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Kazakhstan's Spaceship Junkyard

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the mos-eisley dept.

Space 307

Richard W.M. Jones writes "What happens to the booster stages of rockets? They fall back to earth, and in most cases into the oceans. But not in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, where the first stages fall over populated farmland. The locals have become rich dealing in the titanium-rich scrap metal as this article and this remarkable photo essay show. So far the only casualties seem to have been a few dead cows."

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In Soviet Russia... (3, Funny)

nxtr (813179) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673102)

...rocket falls on YOU!

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673105)

First Post!

Anti-slash sucks!

Dead cows... (5, Funny)

eurleif (613257) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673108)

So that's how cattle mutilations happen!

Re:Dead cows... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673463)

No, this is how cattle mutilations happen:

http://www.geocities.com/angiemtg/ [geocities.com]

Funniest story on slashdot (1, Offtopic)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673111)

for weeks. Really, it is.

Server going down? (4, Funny)

Lingur (881943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673116)

I predict that the server will go down like the boosters. First, heating up, then, burning up, and finally, nothing but scrap metal.

Re:Server going down? (5, Informative)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673264)

here, have a nice big helping of article text.

KAZAKHSTAN'S SPACESHIP JUNKYARD
A EurasiaNet Photo Essay by Jonas Bendiksen
Text by Laara Matsen

On April 16, Russia announced that it would henceforth launch military satellites at the Pletsnesk cosmodrome in northern Russia, ending the practice of launching satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This shift will deprive Kazakh children of the chance to watch some satellites take off, though Baikonur will remain the launchpad for commercial "birds" and manned missions. As these photos show, it will also spare Kazakhs the fallout, literal and otherwise, that occurs in a launch's wake.

All space-bound rockets consist largely of fuel tanks and booster stages that fall back to earth when spent, never reaching orbit. In landlocked Baikonur, Russia's primary launching complex in Kazakhstan, these spaceships crash to earth. This photo essay visits the areas where the supporting rockets land, and shows the people living under the flight paths who contend with flaming spaceship wrecks several times each month.

Apart from the fear of having a spaceship crash through their roofs, residents in the area complain of the ill effects of leftover toxic rocket fuel. With the relocation of Russian military launches, more than half of which currently take off from Baikonur, these people may get some relief. However, one group of people is probably sorry to see Baikonur lose business; the region's scrap metal dealers are getting rich trading metal from the rockets' titanium alloy hulls.

Re:Server going down? (4, Funny)

NoseBag (243097) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673393)

Thank you!

Since you were the first to most graciously post the article from the (so predictably) now-slashdotted server, you win.....(drum roll)....

ONE SIDE OF KAZAKHSTANI BOOSTER-SMACKED BEEF!

Yes good comrade...Kazakhstani beef. Not a substitute! This beef was slow-marinated in pure slavic hydrazine - no oxygen here! - after being gently but firmly caressed by a 13-ton booster moving at terminal velocity! Range-smacked! Bones and cartillage removed or pulverized in a split-instant! No abattoir farm for the Kazakhstani!

Bon Apetite!

Re:Server going down? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673272)

It's actually a myth that servers overheat & melt down - the most that can happen is they get so overwhelmed with request they end up timing out far after an original request for page has occured, and are unable to serve current requests. That gives the illusion (an incorrect one) that the server has "died"

Re:Server going down? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673485)

No shit.

Re:Server going down? (1)

flawedgeek (833708) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673424)

Yep, it's toast. Maybe the server farmers can make some money selling the metal for scrap?

Mooo! (4, Funny)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673117)

Sucks to be a cow ...

Re:Mooo! (2, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673195)

"Sucks to be a cow ..."

Must... resist... yo mama... joke...

just wait (-1, Offtopic)

cryptoz (878581) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673119)

until the United States adopts these practices. Or maybe they already have...look out, terrorists!

whatever the case, the Cult of the Dead Cow [cultdeadcow.com] are probably cheering over the wonderful news.

