Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas 2006!

Merry Christmas! Hopefully everyone is having a wonderful holiday this year. We are, visiting family, making huge vats of egg-nog, giving gifts, ect.

I'm getting a lot of stuff related to setting up an apartment. No more dorm room or microwaved coffee for me. Preparing food is getting more complicated, involving things like plates, metal silverware, sautee pans, and other assorted instruments.

The reason for all this being: I'm done, I've graduated, and I'm off to a new career in the Air Force doing aeronautical engineering!

(It's almost surreal being done with college. Up until two nights ago, I was still having nightmares about final exams! :-P )

Anyway, have a merry Christmas. Good luck classes of December 2006 everywhere. ASBC class of 2006, I'll be seeing you in Alabama shortly.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Shooting Star 12-13-06

I think I just saw a meteor or something. It went across the sky fast enough, about two seconds before winking out. Pretty neat. I don't look at the sky enough anymore, esp since you can't see squat from school.

Now if it had been just 100 meters wider, it may have even made the news. (Evil laugh).

Doesn't Quite Handle Like an Airplane

That is my new model Lunar Cargo Lander.

Here you see it hauling a standard EELV cargo can down to the lunar surface.

The rationale behind the lander is that it takes cargo from low lunar orbit to a lunar base on the surface, and vice versa using in situ-derived propellants. (Some lunar in-situ propellant ideas use common lunar materials like powdered aluminum and liquid oxygen. They are easy to produce, but give you cruddy Isp.)

The propellant tanks may be out of realistic scale, I'll have to do the math later.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Launching into the solar system: Celestia Syle!

Celestia is one awesome piece of free software. It's a planetarium where you can set up all sorts of scenarios, not to mention just view the solar system. If you download the extra high res textures from Celestia Motherlode, Earth and Mars especially begin to look very impressive.

The software allows the placement of spacecraft, basing their appearance off of .3ds files.

Not content to leave the simulated solar-system just glittering there in the simulated sky untouched, I downloaded one of the .3ds editors, Anim8or, off of Celestia Motherlode and have been launching my own "space-program".

The things I find to unwind after exams....

The long range personnel shuttle out for a GEO mission. If you look closely, you can even see some astronauts staring out the window. The belcher among the crew is being cycled out the airlock.

Here you can see my space station. Another of those long range personnel capsules is drifting nearby, along with two experimental engines.

.3ds files and .ssc files will be posted later

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Time to blog!

Well, not quite yet, though I have a lot of things backed up that I'd like to blog about.

First - my econ exam on Tuesday.

But I'm almost out of the hole. Last week was a nightmare in terms of the deadlines and due dates and projects and multiple all-night meetings and......

I'm coming down off a week-long caffiene high coupled with a complete lack of meaninful sleep. But I made it. I'm still intact. I retained my sanity (hee - hee .... hee). Now I need to pull out of school mode and focus on what's next: Commissioning! Graduation! The Air Force! Amazing to think that just one week from now, I'll have a BS in Astronautical Engineering and will be on my way to a real job. Just two days ago, my time horizon was measured in hours till CFD project due, and now it has to expand to encompass the next months of training.

More to come soon.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

An Important Point about Freedom of Speech

An important point about freedom of speech and the internet.