Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml en-gb 30 Mon 31 Aug 2015 18:55:00 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml adjutant http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml?page=85#comment6 the Constellation programme I note is being built in imperial (or English units, as our friends across the pond call them)We don't use Imperial, we use English (technically it's called US Customary, but we still say English since that's what it is essentially). Remember, we gained our independence before the British Empire introduced the Imperial system so the US was unaffected.Not to nitpick anyways, I do believe the US and Commonwealth nations standardized some of our measurements so that a yard in the US is the same as in Australia and so on. Sun 25 Oct 2009 04:23:48 GMT+1 Jonathan Amos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml?page=71#comment5 Ah, metric and imperial. Now, there's an interesting thread. I have to say that in my experience, whenever I discuss space projects with European (and that includes the UK!) scientists and engineers, we never use anything other than metric. From my perspective, this is great because - I have to confess - I really struggle with imperial. I understand mph but on everything else, a certain amount of thought is required before full comprehension is achieved. I was in an EADS Astrium cleanroom in Portsmouth this week to see the new Galileo satellites and all our talk was in SI. Even at Nasa, metric is supposed to be the units system of choice, although the Constellation programme I note is being built in imperial (or English units, as our friends across the pond call them). But even when I go to conference and meet American scientists, metric is used. Where the miles and pounds seem to be used is in areas of public engagement - in the media. Is that because the media feels large sectors of the general public are not quite ready to give up on imperial in the way that science and much of industry already have? Fri 23 Oct 2009 12:15:48 GMT+1 adjutant http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml?page=57#comment4 I find it hard to believe that US and UK scientists still don't use the metric system for these scientific endeavors, and then you start hearing stories like these (aforementioned in the previous post). I'm not exactly sure about the UK, but in American schools, all our science is done in metric, and we leave the English system for normal every day and household measurements. I don't think that I would start using feet and inches in a space program environment unless I was talking about our heights! Or maybe it was just a different era altogether. Thu 22 Oct 2009 23:19:42 GMT+1 SONICBOOMER http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml?page=42#comment3 John, but we still DO have an aerospace industry, while I agree that post war economic pressures led to some 'involuntary tech transfers', today the UK still has the no.2 aircraft engine company, Rolls Royce.In fact, for large civil engines they are in a much better position than 20-25 years ago. In the 1990's they even brought a medium level (but still large) US engine maker, Allison.They are investing in new technologies and even building new plant in the UK.Besides, the US 'Marshall Plan' money found it's way into some British aerospace projects in the 1950's.When you see Airbus aircraft, many of which have R/R engines, with the wings and other components, that is some 40-45% UK content, including the A380.BAE may have dropped out of Airbus, but EADS and UK company GKN stepped into the gap.Even the US is now finding it hard to do wholly national projects, witness the Boeing 787 and F-35 fighter, both of which have substantial and high value UK content.Costs and rounds of cancelled projects may have forced the UK into multi national projects 40 years ago, but this proved a wise move, great as TSR.2 might have been, it is unlikely production would have made it into 3 figures.With no exports. The same is true of space, I agree that is there a need for a dedicated agency (if it replaces, not adds to others), to better co-ordinate UK space activity.We have seen how what was SSTL grew from a campus in Surrey, to a real player in small satellites.It can be done.While it is probably true that the lack of interest in manned flight could have been a stumbling block, we were wise to stay out of the French vanity project that was the Hermes Spaceplane in the 1980's, which of course ultimately went nowhere.I do not see the metric issue as significant, the US came a cropper here with that Mars probe in 1999, I was once involved with a famous Anglo French aircraft, the clue is in my username!The UK bits were built in Imperial the French in metric, it was not an issue.Plus I suspect that UK companies do use Metric now anyway. Thu 22 Oct 2009 19:20:49 GMT+1 Astrophobos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml?page=28#comment2 I believe one of the reasons why Britain may be sidelined by the other members of the European space projects, and maybe other projects too, is that Britain remains the odd one out in terms of its adoption of measurement systems. It may seem insignificant but I think Britains stubborness to retain an obsolete measurement system and work with two measurement systems rather than adopting a measurement system used by the other members has served to alienate us as a country and differentiate us from the other countries.In many ways, it shows to the rest of Europe that Britain and the British government remains indifferent and does not want to integrate itself on a basic level so is seen as not fully committed to large scale projects which require co-operation. It echoes the fears and concerns France had when Britain first applied for EC membership.Britains lack of interest in manned space may also be reinforcing the image to the rest of Europe that Britain lacks commitment to space exploration as a whole and thus the country is relegated to the smaller portions of the projects. Thu 22 Oct 2009 10:41:05 GMT+1 John_from_Hendon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml?page=14#comment1 Jonathan wrote:"It (the UK) was a Nation of engineers."Some of us still are (from a bygone era)! We fool ourselves that today we are training more engineers and scientists - but although our universities appear to be training engineers many, if not most, of them are overseas students and even if they are British nationals they soon find that they have to leave the country to find work - we are a nation of Bankers (the main employer of engineers)!It is the economy stupid - our economy seems almost specifically designed to deter and repress all innovation, science and engineering enterprises as the money is never available, and will never be available due to such problems as chronic City short-termism. Nothing is being done about this - and nothing is likely to be done about it either.When in the past we might have had an aerospace industry (The Jet Engine, Blue Streak the TSR 2 etc.) we caved into the USA pressure and gave away our technology or scrapped our prototypes. We are now almost totally dependent of the arms trade (mostly corrupt as it appears). This does not provide a competitive industrial base, indeed it actually destroys what we had as it represses and stifles innovation. We have flogged off our research establishments for next to nothing and cannot call anything our own for the sake of a short term cash injection and at the cost of our future. The whole thing stinks, is quite depressing and a national disgrace and, above all, is stupid!And you bemoan the lack of spending on space! Wed 21 Oct 2009 22:08:09 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2009/10/does-it-matter-if-you-dont-bui.shtml?page=0#comment0 Some of the adventures in space have contributed to cooperation among nations. This is not a bad thing. There are two distinct agendas. 1) practical applications. These are projects where shared benefit is recognized (weather forecasting). Such projects can reduce actual individual national investment and bring together like-minded scientist with a common goal. 2)Basic research. There is much we do not know about space and the possible applications and potential discoveries that can be both beneficial and profitable. It is in the national interest to invest in this science.This should not be an either or question, but rather a recognition that both can be productive and in the national interest. Wed 21 Oct 2009 20:06:27 GMT+1