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NASA Contractors Censoring Saturn V Info

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the should-never-have-released-those-pr-stills dept.

Censorship 583

cybrpnk2 writes "Get ready to surrender your data sheets, study reports and blueprints of the Saturn V to stay in compliance with ITAR. Armed guards are reportedly taking down and shredding old Saturn V posters from KSC office walls that show rough internal layouts of the vehicle, and a Web site that is a source for various digitized blueprints has been put on notice it may well be next. No word yet if the assignment of a Karl Rove protege high up in NASA has any connection."

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583 comments

Slashdot Users: (-1, Offtopic)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040113)

I would never socialize with a Slashdot user. Sorry guys :(

and ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040373)

what the heck are you doing here then ?

Protecting their IP? (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040121)

After all, space has been opened for the enterprising public, maybe NASA wants to keep their edge in rocket development.

Tells you something about R&D if that 'edge' is 40+ years old...

Re:Protecting their IP? (-1, Flamebait)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040295)

Tells you something about R&D if that 'edge' is 40+ years old...
Well yer. You only need to look at that piece of shite called Orion, that NASA thinks will get them back to the Moon and even Mars. It's basically just Apollo concepts plus 40 years, and gets into space and to the Moon in pretty much exactly the same way as Apollo.

It's still colossally expensive, it still isn't more reliable and it still isn't easier. There are no new fuels being developed and no new concepts. The future of space travel belongs to the private sector.

private sector (0, Troll)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040521)

The future of space travel belongs to the private sector.

Sure about that? The two nations that have put people on the moon have done it through government initiative. Most (not all) big corporations have a very limited long term vision, they look to the next quarter and how their stock prices will do.

The last 40 years not much has happened in the private sector. I'm not talking about satelites.

TWO nations have put people on the moon?????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040571)

>The two nations that have put people on the moon have done it through government initiative

TWO nations?????

I've never seen it discussed anywhere that more than one country has put people on the moon.

Re:private sector (5, Funny)

phozz bare (720522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040573)

The two nations that have put people on the moon

You are of course referring to the United States and America?

Re:private sector (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040595)

He probably means the United States and Germany.

Re:private sector (1)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040973)

You have a link to the German details? That part isn't mentioned here in the USA anywhere.

Re:private sector (5, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040813)

He's talking about a little know moon landing by Elbonia, using the unconventional catapult launch method instead of the more commonly used rocket. The Elbonian government covered up the landing themselves, as it was deemed embarrassing that the moon was a nicer place to live then Elbonia.

Re:private sector (4, Informative)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040971)

Actually, there were moon landings by the Soviet union, however these were unmanned. So he is technically incorrect but correct to point out that others did land craft there.

Re:Protecting their IP? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040323)

Word came over the wire, the terrorist were preparing to shoot the moon.

Re:Protecting their IP? (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040751)

Gah, when you let government work on decryption... The message was that we plan to moon the terrorists.

Re:Protecting their IP? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040825)

Actually, the moon is symbolically very important to the A-rabs. Vandalising the moon in a manner visible from earth would be a good way to freak them out a bit. Could be good for a laugh - imagine "Mohammed fucks goats" scrawled on the moon, hanging in the night sky over mecca, taunting them. Heh.

WTF??? How do you take down? (2, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040133)

WTF is happening? First it was the availability of mobile coverage that was secretized, and now Saturn V?
For fu&k's sake, its Saturn V !!! Not the plans to latest Anti-Gravity Cavorite
And secondly, it has been available in school/college libraries for a long time now?
So will the SS take down http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_Vtoo [wikipedia.org] ?
I guess if Rove & Co were living in ancient ages, they would have made sure that any reference to catapults were removed from Library of Alexandria?

How do you re-secretize something that is in Public Domain???

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (5, Funny)

Pad-Lok (831143) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040203)

"Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. Please search for Saturn Vtoo in Wikipedia to check for alternative titles or spellings."

They sure were fast on that one!

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (0, Redundant)

denominateur (194939) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040279)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_V [wikipedia.org]

the link was misspelled :)

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040375)

Thanks.

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (5, Funny)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040215)

How do you re-secretize something that is in Public Domain???

By invoking National Security, of course.

But then, if you posted someplace that NeoCons are total whackjobs that need massive amounts of medication to make them sane again, you're likely to get arrested for revealing state secrets...

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040501)

NEWS AT 11: sharp objects can kill!

