i dunno. i just wiped everything, downloaded NS 7.1 and j2re RPM, did ln -sf ~/libjavaplugin_oji.so in NS's /plugins file along with the ./flashplayer-installer, set the RealOne-alpha player as my download RM default. went to nasa.gov and tried everything out.
they all work. danged if i know what was wrong with NS 7. it would flash without java, or java without the flash, but not both together. wierd.
thanks for the suggestion