the mumblings of this semi-comprehensible contrarian, but whilst scrolling I did notice that the mug likes to quote someone and just add “Agree”, as if this is the most important qualification for any comment at unz.com, that our old Pete agrees. Reminds me of this other mug Karlin who uses the high pulpit of his yellow privilege to elevate his otherwise low intellectual authority.

    Because I do not read them, I do not know which of the two mugs came up with the idea that someone would haul Putin to the Hague, but it should be noted that it was someone very similar to Karlin (a self-declared Russian/Serbian nationalist and a Western collaborator) who came to power in Serbia thanks to the officially first color revolution (by MI6 and CIA) and then contrary to the constitution and all the laws of the country delivered Milosevic to the conqueror’s kangaroo justice in the Hague (which did not even provide the accused with proper medical assistance). The character who broke the laws to deliver Milosevic to the Hague I would not call a Serbian, in as much as I would not call Karlin a Russian. Speaking the language even without an accent, as one of his troll supporters claimed, does not make Karlin a Russian. The best name for people such as Karlin is – compradors.

    I really have no time for empty comments of these characters, who only come here to the Saker’s as trollish pests, some of them paid to do so. But I could only imagine how Saker would make minced meat of Karlin if he were to come to comment on his empty, illogical write ups.

  208. Kiza says:
    @FB

    the nuclear propulsion jet engine for the cruise missile…

    Wow, we could spend day and night discussing interesting (existing) technology here.

    Somewhat related, in a discussion here recently I came up with this maybe silly concept of a concentrated/focused nuclear blast. Instead of exploding into a 360 degree spatial angle, could a nuclear explosion be focused into as small a spatial angle as only 1 degree? Just in a most general sense – why does a nuclear/thermonuclear explosion have to be 360 degree? Is this a present level of technology limitation or is there any firm physical principle which precludes focusing? The stars appear to be able to do it but astrophysics does not appear to be sure how.

    • Replies: @edNels
  209. Svigor says:

    Holy smokes…

    I was actually only half-kidding before…but do you actually realize there is a difference between fantasy and reality…?

    Never mind the math…do y0u know how to dial 911…?

    You need to talk to a medical professional pronto…

    Yes, we know, it’s humiliating to go do all that math work then have someone who never took calculus embarrass you by pointing out errors a kindergartner wouldn’t have made. “Mommy, why does that man think ‘it was a science fiction movie’ is relevant?”

    Or maybe you’re not pretending to be that obtuse. Maybe you really are too dense to even understand that my whole point in mentioning the movie in the first place was to show how hundreds of millions of people who saw 2001 would have tumbled to the fact* that you can spin the whole habitat, but it somehow got by you…

    *Yes, yes, I know: it can’t be a fact, because it was in a sci-fi movie. Just like Earth can’t be real, because it was in a sci-fi movie once.

    Can you show us the math of how your one firing neuron works?

  210. skrik says:
    @Philip Owen

    Talking of ‘un-spoked’ rings,

    «Niven says that MIT students attending the 1971 World Science Fiction Convention chanted, “The Ringworld is unstable! The Ringworld is unstable!”»
    ~[The Ringworld Engineers]

    IIRC, a gyro reacts at 90° to any ‘sideways’ push; with contra-rotating twin-gyros, the 2nd 90° reaction should ‘come back’ at the 1st attempted push location – resulting in a) no ’tilt’ but b) beginning a ‘translation’ of the whole show in the direction of the 1st stimulus, seems to me.

    Apropos docking, my ‘electric motor in the hub’ in #145 would itself be mounted on a ‘stationary platform’ WRT the two wheels’ opposite rotations; it would make no sense whatsoever to spin any arriving/departing ship.

    FB: “needs to be able to rotate about all three axes”

    Me: Err, which way is ‘up’ in orbit; why not choose some ‘compromise’ orientation – parallel to Earth’s spin, say, and just ‘trim’ to maintain that? People walking inside ‘the rim’ could not enjoy the view too much anyway. rgds

    • Replies: @FB
  211. @peterAUS

    In all fairness all those countries are hardly comparable to Russia.

    The US has no power to bring Russia to its knees militarily, and it can economically do so only in close concert with the Europeans and China. Although I have minimal regard for Europe or Germany, like many in the Kremlin including Putin do, I certainly don’t see Emperor Xi joining in.

  212. @Ron Unz

    I’ll freely admit my knowledge of the domestic Russian situation is quite scanty. Based on the numerous articles by AK and others, and the polls and data he cites, plus what slips through in the NYT/WSJ, it certainly seems that life in Russia has gotten much better over the last 15-odd years. But I certainly might be mistaken.

    This is correct, and so is Putin’s current ~80% approval rating.

    Regarding the US, I think even a civil war is likelier than some social insurrection and decimation of its elites – they are far too tightly bound up for that. Although I view both as very highly unlikely.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Philip Owen
  213. Sam J. says:
    @peterAUS

    “…And, besides, simply contemplating that “french justice” thing just feels good…”

    YES!

  214. @Quartermaster

    You still in the first stage , denial , Every thing you vomit above has been said and proven wrong time and time again , Have you read Russian history ? Do you really think that the zionist US regime and its puppets can do ANYTHING against Russia that involves violence, with out being obliterated ?? the only idiotic moron here is you.

  215. @Avery

    What matters for military spending is GDP according to PPP, admittedly an imperfect measure. Using 2012 PPP’s (last time it was done) Russia has the economy of Germany, the dominant economy in the EU. So, I rend to believe the rockets. The lasers, where I have professional experience in Russia, seem impossible but we don’t know the technology involved.

  216. The most powerful Russian Weapon System are US Colleges of Education. Heavily infiltrated by Russian-origin education psychology during the past century. For so long, it has colonized and converted the host. Look up the names Vygotsky, Marcuse. The book “Credentialed To Destroy” furnishes the gory details.

  217. @Kiza

    Get over yourself, Kiza. Just because I quoted you does not mean that I was speaking only to you. I was merely speaking to the question concerning a point that is often misunderstood. I know what you wrote, and your original language was ambiguous. “The movements” could mean all sorts of different things. Also, I never wrote one word concerning the total energy required to keep the ring spinning. My point—my only point—was that, as a matter of physical principle, there can be no such thing as friction-free artificial gravity. Now chill out, man.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  218. FB says:
    @skrik

    ‘…IIRC, a gyro reacts at 90° to any ‘sideways’ push…’

    This is called gyroscopic precession…

    If you apply a force to a spinning wheel…the force will manifest 90 degrees [1/4] turn later in the direction of the turning wheel…

    Gyro precession is demonstrated in this video…

    As the subject changes the axis of the spinning wheel…the resulting force is to the side…ie 90 degrees…which causes the subject to rotate…

    We make an additional important note here…there is a fair bit of resistance in the spinning wheel to change direction…this is due to inertia

    You can demonstrate this yourself…take a bicycle wheel that is not spinning and you can turn it any which way like quite easily…

    Once the wheel is spinning though…changing its orientation becomes much more difficult…the faster it is spinning the more difficult it gets…

    Or even just a bicycle itself…give it a push and it will continue on for a while before falling over…without the push…it will fall over as soon as you let go…

    We’ll get back to inertia in a moment…

    Precession is a big issue in Helicopter flight control…due to the large gyro effect of the spinning rotor…

