Thursday, January 08, 2015

SpaceX Redux on Saturday One Dark Thirty

"What?!?" you exclaim, as SpaceX scrubs the launch at 3AM PST last Tuesday, "can't Space-X get anything right?"

Why yes, they can. This would've been the 13th Falcon 9 launch, had everything gone off without a hitch, but hitches happen, especially when the vehicle in question has only flown only a hand full of times. To me it's far better to abort a launch and delay the next launch attempt for a few days rather than go ahead and launch and have Dragon not make it to orbit, thus delaying the arrival of the CRS delivery to the space station by several months.

The launch has now been rescheduled for early Saturday morning at 4:45AM EST/1:45AM PST, with livecast beginning at 4:30AM EST/1:30AM PST. You can find more info here with the webcast being covered here. Enjoy!

And Now on a more Somber Subject

By now, most everyone has heard of the news of the attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo". This event has hit me especially hard. The attack on Charlie Hebdo was both a tragic loss of life and a global attack on free speech and a free press, and therefore an attack on every blogger, video maker, writer, commenter, and any person who expresses an opinion out loud, in short, all of us.

We built our country (the United States) with the expressed safety of our rights being paramount, and we expressed that in the Bill of Rights, which is a list of the first ten ammendments to the U.S. constitution, and which established the rights of the citizens. The first ammendment and one might conclude the most important ammendment of that document guarantees every citizen freedom of religion (and freedom from a particular religion), freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. So that is why I have changed my avatar to "Je Suis Charlie" in honor of the lives lost in Paris, and as a reminder that today, we are all Charlie.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Space-X CRS-5 to Barge Its Way into History

Space-X plans to launch it's 6th visit to the ISS tomorrow morning starting at 6AM EST/3AM PST. The launch can be viewed live on If all goes well, this launch will be followed shortly by an attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon-9 onto a ocean-going barge parked out in the Atlantic Ocean. Space-X has been incrementally gearing up for this goal over the course of a number of Falcon 9 launches and experimental flights using their Grasshopper test vehicle. The purpose of this test is to reduce the cost of spaceflight by re-using the major components of the rocket vehicle.