Saturday, May 03, 2014
Government Now Looking For British Spaceport
The UK Space Agency has been tasked with opening a site by 2018, with the first flights having lift-off within a year.
A remote site, away from homes and businesses, will be required in the plan to better prepare the UK to deal with threats from space – and offer trips to space tourists.
‘It might be smaller airports, it might be underused or disused RAF airfields.
‘We’re starting to look at relatively remote parts of the country,’ he told the Telegraph.
7 years ago I made a rather more ambitious proposal for a British and indeed world spaceport which could have been running by now. Even the commenting environmentalist (& several "environmentalists") who objected had no doubt it would work. Ah well.
I have written this to David Willets and we will see:
Dear David Willets,
I am very pleased to see that you are now actively promoting the development of a British spaceport. I would like to repeat a suggestion I made to the previous government and to our space agency (& I believe also to you when appointed).
It is ancillary to your current proposals, which I very much hope will result in a British spaceport being set up at Lossiemouth or similar in Scotland. I am informed that the reason Virgin went originally to Sweden was because nobody in the Holyrood government was remotely interested in helping them get through the Luddite regulatory morass that affects so much here (& makes even Westminster look efficient by comparison). Indeed an announcement on that basis before the referendum might be opportune.
However with space industry growing at 10% annually in Britain and the potential for much more we will need as much spaceport capacity as possible.
My option requires some spending on port facilities, possibly a launch site (though there is an airport already) and limited road and power infrastructure but these could easily be paid for out of a bond issue, redeemable from their use. It would be more likely to augment a UK mainland spaceport, being able to handle larger, including non man-rated cargos.
It would also have the potential to be the chief spaceport of the western hemisphere. I am assuming Singapore, which has no more potential than this, will be the eastern one.
This is the proposal I made:
Ascension Island is an unimpressive 35 square mile rock extruded from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge though fortunately not currently tectonically active. It is one of a number of small left overs from the British Empire situated just 7.5 degrees south of the equator. Currently its main importance is that it has a substantial Anglo-American airbase big enough to handle regular Hercules flights to the Falkland Islands. Current British government practice is to discourage migration, tourism & development, presumably to prevent the locals being able to object to the base. "In order to gain an entry to Ascension Island, people need the written permission of the Administrator. It is nearly impossible to take up permanent residence. Employment is a requirement to stay on the island. The UK government has asserted that no inhabitant of Ascension Island has a "right to abode".
The values I am concerned about are, in order, that it is near the equator, that it is under British legal authority & that it is an island far from the nearest shore. The UK rule & isolation mean that it & any business activities on it are secure. The position on the equator & being surrounded by sea make it one of the best places in the world for 1 particular business.
Developed properly it could be Earth's prime spaceport.
The Earth rotates & the equator rotates at 1000mph, which is 10% of the speed needed to reach orbit. From the equator costs to orbit are therefore much more than 10% less than they can be elsewhere. This is why Cape Canaveral & Baikonur are located in the southernmost parts of their respective countries. Moreover the automatic position reached in orbit from the equator is an equatorial orbit which is easier to match to than orbits starting at some other point & would allow communication satellites to hold a relatively stable position in the sky.
Developing the island conventionally would not be hard, which is why our government have had to actively prevent it. 3 of the world's richest territories are places with few natural resources which have become wealthy as British colonies. This is because our law ensures contracts are worth the paper they are written on & because being part of the Empire keeps them safe from predatory neighbours & even more importantly from police chiefs & political leaders, not necessarily more irresponsible than those of Springfield but who should not be trusted with the power of absolute sovereignty. The 3 are Bermuda, the Cayman Islands & Hong Kong (Hong Kong may not be British anymore but it got rich that way - in 1948 it got 2 million Chinese refugees, without the "aid" provided to the much less numerous Palestinians to keep them refugees). The success of these places, now richer than Britain, supports the libertarian view that beyond upholding the law most of the rest of government is parasitic & the old fashioned imperialist view that the natives generally benefited from our Empire.