But seriously, that's kinda freaky. I mean, yeah, I'd love to have spaceship parts in my backyard, but has anyone read The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton? Ouch...

Re:just wait (2, Interesting)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673146)

Since these parts start on earth, you're not going to catch anything that the flight control team doesn't already have. Frankly, Skylab fell on the aussies, and nobody there caught any extraterrestrial bug that anybody outside Oz noticed.

Since the article is slashdotted, I hope they at least take care to plot where the villages are, before letting parts fall everywhere.

I wonder what Borat has to say about this?

cultofthedeadcow (2, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673122)

I hope this isnt the same server that is used to guide the rockets or theres gonna be a hell of a lot more dead cows

Re:cultofthedeadcow (1)

d3m057h3n35 (695460) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673479)

Or another Chernobyl, for that matter, with the way this server is melting down.

Wow.. (3, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673124)

These farmers, rather than demand restitution from the government got off their asses and turned lemons into lemonade.

Of course, a certain government might turn their lemonade into military action when they decide they want a piece of the pie.

If spent stages from a US rocket hit some home in the US, it would be removed overnight, the family would be given a check for 20% of the value of what they lost, forced to sign an NDA, and no one would ever hear about it again.

Re:Wow.. (1)

loqi (754476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673142)

To be equally absurd, it would cause a media sensation, the public would freak out about the viability of space travel, and NASA would get axed.

Re:Wow.. (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673487)

Considering that each time a volunteer crew dies in the current prototype orbiters they halt the entire program, having civilian causalities would probably get the entire program scrapped. Or at least put on hold for a decade.

--
Evan

Re:Wow.. (5, Insightful)

iammaxus (683241) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673216)

That's ridiculous. A much more stereotypical response in the US would be for NASA to pay the family 200% of the value of what they lost, and the scrupulous family would still insist on suing for additional millions for the "emotional damage" resultant from the loss of their goldfish. The subsequent increase in insurance costs would push commercialization of space back a decade or two.

Re:Wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673242)

the scrupulous family would still insist on suing for additional millions

Google soverign immunity and what it means to attempt to sue the US.

Re:Wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673350)

Another decade or two? At this rate, we will be sending wagon trains to the stars.....oh wait.

Re:Wow.. (1, Troll)

axonal (732578) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673475)

A more appropriate US response would be declaring the family part of a terrorist cell.

Re:Wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673506)

You think that would be appropriate? You make the US look benign.

Re:Wow.. (3, Insightful)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673512)

NASA also wouldn't dump boosters into populated areas in the first place.

Re:Wow.. (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673523)

A much more stereotypical response in the US would be for NASA to pay the family 200% of the value of what they lost, and the scrupulous family would still insist on suing for additional millions for the "emotional damage" resultant from the loss of their goldfish.

Don't forget then selling the rights to their story to Fox in order to make it into a movie-of-the-week, where while the main stage falls in some cornfield in central Nebraska, killing three chickens in the process, some part inexplicably falls onto the Eiffel Tower, causing an explosion that levels 40 city blocks in Paris, France.

Yaz.

Re:Wow.. (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673218)

And if it killed someone, they could just sell the titanium, and it would be OK, right?

Re:Wow.. (4, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673273)

"And if it killed someone, they could just sell the titanium, and it would be OK, right?"

I don't know... how much titanium is there in a human body?

Re:Wow.. (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673367)

I don't know... how much titanium is there in a human body?

Hmmm...I dunno. In this situation, I'd guess several pounds, post mortem.

Re:Wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673238)

and no one would ever hear about it again.

But we just did... Oh no, it's a paradox! I hope the good-looking white male time-traveller shows up soon to save us all.

Re:Wow.. (2, Insightful)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673249)

So you're saying ex-soviet Russia is more capitolistic than the US, or they have more Freedom?

And by Freedom I mean the common definition of freedom as applied to countries; a lack of government involvement in people's day-to-day affairs.

Re:Wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673282)

Well, yeah. Losing your freedom is what living under a fascist regime is all about.