    The flight controls…which work by rotating the blades about their longitudinal axis so as to change their angle of attack with respect to the oncoming airflow…must be designed to take precession into account…

    Even so…the helo can be tricky to fly in certain situations…and many crashes have resulted due to pilot inexperience or incompetence in certain situations…especially near the ground…

    ‘…beginning a ‘translation’ of the whole show in the direction of the 1st stimulus, seems to me…’

    It’s not a ‘translation’…it’s a rotation about the axis of the spinning disk…tranlsation movement is when you hold the axis of that spinning disk and simply move it in some direction [ie translate]…without changing the tilt about its spin axis…

    The other issue with single-rotor helos is torque…the spinning rotor creates a torque in the direction of the rotation…which by Newton’s Third Law of equal and opposite reaction creates an opposite torque that wants to turn the fuselage in the opposite direction…

    This is why helos have tail rotors which are in the vertical plane…and prevent the fuselage from spinning…here is what happens when the tail falls off…

    The coaxial rotor helicopter solves both the precession and torque problem by having two main rotors on the same shaft [ie coaxial]…which cancels the torque and makes the tail rotor unnecessary…and also cancels the gyro precession…as you point out…

    The Russian Kamov helicopter design bureau is the only one in the world making coaxial helos…and for more than 70 years…

    These do not need tail rotors because the torque is cancelled…which means the wasted power used to drive the tail rotor can instead be applied to making lift…

    Also the control issues due to precession go away…since there is no precession…

    However…the coaxial helicopter is not as responsive to changes in direction as the single rotor…

    And this is the crux of the matter…

    It is not as responsive because its twin rotor has twice the inertia of the single rotor…

    Please review Newton’s First Law of Motion…which is that a body in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by a force…

    In the case of a spinning helicopter rotor or bicycle wheel or disk or gyro or space station…the rotational inertia…properly called the moment of inertia is a quantity that is analogous to inertia in translational [straight line] motion…

    ‘…the moment of inertia I must play the same role in rotational motion as the role that mass plays in translational motion: the moment of inertia is the resistance to changes in rotational motion…’

    —Serway…Physics for Scientists and Engineers, page 303…

    Notice that I highlighted the word mass there…ie Inertia of a rotating object is the same as mass in a translating object…

    So we reflect on the fact that inertia of an object translating in a certain direction will increase as a function of its mass…ie the bigger the mass the harder it will be to get it to change course…

    For example…a small ball rolling along the ground can be easily kicked off into another direction…a big truck not so easy…

    Same thing in space…an object [like a planet or asteroid] of large mass will be less easily diverted from its path than a small one…

    The upshot is that the moment of inertia is like mass…

    …which means that a rotating disk of even a small mass can have a large moment of inertia and hence not want to change direction… just like a translating object of large mass…

    Here we recall the mathematical definition of moment of inertia…

    We note here that Inertia is a function of mass and radius squared…ie the inertia of a rotating object of a given mass will increase by the square of its radius…

    So the bigger the radius the inertia increases exponentially

    So in the case of the coaxial helicopter we have twice the moment of inertia as with a single rotor…the fact that they are moving in opposite directions does not change the total inertia…since both rotors are on the same plane of rotation…

    This is why the coaxial helo…for all its advantages…does not respond as quickly to directional changes as the single rotor craft with less rotor inertia…

    I hope I am making myself clear…the precession and torque have nothing to do with inertia…

    Inertia is strictly the rotating object’s propensity to want to continue in its given path…

    So when the helo needs to change direction…that increased inertia offers greater resistance…

    This is also a benefit for the helo…as it has more directional stability…ie winds etc…will not disturb its flight path as much as they would a helo with a single rotor…

    So in the case of a helo we have design tradeoffs…as is always the case in any engineering problem…

    However…the point is that for this discussion…adding a second contra-rotating wheel will only serve to double the inertia…and make it that much more difficult to change the direction of the craft…

    Let’s go back now to that video demo above of the subject in the chair holding that spinning wheel…

    If he had another wheel mounted on the same axle and spinning in the opposite direction what would happen if he did the same thing…ie changed the axis from horizontal to vertical…?

    There is not going to be precession…ie he will not rotate in his chair…but he will need to apply twice as much ‘strength’ to move those two contra-spinning wheels from the horizontal to the vertical axis…

    That is the whole point…the amount of force it takes to change the orientation of that wheel’s axis is now double…due to its double inertia…

    ‘…FB: “needs to be able to rotate about all three axes”

    Me: Err, which way is ‘up’ in orbit; why not choose some ‘compromise’ orientation – parallel to Earth’s spin, say, and just ‘trim’ to maintain that? People walking inside ‘the rim’ could not enjoy the view too much anyway…’

    Well…this is certainly not a well-thought out question now is it…?

    Three dimensional space has three axes…x, y, z…

    If you are only going to work in two dimensions…as on a flat piece of paper then your ‘idea’ of not needing a third axis would work just fine…

    Here we see that a craft in three dimensional space needs to be able to rotate about all three axes…the longitudinal…the lateral…and the vertical…

    The reference frame here is the craft itself…not any outside object like the earth…

    A spacecraft must be able to do the same…since it is also moving in three-dimensional space…

    Any spacecraft in orbit must be able to do this…just like any airplane…otherwise it is uncontrollable…

    In the case of a space station like the ISS…the reasons for doing so are many…one is to be able to keep its solar panels oriented towards the sun at all times…another is for docking with other spacecraft…and an even more important one is to prevent tumbling…

    …which is what dead spacecraft [ie space junk] do once they lose the ability to control their attitude about those three axes…

    I trust this will preclude any more silly questions…as I would like to move on to discussions of the nuclear propulsion cruise missile…and other more relevant subjects…

  219. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Carroll Price

    This what happens when one country (Russia) produces graduates with degrees in science and engineering while another (the USA) produces graduates with degrees in social planning and black history.

    It would make no difference to America’s prosperity if all graduates in social planning and black history had taken engineering degrees instead. In fact, given the low standard of engineering that might result, it might make things a lot worse.

    The reason that America has lost its edge in engineering is that the most rewarding careers for the brightest grads are with Goldman Sachs, and the Internet giants, not the likes of GM, IBM, and NASA. In Russia, presumably, the contingencies of reward are different.

    • Agree: FB
  220. peterAUS says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    It appears that both Ron and you believe that a some sort of serious internal shooting is more likely to happen somewhere in USA that somewhere in Russian Federation.

    Interesting.

    Just for the record, it would be great, but I do believe in the opposite.

    But first things first.
    Novorossya….or, better, the front line. Especially its habitats within artillery ranges there. Then those along tactical pushes inside.
    And the Russian superweapons.

  221. skrik says:

    1st, thnx for your response.

    this will preclude any more silly questions

    Well, perhaps we could keep it friendly? I could retort: There are no silly questions, just sometimes silly answers – but … errr – Oh, I just did. I do understand tumbling gyros [nasty if it's your 'artificial horizon' and you're IFR, deep within 8/8, surface to all the way up cloud, say], also considering that counter-rotating space-habitats is actually yet another OT diversion, last but: IF your habitat were in a polar orbit with heliocentric spin axis, THEN it would only need to do one off-spin-axis revolution per year for the solar-panels, and IF the gyros could do that THEN they could also handle minor perturbations and therefore stay well in control [docking being via the non-rotating hub]. It’s only seeking ‘optimal’ cost-price/performance compromise?

