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Space: The Final Frontier
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Space: The Final Frontier

  #121 (permalink)
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I hate when that happens...

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  #122 (permalink)
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NASA to deliver new findings on Mars' atmosphere - CNN.com

If there is alien life they'll probably announce that exists as a microorganism first to gauge the reaction of the public before saying there is intelligent life somewhere. I think it's a great way to mitigate the shock factor.

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  #123 (permalink)
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NASA | Thermonuclear Art – The Sun In Ultra-HD (4K)



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  #124 (permalink)
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The Search for Another Earth

Published on Nov 4, 2015
Twenty years ago astronomers discovered the first planet around a sun-like star, 51 Pegasi b. And in the last 20 years, astronomers have discovered thousands of new exotic worlds, begun to characterize atmospheres of faraway planets, and are developing cutting-edge technology to launch us on our search for alien life. Planets with two suns, rogue planets with no star, close cousins to planet Earth. This is the story of the pioneers in planet-hunting and how those who have followed are closer to answering one of humanity’s most ancient questions: Is there life elsewhere in the universe?


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Today 49 yrs ago

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  #126 (permalink)
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Giant New Telescopes To Unlock Science's Greatest Mysteries

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  #127 (permalink)
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Well,
This feels like the place to get started.
First post and all, but I really wanted to drop in somewhere I might have something to share. This forum seems to share a higher order of content so my hope would be this post and the video I mention make the grade.

Couple years ago I had the pleasure to teach a couple engineering software classes (part of what I do to pay bills). NASA Johnson and NASA LaRC. One of the engineers mentioned this video.

Not everyone probably has the patience to read this post. At least watch the video....
I really think it's worth it. You might be surprised to learn what was involved in getting Curiosity on Mars.

I hope it lets me post this video link. If not Bing/Google "Seven Minutes Of Terror" look for the NASA result.







A story and my thoughts to explain why I submit that video
When I went into the field of engineering, design and manufacturing. Of course mom had to come see what all the fuss was about...

We sat down with my computer and I started showing her designs being created with a product called ToolChest (moved on to way more advanced programs now). So I get done with my little demo and mom says to me:

"Does everyone have software / stuff like this now?"
<A Yes mom pretty much everyone is moving to something like this or they are already using something like this.

"You know what has been said about engineers right?"
<A I don't like where this is going

So then she drops the following on me:
"Engineers that came before you went to the moon with a slide rule, with all this (meaning software etc) what have you done for me lately?"
"Also, Stalin stated there are no famous engineers..."

All I had was a rebuttal for the Stalin thing because well, he killed them all. My theory is that created a pretty significant barrier to possible future fame for the engineers in question.

Now, the comment about the slide rule, mom has a point.
There is nothing else left in the community of engineering that wakes up every day and doesn't serve death or profit. There is just NASA and the stuff like it around the world. Trust me when I say, like it or not. Nobody is working on anything that really benefits you as a "human" outside of organizations like NASA. The rest of the best either work DOD or in a for profit climate. Neither of those being driven to the benefit of humanity.

This is why everyone and I do mean everyone should support the efforts of NASA and the similar programs around the world.

Back to the video, soon as I got home from the Johnson trip I made a point to share the video with mom. My rebuttal was just 20+ years in the making. Where I come from disrespecting mom is a bad idea so I had to tread lightly on the path of telling her she was only 1/2 right back in the day....

What have we done for her lately? Everyone thinks Curiosity is cool and all, they have no freeking clue what was required and what had to be INVENTED to put something the size of my compact car on that planet. The video speaks to some of the engineering required to pull that off.

Mom was 1/2 right, because she was 1/2 right. There are no famous engineers and for that reason she believes "what have you done for me lately". It is disheartening for the profession. Everything around us that wasn't here a billion years ago we owe to the mind of an engineer (or team of) that nobody will ever know the name of....

