Saturday, April 30, 2011

4/30: Morning, ya'll.

The usual preliminaries

Looks like my audience numbers are slipping a bit.  But the quality isn't.  I think the blog is getting better all the time.  I added another slideshow yesterday.  I asked Derek Shannon at Lawrenceville Plasma Physics if I could use his photos on his Picasa web album and he said sure thing.  So there it is, near the top of the page.

By the way, that's where they are working on Focus Fusion, which is what I've been writing about a lot lately.

I am particularly proud of my posts yesterday.  The Stalking Horse post was excellent analysis, don't care what anybody says.  Lady Gaga is top shelf, according to 300 million pageviews.  But, I can see some things about it that may bother some people, yes.   The think pieces were the way I wanted- short but hard hitting.

All in all, I feel good about it even if it isn't popular.  Yet.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wrap 4/29

I got in all my agenda posts earlier than I thought I would.  Nice finish with the Lady Gaga post.  Actually it was a Michelle Phan post about Lady Gaga.  What struck me about the Gaga video was those eyes.  Phan showed how she did it.

Series of Think Pieces

That's the tentative plan today.  Each piece will be short.  I hope each piece will be hard hitting.  I realize this is a terse statement.  Look at it this way: Limbaugh likes to say "brevity is the soul of wit."

If you can boil it down to its fundamentals, it can be brief, hard hitting, and maybe even a bit entertaining.  Let's see how it goes.

So far, I've got a few thoughts rattling around my head.  We'll get to the first one before 10 am, local time.  The next should come by mid afternoon, and the last by evening.  Then, there will be a wrap up.  

If I find anything to use as filler, I'll throw that in too.  Hopefully, it will be an interesting day.  Stay tuned.

Good Morning, 4/29

Seem to be getting into a rut. That's not unusual for this business. There's more I can say, but I don't think I will. These numbers aren't what I'm looking for, that's good enough.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Polywell Update

I was looking for news, and got this post from the Polywell Blog.

I will keep looking. Maybe something has happened.


Saw this on the forum. It is a .gif file that I had to convert to a movie so that I could upload to YouTube and then embed it here. Whew, that's a mouthful.  It is an animatiion of a pB11 fusion reaction.  This is a clean fusion that produces no neutrons ( no radioactivity).  The proton ( hydrogen without an electron) hits the boron ( also without its electrons) and produces 3 molecules of helium.


Found something that may be "news". A lot of speculation about the status of the project. By the way, I saw a reference to this, which I think I mentioned in an earlier post.

Good morning, 4/28/2011

Appearances may be deceiving here, as my traffic numbers appear to be about the same. What you don't see is my overnights were down to only 5 pageviews. That's about as low as its been in quite a while. The sitemeter comparisions give a clue, only 8 visits yesterday, despite the Blogger stats of 56. It could mean a lot of pageviews from a small number of readers.

I didn't mention this yesterday, but I sent out a couple emails. There was no reply to either of them. If there was, there may have been something to report here.

I am going to continue in that same vein, even though there wasn't a response yesterday. The thing is that there has to be an economic rationale for this blog, or it has to go low priority. I've said it often enough. I don't how to make it any clearer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wrap 4/27

Here's a list of what I posted today:

Started out with the arts and sciences, then moved into politics and markets to finish up.  No focus, no agenda today.  But covered all my bases.

I think I know where he's coming from

He's had a dream most of his life about his airship concept. He's now in his eighties, and his airship still exists in a hangar in New Jersey.  I think a fuller explanation can be found in the book that I just ordered from Amazon.

How did I find this?  Let's see.  We can trace this one back to this post I made a few days ago.  There were two links, I followed one, but not the other here.  The other link was the Walrus, which I've written about.

The general idea here is to use lifting gas to move people and cargo about.  It could do it a much reduced cost, since the lift would come from the lifting gas, not the engines.  It would fuel efficient, maybe even possible to run the thing on solar power, obviating the need for fossil fuels at all.


Playing around with these stats again. One picture is worth a thousand words, it has been said. Let's try a few pics.  I can keep the pics from screen shots and then paste them up the next day for comparisons.

That's audience numbers.  The other numbers, I don't know if I want to take pics of those.  Too depressing. That's kind of a joke.  None of these numbers are good, once you think about it.  That reminds me of a joke I saw yesterday.  Actually the joke was called a meta joke.  The term "meta" is an abstraction.  Roughly, it means "about".  Thus, a meta joke is a joke about jokes.  An example:

An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar. The bartender turns to them, takes one look, and says "What is this - some kind of joke?"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wrap 4/26

I think I can see the way a VC thinks.  He wants to get in and out with a big profit, and he is willing to take a risk, but the proposition has to have a decent shot at success.  Common sense, eh?

