More good stuff on the open frontiers – 9/16

Amazing technology today and the technology that is long gone. Also, a decision soon on private sector spaceship.


9/13 – Carpe Diem – Video of the day: Awesome machines – Very cool machines automating complex stuff:

I like the chicken picker-upper and the huge tree-cutting stuff.

9/11 – Heaven666 – These are the Things Your Kids Will Never Understand – Gotta’ check out the article for the visuals. A few I like:

Inserting disc after disc to install a program

With a photo of seven 3.5” disks

Our children will never know the link between the two…

Cassette disk and #2 lead pencil

Looking through endless Yellow Pages to find a number

No picture or mention – looking for a phone booth so you can check the yellow pages to double check the address of a business you can’t find

Answering the phone without knowing who was callling

Check out the article for 7 more.


9/12 – Planetary Society – An Updated List of NASA’s Commercial Crew Partner Milestones Looking in from the outside, NASA could select any one of three serious competitors for lifting astronauts to the ISS: Boeing (boring name of CST-100), SpaceX (Dragon Version 2), and Sierra Nevada Corporation (Dream Chaser).

SpaceX and Orbital Science are currently lifting supplies to the ISS.

9/12 – Behind the Black – An update on the status of NASA manned commercial competition Article points to the above update. Boeing is ahead of SpaceX and Sierra Nevada in terms of percent of the milestones achieved. However, most of the difference is paperwork achievements. SpaceX and Sierra Nevada are actually flying rockets and spacecraft.

9/16 – Wall Street Journal – Boeing Takes Lead to Build Space Taxi – Biggest news to me in the article is that NASA will fund two providers of manned space lift, not just one. Second biggest news is a final decision and announcement is expected in September, this month.

Article says Boeing is in the lead to get the primary position, with SpaceX more likely to get second spot. Even that would be a victory for private space flight and keeping competitive pressure on Boeing. Article has several hints of the crony system, noting Boeing has been a major contractor for decades and members of Congress are lobbying for Boeing to get the only funding.

The breathtaking progress in the private sector and the promise for the future is summarized in one paragraph:

By contrast, SpaceX supporters emphasize that in little more than a decade, the closely held company has developed two rockets, three different engines and a capsule designed, from the beginning, with the essential safety features required for manned missions. Founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk and other senior company managers have said they plan to continue development of the Dragon capsule regardless of NASA’s decision.

Boeing will drop their new capsule without full funding. SpaceX sees future beyond this project and will move forward into that future. Very cool.

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