Re:Wow.. (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673263)

Yeah, we really are jackasses when it comes to things like this.

I'm sure that next time we accidentally drop a rocket stage on another country, we'll nuke the shit out of them trying to get in on the action. I mean, the whole thing makes so much sense.

That's just how we American's think, right?

Re:Wow.. (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673347)

That's it, NASA proposes a new flight path directly over Iraq. It would require a rocket booster drop (nuclear cough cough) somewhere over the middle east.

Re:Wow.. (1, Troll)

silverkz (879901) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673266)

Huh? No way. The EPA would rush in...confiscate the property and fine the owners for the clean-up costs.

/.ed already? (0, Redundant)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673125)

Wow... they can handle an assault from huge rockets upon their land, but they have no chance against a vicious /.ing...

Slashdot posts this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673134)

But won't post a story on Chernobyl's mutant super-children [thesun.co.uk] ?

Re:Slashdot posts this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673181)

That's cause teh CmdrTaco only approves the cuddly anal-retentive stories for the white middle class lobotomized /. crowd

it's teh gay!!!!!

Re:Slashdot posts this... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673214)

it's from The Sun.

They probabably wouldn't post an Elvis sighting story either.

Re:Slashdot posts this... (4, Funny)

Roofus (15591) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673234)

That's not a story, it's seven sentences.

Of course, /. has posted stories based off nothing but a "my sister's boyfriend's best friend's uncle's janitor's hairdress told him that some unknown Microsoft VP told the guy in the stall next to him..."

Re:Slashdot posts this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673250)

No kidding, especially considering that Slashdot's turned into as much a tabloid as The Sun.

Re:Slashdot posts this... (3, Insightful)

jtogel (840879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673300)

"Kids growing up in areas damaged by radiation from the plant have a higher IQ and faster reaction times, say Russian doctors." Note: say Russian doctors, says The Sun! Do the two layers on untrustworthyness somehow cancel each other out, so as to make the statement trustworthy?

Re:Slashdot posts this... (4, Funny)

darkewolf (24563) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673334)

Even funnier, I read the article about the mutant Chernobyl children and the in-page-advert was from Microsoft and included dinosaured headed people in shirts-and-tie talking around the office. I thought it was a spoof article at first with pictures of Godzilla like kids ;)

Re:Slashdot posts this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673352)

The Chernobyl incident was a coverup. The high IQ's are only the beginning of the coming of Midwich Cuckoos [amazon.com]

Article Text (2, Informative)

joey.dale (796383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673135)



On April 16, Russia announced that it would henceforth launch military satellites at the Pletsnesk cosmodrome in northern Russia, ending the practice of launching satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This shift will deprive Kazakh children of the chance to watch some satellites take off, though Baikonur will remain the launchpad for commercial "birds" and manned missions. As these photos show, it will also spare Kazakhs the fallout, literal and otherwise, that occurs in a launch's wake.

All space-bound rockets consist largely of fuel tanks and booster stages that fall back to earth when spent, never reaching orbit. In landlocked Baikonur, Russia's primary launching complex in Kazakhstan, these spaceships crash to earth. This photo essay visits the areas where the supporting rockets land, and shows the people living under the flight paths who contend with flaming spaceship wrecks several times each month.

Apart from the fear of having a spaceship crash through their roofs, residents in the area complain of the ill effects of leftover toxic rocket fuel. With the relocation of Russian military launches, more than half of which currently take off from Baikonur, these people may get some relief. However, one group of people is probably sorry to see Baikonur lose business; the region's scrap metal dealers are getting rich trading metal from the rockets' titanium alloy hulls.

cow tipping (2, Funny)

antiaktiv (848995) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673136)

damn, those russians are hardcore cow tippers. who'd have thought?

Re:cow tipping (1)

Tweak232 (880912) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673292)

actually in russia, cows tip you. But sometimes the people get up from eating their boots to go tip cows for fun.

btw. wtf is with these anti script conformation images, it it impossible to tell between an i, I, or l when there is a line going straight through the character!!

