back to article Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free

The main camera on NASA’s beloved Hubble Space Telescope is right now out of order due to a hardware glitch, the space agency confirmed this week. “At 1723 UTC on Jan 8, the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope suspended operations due to a hardware problem,” NASA officials said in a short statement. That camera …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

    I thought they were space meerkats.

    1. Dabbb

      Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

      Except it's not a real Hubble photo but an artist's rendition.

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

        ... and the government is run by space ferrets in league with the lizards too I suppose?

        1. Dabbb

          Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

          It quite possible is, could not care any less.

          Does not change the fact that it's not a real Hubble photos and proof is just one Google search away.

          1. tfb Silver badge
            Terminator

            Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

            Perhaps you'd like to provide a pointer to this proof?

          2. Mongo

            Re: the fact that it's not a real Hubble photos and proof is just one Google search away.

            Do you mean it's in false colour, like many astronomical images? Hope you also reject many of the Voyager images of planets, since this kind of "eye candy" is ubiquitous (and useful, beyond PR). If not then please share your result that shows it's an artist's impression.

            Ironically the first result including "fake" result in my search for "hubble pillars creation fake" is a sidebar headline "Donald Trump gives a fake press...".

            1. steve 124

              Re: the fact that it's not a real Hubble photos and proof is just one Google search away.

              that's because you "Googled" your question. Try duckduckgo if you want a true search result.

              Every question you Google will eventually lead to something negative about Trump.

              1. OffBeatMammal

                Re: the fact that it's not a real Hubble photos and proof is just one Google search away.

                Even space aliens are well aware of the failings of Trump

              2. Mongo

                @steve 124 - that *was* with DuckDuckGo

                Since the top few results (Wikipedia, space.com, etc) didn't have the word "fake" in their excerpts I searched for "fake" on the page and about the 7th result was from gizmodo, with some of the excerpt apparently sourced from an unrelated headline.

                Anyway it's hardly surprising that the word "fake" appears near "Trump", since quite a fraction of his utterances contain "fake news".

              3. kurios

                Re: the fact that it's not a real Hubble photos and proof is just one Google search away.

                Every question you put to any search engine will eventually lead to something negative about Trump. That's because he's entirely negative.

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

          run by space ferrets in league with the lizards too

          Damn,

          Another semi-evolved simian that's going to need aquiring and reprogramming..

          Space Ferrets High Command.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

        "Except it's not a real Hubble photo but an artist's rendition."

        NASA seem to think it's a photo, e.g. https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/the-pillars-of-creation and http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2015-01

        1. Dabbb

          Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

          https://www.businessinsider.com/how-hubble-images-are-manipulted-2015-3

          You're welcome

          1. Mongo

            Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

            Right. So when a crook is identified on an infrared security camera you'll be the first to say "it's only an artist's impression", since to the naked eye it wouldn't have looked like that?

          2. Paul Kinsler

            Re: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-hubble-images-are-manipulted-2015-3

            That link doesn't support your claim of "artist's rendition".

            Sample quote: "It's pure science that's driving the colors," Levay explains ....

          3. LDS Silver badge

            Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

            And that's how most astronomical images were and are taken - even when plate and films were used before. Specific emulsion with specific wavelength sensibility were used, with filters if needed. Color films weren't good to collect scientific data.

            CCD/CMOS sensors are only sensitive to photons energy, not their wavelength. The day we can achieve it will be a big breakthrough.

            Bayer arrays as used in cameras are not the right solution for scientific imaging - where each pixel can be important.

            As these objects doesn't move quickly, it's far better to use a plain sensor and put in front of it the filters needed for a given observation - it will give far more precise data. WFC3 has a lot of filters: http://www.stsci.edu/hst/wfc3/ins_performance/ground/components/filters

            Then, if you need it you can reconstruct the color image knowing the filter wavelengths - actually, your camera still takes three different BW images through its Bayer filter and the "demosaicing" process does exactly the same process - although Bayer filters have more "green" filters than blue and red, and each BW image doesn't have the same pixels, so each resulting image pixel is an interpolation.

            Depending on the filter used, you can create an image like the human eyes would see it, or with specific colors to highlight details useful for scientific investigations. After all, our eye shows just one possible representation of reality too - using a "technology" useful for surviving on Earth, not to investigate the Universe.

            Moreover, even monopack color films are three layers of BW images - when developed the colors are added to each layer. But even Technicolor used a beam splitter and filters to record images on three different BW films separately, then "printed" on a single film.

            So, whatever color image you see is something processed from a BW image adding colors while processing it.

            1. Mage Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: whatever color image you see is something processed

              Most non-live colour is a simulation purely to suit the human eye. Both RGB displays and CYMK printing are tricks. Neither is "real" colour at all. They probably are very poor for guinea pigs (too low refresh rate and maybe different RGB peaks) and many birds (tetrachromatic). Likely a star-faring pan-galactic culture of many species would need horribly complicated cameras and displays.

              Also research Colour Rendition vs Colour Temperature of LED vs Halogen vs CFL lamps. RGB leds are useless for room illumination. You need phosphors, though not the same ones as CFL/Fluorescents use as they give a small amount of blue and a lot of UVA and UVB, also broader spectrum.

              False colour CAN be only artistic (hand coloured B&W movies from late Victorian era), but most scientific false colour is applied by an algorithm based on science & mathematics, not at all by an artist. It can be used to improve clarity of monochrome images and if you know the algorithm you can get back the original image,

            2. terrythetech
              Boffin

              Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

              "CCD/CMOS sensors are only sensitive to photons energy, not their wavelength."

              Sorry to be pedantic but a photons energy IS directly related to its wavelength, in fact "photon energy changes in inverse relation to wavelength" (ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon_energy). I think you mean intensity i.e number of photons. However, have an up vote for the point you make.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

                You're of course right, I meant that for a CCD the photon energy for visible light is only enough to generate one electron-hole pair per photon - which means than any wavelength info is lost. So yes, you can basically count photons only and that's intensity.

          4. defiler Silver badge

            Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

            Dammit, Dabbb! _Now_ you tell me I didn't have to calibrate my monitor for infra-red?

            Well that was a waste of a morning.

            1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

              Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

              ... next time I have an X-ray I'll insist on looking at a real image that I can't see rather than an artist's impression of x-rays shifted into the visible spectrum of what my bits look like ...

        2. I&I

          Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

          Colour mapping can be a grey area

    2. Fungus Bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: the Eagle Nebula dubbed the Pillars of Creation

      "I thought they were space meerkats."

      No, the Space Meerkats was an impossibly stupid children's show put out by Sid and Marty Kroft....

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Stop

    Crazy

    Isn't about time America sent the petulant child to bed... without his toys?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Crazy

      Not a petulant child. Rather, a senile old man. And getting worse, from what I can see. Sadly, his wife is no Nancy ...

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Crazy

        I'm not sure Nancy was a huge lot better than Ronald - she was super keen on astrology. Have a shufty at the Behind the Bastards podcast episodes on the Reagans

        Episode 1 and episode 2

        Cannot recommend this podcast enough!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Crazy

        Please, please, tell me you aren't referring to Pelosi...

        I also find it very interesting that the POTUS is being blocked from using already appropriated defense funding for something related to defense, while there is pork spending that's cumulatively costing much more.

        Also interesting, is how the same people who hate a border defense plan involving a wall now, were willing to consider it when POTUS-1 was in office...

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: Crazy

          Is it defence funding? Is the Pentagon seeing this spend as defence? Does it fall within the building of military bases and facilities part of the law? Din't Obama approve of a low fence or barrier? Was this seem as military defence?

        2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          I think you might be on to something

          If only they'd let Washington build a wall along the Canadian border the White House might not have been burned down.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Crazy

      You have echoed my thinking, the jaffa is like a primary school bully let loose in a toy shop without supervision.

    3. Drew 11

      Re: Crazy

      See: Dunning–Kruger effect or "Obliviot".

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Crazy

      Well, serious tantrums with associated serious blood-pressure events at his age might do the trick. We can hope.

      1. oiseau
        Facepalm

        Re: Crazy

        We can hope.

        Sure ...

        But have you though of the immediate consequence?

        Everyone wants the asshole out of the WH, but nobody has thought about what it entails.

        You'll get Mike Pence as the new president of the US.

        A full two years of the moron.

        Imagine ...

        Things are bad enough as they are now.

        Do you really want them to get 10X worse?

        1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

          Re: Crazy

          I get the impression that Mike Pence is anything but crazy. Very religious and right-wing but hardly crazy.

          With Mike Pence as president, you'd get stability, morning prayer and an end to abortion, as well as more tax cuts to the rich (he is Republican after all). If you can live with 'Happy Christmas' instead of 'Happy Holidays' then it mightn't be so bad.

          Would this be 10x worse?

          1. fishman

            Re: Crazy

            "Very religious and right-wing"

            Sounds pretty crazy to me....

          2. oiseau
            FAIL

            Re: Crazy

            Would this be 10x worse?

            Hmmm ...

            I don't think Pence is crazy either, quite the contrary.

            But you may be on to something there and have made me reflect on what I posted: I now think it would be much, much worse than my original 10X estimate.

            Cheers.