    Now I’m going ‘all ears’ for your nuclear propulsion cruise missile discussions, etc., rgds

    • Replies: @FB
  222. edNels says:
    @Kiza

    FB and Kiza’s jive remarks above,

    Kiza, As you say:

    ”Why does a nuclear/thermonuclear explosion have to be 360 degree?”

    The late Carl Sagan explained how nuclear driven space craft could work.
    Well see, explosions are like that, they tend to expand in three dimensions when left to their own devices, or in optimum circumstances unrestrained by… the things that focus energy for doing work. Like tamping into confined spaces in myriad ways.

    Sagan’s nuclear rocket would be essentially, a hemispherical plate which reacts to a series of repeated smallish nuclear explosions, off to the rear end of the ship. The nuclear explosion drives the only thing (in relative proximity ) the ass end of the space ship, protected and connected, to this thing, which does the next best to restrain the energy of the explosion, it gets a boost off to one side, and in that way it isn’t 100% efficient, but even the Sun, and all under the Sun, so… hell with the miserly concerns when you endeavor to use nuclear, tearing apart matter as it were,

    Ok, 360 is degrees to measure in two axis’s, and another 360 in the 3rd dimension that are used in geometry I believe and it can be complicated but there’s zero, and there’s polar, etc.

    The explosions are tapped by a shaped shield that reacts, not unlike a sail reacts to wind in a way. I wonder whats keeping the Russians from developing that too! Maybe it wouldn’t be good for GS’s bottom line or some shit.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  223. peterAUS says:
    @Cyrano

    The success of Oluja was mostly as a result of the air cover by the greatest democracy of them all.

    That is definitely the accepted explanation in certain circles.

    Maybe I could present another.

    Disclaimer: any comparison with Novorossya is at the reader’s discretion.

    Setup:
    1. All upper echelons of the CiC structure of the “rebel area” (“RA” in the further text) mostly manned and, more importantly, tightly controlled by the “Big Brother” (“BB” in the further text).
    2. All weapons systems capable of reaching deep into the opponent territory also tightly controlled, on a tactical level, by the “BB”. Systems manned by the “BB” crews and launch keys kept on the “BB” territory.
    3. The pre-planned, doctrinal, approach to the expected clash with the opponent based on the premise that the armed forces of the “BB” will participate, in full capability, against the opponent. In essence, the “RA” forces seen just as a minor element of the overall defensive effort.
    4. The “BB”, at the time, under sanctions from The Empire.
    5. And, last but not least, all early attempts to create a locally controlled military squashed by the “BB”, including assassinations, torture and similar methods.

    Execution:

    1. 24 hours after the start of hostilities the top of CiC element of the “RA” military left their posts and relocated out of the “RA” territory. All the units possessing quality weapons and equipment did the same (the latest generation of tanks, quality artillery and AA systems, and such).
    2. Frantic calls for help from the “BB” political leadership ignored, upon which the front collapsed. The rout ensued. Including massive ethnic cleansing of the “RA” ethnic group from the territory. Around 200 000 some say.
    3. Ah, yes, and all the members of the “RA” military disarmed before seeking refuge on the “BB” territory.
    4. The “BB” Great Leader bought 4 years more for his cabal. Died in Hague,though, later on.
    5. The “RA” population settled, in time, in part on “BB” territory and in part around the world. Some of them in my neighbourhood.

    Make of this what you will.

    • Replies: @Cyrano
    , @Aedib
  224. FB says:
    @skrik

    ‘…I do understand tumbling gyros [nasty if it's your 'artificial horizon' and you're IFR, deep within 8/8, surface to all the way up cloud, say]…’

    Well…if you’re flying in IMC [instrument meteorological conditions for those who are not familiar]…and with full overcast [8/8 sectors of sky completely clouded over]…the last thing you would be doing is acrobatics which would tumble your mechanical attitude gyro…

    Although if you became spatially disoriented…and without benefit of at least a wing-leveler autopilot you might inadvertently put the airplane in an upset attitude…although tumbling the gyro would still be unlikely…

    Anyway flying IMC in small piston aircraft is not something I recommend…as a general rule of thumb…lots of private pilots get in trouble this way…leave the weather flying to the pros in the turbine equipment…and enjoy your sunny VMC flying…[ie visual conditions...I know you know this...just for others...]

    But the tumbling spacecraft is a different matter altogether…

    This is a real concern for any spacecraft regardless of its orbit…

    It has to do with the craft’s center of mass and the forces acting on it…

    I remember reading an astronaut blog from I believe Tim Peake [first UK astronaut]…where on the ISS one of the control moment gyros malfunctioned…

    The station started to go off kilter and he was scrambling for a solution…which he worked out with his knowledge of basic Newtonian mechanics…can’t find that article now…

    He got the craft stabilized by shifting weight around until the next Russian crew arrived with a fix for the gyro…[remember...these gyros control the attitude of the craft...not indicators]

    Here is what happens when a spacecraft loses attitude control and tumbles…

    Now…can we finally get on with other matters…?

  225. @Anatoly Karlin

    Real wages have been static, declining for the poorest, in the last four years (before the oil crash) but the improvement since 2000 is so huge a plateau can be forgiven.

  226. bluedog says:
    @Philip Owen

    Maybe maybe not the world is changing or haven’t you noticed,the 800 lb chimp has been reduced to nothing more than a monkey swinging by it tail on a limb,then add in the fact that Russia gets a real bang for the buck rather than our trillion dollar boondoggles like the F-35….

  227. Cyrano says:
    @peterAUS

    All I got to say on this subject is that you Croats are not honorable people. First in 1918 you welcomed the Serbs as liberators from Austria-Hungary, then in 1941 you welcomed the Germans as liberators from the Serbs and then in 1991 you welcomed the Americans as liberators from Yugoslavia.

    Thanks to that US support in ethnically cleansing Croatia – mainly from the Serbs – Croatia is now what – 99% ethnically pure? Good thing that the Americans are flexible on the issue of multiculturalism when it suits their global agenda.

    US might be flexible on the issue, but what about Europe? What if Europe asks Croatia to share the multicultural burden with them? That’s not going to go well in Croatia. For all their phantasmagory of being civilized, Croatia is just a typical Balkan country – primitive and uncivilized. And I don’t care how Catholic you are – that’s not helping any. But knowing the Croats, I envision a scenario where the Croats welcome the Russians as liberators from multicultural Europe.

    • Agree: Kiza
  228. Aedib says:
    @peterAUS

    Dreaming about Donbass Reconquista and hanging Putin in The Hague, just show that your “butthurtness” level is increasing.

  229. Kiza says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Yours are ridiculous statements with grandstanding and big motherhood statements such as

    there can be no such thing as friction-free artificial gravity

    There are some really dumb asses here at unz, but it is still worth coming here for a few good commenters. Now you get hold of yourself and stop typing stupidities, but what else could one expect from the one who calls himself intelligent design.

