Wednesday, December 08, 2010

random crap


Well... I still haven't found a job yet. Which is okay for now since I still have the one I'm at. The market doesn't seem to be bad, though I was hoping a bit more from some of the agencies around here. With the market being the way it is, I was hoping for at least 3 referrals by now. Alas, that is not the case. Most others won't return my calls when they find I'm only looking at FTE positions. Eventually I'll have to open up to Contract-to-Hire, but not just yet.

So, 6 months ago JAXA (Japan's NASA) sent a spacecraft in the direction to Venus. The mission was to put the spacecraft into orbit around Venus so they could study Venus' clouds, weather and atmosphere. As close as it is, scientists don't know as much about it as you would think. Anyways, the craft finally arrived on Monday and there was a burn (a boost from the rockets) either Monday or Tuesday to put it into orbit. There was a scheduled communications blackout right about that time as well (similar to when the Apollo missions would go to the backside of the moon). It was supposed to last 20 minutes. Unfortunately it lasted an hour and a half. Seems that the burn did NOT put the spacecraft into orbit. In other words, they missed. :( They have re-established communications with the spacecraft, however they will have to wait another 7 years for the spacecraft to try again (if they even get the opportunity.

I feel bad for the JAXA scientists. They have had some stellar missions lately with sending spacecraft to go into Moon orbit and other pretty cool achievements. It guess it was time for them to have a miss. Still, I was pretty excited about the JAXA Venus mission since (as far as I know) it's been a while since anyone has sent something up there, and with the recent discoveries of water on the moon and ice on Mars, I was hoping they'd find something really cool... like volcanoes or liquid sulfer lakes or space chicks or something. Oh well, maybe the craft can be directed towards Mercury or somehow back to the Moon or something. I'm sure they'll use the craft for something but I guess for what is up in the air now.


In other news, SpaceX is scheduled to launch their Falcon 9 rocket with the new Dragon capsule at the top today (Wednesday Dec 8th 2010). SpaceX is a private corporation specializing in space transport. With the Space Shuttle being ground for good sometime next year and the current U.S. space programs not really going in any particular direction, the U.S. doesn't really have a way to put peeps into space other than catching a ride with the Russians. The Dragon capsule is SpaceX's attempt to fix this problem. While it is flying empty today, it is being designed to carry as many as seven people. It's pretty close, not in look, but in concept to the current Russian Soyuz spacecraft or the Apollo command module in that it's just a capsule that returns, not a whole spaceship like the Shuttle.

I believe they were planning on launching on Monday, but they found a crack in one of the thruster nozzles. So, here's hoping that there aren't any other issues (like the poor Discovery Shuttle (STS-133) which was supposed to launching in November, but due to various problems including several cracks in the large external fuel tank is grounded I believe until February which might end up pushing out the final flights of the other shuttles.


I don't think I have any other updates other than my wife is cool and I love her very much for being supportive and at the same time continuing to put up with my shit during this period of uncertainty.

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