          3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: Crazy

            'an end to abortion' can't be waved off. It would be part of a lot of things, such as the end to already limited birth control and so on, that we also know Pence is against. To 50% of the population, this is not an 'oh well' issue.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Crazy

              It's rather more than 50%, Hollerithevo. Not a single one of the guys I deal with day-in and day-out wishes to return to the days of barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen and voiceless[0]. That attitude is pretty much exclusive to the extreme right, the vast majority of us want nothing to do with it.

              [0] Unless the individual lady in question prefers it that way, of course. Except the voiceless bit; having a strong opinion would kind of preclude that.

              1. holmegm

                Re: Crazy

                What bizarre beliefs you have about your fellow countrymen.

                Well, there is *one* group that resembles what you are describing - your new favorite pet voting block, those of the worldview that must not be named. They *actually* oppress women, which doesn't bother you at all.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Crazy

                  I have a new pet voting block? News to me ... Please, do enlighten me on my new pet. I'm in the mood for a laugh.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Crazy

          "Everyone wants the asshole out of the WH"

          NO, not even *close* to "everyone" wants that. About half of America wants Trump to KEEP DOING the things he's been doing, according to all of the polls I've been seeing, primarily on 'the other news' (aka Fox news, not [P[MSNBC nor CNN nor any other 'fake news' network).

          And of course, _I_ would love to see Trump get a 2nd term, "more of the same".

          THIS is what it looks like when Republicans and Conservatives actually PUSH BACK against the *CONSTANT* *BULLYING* from "the left", instead of 'caving in' every time.

          1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

            Re: Crazy

            According to the Gallup website (1), his approval rating in the week before Christmas was 39% and his disapproval rating was 55%. It was roughly the level of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan at the same period in office.

            So Bombastic Bob is correct in that not even close to everyone wants him gone. Now, whether you believe that opinion polls have any validity is another matter.

            (1) https://news.gallup.com/poll/203198/presidential-approval-ratings-donald-trump.aspx

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Crazy

              Whenever I see any poll, I always wonder, do they ask questions like "Would you rather see Trump out of office, or get a red hot fire poker shoved into your spleen?", or have they actually put out an unloaded question set and polled a selection of people that are a true representation of the entire country?

              Having been on the receiving end of a "Do you get your news from online outlets like Facebook, Instagram, or twitter, or do you get it from print media like the Washington Post, NY Times, or Chicago Tribune?" and being told "You can't write in TheRegister.co.uk, abc.net.au or the Idaho Statesman, it's a simple yes/no of where you get news...", I have a very low opinion of any polls.

          2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: Crazy

            I have long wanted the USA to become less powerfully dominant in the world. Certainly the spluttering results in Ieraq, Iran and now Syria show it to be less than an all-conquering military force, and now erratic behaviour vis-a-vis treaties is showing it to be an ally you might never want to rely on. I think the EU is becoming aware that the USA cannot be seen as a country to be counted on, and Chin, with its road-and-belt proceeding apace, seems pretty comfy with a world where you can thumb your nose at the USA.

            So I can only agree with Bom. Bob that more of Trump will deliver what Trump is already delivering: a USA hurting because of tariffs and thus economically weaker, trade wars that make many countries start to look around for new friends, and so on.

        3. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Crazy

          It's part of the Presidential Protection Program that's been around for a long time. Mike Pence is the reason why Trump is still in office. We have long history of that... Nixon had Agnew for example.

        4. kurios

          Re: Crazy

          Well, we could impeach Pence first, then Trump.

          Greetings, President Pelosi.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Crazy

      Show him the pics of distant galaxies... and if its great for spying on stuff billions of miles away, then "think how good it must be for spying on the Mexican border, Mr Pres!"

      Unfortunately he is likely to claim 'fake news' as stars are just pinpricks in God's firmament

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Crazy

        Just put in a NASA project to build a hotel on the moon, with golf course, and it'll be funded immediately. All the preparatory work is where it's important of course. And best of all, the moon is effectively "air gapped" from Mexico!

        1. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

          The Arctic Monkeys know a song about that.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXuUAtAtMtM

    6. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Crazy

      Someone needs to arrange for the "shutdown" to include transport to his golf courses. That would get him to loosen his stance.

      1. MrDamage

        Re: Crazy

        The shutdown also apparently affects the Secret Service.

        How quickly do you think the shutdown would end if the Secret Service agents protecting these muppets (on both sides of the spectrum), decided they would no longer work without pay, and that the people in question had to pay out of their own pockets for security services?

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Crazy

          It wouldn't make any difference. The shutdown is entirely down to Trump and he'd just pay for his own security and then tweet to the world about what a great guy he is saving the taxpayer those dollars.

          1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: Crazy

            @ Ken Hagan, would it be nice if he started now?

    7. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Crazy

      The problem is. When the tit was doing stuff like The Apprentice amd running his casino into bankruptcy I suspect he'd say "Do this, do that" and they all bowed down to him. Some probably quietly thought "thats a shit idea and will bankrupt the casino" but no one questioned him and if they did, I assume were fired.

      Now he's President he probably thought he could do the same shit and everyone would do as he said. But he's finding out it doesn't work like that and that there are people that will tell him no. This has annoyed the cock so he's now digging in his heals until he gets what he wants or someone points out to him its making him look like even more of a tit than he already does.

      Sadly, he's such a stubborn fuck, I don't think he will back down.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Crazy

        You've no idea how bankruptcy works in the US of A. He deliberately drove his businesses into bankruptcy so he could pay off debts at something like 5c to the $. In a mature sensible country he would then be debarred from running a company for at least 5 years but America is neither mature or sensible so bankrupts can start another business the next day - wash and repeat 5 times to acquire millions of dollars of property for a tiny fraction of the true value while driving small companies to the wall.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Crazy

        This has annoyed the cock so he's now digging in his heals until he gets what he wants or someone points out to him its making him look like even more of a tit than he already does.

        So he's thrown himself to the floor and holding his breath until he turns blue?????

    8. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Crazy

      Nancy Pelosi and [Up]Chuck Schumer (and the OTHER hard-line Demo[n,c][R,r]ats) need the "parental punishment", *NOT* Donald Trump.

      I think the universe can wait on fixing a telescope until we have PROPER BORDER SECURITY.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Crazy

        I think the universe can wait on fixing a telescope until we have PROPER BORDER SECURITY.

        Are you saying those on the south side of the border can't use boats?

        The UK has 20 miles of water isolating it (at least as much a hurdle as a wall) - yet there's still an illegal immigration problem.

        Best option is to turn your country into a shithole no one could possibly want to live in - luckily, with Trump - your well on your way already.

        1. whitepines Bronze badge
          Pint

          Re: Crazy

          I don't know....not defending Trump, but at the same time shouldn't we be looking a bit closer to home before making "shithole" statements? Mass surveillance, police abuse, mandatory password disclosure, insane copyright, etc. all make ol' Blighty a bit of a shithole itself, no?

          Icon 'cause it makes one able to forget these things....

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Crazy

            Well, yes, whitepines. But that would get in the way of a good USA bashing, now wouldn't it? And what's the fun in looking within? It might mean having to get off the couch/sofa and starting to actually do something about it, and we can't have that, can we? It's just not British!

      2. Palpy

        Re: "Proper Border" security why, exactly?

        Because the number of Mexicans living in the US illegally peaked 10 years ago, and has been dropping ever since? (That number is down 20%, from 6.9 million in 2007 to 5.4 million in 2016.)

        Because the Border Patrol has seen a huge drop in the number of illegals apprehended at the Mexican border? (That number is down a whopping 81% since 2000.)

        Because no known terrorists have used the Mexican border to cross into the US before an attack? (Hint: terrorists attacking the US are either legal residents, or they come from overseas -- in which case they use airlines.)

        Because a wall would be worthless in stopping drug trafficking across the Mexican border? (It wouldn't stop boats, aircraft, trains, and contraband hidden in shipments of legitimate goods -- all commonly used methods of transporting drugs. And tunnels are already in use as well.)

        Actually, there is no US border crisis in 2019 (other than a temporary crisis created by the Trump shutdown*, which stopped pay to border patrol agents). And the US already has proper border security in the sense that the US has about the same level of border control as any other first-world nation (except Israel, which is... in an odd place historically, politically, and strategically).

        What is unconscionable is McConnell's refusal to allow any measure to end the shutdown to come to a Senate vote. That's the tactic of someone afraid that he will lose despite his party's control of the Senate, someone afraid that his Republican colleagues will not stand with him, and someone afraid to let the President take full, formal, and frontal consequences of vetoing a budget resolution. Is the tactic of a coward.

        ------------------

        *Yes, it's Trump's shutdown. His own words: "I am proud to shut down the government for border security," And "If we don't get what we want, one way or the other ... I will shut down the government, absolutely."

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "Proper Border" security why, exactly?

          Palpy, you don't think that facts have anything to do with the arguments of the pro-trump set, do you?

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: "Proper Border" security why, exactly?

            Ah, we all forget the "My mind is made up and now don't confuse me with the facts. So get off my lawn" types?

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Crazy

        until we have PROPER BORDER SECURITY.

        As anyone in the military knows (or criminals for that matter) a wall won't stop anyone determined to get over it, around it, or under it. On the other hand it will get Trump votes from his hard core followers who don't realize that walls don't work.

  3. LDS Silver badge

    How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

    ..... with the money which would be waster for a useless wall?