Thus much of what is needed is merely to do nothing. No bans on immigration & development, allow commercial & tourist flights, don't charge corporation & most other taxes (the place is hardly a source of revenue currently). To develop it into a space port we would first need the UK government to have set up an X-Prize Foundation as I have previously suggested. Beyond that a little infrastructure - a good harbour & an Ocean Thermal Energy Converter (OTEC) able to produce enough power to hydrolyse as much hydrogen & liquid oxygen as might be needed or indeed to run a laser launching system. An extra effect of an OTEC is that by bringing nutrient rich deep ocean water to the surface it can facilitate algae & fish industries. Marshall Savage's book The Millennial Project details how & I have borrowed extensively from him for this idea, which is considerably less ambitious than his floating islands proposal. The US would have to be squared but if Pearl Harbour does not have to be isolated I don't see this base as presenting insuperable security problems, indeed good harbour facilities should make it a more useful base.
I am envisaging a spaceport in perhaps 10 years, launching a fleet of shuttles developed from "3 operational spacecraft which have achieved low earth orbit, returned to earth, and flown to orbit again three times in a period of three weeks" (as Dr Pournelle's X-Prize proposal suggests) relatively accessible from the North Atlantic shores of Britain, the USA & Europe. It may sound very Dan Dare but I see no reason why a forward looking self confident nation couldn't create it. I would welcome criticisms & refinements. Isn't the island's name a magnificent example of serendipity.
As I say I would welcome any criticism. All the discussion on the subject has confirmed that it would work - even those who don't want it to.
Because I have had no reply to this from various government sources when suggested over the last 7 years; because a previous enquiry showed that the government had simply binned, without consideration, a 2009 proposal for an X-Prize Foundation which would probably have made us leader in space industry by now if that had been desired; and because, on another occasion, I was informed by the Scottish executive that they would never, under any circumstances, give any consideration to any concept that did not come directly from the brow of the leadership I am forced to make a formal request.
Under the Freedom of Information Act I request all documentation relating to the Ministry's/Agency's consideration of this, or of the decision to bin it without consideration, specifically including all reasons for doing it, or for deciding not to bother.
I trust this is not an insuperable inconvenience - perhaps it will even give you the leverage to get the civil service to give you an honest answer on feasibility.
Friday, May 02, 2014
Links - Mostly State Parasitism & Fascism
Dan Hannan on why we have a liberal society (& can lose it):
The real question is not why some places are corrupt but why some aren’t. How did we create a society where, for want of more monstrous malfeasances, we have the luxury of fulminating over an MP claiming a bath plug on expenses?
The short answer is that we evolved law-based institutions which, uniquely, reward production over predation. Property rights, enforceable contracts, personal liberty and representative government: these things make it harder to live by extortion. In an open market, unlike in rival systems, you prosper by offering a service which other people want to buy, not by sucking up to emperors or commissars or high priests. That’s not to say that free enterprise is perfect, simply that it works better than any alternative yet tried.
Constitutional freedom is rare outside Europe and the Anglosphere; rare, too, outside nation-states. Representative government and the rule of law operate best when everybody – or almost everybody – accepts the legitimacy of the state. When a significant body of the population wants to belong to a different country, or is otherwise alienated from the official institutions, you get Ukraine or Syria or Congo.
An actual tape recording of the Irish bankers deliberately boasting of lying to their government that only a small bailout would be required so that they would get them on the hook for more subsequent payments until, as happened, they virtually bankrupted the country.
Of course, while Britain also bailed out bankers to a far greater extent than initially said was needed you wouldn't catch the British government falling for something like that.
See also initial budget promises for HS2, Scottish parliament, trams, windmills, the EU, Olympics, etc. etc.
A rather good letter in the Scotsman (not mine) on the falsity of radiation scares.