  230. Kiza says:
    @edNels

    Thanks for that discussion. When I mentioned this (silly) concept before, other people said something similar as this Sagan’s concept of a mechanical shield/sale that you describe. But stars or quasars appear to be using gravity to direct nuclear-reaction produced energy into a relatively narrow beam. Obviously, if it is not possible to use an electromagnetic field then gravity field would be the only other choice to focus nuclear energy (four forces it is for now without a unifying theory). But manipulation of gravity is the domain of science fiction only.

    In terms of viability of a nuclear explosion driven sail, this is something which some may be exploring already, Russian, US or Chinese, perhaps even others. Just there are no demonstrable results yet and they do not have this month’s elections to announce it and kill two nasty birds with one stone.

  231. @Eric Zuesse

    Quartermaster is not a fool.

    • LOL: FB
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    , @Randal
  232. @ploni alomoni

    He does do a bang on impression of one here at The Unz Review. Perhaps he’s not a fool, he just has his hat on backwards and his head is inside out. Who knows or cares? The bulk of his comments only begin to make sense if one assumes that he means the very opposite of what he’s written. Heaven help America if his kind makes decisions on major geopolitical action, they will take America into a war that will see it finished as an independent nation and will deliver it to the NWO, if anything remains.

  233. Svigor says:

    There’s more to life than a perfect reliability record, part trois:

    Russian RD-180
    SpaceX Merlin
    SpaceX Raptor

    Chamber Pressure (from quick glance at Wikipedia pages):
    RD-180: 3,870 psi
    Merlin: 1,410 psi
    Raptor: 3,600 psi

    First Flight:

    Russian RD-180: 2000
    SpaceX Merlin: 2006
    SpaceX Raptor: early 2020s (projected)

    There’s obviously a lot of room for speculation here. But one thing Russian nationalist flatheads like FB won’t acknowledge is that SpaceX is on a much better trajectory than ULA or EU or Russian launch providers. It’s easy to point to your perfect reliability record when you’ve been sucking off the taxpayer tit since the sixties and you don’t have to turn a profit or even project to turn a profit to stay in business. That’s a great situation for Boeing and Lockheed, and a big shit sandwich for space exploration. It’s much harder to do what SpaceX has done, which is come out of nowhere and become the space leader in under 20 years.

    That said, I’m not crowing about the Raptor being projected/planned to have basically the same chamber pressure as an RD-180 because 1, it hasn’t even been used in to launch a rocket yet, 2 there are several versions of the Raptor, and Musk has recently scaled back from the ITS to the BFR, and seems to be planning to go with a smaller version of the Raptor. I’m just pointing out that FB the flathead may want to go ahead and get all his crowing over the RD-180′s chamber pressure out of the way soon.

    But really if the RD-180′s chamber pressure is so important, where’s the ULA Mars base? The NASA Mars plan that comes in under $200 billion?

    • Replies: @Pavlo
    , @Erebus
  234. Svigor says:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/02/if-you-think-nasa-is-frustrated-with-spacex-youre-probably-right/

    NASA is far from a perfect government agency. As former space shuttle program manager Wayne Hale recently noted, NASA is hobbled by three major problems—rivalries between field centers, “mind-numbing” bureaucracy, and a “paralyzing” cultural requirement for perfection in all things.

    “‘Paralyzing’ cultural requirement for perfection in all things,” (e.g., “perfect reliability record is the most important thing!!!”) is hobbling NASA?

    Perfect reliability record as r’aison d’etre is obvious bullshit. If I can put up 100 launches in a year while rapidly innovating vehicle designs, but lose one rocket in the process, I have created not just an economy of scale, I have shortened the OODA loop, as it were – the rate of innovation. The guy who had 1 launch and 0 failures in the same period can keep his perfect reliability record, because I am eating his lunch. I can iron out the kinks and then produce a consistent, man-rated version 5.0 or whatever when I’m good and ready.

    SpaceX has more important things to worry about than a perfect reliability record. Like rapid innovation of launch vehicles and a quantum leap in space exploration capability.

    It’s ironic-but-sorta-not that a Russian flathead is taking the side of bloated crony capitalist ULA. It’s not something I see a lot of from Americans.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  235. Pavlo says:
    @Svigor

    It’s easy to point to your perfect reliability record when you’ve been sucking off the taxpayer tit since the sixties and you don’t have to turn a profit or even project to turn a profit to stay in business.

    Neither does Musk, you absolute prat.

    Mars base

    Some jackass like you is going to die horribly in space because of this going-to-Mars inanity. Maybe even you – wouldn’t that be a hoot?

    • LOL: FB
  236. Erebus says:
    @Svigor

    It’s much harder to do what SpaceX has done, which is come out of nowhere and become the space leader in under 20 years.

    Agreed that SpaceX represents a major accomplishment, not only for making rocketry re-usable, but for pulling together an enormous complex of financial and technical challenges and making it work.

    As could be expected, the Russians aren’t sitting on their haunches and crying into their vodka. They’ve acknowledged SpaceX’s challenge to their supremacy and have re-booted dormant engineering programs for the development of their own re-usables. Based on their deep engineering / metallurgical experience and low costs, they can be expected to pull back into a leadership position in the foreseeable future.

    Anyways, good on SpaceX for kick-starting a new space race. All the players in the rocket lifter industry are doubtless happy for the challenge.
    As for humans on Mars, I’ve always looked at that as a pipedream. Much more likely that the last rockets into space will be carrying nuclear warheads long before they’re carrying humans to Mars.

    • Replies: @FB
  237. yurivku says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    Regarding Karlin, it looks like the only Russia woryhs his praise is the one we lost pre 1917.

    He doesn’t worry about Russia of any time.
    He’s speaking about “Russia we’ve lost” just to look not as a full betraytor who nobody likes.
    He, just like that Felix guy trying to get a lot from Russia for free. They are actually are enemies. Why such people exist? I don’t know, but they’ve been in all times.

  238. yurivku says:
    @kemerd

    But Karlin behaves the same as Americans as if he was against the survival of an independent Russia.

    You got his point correctly. There are quite a some of such “russians” (mainly Jews) who hate Russia and call themselves liberals.

  239. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Svigor

    Re: “mind-numbing” bureaucracy

    As Werner von Braun commented:

    Our two greatest problems are gravity and paperwork. We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. — Wernher von Braun.

    Some things at NASA apparently never change.

  240. Bill says:
    @for-the-record

    That was my reaction as well. Eerily reminiscent of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The US blusters then completely folds then does an end zone dance for 50 years.

  241. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…Agreed that SpaceX represents a major accomplishment, not only for making rocketry re-usable, but for pulling together an enormous complex of financial and technical challenges and making it work…’

    Not really…

    You have to scratch beneath the PR hype surface if you want to get to the bottom of the SpaceX story…

    Musk is an intellectual lightweight…he made his billions by starting PayPal…

    He does have an undergrad degree in physics…but when he wanted to start in the rocket business he traveled to Russia to meet with some heavyweights [both from Nasa and Roskosmos]…everybody who met him thought he was a joke…[I have this from firsthand reports from guys that were there...]

    His engine [Merlin] is tiny…just 190,000 lb of thrust [1/4 of the RD180]…and achieves just 90 percent of the RD’s specific impulse…[the cardinal performance parameter for rocket engines]…

    It is 1950s technology…

    And like I said…the turbopump…which is the heart of a rocket engine is designed and built by Barber Nichols…

    But here is the real Achilles Heel of SpaceX…

    Musk is paying peanuts for engineering talent…

    ‘…So I had a job interview at spacex and when it came down to salary I asked for around $80k and they told me that was too high based on my experience so I just let them send me an offer and they only offered me 72k.

