The Economist reports in their article Fly me to the moon that two companies are moving forward with tourist trips to the moon.
The article lays out the playing field as follows:
On June 19th Excalibur Almaz, a space company based on the Isle of Man, a British dependency in the Irish Sea, became the second company—after Space Adventures, an American space-tourism firm—to offer tickets for a commercial moonshot.
Continue reading “Two companies moving forward with moon tourism”
Walter Russell Mead has a good update on where things stand in Mali. Tuareg rebels control the north. The story consists of reprisals, counterrevolutionaries, refugees, and unintended consequences.
Wilsonian Wars, Wilsonian Ruin
My previous posts here and here.
An exhibit at the Huntington Library called Visions of Empire: The Quest for a Railroad Across America, 1840-1880 had a comment describing payments from the government to railroad companies to assist in constructing the transcontinental railroad:
- $16,000 per mile on easy grades
- $32,000 per mile for the high plains
- $48,000 per mile in the mountains
Lots of money at the time, but a bargain considering how much it helped the economy develop.
First privately designed, funded, operated, recovered, and paid space ship splashed down May 31. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule returned from its resupply mission to the International Space Station. It will be towed to Los Angeles. How’s that for a more efficient recovery methodology?
See Space.com’s article – Space Dragon Capsule Splashes Down in Pacific, Ending Historic Test Flight.
The article points out this is the first resupply ship that brings things back. It returned with 1,367 pounds of cargo, including completed experiments.
Developments in Mali are interesting to me because I have traveled there in the past.
News in recent months is sad. Previous post describes a coup by the military leaders.
Walter Russell Mead reports in AQ Sympathizers Proclaim Islamic Republic in Northern Mali that several factions have banded together to declare an Islamic Republic in the northern portion of Mali.
Continue reading “Unintended consequences – Ripple effects in Mali from Libyan war”
An exhibit at the Huntington Library called Visions of Empire: The Quest for a Railroad Across America, 1840-1880 had a display describing coast-to-coast travel time:
- 6 months – before the trans-continental railroad. ( I think that was before the stage coach lines were in place.)
- 1 week – after the railroad was completed
Twenty-six weeks versus one week. That would be a 96% reduction in travel time.
The exhibit also had a display listing the average speed of travel in miles per hour:
Continue reading “Impact on travel time from the transcontinental railroad and average transportation speeds”
On Saturday, astronauts on board the International Space Station docked with and entered a privately designed, built, and funded resupply ship. Count that as a major victory for SpaceX specifically and private space travel in general.
The Wall Street Journal has two great articles:
Here is a one paragraph summary of the plan:
Continue reading “SpaceX’s Dragon capsule docks with Space Station and the cost per pound for delivery”
The Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station.
This is significant because SpaceX privately developed and funded the Falcon 9 lift vehicle and Dragon capsule.
The Dragon had to pass quite a few tests before it was allowed to draw near the ISS and then be grabbed by the remote arm.
Very cool. Congratulations to the SpaceX team.
AP has an article – Dragon arrives at space station in historic 1st
An organization called Planetary Resources had their big press conference yesterday announcing their plans to mine asteroids for raw materials that will facilitate private space travel. I mentioned this here and here.
I’ve barely started reading their website, but that’s enough for me to ‘get it’. With other work commitments I will have to get back to this later, but wanted to highlight it now.
An article in The New York Times provides more background – In Pursuit of Riches, and Travelers’ Supplies, in the Asteroid Belt
Here’s the concept in one paragraph from Planetary Resources’ web site – mind-boggling amounts of natural resources have yet to be discovered:
Continue reading “Mining asteroids? I get it!”
In my previous post, I mentioned the ability to have world-wide reach from my musing. I wasn’t being particularly serious.
And then I noticed the report for locations of visitors.
For the last 30 days on my other blog, Attestation Update (the one talking about U.S. accounting issues) here’s the stats for page views: Continue reading “I have an international reach? Really? Cool!”
Found a source for lots of data on oil production in North Dakota. Mentioned this in an earlier post.
Other cool stats: Continue reading “More North Dakota oil production stats”
Courtesy of the credits on graphs from Mark Perry at Carpe Diem I found the mother lode of data for oil production in North Dakota.
Piece of cake to produce these cool graphs. Source of data: ND Monthly Oil Production Statistics
The following graphs show the daily production of oil in North Dakota. I’ve presented three time horizons, since that shows difference time perspectives.
Continue reading “Daily production graphs of North Dakota oil”
I’ve been focusing on the upside of the radical change around us. Not all that change is wonderful. We need to focus on the not-so-great stuff too.
Earlier this month, soldiers staged a coup in Mali. Many years ago I visited Mali so I have some interest.
Continue reading “Fragile democracies in Africa?”
(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update)
For quite a while now I’ve been fascinated by the rapid increase in oil production in the Bakken field in North Dakota.
Have had a lot of posts on my blog Outrun Change. Under 1% unemployment in one county. Production graphs that are going vertical. More oil produced in ND than California. That kind of stuff.
This month my interest level took off like those oil production charts.
Continue reading “Why my interest in the Bakken oil field is increasing”
Bruce Schneier is writing a new book, Liars and Outliers. He has been posting updates all year on the project. First comment on his blog was in February.
He’s had several updates since then. All of them provide a view of the publishing world from the author’s perspective. His update this week, Status Report: Liars and Outliers, summarizes where he’s been and what the next few months will hold.
For me, as a microscopic part of the publishing world, it’s been fun to watch the progress. Here is a recap: Continue reading “Insight to the publishing world from the author’s perspective”