At NASA Johnson they have "Rocket Park". There is a rocket (one of few remaining) inside a building on the grounds. Along the wall next to the rocket exists a sort of timeline of the program with quotes from folks along the way, pictures mentions of milestones etc.

I should have taken pictures of it all. I didn't and there is no measure of my regret for that. One of the more significant quotes on the wall went something like this: (I'm old and the memory ain't what it was so some leeway would be appreciated). There is much more to the quote but I remember more of the meaning than I do the literal text.

A NASA Astronaut from the early days of the program:
"Spaceflight is very dangerous, no matter what happens this work is too valuable to be stopped or discontinued".
He was killed in a launch incident not long after that statement...

Bad days at NASA involve the loss of coworkers and or friends by pushing forward with the best intentions. Only to have the WORLD play the result like a broken record over all forms of media for days / weeks on end. To be followed only by questions about continued funding for everything they do.

Trust me, you are getting real value for your tax dollars with these folks. They are some of the best damn engineers your money can buy. Being I am a self employed conservative that's saying something...

Possibly I see things differently given my profession. We should spend more time thinking about the accomplishment, not the result. Those are frankly not the same thing in my opinion. For instance in a way I think folks here can relate with. Take Big Mikes success with his trading. I would bet most folks focus on the results of such an endeavor based on how much money it makes or doesn't.

Me, I look at that in the context of "duh" making money that's the goal. What matters or what is possibly MOST significant is what had to be overcome to be in the place where he is able to do the science of if/not said thing does make money. The money or lack of it, is a byproduct of the real accomplishment. The pics from Mars are a byproduct of the real accomplishment. The video covers the NASA Curiosity real accomplishment...

The folks in the video are not famous, you likely won't see them anywhere else.
While I didn't get to chat with the folks in the video specifically I did get the chance to really interact with probably 30-40 different engineers during my time at NASA Johnson and LaRC, I'm pretty confident saying being famous is the least of what they think or worry about. I'm willing to bet that is the case with every program like NASA the world over.

IMHO, we should share more NASA. We should do a better job of recognizing the HUGE amount of success that has to happen BEFORE "cool pictures from the red planet" find their way to the internet or the engineering disaster we call a TV... That's why I share the video, because it talks about HOW we got to the point of being able to forward science in a significant way on a planet we can't touch...

Sadly, when it comes to engineering for mankind there isn't much else to be proud of.

It's because the folks that make these things happen are not famous, the programs they forward and the people themselves are such treasures for all of humanity. Not everyone can solve the problems they do, everyone can take time to be thankful they try.


And with that I will STFU and share a few pics from the trip to JSC

Best regards,
Sean

If the quality of these pics sucks, cut me some slack. I was still holding a BlackBerry in 2014....

F1 Engine
Someone managed to dream this up, someone managed to figure out how to build it, someone had the stones to ride 5 of them...
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Orion (Note the size of scale with the people in the picture) You might be looking at the smallest, most expensive apartment on Earth... That thing isn't intended to "make trips". Folks are going to be camped in this for a while...
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Even NASA has a sense of humor.
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Sadly NASA Johnson (the ones doing manned spaceflight) didn't get one of the left over shuttles. Personally I think it's a crime they have to build a mock up to display on the grounds....
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William Anders Quote:
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Saturn V:
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Almost not enough building for this thing....
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Mission Control (from the "Slide Rule era")
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Rocket Park:
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  #128 (permalink)
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JohnQ6Pack View Post
Well,
This feels like the place to get started.
First post and all, but I really wanted to drop in somewhere I might have something to share. This forum seems to share a higher order of content so my hope would be this post and the video I mention make the grade.

Great first post! I Love NASA. My sister worked there, if only for a short time as a receptionist I think. To young to care then. LOL
Although NASA did ruin my 18th birthday back in the mid 80's, still love their achievements!

Welcome to futures.io !!

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  #130 (permalink)
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Birth of Planets! Formation of Alien Worlds Photographed for 1st Time

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