Category Archives: Science

FH Launch in (( STEREO ))

This is really cool. It’s true – the sound is even more mind blowing than the imagery.

Listen with headphones.

https://youtu.be/ImoQqNyRL8Y

But … as impressive as the sound of the video above is with headphones on … you still miss the full body sensation of your innards vibrating from the low frequency rumble. Perhaps listening with headphones AND a really powerful sub-woofer?

360 Launch Video

Everyday Astronaut (Tim Dodd) has posted his 360 degree video of his experience three miles away from the Falcon Heavy launch. He is standing exactly where I was at the final Saturn V launch of Skylab. This is very nostalgic for me and I understand the emotions he must have been feeling.

You can watch it here in full 360 degrees: https://youtu.be/tBhuSTXMCaI *

Tim is doing a fantastic job covering SpaceX and spaceflight in general. His videos are simultaneously highly informative – and – entertaining! His enthusiasm is contagious.

Please check out Tim’s home page (https://everydayastronaut.com) and his YouTube channel.

You can support him via Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/EverydayAstronaut)

Also be sure to check out his online shop (https://everydayastronaut.com/shop/)

If you have not already done so, check out A Blast (off) From My Past  for an accounting of my experience at the Saturn V launch, some 45 years ago.

Related: https://contrafactual.com/2018/02/06/a-blast-off-from-my-past-2/

* I tried to embed the video, but WordPress and/or iOS Safari wouldn’t support 360 in the embedded version.

A Blast (off) From My Past

In honor of today’s Falcon Heavy Launch

Originally published https://contrafactual.com/2017/02/19/a-blast-off-from-my-past/

The image below is a screen capture from one the videos in the previous post on today’s SpaceX CRS-10 launch.


Life comes full circle. In a much earlier post I described what it was like to be standing at the water’s edge in the foreground at the last ever Saturn V launch.

  • The Saturn V F1 engines were the most powerful rocket engines ever made. Each one produced over 1.5 million pounds of thrust. The five F1 engines on the Saturn V made it the most powerful launch vehicle ever at over 7.6 million pounds of thrust. Just over forty years ago on May 14, 1973 [almost 44 years as of this writing], I was lucky enough to be among the press and dignitaries sitting on the bleachers or standing in front of the turning basin at the Launch Complex 39 Press Site for the last ever Saturn V launch. I was 19 years old. My best friend’s aunt was a professional photographer. She got each of us a press pass for the launch of the Skylab space station. For a teenage space fan, who had watched every manned launch since Alan Shepard’s first suborbital Mercury launch, this was truly “dying and going to heaven”. For several days before the launch we got to go on exclusive tours of the launch site. We were able to see Walter Cronkite’s broadcast booth. NASA loaded us up with press packets and thick tomes of specifications. I can not begin to tell you how totally cool this was.


On launch day I was one of the throng of people standing to the left of the countdown clock in the picture above.

  • I was just three miles away from the launch pad. When the engines fired up, the sound of the F1 engines was felt as much as heard. The low base rumbling seemed to reach directly into my chest and vibrate my heart and lungs [dare I say it was nearly orgasmic?]. As the Saturn V rose into the sky, I could smell the burned kerosene of the exhaust as I felt the waves of warm air wafting over me. 
  • This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The SpaceX image inspired me to search the Internet and YouTube for Skylab launch images. I scored big time. The second image is screen shot from the video below. Back in the day I had a fetish for white jeans (probably expressing my inner John Lennon). Trust me – I am in there somewhere.

Full video from 1973

https://youtu.be/JzCXYd2v3xE

The Internet is amazing. Welcome to the future.



Links

https://contrafactual.com/2013/07/20/apollo-11-main-engines-found/

SpaceX OTV-5

SpaceX launch of the US Air Force “minishuttle” Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) X-37B

Another successful launch and landing for Falcon 9. It is beginning to remind me of watching planes take off and land at the airport.

 

 

Side note: the contract to launch OTV-5 was awarded to SpaceX directly, without bid

SpaceX Press Kit

List of Falcon 9 Launches

OK … somebody had to do it. The complete list of every Falcon 9 launch is on Wikipedia!

As of June 25, 2017

  • 37 launches
  • 2 failures (one in flight, one on the launch pad pre-flight)
  • 13 successful landings (8 droneship, 5 Landing Zone 1)
  • 2 resused Falcon 9 boosters (both of which re-landed successfully – one on droneship, the other at LZ-1)
  • 1 reused Dragon capsule

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches

 

So … compare this to the Blue Origin numbers also care of Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Origin)

  • 1 launch and crash landing of the New Shepard 1
  • 5 launches and landings of the same New Shepard 2 booster (up and down – no payload to orbit)

 

    Just sayin’

    80 Seconds

    Watch (almost) EVERY SpaceX Falcon 9 landing attempted … in 80 seconds 

    https://youtu.be/Gum4EVbg7_0

    And that doesn’t even count two back-to-back landings last week on an Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (Atlantic AND Pacific) plus the landing at LZ-1 at the beginning of June. Oh … and don’t forget the May 1st landing at LZ-1. So that makes it 18 landings?

