Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Potpourri XLIX

Interesting stuff out there today. Let's start with...

Buzz Aldrin has his own web site, and apparently I'm now on the mailing list. Gosh, I wonder how that happened. 8-)

Forbes Magazine is questioning the financial health and viability of the Constellation Program.

I asked a couple folks what they thought the cause might be of the Air France crash. Scott had some thoughts...

As I type this I’m hearing that wreckage was found, but found from a C-130. It doesn’t look like a ship will get there until tomorrow. Considering all the flotsam one finds even when sailing the “empty” parts of the world’s oceans there’ll have to be some serial-number matching before anyone can say for sure if that particular stuff came from that particular airplane, or from an airplane at all.

The main thing to keep in mind is that accidents like this rarely have a single cause.

The storm idea, for example. Sure, there’s no aircraft strong enough to withstand a storm that’s big enough; and composites need special protection from lightning. That said, aircraft fly through the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ICTZ) hundreds of
times per day. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a Singapore Airlines. Or Malaysian, or Garuda, etc. The tops of some storms in the ICTZ can top out in the mid-50,000 feet range. You have to fly around them as you can’t fly over them unless you’re in a U-2.

...and here's an detailed meteorological analysis of the crash area at the time.

Obviously I'm not the target audience for this, but if you're a conservative and you like rap, you might enjoy this YouTube video. Oy.

From Cassie, a link to an IEEE article by Elon Musk.

The official notice on the members of the Augustine human spaceflight panel matches the earlier rumor posted on the Orlando Sentinel.

Not going to explain this, just going to ask that you watch it.

An extended blog and photo review of the new Disney Vacation Club at the Contemporary Resort.

The International Space Station now has a full staff of six astronauts. About bloody time. Now we'll see what they can do with it.

Scaled Composites has had its first test firing of the hybrid motor that will power SpaceShipTwo.

No comments: