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Censorship NASA Space Your Rights Online

NASA Contractors Censoring Saturn V Info 583

cybrpnk2 writes "Get ready to surrender your data sheets, study reports and blueprints of the Saturn V to stay in compliance with ITAR. Armed guards are reportedly taking down and shredding old Saturn V posters from KSC office walls that show rough internal layouts of the vehicle, and a Web site that is a source for various digitized blueprints has been put on notice it may well be next. No word yet if the assignment of a Karl Rove protege high up in NASA has any connection."
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NASA Contractors Censoring Saturn V Info

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2007 @07:15AM (#20040583)
    Too bad they forgot to take down the Saturn V Flight Manual from their own site, huh?

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.g ov/19750063889_1975063889.pdf [nasa.gov]
  • by Mutatis Mutandis ( 921530 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @07:27AM (#20040635)

    It's a damn shame that a nice launch vehicle also happens to make a nice ICBM...

    Saturn V would be a ridiculously poor choice to use as basis of an ICBM. It stood 110 m tall, weighed over 3,000 tons fueled, and used liquid hydrogen and oxygen as fuels.

    A good ICBM needs to be compact, so that is easily hidden, and above all it must be storable in a ready-to-fire form. That meant using storable liquid fuels instead of condenses gases for first generation missiles, and solid fuels in the later designs. To give an idea, Minuteman III is a mere 18 m long, weighs 32 tons at launch mass, and uses solid fuels. Even the big Soviet R-36 aka SS-18 Satan did not exceed 210 tons, and while it used liquid fuels, it used liquid fuels that could be stored at room temperature.

    Rationally, Saturn V never had a military application, and certainly today its technology is no longer of any military value.

  • by foobsr ( 693224 ) * on Monday July 30, 2007 @07:46AM (#20040743) Homepage Journal
    Yep, a marketing stunt that coincides with the Saturn 5 restored to former glory [floridatoday.com].

    Besides, the blueprints [space.com] seem to be stored away, quote:""The Federal Archives in East Point, Georgia, also has 2,900 cubic feet of Saturn documents," he said. "Rocketdyne has in its archives dozens of volumes from its Knowledge Retention Program. This effort was initiated in the late '60s to document every facet of F 1 and J 2 engine production to assist in any future restart.""

  • Stupid guards (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @07:56AM (#20040809)
    If the guard had half a brain, he'd know that ITAR has to do with export, not possession. Under ITAR, the version of IE that supports 128-bit encryption held the same classification; this didn't mean that you had to wipe your hard drive and go back to the 64-bit version, just that you couldn't give/sell/loan your computer to someone in another country. ITAR has no jurisdiction or concern with regard to ownership within the United States.
  • by SolusSD ( 680489 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @08:10AM (#20040899) Homepage
    You know how far those poster "blueprints" will get you in building one of the most complex systems ever created by humans-- over 1 million systems comprise the saturn V.
  • Re:private sector (Score:5, Informative)

    by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <giles.jones@NoSpAM.zen.co.uk> on Monday July 30, 2007 @08:24AM (#20040971)
    Actually, there were moon landings by the Soviet union, however these were unmanned. So he is technically incorrect but correct to point out that others did land craft there.

  • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @08:45AM (#20041165) Homepage Journal
    The neoconservative label has been around for at least a few years in public political circles, I heard Mrs. Clinton use it in the 2004 elections, I think during the DNC. The origin of the term is something to label the "Reagan Democrats". It's an ideology that looks to me to justify hedgemonism and an extremely active and aggressive role in global activities.
  • by Beyond_GoodandEvil ( 769135 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @08:58AM (#20041313) Homepage
    Dear Super Genius,

    Given today's vitriolic political climate, unfunny attempts at humor look more like editorializing. Such editorializing on /. has become tiresome. Karl Rove is not the source of all the world's evil. Tinfoil hat FTW.
  • by VoidEngineer ( 633446 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @10:07AM (#20042139)
    What happened to my country, and will you cowards please give it back?

    Baby Boomers. The largest generation ever in the United States, and raised to hide under their desks any time there is a fire alarm or attack, thanks to the Cold War. Rather than thinking rationally, bravely, or pragmatically, they think "hide under the desk". Which 'hide the Saturn V blueprints' is merely an extension of. And they're now reaching an age where they're being handed the reigns of the federal government.

    If you're GenMe or GenY, you may get your country back when you're approximately 65 or 70 as the Baby Boomers die off. If you're a Baby Boomer yourself, sorry dude, you're probably stuck with the cowards through to the end.

    (Also, if you're GenMe, I recommend getting over any delusions of 'social security' being viable when you retire, and start coming up with some alternative retirement plans... Baby Boomers are going to bankrupt the social security system and mortgage their kids futures without a second thought if it means an extra 5 or 10 years of living in retirement homes... Can't say that I wouldn't do what they're going to do if I were in their situation. Just being the realist and pointing out the cliff that we're driving towards...)
  • by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @10:08AM (#20042159) Homepage Journal
    The neocons themselves invented it. Irving Kristol, cofounder of Encounter and its editor from 1953 to 1958, Norman Podhoretz, and others described themselves as "neoconservatives" during the Cold War.
  • The more I read the ALSJ the more respect I have for the hardware. The Apollo CM would have survived both shuttle disasters. The Apollo 13 incident resulted in a more mature spacecraft with more redundancy. A similar incident on a shuttle would probably have killed the crew immediately.

    It's only a matter of a great deal of luck and extremely hard work by both the astronauts and the folks on the ground that the Apollo 13 accident didn't kill the crew.