     

    See also

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/25/spacex-iridium-2/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/23/bulgariasat-1/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/13/yaf9lv/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/07/crs-11-falcon-9-landing-close-up/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/04/crs-11-falcon-9-landing/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/05/01/best-footage-ever/

    SpaceX – Iridium 2

    And another successful launch and recovery – this time from Vandenburg CA (polar orbit). Back to back launch and landings.

    New titanium grid fins (as opposed to the original aluminum grid fins) for better heat tolerance.

     

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_spaceport_drone_ship (ASDS)

    http://www.teslarati.com/spacex-set-second-weekend-launch-new-titanium-grid-fins-tested/

    http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/06/24/iridium-2-press-kit

    BulgariaSat-1

    SpaceX does it again … relaunch and landing of another Falcon 9

    Falcon 9’s first stage for the BulgariaSat-1 mission previously supported the Iridium-1 mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in January of this year. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will attempt a landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Link to the Press Kit

     

    Personal observation … I cannot believe the bozos who comment that this is all faked based on video dropouts. When I “watched” the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions live video was rare to non-existent after the initial live launch video.

    You go SpaceX!

    PS


    3rd Wave of E&P Software

    Houston, TX, October 13, 2016 – Bluware Inc., Hue AS and Headwave Inc. will soon join forces to form the most capable and innovative organization in the field of geoscience and engineering software. The new company will boast more than 100 technology professionals spread across offices in Houston, Oslo, Paris and Vietnam.

    “Now is the time to move forward,” said Rick Jones, Bluware CEO. “We see major computing innovations in the form of Multicore Processing, GPUs, Cloud, IIoT, Analytics and Machine Learning. These new capabilities will drive the 3rd Wave of E&P software—bringing new solutions to current problems and empowering industry leaders to tackle a completely new range of challenges.”

    “Over the years the Industry has extracted great value from Nvidia technologies, but the GPU revolution has just begun. The full value of the GPU requires truly modern software architecture to enable interactive and intuitive workflows for rapid and more accurate decision making. We are delighted to see some of our best partners joining forces to extract and deliver more business value from our leading-edge technology investment,” said Paul Holzhauer, Director of Oil & Gas Segment for Nvidia.

    About BLUWARE

    Bluware is a software consulting firm focused exclusively on the upstream oil and gas industry. Founded in 1987, we have worked with the world’s leading operators to create software solutions that maximize the contribution of geoscience disciplines to the business of finding and producing oil. While many other consulting companies center their efforts on business operations, Bluware works with the people who drive the science behind the drilling. We are passionate about finding new ways to use computing technology in pursuit of a better well plan. Our software engineers understand the complex technical concepts involved in subsurface applications and data. Most importantly, we continuously strive to extend the impact of geoscience throughout the well lifecycle. For more information, visit http://www.bluware.com.

    About Hue AS

    Hue develops unique and tailored software and services to solve the most complex visualization and compute challenges for oil and gas E&P. Hue has developed HueSpace, the only software development toolkit created exclusively for E&P that combines exceptional data management, advanced compute capabilities, and state-of-the-art visualization into a single, easy-to-use toolkit, unified by a Core Engine. By working with Hue, oil companies can develop both in-house and commercial solutions that go far beyond what the market and users currently expect. For more information, visit http://www.hue.no.

    About Headwave, Inc.

    Headwave, Inc. is a US / Norwegian company, which aims to augment and ultimately replace the two preceding generations of geoscience software with the third wave geoscience software. The company is headquartered in Houston, TX with offices in Norway and Vietnam. The company recently introduced Headwave 3, the first Third Wave geoscience software product and Foundation for geoscience research, along with products for handling and interactive analysis of unlimited wide-azimuth datasets; stratigraphic and quantitative interpretation; pre- and post-stack interpretation and analysis; and velocity model building for domain conversion. The software is available on Windows or Linux, and takes full advantage of all compute resources (CPUs and GPUs). The Foundation provides fully documented APIs for geoscience and workflow R&D. For more information, visit http://www.headwave.com.

    • • •

    I usually don’t comment on technologies or companies related to my profession on this blog, but in this case I feel that the innovation that the merger/collaboration of these three companies brings to the table is worth commenting on. Just watch the four minute video below and realize that this type of data and performance can be accessed from the cloud. “[the] user only needs a browser … from anything … from an iPad, from a PC, from a Mac, wherever they are in the world.”

    From 2017 Rice Oil & Gas HPC Conference (March 15-16)

     

    This could well be a paradigm shift in oil & gas exploration. 

    CRS-11 Falcon 9 Landing

    Yet another Falcon 9 landing (from yesterday June 3rd) at LZ-1. Note the arrival of the sonic boom just before landing. Starting to get routine (as it should). This was also the first re-use of a Dragon capsule (Woo Hoo). 

    For more info on LZ-1 see:

    For more on the CRS-11 mission see:

    Feels like the 60s again.