Re:cow tipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673362)

don't cha know? Its how all those physicists get cheap thrills!

In Soviet Russia (2, Funny)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673137)

In Soviet Russia, people don't seek rocket; Rocket seek people.

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673312)

Don't you mean rocket seek cows?

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673366)

I'll go ahead and say what we all know is on the majority of the readers minds of the parents post:

Dude, I hate to be the one to break it to you BUT those 'In Soviet Russia' jokes are just too played out these days

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673496)

Yeah, but what about Soviet Kazakhstan?

Sounds like... (2, Interesting)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673140)

The junkers from Asimov's stories =)

/.ed (1)

gerbalblaste (882682) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673145)

Slain by falling nerd news whore shrapnel

Slashdotted, already (2, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673148)

4 comments as I view, and it's down.

How's this for the ultimate conundrum: the combination of "Nobody RTFA here" and "the Slashdot Effect" taking down sites?

Maybe some people actually DO RTFA besides myself?

(sigh

Re:Slashdotted, already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673199)

It makes sense. Those who don't RTFA post. Or at least get the earlier posts while the RTFAers are still RTFA.

Re:Slashdotted, already (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673205)

"How's this for the ultimate conundrum: the combination of "Nobody RTFA here" and "the Slashdot Effect" taking down sites?"

Just act as though you're an expert on the topic like a bunch of other +5 loud mouthes.

Re:Slashdotted, already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673248)

Dammit I majored in Kazakhstan Falling Space Junk and for once I actually get to use my degree, so back off!

Re:Slashdotted, already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673206)

There is just almost no intersection between the set of "people who RFTA" and "people who comment on the story" Only a tiny percentage of /. readers leave comments.

Worth a thousand words! (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673235)

How's this for the ultimate conundrum: the combination of "Nobody RTFA here" and "the Slashdot Effect" taking down sites?

We don't read the articles, we look at the pretty pictures.
Incidentally, pictures use up way more bandwith than text.

Mirror (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673281)

Yay [mirrordot.com] for [mirrordot.com] MirrorDot [mirrordot.com] .

Re:Slashdotted, already (1)

flawedgeek (833708) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673442)

Maybe some people actually DO RTFA besides myself?

Nope, we don't. The server got turned into a pile of slag before us mere mortals could get to it.

Titanium is a pain to weld or melt in the house. (5, Informative)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673155)

Needs about 1,668 degrees Celsius to melt. That's all they can do with it...sell it. I can vouch for one thing, more jewelry is being made of titanium. Strange choice, but consider that 1,000 years ago aluminum was a hundred times more valuable than gold. I melt aluminum into ingots to save when I complete a mold for a tool I need to build. That's the only way to be certain somthing is made in America today, it seems. More power to Our Kazakhstan neighbors.

Re:Titanium is a pain to weld or melt in the house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673290)

1000 years aluminum wasn't even heard of or dreamt of. I'm sure you meant 100 years ago, in which case you are more or less correct. Aluminum was used to make jewellry and high-end cutlery, and even bikes 100 years ago.

old-world chemists (alchemists) (1, Informative)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673412)

Not to detract, but there has been sparse evidence and documentation of the Kings and Queens around the Years 1100 had their crowns casted in aluminum. I can't find the documentation at the moment, but in this dire circumstance of quoting from memory doesn't prevail the certain names of those royal families, I quote from a google'd source [ullrich-aluminium.co.nz] ,

HOW ALUMINIUM WAS DISCOVERED
The art of pottery making was developed in northern Iraq about 5300 B.C. The clay used for making the best pottery consisted largely of a hydrated silicate of aluminium. Certain other aluminium compounds such as "alums" were widely used by the Egyptians and Babylonians as early as 2000 B.C. In vegetable dyes, various chemical processes and for medicinal purposes. But it was generally known as the "metal of clay" and for thousands of years could not be separated by any known method from its link with other elements.

