Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The Falcon has Flown

Falcon 1 Launch 4, anyway.

The bottom line : 420kg in a 185km circular LEO for $7.9 million. 350kg in a more useful Sun-Synchronous orbit at 800km (Though the Encyclopedia Astronautica has some slightly more ambitious figures). And for the really long-range missions...
...if budget is of primary concern, the Falcon 1/Falcon 1e can be employed for injection into a Highly Elliptical Orbit(HEO). A kick motor on the spacecraft can then provide the necessary delta‐v to complete the Trans Lunar trajectory.
That's from the Falcon Launch Vehicle Lunar Capability Guide. It works out as putting about 10kg on the moon, assuming a 40kg "kicker". That's with the vehicle just launched, which is optimised for LEO only. You really need the extended version (1e) for anything higher, and the planned, much larger (and 5 times the cost) Falcon 9 for Lunar exploration - and re-supply.

Of course, this is the first privately-developed orbital flight ever. Not bad, and when they get into series production, a very serious competitor indeed for launching LEOSats.

Congrats to the team for getting it so right on only the 4th try. This is not just a Big Deal, it's a very Big Deal Indeed.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm curious. For transsexuals, can there be an urge to dress as the opposite sex in addition to wanting a sex change? Like, perhaps, wanting to wear skirts more often than the normal woman, because the MtF was wearing pants their whole life, or is that transvestic fetishism?

Zoe Brain said...

No idea. I don't know enough TS women or a good sample.

Those I do know tend to wear jeans and tops if over 30, and either skirts or jeans if younger.

I wear a top - usually a T-shirt - and calf-length skirt. Add a jacket, hose and boots in winter, or sandles in summer. In Canada, I wore jeans and snowboots, plus 3 layers of sweatshirt, t-shirt, and undershirt. Then a parka over that.

I'm not a very feminine female. I like wearing ear-rings, having my hair long, but rarely use makeup, and hardly ever wear dresses.

Those are for formal wear only, and even then, I have to take advice from my G/fs on what looks good on me. I am more comfy with skirt and top, and not short skirts either.

If my body shape was more attractive, I might wear something more flashy, but I *am* 50 years old! I really do look neanderthal too, see this post. Not exactly supermodel material, and I knew I never would be at age 8.

Jewelry - I like silver and gold with black. But ear-rings, a semi-precious ring I got in Thailand, my wedding ring, and a silver bangle or two is about it. Sometimes a silver and onyx necklace.

A black choker would look good, and maybe an ankle bangle. But I have neither - yet.

Transition is like puberty - have you noticed young girls experimenting with different looks? Sometimes pretty, sometimes pretty dreadful! TS women with no crossdressing history have to learn what works and what doesn't, the same way. Fashion Disasters are commonplace at the beginning.

Also, there is an initial tendency to make the most of one's new-found freedom. To indulge oneself sensually with a manicure, or a facial, or a new hairdo. Things other women take for granted, but we never could. Sometimes this can lead to OTT makeup and the like, but what the heck.

In Thailand, I met a woman from Boston, one the same age as myself. Her daughter was in for genital reconstruction, and we got on like a house on fire. All three of us had a foot massage that was heavenly. The thing is... she found it difficult to believe that I had ever looked male. Sure, I showed her the photos, but I wasn't any different from anyone else our age.

Now Cross-dressers, Transvestite men and so on, they get off on wearing the clothes. Just as some men get off on their G/fs wearing garters. I will *never* understand men, not gay, not straight, not macho, not transvestite. Not even the FtoMs who are revelling in their hard-won masculinity, swilling beer, swaggering around, and generally behaving like pubescent boys rather than men. I think it's rather sweet, and quite touching really. Especially since they treat girls decently, having walked a mile in their shoes. God knows they've earnt the right to a boyhood, even if they have to wait till their 20's or later to get it.

Remember - TS happens to guys too.

Hope this helps. I'm just a bit Geekier than most.

Anonymous said...

It looks like George Putnam was mostly right:

Also, that boy who is being made out as a girl said something very interesting: Life is about what makes you feel good (paraphrasing). If society simply pushes that as what life is all about, then society is finished, because there are more pressing concerns in life. This encouragement to fall into self-absorption and seeking only one's personal pleasure is causing a loss of civic spirit, amounting to a decline in our civilization.

Unknown said...

WooHoo! And congratulations to the Spacex team on a stellar accomplishment.

Zoe Brain said...

Anne (O'Namus) - you didn't paraphrase, you constructed a full-blown strawman. She said "It's OK to be different". "what matters is if you are having a good time and like who you are".

Now obviously you prefer total conformity with everyone without exception being utterly miserable. That it is all a Communist plot too to pollute our precious bodily fluids.

The "boy who is being made out as a girl" bit is insulting, insensitive, blatantly irrational, and could reasonably be classed as child abuse.

Well, no you're not a child abuser, but you can see from that the intellectual bankrupcy that is even mild distortion of differing views.

Hedonism is indeed a sterile philosophy, and taken to extremes can lead to a dysfunctional society. Preventing the correction of medical problems though because they don't fit an irrational an anti-scientific world view is even more dangerous.

BTW please add a sig, a monicker to your posts. That way I know whether I'm responding to Anne O'Namus or Sue Donim.

Anonymous said...

Anne O'Namus, before you knock "Life is about what makes you feel good (paraphrasing)", I'd suggest:
1. learn to speak exactly instead of paraphrasing. Nuances can be important.
2. Read John Stuart Mills' booklet on Utilitarianism.