    Bergen Park Dreams

    [ I began writing this about the time that iOS 10.3.2 Trashed My iPhone … just now getting back to it ]

    In a previous post I told you briefly of my time living at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory a mile or so west of Bergen Park Colorado in the mountains west of Denver. 

    I lived at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory in Bergen Park from 1976 to 1981 with my newlywed bride, two dogs, and (very briefly) a cat. They were perhaps the happiest days of my life and I still have what I have come to call “Bergen Park Dreams”.

    “Bergen Park Dreams” are essentially what they sound like, dreams about living in Bergen Park … but they have evolved subtly over the years. Initially they were simple reminiscences of actual events at the time, but as time passed they became stranger and stranger. This maybe due to the fact that I had revisited Bergen Park in the mid-90s and more recently in 2015 – boy had things changed.

    My first drive to Bergen Park and the Observatory was in 1975. It was little more than a crossroads with a Conoco station, a mini mart, liquor store, bowling alley, and a few restaurants. Depending on which road out of Bergen Park you chose, you would be on your way to the more populous Evergreen to the south, or on the road to Squaw Mountain and Mount Evans to the southwest, or heading west back to connect to I-70 via Colorado 65. 

    The area west of Bergen Park on Colorado 65 was pristine. It was a Colorado mountain paradise. The Observatory was just off of 65 to the north up a dirt road. Back then, as I said, it was truly a pristine paradise. Elk would graze within a stone’s throw of the upper balcony. Little did I know that it would all change in just a few short years with the development of the Soda Creek community on the south side of 65 and it’s million dollar mini-ranchettes. From 1976 to 1981 I lived in a Colorado paradise worth millions of dollars because I could not afford to live anywhere else.

    In the summer of 1976 the future Mrs flew out to visit me for a week during the summer. We had been dating since 1973 when we had met in fencing class at Broward Junior College near Davie, Florida west of Fort Lauderdale where I lived with my folks. Ok I actually lived in Wilton Manors, an island bounded by natural rivers and man-made canals within Fort Lauderdale, but whatever. 

    I met my wife-to-be in Junior College while attending a fencing class. She was my partner during field camp for the “barbed-wire stretching” section. We had five miles of barbed-wire to stretch along a section of canal that bordered the Everglades. She cut her hand and I cleaned and bandaged it tenderly with love and care. So gentle were my attentions that she soon fell under the spell of my gentle but manly manner and soon we were lying under the shade of a mangrove tree making sweet, sweet …

    Oh wait that was last night’s dream … It was fencing class as in touché, sabers, etc. …

    My wife-to-be in fencing class:

    20130831-171620.jpg

    Ok not my wife … and besides in 1973 the world had not yet been introduced to light-sabers. We used foils, épées, old-school sabers. Her sweet smile and school girl laugh pierced my heart as did the unshielded tip of her épée. When I finally got out of the hospital … OK that was lie. It was fencing class nothing more. But it was the beginning of a 40 year love affair.

    For a picture of my wife-to-be back in 1973, click HERE.

    Where was I? Oh yes, 1976, so this was the first time I had not gone home over summer break and had moved into the Observatory full-time only a few months before in order to establish in-state residency. My wife-to-be was flying out from Miami to visit me. I had gone to the former Stapleton International airport in Denver to pick her up only to find out that her flight was “delayed”. I was unable to get any information regarding the delay. I began thinking … what if the plane had crashed? Would the Arrival Display calmly announce “Hull Loss” or “Plane Crashed”? Of course not. It would announce FLIGHT DELAYED. I finally gave up and drove back to Bergen Park with the weight of uncertainty heavily upon me. Later that night she called from the hotel in which the airline had put them up in Dallas due to engine trouble. She arrived the next day telling me the story of the woman dressed in her wedding gown flying to her wedding which she obviously missed. Not like you could call someone on your cell phone to explain the situation back then – THEY DIDN’T EXIST.

    My wife-to-be spent the week with me in Bergen Park the summer of 1976. It was a wonderful week. I asked her to marry me and, fool that she was, she accepted.  We set the date for December 30th, 1976 when I planned to be home for Christmas break. We chose December 30th because we did not want to be driving anywhere on New Year’s Eve. Before and after her visit and until we were married, life was pretty lonely in Bergen Park. I could drive the old International Harvester back and forth to Golden and stop at any points along the way, but I was broke and spent most of my time studying. Since no mail was delivered to the Observatory (I didn’t even know the address at that time), I had gotten a post office box in Golden that served as my official address. There was also a land line to the Observatory, but I tried to keep the long distance calls to a minimum. My wife-to-be was in nursing school in Miami and was quite busy herself.

    Over the summer of 1976 I had a lot of time to myself. I hiked around the 75 acres of Coors land that the Observatory sat on. I walked or drove into Bergen Park for groceries. I read a lot. I changed and developed the seismic records every night and once a week drive them down to Golden. Life was peaceful and idyllic, when not outright boring. I caught wolf spiders in jars and kept them as pets feeding them moths. OK – that was creepy, but I was desperate for companionship. Introvert that I was – and still am – I treasure my alone time, but there is alone and then there is lonely. I would talk out loud to the spiders, the walls, myself just to hear a voice.

