In Behind the Black’s favorite phrase, the competition heats up. Check out the news just this week for Blue Origin becoming a very serious player.
3/7 – Florida Today Blue Origin books first New Glenn launch contract– Eutelsat Communications has booked the first launch on the New Glenn rocket from Blue Origin. First launch is expected in 2021 or 2022, which is only four or five years away.
I am astounded at the number of companies taking on the challenge to explore space. It’s staggering to see the innovation emerging.
Check out the number of competitors that are in the game. That is fantastic. The more companies pushing to figure out how to get in space and provide commercially attractive service at a profit, the harder everyone else will push for progress. Good.
Check out that awesome graphic at the top of the page. Lots of thanks and all the credit to Blue Origin. I’ve been looking for something like that visual for a long time. Yeah, you will be seeing it again and again on my blog.
Check out what some of the competitors are doing. This is what I’ve noticed in just the last few weeks:
United Arab Emirates has a goal to establish an inhabited settlement on Mars by 2117 – Such an idea is no longer ridiculous. Ten years ago it would have been foolish; today, it is quite plausible.
A concept of how the moon could be occupied within four years – this is also not a silly idea anymore.
2/20 – Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space – UAE’s March to Mars – The United Arab Emirates plans to have an inhabited settlement on Mars by 2117.
In all seriousness, I say go for it!
They are recruiting a cadre of research scientists for an international team. They plan to launch an orbiter to study the planet more closely. They want to develop a faster transport system. They are already designing a city, which will be robot-built, presumably to be near-inhabitable by the time humans arrive.
IS has posted videos of multiple uses of the drones to drop explosives. The frequency of offensive use of the drones is high enough that Iraqi troops must scan the scansky for drones and take cover when one is spotted.
Captured documents indicate IS is doing research to develop new drones and modify off-the-shelf versions.
This is a significant step up from my previous discussion of ISIS’ drone usage. On January 30, I mentioned:
The underlying substance is of interest. NASA has a 2023 launch scheduled for a probe that will check out asteroid Psyche, which is sitting in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is about 200 kilometers across, or about 124 miles in diameter.
Asteroid Psyche is rich in minerals. How rich? If it all could be brought back to earth and sold at current market prices, it might have something in the range of $10,000 quadrillion of minerals. This is compared to a world economy with $73.7 trillion of production.
Just watched the recovery of a Falcon 9 booster. I missed the launch. Very cool video from the on-board camera as the booster descended through a cloud bank and landed dead center on the pad.
This mission, CRS-10, will deliver over 5,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. Two really cool things. First, a private company providing supply runs to ISS is a thing. Second, it is almost routine to recover the first stage.
Purpose of system is so European users won’t be vulnerable to accuracy degrades by the US, Russian, or Chinese GPS constellations, should any of those players wish to do so.
There will be 24 satellites in the system when fully deployed, plus a few extra for spares. Currently 18 are in orbit. One is close to complete failure for some other reason.
Now there is a problem with failing clocks.
Each satellite has four atomic clocks, two rubidium and two hydrogen maser. Those give accuracy to within one second per three million years. That level of accuracy is needed to get the most precise location data.
Nine of the hyper accurate clocks have failed in orbit. One sat has 2 failures. That means 8 sats have lost one or more clocks.
Several articles provide an in-depth view of the disruption taking place in several industries due to the IT revolution.
Hollywood is ripe for the same creative destruction we’ve seen in music, newspapers, and publishing.
New York Times is shrinking their physical space and staff size
Prime time TV still having a rough time
The question to ponder in the back of your mind is what are you going to do when this wave of disruption overturns your industry?
January 2017 – Vanity Fair – Why Hollywood As We Know It is Already Over– Looking for a good article on how technology is going to do to Hollywood what IT has already done to music and publishing? If so, this is what you’ve been looking for.
Check out the article to help understand the massive change surrounding us.
Disruption of music industry
First, music and newspapers. The author saw his first indication the music industry would collapse when he started downloading music. Instead of driving to a store somewhere and spending $20 to get one song he wanted, he could spend a buck and get the song immediately.
Author says the music industry has shrunk by half in the last decade. Remember that is after the first round of disruption hit.
Disruption of newspapers
Next were the newspapers. For a long time, the web part of the New York Times was physically separate from the headquarters. “Banished” is the word the author used. At the same time, startups like Instapundit (yeah Professor Reynolds!) and DailyKos were figuring out how to blog. Then WordPress and Tumblr allowed anyone on the planet to start blogging, and doing so for free.
Author says a lot of people didn’t want to wander over to a newsstand and buy a whole newspaper or magazine when instead they could read the single article they wanted, online, for free.
To illustrate the concept, I’ve never bought a copy of Vanity Fair and doubt I ever will. I certainly didn’t drive over to Barnes & Noble to buy the current edition so I could read this article. A blogger I read (see above!) mentioned it and I clicked over.
Drone technology marches forward, regardless of whether you or I think it is a good idea. A few recent article:
Incorporating drones into a home security system.
LA Sheriff starts to use drones
US Navy experimenting with swarms of drone ships
ISIS using off-the-shelf quadcopters to drop small bombs.
1/3 – Engadget.com – Your next home security system could deploy patrol drones – A company has developed a security system with a learning algorithm which ‘learns’ the normal routine at your home. When something happens outside the range of normal, the system can deploy drones to put several cameras on the situation.
For a more overall view (and under fair use) I added up the launches from 1998 through 2006 and then from 2007 through 2016. I chose a break of 2007 because that is when Lockheed Martin and Boeing formed their joint venture, United Launch Alliance. Here are the long-term trends:
Above graph shows the average daily production in North Dakota statewide and in the Bakken field. Output in November dropped to 1,033,693 bopd from October production of 1,043,318 (revised), a change of 9,625, or down 0.92%.
I just watched SpaceX lift 10 satellites into low-earth orbit for Iridium. This will allow Iridium to replace their constellation of communication sats. Another 71 sats will go up, of which 60 more will be lifted by SpaceX.
Here are merely two of the super cool aspects of this launch.
Just a few of the recent articles providing updates on slice-and-dicers damage in general and status of North Dakota wind farmsplants in particular.
Wyoming project may get specific permission to kill eagles
All wind farmsplants get broad permission to kill eagles for 30 years
Massive subsidies for wind power, which is intermittent and unreliable, meaning it is often unavailable when needed
Updates on two N.D. turbine farms
12/8/16 – Denver Post – Wyoming wind project may get permit to kill eagles – The Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farmplant, which will start with 500 slice-and-dicers and may expand to 1,000 bird-choppers, could get two critical permits by next month (January).
The first permit will allow destroying eagle nests that are currently unoccupied. I’m guessing that will chase away eagles from the kill zone.
The second permit will allow the facility to kill 14 golden eagles a year for five years. They can also off 2 bald eagles a year for five years.
The slicer farmplant will have to do mitigation for the golden eagles they expect to kill, but not the bald eagles.