Fearing terrorists will try to build and use deadly weapons, called collectively "sharp objects", the American president has issued a executive order classifying the knowledge of building sharp objects. The ATF has already arrested over 10,000 American children in a attempt to enforce this law. The head of the ATF taskforce tasked with enforcing this executive order, when questioned with the practicality of enforcing this, is quoted as saying "if they can successfully outlaw, ban, and remove a weed from this great country, we can, and will, prevent the deadly knowledge of making sharp objects from terrorists at all costs". Police say the children where found creating these weapons on the streets from sticks, but we cant say anymore then that due to the classification of the material. Experts at the FBI suspect these children where not acting alone, but are part of a nation wide effort of children to overthrow the government by use of sharp objects. No word on weather they will be taken to Gitmo, we can only wish the authorities with the best of luck in quickly removing this dangerous knowledge before it reaches anymore terrorists.

Back to you Kristin.

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (1)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040911)

[Obligatory Monty Python quote]

"Tonight I will show you how to defend yourself against a terrorist armed with a banana"

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (5, Interesting)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040667)

Why is this seen as a political issue? I mean, ignorance applies everywhere.... And "Neo Cons"?? Where the hell did this come from?? Instead of everyone just speculating and trying to fufill what you want to believe, why doesnt someone just file a FOIA on some of the Saturn V docs. In fact, I will do that today and see what turns up... At least then you have an official response...

And no, I am not going to believe this "terrorists could use Saturn V to deliver nuclear warheads" crap. That argument is just plain ignorant.....

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (5, Insightful)

jon_anderson_ca (705052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040787)

It's probably because of the new CEV program (which is totally not just an Apollo redux... the CEV program will feature more seats). If terrorists know exactly where the join was between the first and second stages of the booster rocket, they could... uh...

How about this: we can't say exactly what they could do because it's classified! But trust me, they could totally do stuff.

Really.

Would the US government lie to you? Are you calling us liars? Why do you hate freedom?????

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (2, Insightful)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040869)

And "Neo Cons"?? Where the hell did this come from??

I first heard the term in isbn 1400042216 [amazon.com] . Probably comes from Chomsky or something. It's really a fitting term though, when you consider what republics used to stand for compared to what they stand for now...

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040873)

Simply put, it's because the Bush administration (in itself a sensible working definition of the word "neocon") is the most secretive administration in history. The pointless re-classification of old NASA documents is an example of a pattern that has been going on throughout the executive branch for six years.

or maybe (3, Insightful)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040631)

"How do you re-secretize something that is in Public Domain???"

The crazy conspiracy theorist in me thinks that it might be a little worse than that. Maybe, they don't care about the Saturn V at all. Maybe its nothing more than a test, a social experiment of sorts. A test, of how effectively they can rewrite history and how much the public will care. And let us hope they are not successful, as if this is true and they are successful, we have much bigger concerns than the preservation of the history of space exploration on our hands.

Or maybe the crazy conspiracy theorist in me is just a little too crazy and I'm talking out of my ass. But we must watch this.

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (1)

notea42 (926633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040647)

The part that makes the least sense is that it sounds like they aren't making the information classified, just unexportable. ITAR governs what materials US citizens and companies are allowed to discuss, give, or sell to foreign entities.

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040691)

I guess if Rove & Co were living in ancient ages, they would have made sure that any reference to catapults were removed from Library of Alexandria?
Really! I thought Clinton Adim already transferred this type of space technology to ChiCom back in the 90's! Or is this Rove's boy trying to to seal up space tech before the next Clinton Admin fire sale of technology? Is Loral funding that much of the Democrat's $100 million lead over GOP fund raising?

Gee, are we going to see Clinton bashing spin stories once Hillary wins the White House? Or are we going to be seeing stories squashed that are unflattering to Clinton that can't be blamed on Bush?

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040901)

So will the SS take down http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_Vtoo [wikipedia.org] ?

Mmm, SS? Here is a working link [wikipedia.org] for you...

How do you re-secretize something that is in Public Domain???

Publishing bomb-making instructions has been considered wrong (and often illegal) for ages — even if the general principles (nor even actual designs) aren't particularly secret.

Even if you can not make it impossible for your enemies to obtain a secret, you can still make it harder — every step of the way. And making it harder for America's enemies (such as Iran and North Korea) to build their own ICBMs is a good goal.

For more, search this site and others for something like "security is a process".

Re:WTF??? How do you take down? (5, Insightful)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040961)

Even if you can not make it impossible for your enemies to obtain a secret, you can still make it harder -- every step of the way. And making it harder for America's enemies (such as Iran and North Korea) to build their own ICBMs is a good goal.
And so it goes. Once a great nation was told "we have nothing to fear but fear itself." Now a small one is sold the message of "be afraid, be very afraid, and let the good God-fearing leaders take care of you sheep."

