Apr 152018

Sure, bombs, poison gas, cruise missiles, threats, nuclear war, blah, blah, blah. But then this:

Russian Lawmaker Says Russia Should Halt Space Cooperation With U.S.: RIA

It’s not news that, *insanely,* the US is dependent upon the Russians to send our astronauts to the ISS. If the current situation gets bad enough that the Russians no longer will launch US astronauts, then there are two possible outcomes:

  1. NASA pulls its thumb out and hurries up with launching astronauts on Dragon, the CST-100, the Dream Chaser… whatever.
  2. NASA finally abandons the ISS. In which case: good riddance. Either turn it over to the State Department, which is where funding for it has long belonged (ever since it stopped being “Space Station Freedom”), or turn it over to the DoD for target practice. Either’s good. NASA can then contract with Bigelow and SpaceX to orbit a bigger, better space station with artificial gravity and blackjack.
 Posted by at 1:26 pm
Mar 302018

Tell me this ain’t impressive lookin’:

This is a test of the launch system of the Russian RS-28 Sarmat superheavy ICBM, capable of hurling 10 heavy MIRVs or 15 standard ones or up to 24 light warheads. Keep in ind that the American Minuteman III ICBM carries a grand total of *one* warhead. It’s likely a fractional orbital system, meaning that it could actually put its warheads into low orbit, where they’d rather suddenly drop from the sky as required. Additionally, it could launch over the *south* pole, bypassing whatever remains of the North American early warning system.

Note the tuna-can-shaped little booster used to shove the ICBM up out of the silo before main engine ignition.

 Posted by at 2:51 am
Mar 122018

So people are still fighting about Russia meddling in the 2016 election. It seems to be reasonably well established that they did so, though the claim that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians seems to be based on little more than wishful thinking. Until I see anything better, I’m going to continue with the assumption that the meddling *seemed* to be mostly anti-Hillary because everyone pretty much assumed she was going to win in a landslide, and the goal wasn’t so much getting Trump elected as it was just messing with the US democratic process and sowing internal dissent and strife for the purposes of generally weakening the US. Which is why the meddling continued well after the election.

Now that the requisite virtue signaling is out of the way… Putin tells us that it wasn’t the Russian government but, you know, those wacky Jews.

Trump-Russia: Putin criticised for Jewish ‘election meddling’ remark

In an interview over the weekend, Putin said of those who ran the troll farms and such:

“Maybe they’re not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship.”

Now, here’s the thing. Imagine this was in *any* other context. Instead of election meddling, the people involved were, say, bank robbers. Or an acting troupe. Or athletes. Or *anything.* And instead of Russians, they were Americans. Now imagine this statement:

“Maybe they’re not even Americans, but Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with American citizenship.”

Consider: if someone is Ukranian, or Tatar, or Jewish, or Irish, or Mexican, or Nigerian, or Innuit, or Ainu, or Gondorian or Alderaanian, but they have American citizenship… that means they are *American.* So how is it someone can have Russian citizenship but not be a Russian?



 Posted by at 12:08 pm
Mar 012018


Pentagon confirms that Russia is testing a cruise missile powered by an unshielded nuclear reactor


Russia’s new cruise missile has crashed in testing: US

Putin is claiming that the Russians have a nuclear powered cruise missile capable of defeating all current missile defense systems. Something like Pluto would very likely be able to do that… if it works. Mach three at a thousand feet altitude would be incredibly hard to shoot down, and would make a hell of a mess over the entire flight path; shock waves from the passing craft would cause structural damage and injuries, radioactive particles spat out by the reactor would leave a trail of waste behind.

It’s a little difficult to imagine what advantage such a system would *really* provide. Missiles like this would cost a lot more than simpler ICBMs, and it’s not like the US has an effective defense system against a massed ICBM attack. A nuclear-powered cruise missile is the sort of thing that the Russians can’t use *a* *little* *bit* against the United States; any use of such a weapon would result in a full-blown nuclear response, so it would only be useful in the context of a full-up war.