    There was a well on the property that provided all of the water (via an electric downhole pump) and two drain fields. The well was located just to the east of the building and the sanitary septic tank and drain field was located on the other side to the west. There was also a secondary drain field in the front of the building (to the south) near the dirt road up from the main road. This was for the photographic chemicals and rinse water. I had to be careful not to use too much rinse water during the development process or when cleaning the tanks or I would get a spring that ran down the dirt road. Not a problem in the summer, but it would form an ice slick in the winter … which my wife discovered when she slid under her car while getting into it to head to work one frozen morning. It was several minutes before I noticed her screaming for me … an event she tells others to this day.

    I didn’t trust the well, so I would fill jugs of water up from a water spigot at the back of the Green Center building back at the School of Mines in Golden and lug them up to Bergen Park. Cecil H. Green (founder of Texas Instruments) was quite the philanthropist and many buildings are in his (and his wife’s) name. Eventually I had the well water tested and it came back with coliform bacteria at “TNTC” (Too Numerous To Count). My fears were justified. Contaminated ground water had gotten into the well. I would fix this. I found the well head and opened it up. Then I ran a hose from the spigot into the well and turned on the water. Finally came the chlorine bleach, I forget how many jugs of bleach. I let the water circulate – I forget for how long – but long enough to circulate the bleach to every part of the system. Then I let it sit and soak. Then circulate. Then soak. Finally I let the water run and flushed out the bleach until I could smell chlorine no more. Then waited to let the well recharge and flushed it again. Eventually I had the water tested again and it was safe to drink. But for how long? I think I waited a month to get the well water tested again before I felt safe to drink it. With the second test passed, I could stop lugging water. The well water at Bergen Park was perhaps the best water I have ever had. It was delicious … and had the bizarre ability to keep our teeth free of plaque. To this day, only Ozarka Spring Water comes close.

    Anyway, not long after moving to Houston with my first employer out of college I began to have the “Bergen Park Dreams”.  As I said above, they were originally just remembrances of the past, but slowly began to morph into something stranger, an alternate reality. I am back in Bergen Park present day and move back into the Observatory for no apparent reason. Sometimes the Mrs is with me, sometimes not. We are usually our younger selves. Often the area around the Observatory is highly built up, even more than in reality. The dreams are often quite vivid and colorful. Sometimes I also dream about an alternate reality version of Golden and the School of Mines, usually an ultra high-tech version, with many new ultra modern buildings. 

    Dreams are curious things. Mine are often quite interesting. Some folks have the occasional nightmare (scary dreams), me not so much. I tend to think of dreams as the “screen saver” our brain provides while it “defrags.” Sleep is the time our brain sorts and stores our daily memories and our nervous system is flushed of toxins. Sleep is when our muscles are repaired from the damage incurred during our daily workouts. Sleep is also when youngsters grow – and why adequate sleep is so critical for the young. So between nervous system and muscle repair, body growth, and memory fixation we learn that adequate sleep is very, very important to the human condition.

    My occasional “Bergen Park Dreams” are just another aspect of my sleep.

     
    Links in this post:
    https://contrafactual.com/2017/05/24/ios-10-3-2-trashed-my-iphone/
    https://contrafactual.com/2017/05/22/olde-time-radio/
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergen_Park
    https://contrafactual.com/2013/08/31/convoy/
    https://contrafactual.com/2013/09/28/hot-chick/
    http://greencenter.mines.edu
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Howard_Green
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coliform_bacteria
    https://www.ozarkawater.com
    https://contrafactual.com/2014/05/27/sleep/

    CRS-11 ISS Resupply

    SCRUBBED DUE TO WEATHER 

    From http://www.spacex.com/webcast


       

    New milestones for SpaceX

    • First reflight of a Dragon capsule
    • Another re-landing of Falcon 9 booster at Landing Zone 1
    • 100th Launch from LC-39A

    Click to access crs11finalpresskit.pdf

    Launch windows:

    • Primary Thursday June 1 at 5:55pm EDT (21:55 UTC) 
    • Backup Saturday June 3 at 5:07pm EDT (21:07 UTC)

    Olde Time Radio

    Note: please click on the highlighted links included in the text for more information.

    “This is radio station WWV, Fort Collins, Colorado, broadcasting on internationally allocated standard carrier frequencies of 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 megahertz, providing time of day, standard time interval, and other related information. Inquires regarding these transmissions may be directed to the National Bureau of Standards, Time and Frequency Services Section, Boulder, Colorado 80524.”

