Category Archives: Uncategorized

Night Flying

I just finished reading ‘Origins of 21st Century Space Travel’ SP-2019-4415 from the NASA history office.  A fascinating book recounting the development of the Vision for Space Exploration in the Bush administration leading up to 2004.  Most of the action … Continue reading

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Calculating the Risk

Recently I have been involved in discussions about public risk resulting from commercial space flight.  It is interesting to think back to the shuttle days and how those calculations were made. If you ever were invited to a shuttle launch … Continue reading

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Finding Meaning in Apollo

I was born before Sputnik.  Yep, that old. I grew up with the space age – the X planes, the Original 7, JPL sending Ranger to photo-bomb the Moon, JFK and LBJ, the whole enchilada. I was crushed with Mariner … Continue reading

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STS-121 The Hardest Launch Part 5: What Can We Learn?

Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyze, so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the … Continue reading

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STS-121 The Hardest Launch Part 4: Damage to the Heatshield

The ultimate controversy at the STS-121 Flight Readiness Review was the potential of fatal damage to the space shuttle during launch from foam loss from the External Tank.  The possibility of a replay of the loss of Columbia was the … Continue reading

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Blood and Money

“The popular mind often pictures gigantic flying machines speeding across the Atlantic carrying innumerable passengers in a way analogous to our modern steam ships . . . it seems safe to say that such ideas are wholly visionary and even … Continue reading

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Advising NASA

I’ve been passionate about space exploration from my earliest memories.  According to my mother, Sputnik was event that captured my imagination when I was 3.  Well before Apollo I had decided the only career for me was in the space … Continue reading

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