Why is it hard for some ideas that look good, but can't get funding?  Most likely, they don't have a product yet, or their market isn't exactly clear.  Let's look at Microsoft.  In the early eighties, IBM came out with the PC, and chose Microsoft as one of the two software companies that would make an operating system for it.  If a VC looked at Microsoft, they would see a sure market for the name brand of IBM, an existing product ( an existing operating system) ready to ship, and a company with a track record in the business (Microsoft).  They would have a good chance of an exit strategy in 3 to 7 years, and a reasonable chance to make a profit.  As things turned out, it was a lot better than that.

If anyone wants to make it big, they had better approximate the Microsoft model.  But that's common sense, isn't it?  But common sense isn't so common.

Your odds at success are diminished if you don't have a product, a reputation, nor a name brand.  All of these combined would be a combination that is as close to a sure thing as you can get in this world.

Defending Planet Earth

This question was asked on the Space Show yesterday, and here's the link to the site that the guest, Tom Jones, gave in response to an email question.  Actually, there is a pdf download site that will give you the opportunity to download the book provided that you give some personal information.

I wrote about this hazard from space back in September.

The Space Show founder, Dr. Livingston, appears to be an knowledge entrepreneur.  The term given here as a link, is in connection to the term "venture capital" which is the topic for today.

Morning Summary

I think I will alter that. I have included pageview stats, so that it can be seen by anybody who may be interested. As for money issues, well, you can assume there's no money unless something unusual happens.

It seems to take more time than I want to spend in order to collect these stats and report them. Why not let the machine do that? Reporting on lack of money is not fun to write and probably not interesting to read.

I will streamline the morning summary and plan into one post that will go up by 6 am each morning. The plan is the topic for the day.

With that in mind, here's the agenda. What would it take to get funding for any worthwhile project? I briefly looked into that yesterday. That's something I can spend time looking into and reporting. Maybe afterward, it will be worth reading.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Morning Summary, April 25, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 4:30 am

Sitemeter; Mon. am. 4618; v. Sun. am 4599; 19 up 1 from Sun

Blogger: Sun. 83, up 24 from Sat. (59); overnight is 12 so far, compared with 21 this time yesterday.

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, no clicks on Amazon.  Nobody appears to be clicking on the Products page nor on the Marketing pages.

New record for this blog on Blogger pageviews.

YouTube page: 848 v 847 channel views previously, 493 v. 492 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 1, upload views improve by 1.

It is gratifying to hit new records. On the other hand, the lack of marketing success is frustrating.


I think I am going to be lite with the blogging today. That's my agenda today. Just to think.


One thing I thought about was the Space Show yesterday. If you were to get large quantities of turpentine and nitric acid in orbit at a reasonable cost, that could be a plus. On the other hand, these hypergolics may be hard to find and to synthesize in space. It would be necessary to get this up there somehow. Once up there, they can be more useful than trying to store cryogenics. The big dumb rocket could send up buttloads of the stuff. Also, the Space Cannon concept may be able to send it up at a reasonable price.

Also, after I finished the above post, I started reading up on fusion. I may need to spend some time in these forums.


It is interesting to go back and look at previous posts like this.  It is all an education, just like yesterday.  I didn't know about Interorbital until I listened to the Space Show.  It is still a matter of getting educated on what's out there.

If I may interject a thought into these discussions.  Everybody is going at this in their own way.  But what if no single way exists?  That's a question that should be considered.  Take fusion, for example.  The fact that fusion can take place now is not in dispute.  The problem is getting it to do what we want.  But if we want to do something like generating electricity, it may not be possible by a direct approach.  Let's say if you wanted to use fusion for propulsion and then use that propulsion to emplace solar stations that would send energy back to the Earth.  But I don't think anyone is thinking that way.  Instead, they want to get it to produce net electrical power.  Maybe that isn't even necessary.  That's my point. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Space Show Liveblogging, April 24, 2011

The show will be beginning in a few minutes. I know I didn't say that I would do this. I didn't know myself. That's how disorganized I get.

The show is starting. I think I will mark the minute mark of each part of the show.

It is starting at 19 minute mark, naturally this is not accurate. Subtract 19 minutes from the number given here.

