Monday, April 28, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Well, we failed to post a BaWBotW last week as we were in Calcutta, more of which another time. For this week, we have always liked this photograph of French model Ingrid Aperon. Just what Triple P would like to find in the kitchen on a hot day.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Exotically she is of British, Indian and Chinese extraction although her parents are from South Africa.
The Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV) will be the first space launcher of South Korea. It is being built under the authority of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, the equivalent to NASA.
The KSLV-I launch vehicle is based on the first stage of the Russian Angara rocket and will be built by Russia. The solid-fueled second stage of KSLV-I will be built by South Korea. The launch complex for KSLV will also be built by Russia. It will be capable of launching a satellite weighing 100 kilograms into low orbit. The first launch of KSLV-I is planned for 2008.
Thw Yanks, of course, are worried about the South koreans building a missile which could threaten North Korea. The Americans have been putting pressure on the Russians with regard to technology transfer in this area.
If the launch takes place without a hitch, South Korea will be the eighth country in the world to build its own satellite and rocket and send it into space after (United States, Russia, Japan, China, France, India and Israel).
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The first Russian built rocket was just a re-engineered V2 (or, more correctly, an A4) and was launched in 1948 under the technical management of Sergei Koralev ( properly, Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov) and was called the R-1.
A series of developments of the original R-1 followed (R-1B R-1D, R-1E and R-1V) and they carried the first scientific experiments and the first living creatures (dogs) into space on the very fifties retro-looking (retro rocket?) R-1D in 1951.
Work took place on a series of rockets, or more properly missiles, for a variety of strategic uses but the race was on with the USA to build the world's first inter-continental ballistic missile.
The R5 broke the altitude record for rockets in 1958 reaching 473km.
In 1953 Korolev began work on a ICBM launcher originally called the 8k71 (catchy!). It featured strap on boosters which gave what became the R-7 its distinctive (and very cool) look.
The first three launches, in 1957, were all disasters but the fourth on August 21st 1957 was a success. The R-7 was 34 m long, 3 m in diameter and weighed 280 metric tons, it was two-stage, powered by rocket motors using liquid oxygen (lox) and kerosene and was capable of delivering its payload at around 8,800 km, with an accuracy (CEP) of around 5km. As an ICBM the rocket entered service in 1960 but it was not exactly a success. Only six launch sites were built and each site cost 5% of the Soviet defence budget. The rocket needed 20 hours to prepare for launch and this would have made it very vulnerable to enemy strikes.
Nasty, brutish and short. The R-7 ICBM
However, in parallel to its role as an ICBM the R-7 launcher was used to transport the Sputnik satellite into orbit on October 4th 1957. A brave thing to do for a rocket that had only had one successful and three unsuccessful launches!
The more elegant lines of the current Soyuz FG
Later the same basic rocket, with added extra stages, was used for all the Soviet and then Russian manned flight missions. The Soyuz version was first launched in 1963 and since then there have been around 1,200 launches of that configuration. If the earlier incarnations of the R-7 are included as well then the total number is around 1,700. In the early eighties the Soviets were churning out 60 a year.
TMA-12 in its gantry.
Preparing for launch
So-yeon, a bio-engineer, travelled with two Russian cosmonauts and and will rendezvous with the International Space Station tomorrow.
The Korean's have given the Russians $20,000,000 to get an astronaut into space so must have been a bit miffed when the Russki's kicked the Korean's first choice astronaut, male mathematician (a dodgy bunch) Ko San, off the programme for, allegedly, borrowing technical manuals and taking them home to Korea (by mistake, allegedly).
Over 36,000 Koreans applied to be the country's first astronaut and posed the problem for the Russians of how to produce dog-flavoured squeezy space meals. Never mind, it wouldn't be the first time the Russians have blasted dog into space.
How are you feeling? "Ruff!"
Laika (Russian for "barker"!) was not only the first living thing (or Earthling, anyway) into space but the first female. Of course she was never meant to survive her flight in Sputnik 2 and died five to seven hours into the flight on November 3rd 1957. The capsule was burned up on re-entry five months later thus barbecueing what was left of poor Laika. Which brings us neatly full circle to Koreans in space.
Anyway, Agent Triple P wishes So-yeon a good flight and happy randings!
Monday, April 7, 2008
Agent Triple P's favourite was:
"At my firm, our investment banking clients were always happy to see us girls at negotiation meetings in very short skirts. Our male colleagues were very happy about it too. Do I detect a hint of jealousy among the frumps that can't get away with it?"
Well, Agent Triple P's not inconsiderable experience of lady lawyers in London is that he would rather not see most female solicitors in fishnets. Burkas, perhaps. Of course there is the City phenomenon whereby the senior women dress in a-line dresses, flat shoes and plain blouses and the secretaries dress in pinstripe suits. No doubt these girls think that the fishnets perk up the pinstripes so perhaps the ban is aimed at the junior staff. Also, maybe it's not a London firm. Maybe its some dreary provincial firm in Norwich or somewhere else uncool like that. Actually, Agent Triple P used to know a girl from Norwich (or at least very close by) who looked sensational in fishnets so maybe we are being unfair.
Of course there are fishnets and fishnets and there will no doubt come the thorny issue of when is a pattern a fishnet and when is it just a lacy diamond pattern. Maybe the ban is just aimed at the classic Moulin Rouge/Chicago look and not some of the more sophisticated numbers that have come onto the market recently.
Agent Triple P's neighbour demonstrates how badly fishnets cover a thigh tattoo.
Really, Agent Triple P's only observation would be that no women should wear fishnets unless they have very, very good legs indeed. They are not easy to carry off!