Friday, May 21, 2010

Impossible Possible

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18944-levitating-glass-bead-proves-einstein-wrong.html

I love the word "impossible". So many people throw it around, and sadly, even prominent scientists of massive intellect and world renown status even do it. Still, science is an ever progressing system, constantly evolving and changing itself to reflect better data and better analysis. This is why I love it so much.

We don't...well, we shouldn't...ever state that something is final and nothing more can be done. Or that anything is "holy" and unquestionable. LIFE is nothing BUT a series of questions for which we strive to find the answers. Blind faith results in just that...blindness. What was once thought to be impossible can quickly become commonplace is a short amount of time.

Just look at space travel. Kind of mundane now, right? Major news stations cover a Shuttle launch for about 2 minutes and then bugger off to go talk about Lindsey Lohan and her ever present social retardation. Now, go back 200 years and discuss space travel and people would think you're nuts, or a witch! lol. Careful what you say...representatives of God might try to get you.

My point is, whether in science or any other aspect of life, do your best not to throw around the word impossible, because even for great minds like Einstein, that word can come back to bite you in the butt. :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Been Away...But Back

So yes, I've been off for a bit, mainly due to the fact that I finally had my officially wedding ceremony in Orlando.

Been together 8+ years with my lovely bride, have a wonderful daughter, and finally now had the ability to have the ceremony. It was a Star Wars wedding, very awesome, came together perfectly, weather was awesome (outdoor wedding) and in general was amazingly fun for all. It was elegant Star Wars, not corny Star Wars.

Anyway, now that I'm back I will be catching up on space/sci/tech news and posting my 2 cents on whatever appeals to me. That's kinda why you guys follow this blog, right? :)

Oh...if you want to see a boat load of wedding pix, they are on my Facebook profile. Just look me up. Until then, take care and best wishes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

NewSpace Players in the Highest Game

With President Obama's new vision of space exploration laid out, although by no means final, it's important to note some of the main players in the game. After all, with so much riding on NewSpace (Commercial Space), these companies might be headliners very, very soon.

Virgin Galactic is probably one of the best known NewSpace companies with its sights set on catering to the public more than to the government. Now yes, I'm sure SpaceX wants to get into that game as well, but they're taking the government path, which may or may not be a good idea. That really depends on how the dominoes fall over the next few years, and whether or not SpaceX turns into Boeing or Lockheed...a government contractor. I lump Orbital Sciences into this mix as well, since for the most part they already are a government contractor in most respects.

But one must also remember that there are more players in the game than just the ones who currently grab the media spotlight. Armadillo Aerospace seems to have just locked down a deal with Space Adventures that hopes offer a sub-orbital ride at half the cost of Virgin Galactic. We shall see. I'm hopeful and curious to see how this unfolds.

It's hard to mention Armadillo without mentioning Masten Space Systems, who beat out Armadillo for the $1 million dollar prize in the 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X PRIZE Challenge. Now Masten seems to be more focused on payloads than people right now, but I don't see them stopping short of the human launch goal.

Then you have Blue Origin, whose work seems to be more classified than the X-37b that was recently launched by the Air Force. Jeff Bezos seems to like keeping things hush hush, which could be a good idea. At least then when you test something and it fails, the media doesn't get all reactionary and all the pundits against NewSpace can't step up and spout off like idiots. It seems people forget that testing can and does result in failure, but the media just doesn't get that. Bunch of non-contributing zero non-scientists. :)

Now don't forget about XCOR, when back in December of 2009, the South Korean Space Center selected XCOR's Lynx for suborbital operation. They are moving hot and heavy on getting their craft up and running, and firing off thrill seeking people to the edge of space.

And to top things off (but this is by no means ALL of the companies, just those that I consider to be the biggest players) is Bigelow Aerospace. No, they aren't a launcher, but they will provide a destination. It would be kind of difficult to justify so many NewSpace launcher companies if they didn't have somewhere to go, and Bigelow is current the front runner in providing habitats in space, either orbiting in LEO, placed in GEO, stuck in a Lagrangian Point, or part of a Lunar Base infrastructure. Bigelow has a lot of options, especially once more of these NewSpace Heavy Lift options come online.

So as you can see, the game is in full swing. For the first time in human history, at least in my informed opinion, there is a light at the end of the tunnel that has restricted space travel to the select few as appointed by government. That light is NewSpace, and they are ramping up right before our eyes. What an exciting time we live in, because as far as I'm concerned, space exploration is a key variable in the equation for human advancement. Ad Astra was never a more valid term than today.

Let the games begin.