    I live on the east coast and make $70k now and based on CoL, Glassdoor, and gauging other engineers. If I took $72k at SpaceX that would be a huge after taxes pay cut for me considering housing and taxes are higher in California.

    Why the hell do people want to work there?

    I understand the grandeur of working at SpaceX but it’s like they’re paying at a not for profit rate. Does anyone have any insight?

    Edit: I also forgot to mention that they don’t pay any over time and a typical work week is 50-60hrs and right now I am paid straight over time so that would be an even larger pay cut than what I’m making now…’

    Edit: Just in case anyone is wondering I declined the offer.

    ‘…For those who are in the flyovers like myself: $72k in LA is <$50k in Cleveland and that basically assumes you're never planning to buy a house or rent with fewer than 3 people.

    50-60 hours is the bare minimum…I have friends who work there who practically live at their desks…

    Their business plan is to wear you completely out in under 2 years then replace you.

    Their business plan is unethical at best…’

    SpaceX ain’t going anywhere with that approach my friend…it’s all smoke and mirrors…engineering is the heart and soul of any aerospace concern…

    As for the PR hype…Musk certainly spends lavishly on getting ink in various goofball fanboy publications…I would bet dollars to donuts that a PR flack working for SpaceX makes three times the money that an engineer makes…

    And then there’s lobbying in DC…heavy money flow from Musk to the parasites on Capitol Hill…here is an insider’s account as to why SpaceX lost out to the RD180…

    In the senate debate it was pointed out that ULA had over 100 successful launches with no failures…

    SpaceX lobbied heavily for a ban on the Russian engines but lost…it wasn’t even close…the vote passed on a voice vote…

    Not everybody is a know-nothing fanboy who gulps PR koolaid…even on Capitol Hill…

    SpaceX simply isn’t capable of lifting those heavy payloads…it’s a non-starter…

    And with two spectacular rocket failures under their belt…SpaceX had to lower its prices in its contract with Nasa…

    Anyway…the money ultimately comes from the taxpayer…whether for space station missions or milsat launches…

    I have mentioned this guiding principle already many times…which everyone who is involved in Big Science will tell you…

    You can’t do great things when beancounting is job one…

    The most successful US space program was Apollo fifty years ago…it was a success because money was no object…and that came right from the top…JFK…

    People who are not professionally involved in science have no understanding of this…but that’s the way that challenging engineering works…

    Arguably Apollo was really the ‘only’ American space success…the Shuttle I have discussed previously some of the technical shortcomings of its basic design…

    The Russians built one…a far better version…the Buran…but saw that the idea didn’t make sense…

    Shuttle proved the bad engineering by two catastrophic in-flight failures…costing the lives of 14 astronauts…and a great deal of prestige…

    Russia has never had a catastrophic in-flight failure…and has only lost 4 cosmonauts in flight…and none since 1971…

    And those two failures were not catastrophic in-flight breakups…the one in 1971 was a relatively minor technical error and the capsule landed normally…just the cabin decompressed killing the crew…due to an automatic valve malfunction…

    Prior to this incident some had argued that there should be a manual backup procedure for the cabin compression system…and also wearing spacesuits would have precluded the crew deaths…which is done since [even today]…and this is just good flight practice…ie multiple redundancy for safety…

    But nothing like those two Shuttle in-flight explosions has ever happened on the Russian side…

    As for the ‘reusable’ part…this is in theory a modest step forward…but the Big Prize has always been single stage to orbit…ie a true spaceplane…

    This is what will get launch costs down by a very real factor…ie an order of magnitude…

    This will involve propulsion concepts that are being worked on but not yet mature…Musk has not dog in this race…and this is where the real action will be in the coming years…

    Basically SpaceX is a very PR hyped nothingburger…with a billionaire pretend-rocket scientist who has not really achieved anything…

    If and when he actually puts a man into orbit…then we can say SpaceX is in the big leagues…right now it’s a farm team outfit…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  242. Svigor says:

    The late Carl Sagan explained how nuclear driven space craft could work.
    Well see, explosions are like that, they tend to expand in three dimensions when left to their own devices, or in optimum circumstances unrestrained by… the things that focus energy for doing work. Like tamping into confined spaces in myriad ways.

    Sagan’s nuclear rocket would be essentially, a hemispherical plate which reacts to a series of repeated smallish nuclear explosions, off to the rear end of the ship. The nuclear explosion drives the only thing (in relative proximity ) the ass end of the space ship, protected and connected, to this thing, which does the next best to restrain the energy of the explosion, it gets a boost off to one side, and in that way it isn’t 100% efficient, but even the Sun, and all under the Sun, so… hell with the miserly concerns when you endeavor to use nuclear, tearing apart matter as it were,

    Sagan may have explained it, but it wasn’t his idea. The first person I know of to suggest it was Stanislaw Ulam:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_pulse_propulsion

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

    The idea of rocket propulsion by combustion of explosive substance was first proposed by Russian explosives expert Nikolai Kibalchich in 1881, and in 1891 similar ideas were developed independently by German engineer Hermann Ganswindt. General proposals of nuclear propulsion were first made by Stanislaw Ulam in 1946, and preliminary calculations were made by F. Reines and Ulam in a Los Alamos memorandum dated 1947.[1] The actual project, initiated in 1958, was led by Ted Taylor at General Atomics and physicist Freeman Dyson, who at Taylor’s request took a year away from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton to work on the project.

    Contra Kiza, it’s actually the most feasible and concrete design we have for deep (think interstellar, more than interplanetary) space propulsion.

    Anyways, good on SpaceX for kick-starting a new space race. All the players in the rocket lifter industry are doubtless happy for the challenge.
    As for humans on Mars, I’ve always looked at that as a pipedream. Much more likely that the last rockets into space will be carrying nuclear warheads long before they’re carrying humans to Mars.

    Personally I don’t really care about planetary habitats, per se. But if they’re the goal that gets space colonization kickstarted, so be it.

    My money is on space habitats; you can create 1g environments and you don’t have to deal with gravity wells.

    He does have an undergrad degree in physics…but when he wanted to start in the rocket business he traveled to Russia to meet with some heavyweights [both from Nasa and Roskosmos]…everybody who met him thought he was a joke…[I have this from firsthand reports from guys that were there...]

    Yeah, the Russians are the ones who look good in hindsight, am I right? Think of all the headaches they could’ve saved themselves if they’d just sold Musk some rockets, lol.

    It’s amazing how you can draw the exact wrong conclusions… in your mind, Musk was the dunce in that exchange…lol.

    My God, you do ramble on. Rest of your comment was TL;DR.

  243. Svigor says:

    This will involve propulsion concepts that are being worked on but not yet mature…Musk has not dog in this race…and this is where the real action will be in the coming years…

    As if you know everything Musk is planning, lol. My money’s on Musk having a dog in that race, eventually. You know, after he’s made billions kicking the space race into high gear (and putting Starlink into place) and plowed it back into space colonization and made the space industry a much more profitable destination for capital and thus kicked the propulsion race into high gear…

    The most successful US space program was Apollo fifty years ago…it was a success because money was no object…and that came right from the top…JFK…

    It was as much about the culture as the money. NASA now has a very different culture, one that doesn’t value end results as highly.

