Category Archives: Technology and Society

Crew Dragon

Its solar panels are generating much more power than expected.

Well, that’s nice.

[Tuesday-morning update]

NASA is very happy with the Crew Dragon performance so far.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is moving from stage-production mode to fleet-management mode.

Only four cores doesn’t seem like enough to me. One of the reasons we retired Shuttle was that we had too small a fleet with only three. But SpaceX can build more.


The Latest Misanthropy

I posted this on Twitter, but not here. But Glenn picked it up.

[June 26th update]

Bob Zubrin has read the book, so we didn’t have to. His review is sort of…excoriating.


A New Cannonball Record

Less than 26 hours from New York to Redondo Beach, and he did it solo. That would be averaging over a hundred miles an hour, I think.

That’s the sort of thing I might have tried when I was younger and stupider. I did do a 24-hour drive thirty years ago, but not cross country. I started out in Reno, drove up into northern California, decided to go up and see Crater Lake in Oregon (which I’d never done), then came back down I-5. By the time I got to the Bay area, I decided there was no need to stop for hotel, since it was only another five hours to LA.

[Monday-morning update]

Seeing lots of stories in comments, so here’s one more, my funnest non-stop. I was about to graduate, and driving out to California in late August to do some job hunting. On US 40 in Colorado, somewhere near Steamboat, I saw a young woman hitchhiking. I of course picked her up, to prevent someone less…scrupulous than me from doing so (of course, I didn’t consider the possibility that she was herself a serial killer). It turned out that she was headed to San Francisco to see her boyfriend who was sick in the hospital.

I had been planning to stop in Salt Lake for the night, but she was in a hurry to get there, and knew how to drive a stick, so she drove through the night across Utah and Nevada while I slept. At daybreak we were in Hawthorne (Nevada, not California), and headed from there over Tioga Pass into Yosemite. We stopped by an alpine lake in the high country and had a picnic lunch, then headed down into Yosemite Valley, then down through Gold Country, across the San Joaquin and into the city. When we got there, she found a pay phone, and it turned out he was out of the hospital. I dropped her off in a parking lot where he was waiting for her, bid her farewell, and headed down to Mountain View, where there was a thriving spacer community based at Ames.