Twice The Fun

Of all the U.S. armed forces, the Navy seems particularly fascinated with lasers.

Navy combines a high-speed 25mm gun with a laser

What do you get when you combine two of the most deadly weapons out there? No, not a machete duct taped to a nuke. You get the Navy’s new gatling gun/laser hybrid.

The Mk 38 Mod 2 Tactical Laser System is something you really don’t want to be on the business end of. It combines a M242 autocannon, which is a lovely piece of equipment capable of firing 175 rounds per minute, with a high-energy laser gun.

See also:
Boeing building lasers for Navy machine guns
Boeing, BAE Systems to Develop Integrated Directed Energy Weapon for US Navy
Navy’s Next Wonder Weapon Combines a High Speed 25mm Gun With Deadly Laser
How to Make a Giant Chain Gun Even Deadlier: Give It a Laser Cannon
Navy’s Next Laser Mashes Up Machine Guns and Death Rays
BAE Putting Lasers on Mk 38 Naval Gun
Boeing, BAE Systems Team for Mk 38 Mod 2 Tactical Laser System
Boeing (NYSE:BA) Making Navy Weapon
Boeing and BAE Systems Develop Weapon for the US Navy

An interesting idea, but I’m not sure how cost effective in terms of additional “bang for the buck”.

/I mean, what increased, incremental damage is a laser going to add that the 25mm chain gun isn’t already inflicting at 175 rpm?

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Meanwhile, Back At The Nuclear Clown Rodeo

The IAEA sends Iran a strongly worded letter and, predictably, like clockwork, Iran tells the IAEA to shove their letter up their collective ass.

Iran to move its most sensitive nuclear equipment to bunker

Iran is moving production of higher enriched uranium to a mountain bunker where it aims to triple output by using more advanced centrifuges, state television reported Wednesday.

Iran says the announcement is a response to a letter by Yukiya Amano, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Friday, which reiterated “concerns about the possible military dimensions” of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.

“Our answer is increased work in the sphere of nuclear technology and know-how,” Iran’s nuclear chief Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

See also:
Iran to Triple Higher-Enriched Uranium Production
Iran To Enrich Triple Uranium Enrichment Capacity
Defiant Iran plans big rise in nuclear enrichment
IAEA should end political disputes over Iran’s nuclear program: Soltanieh
Iran Said to Plan Nuclear Fuel Production Increase
Iran’s Nuclear Program, Charging Ahead
Goodspeed: Iran may be two months from bomb, two new studies say
RAND: Deterring Iran unlikely, but opportunities exist
France labels Iran’s further uranium enrichment “provocation”
Iran Swiftly Dismissed Amano’s Latest Whistle Blowing Report
Iran urges IAEA to meet commitments

Okay, we’ve waited and waited and waited and done nothing concrete or effective to stop Iran’s nuclear program and now it’s too late. At this point, not even military action can likely stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

/Obama was too busy golfing and couldn’t be reached for comment

World Record Cat Noise

How’d you like to have to listen to this all day? I shudder to think what it might sound like if you accidentally stepped on its tail.

Smokey the loud purring cat aims for Guinness World Record

Smokey’s owner Ruth Adams hopes the moggy can be entered into the record books as the loudest purring domestic cat on the planet.

The 12-year-old moggy is 16 times louder than the average cat when she purrs, reaching 73 decibels.

‘Guinness has very strict criteria,’ said Mrs Adams, from Northampton, who enlisted specialist help from her local college for the record attempt.

. . .

The record attempt took place in Mrs Adam’s house and Smokey was recorded with equipment usually used by music professionals.

See also:
U.K. Cat Makes Loudest Purr Attempt
Smokey the cat whose purr is as noisy as a Boeing 737 awaits verdict on Guinness world record attempt
Thunder cat! English tabby purrs as loudly as a hair dryer
Cat’s loud purr compared to lawnmower
World’s loudest house cat? Tabby’s purr measures 73 decibels
English tabby a purrfect purring machine
Cat Lovers: Can Your Pet Purr Louder Than Smokey?
Video: World’s Loudest Purring Cat?
Cat Smokey aims for purring record
Is this the world’s loudest cat?
Smokey goes for a purring record

Me, I like my cats nice and quiet.

