My fortune at the place I ate in Chinatown tonight said: “You display the wonderful traits of charm and courtesy.”
Most of my readers don’t know him, or even who he is, but I just learned that he was killed in an auto accident yesterday, on his way to church. Ironically, as Bill Simon (Bill’s webmaster and our mutual friend) tells me, the picture of him at his blog is one that he took of Bill in his F-86 flight suit on the Miata he was driving when he apparently was head-oned by an SUV. He reportedly died instantly.
Services Saturday — I suspect that Buzz Aldrin will be there, if he’s in LA. I’ll have more thoughts, and personal remembrances later, but suffice it to say that while he lived a long and full life, it wasn’t as long as he wanted, and now he’ll never make it into space, though he’s been working hard to make that happen not just for himself, but for all of us, longer than anyone else I can think of.
[Update a couple minutes later]
Going through Bill’s blog, I just noticed that this blog post, on the need to reduce the cost to open up space, may have been his last one.
[Update a few minutes later]
Here’s the initial story from The Daily Breeze, with no identification.
[Update late evening EDT]
The Daily Breeze has now provided the identification. As Bill might have said, schade, and scheisse.
Is that what the Merlin is? A little early to say, I’d say, but I think one could come up with some creative new vehicles using it in the lower stages and the R-10 up above. If I were in control of NASA R&T budgets, something I’d have done a long time ago was to pay Pratt to test them to destruction to determine how many restarts they could do and how many hours they could fire without refurbishment. If I were SpaceX, I’d be doing the same with Merlin. Perhaps they already are.
Speaking of rocket design, I see that the rocket scientists on the Hill have been sharpening their pencils. I guess that Bill Nelson not only flew into space once, but he must have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, too.
Hamas is in support of the Ground Zero (plus two) Mosque. Just like our president, who’s always looking out for us. After all, it’s all about peace and brotherhood.
Suppose we find that there is something different about the brains of gay men and women (a proposition for which there’s already abundant and growing evidence). If we can come up with an affordable, painless therapy that “fixes” this and converts them from “gay” to “straight,” should we a) allow them to take advantage of it, or b) forbid them from doing so, or c) require them to? And should “straight” (i.e., exclusively heterosexual) people be allowed to become gay, or bi?
I have a lot of thoughts about this but (to paraphrase Pascal) insufficient time to write them down right now (meetings all day). I will say, though, that in this particular case, I think that many of the “bioethicists” in question are less concerned about the ability of parents to design their children to be “normal” than they are about stigmatizing homosexuality.
[Update a while later]
Sorry, link’s fixed now.
Is there any evidence that the president can read without moving his lips?
I’m on a trip into the heart of darkness (yeah, I know, that’s racist). Just arrived.
Why is it that the more expensive the hotel, the more they charge for Internet?
I do not find this woman attractive.
Not that women are falling all over themselves to try to figure out how to make themselves attractive to me.
Glenn has links to the liveblogging.
I know it’s more exciting than the prosaic reality, but someone needs to tell the copy editor at MSNBC that there is nothing in this article to indicate that SpaceShipTwo is going into space this fall. All it says is that they may start drop tests.
Which raises the question again — do they have an engine yet?