    • Replies: @FB
  244. Svigor says:

    As for the ‘reusable’ part…this is in theory a modest step forward…but the Big Prize has always been single stage to orbit…ie a true spaceplane…

    This is what will get launch costs down by a very real factor…ie an order of magnitude…

    Lol, you’re such a twit. Either will bring launch costs way down, right to the cost of fuel. A goal which SpaceX has made far more progress toward than any spaceplane project has, btw; staged rockets allow for iterative progress, while spaceplanes are an all-or-nothing affair – you either have one, or you don’t, and until you do, you don’t.

    Not that you care – you’ve already dismissed launch costs as a goal, lol.

  245. Svigor says:

    “How far are they going to take it?”

    I think Stanley Kubrick was close to being correct

    Yeah, 2001 is sorta coming into focus now, finally, in 2018. Obviously the biggest difference is how degenerate our culture will be when we get to 2001 technologically, compared to the sixties culture Kubrick depicted.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  246. Svigor says:

    It’s funny to see FB talking up an order-of-magnitude drop in launch costs now, after ignoring the fact that SpaceX has already produced just such a drop, compared to his precious ULA:

    SpaceX Falcon Heavy:
    Payload to LEO: 64t
    Payload to GTO: 26t

    Reusable cost: $90m
    Expendable cost: $150m

    ULA Delta IV Heavy:

    Payload to LEO: 29t
    Payload to GTO: 14t
    Expendable cost: $350m

    SpaceX cost to LEO = $1.4m/ton
    ULA cost to LEO = $12m/ton

    And the more reusability SpaceX can squeeze out of their stages, the lower their launch costs will go. And while FB and the flatheads shake their fists at Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is already moving on to BFR.

  247. Svigor says:

    If and when he actually puts a man into orbit…then we can say SpaceX is in the big leagues…right now it’s a farm team outfit…

    This is a really stupid, flathead sort of statement (SpaceX is already very much in the big league). It’s a recipe for waking up one day and finding yourself obsolete; while you’re resting on your “I put a man in space” and “perfect reliability record” laurels, your competition is rapidly innovating reusability (and rocket engines, etc.) and dropping launch costs by an order of magnitude, launching more vehicles than you do, and putting more payload into space for a Hell of a lot less money. Human-rating is an important goal, but it’s not the only goal. Human-rating is about ironing out the wrinkles; it’s best left until after you’ve got everything else worked out.

    Holistic approach is always best – look at the big picture. The big picture is SpaceX eating everyone else’s lunch.

  248. peterAUS says:
    @Svigor

    Yeah, 2001 is sorta coming into focus now…

    Thread derail warning.

    Maybe we should still wait for that a bit. I wouldn’t want the Star Child fixing all this mess around.
    Not yet, anyway.
    Say, 20 years from now should be O.K.

  249. Svigor says:

    SpaceX could sink a bunch of time and effort into getting Falcon 9 human-rated, but should they? They seem to have calculated that it’s time and money better spent bringing BFR to fruition; their plan is to replace all their other vehicles with BFR. I know NASA wants to put Americans into space with American rockets but maybe SpaceX has better things to do at the moment?

    His engine [Merlin] is tiny…just 190,000 lb of thrust [1/4 of the RD180]…and achieves just 90 percent of the RD’s specific impulse…[the cardinal performance parameter for rocket engines]…

    Better enjoy crowing about RD-180 vs. Merlin while you can. *cough*Raptor*cough*

    SSTOs

    From the Wikipedia article FB linked to:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-stage-to-orbit

    Many studies have shown that regardless of selected technology, the most effective cost reduction technique is economies of scale.[citation needed] Merely launching a large total number reduces the manufacturing costs per vehicle, similar to how the mass production of automobiles brought about great increases in affordability.

    Using this concept, some aerospace analysts believe the way to lower launch costs is the exact opposite of SSTO. Whereas reusable SSTOs would reduce per launch costs by making a reusable high-tech vehicle that launches frequently with low maintenance, the “mass production” approach views the technical advances as a source of the cost problem in the first place. By simply building and launching large quantities of rockets, and hence launching a large volume of payload, costs can be brought down. This approach was attempted in the late 1970s, early 1980s in West Germany with the Democratic Republic of the Congo-based OTRAG rocket.

    LOL. *cough*SpaceX!*cough*

    As for actual SSTO projects, if that article is any guide, the best example under current development is Skylon:

    The project’s development is now allowed to advance to its next phase, which involves the construction and testing of a full-scale prototype engine.[43][44]

    In other words, SpaceX is much further along in the race to reusability and bringing launch costs close to the cost of fuel expended.

  250. FB says:
    @Svigor

    ‘…It was as much about the culture as the money. NASA now has a very different culture, one that doesn’t value end results as highly…’

    And you would know about Nasa culture how…?

    Please let us know how long you have spent inside any Nasa facility…?

    You’re some kind of delusional…lecturing people who have spent time professionally in Nasa…and do actually know the culture…

    …which is one of letting smart people do their thing…without having to answer to some jagoff bean counter…or being chained to a desk like a galley slave at SpaceX…

    Like I said earlier…go seek medical help…

  251. FB says:

    ‘…*cough*Raptor*cough*…’

    Raptor currently flying on the drawing board…maybe some nice computer graphics too…

    But I guess to a mental patient the idea of counting your eggs before they hatch makes perfect sense…

  252. @Kiza

    Hey no fair! , I came up with “Ziocon” haha

  253. Erebus says:
    @FB

    Basically SpaceX is a very PR hyped nothingburger…with a billionaire pretend-rocket scientist who has not really achieved anything…

    That’s quite unfair. I know well that SpaceX may be viewed as simply the most ostentatious of Elon Musk’s various show-boat spectacles, but there it incontrovertibly is… a non-govt enterprise that’s offering low-cost heavy lift services to the aerospace industry. However Musk got it to that point, that it exists at all makes it much more than a “nothingburger”.
    Does SpaceX (or Tesla, or SolarCity) have, or could acquire the deep science & engineering chops to advance themselves or the art to the next level? No real idea, but they’ve surely laid down the challenge for those who do. The art in all 3 fields has been disrupted, and will now advance faster, and perhaps more effectively precisely because Musk shook the cobwebs in all 3 industries. One result is that Roscosmos engineers have dusted off the old Soviet plans for re-usable rocket engines. You can be sure they’re on it now.

    All of his spectacles have “succeeded” by doing an end run around the entities that had been asleep at the wheel for too long. By combining and leveraging the scientific accomplishments of others, and sexing the package up to the point where public and private money poured in to make it real, Musk succeeded where scientific geniuses like Tesla failed. In my book, that is accomplishment.

    I fully agree that SpaceX may come to naught as the real deep-thinkers get the heavy lifting done to overwhelm what SpaceX’s underpaid & overworked engineers can muster. Tesla will most likely be subsumed by one of the VWs, Toyotas, BMWs, M-Bs etc who have the deep design/production engineering resources, and the global market channels to make EVs commonplace. SolarCity isn’t really doing much to advance the state of the art that I’m aware of, but it did succeed in making solar power even sexier than it is. It offers too little, IMHO, so will succumb to those who have the materials science & engineering chops to advance the art.