20 minutes. Reminds that this show must be supported.
21:30 introduces guests.
23:45 what's new?
25:30 Where will rocket be launched?
26:30 Where orbital launches located?
27:45 What about New Mexico?
28:15 First question from email. rocket question
30:30 Fuel handling question
31:30 Protective clothing for hypergolics
32:15 Differences in substances, where do you buy them? Any trouble getting it?
34:00 caller question, hung up? Different caller.
37:50 timeline for flights
39:00 Where does funding come from?
40:45 Cube sats, cube sat kits
43:50 Discussion has been: Where funding streams come from.
44:45 email question: kerosene not used, why?
46:00 turpentine with nitric acid, isp? 240 secs
47:30 email question: what has launch history been?
48:30 incremental approach?
52:00 email question, plans to go to moon? going forward, or on hold?
54:30 caller question: isp on rockets answered before; vacuum 292 secs
57:00 break

1:01:00 return
1:01:00 costs of fuel. White fuming nitric acid 40 cts lb, terpentine = gas price
1:03:00 more fuel question
1:08:00 discussion of Atlas Shrugged movie
1:10:15 caller. Appears to be re-usability of rockets question
1:12:30 email question: 1) interobital pay as go approach hurt company? 2) when interorbit brought up, dismissed, haven't launched in years- third question
1:17:10 Dr. Space follows up, small sat conference- hardware development
1:23:00 commentary upon commercial space and making money now from space
1:24:30 caller disappeared take break

Comparison was made with Atlas Shrugged movie. They aren't waiting around for the government to fund them. They are making money now from space. Hurray for them.

1:28:30 return caller was member of their team and another team lunar x prize
1:31:30 timeline on his new skydiving concept. diving from rocket!!!
1:32:00 hold down g forces, launch standing vertically in pressure suit, wild
1:33:00 Bob emails, explain project, Burt Rutan project
1:35:00 Neb emails about call problems, Dr. Space asks what do we look for?
1:38:30 Regards from Croatia email
1:39:00 Rate optimism
1:40:00 Sub orbital flights, and see if can make money, orbitals make money
1:41:30 Somehow automatic assumption are suborbital natural prog to orbital
1:43:00 allan in Dallas, gov't money only source of funding, why not take it?
1:44:00 never went for cots, contact email web
1:45:00 Bob in LA, can you drive over and see it?
1:46:00 email from skydiver
1:48:00 pearls of wisdom
1:49:00 closing the show.

I learned something today. That is always a great thing.

Daily Plan (or Agenda), A discussion of urgency.

As I was taking my morning walk, the idea for today's agenda came to me. Do you remember the Fierce Urgency of Change? Well, the urgency is still there, but, evidently, the change is not. This is consistent with my opinion of politicians in general, they will say anything to get elected. But once elected, they will do what they damn well please.

But what the politicians seem to forget about is that people take what they say seriously.  So, where's this change that everybody thought they were voting for?  When things look pretty much the same as before, the insincerity of the campaign slogan becomes evident.  But the necessity remains.  That's where the pressure must come in to make sure that the politicians remember who put them there and why.

We have urgent problems that need to be addressed and are not being addressed.  That's a fact.  But where the rubber meets the road, as the saying goes, the fiction of rhetoric does nothing to solve the problems that are being faced in the real world.   I think D.C. is in a bubble.  It seems to be all about themselves.  But they need to remember that DC is not the center of the universe.  They do not pay attention, but they had better start, and start soon. Time is getting short.  That is what gives the current situation its urgency.

What to do? This blog is an attempt to bring some attention to this situation and what could be done about it.  I think we need a growth program.  But that does not mean growth in the size and scope of the government.  Somehow, the government must play a role, but must also not be an end in itself.   It must serve the needs of the people, but not insist upon being served themselves.  As for the people, it is not possible to just sit around and expect things to be taken care of.   People need to pay attention too.  Otherwise, things will continue on the present path, which can only lead to bad outcomes.

I advocate a robust space program.  The current program is sick, outdated, and utterly ineffective.  It needs to be reinvigorated with a real purpose that serves real needs.  It must do this within a reasonable budget and in a reasonable time frame.  In the end, it must be a revenue producer, as opposed to a revenue consumer.  No such thing as a free lunch.  This is always been true, but it is more true now than ever.

The Morning Summary, April 24, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 4:30 am

Sitemeter; Sun. am. 4599; v. Sat. am 4581; 18 up 3 from Sat

Blogger: Sat. 59, down 5 from Fri. (64); overnight is 21 so far, compared with 23 this time yesterday.

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, no clicks on Amazon.

