Thursday, February 24, 2011

Discovery - Final Voyage

Space Shuttle Discovery made its final ascent to space earlier today.

As I watched it on the screen at home the experience and emotions of watching its young sister Atlantis about nine months ago resurfaced. This time, though, I had my family around me watching, as luck stroke and snow fell over the hills of Issaquah WA the night before, making working from home a more productive endeavor than taking on slippery roads.

For a few minutes today's launch was touch and go. Not because of cracks, leaks or anything structural but because of a computer glitch. A few seconds before the scrub, the countdown started again.

In case you missed it and even if you didn't, here is Discovery's last time lighting the Florida skies.

Monday, February 21, 2011

NSRC and Astroauts4Hire 2011

The Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference is upon us again. Last year I had the benefit of living right next to where the first one was in Boulder CO, and I got to taste the exhilaration of a beginning. This year we're at opposite ends of the country, as I am in Seattle Washington while NSRC is in Orlando, Florida.

Last year I met Veronica Zabala at the conference and soon thereafter, together with Brian Shiro, Joe Palaia and others founded what we later named Astronauts4Hire, a non-profit aimed at being a catalyst to the new industry of commercial manned spaceflight and a source for training programs, scholarships and, well, astronauts for hire.