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Monday, July 30, 2007

This blog is now illegally exporting munitions data

I wonder if I'll get a "cease and desist" from the U.S. government for posting this amazingly detailed cutaway diagram of the Saturn V rocket. Slashdot is reporting that NASA is censoring information about the Saturn V launch vehicle.

How much information? Well, there are reports that NASA is ordering the confiscation and destruction of Saturn V posters that were purchased at gift shops at Kennedy Space Center and other NASA facilities. And now UpShip.com, a website that's loaded with technical specs and blueprints of various air and spacecraft, has been sent a warning from officials at NASA's Export Control Office that files pertaining to the Saturn V the site has on this page are in violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). That's the list of things that the federal government doesn't allow to be disseminated because it classifies them as "weapons".

So of course, I couldn't resist posting the biggest, most detailed picture of the Saturn V's internal structure that I could find.

Some are wondering if the appointment of one of Karl Rove's cronies to the position of White House liaison to NASA has anything to do with this ridiculous move to ban images of the Saturn V.

I'm expecting jack-booted thugs to bust through the door at any moment now to confiscate my 10th Anniversary Edition DVD of Apollo 13.

Does this mean that the Bush Administration will soon move to ban the sale or purchase of Estes model rocket engines because they could conceivably be used by "terrists" to deliver armed payloads? Seriously, I have to wonder if this government would actually consider doing that.

This is one of the loonier things that I've seen the federal government do in the past several years. If it sends me a sternly-worded e-mail or some other communique about the placing of the above image, I'll make sure to share it with y'all.