    If and when he actually puts a man into orbit…then we can say SpaceX is in the big leagues…right now it’s a farm team outfit…

    To be sure it falls well below Musk’s Martian dreams, but there’s a place in the aerospace world for cheap lift capacity.

    If SpaceX survives in the cargo lift niche of the industry, I’d say that is a hell of an accomplishment. If it takes peddling Martian fantasies to the gullible to get there, well that’s says more about what our societies have become than about Musk himself or the real, on the ground, physical and technical enterprises making rockets, cars, and solar gensets he’s started. They may be as much marketing as science, but that’s how things get done nowadays.

  254. Svigor says:

    Raptor currently flying on the drawing board…maybe some nice computer graphics too…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raptor_(rocket_engine_family)

    Engine testing
    Testing of the Raptor’s oxygen preburner at Stennis in 2015

    Initial development testing[8] of Raptor methane engine components was done at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi, where SpaceX added equipment to the existing infrastructure in order to support liquid methane engine testing.[4][28] Initial testing was limited to components of the Raptor engine, since the 440 kN (100,000 lbf) test stands at the E-2 complex at Stennis were not large enough to test the full Raptor engine. The development Raptor engine discussed in the October 2013 time frame relative to Stennis testing was designed to generate more than 2,900 kN (661,000 lbf) vacuum thrust.[4] A revised, higher-thrust, specification was discussed by the company in February 2014, but it was unclear whether that higher thrust was something that would be achieved with the initial development engines.[19] Raptor engine component testing began in May 2014[29] at the E-2 test complex which SpaceX modified to support methane engine tests.[4] The first items tested were single Raptor injector elements,[66] various designs of high-volume gas injectors.[67] The modifications to the test stands made by SpaceX are now a part of the Stennis test infrastructure and are available to other users of the test facility after the SpaceX facility lease was completed.[4] SpaceX successfully completed a “round of main injector testing in late 2014″ and a “full-power test of the oxygen preburner component” for Raptor by June 2015. Tests continued at least into September 2015.[8]

    SpaceX constructed a new engine test stand at their site of McGregor in central Texas that can handle the larger thrust of the full Raptor engine.[1][4] The B-2 test stand at Stennis Space Center was upgraded in 2014 to accommodate testing of NASA’s 7,440 kN (1,700,000 lbf) SLS core stage.[68]

    By August 2016, SpaceX confirmed that a Raptor engine had been shipped to the testing site in McGregor for development tests,[11] and the 1,000 kN (220,000 lbf) development Raptor did an initial 9-second firing test on 26 September 2016, the day before Musk’s talk at the International Aeronautical Congress. The 2016 development engine had “an expansion ratio of just 150, the maximum possible within Earth’s atmosphere” to prevent flow separation problems.[1]

    By September 2017, the development Raptor engine—with 200 bars (20 MPa) chamber pressure—had undergone 1200 seconds of test fire testing in ground-test stands across 42 main engine tests, with the longest test being 100 seconds (which is limited by the capacity of the ground-test propellant tanks). As of September 2017, the first version of the flight engine is intended to operate at a chamber pressure of 250 bar, with the intent to raise it to 300 bar at a later time.[47]

    Oh btw, here’s the BE-4:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BE-4

    Although it was initially planned to be used exclusively on a Blue Origin proprietary launch vehicle, it is currently planned that the engine will also be used on the United Launch Alliance Vulcan launch vehicle, the successor to the Atlas V launch vehicle, where it is the leading candidate engine to replace the Russian-made RD-180 engine currently used by ULA.[5]

    I guess even ULA doesn’t give a shit about RD-180/Atlas’ “perfect launch record.”

  255. Svigor says:

    But yes, Rain Man, I thought the implication that Raptor isn’t flying yet was obvious from the words, “better enjoy crowing about RD-180 vs. Merlin while you can. *cough*Raptor*cough* ” I’ll try to ESL/simplify it for you: when.Raptor.starts.flying.the.time.for.crowing.about.RD-180.will.be.over.

    • Replies: @FB
  256. FB says:
    @Svigor

    the only ‘obvious implication’ from your inability to differentiate between reality and fantasy… [plus your extensive wikipedia quoting] is that you need psychiatric help…

  257. Randal says:
    @ploni alomoni

    He clearly isn’t a fool in the sense of being mentally inadequate, but equally clearly he has evidently delusional ideas on many issues (as FB highlighted on this occasion). That’s usually evidence of allowing one’s ideology or loyalties to overwhelm one’s reason (or of straightforward dishonesty).

    In Quartermaster’s case, his delusions appear to be the kinds that are attributable to neocon attitudes and US-uber-alles militarism.

    • Replies: @yurivku
  258. J-P says:
    @FB

    I can’t claim to have any technical knowledge whatsoever, however, I just have to ask…once the object has been spun up to the desired speed (to provide the “gravity”) by application of the above mentioned 1.2MW/1,600 horsepower, will said object not keep spinning literally forever without further energy inputs unless acted upon by another force? I believe Newton had something to say about that.

    • Replies: @FB
  259. FB says:
    @J-P

    This question has been addressed in detail…read the material carefully before asking questions that have already been addressed…

    No…the wheel will not keep spinning in perpetuity with no additional power input…

    That is because the bearings that the axle spins on will be under the force of the artificial gravity…so it would be the same as on earth…a flywheel that is spun up even on the least friction bearings possible will eventually stop…

    This has already been well explained…also another commenter made the point that human movement…or the shifting of mass within that habitat zone on the perimeter of the wheel will likewise result in loss of momentum and require power input…

    But your question somehow fails to grasp the biggest issue of all…

    The huge amount of inertia produced by a spinning wheel the size of a football stadium means that it will take huge amounts of power to steer the craft…[ie adjust its attitude about its three axes...which is a must...]

    The inertia from that wheel…like a spinning bicycle wheel…makes it harder to change its axis…this has all been explained in quite some detail…

    So please get it already…it’s not just about the friction of turning that wheel…which will be present…and will require power to keep it turning…

    It is much more about how are you going to steer that craft…in order to prevent it from tumbling and becoming space junk…?

    And where will that huge amount of power come from…?

  260. Svigor says:

    the only ‘obvious implication’ from your inability to differentiate between reality and fantasy… [plus your extensive wikipedia quoting] is that you need psychiatric help…

    Russian flathead makes another substance-free response.

    I’m shocked.

    This question has been addressed in detail…read the material carefully before asking questions that have already been addressed…

    No…the wheel will not keep spinning in perpetuity with no additional power input…

    That is because the bearings that the axle spins on will be under the force of the artificial gravity…so it would be the same as on earth…a flywheel that is spun up even on the least friction bearings possible will eventually stop…

    FB thinks he can keep adding bearings to the equation and no one will notice; that he can keep pretending that an entire hab or craft cannot be spun if he says “it was in a sci-fi movie!”

    Rain Man; he can count all your toothpicks at a glance, but he can’t do simple logic.

    This has already been well explained…also another commenter made the point that human movement…or the shifting of mass within that habitat zone on the perimeter of the wheel will likewise result in loss of momentum and require power input…

    Yeah, micro-inputs. Habs and craft have power and propulsion, so it’s a non-problem.