Not too concerned anymore about the dropoff in visitors and pageviews overnight. More concerned about no revenues. I may need to intensify efforts on that issue.

With respect to that, some important decisions are going to be made within the next couple months regarding the truck, which I have on sale. You can't serve two masters. Either the truck goes, or posting here on a regular basis goes. Can't do both. If I get a decent price on the truck, I will sell it and continue here. I've sold on Ebay before, I could do that again. If I do, it will have to come relatively soon within the next few weeks.

YouTube page: 847 v 845 channel views previously, 492 v. 488 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 2, upload views improve by 4. That's an average of two upload views per channel view. An improvement yes, but not much of one.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Daily Plan, A discussion of case studies.

Being something of a fanatic for definitions, I want to start with a definition as it were, of the term "case study".  I do this because I want to be on the same wavelength with my audience.  They will know what I am talking about when I use the words I use.  Hopefully, I won't stray from this principle.  It's "staying on message".  How can you stay on message if you confuse people with words that aren't well defined?

This can be seen as an amateur case study, if I would do it myself.  Now, what is my history of this?  I can tell a few stories here, if you are interested.  They would be short, of course.  Or, I could refer you to a book, if you wanted more detailed study of the subject in question.  One such case study would be the conspiracy theories of the assassination of President Kennedy.  Now, I've studied that subject before.  I could offer up a short story about my study of this subject, or I could refer you to a more professional approach by someone whose work I respect.  I think for the respect of time, which I am a bit short of, would indicate that I refer you to someone for that study.

With respect to the term "respect", which I have just used, does not mean endorsement of everything this person has written. Rather, it means that after studying upon the subject myself, I am inclined to believe that this individual is on the right track and his work is sincere and probably very exhaustive.  I am thinking of Vincent Bugliosi for this case.  I have disagreed with some of what he writes, and I have a review on Amazon which was extremely critical of one of his books, but I don't doubt his sincerity and professionalism.

But my idea is not to study that particular case, but to use it as an example of what I am referring to when I discuss the term "case study", and what I would regard as an example of a professionally done job.  Since I am interested in space colonization, you can look at some of what I will write here as amateur case studies.  Hopefully, I can point you to the best people who can give you better, more professionally done job than what I can do, in case you are interested.  On a wider note, I can point to sources of information, which is what I have been doing all along.  In this spirit, I hope this blog can be a resource for those who want to understand something, and ultimately, to do something about it.

Incidentally, that is part of what was discussed with respect to the Space Program in my most recent post about the Space Show.  How do you get people interested and keep them interested over time?  That is a problem with the Space Program.   I may do some "case studies" as it were to show what may have gone wrong.  Perhaps those who may be interested can find some way to do something about that.

The Morning Summary, April 23, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 4:30 am

Sitemeter; Sat. morning 4581; v. Fri am 4566; 15 down 8 from Fri

Blogger: Fri. 64, up 25 from Thurs (39); overnight is 23 so far, compared with 25 this time yesterday.

Pleased with the higher numbers yesterday, but concerned about the dropoff again in visitors and pageviews overnight.

I needed to follow up on a minor success and I didn't. Live and learn.

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, one click on Amazon, but that might have been me, I'm not sure.

YouTube page: 845 v 840 channel views previously, 488 v. 482 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 5, upload views improve by 6.

Well, at least for each channel view, I got an upload view, plus one additional upload view.

The ratio between channel views and upload views can be calculated by using upload views as the numerator and channel views as denominator. This ratio should yield a metric which tells you how interesting your channel is to potential viewers. If your channel plays the featured video automatically, you will get at least 1 upload view for every channel view. But I don't have it set up that way.

In order to calculate the metric by my own standard, I have 488/845, which is less than 1 upload view for every channel view. This means that, on average, about half of the people who view the channel will click on one of my videos. That may not seem to be too good, especially when compared to some other channels which have much better ratios. You could have ratios much greater than 1, for example. Mine is depressingly low, about one half. My stuff on YouTube must really suck.

But the suckiness is not quite as sucky as it once was. I think "how-to" videos may be the ticket for me, because my YouTube stuff may be too "dry". Too factual, too practical. I've been told that, you know. By more than one person, by the way. The same may hold true for this blog, come to think of it. I must get past this suckiness one way or another, and make this a "cool" site.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Space Show on 8/20/10, Paul Wieland, Crossing the Threshold

I missed the Space Show today, but I am listening to the August 20 broadcast as I write.  It came to my attention that if you go to the One Giant Leap Forward Foundation and buy the book through them, Amazon will make a contribution.