In historical terms aluminium is a relatively new metal which was isolated early in the 19th century. In 1782 the great French chemist, Lavoisier, said it was the oxide of an unknown metal. This opinion was repeated by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1808, and Sir Humphrey gave it the name "aluminum" which he felt sounded more scientific than "metal of clay". His spelling is still used in North America but elsewhere in the world the spelling "aluminium", following the suggestion of Henri Sainte-Clair Deville, is used. In 1809 Davy fused iron in contact with alumina in an electric arc to produce an iron aluminium alloy; for a split instant, before it joined the iron, aluminium existed in its free metallic state for perhaps the first time since the world was formed.

In 1825 H.C. Oerstedt, a Dane, produced a tiny sample of aluminium in the laboratory by chemical means. Twenty years later the German scientist, Frederick Wohler, produced aluminium lumps as big as pinheads. In 1854 Sainte-Clair Deville had made improvements in Wohler's method and produced aluminium globules the size of marbles. He was encouraged by Napoleon lll to produce aluminium commercially and at the Paris exhibition in 1855 aluminium bars were exhibited next to the crown jewels. It was not until 31 years later, however, that an economical way of commercial production was discovered.

On February 23, 1886, a 22-year-old American, Charles Martin Hall, worked out the basic electrolytic process still in use today. Hall had begun his experiments while still a student at Oberlin College, Ohio. He achieved his success, after graduation, with home-made apparatus in the family wood shed. He separated aluminium from the oxygen with which it is chemically combined in nature by passing an electric current through a solution of cryolite and alumina.

Almost simultaneously, Paul L.T. Heroult arrived at the same process in France. However, he did not at first recognise its importance. He worked along another line in the development of aluminium alloys. In 1888 the German chemist, Karl Joseph Bayer, was issued a German patent for an improved process for making Bayer aluminium oxide (alumina). The foundation of the aluminium age was complete. The Bayer & Hall-Heroult processes freed the world's most plentiful and versatile structural element for the use of man.


Certainly, without the speculation I tried to reference towards old-world chemists forging aluminum merchandise for a Royal prices, according to today's public records it may date to no less than 150 years of use; clearly a far contraction from the 900 more years I uncovered in a College Library's religious manuscripts.

Re:Titanium is a pain to weld or melt in the house (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673414)

From Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia:

One day a goldsmith in Rome was allowed to show the Emperor Tiberius a dinner plate of a new metal. The plate was very light, and almost as bright as silver. The goldsmith told the Emperor that he had made the metal from plain clay. He also assured the Emperor that only he, himself, and the Gods knew how to produce this metal from clay. The Emperor became very interested, and as a financial expert he was also a little concerned. The Emperor felt immediately, however, that all his treasures of gold and silver would fall in value if people started to produce this bright metal of clay. Therefore, instead of giving the goldsmith the regard expected, he ordered him to be beheaded.

From the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]

If it was aluminium, that is...

Re:Titanium is a pain to weld or melt in the house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673314)

More power to Our Kazakhstan neighbors.

Um, Kazakhstan is nowhere near USA... Oh wait, you're American so you probably wouldn't know that, sorry. :-] And what's with capitalizing "Our"? Don't mean to troll, but you Americans are getting weirder by the minute.

Re:Titanium is a pain to weld or melt in the house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673327)

Whereever two or three gather in the name of the Lord, I will be there in the midst. -Jesus the Christ

Re:Titanium is a pain to weld or melt in the house (2, Interesting)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673480)

more jewelry is being made of titanium

A couple friends recently got engaged, and they had an artisan who specialized in jewelry design and make her engagement ring.

Of all the exotic materials they can make rings out of, one thing she would not do was make rings out of titanium. The reason? In case of certain medical emergencies (snagged in a machine, or crashed car, or whatever), they'd need to cut the ring off to free the finger (and ultimately the entire person). But no paramedic or even hospital ward is routinely equipped with tools to cut through titanium. If they encountered a titanium ring in a time-critical emergency, they could well be forced to cut the finger off instead.

