Bombs and rockets

However, by concealing their past intentions, the Iraqis encouraged the assumption that those were their future intentions as well. In the first phase of the Iraqi cover-up, the hidden past intentions certainly did reflect the goals for the future of the political leadership, even though Iraqi scientists and experts knew that restarting the programs would […]

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Since STS-135 in 2011 and the retirement of the Space Shuttle, the only way for human beings to reach orbit has been a Soyuz launch from Baikonur. On May 27th, SpaceX is scheduled to launch the first crew from the US in nine years. There are good reasons to be skeptical about human spaceflight (especially […]

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The Economist reports: A Venezuelan naval patrol vessel fired on an unarmed Portuguese-flagged cruise ship, the RCGS Resolute, which it claimed was in its waters. Columbia Cruise Services said the holiday craft, hardened to withstand polar ice, was rammed by the Venezuelan vessel, which then sank. All 44 Venezuelan sailors were rescued. Their commanders congratulated […]

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There are several reasons to conclude that the world today is experiencing a nuclear arms race alongside conventional military buildup by many actors and a breakdown of multilateral cooperation. Partly driven by US ballistic missile defence development, Russia began deploying weapon systems meant to counter them like the Topol-M in the 1990s. Now they are […]

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Clearly one of the principal things we need to learn as part of dealing with climate change is how to get along with one another as an international community. For one thing, we cannot afford the inevitably vast and frantic fossil fuel use which any great-power conflict would involve. More optimistically, it will only by […]

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Spies tend to make extravagant claims for their craft, but the reality of espionage is that it frequently makes little lasting difference. Politicians treasure classified information because it is secret, which does not necessarily render it more reliable than openly accessible information, and frequently makes it less so. If the enemy has spies in your […]

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Reading is an honor and a gift from a warrior or historian who—a decade or a thousand decades ago—set aside time to write. He distilled a lifetime of campaigning in order to have a “conversation” with you. We have been fighting on this planet for ten thousand years; it would be idiotic and unethical to […]

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Among the immortal Simpsons lines (and the triumph of engineers over fighter jocks): “I might remind you both I did design that racer. The driver is essentially ballast.”

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It’s possible to perform orbital maneuvers which would normally require fuel using instead the momentum of sunlight. Via the incomparable Scott Manley: Lightsail 2 Sails On Sunlight At Last

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I have long been skeptical about the prospects for off-world human colonies. Given that the International Space Station is the most expensive thing we have ever built and it is entirely reliant on supplies from Earth, it would be a gigantic leap just to make a self-sustaining closed life support system. Beyond that are many […]

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