I would suggest reading the one customer review on Amazon.  It looks like a pretty good job of describing the book.

Paul Wieland was on, here is the master guest list where a synopsis of his show can be found.

Here are some notes I took. This is a skeleton outline of the show by time line. When downloading, you can access the time indicated by clicking on the bar which moves toward the right as the show play ( on Windows Media Player). If you use a different player, you may be able to use a similar method.

7:12 intro of guest amazon way of contributing
8:45 about book
11:20 got message from white house clinton administration staffer a request for write up; genesis of book
14:00 how does space address concerns of society; vision missing he says
16:00 manned and unmanned dichotomy- focus should be on the next ten years
19:45 proposal: international space decade
20:46 1st question 1) barriers a) proposals
28:19 dr space asks about international participation
30:00 every launch log in history johnathan's space report- doctor wants to know
33:15 dr space life sciences observations
36:00 political discussions: says he hasn't talked with polticians
37:38 crossing the threshold on Amazon; reminder of how to support the space show by buying book
40:00 paul wieland author and guest
41:50 replace chemical rockets; need to "graduate" from chemical rockets
44:00 discussion of air ship to orbit powered by electric propulsion.
46:30 space elevator
47:00 nuclear propulsion
48:30 from england-how many rocket launches? ans: about 5000
50:45 solar sails- depends on mission as to propulsion
54:30 10 yr program probability of being implemented? 50-50
57:00 break
59:00 asked if his first book? Yes, for public.  Written other stuff.
1:02:00 compatibility in international components
1:06:00 commercial space should be encouraged
1:07:30 job layoffs- value of work force? Importance of leadership from President
1:11:00 interest awareness motivation- need to drive it
1:12:00 Dr. Space has addressed this he says
1:13:35 The way Congress works; space is hard sell
1:16:00 end of Dr. Space's spiel- paul wieland response
1:19:00 how to of keeping it viable over time
1:20:00 where on web for book
1:22:00 connecting the dots with the public
1:25:00 no politician has every advocated space to solve problems
1:26:00 response- the more who write about space, better
1:29:00 comparison and contrast to olympics
1:30:00 discussion of the problems involved
1:37:00 deregulate space? Not realistic. Need realism.
1:40:00 how to move forward

Daily Plan, 4/22/11; a brief discussion about airships

Based upon what JP of JP Aerospace said, he once made an airship the size of a 747. I would assume that he meant the length of one. By using this page in order to get the dimensions of a 747 , and by using the formula obtained here for the calculation of the volume of a cylinder (of the length of a 747 times 2, because his airships are in the shape of a "V".), and this site, we obtain a calculation of 9300 pounds gross lift capacity.  That would have to include all hardware, including the weight of the ship itself.  But JP said that his ship only weighed 600 pounds!  From this, we can deduce that there is sufficient margin to make an airship that can carry some weight.

Other hardware will be needed though, and this will deduct from the carrying capacity of the ship.  For example, you need propulsion.  Plus a power source.  It is interesting that the hydrogen in the ship can be its own fuel and a fuel cell can make power from the vehicles' own lifting gas.  Another possibility for power would come from the enormous surface area of the airship, which would give ample area for solar panels.  These ideas presume an electrical propulsion, but there may be other ways.  If I am not mistaken, JP must be working on those now.  If he plans to get to space with his airships, he will need a propulsion system which will be fairly robust in thrust and isp.

I ran the number originally and forgot to use the radius of the cylinder by using the diameter instead.  This gave an very unrealistic answer of  37,000 pounds gross lifting capacity.  Thus, if you were to double the diameter, lifting capacity quadruples.  This isn't the case when doubling the length.  That just doubles the numbers because the formula is square of the radius.

This short discussion is about all I have for now.  It is a continuation of what I began to post about yesterday.  I'll keep looking for stuff to post on the subject here.  It dovetails nicely with my own experience as a truck driver.  I am thinking of the feasibility of using airships as a way to move cargo and people.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The evening wrap, Thurs 4/21

Time to call it a day. This was a day for evaluation. Where I am with this and where I am going. No, not going to quit, but looking for a new direction that can be better. It may be hard to find, but I keep plugging away, so maybe I'll find it. One thing I hope is this: that it won't take a basic dishonesty to make it in this business. There is so much of that out there. If I can't make it the right way, then I won't make it at all. With that, I bid ya'll adieu. Until tomorrow. Hope you like this tune, by the way.

Who do you believe?