In soviet russia, waste manages you! (4, Interesting)

ElGanzoLoco (642888) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673159)

7 replies and photo essay is already slow as hell...

Ex-Soviet Russia is famous for *not* managing its nuclear waste (hundreds of nuclear submarines slowly rotting away in Barents Sea, pissing off Finns and Swedes) ; nuclear weapons out of hand or simply "missing" ; some famous fuckups (Tchernobyl; that bio-warfare incident about 20 years ago, when a lab leaked a killer virus over a village) ; etc...

So nobody should be surprised that they let booster rockets fall on populated areas...

Re:In soviet russia, waste manages you! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673328)

I'm amazed that you missed the biggest ecological disaster in the world, caused by the Soviets: The Aral [enviroliteracy.org] Sea [wikipedia.org] disaster [bbc.co.uk] .

Thank you! (3, Funny)

firepacket (809106) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673179)

So far the only casualties seem to have been a few dead cows

Thank you SO MUCH. I have found my new background.

Priceless (5, Funny)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673182)

Rocket hitting your barn full of cows, sheep, and Soviet Bloc farm equipment - 677912345234621 Rubles (roughly $20 US). Reselling the rocket to random scrap metal dealers - priceless, or at least 76790823485724429234 rubles (roughly $45 US).

Not a bad investment, titanium is great. (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673255)

It's properties are no less difficult than aluminum, but it is being used much more. The medical industry uses it most for reinforcing the skeleton when there is a break; it isn't rejected as eagerly as say a steel plate in the head :D.

Honestly, I think silver and aluminum are the most amazing metals I have ever worked with. What with silver sitting in water, it cures. And aluminum being plentiful for sandcasting use.

Counting a nearby titanium purchaser and reseller [twalloys.com] , it looks as if the American steel industry disintegrated and was replaced by the only last prospect of more valuable metal arts. Ask any career steelmill worker that was layed off, to compare Chinese steel to American steel, and the first thing you'll hear is a French verb followed by "quality" and a sucking noise. Perhaps it is always meant to be; America can't be a leader in an industry for long and must pioneer ahead; now it's titanium, soon that'll move overseas and we'll know when to dump stock if somthing in the market starts to stink.

Re:Priceless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673464)

hate to tell yea, but the exchange rate is only 30:1 w/ credit card and 27ish:1 with cash. I just got back from russia month ago.

Re:Priceless (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673489)

at least 76790823485724429234 rubles (roughly $45 US)

... or about 1.5 euros

Cache (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673193)

Re:Cache (1)

Garrett Combs (699749) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673421)

Still agonizingly slow. Oh well, I'll wait for a mirror.

Anyone?

Re:Cache (1)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673490)

I like number 9 photo - beautiful pic. Like a frame from some sci-fi classic that has not been shot yet ;-)

What killed the cows? (2, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673221)

I realize there are obvious answers (toxic fuel, fire, etc...) but I'm often surprised when asking these questions.

Re:What killed the cows? (4, Funny)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673295)

The cows were killed by a booster falling into a river, damming the river and creating a lake. The lake provided habitat for fowl, which hosted a particularly insidious bird flu. This caused the Russian authorities to kill all birds, people and cows in a 10 mile radius.

One cow was almost killed by a direct impact, but managed to pull through after weeks of intensive care.

Re:What killed the cows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673304)

Or more obvious answers like giant pieces of falling metal?

Re:What killed the cows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673528)

The cows in the pic are whole carcasses, looking totally undamaged.

If they were hit directly by rocket boosters falling from kilometers up, I don't think you'd be able to see that the reddish gunk on the bottom of the craters once had been cows.

I cringed (2, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673223)

First I cringed about locals harvesting space junk. Then I cringed at the words, " this remarkable photo essay show," knowing that meant I wouldn't get to see the photos, and there will be some server junk for the locals to harvest next.

Talk about odd jobs to have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673236)

How about scraping dead cows off of rocket boosters for a living.

