Looks like China is making huge strides towards a the launch of a manned space station.
As we near the fourth quarter, my thoughts have started to turn to planning for next year. 2010 has been, and continues to be, a year focused on organizational/information technology infrastructure. There has been good progress in these areas, enough that I would like to see Mach 30 use 2011 to begin working on hardware projects, specifically the very small scale engineering projects I have started to call "kites". This idea has started to gel as the Incorporation Task Force works to complete the IRS 1023 application for 501(c)3 status.
The 2011 budget forecast we have prepared for the 1023 includes funding for three Tier 1 kites, which begs the question, what kind of projects might those be, and how will we go about building and flying them. Here are some random thoughts on those questions.
One more question that bears looking at is how do we know when we have learned enough from a given kite, and how do we know we are ready to move to the next tier of kites?
I've been thinking about how to get more information for the public about becoming a spafecaring nation. Here's one good source that is making space and spaceflight relevent and interesting.
I found an outstanding series of videos from an unlikely advocate of human spaceflight. Steven Colbert's series called "Fall Back Position: Astronaut" chronicals his experience as he goes through "astronaut training" at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Colbert has also contacted the astrnauts onboard the ISS during a live press conference. here's the links to some videos:
Selected NASA related clips from The Colbert Report:
Fall Back Position: Astronaut - part 1
Fall Back Position: Astronaut - part 2
Fall Back Position: Astronaut - part 3
NASA node naming contest, write in candidate
Democracy in orbit
Node 3 naming contest results
Colbert has done many other interview segments with space related individuals. Check out all of his other space related segments too!
Committee Name: Web Devel Team
Meeting type/How called: Special/Called by J.
Location: Phone bridge
Meeting started: 13:35
Meeting ended: 15:00
Next Meeting: TBD
Attending: J., Greg, Van