Taco Tuesday in Space!

Putting together a taco on the ISS is not a simple matter. With mackerel, leek cream, dried tomatoes and quinoa salad? Interesting.


LightSquared’s Lawyer Dollars

Sure, it all makes sense now.

LightSquared had a plan to use frequencies for mobile services. That turned into a fight with the GPS industry. They fucked with the farmers, too.

Just before they filed for bankruptcy protection, they paid Dennis Hastert’s lobbying firm $200,000 to keep an eye on GPS legislation. And the science behind the interference issue was real.

All this seems like a waste of money, right? Think again and bring the bankruptcy fees. Case Number 1:12-bk-12080 got their exit financing approved on 2 June 2015, so the end is near. The FCC is asking for comment on the available frequencies.

Who’s involved in this bankruptcy? These are the entities for Reston, VA-based LightSquared:

LightSquared Inc.
LightSquared
Investors Holdings Inc.
One Dot Four Corp.
One Dot Six Corp.
SkyTerra Rollup LLC
SkyTerra Rollup Sub LLC
SkyTerra Investors LLC
TMI Communications Delaware, Limited Partnership
LightSquared GP Inc.
LightSquared LP
ATC Technologies, LLC
LightSquared Corp.
LightSquared Finance Co.
LightSquared Network LLC
LightSquared Inc. of Virginia
LightSquared Subsidiary LLC
Lightsquared Bermuda Ltd.
SkyTerra Holdings (Canada) Inc.
SkyTerra (Canada) Inc.
One Dot Six TVCC Corp.

Are we counting the “lawyer dollars” now? More, please. Here are the people on the other side of the table…

Creditor
ACE American Insurance Company and other members of the ACE group of companies
Represented by:
Karel S. Karpe, KarpeLaw

Creditor
APA Properties No. 10, LP
Represented by:
Patrick J. Potter, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Creditor
ASM Capital IV, L.P.
Represented by:
Douglas Wolfe, ASM Capital, LP

Creditor
ASM Capital, L.P.
Represented by:
Douglas Wolfe, ASM Capital, LP

Unknown
AT&T Corp.
Represented by:
David A. Rosenzweig, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Creditor
Ad Hoc Group of LightSquared LP Lenders
Represented by:
Glenn M. Kurtz, White & Case, LLP
Julia M Winters, White & Case LLP

Unknown
Ad Hoc Preferred LP Group
Represented by:

Creditor
Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc.
Represented by:
Alyse M. Aruch, McCarter & English

Unknown
Donna Pelligrini Alderman
Represented by:
Joel M Melendez, Molo Lamken LLP

Financial Advisor
Alvarez & Marsal North America, LLC
Represented by:
Karen Gartenberg, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Unknown
BDC Parkridge LLC
Represented by:
Anthony D. Boccanfuso, Arnold & Porter

Stockholder
Blue Line DZM Corp.
Represented by:
Paul Nii-Amar Amamoo, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP
David M. Friedman, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP

Creditor
Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc.
Represented by:
Todd J. Rosen, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
Bradley Schneider, Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP

Creditor
Cates Strategy Group, LLC
Represented by:
Leon S. Jones, Jones & Walden, LLC

Interested Party
Centaurus Capital LP
Represented by:
Jeffrey S. Sabin, Venable LLP

Claims and Noticing Agent
Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC, Claims Agent
Represented by:

Unknown
Clerks Office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Represented by:
Creditor
Raymond Coburn
Represented by:

Creditor
Comerica Bank
Represented by:
Ronald Scott Beacher, Pryor Cashman LLP
Conrad Chiu, Pryor Cashman LLP

Unknown
Covington & Burling LLP
Represented by:
Ronald A. Hewitt, Covington & Burling LLP

Unknown
Crown Castle USA Inc.
Represented by:
Leslie Ann Berkoff, Moritt, Hock & Hamroff, LLP

Creditor
DACA VI LLC
Represented by:

Unknown
DISH NETWORK CORPORATION
Represented by:
Brian D. Glueckstein, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Attorney
DLA Piper LLP (US)
Represented by:
Gregg M. Galardi, DLA Piper LLP (US)

Creditor
Dallas County
Represented by:
Elizabeth Weller, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP

Creditor
Debt Acquisition Co of America V, LLC
Represented by:

Interested Party
Deere & Company
Represented by:
Philip Le B. Douglas, Jones Day

Attorney
Dentons Canada LLP
Represented by:
Karen Gartenberg, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Unknown
Dickstein Shapiro LLP
Represented by:
Shaya M. Berger, Dickstein Shapiro, LLP

