Monday, July 13, 2009

Potpourri LXXII

First, from my NASA PAO feed:

July 13, 2009

Mark Hess
Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Md. 301-286-6255

Tina Tate
The Newseum,
Washington 202-292-6620



WASHINGTON -- NASA will hold a media briefing at 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 16, at the Newseum in Washington to release greatly improved video imagery from the July 1969 live broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk.

The release will feature 15 key moments from Neil Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's historic moonwalk using what is believed to be the best available broadcast-format copies of the lunar excursion, some of which had been locked away for nearly 40 years. The initial video released Thursday is part of a comprehensive Apollo 11 moonwalk restoration project expected to be completed by the fall.

The Newseum is located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. The news conference will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's Internet homepage.

Participants in the briefing will be:
-- Richard Nafzger, team lead and Goddard engineer
-- Stan Lebar, former Westinghouse Electric program manager
-- Mike Inchalik, president of Lowry Digital, Burbank, Calif.

For NASA TV downlink information, schedule information and streaming video, visit:

This should be an interesting fight. A U.S. judge is debating whether to force a Swiss bank to violate Swiss law and hand over the banking records of 52,000 American customers in an effort to find tax cheats. Aside from the blatant illegality, bullying, and witch-hunting of this action, I must repeat that it is against Swiss law to turn over customer bank records, even in criminal cases. I wouldn't bet against the Swiss. If tax rates weren't so confiscatory here, there wouldn't be so many rich folks trying to move their money overseas. The last line in the story made me gag for its sheer blindness, effrontery, and stupidity:

"It's an injustice to the Treasury at a time when the country is scraping for money, to let these people get away with it is outrageous."

Inustice? Injustice is a government overspending beyond the ability of its taxpayers to afford it. Injustice is political and financial witch hunting. Injustice is a willingness to break another country's privacy laws to get your way. "The country is scraping for money?" Outrageous indeed.

I've posted this before, but it's still worth seeing.

Here's a proposal that combines laser propulsion, reusable launch vehicles, and space solar power for a grand total of $58 billion. Donations welcome, I presume...

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