    At least this is how I remember it from over 40 years when I lived at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory in the mountains west of Denver just outside of Bergen Park. Compare this to the current version as shown in the previous post

    From 1974 to 1981, I was enrolled at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden Colorado (home of the legendary Coors beer re: Smokey and the Bandit). I lived in the dorms from 1974 to 1976. In a move to establish in-state tuition and a SIGNIFICANT cost savings I needed to 1) have my parents stop claiming me on their income tax, 2) establish year-round residence in Colorado, and (most important) 3) fill out the forms and get in-state status (probably easier to do then than now). As luck would have it during my second year at Mines, my undergraduate advisor Maurice W. (Maury) Major needed someone to change the records at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory on the weekends. This provided me with some extra money. When I eventually told him of my desire to establish in-state tuition and that I needed a place to live over the summer, he suggested that I could live at the observatory and change the records every night as part of the deal … and what a deal it was. I got totally free accommodations on 75 acres of Colorado mountain land owned by Coors, continued to get paid a small stipend for changing the records, and the use of an old International Harvester to travel back and forth from Bergen Park to Golden. The Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory was part of the World Wide Standardized Seismograph Network, ostensibly set up to study the internal structure of the earth via earthquake signatures, but actually set up to monitor Soviet underground nuclear tests. For 82 pages of mind numbing detail be sure to read the World-Wide Standardized Seismograph Network: A Data Users Guide. The Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory was instrumental in proving that that the earthquakes Denver was experiencing during the 1960s were in fact caused by the pumping of chemical waste into a disposal well at the Rocky Moutain Arsenal just north of Denver.




      

    Then (1989)

    Click to access bergen%20park%20ca.pdf

     
    Now (2015)

    I took the above photo in 2015 while in Denver attending the wedding of Jess and Brian (a story for another time). As near as I could tell, the land and structure had been sold and someone was converting it to an actual home. When I lived there the first floor contained the seismological recording equipment and the second floor (two-thirds the size of of the first floor) had room for a large “class room”, a small toilet/sink/shower room, and two small “offices” (one of which, next to the bathroom, I used as a bedroom). The other third of the upstairs area was a tar paper and gravel “sun deck” enclosed by a wooden railing.

    Every evening I would go downstairs (note that the stairs were outside) and turn on the short wave radio tuned to WWV. It was part of the vertical cabinet pictured in the image below. The actual seismometers (the x-y-z pendulums), the triangular boxes, were located in a tunnel excavated into the hill behind and to the north of the building. The actual recording equipment … the drums (and galvanometers pictured below the drums) were located in room 103* as indicated in the schematic pictured above. Room 101* contained the radio and time coding equipment. Room 102*/ 102A* contained the photographic developing tanks and the drier.


    Click to access ofr2014-1218.pdf

    Since each seismogram was recorded by light bouncing off of a mirror attached to a galvanometer, I had to work “by touch” in total darkness to change the paper on the drum and develop the paper with the seismic recordings. While working I usually left the radio tuned to WWV as it told me how long to leave the photographic paper in each stage of the development process. Night after night after night after night I heard “This is radio station WWV, Fort Collins, Colorado, broadcasting on internationally allocated standard carrier frequencies of … ” yada, yada, yada until it was burned into my memory as surely has the lyrics to Happy Birthday to You or Back in the USSR

    One night I even tried tuning into other stations specifically trying to locate Radio Moscow. I finally gave up trying after tuning into a station where a man and a woman with obvious mid-west accents were reading questions from that week’s “mailbag”. Imagine my surprise when they proceeded to answer the question “What is the weather like there in Moscow?”

    I lived at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory in Bergen Park from 1976 to 1981 with my newlywed bride, two dogs, and (very briefly) a cat. They were perhaps the happiest days of my life and I still have what I have come to call “Bergen Park Dreams”.

    Don’t forget to click on the highlighted links for more information.

    Falcon 9 Re-entry … How it survives

    The video below does an excellent job of explaining exactly how the Falcon 9 survives re-entry

    The heat of re-entry is due to the compression of the atmosphere ahead of the re-entering vehicle, NOT air friction. Think of a diesel engine that works by highly compressing the air in the cylinder above the ignition temperature of the diesel fuel which is then injected at maximum compression and temperature.

    Credit XKCD

    Latest SpaceX Mission Notes

    I am replaying the video for your convenience

     

    Falcon 9 first stage by the numbers 

    Speed of sound = 343 m/s

    Max speed on ascent = 1685 m/s (Mach 4.9 @ 68 km)

    Max altitude (apogee) = 166 km

    Max speed on descent = 1407 m/s (Mach 4.1 @ 65km)

    Stage separation (2:47) to touchdown (9:24) = 6m 37s

    • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

    Go back and rewatch the video while paying close attention to SPEED and ALTITUDE 

    The Falcon 9 first stage trajectory is quite interesting …

    Second time is the charm

    SpaceX successfully launches CRS-10 from LC-39A | Falcon 9 first stage lands at LZ-1 

    Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Airforce Station

     

    Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A, the southern most of the two most northerly pads) with SpaceX modifications 


     


    Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1 formerly LC-13 midway down ICBM road )


    LC-39A launch

     

    Aerial view of LZ-1 landing

     

    Full coverage with some SpaceX provided historical clips

     
    Links

    Aerial snapshots from Apple Maps (TOMTOM)

    Welcome to the Future – the revolution will be Tweeted 



    Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

    When I brought my Prius into Toyota last week, my service writer and I got into a discussion of diet, and health, and weight loss. I told him about the Wahls Protocol and our need to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. He asked me if I had ever see Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. “Oh, man, you have got to watch this,” he told me while pulling it up on his computer. “Unfortunately,” he warned me, “it has become an infomercial for the Breville Juicer and Joe Cross’s Reboot Program.” My only comment way was that juicing removed all the fiber, while acknowledging that physically eating all the fruits and vegetables recommended by the Wahls Protocol was daunting.