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

      Or a small fraction of the Military budget of the United States

    2. Paul Smith

      Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

      Space Shuttle launches cost about $1.5b, so the wall would have paid for about 4 launches.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        "Space Shuttle launches cost about $1.5b"

        That's the cost of the Space Shuttle programme divided by the number of launches, which was not the cost of a single launch. Two thirds of that 1.5 billion dollars were sunk costs i.e. that proportion was spent long ago on development, build and replacement / upgrade.

        1. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          Which would've been money well spent had the program continued. As it stands, you've simply confirmed the cost, as the USA government has no space capability whatsoever.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            "you've simply confirmed the cost, as the USA government has no space capability whatsoever."

            I have been saddened by this fact, incidentally. Trump wants to make a 'Space Force'.

            (WHO was president when the shuttle program ended? 2011... I guess it was OBAMA)

            1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

              Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

              Bom. Bob, you've already said elsewhere on this thread that you would prefer border security to more expenditure in space.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

              WHO was president when the shuttle program ended? 2011... I guess it was OBAMA

              Yep, Obama was in the chair when the clock finally stopped.

              However, the alarm was set by George W Bush back in 2004, based on the 2003 findings of the Columbia Accident Investigation board. Scrapping the Shuttle program isn't an overnight job, the wheels were set in motion many years earlier.

              Sorry, you can't hang this one on Obama, or the democrats. If you really want to try and politicise it, the republican government made the decision to kill the Shuttle.

      2. Blake St. Claire

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        > so the wall would have paid for about 4 launches.

        The $5.7B he wants in the budget is just the appropriation for this year.

        Several more years are required to build the wall that he promised Mexico would pay for.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          "The $5.7B he wants in the budget is just the appropriation for this year. Several more years are required to build the wall that he promised Mexico would pay for."

          And that right there encapsulates neatly both the emptiness behind the blustery facade, and the incredible gullibility / naivete of those who voted for him

        2. MrDamage

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          According to a report I read yesterday, it's going to take at least 10k workers, 10 years, and at least 5 times the requested cost, to build his wall.

          For all his talk on how great just building the wall will be for the economy, it turns out that once spread out over the term of the project, the benefits equate to 3/5's of fuck all.

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            It's not just that...

            How on earth are you going to patrol the wall? If it's made of steel, a few hours work with an angle grinder is enough to cut through. And I wouldn't put it past some enterprising persons to manage to create a hidden 'door' in the wall that is almost undetectable from the US side*. And unless you're going 'Game of Thrones' high with the wall, it can be scaled.

            So wall will need to be patrolled with high frequency. Also, US will be patrolling their side, but can they patrol the Mexican side? (in this respect, makes more sense for the US to build the wall a couple of hundred metres inside the US so they can patrol both sides). But you need to patrol thousands of miles of wall with how many people exactly??

            At best the wall will prevent large numbers of people crossing at once, but individuals or small groups could still get across

            *Allied POWs in Colditz, Germany's most secure prison camp, managed to build 'doors' in brick walls that were undetectable to fairly close inspection, if the steel wall is in sections, disguising a door would be easy

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          yeah about Mexico paying for the wall - indirectly, it's already started. The current 'NAFTA replacement' agreement is supposed to be a part of that. Additionally, there's a new agreement with Mexico that asylum seekers (the ones that go to the border to make their claims) must WAIT IN MEXICO for their trial dates, and NOT cross the border and 'become lost' inside the USA.

          Of course, more fixing needs to be done, but there are direct payments and "cost savings to the USA" payments that are involved in 'Mexico will pay for it'. Ultimately I think Mexico may actually come out ahead in 'paying' for the wall. Imagine what would happen to Mexican law enforcement costs if the DRUG CARTELS and HUMAN TRAFFICKING "industries" were SEVERELY curtailed because of a wall... and the cost to MEXICO for law enforcement would go down, because organized crime would NO LONGER BE ENABLED by "stupidity" laws that hamper border enforcement and literally turn the USA into a MAGNET for illegal border crossings.

          Yeah. 'Everybody wins'. That's part of the 'art of the deal' I think.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            Imagine what would happen to Mexican law enforcement costs if the DRUG CARTELS and HUMAN TRAFFICKING "industries" were SEVERELY curtailed because of a wall...

            The fatal flaw with that is the drugs, etc. don't come across the border where the wall is supposed to be build. Drugs are usually smuggled in via shipping containers or commercial trucking using fake manifests. The small time importers use the open boarder but the big guys have a more commercial approach. Look to the evidence and methods used by El Chapo. Very eye opening.

          2. georgezilla

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            " ... DRUG CARTELS ... " ...

            " ... SEVERELY curtailed because of a wall ... "

            That statement ignores the fact that the majority of the drugs coming into America actually come in thru "Ports of Entry" and not "across" the "unsecured" portions of the border.

            So spending that money on other "border security" measures, such as increasing inspections at the Ports of Entry would be a much better way of reducing the drug flow.

            As to "walls" on the border, we know that they are not effective. The current 700 miles of existing "walls" do "slow" the crossings, but we also know that they are easy to skirt ( over, under around and thru ). And at the demo walls near San Diego , there are examples of how easy they are to breach.

            So yea, lets build Trump his wall. Which will be mostly ineffective and cost billions more to repair and maintain. Billions that American taxpayers will have to pay for. Unless you think that Mexico will also be paying for too.

            And again let's build Trump his wall. Maybe even put his name on it in big gold letters like he does his buildings. Kind of like a monument. Like we did for the other "great" Presidents ( The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Monument or Mount Rushmore ).

            A monument to Trumps ego and narcissism.

          3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            The NAFTA replacement helps corporations and businesses. So if you say that, for example, a kitchenware manufacturer benefits from the new trade agreement and therefore makes profits and perhaps then spends more in the community of give their workers a pay raise or something and therefore more money is floating around in the USA so that means Mexico paid for the wall, you have an interesting idea of what 'pays for' means.

          4. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: "it's already started"

            Great, then you don't need my tax dollars to build the bloody thing.

            C.

          5. AIBailey

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            yeah about Mexico paying for the wall - indirectly, it's already started.

            Unfortunately, despite Trump now trying to claim that he meant the payments would come from indirect means, one of his 2016 campaign points stated that Mexico would pay for the wall directly.

            https://web.archive.org/web/20160721080848/https:/www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/pay-for-the-wall

            Awkward....

          6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            "The current 'NAFTA replacement' agreement is supposed to be a part of that."

            Assuming that passes as-is with no further changes, how much will that actually contribute to the Treasury? Unless there are some planned tarrifs on imports without equivalent tariffs imposed by Mexico in the other direction, then the answer is "none". If Trump has successfully bullied Mexico into being on the losing side of the deal, then US businesses will reap the extra profits. And we all know how well the US tax system works, especially when the Republicans like to give tax breaks to the rich business friends.

            Wool, meet eyes.

      3. Florida1920 Silver badge

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        Space Shuttle launches cost about $1.5b, so the wall would have paid for about 4 launches.
        That $5.7 billion is only for starters. The entire wall project would cost a lot more. Maybe we should build a wall around the White House.

        1. Just An Engineer

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          To keep him at his word, 1956 Miles x 23 million = ~ 45 billion. Granted there are rivers and natural barriers, but he did say a wall from sea to shining sea.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        Hubble Telescope also cost $ 1.5 billion.

    3. tfb Silver badge

      Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

      Shuttle launches were about $450 million each (I think in 2011 dollars). So perhaps ten launches.

    4. Qwertius

      Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

      Why are you blaming Trump for Obama's decision to pull the plug on the Shuttle Program ?

      1. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        I gather it is easier than thinking just to jump on a bandwagon--which involves repeating one proper noun along with a string of negative adjectives. At least there are one or two level headed "right wing nut jobs" (as I suppose anyone who doesn't fall into stitches of laughter at their brilliant ripostes will be labelled) around here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          Jumping onto bandwagons and naff phrases?

          You've just described the right wing completely.... snowflakes/Libtards/SJW/MAGA/triggered.. etc

      2. AIBailey

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        Why are you blaming Trump for Obama's decision to pull the plug on the Shuttle Program ?

        The decision to end the Shuttle programme was taken by George W Bush in 2004, not Obama. To extend the working life of the orbiters would have required dismantling and rebuilding from the ground up and re certifying, and this was prohibitively expensive. The plan was that the Shuttle would be used to complete construction of the ISS and then would be retired.

        Obama actually extended the life of the Shuttle programme and authorised two additional missions.

      3. Just An Engineer

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        I think you meant G.W. Bush shut it down. Started the shut down in 2004.

        1. georgezilla

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          Yes. But you forget one important thing. Fact, truth, reality and history are not relevant to the "Right". They just get in the way.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            And the "Left" are perfect, right?

    5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

      That would not suffice.

      It is funny how short people memory is. Shuttle with the flight profile restrictions used for the last missions after the re-entry disaster would not make it to Hubble orbit and back. This was part of the "safe" profile discussions after the accident.

      So frankly, we are back to the drawing board in any case and the need for a proper orbital tug. Something which is long overdue.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        Yes, short memory yours :P

        The last servicing mission was made *after* the Columbia incident. It was first cancelled because of that, but then Griffin overturned O'Keefe decision and sent Atlantis to repair it.

      2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        This sounds like a job for ... STARMAN

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          a SpaceX or Boeing shuttle is a good idea. Private sector goes beyond prototypes and, because it needs to show a profit, are more likely to come up with efficient and practical solutions.