Renfrewshire SNP councillors and the "Health & Safety" Mafia clearly neither have real jobs to do if they can spend their days fighting over the flying flags.
"Fuming SNP councillors hit out yesterday after they were ordered to remove the flag of Scotland from their office...because it breaks health and safety rules.
The Nationalists had proudly displayed the Saltire in the window of their base at Renfrewshire Council’s HQ in Cotton Street, Paisley, but were left stunned when officials told them to take it down.....
“As you will be aware, council offices operate a clear office and clean desk policy to promote good information management/security, good health and safety practice and efficient and effective cleaning and maintenance of the buildings, windows and general office environment.
“Part of this is to keep the office windows clear and employees, trades unions, political groups and organisations who are tenants of the council should all be aware of this.”
To be fair to the SNP are clearly, while not doing anything useful, doing no harm and the H&S stated reason, that they need to be able to escape through windows, is clearly a total 100% deliberate lie being promoted for purely totalitarian political reasons.
It is, of course, conceivable, that there are parts of the H&S industry which are not 100% corrupt totalitarian parasites using H&S as a false excuse for their makework busybodying. In which case all of them will have publicly dissociated themselves from these parasites. Any bets?
One of the "Non"-Government Organisations, paid by the US Government, puts up this interesting list of the very small portion of the $5 bn the US has admitted they spent supporting democracy in Ukraine by paying people to overthrow the elected government.
I can see how $35K would "facilitate cooperation between NGOs & the media". It does here too.
The media (well state owned BBC) giving prominence to the Green Party NGO calling for a purge of anybody in government not committed to the catastrophic warming fraud.
In their cooperative manner the BBC promote this totalitarian demand and manage to avoid any mention of how Stalinist it is.
Note that this is only the Greens of England and Wales. It would be nice to think that our local lot are in some way less totalitarian but suspect that it is simply because the SNP, who have been busy politicising our "civil service" have already done all the Stalinist purging without having to be prodded.
"Although the book is not what the advertising promises, it really does provide an accurate picture of life inside CIA. Its exclusive focus on how bureaucrats jostle and feel about one another is entirely consistent with my eight years of experience dealing with CIA’s top levels on the U.S. Senate’s behalf. The substance of any matter notwithstanding, it always came down to which bureaucrat would gain or lose what. The bureaucrats’ personal interests come first. The welfare and reputation of the agency come second. Everything else is incidental. This book seems to describe a collective human ice cream cone licking itself."
AGENDA 21 - UN proposals to wipe out 90% of us.
All massive bureaucracies have some committed loonies and I wouldn't be entirely certain that everybody in the UN and the governments that pay it feel the same.
On the other hand not everybody in the German government wanted to exterminate all the Jews (Goering actively protected Jewish pilots). All that is required is an enthusiastic minority and a majority unwilling to make the, relatively easy, effort of opposing them.
Thursday, May 01, 2014
Big Engineering 63 Using Nuclear Electricity
I have also put up the proof, undisputed by any factual argument from anybody, that such mass produced reactors could cut electricity prices to around 2% of what they are (at least at the production end).
The correlation between energy use and gdp growth is 1:1 and undisputed. If energy use went up close to 50 fold so would national wealth. (Though it may well be that the existing energy companies think it would go up less so they make more if they go along with windmill Luddism - another example of the fact that big business is not inherently the friend of market freedom, nor the poor losers from such freedom.)
But, as always, there are political problems. Would politicians allow such a productive factory to be built - well only UKIP ones. Would politicians both here and abroad allow such reactors to be sold and installed worldwide, otherwise the factory might not be able to sell enough? That is a more difficult one, though small, mobile reactors that can be installed quickly (& sold and removed) are vastly less vulnerable to regulatory parasitism than large static ones that take a long time to build.
However, when you are talking about building a factory that will cost £10s of billions to build and need to sell many 10s of them annually just to break even the fact that it would be able to turn out hundreds, still makes it an enormous gamble, albeit one with a theoretical return in the hundreds of billions.
