Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Congratulations to Our Team Member!

Today our new team member, Trent T. of Seattle, was accepted to the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Scientist-Astronaut traing program; it is described below:

"For those holding a B.S. Degree from an accredited university, the PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Qualification Program at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a five-day, fully immersive training program that will provide the skills required to effectively conduct research on the next generation of commercial space vehicles as part of Project PoSSUM. Upon graduation, you will be fully trained and qualified to participate in PoSSUM graduate specializations, become a PoSSUM educator, or to fly to space as a PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut!"

From Pacific Spaceflight that now makes two young aviators-in-training, the first was Alexander K., now a pilot-in-training at the Hillsboro Air Academy. In the photos below, Trent in a recent pressure test, and below that, Alexander K. when I visited him in central Oregon during some of my own flight training!

I'm very proud of these buddies of mine! They're the generation who will begin to explore again beyond Low Earth Orbit in the large project of human space settlement beyond Earth. Best luck, fellas!

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Tech Talk at Oregon Institute of Technology

They've now posted the talk given in mid-2016, titled "Private Development of a Low-Cost, Lightweight, Launch-Reentry Pressure Suit". I think if it plays on this page, half the images are cut off, so best to click here for the direct link.

Balloon Work on Snow Day!

My buddy Trent helped me do some routine work on the balloon this weekend. Beautiful snowy and windy weather!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Flying and Other Vehicles

In sailing, flying, climbing and Arctic 'man-hauling' expeditions worldwide I've been lucky to build, board and use all kinds of craft. In the diagram below (made last year) I compare my balloon, an RX-7, to some other interesting craft. Back to flying after Christmas with the family! A lot of flights scheduled for 2017!

And a great photo showing balloon shadow during landing back in September! Landings are so interesting in part because our descent and horizontal rates, below 1,000 feet, are much like those of an Apollo lunar lander!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My Talk at the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop

Early this year I was thrilled to receive an invitation from NASA's Dr. Les Johnson, of the Marshall Space Flight Center, to do a presentation on human biological and cultural adaptation to environments beyond Earth at the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop. Les's expertise is in 'exotic propulsion systems', some of them entirely theoretical and aimed at allowing humanity to explore beyond our solar system. This is far-out stuff! But we must begin somewhere. I've arranged for Les to be here in Portland to talk for the Rose City Astronomers and at PSU's Aerospace Society in Spring 2017. Here's my 25-min talk and some Q and A at the end. All of this material is being worked into my upper-undergraduate / graduate-level text "Principles of Space Anthropology: Establishing a Science of Human Space Settlement" (Springer 2018).

Friday, December 16, 2016

Chilly Times

A snow and ice basting of downtown Portland has closed everything down. Walking the streets, when I inhale the icy air and smell the ice, and hear the crunches underfoot, I'm transported back to many snowy places. Today I thought about my first expedition to Arctic Alaska in 2007. What a place! I had a -70F windchill one day, the wind found a gap in my neoprene facemask and slashed at my skin like a knife!