Anonymous said...

What we have here is a case of the HOMOSEXUAL and TRANSVESTITE AGENDA. The Japanese are trying to enact a second Pearl Harbor upon these United States of America and are completing the last steps to fully corrupting our youth:

Zoe Brain said...

When I first started blogging, the Landover Baptist site was far more subtle. But since the Westboro Baptists and Mass Resistance got into the act, they decided that nothing was too OTT.

I mean, who can top this deadly (and I mean that literally) serious 25-page report.

Unknown said...

@anonymous[2] and anonymous[3] (which may or may not both refer to the same actual person):

Rabbi Hillel the Elder, considered one of the greatest and wisest scholars in Jewish history, around 2,100 years ago said, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary." I think he wasn't even the first to say it; most religious and secular moral systems we've come up with throughout history boil down to this too.

He also said, apropos of [2]'s comment and the follow-ups, "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?"

It's pretty simple, really. It's not (as [3] put it) the HOMOSEXUAL and TRANSVESTITE AGENDA (sic); it's the human agenda.

Anonymous said...

First, the boy is a HE, because it is difficult to debate with someone who uses the wrong words. My paraphrasing of the boy's words was entirely spot on. Talking about what makes a person feel good is the same as talking about having a good time and liking who you are. Hedonism and the philosophy of building up false self-esteem are linked, because hedonism leads to despair so the people must lie to themselves to move on. People today think that this false self-esteem is the most important thing for a person, but all it does is create narcissists because people can't look at who and what they truly are. All the people need to be God fearing and aware that they are wretched sinners who would be on their way to 2 deaths if it wasn't for Jesus' Grace. So wipe that sneer off your face, and realize that boy is a HE who is buying into the hedonistic philosophy.

Anything said by a Jew beyond the Torah is suspect because only the Torah is confirmed as the Word of God in addition to the New Testament. The Rabbi's first statement was correct, but he only copied what Jesus said. He also took it out of context, as the first most important thing for a Believer to do is to love the Lord with all his heart. The second thing he said has no basis in the Torah or the New Testament.

The Communists have yet to take over any first-world country, but when they do it will be because that country had already gone down into the doldrums.

Unknown said...

@anonymous[4] (who appears to be, or at least is presenting as, the same individual as [3]): I don't see much point in my debating with someone who (1) seems to believe there's some necessary connection between words and what they represent, when the writer's meaning is easy enough to discern from context; (2) believes fear is a valid basis for morality; and (3) believes that somehow a man who lived a century before Jesus was purported to have been born, a scholar whose works Jesus is supposed to have studied, copied from Jesus rather than the other way 'round. Clearly our world views are too different to have a meaningful dialogue.

Zoe Brain said...

Anne - I did ask you politely to use a .sig at the end. Please explain why you are ignoring my request. As you can see, it makes cogent dialogue difficult.

You refer to Jazz as "He" and a "Boy".

Perhaps you could give your definitions of "male" and "female". Hopefully ones more useful than "because I say so" or even "because God says so". Because if He does, you should quote chapter and verse, otherwise it's merely your own fancy with no scriptural basis.

Here's a start that may help you clarify your ideas, and inform you of which direction I'm coming from.

Matthew 19:12
Isaiah 56:3-5

And BiGender and the Brain. You should definitely read that post first, or your arguments will get nowhere.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying that this transsexualism is different and separate from the general feminization of men and that even in highly masculine societies (societies where the gender roles are distinct), if those societies are made aware of the medical evidence, transsexualism would be accepted, even while those societies maintain their masculine characteristics?

Zoe Brain said...

Anne, please put in a monicker so we know which anon to reply to. Please? Pretty Please with Sugar?

So are you saying that this transsexualism is different and separate from the general feminization of men

Yes, with one quibbling proviso: there's some evidence, not particularly strong, but not to be totally discounted either, of environmental chemicals causing foetal anomalies.

In other words, birth control pill constituents and estrogen-like compounds from plastics getting into the water supply and physically feminising boys in the womb. This has been definitely observed only in amphibia and fish though. I think the effect, if it exists, is unimportant, but could be wrong.

But in general, yes, biological and sociological issues are separate.

if those societies are made aware of the medical evidence, transsexualism would be accepted

That's more a hope than an expectation, but yes. I hope that no congenital medical anomaly, be it red hair, colour blindness, cleft palate, or any of the many forms of Intersex (transsexuality included) would be considered Signs Of Moral Degeneracy, A Punishment from God, or as being marks of the Spawn of Satan.

There are many religious sects that do not believe in illness: that if someone only has enough faith, the halt will walk, and the blind see. So no-one is really blind, they are just so immersed in sin that their evil is made manifest, so they deserve punishment not consideration.

Now most societies have gone beyond that, at least, in the obvious cases. But Intersexed people are still, by and large, stigmatised, shunned, ignored, persecuted, and their very existence denied when it contradicts religious doctrine.

Transsexuals at least aren't ignored. But that just makes them obvious targets.

There is some cause for hope: no-one could ever call the Iranians "feminised". Not when they essentially enslave women.

But sex reassignment is free in Iran. They want their men to be real men (even if, especially if, born looking female), and their women to be women. No confusion, no ambiguity, and if anyone doesn't conform to the norm, a scalpel is used to correct that. Or a hangman's noose.

Personally, I think that's babaric.