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CAPTAIN’S LOG 26 DECEMBER 2013…THE BIG FLIGHT

December 26, 2013

NO LAUGHING MATTER

Well I am not the only one building a new transportation module…

You may not all be aware of my other blogs.  I venture off the planet a bit in my other blog:  http://spiritspacecadet.wordpress.com/  I recently proposed a media adventure to explore the human factors of a long space voyage.  Great space fantasies are fun, but real space adventures are coming in the near future.  There won’t be any encounters more alien than the human sharing the ride with you either!

Do we really know our friends before we share a room with them, or get married to them?  There should be room for a little humor, but also for real issues as well.  It will take some kind of faith to trust a few souls to share your life in total isolation with no turning back.  Perhaps religion is not your crutch, but what do you lean on when the rug is pulled out from under you?

Already the technology and even the destination are hotly debated.  Do we go back to the moon, the space station, or press on to Mars?  Do we use several small rockets to assemble a vehicle on orbit, or use one huge budget wrecking monster rocket?  There are some strong groups forming now who can roll past the petty arguments and produce results.  I have met many builders at Space Access conferences in Phoenix and in my travels for business.

IMG_6203 SPACE ACCESS 2013

The Golden Spike Company and Mars One are highly qualified teams with big dreams.  Elon Musk and Spacex are surpassing NASA efforts at light speed.  But even these well credentialed teams are not known by the general public.  The public knows Captain Kirk though.  Science fiction may be more understood than science reality.  We are nearly at the point of departure; we are leaving the planet…now!

So we have a lot of power moving ahead without all the potential support and understanding that could be available.  Voters don’t even know how congress is funding a long string of failed space concepts at NASA.  Pork barrel interests have had NASA derailed for decades.  Private ventures are providing far more useful solutions at much lower costs now.  But what are we doing to support the producers, the movers and the shakers?

I want to get involved with the Golden Spike Company first because they may be able to offer manufacturing capacity on the Moon to build deep space vehicles.  This would be far easier than launching assemblies from the earth’s gravity.  It also offers low gravity so your tools will fall to the ground instead of becoming dangerous space debris!  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/16/jim-lovell-apollo-13-joins-golden-spike_n_3286627.html

Perhaps it is silly to consider a comedy-drama trip to Mars as I proposed, because teams want serious treatment.  However, really good storytelling can ignite the fires of innovation.  A little humor should be in any good tale.  Star Wars and Star Trek both allowed a little comic relief in their grand story lines.  A lot of science has come out of “Star Trek” and many creative people find their inspiration there.  A trip to the Moon or Mars will stretch technology and human relations.  We can also remember that the beginnings of Moon exploration also carried a spiritual reminder.  This trip presents a lot to think about.

I can see opportunities for media to aid the development of space exploration.  Early on there are many teams building actual hardware for missions.  Mars One is commissioning a probe, and the Golden Spike Company called on Northrop Grumman to propose a Lunar Lander.  Actually there are many smaller groups doing real research in this direction now.  I have already taken a small tour of new space ventures with my trailer.  This blog goes back two years to the first steps of my own venture.  There is a lot of great science shaping up today.

NGlander

NORTHROP GRUMMAN POD FOR GOLDEN SPIKE…smaller than my trailer!

An educational program might visit the many teams and do interviews in the actual new space world.  At times these venues are pretty great visual experiences too.  Rocket tests in the Mojave Desert are fun, and the scenery changes as the sun sets into a dark sky starscape.  Some ventures are in mundane surroundings, but their toys are surreal in themselves.

 IMG_6305

SCALED COMPOSITES WHITE KNIGHT

Educational interviews are informative, but they don’t have to be boring.  Myth Busters and the Science Guy can work this pretty good, so it is possible.  But more is possible as well.  Why stop with reality?  We don’t have to venture into silly fantasies to envision what may be coming in the near future.

IMG_6325

SMALL BUT REAL FLIGHT HARDWARE

If we interview a real space venture in a stimulating environment one might fade to a projection of things to come in the near future.  Based on these team’s visions, what might the human experience be on the real mission?  Can a good film team help put together a short dramatization based on the proposed technologies?  What happens when the human factors meet a few unexpected events?  A flight simulator program often has the instructors throw a mechanical issue at the pilot and crew.  A long range deep space mission could have a few human factors as well.  After all, even NASA had one love triangle issue.  But they had some real drama in technology as well.  Want some material?  http://waynehale.wordpress.com/

If you watch “Vikings” you will see the human behavior that inspired the pattern for Klingons.  We don’t need aliens in our story, we are aliens!  When humans leave the earth, they will export all the drama of recorded history with them.  I hope there aren’t any unsuspecting aliens on their path!  The creative writing of “Mash” and “Northern Exposure” show some of the relationships that can be both serious and humorous at the same time.  I wouldn’t even object to having a “Devious Maid” on board…we could handle one (illegal?) alien!

IMG_6335

PAUL BREED AND TEST ROCKET

Can you offer a reality interview and fade to a fun projection in the same format?  Let the rocket guys contribute ideas…they’re “Trekkies” too!  “MASH” was actually covering a very serious topic during the Vietnam war.  Rocket guys have a sense of humor, but it can look at other issues as well.  Celebrities are getting in trouble every day for remarks and opinions.  The real people who go to the Moon may be a little like the people who settled the American west and Alaska.  Perhaps some will be trying to leave their past behind them.  Others may be bringing their issues along to share later in the trip.  It could turn out to be a real trip!