          Not like NASA wasn't needed to HAVE a shuttle program. I think it was intended long ago that the shuttle be replaced with something newer. unfortunately, Con-Grab has wasted money on 'other things' (mostly social programs and giveaways and waste/fraud/abuse) INSTEAD of NASA, for DECADES... because space shuttles don't get people elected. [yeah they just promote the 'space industrial complex', create jobs and new technology, and promote science, and make heroes out of astronauts, yotta yotta - all very good things but not a priority for politicians]

          I'd love it if the NASA budget were 10 times what it is right now. Pay for it by eliminating social programs and giveaways and waste/fraud/abuse. When you spend gummint money on shuttles, you get shuttles and launches. When you give it away in the form of social programs, you enable the lazy, sustain dependency, and "buy votes". Guess which one POLITICIANS prefer?

          1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            Bom. Bob, you haven't acknowledged that you reported an error (or 'false fact' by saying Obama cancelled the shuttle programme when it was Bush 2. Or do you just move the goal-posts to new ground without ever admitting that you told a porky-pie?

            1. Mongo

              Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

              Reality itself must bow to Bob's infallible AND VERY LOUD opinions.

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

            So what exactly do you want, Bob? A wall? A shuttle? Low taxes?

    6. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

      None, probably. Because of the way the shuttle program worked keeping just one orbiter operational wasn't really feasible. You either keep all of them flying or none of them flying. The cost per launch in 2011 was estimated to be roughly 450 million USD. That includes the operational cost of the entire program. If you have just one orbiter to launch you still need exactly the same hardware and nearly the same amount of personnel, but now you pay for all of that with only one third (at most) the amount of launches. Probably even fewer. So you need the entire fleet

      "The Wall" might cost as much as 30 billion. For that money, theoretically, you might get another 20 to 40 launches probably.

      However, the problem with the shuttles wasn't cost. Those things were dangerous and inefficient. They had MANY ways they could kill those flying it which were pretty much completely unpreventable. After Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry, the cost per launch increased tremendously and it was required to keep a second shuttle on standby just so they could use it as a lifeboat in case the first one got damaged on launch. Any further accidents would probably have resulted in significant public backlash. The STS program just wasn't viable anymore.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "it was required to keep a second shuttle on standby just so they could use it as a lifeboat"

        Only for missions that couldn't reach the ISS. And they could have kept one orbiter operative and the other two as backups, to be used only for specific missions requiring an orbital workshop, or re-entry capabilities for precious experiments.

        And I find very funny that in the late 1970s they could handle Shuttle complexity, but in the 2000s they could no longer - nor devise ways to reduce it with new technology. It looks more NASA lost its capabilities, and had to return to simpler devices costing roughly the same. More lack of talent and skills, than money. Maybe the need more immigrant scientists and engineers from Germany again?

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: "it was required to keep a second shuttle on standby just so they could use it as a lifeboat"

          LDS said:

          "And I find very funny that in the late 1970s they could handle Shuttle complexity, but in the 2000s they could no longer - nor devise ways to reduce it with new technology."

          That's not really true. They couldn't properly handle the shuttles complexity in the 70s either. Just look at how the Challenger disaster happened. And they COULD handle it in the 2000s. The problem with the shuttles wasn't that they're too complex. It's that they are too complex for what they do. NASA could handle it, but after the ISS was completed that level of complexity just wasn't worth it.

          The fact that there was no way to recover from SRB failure was a massive issue. The fact that there was no proper way to inspect or repair the heat shield on orbit (until they cludged something together after Columbia came down in flames) was a massive issue. The fact that it AT BEST had a 30 day on orbit lifetime was a massive issue. The fact that the heat shield was easily damaged on launch was a massive issue. Etc. STS has MANY shortcomings

          The fact that there was no replacement after the shuttles were retired is down to politics and mismanagement, which is the real issue here. the US should never have put all its faith in JUST the space shuttle. If it had kept a separate man rated heavy lift capability the shuttle would probably have been retired sooner and probably not nearly missed as much.

          Don't get me wrong, I LIKE the shuttles. They're really cool technology. They just didn't live up to their potential and had many many shortcomings that were never addressed for one reason or another.

          1. caffeine addict Silver badge

            Re: "it was required to keep a second shuttle on standby just so they could use it as a lifeboat"

            In the 60s and 70s we were willing to fling humans into space knowing everything was dangerous and there was a pretty good chance something would go wrong.

            By the 2000s they were seen as routine, and routine needs to be seen as safe.

            See also: air travel, cars, surgery, etc...

          2. LDS Silver badge

            "Just look at how the Challenger disaster happened"

            You mean beancounters decided to launch outside allowed parameters because delaying the launch would have been costly?

            The O-ring issue was also known - and yes, it was luck that less cold rings would deform and stop any hot gas leak - and still, wasn't NASA planning to reuse the same boosters for its Ares launchers? And SLS as well?

            What about having to build pieces taking into account the need to make them all across USA for political reasons as each Senator wants a share to buy votes, instead of having plants closer to the launching pads to simplify construction and assembling?

            But you're right - Shuttle were the firsts of such kind of vehicles and weren't "perfect" enough. The question is why instead of improving the Shuttle designs they went back to Apollo 1.1. It looks only the Air Force improved the Shuttle design - and is keeping it secret.

            1. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: "Just look at how the Challenger disaster happened"

              The cold O-rings might have been the direct cause of the shuttle exploding, it wasn't the cause of the accident. The roots of what allowed the accident to happen and the reason the decision to launch was made lie deep within the culture and organisation of NASA at the time. Read the entire accident rapport (and especially Feynmans Appendix F of such) and read between the lines. Yes, many people were aware of the dangers and many were aware of the possible ways in which their "bit" of the shuttle could fail. Nobody really had a good overview of how all these complex systems worked together and how things could cascade. Likewise, foam shedding was never really linked to thermal protection system damage, and thermal protection system damage had never properly been investigated.

              NASA tried multiple times to get different shuttle designs worked out but got stonewalled because they "HAD a shuttle". And the STS itself formed a VERY poor basis for further development as it had been painted into a very difficult corner by the demands placed on it by the military (mainly: once around orbits requiring large cross-range capability and thus large wings, high cargo capacity thus requiring a very large oversize cargo-bay, the decision to use "reusable" engines that turned out to be so complex they weren't actually cheaper than just dumping them in the ocean but made the vehicle much heavier and much more complex)

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: "Just look at how the Challenger disaster happened"

              "It looks only the Air Force improved the Shuttle design - and is keeping it secret."

              It was (never used) Air Force requirements that massively increased the cost and complexity of the original shuttle.

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        ""The Wall" might cost as much as 30 billion"

        The US-Mexico border is around 2000 miles. $30 billion works out at $15m / mile.

        The US government's own budget office estimates that the cost would be $24m/mile for the cheapest possible option, which is more fence than wall. Average US government projects overrun budgeted cost by a factor of 3.3 ON AVERAGE. So it's probable that the fence would cost almost $100b, and a proper wall at least half as much again, probably double.

        (https://www.cato.org/blog/cost-border-wall-keeps-climbing-its-becoming-less-wall)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          "The US government's own budget office estimates that the cost would be $24m/mile for the cheapest possible option, "

          My mate is a bricky and reckons he could do it for half that, including the import of London Clay Bricks, and probably in half the time. He quite fancies getting his own personal jet plane out of the a small part of the profits. Considering that Trump was supposed to be in the construction business and should know all about this sort of thing, even my bricky friend things the suck through the teeth estimate is a bit over the top.

      3. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        Those things were dangerous and inefficient.

        Read Mike Mullane's "Riding Rockets" for a detailed description of just why the Shuttle was dangerous by design and how this was compounded by NASA HQ's array of PHBs and politically appointed numpties making the decisions.

        Mike Mullane was a Shuttle-era astronaut and a very brave man who flew three missions despite knowing all the ways it could kill him and that its 'escape system', i.e. sliding down a pole wearing a parachute, was only usable before it had passed 50,000 ft on launch.

        1. Holtsmark

          Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

          Thumbs up for "Riding Rockets".

          My copy was recursively lent out, and endet up in the hands of a NASA engineer who knew most of the characters in the book personally. After falling of the chair laughing, this guy then ended up buying 10 copies to give to all of his friends in NASA.

          A VERY worthwhile read.

          (Oh.. and DID get my copy back in the end)

    7. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

      "with the money which would be waster for a useless wall SOCIAL PROGRAMS AND GIVEAWAYS AND COSTS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION"

      Fixed it for ya. You're welcome.

      If it weren't for those leftists and socialists and hard-line Demo[n,c][R,r]ats and 'RINO' Republicans in Con-Grab, we'd have a MOON BASE (and possibly a Mars colony) by now. WAY more than half of the U.S. Budget is social programs, giveaways, waste, fraud, and abuse. That would be over a TRILLION dollars per year, SAVED, if _THAT_ were eliminated.

      By comparison, Trump's $5.7 billion wall request is like a ROUNDING ERROR. And it will pay for itself in cost savings EVERY YEAR when complete, by making the TOTAL COSTS of illegal imigration go down by a factor of A HUNDRED.

      So I'd say that a LOT of Space Shuttles [or a more modern equivalent] could be purchased AND operated with the COST SAVINGS of _HAVING_ a wall, as compared to NOT having it and so-called "saving" the $5.7 billion.

