Category Archives: space
Me: Built a couple of tables in the Data Warehouse, continued to be surprised at the rigidity of Teradata, put off yet again that division-wide SOA meeting
Current career: 0
Planning for the future: +1
I meant to post something like this last week when the conference wrapped up…
For the longest time, I had “See a space shuttle flight” on my TODO list. There is only one more to go and unfortunately, I have not hit it big with a hot web app (90s’), nor a spectacular mobile app (00′s). Thus, there is no spare cash to flit me back and forth to Florida to catch an ever delayed launch (got to keep the day job). So, I’ll have to revise this particular TODO.
Hopefully, with the onset of some really exciting happenings in the commercial space flight arena, I may still get that opportunity to feel the rumble of thousands of pounds of thrust in my bones. SpaceX is leasing out Pad #40 and with the coming the Falcon 9 Heavy, I may get the opp to see a new Lunar or Martian mission push up and out of the gravity well.
And if I do eventually hit it big with the next goldrush in technology (nano?), maybe I’ll be able to afford to not only watch, but participate. Assuming that Mrs. Calrissian will allow me to see the dark side of the moon.
Image from Quest for Stars’ Senatobia-1 Mission: http://twitpic.com/photos/questforstars.
Last week, I put on my first JPL Solar System Ambassador event for this year. It was a brand new presentation I put together called, “What’s Up @ NASA?”. The aim was to highlight some of NASA’s current missions (there is much more going on than just the Space Shuttle) and to talk about what’s to come in the future. We (and I say we, because I had much help from the fam) held the presentation at the New Albany branch of the Columbus Library (the best library in the country, and I’m not just saying that!).
I timed the event for 5PM to catch the after school crowd as well as after work people. And it was a huge success! We had about 65 people to attend. Students, parents, and even a few grand-parents.
Big contributors to the level of attendance were the middle and high school teachers at the New Albany school district. I sent a few teachers a flyer for the event and the week before the presentation they were sending copies home with all of the students! It helped that they offered extra credit to students if they attended!
This was my 3rd or 4th event in the last few years and it felt really great. A nice change of pace from the drudgery of building and loading millions of rows of data in my company’s Data Warehouse at the day job. A few students stayed behind to ask questions, which is always nice. It’s not every day you get to meet kids that are geeky and into the sciences.
I look forward to putting on my next presentation. If you are in the area, drop me a line and I’ll keep you posted on the date and time…
If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know I am a big fan of NASA. But, as much as we Americans like to be #1 and want everything to always be about us, there are other space agencies in the world. While not as blessed with a budget as large as NASA’s (and that’s pitifully small if you ask me), the Europeans, Russians, Japanese, Chinese, Indians, and a whole host of others nations are working towards building a space-based society.
The Europeans are excellent makers of robotic explorers. One of their “long term” missions, Rosetta, is nearing a key point in its travels. On its way out to its rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014 (where it will go on orbit and release a lander!), Rosetta will make a swing by of Mars once and Earth three times! The third and final swing-by of home is set for this month. Emily Lakdawalla over at the Planetary Society blog, highlights a great picture of a crescent moon taken from Rosetta as it approaches our Earth-Moon system.
I feel so lucky to be alive at a time when space science is going through such a boon. I predict that it is going to be a great 10 – 20 years!
Missed this over the weekend. The XPrize Lunar Lander Challenge is giving 1,000,000 buckaroos to the first team that can build a lunar lander that:
- make a round trip between two landing pads
- refuel at the 2nd landing pad
- hang in the air for at least 3 minutes during each leg of the round trip
- land on a pad that is littered with fake lunar boulders
Here is the first leg of flight #1 from Armadillo Aerospace
My post on GeekDad went popular today. I even got above the fold for the first time!
NASA kicked off it’s long awaited plans to return to the moon with the launch of LCROSS and LRO. While LCROSS is doomed to crash into the moon and give us some insight into the possibility of water being found in the bottom of south pole craters, LRO is settling in for a 1-year mapping exercise. Yesterday, the LRO team shared the first pics from the orbiter. Awesome! I need to start saving up for my first visit for when they get the Lunar Westin ready.
Check out my GeekDad post on the latest hip hop artist to hit the scene:
Kayuga completed it’s mission and as planned crashed into the moon last week. JAXA released the HD video of its demise onto their YouTube channel. Wow! LCROSS is many times more massive than Kayuga, so the fireworks will be impressive. But LCROSS does not have an HD camera aboard. Someone should turn this into a 3D video.