Thursday, September 24, 2015

Balloon Flying!

Wrapping up balloon flying school, I've completed my solo flights and am endorsed to take the FAA practical test! Photos: flying 7,420 feet and climbing at 300 feet per minute (we were hunting for an Easterly wind!); looking up at burners; firing a burner; and me with my instructor, Brent, looking out over the endless crops of New Jerusalem, California. Like NASA in the 1950's and 1960's, before long we will be testing my pressure suits at high altitudes, reached by balloon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

TEDx Portland Talk 2015

My research group, Pacific Spaceflight, and I had a great time preparing for and presenting at TEDx Portland earlier this year!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Set Altitude!

Setting altimeter before balloon launch in central California!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Balloon Flight School!

I'm being trained in hot-air balloon piloting by balloonist legend Brent Stockwell, pictured in the photo below. Working hard to get my hours logged for certification this summer, a lot depends on the winds! Also photosof working in the shop on a windy afternoon.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Talks at Second Interstellar Congress and TVIW!

I am honored to be invited recently to talk about the anthropology of space settlement at the Second Interstellar Congress at Drexel University this Fall, and the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop in March 2016.

Icarus Interstellar is an international research team working on giving humanity the option of interstellar flight by the end of this century. I have been involved with them since 2012, recently publishing a paper in Acta Astronautica about the population genetics of multigenerational interstellar voyaging. Acta Astronautica is a top, international journal of space exploration technologies, and I am happy to have my paper there as a foundation paper in the field of biological, population-level issues in interstellar voyaging.

The Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop is led by Les Johnson, Deputy Manager of Advanced Concepts at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. You might not know it, but the Tennessee Valley is home to much of the most advanced theoretical and practical work on the development of advanced, 'ultra-deep-space' (interstellar) technologies.

I will talk on my topics, outlined here.

As at a handful of conferences in the last few years, I will be excited to talk with people way beyond science-fiction, and building the science-fact regarding humanity's long-term future beyond the Earth. That material is being assembled at present into my next book, 'Principles of Space Anthropology' (Springer 2018).

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ground Handling -- Back in Action!

Despite a crushing writing schedule at the moment, the other day I could not stand one more moment in the office, and so I went to the park just a few blocks from where I live to take out the wing for some ground-handling. Along with balloon pilot licensing this summer, I am looking forward to a lot of paragliding!

Monday, June 22, 2015

The 'undending' tasks of this book -- the search for informative and recent reference material, the composition of the figures, and the writing of dense summary text -- is after three and a half years coming to an end! Intense work the next 10 days! Sample from the Atlas of Human Prehistory, for release later this year.