View 732 Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Apologies for being so long without saying something. Combination of hot weather here, and a myriad of distractions, all fairly minor but all time consuming – and, alas, of thinking I had put up something I hadn’t.
I set this following up to be published Monday afternoon, got distracted, and thought I had done it when I hadn’t. Back in the days when I did all this in Front Page and posted things directly from it it was a lot easier. Ah well.
And we had what I thought was a flap about Amazon, but that turned out to be my own fault, and there was no problem.
I have a lot of mail on several subjects, and I am selecting out the best to present arguments.
Thanks to all those kind enough to worry about me.
I do not normally post press releases, but this one is significant:
XCOR Aerospace and Midland Development Corporation Announce Establishment of XCOR’s New Commercial Spaceflight R&D Headquarters
XCOR Chief Test Pilot Richard Searfoss shows Texas Governor Rick Perry a full sized Lynx model unveiled during a ceremony held at the Midland
International Airport, where XCOR will open a new R&D headquarters.
Midland, Texas, July 9, 2012 – The Midland Development Corporation (MDC) and XCOR Aerospace jointly announced today the establishment of XCOR’s new Commercial Space Research and Development Center Headquarters that will be created over the next eighteen (18) months. XCOR manufactures reusable rocket engines for major aerospace prime contractors and is the designer, manufacturer and operator of the Lynx, a winged fully reusable, high performance suborbital space vehicle that is designed to safely carry two persons or scientific experiments to the edge of space and back up to four times per day.
"This is a great day for Midland and a huge step forward for the State of Texas. Visionary companies, like XCOR, continue to choose Texas because they know that innovation is fueled by freedom," Gov. Perry said. "Whether on the cutting edge of biotech, communications, commerce or privatized efforts to serve the needs of the next generation of space explorers, you can find Texas at the forefront of the movement."
XCOR will be establishing their new R&D center on the flight line at Midland International Airport (MAF) in a newly renovated 60,000-square-foot hangar, which will include office space and a test facility. The renovation is expected to commence in early 2013, and be completed by the late autumn.
"XCOR will be upgrading an existing hangar at Midland International Airport," stated Marv Esterly, director of airports at MAF. "This new R&D facility has the potential to open the door to even more economic development at our airport and for our community."
XCOR will be expanding into a 60,000 sq ft hangar, pictured here, at the Midland Intenational Airport in Midland, TX.
"We are pleased to be establishing our R&D Center in Midland, Texas, where the weather, surrounding landscape, the airport, and the local & state government environment are ideally situated for the future growth and the ultimate realization of a fully reusable orbital system," said Andrew Nelson, chief operating officer of XCOR Aerospace. "With future suborbital operational sites on the East and West Coasts of the United States and around the world, plus a manufacturing and test facility geographically separate from our R&D facility, Midland will truly be at the heart of XCOR’s innovation engine."
"The decision to establish XCOR’s Research and Development Center Headquarters in Midland came after intense competition from other locations," stated Pam Welch, executive director of MDC, "once the technical and operational needs of XCOR were met, the final factors influencing the decision to locate R&D to Midland included the friendly business climate, a predictable regulatory environment, and the State of Texas tort reform initiatives. These factors allowed XCOR to see a long term future happening in Midland."
Laura Roman, MDC chairman, stated "Today we celebrate the economic diversity that XCOR’s Research and Development Center Headquarters will bring to Midland along with the $12,000,000 of new payroll and capital investment over the next five years to our community with an estimated average annual wage of over $60,000 per job."
In parallel with the XCOR facility renovation, the City of Midland is applying to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a Commercial Space Launch Site designation for MAF, an estimated 12 to 18 months process. Upon completion of the licensing process and the hangar renovation, the XCOR presence will begin to ramp up.
The FAA spaceport designation will also be an important economic development tool because of the potential growth in the commercial space sector as NASA relies more on commercial service providers for launch capability and the space tourism market evolves. Marv Esterly, noted, "When our application is approved, the MAF will be the first "Primary Commercial Service Airport" to be granted this designation, and the combination of the two makes Midland attractive to other commercial space companies."
# # #
XCOR Aerospace is in the business of developing and producing safe, reliable and reusable rocket powered vehicles, propulsion systems, advanced non-flammable composites and other enabling technologies. XCOR is working with aerospace prime contractors and government customers on major propulsion systems, and concurrently building the Lynx, a piloted, two-seat, fully reusable, liquid rocket powered suborbital vehicle that takes off and lands horizontally and serves research & scientific missions and private spaceflight. The Lynx production models (designated Lynx Mark II) are designed to be robust, multi-mission commercial vehicles capable of flying to 100+ km in altitude up to four times per day and are being offered on a wet lease basis. www.xcor.com.
The Midland Development Corporation (MDC) promotes business expansion in the greater Midland, Texas area by building a strong and diversified economy through job creation and capital investment. The Midland Development Corporation has the ability to structure incentive packages to qualified new and existing employers who create and retain jobs for the community.
Midland International Airport (MAF) is an historic aviation center and home to many unique aviation and aerospace assets. The Pliska Aeroplane, the first aircraft built and flown in Texas was a 1911 vintage aircraft constructed by local blacksmith John Pliska and auto mechanic Gray Coggin. They modeled the aircraft after the Wright Flyer II owned by Robert G Fowler, who was passing through Midland. The original aircraft now hangs in the MAF main terminal. MAF was also the site of the US Army Air Corps Bombardier School during WWII, where numerous pilots were trained on the use of the famous Norden bombsight on the remote plains and reaches of West Texas. In the 1960′s and 1970′s MAF served as the R&D and flight test center for the first all composite aircraft built and licensed in the United States, the Windecker Eagle. And MAF is the current home to the Commemorative Air Force, the premier historic aircraft restoration and flying museum for military aircraft.