Mediator
Robert D. Drain
Represented by:

Interested Party
Charles W. Ergen
Represented by:
James C. Dugan, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Other Prof.
Ernst & Young LLP
Represented by:
Karen Gartenberg, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Lars A. Peterson, Foley & Lardner LLP
John A. Simon, Foley & Lardner LLP

Unknown
FCDB LSQ LLC
Represented by:

Creditor
Fortress Credit Investments I Ltd., Fortress Credit Investments II Ltd., Fortress Credit Funding IV LP, Fortress Credit Opportunities I LP, Worden Master Fund LP, Worden Master Fund II LP, Drawbridge
Represented by:

Unknown
Fortress Investment Group LLC
Represented by:
Kristopher M. Hansen, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Other Prof.
Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
Represented by: Interested Party
Garmin International, Inc.
Represented by:
Philip Le B. Douglas, Jones Day
Paul Bartholomew Green, Jones Day

Unknown
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Represented by:
Michael A. Rosenthal, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Stockholder
HGW US Holding Company, L.P.
Represented by:
Paul Nii-Amar Amamoo, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP
David M. Friedman, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP

Stockholder
Harbinger Capital Partners LLC
Represented by:
Paul Nii-Amar Amamoo, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP
Daniel A. Fliman, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP
David M. Friedman, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP

Unknown
Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, et al.
Represented by:
Ronit J. Berkovich, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Debra A. Dandeneau, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP

Stockholder
Harbinger Capital Partners SP, Inc.
Represented by:
Paul Nii-Amar Amamoo, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP
David M. Friedman, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP

Unknown
Intelsat Corporation
Represented by:
Stephen B. Selbst, Herrick, Feinstein LLP

Interested Party
Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund
Represented by:
Michael S. Etkin, Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Cassandra M. Porter, Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Unknown
STEPHEN KETCHUM
Represented by:
Charles E. Bachman, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Peter M. Friedman, O’MELVENY & MYERS LLP

Attorney
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Represented by:
Paul M. Basta, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP

Christopher Marcus, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Joshua Sussberg, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Unknown
Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC
Represented by: Interested Party
L-Band Acquisition, LLC
Represented by:
Brian D. Glueckstein, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Rachel C. Strickland, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Unknown
Latham & Watkins LLP
Represented by:

Debtor
LightSquared Inc.
Represented by:
Matthew Scott Barr, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy
Paul M. Basta, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP
Karen Gartenberg, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Christopher Marcus, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Alan Stone, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP
Mitchell S. Bigel, Myers Bigel Sibley & Sajovec, P.A.

Creditor
Liquidity Solutions, Inc.
Represented by: Unknown
MAST Capital Management LLC
Represented by:
Philip Dublin, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP
Lawrence S. Robbins, Robbins Russell Englert Orseck Untereiner

Interested Party
Melody Business Finance, LLC
Represented by: Attorney
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Represented by:
Matthew Scott Barr, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy

Creditor
Missouri Department of Revenue
Represented by:
Steven A. Ginther, Missouri Department of Revenue

Financial Advisor
Moelis & Company LLC
Represented by:
Karen Gartenberg, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Unknown
New York State Department of Labor
Represented by:

Creditor
One Beacon Street Limited Partnership
Represented by:
Douglas B. Rosner, Goulston & Storrs, P.C.

Creditor
Oracle America, Inc.
Represented by:
Shawn M. Christianson, Buchalter Nemer Fields & Younger
Amish R. Doshi, Magnozzi & Kye

Creditor
James Paull, IV
Represented by:
Lawrence A. Katz, Leach Travell Britt PC

Creditor
Jay Paull, IV
Represented by:
Lawrence A. Katz, Leach Travell Britt PC

Creditor
John Paull
Represented by:
Lawrence A. Katz, Leach Travell Britt PC

Unknown
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Represented by:
Bruce D. Jacobs, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Brandon Johnson, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Matthew J Oliver, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Patrick J. Potter, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Dania Slim, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Unknown
Providence TMT Special Situations Fund LP and TMT Debt Opportunity Fund II LP, investment funds managed by affiliates of Providence Equity Partners LLC (collectively, the “Providence Funds”)
Represented by:
Emanuel C. Grillo, Baker Botts L.L.P.