What we need is an almost unlimited market for power.
Of course there is an almost unlimited economic demand for power but for 40 years the politicians have suppressed it. We need industries that themselves have almost unlimited demand for their products and need energy but no other inputs not readily available.
So here are 2 1/2.
Fertiliser - ammonium nitrate, the nitrate of ammonia with the chemical formula NH4NO3, is a white crystalline solid at room temperature and standard pressure. It is commonly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertilizer
Nitrogen is available from air, hydrogrn and oxygen from water, all in literally unlimited quantities.
This is normally done through the Haber process which is more complex but energy efficient but the Birkeland Eyde process is also used which uses just water and air. In the end the nature of the universe means that chemical reactions always use a set amount of power. With cheap enough power an unlimited market can be supplied.
In the United States, magnesium is obtained principally by electrolysis of fused magnesium chloride from brines, wells, and sea water. At the cathode, the Mg ion is reduced by two electrons to magnesium metal.
Most of it is made in China where electricity is cheaper ;-)
So the only input apart from electricity is seawater.
"Magnesium is the third-most-commonly-used structural metal, following iron and aluminium. It has been called the lightest useful metal". It is far more expensive than those other 2 and would be used far more if it was cheaper. So once again demand is virtually unlimited and since the process is being done now it can clearly be done at far lower prices if the wholesale price is 50 fold lower (assuming production is close to the generator so grid transport cost is close to zero.
H2O can be divided into oxygen and hydrogen and the latter burned in air to regain the power, just as we do with oil and natural gas. I am counting this as only the "1/2" because we would need some technical changes for gas pipes, cars and planes to work on hydrogen but it is certainly feasible. Methane could be manufactured by using carbon (CO2, wood) which is instantly usable but that is introducing an input, albeit a common one.
So if, for example, permission was given for a reactor factory (I have suggested North Jura which is almost uninhabited and could, with tunnels, be an hours drive from Glasgow, but any such coastal place anywhere in the world where there is a reservoir of educated people can and will someday do it, even a floating artificial island).
In which case that can also be the site of manufacturing of unlimited quantities of valuable materials.
In fat the situation is better than it seems. One advantage/disadvantage (ok feature) of nuclear is that it produces 100% of its power all the time. Mostly we don't want that because we use more during winter than summer (except in countries that use air conditioning) and more when we are awake than asleep. However this process can use the unlimited off peak energy we don't. Such power is not available at such virtually zero cost from normal coal/gas generators. Peak UK power use is about 70GW but we rarely use more than 40GW. 70 GW would produce, over 1 year 613 terrawatts of power - about 5 times what we normally use but costings are based on what we normally use so this previously unusable amount is close to free.
I do not know how much fertiliser, magnesium or hydrogen we could make or its value but taking that power at 2p per kwh, well below current costs, that 80% pare would be worth [80% X 613,000,000,000 X £0.02] £9.8 bn a year. With the AP1000 reactor available for £800 m individual and much less if you get 70 of them that would, even at this remarkably low price, pay off the investment, even without selling any actual reactors and without even charging for the 20% of the power put into the grid, in 3 years 7 months (though granted this is from when the reactors go online and we are assured by our politicians that it takes 10 years to build a reactor in Europe or 3 in China ;- I don't believe even the Chinese figure).
Somebody is going to do it.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Ordered Not To Prevent Genocide In Kosovo
The Labour Party, with the assistance of Tories & LibDems & the BBC propagandists, were responsible for, quite deliberately, imposing NATO “police” in Kosovo who engaged in genocide, ethnic cleansing and the dissection of thousands of living human beings to steal their body organs – all selected on racial grounds.
UKIP has never been involved in any racist obscenity 1,000th as evil as what the MPs of these parties and so unless Mr Gapes can produce irrefutable evidence, he cannot, unless he is as dishonest as he is a murdering racist pro-Nazi, ever make the claim he has about UKIP being in any slightest way remotely as racist as the approved parties.