What happened to my country, and will you cowards please give it back?

This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040151)

It's a damn shame that a nice launch vehicle also happens to make a nice ICBM, but the progress of getting off this rock is a teenie bit more important that keeping foreign countries from spending less than a few million dollars and a few years of research and development to make their own design. Meanwhile, the much harder problem of making a man rated rocket is being done over [spacex.com] and over [armadilloaerospace.com] and over [masten-space.com] again. Talk about duplication of efforts.

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (4, Interesting)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040227)

Actually its more like a nice ICBM that also happens to make a not-very-nice launch vehicle. With an ICBM, you don't really care about re-usability. Just get it up, over and down onto your enemy with as much explosive payload as possible. With a launch vehicle you want to get up, up, and more up, then maybe down and up again, many times. Saturn V was the logical extension of the German V-2 rocket programme, but as a launch vehicle it was an expensive means to the end of getting to the moon before the Russians.

That doesn't stop me worshipping it :) I had a model Saturn V when I was a kid in about 1970, and if I still had it now and some government agent decides its a military component and wants to take it away from me, well, over my dead body. I'd feel the same way if I was working for NASA and they started tearing down my vintage 1960's Apollo posters.

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (4, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040299)

It's what they came up with that was buildable in the time allotted. Sure, NASA was working on single stage to orbit designs, but they knew SSTO wouldn't be doable until the 90's, and the challange was to get there before 1970. It was a pure case of 'throw enough money at the problem and you'll get results'. And they did. By today's standards, Apollo was a dinky little deathtrap, the men who rode it were no-foolin' heroes.

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (5, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040685)

By today's standards, Apollo was a dinky little deathtrap,

The more I read the ALSJ [nasa.gov] the more respect I have for the hardware. The Apollo CM would have survived both shuttle disasters. The Apollo 13 incident resulted in a more mature spacecraft with more redundancy. A similar incident on a shuttle would probably have killed the crew immediately. Building the system out of small modules meant that the architecture could accommodate expanded modules. Apollo serviced the lunar program, skylab and apollo-soyuz.

I just wish NASA had looked into an economical launcher to support it after the supply of Saturn Vs ran out.

the men who rode it were no-foolin' heroes.

No argument from me on that front.

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040253)

Talk about duplication of efforts.

But the Saturn V was an expensive dead end. Ground support costs alone make it impossible to turn it into a commercial prospect. All US manufactured launch vehicles are presumably controlled by ITAR in any event. I am sure Richard Branson is going to have a fine time exporting the tier 2 system to the other countries he wants to launch from.

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040267)

Yes, but hopefully Australia will still be seen as such a peaceful ally with the US that we can buy or license a few Armadillo modules when their development hits its stride :)

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040293)

Why bother duplicate Saturn 5 when the Ruskies have much better rockets to duplicate or buy.

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040309)

Say you had full blueprints of the Saturn V.

Say you wanted to launch a payload on a similar trajectory.. I'm sure you can think of one.

Why go through all that engineering effort again?

Of course, this is a purely theoretical question as no-one has full blueprints of the Saturn V anymore. It's design is lost to the ages.

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040775)

no-one has full blueprints of the Saturn V anymore

This issue has been discussed quite a bit on newsgroups [google.com] and I think the consensus is that the blueprints do exist, but the tooling would have to be built again. The other issue is that the software and electronics would have to be done from scratch.

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (1)

cybrpnk2 (579066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040609)

Please take the time to send a copy of this Slashdot article to the two Florida Senators and KSC district Representative in Congress, perhaps sharing your thoughts:

Senator Bill Nelson (D- FL) 202-224-5274 202-228-2183

http://billnelson.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm [senate.gov]

Senator Mel Martinez (R- FL) 202-224-3041 202-228-5171

http://martinez.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAc tion=ContactInformation.ContactForm [senate.gov]

Representative Tom Feeney (R - 24) 202-225-2706 202-226-6299

http://www.house.gov/writerep/ [house.gov] (use ZIP CODE 32899).

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (5, Informative)

Mutatis Mutandis (921530) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040635)

It's a damn shame that a nice launch vehicle also happens to make a nice ICBM...

Saturn V would be a ridiculously poor choice to use as basis of an ICBM. It stood 110 m tall, weighed over 3,000 tons fueled, and used liquid hydrogen and oxygen as fuels.

