A History Of Space Suits

…and an interesting one, at the New York Times.

What it doesn’t describe is the lack of innovation since Apollo, like NASA at large, because there wasn’t any competition, even within NASA. It’s nice to hear the history from Joe Kosmo (what an appropriate name — the only thing better would be if it were spelled instead with a “C”), but there is no mention or interview with Vic Vikukal or Bruce Webbon (with whom I reacquainted myself, after a quarter of a century, a couple of months ago in Las Cruces) who worked at Ames, who were shut out of the competition in the sixties, and never allowed back in, despite their superior suit designs. This issue was the primary reason that I suggested the first MillenniumCentennial Challenge, which turned out to be quite successful. There are still a lot of improvements to be made, though, if only NASA would allow it to happen.

Don’t Strangle The Baby In The Cradle

Dave Huntsman has an interesting comment at this article about merging ESMD and SOMD:

Many (not all) in the ‘Code M world’ – including the relevant NASA centers, and some managers at NASA Headquarters – are viscerally opposed to the establishment of a competitive, American-led creation of new commercial space industries. Some literally see them as competition to the old Apollo way of doing things, which they consider sacrosanct. Others have been told – falsely – that expansion of American industry into economically-sustainable space industries that lead the world somehow means the death of human spaceflight and exploration. Not only is that not the case, sustainable human space exploration – space exploration with humans we can actually afford to keep doing – is in the long run dependent on the creation of economically sustainable space industries to support them, particularly for routine operations.

As Elon Musk has said, if you don’t do things that pay the bills you won’t achieve the ultimate objective of humanity’s expansion into space. The cutting edge far exploration items – to asteroids, Mars, etc. – are always cost sinks; after all, even Thomas Jefferson failed in his effort to get Lewis’ and Clark’s explorations to pay for themselves in the nearer-term, and he didn’t have to build rockets to go up the Missouri. That is why it is absolutely incumbent that NON-cutting edge far exploration items, such as LEO trucking and taxi services, followed by space servicing and refueling services, absolutely require economic viability and the development of sustainable industries. That will be threatened if these cost-sharing partnerships with industry is lumped in with the NASA Code M organization, whose very history has never been intended to work for anything other than those human space programs that NASA totally funds, owns, and operates.

Let’s consider re-creating Code M for the shuttle transition, space station, and NASA exploration (beyond Earth) functions. But in my view it would be a violation of our direction via Law and National Space Policy to subsume innovative commercial space development and partnerships to some of the same folks who are working so furiously behind the scenes to prevent sustainable space from ever happening. The Apollo-style Code M organization needs to be separate from innovative commercial space development partnerships.

I hope that Charlie and Lori understand the nature of the saboteurs that persist in the bureaucracy at the centers and HQ.

The Waste Of Money

…that is our educational system It’s run for the benefit of the administrators and teachers’ unions, not the children.

[Update a while later]

It’s not just a waste of money, it’s criminally stupid:

Skylar Torbett, also a junior, said administrators told him, “They said the candy canes are weapons because you can sharpen them with your mouth and stab people with them.” He said neither he nor any of their friend did that.

Next thing they knew, they were all being punished with detention and at least two hours of cleaning. Their disciplinary notices say nothing about malicious wounding but about littering and creating a disturbance.

“It was at 7 in the morning, before school even starts, so I don’t what we’d be really disrupting,” said Cameron Gleason, also a junior.

And they wonder why people home school.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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