The Midland International Airport is ranked ninth in Texas for primary commercial service airports. Owned and operated by the City of Midland, the airport has over twenty daily departures with non-stop service to DFW, Dallas Love Field, Houston Intercontinental, Houston Hobby, Las Vegas and Denver. Currently, the airport is served by Southwest, American Eagle and United Express Airlines."
Griffin Communications Group
On behalf of Midland Development Corporation
California’s anti-business environment takes its toll on the future. Mojave was once a prime candidate for a space industry, but this may change things.
And if you have not seen this delightful review of Lucifer’s Hammer, recommend it to anyone you know who hasn’t bought the book recently. http://guerillabookworm.com/
Re. Lucifer’s Hammer Review
I’d suggest using the permalink to the particular review, <http://guerillabookworm.com/?p=979>, rather than the link to the Guerrilla Bookworm home page that you put on <http://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/?p=8442>.
And that reminds me: it’s time to reread Lucifer’s Hammer; it’s been so long since last I read the book that I’m not recognizing a scene reference.
For another interesting literary review, see http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/the-author-of-the-civil-war/ on the role of Sir Walter Scott on attitudes toward war. I will have to admit being influenced by Scott and by Robert Louis Stevenson at an early age. The Capleville school library had some of Stevenson’s novels (in addition to Treasure Island which we read in 7th Grade as an assignment) and also several of Scott’s Waverly novels (Quentin Durward for one, and of course Ivanhoe). It also has some Jack London who used language I wasn’t used to hearing…
And I have this on Climate Change
Tree ring studies show cooling
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
Just in case you’ve not yet seen this:
> Tree-rings prove climate was WARMER in Roman and Medieval times than
> it is now – and world has been cooling for 2,000 years.
Of course this is the Daily Mail, but then my usual view of that paper’s biases would lead me to expect to see them denouncing Deniers. The graph is interesting.
Of course we have all of us known from childhood that it was warmer in Viking times – Medieval times if you like – than it is now. We all were taught about Leif the Lucky and the Greenland colonies, and about Vinland and the skraelings and wine grapes in Nova Scotia; and if we cared to look further at history between 800 to about 1300 AD we find that everyone recorded good weather, long growing seasons, earlier springs and later winters. This seems universal in the Northern hemisphere from Iceland to the Orient, in China and Japan, and so far as we can tell, people thrived in the Southern hemisphere also, they just didn’t keep written records that survived. One of the charges leveled against the ‘hockey stick’ model makers is that they sought to erase the Medieval Warm from human records.
We don’t have so much on the Roman Warm period but we can infer some of it from published histories, length of time it took olive trees to mature, and such like. We know that crops failed more often and land production fell during the wandering period, but that could be decivilization rather than climate.
I have seen very little evidence showing that the Earth has not been warmer in historical times than it is now. We also know that it has been considerably colder than it is now following the last cooling that began in the first half of the 14th Century.
Any model that seeks to predict future climates must, I would think, take account of the Roman and Medieval Warm periods and since none of the current very expensive models of climactic doom can account for them (other than to wish they would go away) I have never had much confidence in these many parameter art forms.
We have also, all of us, known since childhood that Earth went through really significant Ice Ages, and that we are supposedly in an Interglacial Period. That’s one reason why there was so much concern back not all that many years ago (mid 1970’s) when there was talk of a Genesis Strategy and the Coming Ice Age.
Stephen Schneider, in those days said the climate future was unpredictable, not definitely Ice, but since climate variation usually means food production uncertainties we ought, as Joseph advised Pharaoh, to put away surpluses during fat years to guard against coming families. That’s still not terrible advice. I can think of a number of catastrophes that might make us wish we had more than a few days’ food stored up and ready to distribute. Come to that, given what we’re spending on measures to affect climate when we don’t in fact know which way things are going, we probably could have full granaries from these fat years just in case there are lean years. But that wouldn’t enrich the Global Warming True Believers with grants and study subsidies, and there’s a lot of money to be made out of Cap and Trade if you’re the speculator rather than producer kind. Pardon my bitterness.
I don’t suppose this latest study will convince many who aren’t already Deniers; after all, those who paid attention to world history in grade school already pretty well know all this; but then modern attention span isn’t very long, so who knows?
Incidentally the Great Global Warming Hysteria suggests the inadvisability of rule by bureaucratic meritocracy as well as the undesirability of rule by plebiscitary democracy; but then Franklin, who speculated on the cause of Ice Ages, knew that as did most of the other Framers.
If you lay a straight edge along the solid line on that curve so that you just touch the four highest peaks including the last one, you will see a trend that is not what the Global Warming people believe in. Of course that depends on the quality of the raw data, but then we’ve all been saying that all along. If I had to bet whether 2099 would be warmer or colder than 2015 I think I would take “about the same” were that offered as a choice. But if I were asked do I prefer warmer or colder I’d emphatically choose warmer even though I am sweltering a an office without air conditioning just at the moment.
It’s not just the Daily Mail
I admit The Daily Mail can make it difficult to separate good science from reports of Tom Cruise’s ability to teleport.
But the Daily Mail’s report of the tree ring study you mentioned on July 11 is reported more reliably at http://www.uni-mainz.de/eng/15491.php
A good source for following climate reports is
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.