Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hooray For The Little Guy!

Orbital travel start-up SpaceX just picked up a major NASA contract worth a potential 3.1 billion, beating out Boeing and Lockheed-Martin. You can read their press release here:

SpaceX Press Release

Good for them, nice to see NASA shrugging of some of its old boys network and giving some of the new guys on the block a chance. If only I had money to invest in SpaceX right now...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Suborbital Flight Article Up On ORBITAL VECTOR

Just posted an article on Suborbital Passenger Flight on OV. here's the link:

Suborbital Passenger Travel

Found out a bunch of interesting things when researching this article, including the existence of the antipodal bomber, something I had no idea that both Nazi Germany and the Cold War Era US had actively researched. i always look at those innovations that were actively pursued back then, and how different our world would be if even a fraction of them had been followed trhough on.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Coolest Resurrected City You'll Ever See

So far its just in the planning stages, but is as cool a concept as Dubai's artificial Palm islands, and I hope Bulgaria goes through with it. It will involve the construction of a 65-ft high circular dyke over a mile in circumference in order to expose the ancient city of Seuthopolis, which was flooded over when a dam was built nearby in 1954.There are of course a great deal of technical hurdles to overcome, but when complete it will be a tourist destination unlike any other. Not only do I want to visit when its done, but the idea sounds like a very cool location to use for a story or some artwork...

There are of course a great deal of technical hurdles to overcome, but when complete it will be a tourist destination unlike any other. Not only do I want to visit when its done, but the idea sounds like a very cool location to use for a story or some artwork...

Sunday, December 14, 2008 Reaches 10,000 Unique Hits

I know its been ages since I updated this blog, but I created it mere days before a medical problem hit unexpectantly. That's still ongoing, but things have settled out a bit and I cna get back to business.

Anyway, I had created this blog as a supplement to my Orbital Vector site ( ), which focuses on speculative and science fiction technology. The big news is that it passed the 10,000 hits mark this past week. I do consider this an accomplishment, considering that its a niche website with limited mainstream appeal.

The newest article is on Force Fields, those weird, ubiquitous devices that have almost no connection to real life science. While there are some technologies being researched that are kind of similar (like elecrtomagnetic defense fields and plasma shields) force fields like you see in science fiction are as much fantasy as Harry Potter's wand.

Upcoming is an article on suborbital flight, plus some other fun stuff.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy 50th Birthday, NASA

Fifty years ago as of this writing, NASA officially came into existence.

To most people today, NASA is a background concern, for some a source of pride and wonder, for others a waste of time and resources. It is almost always a nexus for controversy, in one way or another.

But I also think the NASA will turn out to be one of the real legacies that we leave today for world history. A hundred years or more from now, a lot of what's happening now--the Iraq War, the various 9and apparently endless) government scandals, the housing bubble bursting, etc--will be at most just notes in a history book.

But NASA, and what it accomplished, will still be pretty well remembered. The 'NASA Era" of the past 5 decades (and hopefully at least a few more to come) will be looked upon fondly, and perhaps even with a grumble of envy, much like the pioneer days of the Old West has been idolized all through the 20th century. This is not to say that the people who ran and worked for NASA were perfect--hardly. There have been a LOT of missteps, scandals, controversies, mistakes, and even outright bumbling. Lives have been lost, billions of dollars wasted, careers ruined at times.


NASA has done legendary things. They have expanded the scope of human endeavor and knowledge far further than any other single group in human history ever has before. Thanks to NASA, Earth Orbit, the Moon and Mars are no longer abstractions in the sky, but real, tangible places that either we or our machines have actually touched and investigated. Under NASA's watch, man made objects have visited alien worlds billions of miles beyond our warm, protective biosphere, and have crossed into interstellar space. The first human being to ever step foot on another world did so wearing a NASA logo. Seven of our solar system's planets were first seen close-up by NASA probes. The first craft to enter the interstellar void did so as a child of NASA.

These are not accomplishments that will be easily shaken from the collective human psyche. They will endure long after I will.

And so, hopefully, will the agency that was responsible for them. Happy 50th Birthday, NASA