    I stopped by Toyota today for a status update and learned that the battery pack was still in shipment, due to arrive this week. I also decided that before I saw my service writer again that I was going to watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. I watched it on NETFLIX. When I began researching it for this blog post, I found the full version on YouTube (below). It is absolutely worth watching.

    Keep in mind the whereas the movie focuses on juicing, the most important takeaway should be that we need to shift our diets away from fast foods and processed foods toward diets rich in a broad spectrum of fruits and vegetables. Personally, I am impressed by the weight loss depicted in the movie. It gives me hope.

    Juice Plus+

    In a previous post, The Next Best Thing, I told you how I found out about Juice Plus+.

      Fast forward to the fall of 2016 (last year). Our diet was poor once again – too much dining out and too much takeout. We had both gained weight and were not feeling our best. While having a late breakfast at the cafe nearest to my house, I eavesdropped on a conversation between several ladies sitting next to me. The topic had turned to the tribulations of dealing with a cancer diagnosis in a loved one. As I got up to leave, I stopped by and offered my support and best wishes. They asked me about my point of reference and I explained that my wife had MS and the road had been a rocky one. One of the ladies asked me what if anything we had done to deal with it other than the doctors, medicines, and hospitalizations. I went on to tell them about the Wahls Protocol, how we benefited from a diet high in fruits and vegetables, our difficulty in actually being able to eat as much as we needed, and our eventual return to our old unhealthy diet and way of life.

      One of the ladies asked me if I had ever heard of Juice Plus+.

    I answered that hadn’t. She gave me her business card and some brochures. I studied the list of fruits and vegetables that Juice Plus+ Orchard, Garden and Vineyard Blends are comprised of and realized that it was everything I had been striving to eat enough of. I have included the nutrition labels below (tap on each to enlarge).

    Orchard Blend

     
    Garden Blend


     

    Vineyard Blend



    Note the NSF certification label. I did. Check them out HERE. Also note the Kosher certifications.

    Long story short, I placed an order. The Mrs and I have been taking the Orchard, Garden and Vineyard Blends for a few months now as part a healthier diet and lifestyle. I like the ability to get a wide spectrum of fruit and vegetable micronutrients and oxidants in a convenient capsule form (they also offer chewable versions). With Juice Plus+ we actually manage to eat the fruits and vegetables we do buy. 

    I am the original sceptic. I live by the old Russian axiom adopted by Reagan in dealing with Gorbachev – trust, but verify – so I did some additional research. The efficacy of Juice Plus+ has been documented in more than 30 Juice Plus+ research studies conducted in leading hospitals and universities around the world. But that is for another post.

    For now, in the spirit of a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words, I give you three short videos.

    How Juice Plus+ is Made

    Published on Dec 31, 2013 | Juice Plus+ Vice President, John Blair, shares how Juice Plus+ is made. From being picked at the peak of ripeness to the proprietary drying and encapsulation process. See it all! 

     

    Behind the Scenes at a Juice Plus+ Farm

    Published on Oct 28, 2014 | Take a look at what happens when we’re filming footage at one of our beautiful farms.

     

    Juice Plus+ Farm to Capsule

    Published on Apr 23, 2014 | Hear Meredith Martin, Juice Plus+ Director of Marketing Support, and Liza Pepple, Juice Plus+ Director of Supply Chain, talk parsley. Then stick around to hear Juice Plus+ growers share how they ensure good, quality produce goes into all Juice Plus+ products.

     

    Interested in learning even more about Juice Plus+? Look HERE

    Prius 13 Update

    Previously on Prius 13

      “I warned you not to stir the oxygen tanks,” my service writer replied.

      Houston, we have a problem.

      I noticed one of my warnings lights was on as I drove through the parking lot. No wait. ALL OF MY WARNING LIGHTS WERE ON. The main console was lit up like a Christmas tree. I pulled into a parking space and rebooted the car (aka turning it off and on). All of the warning lights stayed on and the primary notification window alternated between “CHECK PCS SYSTEM” and “CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM”.

      My Prius had gone Apollo 13 on me.

      With my luck, it’s the AE-35 Unit.

     It wasn’t the AE-35 Unit.

    It was the Flux Capacitor … or the financial equivalent thereof.

     = = =

    Thursday was a busy day at CatBeard Manor. The Mrs was back from the hospital but still wheelchair-bound. A plumber was out, reaming a decades-old clog from our plumbing to allow the upstairs toilet to flush without filling up the tub. A cable technician was out for the nth time troubleshooting my abysmal Internet performance. And finally, the first wave of physical therapy had arrived to evaluate the Mrs. So I was calling Toyota every hour or so trying to get an update on the Prius. No joy.

