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Archive for the ‘Space Tech’ Category

Monday Book Pick: A New American Space Plan

Monday, May 19th, 2014

A New American Space Plan by Travis Taylor, Ringleader of the Rocket City Rednecks

NASA rocket scientist and self identified redneck, Travis Taylor, has a plan for getting America back into space.

Which is something America really needs right now, for many reason which Doctor Taylor lists in this book.  Here is one that he wrote about, and has come to pass.  The US currently has no method of getting Astronauts to the Space Station and back.   Our current President put the budget for the Orion program on life support.  I guess that is G.W. Bush’s fault, since the program started when he was President, so Barry felt he had to kill it.  His solution was to outsource American jobs to Russia.  In case you haven’t been paying attention, the US government pays Russia to get US Astronauts to the Space Station and back.  Now the Russian are saying Nyet to that.   It’s a good thing that the private sector is stepping up, but this is a problem we didn’t need to have.

Unlike this post, Travis Taylor’s book is mostly upbeat and positive.   It should also be read in American high school science classes.

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Rocket City Rednecks

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

I discovered this show by reading one of Travis Talyor’s non-fiction books, A New American Space Plan.   While this post is about the TV show, pick up this book as well.  It’s a well laid out case of why American should be serious about getting into space again and how to do it.

Also take the time to watch the show, Rocket City Rednecks, either by streaming or on optical disk.   This show is about five self-identified Rednecks from Huntsville, AL, two of which are actual rocket scientists from NASA who actually build working gear.  Really cool gear that works.  OK, it works most of the time, but even when they fail, they learn from their mistakes so then can do it better the next time.  That is really one of the important lessons.  It’s OK to fail, as long as you learn from it.   Most of the gear is built in Travis’ father’s garage.   Charles Travis is a retired NASA machinist who worked on the Apollo program, and one of the five Rednecks who star in the show.

I’ve watched about a third of the first season so far, and they have built some really nifty gear so far.  These include a still in order to build a moonshine fueled rocket, the actual rocket, a balloon based observation platform, a working submarine, a radio telescope array using 18″ satellite dishes, under vehicle armor capable of withstanding an IED blast (they drove the pickup truck away afterwards), and a working “Iron Man” suit, that had armor capable of  stopping 9mm handgun rounds, lifting over 100 pounds with a single arm and fired rockets!

Just to add to the overall coolness of this, most of their projects are done over a single weekend with a budget of about $1000.  Keep in mind that three of these Rednecks are current or former NASA employees.  The two active ones have eight advanced degrees in science between them (Travis has five post-graduate degrees.  For those of you who know me, yes, that is one more than Amy currently has).  Rog (Rednect #4) doesn’t have any advanced degrees, but he does have a genius level IQ, and Michael (Travis’ nephew) is mechanically inclined and studying to be a machinist.   Still, if you know basic work working, basic welding, how to solder two wires together, and some basic programming, you and your friends could try some of this stuff.

Which is kinda the whole idea of the show.  To get kids off the XBox and out there building go carts, rockets, radio sets and other cool gear.

This is the kind of show my dad would have loved.  He was 22 year veteran of the Army Corps of Engineers, and would have been out teaching kids how to to build the things the Rednecks are building.

Originally published at Urbin Technology

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Quote of the Day

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

“Is it gonna go to where the astronauts planted the flag?”

Texas democrat and member of the US House of Representatives, Sheila Jackson Lee while being shown video of the Curiosity rover on Mars during a visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

I was going to post this without comment, but frag it, statements that stupid deserve comment.

The democrat from Texas, representing the district the Johnson Space Center is in, is so bloody ignorant of not so distant American history, that she doesn’t know that in 1969, Americans walked on Earth’s moon, not Mars.

This is beyond the level of ignorance so called “tolerant” liberals accuse Republicans in their fantasies.  If anyone with a “R” behind their name, every news talking head would be leading their broadcast and the propagandists at NBC “News” would special graphic and running it constantly.

Since the Congressperson in question is a far left extremist liberal democrat, you can count on hearing crickets chirping before CNN runs this.

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Bill Whittle: The Free Frontier

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Bill Whittle on what the American Space Program should be like.

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Monday Book Pick: Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth by Les Johnson, Gregory L. Matloff and C. Bangs.

A bit of hard science for you geeks and Greenies (real greenies, not watermelons), describing on how to use resources of the solar system for terrestrial benefit. Yup, going to space is good for Mother Gaia. Move your hard industry and power production to Earth orbit and mine the resources of the Solar System.

Monday Book Pick Archive

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Monday Book Pick: Back to the Moon

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Back to the Moon by Travis S. Taylor and Les Johnson.

This near future adventure story about the return of maned space exploration, starting by returning to the Moon, was written by two actual NASA engineers, with a fistful of degrees in the hard sciences between them. Rousing good space adventure!

Monday Book Pick Archive

Obama administration plans to destroy the $100 Billion Space Station

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Our Dear Leader’s appointees at NASA use the more PC term, “De-Orbit”, which means letting the incredibly expensive International Space Station drop out of orbit and burn. Any large leftover chunks are supposed to fall into the Pacific Ocean.

The station has cost $100 billion to put into orbit, build and maintain, so far. No plans to replace it with something useful that I’m aware of.

Hopefully, for $100 Billion, it will provide a decent lightshow for US tax payers on the way down.

Look at this way, $100 Billion is only double what the US tax payers got stuck with for BHO’s failed mortgage foreclosure scheme (it was supposed to prevent more foreclosures, instead, the numbers have shot upwards), and it’s only 20% of what Barry claims he can same in fraud and waste in the part of the American health care system that the government already runs. Personally, I’d have more faith in his scheme to inflict a socialist medical system on the American people if he cleaned up the fraud and waste in the current government run system first.

There is actual, real science being done on the ISS, so why is our Dear Leader looking to scrap it? Could it be that there isn’t enough pork for his democrat cronies in Congress to skim off it? As far as I can tell, there are no plans to replace it, even though it is a lot cheaper to go to the Moon from Earth orbit than it is to go from the bottom of Earth’s gravity well to the Moon, or Mars, or…

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