A good ICBM needs to be compact, so that is easily hidden, and above all it must be storable in a ready-to-fire form. That meant using storable liquid fuels instead of condenses gases for first generation missiles, and solid fuels in the later designs. To give an idea, Minuteman III is a mere 18 m long, weighs 32 tons at launch mass, and uses solid fuels. Even the big Soviet R-36 aka SS-18 Satan did not exceed 210 tons, and while it used liquid fuels, it used liquid fuels that could be stored at room temperature.

Rationally, Saturn V never had a military application, and certainly today its technology is no longer of any military value.

Re:This is why we're still in the Space Stone Age (5, Funny)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040673)

I'm not sure the Saturn V would make a nice ICBM. Unless you're launching a payload of nukes, 40 nuclear engineers and a Grayhound Bus carrying them all, it may be a bit overkill.

Apollo was NOT an ICBM (1)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040705)

That was Mercury. Apollo was specifically designed for moving a 100,000 lb. payload including three live humans to the Moon and back. It was not designed as a missile nor could it be repurposed as one that would in any way better the on-hand ICBM stocks.

So why mention it? (3, Insightful)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040159)

No word yet if the assignment of a Karl Rove protege high up in NASA has any connection.

So why bother mentioning it unless you're trying to establish some sort of political agenda of your own?

Re:So why mention it? (1, Interesting)

Carakav (1134761) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040245)

I will always fail to understand why anyone would defend censorship. If it is the case that this coincides with the assignment of new top-level personnel, then it's not unfair to draw connections.

Re:So why mention it? (4, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040353)

How on earth is the parent poster defending censorship? Nothing was said about his opinion of this censorship, he was questioning the summary's implication that this connected with Jane Cherry (Karl Rove's "protoge").

Re:So why mention it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040381)

The basic policy of censorship is not new. NASA has always been required to protect their secret sauce. These things were used to deliver bombs (V-2) long before they became used to deliver humans (Vostok 1), and the rocket certainly doesn't care which it's carrying.

The problem is just that some bureaucratic flunky at KSC took "no posting actual secret rocket stuff" to mean "no posting anything that looks technical at all". But evidently this is just a lone idiot, not an actual change in policy... you can still buy the same posters at the KSC gift shop.

What difference does it make? (3, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040409)

So why bother mentioning it unless you're trying to establish some sort of political agenda of your own?

If they're actually doing the deed, and it appears they are, what difference does the motivation of the whistle blower make? Why would you defend this heavy handed stupidity under any circumstances?

Anyone with the wherewithal to develop a launch vehicle can simply purchase one from the Russians...already assembled and working, complete with the ground support crew to service it. If the Russians can't handle the order they could go to the Chinese, India, or Pakistan. They're not going to try duplicating a multi-stage liquid fuel lift vehicle based on 30 year old technology.

How does that old phrase go? Strain out a gnat and swallow a camel? Something like that.

Re:So why mention it? (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040479)

So why bother mentioning it

Dear Genius,

It's called a 'joke'. An attempt at wit, or humor. A common subject of humor is political figures.

HTH

PS: i know of a doctor who can remove that flagpole from you ass. it'll help you relax. IM me.

Ballistis Missiles (1, Interesting)

Mr Europe (657225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040213)

The real reason may be that now there are several countries developing long range missiles. Old Saturn design could well be used for such purpose.

Re:Ballistic Missiles (2, Insightful)

ResistanceIsIrritati (808817) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040285)

Aren't they a bit late to stop this information getting out? If it's been in the public domain for years then anyone interested in using it would already have a copy.

Re:Ballistis Missiles (2, Insightful)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040921)

The real reason may be that now there are several countries developing long range missiles. Old Saturn design could well be used for such purpose.


Yeah, why use any of the Russian designs available when you could spend 1,000 times as much building a Saturn V? At least then you'd have bragging right of being able to nuke the moon when your country goes bankrupt.

Competitors reusing/re-adapting old tech (1)

fadilnet (1124231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040231)

I can't speak on behalf of NASA but I belive either NASA does not want competitors to use blueprints and re-adapt old tech. to make basic and efficient rockets. Could it be because of security issues? Can the blueprints lead to the creation of missiles? In any case, mass censoring of prints and pictures will not affect the free distribution of them - it's the web. you can't control it. *seeding blueprints via p2p networks*

Nah... (4, Funny)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040233)

You've got it all wrong.

It's so they can hide the mini-bar [slashdot.org] from the kids...

