Dec 202015

OK, so I wrote about the “Have Sting” orbital railgun, and produced some provisional diagrams of it, publishing them in US Space Projects #3. A blog article was written for War Is Boring discussing “Have Sting,” based in no small part on my diagrams. OK, so far so good. But then other blogs start writing about Have Sting, and an error is introduced.

Whenever a blog post links to my blog, a “pingback notification” is sent to my blog dashboard. I’ve just glanced at these, haven’t given them much thought. For the most part they seem to be just parroting the verbiage from the War is Boring piece. But with one change: “Have Sting” has become “Have Sling.” A “T” became an “L.”


In September, the Aerospace Project Reviews Blog published some fascinating diagrams depicting “Have Sling,” which aerospace historian Scott Lowther described as “[a] General Electric design for a gigantic orbital railgun.” Have Sling was never built, of course.

September, the Aerospace Project Reviews Blog published some fascinating diagrams depicting “Have Sling,” which aerospace historian Scott Lowther described as “[a] General …

And a bunch more, all seemingly the same post over and over.

And if you Google “have sling” and some other terms, some seriously wacky stuff appears, which I’m guessing is the result of some weird auto-translation:

In September, the Aerospace Task Reviews Blog site released some remarkable layouts portraying “Have Sling,” which aerospace chronicler Scott Lowther

“Aerospace Task Reviews?”


Exploring the ‘Fatality Celebrity’ space gun America never built

UNITED STATE protection coordinators did at one time think about constructing a huge Fatality Star-like gun in space as component of the “Celebrity Wars” rocket protection program, as Warisboring’s Steve Weintz advised us this week in the middle of the hullaballoo of the position of The Pressure Awakens.

In September, the Aerospace Job Reviews Blog site released some interesting representations portraying “Have Sling,” which aerospace chronicler Scott Lowther…

… the styles explain a space tool the dimension of the International Space Terminal, each Lowther.


So now when people try to research orbital railguns, there’s every chance that they will be presented with the fallacious designation “Have Sling.”

I just did a Google search on “railgun” and “Have Sling.” It spat back 741 results. “Railgun” and “Have Sting” only produced 321 results. The lie traveled around the world while the truth was still putting on its boots. And entertainingly, in doing some Googling for this post, I found this blog post. It is illustrated in part by “Do NOT try this at home:  schematics for the orbital railgun . (Image courtesy” I found this illustration amusing for two reasons… firstly, when you say “Image courtesy whoever,” generally you’ve asked whoever for permission to republish. I usually don’t mind people reposting the images I create, but I wasn’t asked here, just sayin.’ More entertainingly, the diagrams of the “orbital railgun” are in fact my diagrams for the 10-meter USAF Orion. Which ain’t a railgun.

 Posted by at 11:12 pm
  • Adam

    Lol Celebrity Wars…

    • publiusr

      A guess a railgun might be helpful with those.

      We’ll save “Have Sling” for the astronaut lobbing centrifuge/trebuchet combo

  • sferrin

    And EVERYTHING is like this. Add on some ideological blinders, desire to make things into clickbait, etc. etc. etc. and it makes you wonder what small percentage of online material is actually true and correct.

    • James

      My uncle is a diehard democrat. I was discussing the whole “mission accomplished” thing bush did and that the media went fucking crazy over.

      Well turns out the whole thing had nothing to do with the war itself but with the tour of duty that the carrier had done. It was damn long and bush was giving them credit for it. The media of course went with it for Iraq. Then crapped on him for it. Can’t explain it to my uncle no matter the proof.

      Like most things he HAS to believe that. As a journalist and a democrat if they were that wrong nad used it for their own needs what does that say about the state of journalism and the part he is a part of?

      Bush is still largely loved by the guys who were in at the time. He made mistakes but he did treat them with respect and still does.

      Most people are like that with everything. They aren’t looking for anything but to prove their own views. Doesn’t matter if its politics, religion, or the overall state of reality. Being right means more the reality.

      • Scottlowther

        Remember how Sarah Palin was constantly mocked for her claim that she could see Russia from her house? She never said that. Tina Fey, portraying Palin, said that on Saturday Night Live.

  • Herp McDerp

    Years ago I read, in a back issue of Astounding Science Fiction from the 1950s, a science fact article called “Living Fossils in Print.” The author was a chemistry professor who had shown his class how to calculate molecular weights. He’d used hemoglobin as his example; to his real-time embarrassment in class, the answer he came up with was off by a factor of ten from what the textbook gave. He tried to find the error in his method — no luck. He checked another textbook in case there had been a misprint, but it gave the same answer as the first. He tried other textbooks, looking for an example that calculated hemoglobin’s molecular weight. Finally he found an authoritative textbook published twenty or thirty years earlier that calculated the weight and gave his answer. But there was a note that the previous edition of the book had a misprint … You guessed it: for decades, all of the other textbooks had cribbed from the “classic” source, and nobody had ever caught the error.

    And then there’s the news story about George H.W. Bush and the supermarket scanner …

    • Herp McDerp

      Aha: “Living Fossils in Print” by William C. Boyd. Analog/Astounding Science Fiction, April 1958, pp. 84-92. Alas, it doesn’t seem to be available on the Web.