    Late in the afternoon, after everyone had left my house, I decided to drive over to Toyota and talk in-person to my service writer. I drove the rental car to the front, parked, got out, and got a free cup of coffee in the lobby before stalking my service writer.

    I walked up behind him and said “you’re a very difficult guy to get a hold of.”

    “It’s been a goat rodeo here,” he replied.

    “I came by to get some free coffee and while I was here decided to stop by and find out what was up with my Prius.”

    I got a smile. “Let me go in the back and find out what’s going on.”

    He was gone a long time.

    When he came back he was carrying two sheets of paper. The first sheet of paper was a printout, the first line of which had HYBRID BATTERY with a bunch of Xs after it in various columns indicating various failed tests. The second sheet was blank save for handwritten numbers indicating cost of the part, tax, and labor. The total was $5600 or so.

    $5600 Deep breath. Did I mention that I have been out of work since last February? I got laid off following my 15 year anniversary award with a major oil field services company. “Yeah I was afraid it would be this.” The discussion then went on to how I had read that the cost had come down and/or that individual battery cells could be replaced. Maybe, but not through Toyota. “Is there anyway this might be covered under warranty?” I asked. “Let’s find out,” he replies.

    Typing ensues. Screens pop up on his monitor. He pulls out a little book and starts leafing through it. This goes on for what seems like an eternity. Then he reaches over to the sheet with $5600 handwritten on it, crumples it up with one hand, and tosses it in the trash. Now I am staring at a screen showing the warranty status of various subsystems for my car. Each them shows that it is out of warranty – EXCEPT for the HYBRID BATTERY. It is warranteed to 100,000 miles. My car has less than 100,000 miles on it.

    “So,” I ask tentatively, “it’s under warranty?”

    “Yes.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Yes.”

    “I want to kiss you.”

    “Let’s not.”

    “Agreed.”

    He had some more paperwork to do, so I walked over to get more free coffee. Then I went to the car rental desk and requested a printout of the contract on the car had I rented the day before. I intended to try to get Toyota to comp me for the rental car, since it was warranty work. When I got back to the service desk, my service writer was way ahead of me. “You have a rental car, yes? We’ll cover that.” He called over to rental desk and made it so.

    As I left, I shot him a thumbs-up. “Free replacement battery pack. Free rental car. Free coffee. Can’t beat that.”

    He smiled. “Especially the free coffee. It may not be good, but it’s free.”

    Commercial Crew Update

    Originally published on Jan 16, 2017 | NASA Commentator Kyle Herring talks with Kathy Lueders, the manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, about the status of efforts to develop commercial space vehicles to deliver human crew members to the International Space Station. NASA is working with Boeing and SpaceX as those companies work through milestones to get their vehicles, Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, ready for their first crewed flights to the station, while the space station program is reconfiguring the station and preparing for spacewalks to install the new International Docking Adapters to which the new commercial spacecraft will dock.

    Although YouTube states that the above video was published this month, I suspect that it was actually recorded two years ago in mid-June 2015. Reason being that reference was made in the video (@6:20) of the upcoming launch of the International Docking Adapter (IDA-1). However IDA-1 was lost during the launch failure of SpX CRS-7 on June 28, 2015.  (Reference https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Docking_Adapter)

    Additionally the Crew Dragon Pad Abort occurred in May of 2015.

    Boeing Blue

    Elon Musk and SpaceX aren’t the only ones with their “eyes on the prize” of replacing the Shuttle for commercial U.S manned space launches. Boeing has unveiled a new streamlined light-weight space suit for it astronauts to wear aboard its CST-100 “Space Taxi”.

    See also my post Bras In Space, the story of the Apollo spacesuit

    Compare and contrast the Boeing CST-100 to the SpaceX Crew Dragon (aka Dragon V2)

    Fruits and Vegetables

    In a previous post I told you about Terry Wahls and the Wahls Protocol. Below is a 19 minute interview of Dr. Terry Wahls by Dr. Rhonda Patrick from 2014. In the interview they discuss the importance of micronutrients and antioxidants in the diet and the importance of eating a broad range of fruits and vegetables and the impact it had on Dr. Wahls life.

     

    Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? Consider Juice Plus+

    Prius 13

    “I warned you not to stir the oxygen tanks,” my service writer replied.

    Houston, we have a problem.

    It has not been a good week at CatBeard Manor. Last Thursday the Mrs lost feeling, then function in her left leg. It was effectively “dead”. It had been bothering her for a while prior to this. (MS? Leg? Spine? MS? Leg? Spine?) She immediately called her neurologist, but it rolled over to voicemail. I broke out the wheelchair which we use from time to time when the Mrs feels particularly exhausted. Feeling and function returned over the weekend. I put away the wheelchair and broke out the walker. By Sunday evening she was “free walking” once again, unaided.