      Similar kinds of thinking would allow TERMITES to EAT YOUR HOUSE if you think the EXTERMINATOR is just too expensive and so you won't spend the money, harumph, harumph, "how many vacations could I have if I did NOT hire an exterminator" etc..

      [and yes, I used this analogy DELIBERATELY to tweek the overly sensitive SJW and snowflake types]

      troll icon, because, appropriate.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

        Bom. Bob, whenever you use the tortuous and weird "Demo[n,c][R,r]ats", all I can think of is those oiks in school who turned a funny surname or an unusual word into something naughty. (as in 'oo, oo, the pen is here ha ha, look, it says..')

    8. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

      ..... with the money which would be waster for a useless wall?

      Reading between the lines of multiple news sources (both liberal and conservative), I'm thinking this wall business is a smoke screen to deflect attention from various investigations that are still on going. I could be wrong but there's entirely too much staged drama going on here.

  4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Easily solved

    First Trump should beg the Mexicans for money to build his wall like he promised. When that gets nowhere Trump and his supporters should apply for Mexican citizenship and pay for it themselves.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Easily solved

      Unfortunately, the Mexicans don't want them either.

      Thankfully, the problem will be gone in under two years. We can wait.

      1. Laura Kerr

        Re: Easily solved

        We can hope, but how can you be certain he won't be re-elected?

        1. julian.smith

          Re: Easily solved

          "I saw Satan laughing with delight ..... the day the music died"

          What's the problem Donny?

          "The Mexicans will pay for the wall"

          Bank the cheque, build the wall and move on

          Oh wait ...

          1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: Easily solved

            Trump is the powerful 'art of the deal' guy, and Bombastic Bob has pointed out in this thread,. So...where's the deal? He had a fully supportive Republican House for two years. Where's the deal? The democrats were out int he cold for two years. Where's the deal? Where's that money from Mexico?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Easily solved

              "He had a fully supportive Republican House for two years."

              I was wondering that too. I guess the reason he said he was pleased at "losing" the mid-terms to the Dems was because he knew even his own party might balk at the wall and now he can blame it all on the Dems without having to lose face by having it rejected by his own party.

      2. Dabbb

        Re: Easily solved

        If the current state of democratic derangement continues for another two years Mexicans will happily build wall themselves to protect their own country.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Easily solved

          "the current state of democratic derangement"

          I've often wondered about the arrangement whereby the head of state is also the head of government and the leader of the majority in the legislature is neither. It seems guaranteed to produce this sort of instability. I understand about checks and balances but those need some element of goodwill to make it work. As that joint head role is a pretty good definition of a dictator it's largely goodwill on the part of that head that's needed to make it work.

          It has all the makings of a constitutional crisis. I wonder if the US will just sit it out and then carry on once there's a change of president or whether they'll recognise a need to rebalance in some way. That one piece written constitution they're so proud of is going to make the latter more difficult.

          By way of comparison we also have something of a constitutional crisis in the UK and it seems as if Bercow is handling it by helping the Commons rebalance itself against Government.

          1. defiler Silver badge

            Re: Easily solved

            but those need some element of goodwill to make it work

            And from 4000 miles away, that's the problem I see. The two sides of the political divide don't seem to realise that they're there for the people, not for their own ideologies. There needs to be some kind of compromise. We get the wall, and we'll let you have universal healthcare. But we all agree that we need a few less bombers to pay for it. That sort of thing.

            As it stands from here, it looks like each side genuinely believes that they are messengers from God sent down to cure the ills of humanity, and they believe the other side is made up of a big, thick soup of evil with croutons. What one side says, the other side will vehemently deny/refuse. Even if it means promising that black is white.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Easily solved

              "What one side says, the other side will vehemently deny/refuse. Even if it means promising that black is white."

              We're heading that way here in the UK too, sadly. I think it really started when Blair was elected. So many people thought they were voting for or against him personally than for their own, actual, MPs.

          2. horriblicious

            Re: Easily solved

            The system was also designed to encourage creation of 2 broad parties of the political center that would differ on certain policies but were able to compromise on legislation. They were not meant to be ideological opponents. What you see now is a dysfunctional party system where the parties have become ideologically extreme with supporters often viewing compromise as betrayal. In a system designed to require compromise between separate power centers (Senate, House, and President), ideology preventing compromise is the cause for dysfunction. How the parties became ideological is a separate and important discussion.

        2. holmegm

          Re: Easily solved

          Someone must have forgot to tell them your clever little joke, because still they, and their southern neighbors, come ... and come ... and come ... year after year, decade after decade.

          I indeed wonder why they don't protect themselves from such evil folk as we are, and choose to stay in their vibrant paradises where they are safe from us. Mysterious.

          It's almost as though snarky anglo techies might get things wrong sometimes ...

        3. Robert 22

          Re: Easily solved

          A compromise solution.

          1. Deport Trump to Mexico.

          2. Build the wall!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easily solved

        Thankfully, the problem will be gone in under two years. We can wait.

        What, you mean like how it was a dead cert, shoe-in that Hillary would win in 2016? 98% likely wasn't it, on the night?

        1. Mooseman Bronze badge

          Re: Easily solved

          "What, you mean like how it was a dead cert, shoe-in that Hillary would win in 2016? 98% likely wasn't it, on the night?"

          Well, she won the popular vote by a margin of 3 million. So, yes.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Easily solved @Mooseman

            Well, she won the popular vote by a margin of 3 million. So, yes.

            The popular vote is an irrelevance and you and others who raise it betray their ignorance of how the American political system works.

            It was designed this way by the founding fathers to avoid a situation in which an individual or elite group could capture one or two large population centres and end up dominating the politics of the entire country. None of the sparsely states would've agreed to form the union had this clause not been in place.

            1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
              Paris Hilton

              Hypocrisy 101

              The popular vote is an irrelevance and you and others who raise it betray their ignorance of how the American political system works.

              Trump frequently criticised the electoral college system, labelled it corrupt and an affront to democracy. Until he happened to win the presidency.

              1. horriblicious

                Re: Hypocrisy 101

                Trump frequently criticized everything as that built a case for him to attack that that institution later if it was to his benefit to do so. No different from birther attacks on Obama or using "fake news" to attack the media or his attack on the legitimacy of the overall voting process. Don't pay attention to attacks like this from the clown.

            2. Robert 22

              Re: Easily solved @Mooseman

              The real idea was that the members of the Electoral College would be able to negotiate a compromise choice. Remember this was all set up in the days when:

              (a) long distance communication and transportation were slow and problematic

              (b) it was possible that there could be many contenders without a clear winner emerging.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Easily solved

            "Well, she won the popular vote by a margin of 3 million. So, yes."

            And I saw a report the other day that suggested as much as 75% of Trump supporters are in favour of the wall. So that would be 75% of under half of the US voting population then. Seems like The Wall might not be as popular as Bob and his idol Trump would have us believe.

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Easily solved

      I wonder if Trump & C. calculated how many immigrant workers would be needed to build the wall, and how much work would be sub-contracted to Mexican companies because they're cheaper to increase profits...

      Maybe they think the wall could be raised from one side only, so when it's finished workers are kept outside <G>

      But they could also ask Germany to search DDR archives for the Berlin Wall blueprints, to save on design. I'm also sure they can find ex-VoPoS to train the border guards... someone should tell Republicans that a wall is a "socialist" thing...

      1. Giovani Tapini

        Re: Easily solved

        The way Trump talks he may as well be at war with Mexico its that bellicose.

        Do the workers get back pay when government restarts?

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: Easily solved

          Apparently "yes, but congress needs to specifically approve it".

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Easily solved

        There were articles based on interviews with construction company executives back when Trump got nominated. The result was the most cost effective solution involved using a cement factory in Mexico and building roads to and along the Mexican side of the border to get materials, equipment and Mexicans there to build it.

        Re-elected: Mexican citizens cannot be President of the USA.

        1. julian.smith

          Re: Easily solved

          "Mexican citizens cannot be President of the USA"

          I'm surprised that a Russian asset can be President of the USA

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Easily solved

            >Russian asset

            Citation, please.

            1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

              Re: Citation

              There are so many to choose from. Just ask you search engine, but here is a good place to start.

              1. holmegm

                Re: Citation

                Oh, "allegations"! Well, that settles it then.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easily solved

        they can save costs by only building one side of the wall. or maybe project the image of a wall, like a hologram. or maybe just say it's being built, mow down a few bushes and drag it out till everyone forgets about it.

        the issue is there isn't enough blue-sky, flying-unicorn ideas being presented to appeal to Trumps voter base. this is trump politics. trump is a bullshit artist. so the solution is to sell bullshit. noone (least of all trump) was actually expecting to have to *do stuff*.

        1. Fatman Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: "trump is a bullshit artist"

          God's honest truth!!!!

          I upvoted you for that!

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Easily solved

          You just build a small section of wall and move it to where the news cameras are showing the president inspecting it.

          Another great Russian invention

        3. I&I

          Re: Easily solved

          The king’s new wall

  5. Dabbb

    "Unfortunately, mankind no longer has a spacecraft capable of reaching Hubble and carrying out repairs, so if the main camera problems are serious then the telescope could be permanently crippled."

    So nothing to do with Trump Derangement Syndrome then, just a clickbait ?