Of course he is precisely that dishonest, and since he remains a Labour MP, that party is proven to be so too.
When they make such claims we should not simply deny it – when you are stuck denying something in politics you have half way lost, this is not fair but it is tactics – we should counter attack demanding that the speaker either produces evidence of anything remotely matching the racist atrocities they have been responsible for or apologise.
This is in line with what I have, for many years, been saying about their Yugoslav atrocities.
It produced a response from somebody who seems to be working fulltime as a troll on this site - never engaging in any sort of factual debate and simply using insults and assertions to support the LabConDem position (this is becoming common & I assume such people are government paid hacks). He denied that the ethnic cleansing of 350,000; the massacres; the sexual enslavement of children; or the dissections of living people had ever taken place. I, correctly if ungently, decribed this as the statement of a wholly corrupt, Nazi whore being pimped by the racist LabConDem parties who knew perfectly well that he was lying in the Nazi cause - that if he wasn't he wouyld be able to produce at least some evidence that these atrocities never happened.
Naturally he didn't.
However the thing worth putting this here is a statement from a completely unrelated commenter, Brian Jenkins, replying to Brian and confirming our government's atrocities. I think it is worth highlighting:
"Brin Jenkins says:
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
BBC Head Of Censorship Says Censor To Promote Our lie
In his Mail on Sunday article today (keep scrolling) David Rose reveals that the BBC - at least in Scotland - has a new policy of protecting climatologists from challenge on air.
A BBC executive in charge of editorial standards has ordered programme editors not to broadcast debates between climate scientists and global warming sceptics.
Alasdair MacLeod claimed that such discussions amount to ‘false balance’ and breach an undertaking to the Corporation’s watchdog, the BBC Trust.
Mr MacLeod, head of editorial standards and compliance for BBC Scotland, sent an email on February 27 to 18 senior producers and editors, which has been obtained by The Mail on Sunday.
It reads: ‘When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics.If dissenters from the climate consensus are not to be allowed to put their case directly, there is presumably little point in having those arguments put by BBC interviewers. So from now on the pronouncements of climatologists will be treated as holy writ and the most alarmist scientists can be allowed to scaremonger without fear of contradiction.
"Head of Editorial Standards and Compliance" can barely even be described as a euphemism for "Head of the Censorship Department".
The BBC Charter does specifically make it a legal requirement that they report impartially and with "balance". The very existence of a Censorship Department proves that they are engaged in extensive and illegal censorship, and have no worries about being brought to account for their illegalities.
The existence of a department large enough to require a Head, let alone a regional Head, simply to provide instructions on what must be censored means the amount of across the board censorship at the BBC must be massive.
Another example, from the same site some days later would be the extensive BBC coverage of the possible poisoning of 6 birds (I have also heard the same news being gone over again yesterday) while the fact that windfarms in Scotland kill in the high thousands of birds a year, goes entirely censored.
Since this is roughly 1,000 times more it would clearly be impossible for the BBC to give equal coverage to both news items unless it were no more than 1/1000th honest (ie 99.9% corrupt).
By not reporting the windmill news at all they have clearly proven they do not aspire to even that level of integrity. Because the 28 Gate fraud became public we know that across all departments, the BBC have been aware, for a proven 7 years, that the warming story is, at least in large measure, fraudulent. There can therefore be no possible suggestion that any of these 99.9%+ corrupt totalitarian liars have any excuse or that any other state owned broadcaster anywhere in the world is as dishonest as our the BBC.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Lib Dems Refuse To Debate Their Claim The EU Is Beneficial - Lets See If They Believe In ANY Of Their Policies
I can confirm that I have received no response, not only from Willie Rennie, the Scottish Lib Dem leader, but from ANY representative of the party to defend his claim, at the "Glasgow Skeptics" censored "debate" on separatism, that EU membership is economically beneficial.
This empty chair seems appropriate.