    On Monday her left leg began acting up again. That afternoon I was out running errands when she called to say that the neurologist had called. “Go directly to the ER to be admitted to hospital for tests. Do not pass GO! Do not collect $200.” It was after 4 PM. I went home and collected the Mrs, the wheelchair, and several bags of supplies. We knew the drill. By the time they put her in an “observation” room they had run X-rays and a CAT scan of her head to rule out stroke, blood tests, and ultra-sound of her leg to rule out a blood clot. It was 2 AM Tuesday when she got to her room. I went home exhausted and got little sleep.

    On Tuesday afternoon they scheduled her for cranial, cervical, and lumbar MRI (head, neck, back). She finished these up at 5 PM. I stayed until 10 PM, then left for home. Unable to fall asleep, I had a second mostly sleepless night.

    When I got to the hospital today (Wednesday), I got the diagnosis that she had torn ligaments in her back from previous falls and probable degenerative disk disease causing irritation of nerves to her leg (a visit to the neurosurgeon who worked on my back several years ago would likely be in our future). They were sending her home with instructions to rest and a home health physical therapist would be set up to visit. She was scheduled to be discharged late in the afternoon.

    I decided to run out and get some lunch. It was just before 2 PM. I walked out to parking lot, got into our 2010 Prius, and drove off. I noticed one of my warnings lights was on as I drove through the parking lot. No wait. ALL OF MY WARNING LIGHTS WERE ON. The main console was lit up like a Christmas tree. I pulled into a parking space and rebooted the car (aka turning it off and on). All of the warning lights stayed on and the primary notification window alternated between “CHECK PCS SYSTEM” and “CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM”.

    My Prius had gone Apollo 13 on me.

    I drove straight to my nearby Toyota dealer, waited to get my favorite service writer and told him my Prius had gone Apollo 13. “I warned you not to stir the oxygen tanks,” he replied. They would not even be able to begin troubleshooting on it until tomorrow. With my luck, it’s the AE-35 Unit.

    Anyway, I went over to the rental counter and while waiting I got a call from the Mrs informing me that she was being discharged. I arrived in time in the rental car to pick her up at front door (an aid brought her down in her wheelchair with all of our gear).

    Tomorrow is another day.

    The Next Best Thing

    Those of you who have followed this blog long enough know that my wife has suffered from Multiple Sclerosis since being diagnosed in the late 90s. It is the reason why the heroine of my serialized sci-fi novel The Nudist War (a new take on the Zombie Apocalypse) has MS.

    In the spring of 2014, I posted about my discovery of the Wahls Protocol. The Wahls Protocol, like many other “paleo” diets was not unique. It was but the latest in a long line of “discoveries” that we are what we eat and that diets rich in fruits and vegetables, low in carbs, sugar, and processed foods go a long way toward preserving and even restoring health.

    I documented our progress on the Wahls Protocol and have included links below. Go ahead and read them. Most are short. I’ll wait. I promise.

    Wahls Protocol

    WP0

    WP4

    WP7

    WP11

    WP14

    WP41

    WP – 6 months

    Good. You’re back.

    If you read through each of the posts above, you saw how profound an impact a diet high in fruits and vegetables had on our health. If you didn’t bother to read through the posts above … I will summarize: we both saw a dramatic improvement in our quality of life.

    HOWEVER – we both found it physically challenging to actually eat the amount of fruits and vegetables – and – drink the amount of water required. Not to mention that a diet that high in fruits and vegetables elevates the term “regularity” to a whole new meaning. By 2015 we had “fallen off the wagon”.

    Fast forward to the fall of 2016 (last year). Our diet was poor once again – too much dining out and too much takeout. We had both gained weight and were not feeling our best. While having a late breakfast at the cafe nearest to my house, I eavesdropped on a conversation between several ladies sitting next to me. The topic had turned to the tribulations of dealing with a cancer diagnosis in a loved one. As I got up to leave, I stopped by and offered my support and best wishes. They asked me about my point of reference and I explained that my wife had MS and the road had been a rocky one. One of the ladies asked me what if anything we had done to deal with it other than the doctors, medicines, and hospitalizations. I went on to tell them about the Wahls Protocol, how we benefited from a diet high in fruits and vegetables, our difficulty in actually being able to eat as much as we needed, and our eventual return to our old unhealthy diet and way of life.

    One of the ladies asked me if I had ever heard of Juice Plus+.

     

    Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables?

     

    HEADSPACE

    Andy Puddicombe

    My sister introduced me to this a while back. I downloaded the app and tried it a few times – then gave up. I started back up again last week. Over the weekend we (my wife and I) discovered that we had the audio book. My sister must have gifted it to me sometime in the past. We listened to it. I recommend you do the same. Andy is amazing. His approach to mindfulness is refreshingly modern, yet based on centuries old proven concepts of meditation.

    I am already beginning to have a calmer mind after my 10-minutes-a-day sessions. My wife used Andy’s sleep meditation technique last night and got her first full night’s sleep in three days.

    The Audio Book


    Get it at Audible.com

     

    Get the App

     

    Be sure to visit the HEADSPACE website


     

    I will leave you with one last video.

     

    Learn more about Andy here.