It may be hard when somebody who has covered space for decades squares off with another fella who was actually in the business and built the machines.  The plausibility of what Barbree says may be enough to convince a few folk.  As for me, I'm not convinced the government can do much at the moment, with its fiscal problems.  For better of worse, we have to hope that the so called new kids on the block can pass muster.

The Morning Summary, April 21, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 4:30 am

Sitemeter; Thurs morning 4543; v. Wed am 4532; 11 down 12 from Wed

Blogger: Thurs. 63, down 3 from Wed (66); overnight is 16 so far, compared with 24 this time yesterday. Pleased to report that I have an all time monthly record in pageviews with 9 full days plus today remaining in the month.

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon.

YouTube page: 837 v 836 channel views previously, 482 v. 481 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 1, upload views improve by 1.

Obviously, I've had a dropoff in traffic. If I were to come up with an explanation, the thing I mentioned at the close was the serious tone of the day. Perhaps nobody likes that?

It reminds me of something from a long time ago. There was somebody at work who liked to say "sounds like a personal problem". Which I took to mean, don't bug me with your problems, I've got my own. Well, I can assure you. I deal with my own problems myself, if such be the case. This was not said to me, by the way, but about someone else. I was merely listening into the conversation.

I report these statistics honestly.  I mention problems in the spirit of openness.  It is not whining, I don't think. If somebody doesn't want to help, I can take care of it myself. Always have, always will.  For those of you who are helpful, thank you very much.


That's the spirit.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Daily Plan, 4/20/11

While I was looking at my Amazon stats this morning, I noticed a couple things. One is this gizmo called an "astore". I set one up with the books I read and put it up on the Products page. You can see that first when you go there. The second thing was that I already set up something like this before, but I pulled it down. I may bring it back, if I can. That's on the agenda.

Another thing is that I have 6 pages that can be utilized for marketing. Since nobody is bidding on these pages, I may use them myself. If I use them all, I will still keep them available for anyone who would like to market something through this site. I may set up multiple Amazon "astores", one page each dedicated to a line of products. One idea that I had was to create a new store based upon the movies I've seen on NetFlix and elsewhere, if they can be purchased through Amazon.

I realize the monetization of the blog may not be interesting to people who come here, but I need to generate some cash flow out of this blog, or it will have to give way to something that will. It just something that is part of this blog now and doesn't appear to have hurt pageviews any. If anything, pageviews seem to be increasing. It is hard to say why this is so. I would guess that it may be helpful in establishing a permanent presence. If it looks like you will go away, people who may otherwise be inclined to visit the blog may decide- Why bother?- and go elsewhere.

The Morning Summary, April 20, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 5:00 am
Sitemeter; Tues morning 4512; v. Wed am 4532; 23 down 2 from Mon
Blogger: Tues. 66, down 2 from Mon (68); overnight is 24 so far, compared with 21 this time yesterday

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon. I have added a couple items in the Products page, one for space books that I've written about here, plus some music that will play as soon as the page loads, it will also have a link there to take you to another page, presumably.

YouTube page: 836 v 832 channel views previously, 481 v. 481 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 4, upload views improve by 0. My channel got more looks, uploads got nothing?! What gives there?

About the Facebook page: The newest post about the Space Show, getting more impressions(up to 21). The others get a little too. The post with the most interest shown has been about the fusion powered propulsion with Focus Fusion. There are still 7 likes for the People for Space Colonization page.

Yesterday was a busy day, a little drop off, but I've added more stuff that may generate sales, and is capable of being expanded to include new items.  Now, I have a truck on sale, a bookstore, and some ad space here. Still waiting for some items in the hopper to play out.  At this rate, I'm going to have Alice's Restaurant, where you can get anything you want (except Alice).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daily Plan, 4/19/11

Ideas that I want to look at.   Take some pics of my own truck.  I want to establish market value of the truck. Perhaps this blog can help me do that.  I don't know if I will sell it.  It will be a demonstration of how the slideshow on the front page can help make sales.  There are two slideshows.  I will keep the one titled "Homes" as it is.  The one with the dog with be used as the demo.

I noticed that the videos that I made which show how to create a Picassa Web Album, are not being viewed. This is a bad sign.  It means no interest is being shown.  I will have to do something about that.

Ok, let me review what I did.  I created 9 videos, but they are unlisted, so you can't see them on YouTube directly, but only from here.  I created a link on the sidebar, which purpose is to give you the links you need to access those videos.  This may be too complicated, I'm not sure.  If needed, I will continue to point this out because of more than one reason.  Number 1 reason, I want this webpage to be a resource.  That means that the sidebar is going to be a navigational reference to assist the reader in finding resources on this blog.

