Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Another Visitor!

The other day I was thrilled to have a visiting high school student, Joseph T., and his Mom, come by the shop / my home. Joseph has exotic ideas for spacecraft and is designing a capsule to take him around the moon on a no-landing mission. He has professional training in sailmaking and is equally interested in physics. History shows that it's exactly from such 'crazy dreamers' that many advances are made.

Was on jury duty this week but starting tomorrow very EXCITING fabrication AND pressure testing of the new suit!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ten Hours

Ten hours' fabrication today / tonight assembled a new suit bladder from five textile patterns laying on the floor, cut last night. The suit design is subtly and substantially improved over the prior design, first flown last summer. I think this new design is very close to the final flying design for this summer's high flights! The fit is finely-tailored and exactly what is needed, it slips on and off and has extra room where needed and constrictions where they are needed.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Year Ago Today!

Signing balloon purchase papers over to me in Flint, Michigan before the long drive back to Portland!

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster

I saw an updated visualization of this at Google headquarters in summer 2016. Completely mind-melting and inspiring! Click to link to YouTube.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rocket Chair and New Coverall!

First photo is my buddy Peter Madsen taking 7g's in his rocket-chair-centrifuge in Copenhagen -- inspirational! He is working on reaching space in his home-built rocket. Plenty of critics on the sidelines, just as there were of Robert Goddard and so many other original thinkers. While critics talk, Peter builds!

Second photo, tonight I seamed together the first draft of the Mark VII pressure suit coverall! Flameproof textile, even flameproof Nomex/Aramid thread -- taking as few chances as I can! We'll be flying again late Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter -- a lot of flying!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Early Phases of a Science

"...the early phases of a science require...a certain disregard for the formalisms and pedantic, creeping constructions of the ultimate scientific edifice. Perhaps what is essential is a foundation of sensible, if vague, ideas and orienting attitudes--correct in their broadest sweep if not in their precise predictions."
-- From p.701 of Hailman, J.P. 1970. Ethology Evolving. Science 168(3932):700-701.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Adaptation to Mars

How could people possibly survive on Mars? Won't radiation fry their brains? How would children develop? These general questions are why I am writing a technical, specific book outlining the principles of biological and cultural adaptation that will allow our species to explore beyond Earth, and live beyond Earth, escaping the extinction trap that Earth has been for 99% of all known life to date. So here is one recent diagram not generalizing but saying very specifically what we can expect in one instance, the development of standing and walking among Mars children. On that planet, gravity has about 1/3 the 'strength' of Earth's and yes, children will develop different physiques and even different habitual gaits to walking and running and they will even express themselves, with body language, slightly differently than Earth people. A slow differentiation, both biological and cultural, will start with the earliest generations on that planet.