IMG_6398

BILL COLBURN WITH A LITTLE “MINI” HYBRID MOTOR

If the real builders offer their vision of the voyage ahead we should respect their technology enough not to get silly with it.  I don’t think we really need to show the astronaut in “Victoria’s Secret” attire if they should be in protective gear.  It may be interesting to consider what happens if there is a fly inside your helmet when you seal it up though.  I recall hearing about a pilot getting permission to eat a spider trapped inside his helmet!

TPOL

 TOO MUCH TOPOL TOPOGRAPHY? no wonder they call him “Trip”!

(Btw this did NOT save the series, though it was better than the bare buts on “NYPD Blue”)

There is room to consider the potential for drama as well.  Radiation and meteorite collisions are fuel for real crisis.  Apollo 13 couldn’t pull in to a gas station on their vacation trip.  There will have to be some solutions pre-positioned on the way to Mars.  Ancient sailing ships carried tools and timbers to rebuild masts if needed.  Your technology interviews can build a scenario for the storyline based on their projection of real solutions.  One might do interviews followed by a fictional projection, or take many contributions towards a spin-off with reasonable story telling in very real technologies.

 IMG_6359

 GETTING SOME HANDS ON TRAINING FROM BILL COLBURN ON THE MINI

Living in small spaces is a challenge anywhere.  Small spaces in space are full of challenges.  My parents lived in a trailer in Arizona until mom said to dad: “You’re breathing my air”.  Keeping the technology working was a challenge on my trailer travels as well.  But at least I could have an “Extra Vehicular Activity” by taking a walk with the dog.  Great scenery and fresh air is an earth specialty.  I am confident that builders and writers can make a grand adventure story that bridges today with tomorrow; Science Fact.

 IMG_6042

 EARTH SPACE

This is a symbiotic relationship like “Dax” and her “Trill”.  The great ventures need workers and donors.  They are becoming real commerce, and they are making new jobs in a slow economy.  Success stories like “Spacex” may rescue us from being a non-space faring nation as we are since the Shuttle was grounded.  They are making the dream affordable again.  We need to support new space and education is needed.  Dry education like the NASA television channel will not do the job. Check this discussion out:

IMG_6409

 MOJAVE DAVE

Are you looking for an educator who is known by the public for very human portrayals on television?  How about one who is also known for his deep interest in science education?  Did I mention “MASH” previously?  Alan Alda is already deeply rooted in science education!

http://www.centerforcommunicatingscience.org/alan-alda-2/

IMG_6438

 MOJAVE DUSK

IMG_6442

MOJAVE DARK SKIES

So grab your remote and tune in our space program to meet another real rocket science team.  They have a different hobby, but they still have their feet on the ground…so far at least!  A team of experts like Xcor might grant us an interview with their own dream bird in the nest with us.  Their hanger must be a cool place.  Take the interview out to the engine test site, and grill some steaks as the sun sets.  Now the campfire discussion moves to their vision of the journey ahead.  We discuss some situational topics for the storytellers.  Script writers are bouncing ideas off the team as the stars climb in the night sky.

IMG_9623

DESERT DINING WITH DON

Now we fade to a future crew experience tale based on the campfire imaginations brewed that night.  We may be in the actual flight craft, or in a simulation of their vision of a distant future technology.  Real issues and responses can be based on actual knowledge and pilot flight experiences.  What will happen when flight rates increase and new adventures unfold on each flight?

Lynx1

MOJAVE DREAMS:  XCOR LYNX COCKPIT VIEW

IMG_6447 MOJAVE DOZING…STAR VIEW PENTHOUSE

As we catch our breath from the night flight (of fantasy) we can smell the coffee before the morning or actual rocket testing.  I take my cot off the blast bunker where I slept under the stars.  Cameras are ready and the engine test is in the final countdown…5,4,3,2,1, ignition!

IMG_6454

 MOJAVE BLAST OFF BREW

OLD1

 OFF TO THE FUTURE…195?

I grew up with the book that featured this image and all the anticipation it represented.  It has not come into being in our time but don’t think it hasn’t been seriously considered in our time.  Horizontal launch with a boosted rail is still being dusted off; the dream is still alive.

NASA HOTL 2

NASA HTOL

NASA PROPOSAL IN 2010

SP12

AND CAN WE FORGET…EXODUS AEROSPACE!

SP13

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hillsspace/hills-space-plane?ref=live

OK; THIS MY PERSONAL SELF PROMOTION!

I am proposing a study to find interest from production people and fun ventures with real hardware visions.  One group did a few episodes of Mars fun and may still have a little interest along with their extensive credentials:  http://watchsolo.com/

I will be at Space Access 1014 in Phoenix this April.  Dates and locations will be announced soon.  Don’t confuse this with the international convention of the same name.  We are much more affordable and still draw top talent in the USA.  http://www.space-access.org/

This is a great place to meet the movers in space while enjoying a casual environment with opportunities for meal chats and interviews.  I may even invite some to meet at my trailer in the Tonto National Forest for a starry night cookout and interview.  It would be a shame for everyone to come to Arizona and not see the dark sky universe!

SW1

My new project trailer will feature aluminum construction and built in computers for function and for atmosphere to dream by.  The trailer is about the size of the Golden Spike lunar pods and will just fit a couple of folks and some equipment.  The back can be opened up to allow camera angles of a crew in “flight”.  Flat Screen TV on the front wall…”On screen Mr. Sulu!”  Can we find California custom car builders to provide some hydraulic “rock and roll”?

 SW7

 In Wyoming the prairie winds may even allow the dream to take flight!

SW8

THIS AIN’T KANSAS TOTO!

IMG_6504 HEY…THIS GUY REALLY TOOK ME TO MARS!

(Red Rock Canyon Park Nevada, James T. Kirk is buried near here!)

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From → NEW SPACE

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