Of course (5, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040237)

No word yet if the assignment of a Karl Rove protege high up in NASA has any connection.
Ah-ha! How could I be so foolish thinking that this could just be the case of one security guard being an idiot? Surely this is all part of Karl Rove's plan! He needs to get rid of the Saturn V rocket plans in order to keep our enemies from attacking the top secret laser-equipped moon bases he's built to control the earth with. It's all so simple!

Re:Of course (1)

otterpop81 (784896) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040433)

No word yet if the assignment of a Karl Rove protege high up in NASA has any connection.

Indeed, correlation is not the same as causation, or is that not true when a political agenda is involved?

Re:Of course (1)

Arabani (1127547) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040445)

He needs to get rid of the Saturn V rocket plans in order to keep our enemies from attacking the top secret laser-equipped moon bases he's built to control the earth with.
So THAT'S why the Chinese want to get to the moon! It suddenly all makes sense!

YOU ARE WRONG FULE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040517)

WRONG! ...in order to keep our enemies from attacking the top secret laser-equipped moon bases he's built ...

They're CHENEY's haliburton-built moonbases. Rove only organises the black PR for them.

Re:Of course (5, Insightful)

bxwatso (1059160) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040519)

I know the majority of people dislike Karl Rove, but let me assure you, the Government was doing stupid things long before he came along, and that will never change.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040969)

How do you pull an October surprise that won't label your security theater as failures, and won't implicate your Russian and Chinese friends? Why, blame nerds with blueprints, of course!

No worries (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040289)

Just buy a new one from ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/Apollo-Saturn-V-Plans-1967-Ama zing-Item_W0QQitemZ230155998873QQihZ013QQcategoryZ 13903QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem [ebay.com]

Seriously though, this must be some kind of silly bureaucratic mixup, someone overreacting to the new directive from above etc.

As if someone trying to build a freaking ICBM would not have already picked up every bit of public information (and more) regarding US, Soviet etc rocket technology.

Why just the Saturn V? (4, Insightful)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040307)

I would think older, simpler rocket designs would be more applicable to the needs of an emerging space power or rogue terrorist group. Why not censor and confiscate information about the older Titans that carried Gemini? Or the Redstone, Atlas, or even Little Joe rockets that propelled the Mercury program? Sure, they don't have the glamour or cachet of the Saturn V (which was, and still is, a beautiful machine), but I'm sure there are a lot of old technical manuals and such about those floating around. (I live in Central Florida, and have been to many estate sales of former NASA employees where there are tons of such material available. And, yes, I have profited quite nicely from them on eBay, thank you.)

But this is a futile effort -- 40 years of being in the public domain is a bit much to reverse and cover up now. Why do so many people still think that you can rein this stuff in after it's already been so widely disseminated? Especially in the Internet era -- it's like when someone wants something taken down from YouTube or some other site when millions have already viewed and downloaded the file, and copies and copies of copies and copies of copies of copies are multiplying like bunnies through the "tubes." Nowadays, once something is "out there" it's OUT, and you can no more undo the damage than you can "unexplode" a bomb.

Re:Why just the Saturn V? (4, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040443)

It is the same level of thinking that tries to remove the nitration chemical reactions out of the chemistry textbooks. Very popular with many governments and many countries.

It does work after a fashion. Instead of working tireless only that grand bang that will make loads of smoke and noise, kids sit bored staring into the blue screen until they go completely brainnumb. The process produces easily controlled model taxpaying consumer-producers which is what the government wants. Bingo, goal achieved.

Re:Why just the Saturn V? (1)

jon_anderson_ca (705052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040829)

In fact, the Mercury program ran on Atlas [wikipedia.org] boosters, which were ICBMs. Censoring Atlas would be stupid enough, but Saturn V??

kdawson, stop (5, Insightful)

Winckle (870180) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040311)

Seriously, this is not your political blog, I'm no right winger, but even I'm getting sick of it.

Re:kdawson, stop (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040361)

Are you saying that the right wing nut jobs don't have NASA in their pocket, what are you objecting to exactly?

Just the facts.

Re:kdawson, stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040371)

You do realize that it wasn't kdawson that wrote that part of the summary, right? Of course, that takes a few seconds of observation and thought to figure out...

Re:kdawson, stop (2, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040833)

You do realize that it wasn't kdawson that wrote that part of the summary, right? Of course, that takes a few seconds of observation and thought to figure out...

