Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

NASA editing their Technical Reports Server

  1. May 16, 2013 #1
    Ok, this is slightly creepy.
    A few years ago, I did a little project, for fun - modeling the launch of a Saturn V into orbit in MS Excel. I got all of the info I needed for the Saturn V parameters from the Nasa Technical Reports Server. They recently shut it down in order to put "export restrictions", or something, on the information there. Today, I went looking to see if the data that I used was still available. IT IS NOT. Apparently, rocket hardware from the 1960s is now state secrets. I guess I must now be a terrorist, or enemy of the state, or something.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It seems like a lot of stuff is being put back under export control. There was a storm about some of the NASA centers violating ITAR/etc. a while back. This is probably part of the reaction.

    Another example is MIL-STD-1797B, used for aircraft handling qualities, which was released publicly years ago and was just reclassified as export controlled information. Of course, if you do a Google search for "MIL-STD-1797" the first five results include two PDF copies of the A revision...

    Working with export controlled stuff sucks, trust me. Having been responsible for ITAR information, if I never have to deal with it again it will be far too soon.

    (Also, you should use MATLAB. ;)

    Edit: I am usually lazy and refer to all export controls as ITAR, but in the US it's actually quite complicated. The Department of Commerce controls the Export Administration Regulations, the Department of State controls defense/technology stuff with the International Traffic in Arms Restrictions, and the Treasury Dept. has the Office of Foreign Assets Control. (There are more, but these are the major ones.)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2013
  4. May 17, 2013 #3
    A whole lot of links in Wikipedia are broken now, also. "We're the government, and we're here to help you."
  5. May 18, 2013 #4
    BTW, re: MATLAB, yah I probably should have used a real math app, but at the time I knew Excel inside-out, and I was messing around with numerical calculus stuff, so there you go. My Saturn V integrator was a really simple midpoint-method macro, which, surprisingly, worked great! My third stage reached orbit something like 1% "hot" compared to the real thing, so I would have had to shut the engine down a few seconds earlier... but surprisingly realistic.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook