some stuff I need to do in zero-g

Wednesday, 20 May 2009
  • Point to the enemy’s gate
  • Somersault
  • Bring some space Legos to float around in front of me
  • Bring a Nalgene of water and turn it upside-down

past v present in US space

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Ranges depend on whether you measure from the first or last flight of a program that was active over some time period.

Past achievements in space exploration:

  • First US satellite in orbit to first man in space: 3 years
  • First US satellite in orbit to first man in orbit: 4 years
  • First man in orbit to first Moon landing: 8 years
  • Moon landings to LEO space station: 1-4 years
  • Moon landings to LEO Space Shuttle: 9-11 years
  • Pioneer 10 to Voyager 1 and 2: 5 years

Current vision of space exploration:

  • First LEO Space Shuttle to LEO space station completion: 19 years
  • From LEO Space Shuttle to Moon landing: 10-29 years
  • From LEO Space Shuttle to Mars landing: 17-36+ years
  • Cassini to Europa Jupiter System Mission: ~10 years

Where did the ambition go?! Maybe I will help re-inject some this summer.

luckiest flight itinerary ever

Thursday, 15 January 2009
  1. US Airways flight # 2640 from Austin, TX to Charlotte, NC.  Flight departs on time at 11:30 and arrives five minutes early at ~2:50.
  2. Grab a coffee and cinammon scone at a Starbucks on the way to the next gate.
  3. Sit down at the gate for US Airways flight # 1490, an Airbus A320 to LaGuardia which has been delayed half an hour to a 4:40 departure from Charlotte.  Hook up to the Internet to check e-mail.
  4. Hear fellow traveller across the aisle get a phone call and exclaim, among other things, “I don’t drink, but I need one now.”  Check the news online to see that a plane of the same model as flight # 1490, leaving from 1490’s destination and going to 1490’s origin, has executed a controlled crash landing into the Hudson River, potentially with no serious injuries.
  5. Hear that US Airways # 1490 has been delayed to a 5:30 departure for LaGuardia.  With a projected arrival of 6:53, this leaves 15 minutes to get to the next gate.
  6. US Airways # 1490 takes off precisely at 5:30 (instead of hours later, thanks to the flight crew), and arrives at LaGuardia at 6:35.
  7. Book it to the gate for US Airways # 4687 to Ithaca, boarding at 7:10 and departing at 7:40.  Arrive at the gate at 6:45.
  8. Buy a sandwich.
  9. US Airways # 4687 leaves on time at 7:40, despite the fact that there was just a frakking plane crash at the same airport only hours earlier.
  10. US Airways # 4687 arrives in Ithaca fifteen minutes early from its scheduled arrival.

We only have one. Take care of it.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

semester’s over now

Saturday, 10 May 2008
  1. Northern Water Snakes
  2. Enemy at the Gates
  3. Robert Downey, Jr.
  4. Book sale
  5. Modeling clay
  6. Window envelopes
  7. Scrambled eggs
  8. Nimbus clouds
  9. Callithump
  10. Twelve-hour airplane flights
  11. Five hundred dollars
  12. Science fiction

that was a good break

Monday, 21 April 2008
  1. Matzah
  2. Badminton
  3. Sun
  4. Dislodged fuse in a glider
  5. Ice cream

my ranking of the coolest moons in the Solar System

Wednesday, 21 November 2007
  1. Europa
  2. Titan
  3. Io
  4. Enceladus
  5. Iapetus
  6. Triton
  7. The Moon