But it takes kdawson a few seconds to deliberately choose THAT summary out of the hundreds that will get discarded today, including no doubt a dozen that refer to this exact article. The "Rove" comment is completely gratuitous, and you know it. It's an interesting topic, and raises questions about how wisely security people in a government agency are, or are not, interpreting policy regarding something that's going to be a bigger and bigger issue over the next few years (ICBMs made by, or used by people that talk loudly and frequently about which populations they want to see destroyed for religious reasons). Having a conversation about that, and how well or poorly the issue was repored, etc., doesn't require completely BS speculation about some Dr. Evil-esque secret poster-snatching scheme directed by the absurd comic-bookish portrayal of the left's favorite boogeyman. That's like saying that Clinton would approve the sale of missile technology to the Chinese military in exchange for back-door campaign cash. OK, maybe that's a bad example of total fiction.

how open should NASA be? (2, Interesting)

fadilnet (1124231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040329)

The question that comes up is - How open do you think NASA should be? Can sharing of information (incl. blueprints) be so sensitive (to security? to prevent new companies from showing up?)? There are so much corporate interests in making money and humanity is not open-minded enough - there will always be a nut-head somewhere who will use the information to do something really bad. I wonder if the data from CERN will be censored as well.

Re:how open should NASA be? (1)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040879)

The only conceivable risk is if blueprints for the factories for building the technology is leaked. Even then, half-century-old rocket tech? nah.

Armed guards (2, Funny)

gsslay (807818) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040343)

I love a bit of hyperbole. We'll make a tabloid out of slashdot yet! Some security minion becomes "armed security cop", becomes "armed guards".

What a pity no mention was made of what he was wearing, otherwise we would be on to his jackboots by now.

Re:Armed guards (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040533)

TFA specified that the security minion brought in an armed security cop. I believe that an "armed security cop" is pretty much equivelant to "armed guard". The only quibble I would have is with the pluralization of the term.

"We kept telling him some were purchased at the Visitor Center Gift Shop, but he did not care. He ended up coming around with an armed security cop until we took them down and shredded them."

Ridiculous (4, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040397)

The Saturn V is one of the greatest accomplishments of American Engineering. To shroud it like this is nothing short of disrespectful to those who built it, not to mention a pretty startling reflection of the current status of science in America.

That all said, anybody who would consider using a Saturn 5 rocket as any sort of weapon is absolutely insane. The Saturn rockets were huge, and designed to deliver massive payloads (all of Skylab was launched via a single Saturn booster). The capacity of a Saturn rocket is just shy of 118 times as massive as the largest nuclear device ever constructed.

Needless to say, it'd be pretty damn difficult for anybody to hide a rocket that big, along with that much nuclear material.

Smaller rockets are scarier, because bombs don't need to be particularly heavy in order to cause serious damage, and because they can be easily concealed and launched at sea.

Re:Ridiculous (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040559)

Primitive nuclear weapons are very large and heavy. The Saturn V would still be overkill probably though.

Seems like closing the barndoor after the chickens have already flown the coop though.

Re:Primitive nuclear weapons are very large and he (1)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040859)

The atom bombs dropped on Japan fit into B29 bombers (one each). That limits their upper weight to probably a couple tons. The Saturn V can accelerate 100 tons much of the way to the 60 miles high and 17,000 mph needed for orbit. If it was going to be used to pop Israel from Iran, (just to pick a coupla countries at random), it could probably move 300-400 tons worth - no need to kick it that high or fast. Think approx 150 Hiroshima-sized bombs on Israel - the ground zeroes would overlap.

"Overkill" seems an inadequate word. Keep in mind also that it took a huge chunk of the US GDP (not federal budget - gross domestic product) to achieve the moon shots the Saturns were built for.
No "terrorist" country is gonna be able to build anything that big for the next 1000 years.
The Saturns are dinosaurs - impressive, huge, and history.

Re:Ridiculous (2, Insightful)

fr4nk (1077037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040781)

The capacity of a Saturn rocket is just shy of 118 times as massive as the largest nuclear device ever constructed.
Huh? According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , the Saturn V can transport 118 metric tons into LEO.

Now one of the heaviest (if not the heaviest?) nuclear device ever built was the Sausage device (the first staged hydrogen bomb, exploded in the Ivy Mike test) and weighted some 70 tons with cyrogenic supply equipment.
I know that this weapon wasn't deliverable at all, but even Fat Man weighted around 4.5 tons.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040807)

anybody who would consider using a Saturn 5 rocket as any sort of weapon is absolutely insane

And for these situations we have James Bond, as shown by this documentary [wikipedia.org] .

Just because it is insane, does not mean it is not movie making material!

