Thursday, July 19, 2012

NASA- a) MEALTIME & b) Don’t bet the farm!

MEALTIME: You know how it is hard to know at breakfast what you will feel like for dinner ? How about planning the whole menu a little in advance, say for 2030? That’s what NASA researchers are doing. Here’s the challenge: Plan a meal for 6-8 people, for no less than two and a half years away from Earth, have the proper vitamins and nourishment in the meals, plan for enough variety, take into consideration that for a year of that time they will be on Mars itself so they will have a little more leeway, be able to be more creative. Oh, and everything needs to be vegetarian.

There may an added prerequisite for future astronauts! Thanks to an environment of partial gravity; they may need to do a small amount of cooking, nothing major: chop vegetables, and boil water with a pressure cooker. Fruit and vegetables could begin the growing in a hydroponic solution while on the six month hike to Mars. Then move to the more space-friendly growing chambers once they have arrived.

Pasta primavera de la celestial. Delicioso!

Don’t bet the farm! Inquiring minds say that when America next visits the heavens it will be aboard one of three contenders in the new commercial space race: Alliant Systems Liberty space-craft, United Launch Alliance's Atlas 5, trailed by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule in the third position. I disagree. The first two are the “safe” choices. Safe in that the technology has been done.

Liberty is based upon a five segment rocket booster /The Atlas five has been launched 31 times in a row safely.

That’s wonderful! I really am happy for them, but excuse me if I route for technology moving forward AND being safe! Besides having safely taken off, docked with the ISS, and landed, well, splashed down for now, they have some really cool technology they will be rolling out. The plan is that when they take off, the portions of the rocket that usually just gets ejected when they become useless, will instead be reusable. That will be programmed to fly back down to a preordained location.

There are other distinct yet subtle differences that I prefer. The major part; if the spaceship is made of a newer and here-to-for unchecked technology what are they going to do, make sure nothing goes wrong cause there are two of the standards waiting to take SpaceX’s place. Also, at first I was unhappy that America could claim to be the greatest country on the Earth and stop going into space. And then the commercial space battle began and I realized – when they maintain it, o-rings go, stuff is so old that eventually it must be lain to rest. A commercially company can offer to them the technology that Americans won’t let them build right now and keep it fresh. It really is the best of both worlds.

So I guess what I am saying is this, NASA has the coolest toys, always has, the greatest minds, next to Darpa and I have no doubt that as long SpaceX is able to deliver, that they’re going to be the ones to beat.


I am going into New York City this weekend to the Intrepid Museum to view the Shuttle. I’ll take Pics!!!

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