    The huge amount of inertia produced by a spinning wheel the size of a football stadium means that it will take huge amounts of power to steer the craft…[ie adjust its attitude about its three axes...which is a must...]

    It would take no more power to stop it spinning than it took to get it spinning. I guess rocket scientists are too stupid to come up with “stop it spinning before maneuvering”? Unlike in FB’s stupid sci-fi imagination, space isn’t always like a dogfight in Star Wars where constant maneuvering is needed.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FB
  261. FB says:
    @Svigor

    I know you are not big on learning…but you may want to look at this…

  262. FB says:
    @Svigor

    Look…I already told you I have no time to waste on someone who has no physics knowledge whatsoever….never mind any actual knowledge of how a spacecraft works…

    Please read up on control moment gyros [even wikipedia has basic technical info that should help you...]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_moment_gyroscope#International_Space_Station

    ‘…The ISS employs a total of four CMGs as primary actuating devices during normal flight mode operation.

    The objective of the CMG flight control system is to hold the space station at a fixed attitude relative to the surface of the Earth.

    In addition, it seeks a Torque Equilibrium Attitude (TEA), in which the combined torque contribution of gravity gradient, atmospheric drag, solar pressure, and geomagnetic interactions are minimized.

    In the presence of these continual environmental disturbances CMGs absorb momentum in an attempt to maintain the space station at a desired attitude…’

    Once you understand that basic bit of info…ie a spacecraft is exposed to continuous disturbances…then you will maybe understand how half-baked your ideas really are…

    Then go on and read an actual technical paper…on attitude control and momentum management…

  263. Paw says:
    @Quartermaster

    How we recognize of Thug Putin ? By repeating cliche of KGB. That certainly works for some brains. It makes USA very secure. He is just KGB. Case solved.
    Now some nations began to get closer and closer to Russia under relentless pressure from USA.
    Now , there is concentration od Russia defence and an advantage of home field.
    Comparing presidents does not look good for the pathetic hairy /gen. Custer/, UnKGB Trump. And the Stable genius , who change ministers like socks. Often.
    Threats of war every day makes USA peacefull as lambs. Minus the silence.
    Politicaly USA is splintered now into many groups.. Hysteria rules. Close to panic.
    Russia system of the Dead Hand makes sure when Russia ends the whole world ends.
    Great war in Syriia , very difficult to defeat US proxy army of terrorists.
    As they already defeated USA in 9/11 …And so easy.
    Are those terrorist the last stand of US Army ?
    Tarrifs , are sanctions against the world. Shall work. Like the boomerang they will sure strike back.
    In many ways…

  264. yurivku says:
    @Randal

    He clearly isn’t a fool in the sense of being mentally inadequate

    I think his a payed troll from some “troll factory”. Nothing personal, just business.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    , @Randal
  265. @yurivku

    I doubt he’s paid, after all, he convinces nobody but himself and a couple of like minded blind “patriots”. Who’d pay him anything?

    I’d say he’s a former military geezer who’s whole identity is wrapped up in being a “soldier hero” and who has drunk way too much Kool-aid as he washes down his daily blue pill.

    • Agree: Randal
    • Replies: @yurivku
    , @Randal
  266. yurivku says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    I doubt he’s paid, after all, he convinces nobody but himself and a couple of like minded blind “patriots”. Who’d pay him anything?

    What? US not paying for patriotic trolls?
    As we all know paying a little you can win elections everywhere.

    But if he’s not being payed he must be so even more clever than Nikki Haley and that seems to be impossible.

    Once again, as things in US and UK are going the way they do – those countries should have many of those patriots.

  267. Randal says:
    @yurivku

    Well I’m generally pretty sceptical about such allegations, having myself been so regularly accused of being a “paid troll/shill” over the years just because someone doesn’t like what I am saying.

    Apparently I’ve been a paid troll for Milosevic, Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad and Putin over the past two decades, and I never knew it. Not one of the buggers has ever paid up, either……

  268. Randal says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    Mostly when you do get these types talking you can find some personal reasons why they cling to their obsessive positions in support of military aggression and confrontation. Quite often its exiles from the target country and their family members who are the worst.

    In Quartermaster’s case, as you suggest, he reads to me like a bitterly entrenched militarist US nationalist or neocon type.

  269. FB says:
    @Quartermaster

    ‘…Putin has done some wishcasting, and that’s about all.

    The nuke powered cruise missile is good example. merely testing it would result in irradiating everything in the flight path. The US looked at such things and saw they were too dangerous to even test…’

    I trust you found my reply to your metallurgy ‘issue’ to your satisfaction…[certainly a number of other commenters seemed to...]

    I posted a similar technical discussion on the nuclear cruise missile on another thread…

    I trust you will find it likewise appealing…

  270. Svigor says:

    Look…I already told you I have no time to waste on someone who has no physics knowledge whatsoever….never mind any actual knowledge of how a spacecraft works…

    I understand. You’ve been badly mauled by a layman, and now understand that no credentials of any kind are necessary to put you into your place. It’s humiliating. You’re excused from the conversation.

    Well I’m generally pretty sceptical about such allegations, having myself been so regularly accused of being a “paid troll/shill” over the years just because someone doesn’t like what I am saying.

    Apparently I’ve been a paid troll for Milosevic, Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad and Putin over the past two decades, and I never knew it. Not one of the buggers has ever paid up, either……

    Russian flathead ultranats are so stupid, they call me a “hasbara” and “zionist” troll. That kind of stupidity is strong enough to cause blindness.

    • Replies: @FB
  271. FB says:
    @Svigor

    This is actually a book…buy it…read it…[try to] comprehend it…

    Hasta la vista idiota…

  272. Svigor says:

    Yeah that’s great, flathead.

    *Pats its flat head*

  273. Svigor says:

    I just noticed this gem:

    But I guess to a mental patient the idea of counting your eggs before they hatch makes perfect sense…

    Actually, Rain Man, counting eggs makes perfect sense to anyone above minimum threshhold of competence (i.e., not FB). That’s why I always open my egg cartons and make sure they’re full before I pay for my groceries.

    It’s counting chickens before they hatch that made it into an aphorism.

    What a flatheaded clod.

    He just gets dumber and dumber, the more I read him.

    Of course, I never did count my chickens, either. I merely pointed out that, given SpaceX’ record, Raptor will likely work and may put even the silly and arbitrary “chamber pressure supremacy” of Russian rockets to bed. (As if we’re in a “chamber pressure” race and not a space race, lol).

  274. I keep hoping for a demonstration of how good these weapons are and how well the US Navy would fare against them.

    It looked like we might get one in and around Syria, but nothing has happened so far.

  275. Svigor says:

    Funniest space story I’ve read so far: a Russian chief rocket designer literally spat on Elon Musk and Cantrell in 2001, when they went to Russia trying to buy a rocket.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-elon-musk-spacex/

    Ah, to take sweet revenge on the Russian flatheads, with every launch and every reuse. Over and over and over…

    Maybe this is why flatheads hate Elon Musk. They know Elon is reveling in the schadenfreude (or should be, if he isn’t). They know if they had just not been flathead assholes, SpaceX might not even exist today.

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