Re:Ridiculous (3, Funny)

DieByWire (744043) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040907)

That all said, anybody who would consider using a Saturn 5 rocket as any sort of weapon is absolutely insane. The Saturn rockets were huge, and designed to deliver massive payloads (all of Skylab was launched via a single Saturn booster)...

Proof again that those that can't remember history are doomed to repeat it. Have you forgotten that Skylab was used to attack Austrailia? [wikipedia.org]

Oh, geeee... (4, Funny)

GFree (853379) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040405)

Hmm, do they really think they're gonna be successful in blotting out references to Saturn V info on the web?

Hey, censor-guys, lemme give you an example, see if you follow:

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Re:Oh, geeee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040617)

Google currently reports about 1,160,000 pages for 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Why do I get the feeling... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040431)

...that this is just a Slashvertisement for up-ship.com?

The first thing most Slashdotters will have done is try to grab a copy of the Saturn V blueprints for themselves only to find that they're required to pay that site for them.

Has kdawson been manipulated yet again, or is it just another part of the ./ revenue collection system, a la Roland Piquepaille et al?

Re:Why do I get the feeling... (4, Informative)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040743)

Yep, a marketing stunt that coincides with the Saturn 5 restored to former glory [floridatoday.com] .

Besides, the blueprints [space.com] seem to be stored away, quote:""The Federal Archives in East Point, Georgia, also has 2,900 cubic feet of Saturn documents," he said. "Rocketdyne has in its archives dozens of volumes from its Knowledge Retention Program. This effort was initiated in the late '60s to document every facet of F 1 and J 2 engine production to assist in any future restart.""

CC.

Hiding information never works. (4, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040435)

There is no benefit from hiding information about technology. Take the atom bomb as an example. Once you know its possible to build one you are halfway there. The leap wasnt that somebody succeded in building an atom bomb but rather that someone had a rough idea that it might work. Any country hellbent on making a missale can do so over a small period of years. They know its possible and building the knowledge up isnt that hard. Often the basic information (fuels, materials etc) are very well documented, all you need is to work out the kinks IRL. Sadly things like this hurts the US most since their engineers wont learn from previous mistakes and endavours. They have to relearn things over and over from person to person.

I don't know about this (5, Interesting)

NotmyNick (1089709) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040513)

All I see is a guy who makes his living selling memorabilia and documents screaming about the possibility of some of those docs becoming artificially scarce (in just a few short hours!) and the only corroboration he seems to have is what looks to be the excerpt of what could have been an email from an unknown person in some NASA office somewhere at Kennedy. Something smells.

does this mean ... (2, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040567)

... I can expect a dawn raid from armed police/soldiers to take back my Airfix model?

Saturn V Flight Manual still on NASA site (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040583)

Too bad they forgot to take down the Saturn V Flight Manual from their own site, huh?

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.g ov/19750063889_1975063889.pdf [nasa.gov]

Re:Saturn V Flight Manual still on NASA site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040695)

And here is a link to a detailed 2058x3297 schematic:

http://jleslie48.com/0206pr/saturn5allclean2.jpg [jleslie48.com]

What next? (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040637)

What next?

Will engineers have to design vehicles with their eyes closed?

Re:What next? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040881)

American automakers have been doing this for years...

Idea: Nuttier than a fruitcake. (5, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040665)

Totally nutty idea.

  • Nobody's going to build a Saturn V for "terrorist" applications.
  • You can't build a Saturn V from a poster. Or a blueprint. Or even 100 blueprints. Every detail, from the metallurgy of the rivets, to the welding techniques for the heat exchangers, to the construction of the tools, dies, jigs, test fixtures, processing chemicals, dips, platings, surface treatments, case-hardenings, ball peening, test plans, processing timelines, and much more, each encompasses a whole thick book of technology, most of which has been lost. Or is available on microfiche from any good Univerity or Govt documents repository library. Plus the Saturn V had about 130,000 subcontractors that supplied everything from gold-plated lockwashers to platinum-skinned servomotors. The technology for those was not captured in the basic Saturn V documents. For instance the specs for a small servomotor might have read "35 ft-lbs torque, 0.1% resolution, 77 to 800 degrees C. and how they did it was a trade secret of some now defunct subcontractor. And the making of the motor's teflon-coated wires was a trade secret of the wire manufacturer. And so on. Multiply that by 130,000 times.
  • So you not only would not want to, you could not even begin to build a Saturn V from the "blueprints".