I made them unlisted on YouTube, because I want to gauge the interest here.  Secondly, I don't want to clutter my YouTube page with too much stuff.  This is in keeping with the KISS principle.  The KISS principle can be located in the search function at the top of the home page.  Also, the label list on the sidebar has a section called "Daily Plan", on which you can click, and a list of posts with that label will be posted.  It will be there.  Also, the term is defined with the Amazon link, which is in italics.  As you may recall, I put Amazon links in italics, so that you will know that they are an advertisement.  Yet another resource is on my  YouTube channel, which has an Xtranormal video tutorial about labels.  You can get to my YouTube channel by accessing the how to videos mentioned above.

If no improvement occurs here, I will keep posting until there is.

Personal errands today.  Just finished washing the truck.  I will take pics of it and post to album soon.

The Morning Summary, April 19, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 5:00 am
Sitemeter; Mon morning 4489; v. Tues am 4512; 23 up 7 from Sun
Blogger: Mon. 68, up 19 from Sun (49); overnight is 21 so far, compared with 23 this time yesterday
Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon.  I have a few things in the hopper, so to speak.  If these come through, I will start getting some ads.

YouTube page: 832 v 826 channel views previously, 481 v. 478 upload views previously.  Channel views improve by 6, upload views improve by 3.   My channel got more looks than my uploads.

I can add the Facebook page, but the numbers are not consistent. The newest post about the Space Show, got some pageviews.  The others get a little too.  The post with the most interest shown has been about the fusion powered propulsion with Focus Fusion.  There are still 7 likes for the People for Space Colonization page.

Yesterday was unusual in that I posted 11 times on this page.  The average is 3.  The sheer number of posts may have driven the traffic somewhat.

I may have to do a few things to boost this page better.  It is still not performing.  Sure, the numbers are better, but what good is it really, if there's no money coming in?  Is it all about money, then?  That's what runs the world, my friends.  If it can't even support a worthy cause, which is the purpose for which it was created, it cannot survive.  It's that simple.

Thanks for those who have helped this blog get this far.  I will continue to work hard to get it to the next level.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Anti Gravity?

Can I buy some of this?  I could use it in case I fall down on my fanny.  The anti gravity can keep me from hitting the ground too hard.  One problem though.  If any of that stuff gets loose, it will annihilate anything it touches, including yourself.  Not a pleasant thought.

By the way, all kidding aside, this is an interesting article.

The Morning Summary, April 18, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 5:00 am
Sitemeter; Sun morning 4473; v. Mon am 4489; 16 up 2 from Sat
Blogger: Sun 49, up 15 from Sat (34); overnight is 23 so far, compared with 13 this time yesterday
Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon, same as Sunday, which was not Easter, in which I stand corrected.  I need to proofread and double check things more closely.

Sorry.  There were errors in yesterday's report.  Looks like it may be confusing to the reader.  Sorry, I'll keep improving things till I get it right.

YouTube page: 826 v 823 channel views previously, 478 v. 466 upload views previously.  Channel views improve by 3, upload views improve by 12.   Looks like some of my other videos have been getting a look.

I can add the Facebook page, but the numbers are not consistent.  I'll do this: I'll report what it says on the top three posts.  I copy 25 impressions for the top, followed by 36 by number 2, and 36 again for number 3. There are still 7 likes for the People for Space Colonization page.

No more reporting on these stats.  This took over 20 minutes.  Frankly, just to round up that info takes valuable time.

The deadline has passed without making a single sale or even getting an inquiry.  Sobering to say the least.  It is rather grim to continue in the face of this apparent indifference, but let me recount a few things.  I got my email question answered on The Space Show.  It wasn't exactly a sparkling beginning, but it was a beginning. You have to start somewhere.  I've been doing some stuff which I don't usually do, which isn't much, but it is something.  Like talking to people.  One conversation I had was with my brother in law, who is housebound because of his health is not what it once was.  He is going to the doctor on Tuesday.  Things like this tend to remind you that your concerns are not the center of the universe.  Everybody has their own battle to fight. Also, the numbers are getting better in some ways.  Not across the board, but it is slowly improving.

The thing to keep in mind though, is that the starting line hasn't been passed yet on the money side of this.  It is still at the 1 dollar level on Amazon, and I can't collect it.