    1. defiler Silver badge

      Well, if Trump allows the government to get back to work then they can at least figure out where they stand. Whilst he sits on his hands, the staff that could be working out how to fix it are basically forced to sit on theirs too.

      Would be a shame if they couldn't get it back on its proverbial feet, though.

      1. Qwertius

        Eight years of Obama pulling the plug on NASA and you said nothing.

        Now that Trump is the President - you blame him for all of Obama's decisions.

        Go figure.

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Nah, mate. I'm blaming Trump for shutting down a significant chunk of the US government. Wilfully and deliberately. You could point a finger at the Democrats for not ponying up the cash for The Wall, but they only loaded the gun - Trump pulled the trigger. Pretty sure that Obama was responsible for neither of these actions (although I'm confident I know what side of the argument he's on). In the end, the blame falls to Trump. After all, if you're going to drag ex-presidents into it, as Harry Truman said "The buck stops here."

          Anyway, I'm on the wrong side of the Atlantic to give much of a shit about US Federal Budgets. We've got our own troupe of baboons trying to fuck our country. I'm just pointing out that Trump very much has a hand in how quickly this is investigated and sorted.

          /me wishing very much that the USA could go back to being a little cooperative between Democrats and Republicans, because then one-track idiots wouldn't play the "the guy I voted for could beat up the guy you voted for" bullshit card - it's so fucking draining.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >Which side Obama comes down on

            "I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. And I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows,"

            President Obama, 2011 State of the Union Address

        2. phuzz Silver badge

          "Eight years of Obama pulling the plug on NASA"

          Citation needed.

          (Nixon was the one in power while NASA's budget had its worst cuts, no other president has really don't much to change it drastically.)

    2. tfb Silver badge
      Boffin

      Not clickbait: if the problems are serious it can't be fixed because there are no shuttles. But we can't know whether they are serious or fix them if they are not because of the orange shitgibbon.

      1. Dabbb

        So it can wait then, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

        Clickbait it is.

        1. ChrisC

          Sure it can wait. IF it's a problem which could never have been resolved remotely, OR if it's one which can be remotely resolved with no time limit on how long the system can remain in the problem state before the repair attempt is begun.

          Now, what about option 3 - a remotely resolvable problem which DOES have a time limit on starting the repair, and which if left unfixed when that limit expires will then transform itself into a non remotely resolvable problem?

    3. Mongo

      The very next sentence of TFA had your answer

      "We probably won't know for certain until the US government shutdown ends and NASA engineers can get back to work."

      And since it's the last sentence I know you read the article, so you're pretending not to know to try to score some political point. Much like the Trump administration and its spurious claims that extending the existing border walls will stop drugs and terrorists, despite the acknowledged fact that almost all of these flows are passing through the existing border crossings.

      1. Dabbb

        Re: The very next sentence of TFA had your answer

        Are you sure that NASA engineers are not in fact at work and that last sentence was not a product of journalistic exaggeration ?

        1. Mongo

          Re: The very next sentence of TFA had your answer

          It's a fair question, and one which you probably can't ask of NASA right now. The write-up of the work to diagnose/fix the recent gyro problems features a load of Goddard SFC staff working for weeks on it, and the furlough staffing plan shown for GSFC has 73 exempted fulltime staff from a normal staffing level of 3,274. So it seems unlikely such a problem would be resolved quickly. But maybe they got lucky and the camera support is all by a contractor who can keep working and confidently submit the bill later.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gofundme

    Someone start a Gofundme campaign to bring Hubble back to earth safely and put it in a museam.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: Gofundme

      First we would need to Kickstart a campaign to find out what a museam is.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Gofundme

      It needs to collect a lot of money, since you would need a Shuttle and its launching pad - the plan to bring Hubble back to Earth was abandoned when it was fitted with a ring to dock an engine to de-orbit it safely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gofundme

        I'm sure you can find a better way than that.

  7. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Stop

    "President Trump is refusing to sign the paperwork to fund the federal government until Congress agrees to build a stupidly expensive fence along the Mexican border for him"

    Stupid or not he's the democratically elected president and the border wall was his signature promise in the election. It should be built on this premise, regardless of who funds it. Democracy depends on politicians being able to keep their promises to the people, and not political point scoring and blackmail.

    1. iron Silver badge

      You haven;t seen many democratic governments have you. Democracy has nothing to do with keeping promises to anyone, especially voters.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      But he got less votes.

      So how is that democratic?

      1. EvilDrSmith

        Re: But he got less votes.

        Because the US has a system of representative democracy. ('A' system, not 'the' system... there are many variations...)

        We just had this discussion re the .eu domain, where the argument was whether UK MPs as representatives can ignore the expressed instruction of the people on a particular issue. (Based on comments and up- / down- votes, the majority view amongst commentators seemed to be that the representatives should be able to ignore the expressed will of the people, and decide for themselves).

        While not especially familiar with the US election system, it appears that the people elected their representatives, who then chose President Trump.

        If the US presidential election was run along the lines of a referendum-style '50%+1 for victory', then the US would now have President (H) Clinton (simplified - this assumes only two candidates, of course).

        Of course, the same system that gave us (well, the US) President Trump also gave the US Presidents (W) Clinton, Obama, and Carter, amongst many others. (Examples selected because they are markedly 'not-Trump', not for any other reason).

        Strangely, there seems to be a lack of appetite amongst US presidents of any/all political persuasion to try to significantly change the system that put them in power.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But he got less votes. @MJI

        But he got less votes.

        So how is that democratic?

        Clue's in the name really: United STATES of America. Each state must be represented fairly, or they wouldn't have agreed to form a union in the first place. The Founding Fathers set it up this way to prevent small groups of powerful people from taking over the large population centres (e.g. California and New York) and then dominating the politics of the entire country.

        Only Hillary Clinton could consider this a victory for the Democrats!

        https://www.270towin.com/presidential_map_new/maps/bRgO6.png

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: But he got less votes.

        The USA is a Republic, not a Democracy. And there's a thing called "the electoral college" which was designed to give 'small population states' a bit more clout when it comes to electing a president.

        Trump's election strategy was based on the electoral college, which he won with a YUGE margin. If the strategy had been based around getting the popular vote, the results would be different. You might say that Trump looked at the rules and said "this is the most efficient way to get a victory" and so he focused on 'electroal college' victory, and a 'popular vote' victory was ignored.

        I think it was _SMART_. It reflects how Trump operates. He goes for the MOST EFFICIENT way to get things done. Then he GETS THINGS DONE.

        But out here in Cali-Fornicate-You, the election process has been corrupted to some extent. A new rule, which allows a 3rd party to 'harvest' absentee ballots, basically opened the flood gates for political interests to go around to people who wouldn't otherwise vote, collect their absentee ballots, and turn them in. If those collecting such ballots have a political objective, that is "only collect ballots for those who vote 'correctly'", I could make the case that it *skews* the results. In other words, assuming DEMO[N,C]RATS did this in 2018's election, you would have a DISPROPORTIONATE number of votes for 'D' as opposed to 'R', and we actually SAW that in SEVERAL districts that normally have a Republican majority... ones in the L.A. and San Diego areas, for example.

        It's not "voter fraud" per se, it's a majority party "getting sneaky" and legislating an advantage for themselves, then EXPLOITING it to create a super-majority in the state legislature so they can pretty much 'do whatever they want' to the citizens without a whole lot of push-back. Next stop, 'Venezuela' unless something's done about it.

        1. Not also known as SC Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: But he got less votes.

          Serious question to BB

          I know that you yanks are far more partisan about your political parties than we are in the UK so you like to spend every opportunity slagging off the other lot but I can't help wondering about your use of

          DEMO[N,C]RATS

          What is the comma meant to represent?

          DEMON ... RATS I understand but is N,C meant to mean something as well or is it just stylistic?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: But he got less votes.

            "What is the comma meant to represent?"

            It's a sure sign that you have been trolled. HTH, HAND

    3. Alan Johnson

      I think this is very disingenuous - yes building a wall was a signature campaign promise but so was a promise that Mexico would pay for it. The main reason to oppose the wall is that it will be a huge waste of money having little effect and therefore the cost to the US against campaign promises is a very cogent and appropriate reason to oppose it.

      1. georgezilla

        " ... building a wall was a signature campaign promise ... "

        Yes it was. But "repeal and replace" "ObamaCare" was also. And that worked out well, didn't it.

    4. LDS Silver badge

      "Democracy depends on politicians being able to keep their promises to the people"

      Sorry, but if building it needs a parliament approval, he has to be able to obtain it.

      True democracies have this sharing of powers exactly to avoid nuts like Trump could do much arm unrestricted, just promising the Moon without being able nor to reach nor to pay for it.

      Anyway we're seen the great dealers adoption of the standard real estate dealing process - the three Bs - Bribing, Bullying, Blackmailing. May not work, this time.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: "Democracy depends on politicians being able to keep their promises to the people"

        "True democracies have this sharing of powers exactly to avoid nuts like Trump could do much arm unrestricted, just promising the Moon without being able nor to reach nor to pay for it."

        Though having a funding system that allows a wilful president or some uncooperative politicians to shut down non-political government functions for their own selfish purposes seems like a fairly major design fault.

        They should be able to switch off their own salaries and choose not to approve new items of expenditure (like the wall, which, if it was a campaign promise, was not made on the basis that taxpayers would pay for it), not shut down existing infrastructure.