Creditor
SBA Structures Inc. and SBA Towers III LLC
Represented by:
Lucian Murley, Saul Ewing LLP

Interested Party
SIG Holdings, Inc.
Represented by:
Nicholas E. Baker, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Sandeep Qusba, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Interested Party
SP Special Opportunities, LLC
Represented by:
James C. Dugan, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Tariq Mundiya, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Rachel C. Strickland, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Interested Party
Lili Schad
Represented by:
Scott D. Cousins, Bayard, P.A.
Kevin D. Galbraith, Zamansky & Associates LLC
Jacob H. Zamansky, Zamansky & Associates, LLC

Unknown
Sandeep Singh
Represented by:

Unknown
Solus Alternative Asset Management LP
Represented by:
Malek Schiffrin LLP, Malek Schiffrin LLP

Interested Party
Sound Point Capital Management, L.P.
Represented by:
Charles E. Bachman, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Peter M. Friedman, O’MELVENY & MYERS LLP

Unknown
Special Committee of the Board of Directors of LightSquared Inc. and LightSquared GP Inc.
Represented by:
Paul M. Basta, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP
Joshua Sussberg, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Interested Party
TR Capital Management, LLC
Represented by: Creditor
Tennessee Department of Revenue
Represented by:
Marvin E. Clements, Jr., Office of the Tennessee Attorney General

Unknown
The Law Office of John T. Whelan, LLC
Represented by:
John T. Whelan, The Law Office of John T. Whelan LLC

Interested Party
The U.S. GPS Industry Council
Represented by:
Philip Le B. Douglas, Jones Day

Interested Party
Trimble Navigation Ltd.
Represented by:
Philip Le B. Douglas, Jones Day

Unknown
U.S. Bank National Association
Represented by:
Philip Dublin, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP

John W. Weiss, Alston & Bird LLP

Creditor
UBS AG
Represented by:
Adam J. Goldberg, Latham & Watkins, LLP
David S. Heller, Latham & Watkins

U.S. Trustee
United States Trustee
Represented by:
Susan D. Golden, Office of United States Trustee SDNY

Unknown
United States of America on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission
Represented by:
Alicia M. Simmons, U.S. Attorney’s Office, SDNY

Creditor
Universal Service Administrative Company
Represented by:
Michael L. Schein, Vedder Price, P.C.

Unknown
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Represented by:
Debra A. Dandeneau, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP

Interested Party
Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB
Represented by:
Darren T. Azman, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Unknown
Wilmington Trust, National Association
Represented by:
David S Forsh, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP


Big Bang Monday: Huge Plasma Tubes

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Sir Arthur Clarke

What Sir Arthur said many years ago is certainly true today. So many wonderful ideas come from younger generations of scientists, marketers, writers, etc., that we sometimes forget to open our minds to new ideas and ways of thinking. This was certainly the case in Australia.

As an undergraduate student in astrophysics at Sydney University, Cleo Loi came up with an idea for using radio telescopes to “see” something noone has ever been able to visualize.

Via Fairfax Media’s WA Today

A Sydney University student has for the first time used radio telescopes like a giant pair of electronic eyes to locate huge plasma tubes in the atmosphere that interfere with astronomy observations and which could affect some civilian and military navigation systems.

Scientists have long thought that the interaction of the earth’s magnetic field with energy from the sun would create huge tubes of plasma. But they have never been able to directly observe them over large scales or determine their shape. Until now.

While still an undergraduate, Cleo Loi, 23, used the Murchison Wide Field Array in the Western Australia desert in a way that no other radio telescope has been used before.

The wide field array consists of 128 antenna “tiles” over a seven-square-kilometre area. Ms Loi divided the array’s tiles into two halves using the western half like a right eye and the eastern half like a left eye. Similar to the way humans use sight, she used triangulation to build a three-dimensional dynamic map of the plasma tubes over a large area.

Ms Loi, who graduated in March, had to overcome the initial scepticism of senior colleagues who thought her observations were too good to be true.

Her undergraduate supervisor, Dr Tara Murphy, said: “It is to Cleo’s great credit that she not only discovered this but also convinced the rest of the scientific community. As an undergraduate student with no prior background in this, that is an impressive achievement.

“When they first saw the data, many of her senior collaborators thought the results were literally ‘too good to be true’ and that the observation process had somehow corrupted the findings. But over the next few months, Cleo managed to convince them that they were both real and scientifically interesting.”