/that’s why I own Exotics

You Can’t Go Home Again

Do we really need to put a man on Mars this badly?

Scientists Propose One-Way Mars Spaceflights

Two U.S. scientists have proposed a unique and somewhat controversial solution to the challenges presented by a potential mission to Mars–they suggest making it a one-way trip.

In their article “To Boldly Go: A One-Way Human Mission To Mars,” which has been published in the latest edition of the Journal of Cosmology, authors Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University and Paul Davies of Arizona State University propose that nixing a return flight “would cut the costs several fold but ensure at the same time a continuous commitment to the exploration of Mars in particular and space in general.”

“It would also obviate the need for years of rehabilitation for returning astronauts, which would not be an issue if the astronauts were to remain in the low-gravity environment of Mars,” they added, arguing that equipment from the Constellation project–a scrapped return mission to the moon–could be used to send two spacecraft, each containing two astronauts, a landing unit, and enough supplies to establish an outpost, to Mars.

See also:
To Boldly Go: A One-Way Human Mission to Mars
Scientists Propose One-Way Trips to Mars
Mars Exploration Should be Done in a One-Way Trip, 2 Scientists Say
How to make boots on Mars affordable – One way trips
The fastest way to send humans to Mars is to not worry about bringing them back
Dirk Schulze-Makuch, WSU Professor, Proposes One-Way-Trips to Mars
Will the First Mars Explorers Be the First Mars Settlers?
Scientists propose one-way trips to Mars
Scientists propose one-way trips to Mars
Wanted: Pioneers to take a one-way trip to Mars
A One-Way Trip to Mars

In some ways, this plan appears to have some merit, although it just doesn’t seem to fit with America’s history of space exploration, always planning for the safe return of our astronauts.

/I suppose though, if we plan on continuing manned space exploration to ever more distant destinations, eventually the distances and time involved will make a return trip impractical, if not impossible

Missed It By That Much

Oops.

Unmanned capsule misses space station

An unmanned Russian cargo ship sailed past the International Space Station instead of docking on autopilot, as engineers on Earth struggle to determine what went wrong.

A telemetry lock between the Russian-made Progress module and the space station was lost and the module flew past at a safe distance. NASA said the crew was never in danger and that the supplies are not critical and will not affect station operations.

NASA said that it will not attempt another docking today. Russian flight controllers don’t know yet what caused the failure in the unmanned modules automated docking system.

The robotic cargo ship Progress 38 was slated to dock at the space station at 12:58 p.m. ET (1658 GMT) but lost its navigational lock on the orbiting lab about 25 minutes before the rendezvous.

“The Progress literally flew past the station, but at a safe distance from the outpost,” NASA commentator Rob Navias said. “The station crew reported seeing the Progress drift beyond their view, as they worked to reestablish telemetry with the spacecraft.”

The Progress 38 spacecraft flew by the space station at a distance of several kilometers (a couple miles) away, posing no threat of impact. But because of its orbit, there may not be a second chance to dock the spacecraft by remote control today, Navias said.

Known in Russia as Progress M-06M, the new Progress 38 spacecraft is packed with nearly 2.5 tons of fresh food, clothes, equipment and other supplies for the space station’s six-person crew. It launched Wednesday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

See also:
Russian cargo ship ‘under control’ official says
Russian ship zips by International Space Station after failing to dock
Resupply vessel fails to dock with space station
Russian cargo ship fails to dock with ISS
Cargo ship misses space station docking
Robotic cargo spacecraft misses rendezvous with ISS
Unmanned cargo spacecraft misses tryst with ISS
Supply spacecraft misses space station
June 30, Soyuz-U – Progress M-06M (38P)
Progress M-06M

I’m sure they’ll get this errant Progress under control and docked with the ISS. However, it’s worth noting that, after the last two Space Shuttles stop flying, there’s no plan B anymore, it’s the Russian spacecraft or nothing.

/of course, we had a follow on to the Space Shuttle, but Obama canceled it