Sunday, October 15, 2017

Russian Experimental Nuclear Warheads Were Deployed in Parallel

It appears that we have an answer to the question of what kind of "experimental warheads" were tested in the September 12 Yars launch. And a confirmation of a guess made on Twitter by @artjomh shortly after the test. The image above is from that post - it's from a textbook they use at the Bauman University. According to The Diplomat's Ankit Panda, Russia tested "an independent post-boost vehicle (IPBV) configuration for a three-warhead version [of the Yars ICBM]." The Bauman textbook calls it "an RV with independent (parallel) deployment." As can be seen from the image, each RV is sitting on top of its own mini-bus, which is different from a more common configuration, when one bus deploys RVs one after another.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pondering the Precambrian #6

Proterozoic:

NeoProterozoic:

There is evidence of a potential blacksmoker vent from the NeoProterozoic.

Ocean subduction evidence has been found in China.

Comb Jellies appear to have be the oldest divergent, yet still living, branch of animals.

Ediacaran:

An Ediacaran protist fossil seems to show how those organisms' reproduction in action.

Evidence of the opening of the Iapetus Sea in Russia during the Ediacaran has been uncovered.

The submerged Batavian Knoll is a microcontinent with evidence of the assembly of Gondwana.

Biostratigraphical evidence is coming together for the Ediacaran from China.

The nuclei and nucleoli in the embryos found in Ediacaran China's Weng'an Biota.

Understanding the Ediacaran paleoecologies.

Should the extinction of Cloudina lucianoi mark the Ediacaran/Cambrian boundary?

Could Ediacaran rangeomorphs actually burrow?

Cryogenian:

It appears the Sturtian Snowball Earth episode began circa 717 million years ago.

Tonian:

The Tonian/Cryogenian boundary has been proposed for specific spots in Scotland.

A vase shaped microfossil has been found in the Tonian deposits around the world.

There appears to have been a mass extinction during the Tonian prior to the Snowball Earth episodes.

Mesoproterozoic:

There is evidence Archean granites were reworked and uranium deposited during the Calymmian in the Olympic Dam Breccia in Australia.

Eukaryote fossils were found in Calymmian deposits in China.

Are some fossils that are normally thought to be NeoProterozoic (Tonian/Cryogenian) found in the MesoProterozoic deposits of Russia?

At the dawn of the Mesoproterozoic, at the Statherian/Calymmian boundary, Australia made contact with northwestern Laurentia and began a long slide along its margin.

Paleoproterozoic:

Evidence of an island arc from the Paleoproterozoic came from West Africa.

There may have been two island arcs in Finland during the PaleoProterozoic.

How the Francevillian formation formed in the Rhyacian.

The microfossils of the Francevillian Biota get examined.

Evidence from India for proto continents in the Rhyacian.

Archean:

Findings from the NeoArchean from the North American Craton support local evidence of plate tectonics.

Did the development of carbonate platforms in the NeoArchean pave the way for the Great Oxygenation Event?

Is there evidence of biogenic atmospheric oxygen during the MesoArchean?

The emergence of the continents may have happened over multiple differentiation events.

Evidence of life was found in EoArchean sediments from Labrador, Canada.

Hadean:

Caution should be taken when examining Hadean zircons.

Did life form in warm little pools?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Commercial Crew Launches Schedule Slip

The next generation of American spacecraft and rockets that will launch astronauts to the International Space Station are nearing the final stages of development and evaluation. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will return human spaceflight launches to U.S. soil, providing reliable and cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit on systems that meet our safety and mission requirements.


[...]

Targeted Test Flight Dates:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test: August 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test: November 2018

SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: April 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): August 2018

Editor’s Note: Note the careful wording of this latest press release: “most recent publicly releasable dates.” So, how far are the latest slips? Here is where they were in July.

Previous Targeted Test Flight & Milestone Dates (July 20, 2017):

Boeing Orbital Flight Test: June 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test: August 2018
Boeing Operational Readiness Review: September 2018
Certification Review: October 2018

SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: February 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): June 2018
SpaceX Operational Readiness Review: August 2018
Certification Review: September 2018


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Russia's Central Bank Will Block Websites Using Cryptocurrencies

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday crypto-currencies were risky and used for crime, as Russia’s central bank said it would block websites selling bitcoin and its rivals - a change of tone from a month-old promise to legalize the market.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

China's Land Based Carrier Mockup is Changing

A recently published image of modifications made to China’s land-based aircraft carrier development facility at Wuhan reflects the ongoing work supporting the development of the country’s third aircraft carrier, commonly known as the Type 002.

Published in Chinese online forums in early September, the image shows that the height of the island's forward upper superstructure on the carrier mock-up has been increased to facilitate faring in the array panels of the phased array radar.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Stealth Saga #66

AMCA:

The Indians have a lot of work before they have their own stealth fighters.

J-20:

The J-20 is now officially in military service for China (here, too).

The J-20 outclasses its regional rivals.

A J-20 has been spotted with the WS-10 engine (G variant?  maybe?).

Su-57 (PAK-FA):

Some are calling the Su-57 underpowered.

The 9th Su-57 was delivered to the Russian air force and it shows progress with the design.

Some are still saying the Su-57 is underpowered.

PAK-DA:

KRET is designing new electronic warfare equipment for the PAK-DA.

KF-X:

The fraud probe into KAI has cast a pall on the KF-X program and found circumstantial evidence of corruption in the program.  The former head of KAI has been arrested.  A VP has committed suicide.

6th Generation Fighters:

Lockheed teased a concept again for its 6th gen fighter that reminds everyone of the F-23.

The US sixth gen fighter could be revolutionary.

BAe is optimistic on the use of lasers by fighters.

BAe has a stealthy UAV concept.

Will China outfit its own sixth generation fighter with a new type of radar?

B-21:

The USAF is keeping costs in check for the developing B-21.

How many bombers the US needs vs what the budget realities are.

F-117:

The F-117 might be officially retired, but its still flying.

F-22:

The F-22 appears to still be the best air superiority fighter out there so far.

The F-22 is being used as an aerial scout in Syria.

The first F-22 flew 20 years ago.

F-35:

Some are complaining that Congress is giving the F-35 a pass for its problems.  Those problems are claimed to be being worked on.

The USAF expects OBOGS testing on the F-35 through the end of 2017.

F-35 ejection seats are still problematic.

The F-35 was to join the F-22 in South Korea's ADEX.

Silicon Valley style software development might be coming for the F-35 (and F-22).

Some F-35As may not be combat coded and stick with the 2b software.

USMC F-35Bs (with radar reflectors) participated in exercises with South Korea and Japan.

The F-35B might be placed in rotational deployment to South Korea (along with the F-22).

USMC's VMFA-121 practiced hot loading the AIM-120s onto F-35Bs.

USAF airmen are helping with the F-35C aviator carrier quals.

The USS Abraham Lincoln is testing the F-35C at sea.

Australia has ordered the Small Diameter Bomb II for its F-35As and the US approved the order.

The British have outlined their plans for the F-35 IOC.

The Brits consider both their CVs necessary for the F-35 trials.

Two more F-35s were delivered to the Israelis.

The Japanese assembled F-35As are falling behind schedule.

Japan wants to start integrating locally made parts into their F-35s starting in 2018.

Pratt & Whitney finished testing the adaptive fan for the F135 engine and is offering depot upgrades for the F-35 (but not with the new engine yet).

META:

A crash by a classified plane and death of its pilot (Lt Col Eric Schultzhas people wondering what aircraft had been flying.