The tubes are in the earth’s upper atmosphere, known as the ionosphere, which largely consists of ionised oxygen. The ionosphere is so called because photons from the sun dislodge electrons from otherwise neutral atoms in this layer of the atmosphere, creating a soup or plasma of electronically charged particles. This plasma interacts with the earth’s magnetic field, creating field-aligned ducts of the plasma.

The free electrons also interfere with astronomers’ observations and can potentially affect satellite navigation systems.


EELV ♥ SpaceX

greavesGreat news! The U.S. Air Force has certified SpaceX for national security space missions.

This milestone is the culmination of a significant two-year effort on the part of the Air Force and SpaceX to execute the certification process and reintroduce competition into the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. The Air Force invested more than $60 million and 150 people in the certification effort which encompassed 125 certification criteria, including more than 2,800 discrete tasks, 3 certification flight demonstrations, verifying 160 payload interface requirements, 21 major subsystem reviews and 700 audits in order to establish the technical baseline from which the Air Force will make future flight worthiness determinations for launch.

Yes, it’s important to have competition in the marketplace. It’s more important to be rid of our reliance on Russian RD-180 engines.

Suck it, Putin.


Putin: “I Fucking Hate Science”

Chalk up another loss for space/launch insurance underwriters. A Proton/Briz M launch’s 3rd stage failed and lost MexSat-1 (a.k.a. Centenario) — a huge Boeing 702 intended for mobile and fixed services (L- and Ku-band).

What happened? Anatoly Zak gives the best, most-qualified explanation. Probably fuel line problems.

Add this to a Soyuz launch anomaly earlier this month and you would think this may be a pattern. Is it technical or is it systemic? Probably both.

One could argue there’s a lack of enthusiasm and a brain-drain of top Ukrainian engineering talent in the Russian space business. Or it could be the return of the “old Soviet work ethic,” where nobody really cares. People get promoted to positions of authority without really being qualified, just so they can be “controlled” by others at the Kremlin. That’s what I think is happening.

It goes back more than 10 years, around the time Putin started going after complete control of Russia. In 2006, Mario Lemme’s Space Transport Inc. was created to take control of International Launch Services, the joint venture created to market Proton and Atlas launches. Since then, the market for commercial launches has changed (thank you, SpaceX), but the prices for launch services has gone up. But the technical success helps further development of non-commercial and space-exploration systems. With the world still dependent on getting humans to/from the ISS using the Soyuz launcher, we’re in a spot of trouble.

Meanwhile, how are we to substitute our supply source for RD-180 engines? We need to make this a priority. Rather, the big boys in the U.S. are more concerned about corporate headcount (read about the “mothers day massacre”).

Science likes to explain things with facts. Political views tend to use some facts. But outright liars and social manipulators such as Putin and his fellow KGB remnants don’t get along with any facts they don’t like. They just want control. Control of people, money and probably access to space from Russian territory (hence the pressure to build Vostochny).

Succeeding in space will further popularize Putin in Russia and that’s what he’s after. Fuck science: Russia’s space industry is failing due to “moral issues,” according to Rogozin.


Jetman Yves Rossy: Playing With Life

We first noticed Yves Rossy in 2007, then a year later over Switzerland.

Earlier this week, he published a beautiful video over Dubai (shot in 4K).

Amazing footage of a fantastic experience: strapped to a jetpack, flying!

Can you believe how much desert there is in the Arabian peninsula? Dude.


Big Bang Monday: DNS Pulsar

DNS in this case stands for “double neutron star” and a pulsar in the widest known orbit around another neutron star was discovered by two high school students.

In the summer of 2012, during a Pulsar Search Collaboratory workshop, two high-school students discovered J1930−1852, a pulsar in a double neutron star (DNS) system. Most DNS systems are characterized by short orbital periods, rapid spin periods and eccentric orbits. However, J1930−1852 has the longest spin period (Pspin∼185 ms) and orbital period (Pb∼45 days) yet measured among known, recycled pulsars in DNS systems, implying a shorter than average and/or inefficient recycling period before its companion went supernova. We measure the relativistic advance of periastron for J1930−1852, ω˙=0.00078(4) deg/yr, which implies a total mass (Mtot=2.59(4) M⊙) consistent with other DNS systems. The 2σ constraints on Mtot place limits on the pulsar and companion masses (mp1.30 M⊙ respectively). J1930−1852’s spin and orbital parameters challenge current DNS population models and make J1930−1852 an important system for further investigation.