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "Democracy depends on politicians being able to keep their promises to the people"

        "True democracies have this sharing of powers exactly to avoid nuts like Trump could do much arm unrestricted"

        I don't know if you've been paying attention, but starting wars in the Middle East with no say from the public is certainly more damaging than buillding a wall - with the approval of the voters. Especially when he's asking for $5 billion for the wall, versus the $1 Trillion cost of just the Iraq war, which fucked up multiple surrounding countries.

        At least Trump wants to keep US soldiers in the US. If Killary was elected there'd likely be a war with another Middle Eastern country to deal with now.

        1. Dimmer

          Re: "Democracy depends on politicians being able to keep their promises to the people"

          He gave the generals 6 months to pull out. Didn't do it so he fired them, and now troops are coming out.

          Now that the US does not need the oil, and we are losing our reserve currency status we don't need to stay in the deal of "you can only buy oil with US dollars" for protection racket.

          The wall is to block illegals from setting foot in the US so they can claim asylum. Even with the republican controlling all 3 houses, they could not / would not do it. They both want cheap unskilled labor that the middle class will be taxed to support. Killing obomacare failed by one vote. The insurance companies keep on making a killing.

          They all are in this together. We DON'T have someone representing us. This method is the same all across the world, screw the working class. France, the middle class is past the breaking point. Look at your pay, what happens if you miss just one paycheck? Was it the same with your parents?

          They pit us against one another and create these "The Wall", "Russia Probe", "Global Warming", "Its a crisis". There are 2 sides, we root for one and are entertained and fight each other while more control, less privacy and our freedoms disappear - all the while we are told it is for our own good. You guys are smart, look past the distractions to what is really happening. I am not peddling doom and gloom or even violence, I am advocating we as individuals and as a groups say - NO MORE. Lets come together and push back.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So why did he wait 2 years?

      Given that 'building a wall' (and locking up govt officials using private email accounts) was pretty much campaign promise 1 for the orange thing, why did he wait 2 years to ask for the money? It's not as if the outcome of mid-terms couldn't be predicted. Looks like a pathetic bit of cry baby game playing. He couldn't get the idea past his republican colleagues, so he waits until they lose the house so he can blame someone else.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: So why did he wait 2 years?

        It was public promise #1, but the real first priority was to lower the taxes for the rich (#2 was destroying Obamacare) - which had full approval among Republicans (and many Democrats as well, even if they voted against knowing it would have passed anyway...). Now that his low-income supporting base didn't see any of the improvement promised (i.e, where's the infrastructure spending? Maybe bridges and railroads are better than a wall? Is Apple bringing the iPhone production back to US? What about GM slashing thousands of jobs?), and may soon be bitten by an economy slowing down because of tariffs uncertainty and other reasons, he needs to shift attention on something else which is perfect for some simple polarizing propaganda.

    6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "he's the democratically elected president and the border wall was his signature promise in the election. It should be built on this premise"

      So what happens if a president is democratically elected on a promise to abolish gravity and make pi equal to 3?

      1. Andytug

        "So what happens if a president is democratically elected on a promise to abolish gravity and make pi equal to 3?"

        Then you won't be launching any rocket powered vehicles for the foreseeable future, once the first attempt goes sideways across Florida....

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        RE: Doctor Syntax

        "So what happens if a president is democratically elected on a promise to abolish gravity and make pi equal to 3?"

        The difference is in this case that the wall is actually a deliverable policy.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: RE: Doctor Syntax

          "The difference is in this case that the wall is actually a deliverable policy."

          So far it isn't.

          And remember the policy was not only to build it but also have Mexico pay. That makes the whole a lot less deliverable.

    7. HausWolf

      As part of the system of checks and balances, one of the houses of a co equal branch of the government (in this case the one that controls the purse) is now controlled by people who said they were not willing to build a wall. So it should not be built, on the premise that the majority of people have spoken and said no.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Stop it and get to work.

        Funny, I could swear the POTUS was elected with the creation of the enhanced border fence as a matter of fact.

    8. horriblicious

      NO. Getting re-elected depends, somewhat, on being able to keep the promises you made. Somewhat, because all politicians know that voters like being lied to, and as long as you are telling voters the lies they want to hear, you can get re-elected repeatedly without ever fulfilling all your promises. This should not be news to anyone that lives in a democracy.

  8. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Shutdown

    I think if the FAA said "whups, too dangerous to fly airlines now!" and shut air travel down, the outcry would have the government back up in a day.

    The American public is not being much inconvenienced by the shutdown, and it *needs* to be...

    1. davenewman

      Re: Shutdown

      Or Americans could start travelling by train again.

      1. cybersaur

        Re: Shutdown

        American here. The only time I've ever been on a train is at an amusement park.

        We don't have passengers trains to ride in the vast majority of the country. I can't even think of how far I'd have to fly to even find a passenger train. It isn't an option.

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Shutdown

      >The American public is not being much inconvenienced by the shutdown, and it *needs* to be...

      Funding for welfare programs runs out at the end of January, so come February all welfare payments will be shut down, so no food stamps, no housing support, ect.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Shutdown

        But those things only affect poor people, and the US has never given a shit about them before.

        Something will be done the instant the corporations are affected, people aren't the important ones.

        1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

          Re: Shutdown

          I'm thinking that aren't the likes of Walmart, Costco et al reliant on the government giving their employees food stamps because they don't pay them a living wage? In that case, the large corporations will be affected.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: Shutdown

            Walmart yes. Costco.. no as they pay a fair wage.

            1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

              Re: Shutdown

              Sorry, I was trying to think of the other American corporations that pull the same practice. Thanks for the clarification.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Shutdown

          "But those things only affect poor people, and the US has never given a shit about them before."

          Yes, as clearly stated time after time by Bombastic Bob. Anyone who needs help is a failure and should work harder. He'd have loved being alive in the time of Baronial England. So long as he was one of the Barons of course, not one of the majority.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trump: Making America Great again!

    Ironic sarcasm.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trump: Making America Great again!

      Tired of winning.

      1. TomChaton
        WTF?

        Re: Trump: Making America Great again!

        Who's winning?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Trump: Making America Great again!

          NoOne's winning, Who's on First.

  10. thosrtanner
    Unhappy

    This:

    > Unfortunately, mankind no longer has a spacecraft capable of reaching Hubble and carrying out repairs,

    is sorta depressing

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "is sorta depressing"

      More even so when slurping user data and then slinging ads is now called "hi-tech"....

    2. Dr. G. Freeman
      Joke

      How difficult is it design and build a new spacecraft to get up into orbit ?

      I mean it's not rocket science.

  11. NanoMeter

    Can't fix stupid

    Just hope it disappears after a while, perhaps after the next US president election year.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Can't fix stupid

      Stupid is an evolutionary handicap.

      Maybe the US will get the first ever Darwin award for a whole voting population.

      1. Alistair Silver badge

        Re: Can't fix stupid

        @Adrian4 :

        Don't hold your breath. From what I can see it is *far* too likely that he'll be re-elected in 2020. The question is at this point, which G20 country will earn a collective Darwin award first? At the moment, I think Russia is out in front.

        1. cybersaur

          Re: Can't fix stupid

          Trump's ceiling of popular support is 41%. He has only become less liked since occupying the White House.

          He's a criminal that may not even be on the ballot in 2020 much less win.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Can't fix stupid

            You think Trump's a criminal? God knows what you think about Hillary. I have information that could lead to her arres- qgeva \

        2. Carpet Deal 'em

          Re: Can't fix stupid

          > From what I can see it is *far* too likely that he'll be re-elected in 2020.

          Assuming he doesn't buckle on the wall. With that GoFundMe having nearly reached $20 million, it's almost certain that letting the Democrats get their way would alienate his supporters to the point of no return.

    2. KittenHuffer
      Joke

      Re: Can't fix stupid, but you can evolve it!

      There was a documentary released in 2006 that clearly explained the future of the US of A!

      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808

      1. NanoMeter

        Re: Can't fix stupid, but you can evolve it!

        Seen it already. A lot of it has already happened.

    3. Del_Varner

      Re: Can't fix stupid

      Yeah, you could Moosechelle.

  12. Anonymous Cowerd
    Facepalm

    huh?

    Trump has closed down the government because they won't give him several billion dollars to build the wall?

    I thought he said the Mexicans were going to pay for it.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: huh?

      I thought he said the Mexicans were going to pay for it.

      That's the next step. Anyone of Hispanic descent will be required to pay extra taxes.

  13. John Savard Silver badge
    Joke

    Neutrality

    But your article isn't neutral and objective!

    Yes, the government shutdown is hampering efforts to get the Wide Field Camera operational again.

    But whether that shutdown is the fault of Donald Trump being obstinate, or the House Democrats being obstinate depends on whether the border wall with Mexico is a good idea or not. That is a controversial political question, so taking sides on it surely has no place in a site devoted to technical news.

    1. HausWolf

      Re: Neutrality

      Donald Trump is on record, due to the fact he said it on national TV before it happened, claiming that this is his shutdown.

      Calling it that is not being biased.

      1. A. Coatsworth
        Alert

        Re: Neutrality

        Since when getting Trump on record saying something means he said what we clearly heard him say?

        How words mean what he needs them to mean at any given time. Any other interpretation, specially a literal one, is fake news

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Neutrality

      "Many fine people on both sides"....