Gimme Back My Bullets (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673237)

Reminds me of the scene in Farenheit 9/11 [rottentomatoes.com] where the kid, shot with Walmart bullets still lodged in his body, gets Walmart to refund their purchase price when he shows up to turn them in.

Re:Gimme Back My Bullets (2, Informative)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673259)

That was in Bowling for Columbine, and it was bullets from K-Mart. Wrong on 2 counts, bucko.

Re:Gimme Back My Bullets (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673297)

Yep, you're right. Thanks for pointing that out, and for not shooting me :).

So far the only casualties... (1)

jazzman251 (887873) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673246)

So far the only casualties seem to have been a few dead cows.

And their server....

I liked Kazakhstan (5, Interesting)

peter hoffman (2017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673342)

I went to Almaty (aka "Alma Ata", the old capital of Kazakhstan) back in about 1994. I really enjoyed it and found the people to be very friendly and enthusiastic.

I did find the food to be somewhat unique. Breakfast was usually a kind of roll filled with either finely chopped vegetables and/or finely ground meat. I don't know what sort of meat it was and it wasn't even always clear which buns had meat as everything was so finely ground up. It was all tasty though.

Lunch was fairly straight forward but the dessert was a peculiar electric green sweet foam. I couldn't identify the flavor but it was also pretty good.

Supper was quite interesting as, although the menu had a variety of items, it turned out what was actually available was either steak or spaghetti. No worry though, both were quite good as was the company!

The architecture, furnishings, and decor of Almaty were very interesting. For me, it was like an instant trip to the 1950s but in a parallel universe where everything was slightly unfamiliar.

The name of the hotel I stayed at escapes me right now but it was something like "The Cosmo". I think it has been renamed "Kazakhstan Hotel" based on the pictures I can find. There was a very impressive and very large tapestry commemorating the Soviet space program in the lobby.

The main thing about my trip was my time in Kazakhstan was far too short. It took ~48 hours to get there, I had ~48 hours there, and then it was ~48 hours to come home. I wish I had time to visit Baikonur Cosmodrome (we were invited to visit by our hosts) but we didn't have time. I'll always regret that.

Anyway, if you get a chance to go to Kazakhstan, you really should take it.

Re:I liked Kazakhstan (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673411)

I did find the food to be somewhat unique. Breakfast was usually a kind of roll filled with either finely chopped vegetables and/or finely ground meat. I don't know what sort of meat it was and it wasn't even always clear which buns had meat as everything was so finely ground up. It was all tasty though.

After getting hit with a 20 ton chink of metal the meat would be finely ground wouldn't it.

Re:I liked Kazakhstan (4, Funny)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673517)

Lunch was fairly straight forward but the dessert was a peculiar electric green sweet foam.

Falling space junk and electric green food don't sound like that great of a combination.

Especially if it's during an air raid in 1941.

Are you my mummy?

Re:I liked Kazakhstan (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673539)

I did find the food to be somewhat unique

(Pedant mode ON)
You can't find something to be "somewhat unique" since the word unique defines an absolute.

Either something is unique or it isn't -- it's a bit like saying that a chick is a little bit pregnant.
(Pedant mode OFF)

Uhh.. (0, Redundant)

Coolnat2004 (830862) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673457)

Kazaghawhatchimacallit?

The great leap ... again! (1)

neonenergy (888041) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673478)

At least they could sell them metals

If you didnt make that iron (in our backyards of course) back in China, youd be part of that iron slurry if you know what i mean.

and we couldnt even sell that crappy stuff =/

Hmmmm... (3, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | more than 9 years ago | (#12673488)

The object the woman's hiolding in photo essay pic #8 looks suspiciously like the things Arthur, Ford, & Zaphod were getting slapped in the face with enroute to rescue Trillian...

Borat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673492)

In my country there is problem. And that problem is transport...

In soviet russia (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12673500)

In soviet russia...booster rocket falls on you. No really. I'm serious.
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