Updates on wide open frontiers – 9/15

Falcon 9 launch. Photo,  in public domain, courtesy of SpaceX
Falcon 9 launch. Photo, in public domain, courtesy of SpaceX.

Several fun updates on the wide open frontiers of technology and private space flight.

First, I’m an accountant that talks to bookkeepers, accountants, and church leaders all day when I’m not sitting at a computer. So it is really cool to look at how stuff is made. Check out the incredible technological capacity and refined skill needed just to make scuba tanks.

Making a Worthington X-Series Steel Scuba Cylinder


Then ponder the incredible knowledge that had to be accumulated to make all that happen. Wow.

Hat tip to Beyond the Black. (Link to video: youtu.be/Z8R-I5I1Dgo?t=193)


9/12 – Yahoo News – Drone policing in US seen as “Wild West” Three are few rules restraining police use of drones. Public outcry is a major constraint on how much and how police agencies are using them.

Article says there are about two dozen local and state agencies with drone programs in operation and over sixty that are developing one.

Currently there is an overwhelming consensus not to arm drones, according to the article.

9/14 – Bismarck Tribune – Close calls no common, still concerning for manned and unmanned aircraft pilots – Apparently the FAA has a report out stating there were 764 incidents between aircraft and drones in the ten months ending August 2015.

There is less to the report than meets the eyes. Of those incidents, 96% were mere sightings. Only 27 were characterized as near-misses. If a human pilot even sees an unmanned vehicle, it counts as an incident.

Private space flight

9/14 – SpaceX – SpaceX signs new commercial launch contracts – Company announced two new contracts to lift satellites for Spanish and Saudi Arabian media companies. That makes a backlog of 60 missions scheduled with a $7B contract value.

9/14 – International Launch Services – ILS Announces One ILS Proton Launch for Hispasat in 2017 – ILS has a contract to lift a satellite on behalf of the same Spanish media company as SpaceX.

I just learned ILS is the name of the Russian launch company. Yeah, I’m slow on the uptake sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time.

Competition is good. The more competitors for space launch in play, the better and more reliable and innovative and lower cost their services will be for consumers. Very cool.

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