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View Diary: It Must Have Been Beautiful to Do Science In Those Days. (78 comments)

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  •  I don't know if you work in an advanced field, (6+ / 0-)

    but we that do still make our own apparatus.  

    The general rule is, if you can buy it, do so, when you can't (because it doesn't exist, isn't accurate enough, won't survive the test, etc.) make it.

    One problem I've had recently though is that the "freshouts" we hire have never done this before.  I think there is a virus in our universities if we graduate engineers who don't know how to conceive, design and build their own apparatus.  Thanks for hopefully embedding in your kids the message that they don't need to accept that mentality.

    Of To We. Proof of Obama's 'plagiarism'. Can we trust a person who blatantly absconds with prepositions and pronouns?

    by nsfbr on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 08:27:14 PM PDT

    •  That actually, IMHO, is a problem that (0+ / 0-)

      we'll face more and more.  Engineering education seems to have become more and more theoretical, and I find it interesting that a lot of the success we are seeing in the NewSpace is coming from people who have a history of actively building stuff.

      •  NewSpace? (0+ / 0-)

        Explain please?

        Of To We. Proof of Obama's 'plagiarism'. Can we trust a person who blatantly absconds with prepositions and pronouns?

        by nsfbr on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 08:51:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NewSpace (0+ / 0-)

          basically, it companies that are actively working on space development - Companies like Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic, XCOR, Bigelow Aerospace, Orion Propulsion, Armadillo Aerospace.  At somepoint, it will re-combined with "old space"  (Boeing, Lockheed, etc), but they are still 2 different industries, IMHO - the key is whether you think there is a real market, outside of governmental spending, to put humans in space.  

          Makes sense?

          •  My personal view is that those names (0+ / 0-)

            represent a very wide span of capabilities from novice to fairly capable.  I also don't recognize the absence of companies that span the range from the best of that lot to the giants.  I in fact work for one of those companies in the middle - and there are others.  

            So, from my perspective, the distinction is kind of distracting.  

            And so that you know, NASA has little to do with the vast majority of space related activity.  They just do  the stuff involving either 1)People, which in my view is a complete waste of money, and 2)high risk science, which they have contracted out more and more.

            NASA was once a proud and unique agency.  Today it is an underfunded, politicized mess.  It is why I left over a decade ago to go do real work.

            Of To We. Proof of Obama's 'plagiarism'. Can we trust a person who blatantly absconds with prepositions and pronouns?

            by nsfbr on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 07:10:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

              represent a very wide span of capabilities from novice to fairly capable.  I also don't recognize the absence of companies that span the range from the best of that lot to the giants.  I in fact work for one of those companies in the middle - and there are others.  

              First, the list wasn't meant to be complete - there are numerous other companies that could go in there - this list was just an example of what should be considered as NewSpace.  

              So, from my perspective, the distinction is kind of distracting.  

              The distinction isn't capabilities, but purpose and management.  1)  Every one of those companies mentioned is actively working on human spaceflight systems, independent of NASA - in other words, true, large scale space development 2)  The companies are still in the startup/enterpenrial phase.  Its no accident that the only money Boeing has spent on human spaceflight is in pursuit of NASA's Orion.

              I should admit that thats not quite true with Orion, since they aren't doing active vehicle development, but knowing Tim Pickens, I am sure he's got something in mind for cheap human spaceflight.  

              And there are companies that are hard to categorizes - Spacedev and Spacehab both fall in that in between stage, of not quite being NewSpace, but not quite being Oldspace, either.  

              Probably the best bet is to look at some of the diaries I've written in the past, to get an idea as to who should be considered Newspace - or check out Clark Lindsey's http://www.Hobbyspace.com

              And so that you know, NASA has little to do with the vast majority of space related activity.  They just do  the stuff involving either 1)People, which in my view is a complete waste of money, and 2)high risk science, which they have contracted out more and more.

              Actually, yes, I was aware of that.  Borrowing from the Space Report, of the 251 Billion spent on space activities, only 25% of that came from the US Government, while 55% was spent related to Commerical Satellite Services.  I don't work for space company yet, but that will change.

              I am sorry that you have so little disregard for manned activity, and the resources that it opens up to us, but that is the future of spaceflight.  However, you are right about NASA being a mess - its why I am not really interested in working there, after I graduate - I'd much rather work someplace like XCOR, where the goal is to make us a spacefaring society.  

        •  Actually, 2 great stories (0+ / 0-)

          I know Armadillo Aerospace doesn't actually use anyone who was actively trained as aerospace engineers.  They are a bunch of "amateur" rocketeers who came together and started work on pursuing the X Prize.

          And I know another company whose president expects you to know how to use all the tools in his shop (or most of them, anyway)

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