On a recent tour of the Midway Museum in San Diego I walked past the door to the “special weapons” area. The “special” means nuclear.
I’ve noticed that area on previous times aboard the U.S.S. Midway, but paused to ponder this visit.
This time I wondered:
How many nukes did a US carrier have on board?
What airplanes were equipped to carry nukes?
As a amusing coincidence, I asked one of the docents if he is aware of open source documents which describe the nuclear loads on carriers. He did not know, but we had a delightful conversation.
Turns out this docent had a parallel job to what I did when I was in the U.S. Air Force. He was based on SSBN submarines while he was in the Navy, having keys to launch the Polaris SLBM. Like I said, what a fun coincidence.
Well, that got me doing a little research and I found some good materials for starters.
One specific tidbit in the second article link below is directly responsive to my curiosity – US aircraft carriers typically carried 100 nuclear weapons on board during the Cold War.
Update: Just so you know, every word I say in my discussions of nuclear weapons is based on what I have read in a public, open-source document. I don’t know anything else at all about nukes.
Frequently in a space launch one of the stages in the rocket is so massive that it will not completely burn up when it reenters the atmosphere. The normal, responsible behavior is to have a controlled burn after the payload is launched which will push the rocket stage into a calculated reentry. This allows the rocket owner to pick the place on the planet the residuals will land, say the middle of an ocean far from routine shipping channels.
The irresponsible strategy is skip the reentry burn which means the massive chunks of unburned metal will land on the earth at some random place, say an occupied area or even a major city.
In addition to Amazon, Jeff Bezos also owns a rocket company developing spaceships. It is called Blue Origin. They are developing New Glenn rocket as a lift vehicle. Article says first flight for New Glenn is not expected until fourth quarter of 2022 with likely slippage to 2023.
Big announcement covered in this article is Amazon announcing they will use the Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance for the first nine launches of their satellites.
China is building their own space station. On 4/28/21 they successfully launched the first of three main components.
4/28/21 – Space.com – China launches core module of new space station to orbit – The central component of the space station is called Tianhe, for Harmony of the Heavens. This module is 54 feet long. Two more sections, each of them 47 feet long, will be launched. The basic station will be assembled by the end of 2022.
A Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket launched the space station.
A cargo launch will go to the station next month with three astronauts arriving in June.
This is not the first space station China has put in orbit. The first one, Tiangong-1, back in 2011 had visits from two crews of three astronauts each before it reentered the atmosphere and was burned up.
Market price of oil collapsed last spring. In looking at the data by month, you can see a one month lag in the drop of production. As a result, the value of oil produced in North Dakota dropped substantially last spring and summer.
As the price of North Dakota light sweet dropped in March to $20.33 from $37.21 the prior month, production slid about 210k bopd in April to 1.225 bopd.
The shock decline in April 2020 to $9.16 from $20.33 led to a drop of production in May of 363K bopd, with average output down to 862k bopd.
A further drop in May 2020 to $7.92 from the prior $9.16 led to another month of low production in June at 895k bopd, an increase of a mere 33k bopd.
Average prices recovered the next month and then over the next seven months were in a range between $29 and $33. Production increased to the range of 1.0m bopd to 1.2 bopd since prices recovered.
Prices have accelerated in the last four months.
The driver for this wild roller coaster ride can be seen in the average of monthly prices:
Graph above shows dramatic drop in production back in May and June 2020, caused by the drastic drop in prices. Record output in November 2019 of 1,519,032 bopd slowly declined then took a sharp drop to below 900,000 bopd in May and June.
Recovery thereafter increase production to just over 1.2M bopd in September, October, and November 2020. Production since then has dropped, with a significant decline in February 2021.
From high of 1,519,032 bopd in November 2019, two low of 862,349 bopd in May 2020, to high of 1,226,549 bopd in November 2020, to drop due to the weather of 1,083,020 bopd in February 2021.
Quite a roller coaster, huh?
For more detail and to drill down deeper, including Bakken/Three Forks only and statewide data, check out:
The U.S. Air Force is working to develop drone fighters. Most recent test flight had the drone launch another drone.
All the original manufacturers for every component of the Minuteman ICBM system are either gone or the assembly lines have long since been shut down. That means USAF is using its own production facility to create the myriad of necessary spare parts.
4/6/21 – New Atlas – Valkyrie combat drone launches another drone during test flight– Imagine a drone fighter that accompanies a cutting-edge manned fighter such as an F-35. The escorting drone could carry a heavy load of bombs to multiply the strike power of a fighter. It could carry an assortment of air-to-air missiles to defend against other planes or air-to-ground missiles to strike radar or other defense assets.
Easter is the high point of the year for Christians. On this day our Savior rose from the tomb after having suffered a brutal death at the hands of the Roman government, urged on by the religious leadership.
What’s the big deal?
On Good Friday, the death of Jesus paid in full the penalty for my sins, yours sins, and the sins of every person who ever lived or ever will live.
On Easter Sunday, His glorious resurrection proves his sacrifice was accepted by God the Father.
In rising from death, Jesus proved he had ultimate power over death, hell, and the devil.
By that sacrifice, our sins are forgiven, and we will enter heaven for eternity, not because of what we do or how nice we are, but solely because of His sacrifice on the cross.
A few selections of the wonderful and so comforting hymn Jesus Christ is Risen Today to help you celebrate. Go ahead, crank up the volume. First up is an organ only version:
Previous post showed the obverse of the bills issued in June 2019. That post also discussed the hyperinflation that made it necessary to add a couple of zeros to the bills. Unfortunately by the time the largest bill was issued it was only worth less than one US dollar.
Here are the reverses (back) of the bills issued in June 2019:
10,000 Bs. S, equal to 1,000,000,000 Bs. F., yes one billion
Mausoleo del Libertador Simon Bolivar – Mausoleum of liberator Simon Bolivar
This blog does not discuss politics. Since I do discuss space exploration, I will cover an announcement from the new Biden administration that Boeing will be replaced as the prime contractor on the Space Launch System.