    Building the system out of small modules meant that the architecture could accommodate expanded modules. Apollo serviced the lunar program, skylab and apollo-soyuz.

    Why system was built out of 'modules', they were not 'plug-and-play' in the way that we think of modules today. The CM and SM were extremely tightly integrated. It should also be pointed out that 'modular' systems like the Apollo CSM have some interesting and unique failure modes of their own - like seperating a module too early or seperating a module too late. (Thus Russian Soyuz has suffered both failures.)
  • by andreMA ( 643885 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @11:12AM (#20042989)
    Actually the Saturn V did have computers on board - the Instrument Unit (IBM) and the DSK(?) computers in both the CM and LM (Honeywell?). Of course any $40 programmable calculator available today would run circles around them, so it's not technology worth protecting.
  • by PeterBrett ( 780946 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @11:15AM (#20043039) Homepage

    After all, space has been opened for the enterprising public, maybe NASA wants to keep their edge in rocket development.

    Tells you something about R&D if that 'edge' is 40+ years old...

    Just got an e-mail from Scott Lowther saying that he's established that there's no ITAR issue and it's just some idiot being unnecessarily officious.

    Actually, everything has settled down. Just got off the phone... there's no ITAR issue.

    Panic over, everyone!

  • by Snarkhunter ( 1056150 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @11:16AM (#20043047)
    I'd always heard it used to describe the same people (Rummy, Wolfowitz, Perle, etc) that Reagan apparently thought of as "the crazies in the basement." The Project for a New American Century [newamericancentury.org] is what I think most would describe as the core of the neo-conservative movement. Basically, they think the world is better off under American leadership, and its ok to use pretty much any means to preserve that leadership indefinitely. It's a more militaristic, jingoistic extension of the neo-liberal movement, which is all about economic globalization and whatnot.
  • by Odo ( 109839 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @12:21PM (#20043969)
    > Given the size differential between the first and later stages, the earlier post is
    > somewhat justified in calling LOX and kerosene the primary fuel for Saturn V.

    But most of the delta-v comes from the final two stages.
    Velocity at first staging was 9,900 km/h. Final velocity was 39,000 km/h.
    Source: http://www.braeunig.us/space/specs/saturn.htm [braeunig.us]
  • by Keebler71 ( 520908 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @12:22PM (#20043993) Journal
    It's probably because of the new CEV program (which is totally not just an Apollo redux... the CEV program will feature more seats).

    Yes, it looks the same - but the capability leap is staggering. It *looks* like the Apollo SM/CM for the same reason most bridges look the same - a good engineering solution is a good engineering solution. The CEV is being designed to carry 6 crew to ISS and 4 to lunar orbit (accomodating the increase is habitable volume necessary for this is why the diameter of the vehicle increased from Apollo's 3.9m to well over 5 meters). Much more importantly, the CEV is being designed to support much greater operations (read: science) at the moon. Apollo missions durations were limited by their fuel cells and could only target lunar equatorial landing sites [although it appears the lunar poles is where th intersting science opportunities are] and had narrow launch windows (driven largely by abort return geometries). To support long duration spaceflight CEV is designed to remain dormant at ISS or in polar lunar orbit (in support of a permanent lunar outpost) for up to 6 months at a time. The staggering delta V requirements for just getting into and out of lunar polar orbit (with an anytime abort capability) really put CEV in another class of vehicle than the Apollo CM/SM. Don't assume it is "apollo reduc" just because it looks similar and you don't understand the implications of the differences in requirements.

  • Re:private sector (Score:3, Informative)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <rodrigogirao@@@hotmail...com> on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:03PM (#20045541) Homepage

    No real research on my part, but I think you may be straining the term "land" here. Perhaps you are using it in the manner of "I landed a punch on his jaw" which would fit more with my knowlege of the Soviet moon "landings".
    Just check the Wikipedia article on moon landings. [wikipedia.org] The early ones were "hard landings", but later they landed several unmanned probes successfully, and even brought samples back.
  • In the Valley of the Kings, there lies a Great Glass Pyramid [webbaviation.co.uk]. If you'd rather something that wasn't being used, the tower [scitech.ac.uk] hasn't housed an accelerator for over fifteen years. Problem solved.

    Can you give me something at least a little challenging? A canal that runs uphill, a viaduct that can span a couple of cities in an earthquake zone with a 100+ year warranty, a Michelangelo-style work on the inside of a glacier - you know, something hard. Something that might be a bit more challenging than merely keeping something safe from the elements. Unfortunately, those were all done in that general area, so you'll need to pick something else.

  • Re:private sector (Score:3, Informative)

    by Allasard ( 565291 ) on Monday July 30, 2007 @05:35PM (#20049011)
    Heck, one of the Soviet rovers even drove around for a few months!!!

    "Lunokhod 2 operated for about 4 months, covered 37 km (23 miles) of terrain, including hilly upland areas and rilles, and sent back 86 panoramic images and over 80,000 TV pictures."
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunokhod_2 [wikipedia.org]

  • by erichill ( 583191 ) <eric@stochastic.com> on Monday July 30, 2007 @05:41PM (#20049117) Homepage

    The shuttle is anything but cost effective.

    From The Cato Institute [cato.org]:
    ...David Gump in Space Enterprise estimates that the cost in constant dollars of putting payloads into orbit went from $3,800 per pound under Apollo to $6,000 with the Shuttle. If the market had reduced that cost by, say, 60 percent, putting a pound in orbit today would cost only $1,500. Alex Roland of Duke University estimates that the cost of a Shuttle flight, including development and capital costs, is not the $350 million claimed by NASA but as much as $2 billion. This would mean a cost per pound of about $35,000!

    I could rant on...

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.