Y'herd thisun? 

“It is my understanding that NASA Headquarters recently lost hundreds of positions, and after those halls were emptied no one could remember what in the world all those people did.”

from Getting to Space by Dr. Jerry Pournelle

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Cool O'Neill Colony Model

Cool O'Neill Cylinder!

Easy and very authentic.

Here's my post at

The Gravity of Big Data

They keep calling the Silicon Valley mega projects "moon shots"... why? 

"We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming." - von Braun

'You promised me Mars Colonies, instead we got facebook' - Buzz Aldrin

If the paperwork was the big hurdle in the paper days of the Moon program and now we have cell phones that make the super computers of that day seems silly... why is it that all of the "big data" processing isn't actually working on licking gravity? I'm as big a lover of analytics for apps as everyone, but, umm,  why are we not pointing our money-making 'puter power at the stuff that can make 8 billion lives actually free-er?

Even supercomputers need space

A few months ago I was watching a documentary on supercomputing and there was a quick, casual, offhand mention that most of the space used by Google's D-Wave was for cooling.  A second 'toid was that the amount of energy needed for this 'quantum computer' was very high.  The point of the segment was that things that are big now will be smaller tomorrow...

...but do they actually need to be?

Space is big.  Space beyond the Earth's atmosphere can take substantial energy directly from solar capture without the major diffraction limitations on Earth.  And, in the places not directly in line of that energy, space is cold.


So while the PR continues to say that big companies want only to be humanitarians by placing rings of wifi sats in LEO, the big win for them is that Space is just a great place to put your smartest assets... the watchers, the crunchers and the directors. 

Almost Back

Sorry about that,  we've been moving so I shut down the server for a the transition.  Almost back now except for the media server which I'll get to when I find it in the boxes.

Still voicing after all these years

How much wattage can those minisats beam?

So, was it the old talk of 2.4GHz? Is that what got someone looking at a way around the old roadblocks?

Response to ION PROJECT blog post on Solar Power Satellites

I was reading a July 2015 article from "The Ion Project" on Solar Power Satellites (here it is) and wanted to comment on it, but of course there was a severe character limit on the comment form that forces folks to reduce their thoughts to "Great!" or "Stupid!" soundbites and the author didn't provide an alternative way to get in touch... so I'm putting my response here and eventually when I track him down I'll have it.

Dear Mr. Manning,

An excellent post hitting on many of the most important points.  There are different perspectives to some of the bullets that should be kept in mind including: [read more...]

Alive Yes, Putting my money where my mouth is

K.  I have seen the texts and emails.  Got it.  It is thought that a blog is about posting.  Got that too.  But this isn't a "blog", it was started several years before that ugly term went viral.  This is a web site, made from the ground up by me to test out how a web site is made from the ground up.  A "blog" is a tool that people who don't know how to code and script use to promote themselves.  Some are great, many are vanity plates.

And don't get me started on Facebook.

I put stuff here that I need to remember so I can go back and find it when I forget. Though sometimes when the whiskey hits me just right I guess I do use this as a place to vent or pontificate, there's no need to remember my foibles.

And if you truly want an update... click here


"It is essential to maintain a positive vision of the future, from which to draw our goals, the motivation to pursue them, and the compulsion to meet the complex human challenges we will face along the way"

-Kathy Sullivan, Astronaut.  From her preface to The High Frontier by Gerard K. O'Neill


Honest.  Go see it.  For Fun at least.  It is NOT what you have heard.

[read more if you are about to shluff this off]

Lower launch cost means lower payload build cost. The Domino effect

It has been stated repeatedly over the years that adjusted cost of launch per pound has not changed since 1961.  But that is now no longer true.

“One of the big drivers was cost,” Spiwak said. “We’re able to get the launch cost significantly reduced, get more payload mass to orbit, and reduce the overall cycle time of (building each satellite).”

Quote from Mark Spiwak, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. on last night's SpaceX launch.

He's hyping the thrusters but the SpaceX launch cost is a major part of the equation. THAT is what it is all about.  Lower cost to orbit means payloads don't have to cost so much to build for every inconceivable fringe issue that may not ever come up. You can add some risk because putting up another bird costs less.


Space and the regular Joe mind KFI Los Angeles

There're a lot of sticks in Los Angeles but eventually every English speaking listener over 30 spends some quarter hours with Bill Handel on KFI. 

Driving home this morning Handel teased a fluff on the SpaceX fin test and I got in the door just in time to switch on the recorder... nice piece.  Elon's team has the von Braun public face momentum well rolling.

Have an mp3 listen by clicking right here.

Went Home for the holidays

... and took our traditional December picture.

daboy's getting so big

Klink has my chess set

I like Chess.

I like Hogan's Heroes.

Whoda thunk the coolest Chess set I'd ever seen would have been owned by Wilhelm Klink?


It's a very large Barleycorn variation, with a "Washington" Calvert style rook.  Can't find anything exactly like it anywhere.  But boy is this one quest worthy.

There be Glowing Dragons. NASA and Radiation

1) A Scientist's job is to observe what is and explain why it is that way  Asking a Scientist to tell you why Humans CAN live on Mars is asking for a fast "impossible" until there ARE humans living on Mars or elsewhere.  Scientists, by definition of their trade, observe no Humans there now and can only explain why that is, backing up their answer with any facts or theories that fit the current observable situation.  If you want to know how a Human CAN live on Mars or elsewhere off earth, you have to ask an Engineer how it can be done.  Once it is done, paid for by rich forward thinking 'crazy people' and completed by Engineers given a clear spec and fitting resources, the Scientists will step in and explain why it is, and always has been, possible.  This is the fundamental difference between Science and Engineering.  

2) Space is hazardous but it is not malevolent.

read this rant

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Since 1997 a place for my stuff, and it if helps you too then all the better