After concluding a bat’leth tournament, a lone traveler in deep space passes through a jagged sliver of space-time. This piece of the galaxy is defective, a “quantum fissure” in techno-babble, as if whoever made it was asleep at the wheel. This is the universe of Star Trek, of course, full of all sorts of space-time … Continue reading Technology, transforming the space sector, and us
NASA press releases often come and go where the world is left to ponder a message one step removed from chicken bones strewn on the floor-mat. If it’s not the acronyms, it’s the lingo or the leaning to put out only the facts, not what they mean. But if NASA ever buried the lede, it … Continue reading Starships mean gas stations in space, and so much more
When criticism of a trend is not criticism of a project. There is the micro and the macro, the one down at the nuts and bolts, hardware I would see up close and lay my hands on, the other a view from 100,000 feet. Zoomed in, nose at the nitty gritty, there’s a drawing, a … Continue reading The nuts and bolts vs. NASA budgets
Here is another item you won’t find anywhere online, on the belief that just as we never know where we may end up, it’s best to upload to the cloud while we can. [Click picture to Zoom] Front cover of the quad-fold NASA/Grumman pamphlet "Apollo 10 The Lunar Module in Lunar Orbit," from 1969. It’s … Continue reading Flashback Friday – “Apollo 10 The Lunar Module in Lunar Orbit,” 1969 Grumman pamphlet
Over a week ago, Europe’s ArianeGroup unveiled a new reusable launch vehicle they call “SUSIE,” a “Smart Upper Stage for Innovative Exploration.” Given the acronym, NASA must be rubbing off on them. Though the name is sure to be memorable, like Wall-E, reusable launcher announcements usually make a splash only to be quickly forgotten. But … Continue reading SUSIE, space launch, and the many journeys to full reuse
Here is another item you won't find anywhere online, on the belief that just as we never know where we may end up, it's best to upload to the cloud while we can. This quad-fold pamphlet “Space Benefits – today and tomorrow” is from 1971. I am not sure who gave me this one, but … Continue reading Flashback Friday – “Space Benefits – today and tomorrow,” 1971 NASA pamphlet
Early September saw some good news in the space sector, but not of the usual sort that quickly goes viral. The University of California San Diego received a gift of $150M to fund the Sanford Stem Cell Institute. Their valuable work with stem cells already includes years of research in Earth orbit. Yet news like … Continue reading Space benefits, stem cells, and why we’re just getting started
Here is another item won't find anywhere online, on the belief that just as we never know where we may end up, it's best to upload to the cloud while we can. Front cover of the folded NASA pamphlet "Living and Working in Space," from 1983. The NASA pamphlet, "Living and Working in Space," from … Continue reading Flashback Friday – “Living and Working in Space,” 1983 NASA pamphlet
Saying the universe is vast is an understatement, though it sounds better than saying we have no idea about the nature or extent of everything we have no idea about. These are not your project’s unknown unknowns. This is where words fail. Recently, NASA revealed the first images from its James Webb Space Telescope. If … Continue reading Is this now?
Baking is not cooking, the same way rocketry is not flight. Or at least, that would be a first impression, to constantly hear about the extreme precision required to get to orbit or anywhere after. In contrast, right after takeoff, an airplane can lose an engine, or even both, only to glide along and land … Continue reading Rocketry – is it more like baking, or cooking?
It’s not surprising to see studies again showing optimism can help us live longer. There is a circularity here. Any news about being optimistic and living longer promising to live on quite a while. Good memes, by definition, persist, going from trending to chitchat, back to studies, and then appearing again in the news. There is … Continue reading NASA, aerospace, and optimism – in search of the right setting
Some graphs, like pictures, are also worth a thousand words. They do what a beautiful painting does while wandering in a museum, holding your stare like reading from a wall. For rockets and space travel, there is no shortage of figures and numbers and graphs, oh my. One especially telling figure came around in 2010 … Continue reading One word: Propellant
NASA just rolled out an expendable rocket nearly eleven years after the last launch of its Space Shuttle. This is a long time coming, a project where too often “next year’s” major milestones receded by about one and a half years every year. An expendable Shuttle-derived launch system will go down in history as what … Continue reading Life finds a way
I ordered a book 972 pages long - by mistake. The heft was intimidating, yet it was so enjoyable it is among my fastest reads in recent years. At its heart, "XX – a Novel, Graphic" by Rian Hughes is a book about ideas, but these are as real and solid as ourselves and our … Continue reading A book review – “XX” by Rian Hughes
With the new administration’s Space Council meeting for the first time this week (or soon), it’s natural to look back at the comings and goings of US space policy. A casual observer might assign a shape to the blurry happenings and seemingly important pronouncements about the direction for NASA over the years. If you have … Continue reading Space Councils, events, technology, and NASA are all evolving – but towards what?