    3. Swarthy Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Neutrality

      Considering the Democrats did not take control of the House until January 2019, and the Shutdown started on 11 days prior, it would be wholly inappropriate to blame the shut-down on the Dems. Additionally, Trump has said - on National TV - that this is his shutdown.

      So it must be Obama's fault.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optional reasoning

    Forget the Government.

    The Space race in the sixties did great things with a mess of corruption and payoffs.

    Maybe look at the management of funds acquired every year by Nasa and ask

    why it's so badly managed that they run it check to check. No seriously even the non-profit

    FIFA (I have a bridge to sell) has 3Billion for rainy days....

    1. HausWolf

      Re: Optional reasoning

      The space race in the 60's was a case of the project management triangle being skewed towards we will get to the moon first, damn the costs.

      If you really think that NASA is being mismanaged, how much do you think it would have cost the US to have Haliburton or Boeing to put the rovers on Mars or send pictures back from the Kuiper Belt?

      NASA's FY 2017 budget of $19.5 billion (in nominal dollars) represented 0.47% of the $3.98 trillion United States federal budget during that year.[2]

      NASA was allocated $601.31 billion (in nominal dollars) overall from 1958 to 2018.

      source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This article is so filled with BS it should have been written by that idiot "from San Francisco" author.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Donald's wall trantrum?

    Rather than call it a trantrum on Trump's part, perhaps you'll consider the Democrat party forcing him to do so in order to secure America's weak borders from an imminent and unprecidented threat to border security.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Donald's wall trantrum?

      "imminent and unprecidented threat to border security."

      Are you saying the US doesn't have the surveillance capability of seeing a walking "caravan" headinf very, very slowly for their border?

  17. steve 124

    fair and balanced reporting

    Wow, judging from the title of this article, I figured for sure this would be a Trevor Pott article. It's nice to see the Reg has more than one leftist leaning contributor.

    The Hubble broke, "Thanks Trump!"

    Nothing like being told Trump sucks by the Brits. The DNR will be sending your absentee ballots in late 2019 so you can help make America weak again.

    Aren't you guys voting again to see if you get to leave the EU? I thought that was already voted on, but I guess your DNR equivalent party didn't like that outcome and will just keep letting people vote until they get the results they want. Sigh, the world has gone insane.

    Yea, the Trouble with Hubble is my Presidents fault...

    "Trolling with a grin on my face" - let's see if that famous British politeness prevents me from getting 100 downvotes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: fair and balanced reporting

      I'm so sorry that you think Trump is in it to help you. But as you are a person that believes what Trump spouts I understand you do not understand causality.

      The article is about how Hubble cannot be repaired and thus will continue to be be broken (for longer than it should be) due to Trump. Which is 100% accurate.

      How much does that wall account have in it again, the one that was to be filled my Mexico?

  18. Del_Varner

    Fixed headline

    It's actually Nancy & Chuck's shoutdown.

  19. steve 124

    almost forgot

    Loved this line:

    "considering NASA employees are on involuntary unpaid leave as America is in the midst of a partial government shutdown: President Trump is refusing to sign the paperwork to fund the federal government..."

    So it's not got anything to do with the nearly 80% of NASA that got laid off in 2011 during the Obama Era "President's Management Agenda of 2011". That decision led to nearly all the local businesses around Cape Canaveral going bankrupt and shutting down, since their livelihoods relied on NASA patrons.

    Too bad, since if we want to fix something like this now, we have to use a Russian Rocket or rent a ride on SpaceX. The space pickup truck fleet (aka space shuttles) now sit in mothballs without a replacement.

    Reg, please try to get a few contributors old enough to remember what happened less than a decade ago. Google isn't giving them a clear base of facts to write articles.

    1. Mongo

      The perennial and wrong "Obama killed the shuttle", yet again

      The shuttle program was irreversibly shut down during the 43rd President (George W Bush), for entirely sensible reasons of safety and cost. Don't have to believe me, believe the then Space Shuttle Program Manager, writing in 2008:

      Starting four years ago, the shuttle program in its various projects made "lifetime buys". That is, we bought enough piece parts to fly all the flights on the manifest plus a prudent margin of reserves. Then we started sending out termination letters. About two years ago, we terminated 95% of the vendors for parts for the external tank project, for example...

      You might think that simple things like bolts and screws, wire, filters, and gaskets could be bought off the shelf some where, but that thinking would merely prove how little you know about the shuttle. The huge majority of supplies, consumable items, maintenance items, they are all specially made with unique and stringent processes and standards...

      We started shutting down the shuttle four years ago. That horse has left the barn.

      As a taxi to the ISS the shuttle program was replaced by "Commercial Orbital Transport Services", with Russian manned orbital transport being a stopgap until US-based crew transport starts.

      There is no replacement for the shuttle as a Hubble service mechanism: the general opinion is that it would be better value to develop and launch a replacement than to spend the resources to build a suitable servicing craft.

  20. Marty McFly
    Mushroom

    Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot

    There are 535 ass-clowns in congress who have a part of the government shutdown too. Despite the media's attempt to blame Trump for 100%, this shutdown is really shared with all the elected officials. Building a wall is what Trump was elected to do, it is the will of the people who voted him in to office. You can disagree with everything Trump, but you cannot fault him for doing what he said he would do.

    1. HausWolf

      Re: Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot

      And during the last major election, the people who said we aren't building a monument to the Maginot Line got the most votes and said no wall. It is the will of the people who voted their representatives into office.

      As far as this being Trump's shutdown, he went on national TV and made it a point to say he would be proud to wear the mantle and claim it as his. Are you trying to take away one of his few accomplishments?

    2. georgezilla

      Re: Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot

      But then last year there was another election, one where most of the people voted for people who are not for building the wall.

      So the wall should not be built. And you cannot fault them for doing what they said they would do.

      For two years Trump had control of the government ( House and Senate ). And yet they didn't build the wall. So how is the fault of anyone else but them.

      The shutdown started while he (they) still had power. So how is the fault of anyone else but them.

      The House under the Democrats have passed several bills to reopen the government. But the Republican Senate refuse to vote on any of them, keeping the government closed. So how is the fault of anyone else but them.

      Trump is throwing a tantrum. Republicans are to afraid to go against him. How is it not his and their fault?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to stop the damn Trump bashing at every turn...

    I really dont give a shiite how many downvotes I get, but someone needs to teach you on the other side of the pond how our system works. You see, TRUMP IS RIGHT. It is the responsibility of the indivdual parties to negotiate. Are you telling me that there isn't ONE DAMN THING that the Democrats want in exchange? Because if not, they aren't there to negotiate. TRUMP WAS RIGHT.

    You holier than though Europeans paid off Turkey to do your damn dirty work. and vilified Hungary for building a wall prevent losing their whole country by becoming the doormat for Europe. . And you have the damn nerve to sit there and slam Trump? WTH? And you can't figure out how BREXIT happened?

    When politics becomes personal to the point that you cant see your way to compromising in order that both sides get some of what they want, you have failed. And in that sense, DEMOCRATS HAVE FAILED. We have a million DACA dreamers whom I would GLADLY let become citizens if we could just shut down the damn border, and get visa overstays under control. At least TRUMP has tried to make it happen instead of kicking the damn can down the road. Which other politician has had the political fortitude DO ANYTHING? The is true with North Korea. All the damn handwringing all over the world, but at least the man tried SOMETHING that nobody else has tried in the last 50 years. And its the same with immigration. This can has been kicked for 30 years. At least he's trying to bring it to some resolution, which is more than you can say for anyone else. And when the MiddleEastern/African invasion of Europe continues for 30 more years and you become weary of millions of immigrants DEMANDING entry into your country, you will hope for someone like Donald Trump to come along and, no matter what an asshole he is, try to do SOMETHING that the elite who run our countries refuse to do.

    1. georgezilla

      Re: Time to stop the damn Trump bashing at every turn...

      " ...Are you telling me that there isn't ONE DAMN THING that the Democrats want in exchange? ... "

      Yes there are things that the Democrats want. And they have asked for them. Several times actually. And they were told no. Several times. And now the government is closed AGAIN, under Republican control. Because they keep saying no.

      FFS, the House sent a bill to the Senate, a bill FROM the Senate that the Senate already passed by a veto proof margin. And the Republican leadership refuses to vote on it. A bill that they have already passed FFS!

      So who owns this shit?

      Hint: it begins with the letter "R".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time to stop the damn Trump bashing at every turn...

        Retarded democrats?

    2. Jay Lenovo
      Meh

      Somewhere in the middle (does that still exist?)

      In the old days, politicians used a concept called compromise.

      You didn't get everything you wanted, but most tended to get at least a combo of good and bad. Add a little pork, and just the right number of representatives could be convinced of the greater good.

      Unfortunately, now I prefer more pork barrel government. You seemingly can't get 536 modern day ego's working collectively without it.

      The growing ultra orthodox party-religions of Republican and Democrat no longer want to share the same country. But everybody needs to eat, so throw out some pork barrels (and I guess the "vegan" alternative) and lets get something done.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a really nice 36' extension ladder.... made in mexico. And since I'm an exceptional american, I'm the only one that knows how to use it. Yup, totally going to work.

    1. steve 124

      enjoy that drop on the other side.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why doesnt he...

    just fund it himself with some loans if he really was intending on getting Mexico to pay or just do what he normally does. Get a loan, get it built and declare bankruptcy.

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