Recently, the buzz around AI has been about being untraceable, the inability to explain why an AI does what it does. Try and backtrack through an AI’s logic step by step, and you are Alice going down the rabbit hole. This is so for those who create the technology, intimate with it to the most … Continue reading “I didn’t understand a word you said”
Revisiting the near future of human spaceflight
(With acknowledgments to David Brin, blogging at Contrary Brin, and a thank you for his feedback as I wrote this.) Across my many years witnessing and participating in space marvels, too often my awe of the moment got rudely shoved aside by wondering what comes next. Some just can’t resist that temptation to look ahead, … Continue reading Revisiting the near future of human spaceflight
Rising wages, meet technology adoption
Our space sector does not lack news about new tech, business deals, or novel things to come. But, with so much happening, imagine for a moment that the nature of the churn also changed. Would anyone notice? With too much noise, do we miss changes in the signal? The usual tropes marry change and technology … Continue reading Rising wages, meet technology adoption
Reusing, refueling, partnering – and going nuclear
Advocacy for innovation is always challenging, with much written about difficulties like the valley of death. There is one barrier that does not get much attention, though. We forget the future is always outnumbered in the here and now. Artist concept of Demonstration for Rocket to Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) spacecraft, which will demonstrate a nuclear … Continue reading Reusing, refueling, partnering – and going nuclear
AI, art, writing, oh – and spaceplanes
There are the facts, and there is the story. Both can be true, but one without the other is incomplete, as it is the story that carries meaning. As the AI ChatGPT consumes my social media feeds, it’s enough to make a blogger worry. One day soon, will an AI put the words and the … Continue reading AI, art, writing, oh – and spaceplanes
Technology, transforming the space sector, and us
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
Starships mean gas stations in space, and so much more
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
The nuts and bolts vs. NASA budgets
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
Flashback Friday – “Apollo 10 The Lunar Module in Lunar Orbit,” 1969 Grumman pamphlet
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
SUSIE, space launch, and the many journeys to full reuse
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
Flashback Friday – “Space Benefits – today and tomorrow,” 1971 NASA pamphlet
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
Space benefits, stem cells, and why we’re just getting started
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
Flashback Friday – “Living and Working in Space,” 1983 NASA pamphlet
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
Is this now?
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?
Rocketry – is it more like baking, or cooking?
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?