A P–P˙ diagram showing all pulsars in DNS systems (stars/squares) and all other known pulsars (dots). Measured P and P˙ come from the ATNF Pulsar Catalog (Hobbs et al. 2004) and lines of characteristic age and surface magnetic field are shown with dot-dash and dashed lines, respectively. Recycled DNS pulsars (stars) appear between the normal and millisecond pulsar populations and are listed in Table 2. Despite its significantly longer spin period, J1930−1852 clearly belongs in the population of recycled DNS pulsars, unlike J1906+0746 and J0737−3039B (squares) – neither of which have undergone recycling.

With so many astronomers engaged in this type of work, it’s inspirational to find younger ones with no inhibitions and lots of hope continues to reap the rewards of discovery.

 

<


/p>

Blue Origin’s First Shepard

Gorgeous video production by Blue Origin.


Turkmen Satcom Irony

Nice job by both Thales Space in building a Spacebus 4000C2 in 27 months and by SpaceX for launching it via the Falcon 9 from The Cape yesterday.

The spacecraft is going into a slot allocated to Monaco (52 deg. East). What they plan to do with it, we don’t know. First on the list is always some TV mux for direct-to-home application. It covers Africa, too, so I’m sure they’ll come up with something.

Ironically, the Turkmen government has issued an order to destroy all satellite dishes.

Authorities in Turkmenistan have started a new campaign of demolishing satellite dishes, aiming at fully blocking independent access to international TV and radio in the country, the Civic Solidarity Platform reported on April 19.

The government of Turkmenistan has taken a decision to liquidate all privately owned TV and radio satellite dishes in the country, demanding all of them to be demolished, be they on apartment buildings or private houses, and fully prohibit their use. This information has come from governmental sources.

This decision is aimed at fully blocking access of the population of Turkmenistan to hundreds of independent international media outlets which are currently accessible in the country only through satellite dishes, including all leading international news channels in different languages. The main target of this campaign is Radio Azatlyq, the Turkmen-language service of Radio Liberty/Free Europe. It is the only independent source of information about Turkmenistan and the world in the Turkmen language and is widely listened to in the country.

Overwhelming majority of the Turkmen public is able to listen to independent radio and watch foreign television through satellites; all houses in the cities of the country are equipped with dishes, legally bought by people in the last 20 years.

The demolition campaign started in the end of March. There have been earlier attempts in the course of the last few weeks when the local authorities at the level of communal management demanded that people take down the dishes or they will be demolished. However, residents refused, relocating the dishes from the walls to the roofs and collectively organising neighborhood watch groups on the roofs to protect their property from demolition. When local authorities demanded that people uninstall the dishes they did not present any legal grounds and did not produce any official documents, just citing a decision of the superior authorities. Now the government has started to use a new tactic: seasonal workers hired by municipal authorities come during the day when residents are at work and destroy the dishes, breaking the equipment. In Ashgabat the satellite dish demolition campaign is going full speed now, and thousands of satellite dishes have been already destroyed in many districts of the city in the last two weeks.

As a “replacement” for the demolished satellite dishes, the authorities offer “cable TV packages”, which include mostly entertainment channels produced by Russia, Turkey, and India. All TV and radio channels offering news are excluded from these “packages”.

The main argument used by the authorities to justify demolition of the dishes is that they “distort the architectural-urban image of the city.”

Experts believe that the authorities are now aiming at solving the problem of independent access to information through the satellite dishes for the third – and the last – time in anticipation of the next presidential elections scheduled for the beginning of 2017 to ensure full control over information.

You can’t be a modern country if you don’t allow free speech.


“We No Worky” at Vostochny

In space exploration, global cooperation is the name of the game — it’s the only way to get the best people working together. Keep politics out of it. The International Space Station is the perfect example.

However, with Vladimir “No Truth” Putin running Russia like a tyrant-dictator, it’s become risker. Seeing everyone as an enemy and/or threat to his power, gaining control of access to space is key. Hence his pledging billions of rubles to finish the Vostochny Cosmodrome in record time. Since then, besides rubles losing most of their value, there seems to be a terrible shortage to said rubles to pay the contractor doing the work — or the contractor has none to pay their workers. They haven’t been paid in months and they’ve gone as far as painting a message on the roof to “save the workers.”

Last month, Rogozin said he would “rip their heads off” for embezzling the people of Russia.

If all the leaders blatantly lie to their people, and every boss is stealing money from big contracts, how does anything ever get done?

Putin’s kleptocracy is bound for spectacular failure.