All that said: the news should be interesting over the next few weeks. It’s entirely possible that Putin is full of crap and they don’t have a Pluto; or there was a translation foulup somewhere, and the Russians never meant to imply they have a Pluto. But what if they *are* claiming to have a Pluto? Go ahead and imagine the unholy sh!tstorm that would result if the US announced that it had a new cruise missile with a nuclear reactor as a power source, a missile that would leave a 10,000 mile path of radioactive waste behind it. The press would go *insane.* It would be the biggest news of the day, and would lead to outrage and protests and all kinds of trouble. What will a Russian Pluto lead to? We shall see, I suppose.

 Posted by at 9:34 pm
Jan 292018

Putin proposes supersonic civilian aircraft based on its Tu-160 bomber

The business case for supersonic transports is rather tenuous. But an SST made from a relatively ancient military aircraft? Errrmmm… no. Can such an aircraft work? Sure, you betcha. Can such an aircraft work economically? Very unlikely. Now, this is Putin; his SST could very well be aimed to not be a truly affordable aircraft, but a prestige project to be paid for by flying his oligarch buddies hither and yon.

 Posted by at 9:46 pm
Jan 292018

Russia warns Poland not to touch Soviet WW2 memorials

Sure, everyone remembers that the Nazis invaded Poland in early 1939. But what seems to get conveniently forgotten is that the Soviet Union *also* invaded Poland, in mid-September 1939. This was not to combat the Nazis, but to claim their piece of Poland for the USSR. So it should hardly come as a surprise that the Poles are less than thrilled at the self-glorifying memorials the communists left to the USSR all over Poland.

That the Russian government is threatening sanctions over the removal of monuments to pure evil is evidence that the current Russian government is… a bit “off” when it comes to right and wrong.


If the German government started going on about how Hitler wasn’t that bad of a guy, and gee, sure would be nice to have some monuments to his achievements in, say, Poland, people would rightly freak out a bit about the future of Germany. The same applies to Russia. This sort of thing makes me hopeful that the US will start developing new ICBMs and nukes. Hell, so long as I’m dreaming… Orion spacegoing strategic weapons systems.

 Posted by at 12:04 am
Jan 262018

Just out driving on the frozen surface of a river, as one does, when an old nuclear powered Russian icebreaker goes zipping on by…

По пути к Диксону нам встретился «Таймыр» — атомный ледокол, предназначенный для проводки судов в устья сибирских рек. Огромная махина. Ещё на подступах к нам лёд начал дрожать. А когда подошёл, то было настолько круто, что и словами сложно описать! #Енисей #Ледокол #АтомныйЛедокол #РосАтомФлот #РосАтом #Таймыр #Диксон #экспедиция #пропутешествия #rgoexpo #toyota #toyotarus #возможностьпроявитьсебя #redfox #redfoxoutdoor

A post shared by Anton Panov (@oper_11) on

 Posted by at 11:45 pm
Jan 232018

Currently winging their way from Ukraine to yours truly are two vintage brochures on the Antonov 225. These were picked up on ebay, purchases made possible by patrons of the APR Patreon. These brochures will in due course end up on the APR Patreon catalog, to be voted for as possible monthly rewards for the patrons.

If you’re interested in helping to preserve this sort of aerospace artifact, and also interested in getting high-rez scans of them, consider signing on to the APR Patreon.


 Posted by at 6:40 pm
Oct 272017

Europe seems to be just slightly less peaceful and unified and satisfied with its borders as is often portrayed…

Spain Seizes Power in Catalonia After Region Declares Independence



What’s more, there are a number of independence movements around Europe. Many are no doubt honest expressions of ethnic/cultural differences. Some are no doubt due to irritation at the insidious nature of the EU government. And I’ve no doubt that some, perhaps most, are being egged on by the likes of Putin. Europe falling to bits would be handy for the dreams of a Russian empire.

Beyond Catalonia: pro-independence movements in Europe



 Posted by at 4:44 pm
Oct 172017

Interesting if true:

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow

The basic claims are not new, but the claims that the FBI knew about it and essentially sat on it… that’s new.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

 Posted by at 10:31 pm