Re:Idea: Nuttier than a fruitcake. (1)

perturbed1 (1086477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040843)

You are absolutely right. I talked to one of the astronauts on Apollo 16/17 (I can't remember which one) while he was helping out at the Saturn V exhibit at KSC. He was a test-pilot for several things which I can not recall... He said that the know-how is lost and NASA could not build the Saturn V again in a reasonable time-scale anytime soon... There was some talk of a Mars mission even back then in 2002 and I remember that he simply laughed when we asked him about that.

My own experience with NASA can only confirm that. Especially the material science of space-flight qualified equipment is absolute black-magic and the black-art of the Apollo missions has been lost with the retirement of the Saturn V. The shuttle is a whole different ball game afterall... Low earth orbit is only 250miles away!

True, and not well understood (2, Interesting)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040905)

I remember a comment from a literary critic - forget who- on much thriller writing from the early 20th century. One of the common themes was dastardly (insert enemy here) trying to steal the plans of the latest battleship. As he pointed out, you would need (in those days) an entire railway train to steal the plans for a battleship. You might be able to find out about the planned armament, and even the displacement and SHP, but these would certainly not help very much in building a copy.

Re:Idea: Nuttier than a fruitcake. (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040939)

The FUNNIEST part is....

The USA couldn't build one TODAY!

Security for the Saturn-derived Ares rocket? (1)

riker1384 (735780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040683)

People think this has something to do with ballistic missiles, but it might be something else. Our newly planned Ares rocket designs will use engines and possibly other elements derived from the Saturn rockets. Maybe they think the new vehicles might be targeted by terrorists or a foreign power for some reason. Does anyone know?

You Didn't See Anything..... (4, Funny)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040753)

.....this isn't the rocket you're looking for.

What about working examples? (1)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040767)

I wonder they're going to remove the working [nasa.gov] examples [nasa.gov] of Saturn V [pdf] [nasa.gov] rockets [google.com] that seem to populate the landscape. [nasa.gov]
Oh, never mind, they moved Marshall space flight center to Kenya [google.com]
WTF?

Stupid guards (4, Informative)

Shoten (260439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040809)

If the guard had half a brain, he'd know that ITAR has to do with export, not possession. Under ITAR, the version of IE that supports 128-bit encryption held the same classification; this didn't mean that you had to wipe your hard drive and go back to the 64-bit version, just that you couldn't give/sell/loan your computer to someone in another country. ITAR has no jurisdiction or concern with regard to ownership within the United States.

Would this be (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040837)

... the same Saturn V that they said they couldn't build again even if they wanted to because the plans were lost? At least they were "in a cellar, with the light broken, behind a door marked 'Beware Of The Tigers'" when John Lewis went looking for them while researching for "Mining The Sky". After the book came out the NASA inspector general's office decided that sounded too sToOpId and said they were in fact in storage.

I've no doubt they'd destroy the lot of it. Look what the US made Canada do about the Avro Arrow when they wanted Canada to buy the BOMARC instead of sell great jets. This is what happens when corporate welfare reaches into the billions of dollars. NASA has to feed the hand that, um, that they feed.

Nothing for it but to buy as many of the data sets from that private site as possible, and if they make him shut down, keep sending them out to as many people and places as possible. It wouldn't even be copyright violation, because the plans weren't his. They belong to the people of the US, since they, via their whole owned subsidiaries NASA and the US government, paid for them.

We're supposed to have a law that says what's copyrighted by the government goes to the public. Everything we were doing at NIH came under that, and full text of all the research was to be made available for free through PubMed. These plans would fall under the same law.

I wonder what'll happen when they try to make the National Association of Rocketry stop selling the blueprints (http://www.nar.org/NARTS/NARTScatalog.pdf). The ATFE, waving the PATRIOT act came and tried to shove new laws down our throats, and so far we (with our sister organization Tripoli Rocketry Association) have held them off in federal court. Not too shabby for a bunch of old farts that can't give up their childhood hobby and have taken it to some truly awesome proportions. We don't take kindly to the government telling us to stop doing what we know good and well we have a right to do. Comes from working successfully with some of the most nit picky government agencies through the years. And this is just about the Saturn. We sell blueprints for some weapon system missiles. If they don't raise a stick about those, but do about the Saturn, you'll know this is about protecting their contract-children.

I fully expect them to try to push through paying the aerospace companies to develop what they developed 40 years ago. I expect them to announce building their new lifters based on the Saturn designs.

Someone needs to call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20040875)

the PAC! peopleagainstcensorship.com

protect against copycats? (2, Informative)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 6 years ago | (#20040899)

You know how far those poster "blueprints" will get you in building one of the most complex systems ever created by humans-- over 1 million systems comprise the saturn V.
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