Okay, this is enough.  KISS principle, remember?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Space Show, Apr 17, 2011

Starts in 30 minutes.  I'll liveblog it, as long as I can get the thing to work.  It doesn't want to work on this netbook, so I'll have to use the desktop.

While we are waiting, I want to write about MagicJack.   I just bought one for myself from BestBuy.  But you know, I could have gotten one from Amazon.  I've bought plenty of stuff from Amazon.  It works for me.  As for MagicJack, it installs on your USB port, and the rest is very simple.  It will load onto your computer and finishes the installation automatically.  You will need to answer a few questions before you are completely ready.   It cost only 39.99 at BestBuy, but at Amazon, it may be cheaper.  The cost includes the first year of phone service, and it costs 19.99 each year thereafter.

It works just like a regular phone, just plug your phone right in and start using it (after installing it, of course).  I've used Skype, but this isn't Skype.  It can load automatically when you start your computer, so when you have your computer on, there's little need to use any software.

You will need broadband of course.  It works off the internet connection.  I've already used it to make several calls. The quality is good, and the price is right.  If you have a need for this item, go have a look.

It's almost 2 pm, which should be about time to start.  I am not getting any sound out of it.  It is starting now, and I have audio.  It seems to have low quality sound.

Chat line open.  No shows tomorrow and Tuesday.

Two guest today.  Dr Alan Stern.  Introduction.  Wayne Hale is second guest.

Starts with Alan: Human spaceflight, comm crew, ccdev,  and others.
Wayne:  Says a very exciting time.

Start with question Dr. Space:  Why Human Spaceflight- says
Stern: Hard to make case in tight fiscal times.  Excited about commercialized, to make money.  Opportunity to improve lives.  Move human spaceflight out of government and into government.  But role for government, through history, and place to go there in space.
Dr. Space: What are steps needed?
Stern: Very close already.  Within next few years, many vehicles will fly.  But capital intensive industry.  Need seed money from government.
Dr. Space:  Too much risk on private?
Stern: Business risk is true in any start up.  Lots of companies will fall by wayside, others will make it.
Todd in San Diego:  Will Congress stifle this industry?
Stern:  Amused that opposition is Republicans.  Role reversal in Washington.  Over regulation: need safe system, like FAA for aircraft.  A transition time, but hopefully Congress will support.
??? : human rating question
Stern: Standards debate on human rating.  Have a way to go before regs are ready.  Good systems out there.
Integrated system needed.  Safety systems needed.  Possible that a good vehicle could become human rated.

Dr. Space: why escape or abort systems needed?
Stern: Soyuz and Shenzou have them.  Shuttle does not.  Lost Challenger crew.  Would have liked 2nd Shuttle system that would have had it.
Hale: Soyuz had to be used to save a crew.
Dr. S: commented that this is a given;  Is funding secure for human spaceflight?
Hale: No idea what Congress will do.  Have to wait and see.  High probabilty it will be supported.  Huge pressure on all sort of things.
Dr. S: Why so much attention to small budget item.
Hale: Common misperception that NASA spends a lot of money.
Harold in Chicago: Heavy lift question.  Is it important now and future?
Stern: Not necessity at this time.  Better with medium lift.  Refueling depots.
Dr.  Will Nasa required to build heavy lift.
Stern: risk that no vehicle will be built at all.
Hale: agrees.  Try to build in next gen vehicle, then gets squashed.  Need to get price down.
A fleet for small rockets better.
But depots have their problems too.  Only be able to launch at restrictive times.  85% of what you need to get up there is propellant.  But not a panacea.  Is an option.
Dr.  Mentions his shows about depots.
Paul in Phoenix:  Congress micromanages everything.  How do you stop this?
Ans Congress will do this regardless.  Needs to be meeting of minds.  Poltics hard to control.
Stern:  Lack of trust between branches.  Let technical people handle things.  Politicians are too local oriented.
Announcement:  not paying attention

Evan: roles changing in future and how
Ans: question goes to design of spaceship, but if it is automated, don't need it as much
Hale:  open a lot of avenues, when multiple lines, firms will develop like big airlines
Dr: Mergers?
Ans: Don't know.
John Hunt: 2 stage rocket in 50 ton class.
Ans: re-usability only good with high flight rate.
Waste needs to be cut.

Comment: questions are too complex to keep up with.



Helen in LVegas: Last ditch efforts for Shuttle?
Ans: Extremely expensive proposition. Tank force, srb dispersed. Need to get them back. Cost is expensive to get back up again.

Dr: community being hurt by uncertainty, any opinions on that?
Ans: large workforce dispersed. Deep and wide in skills. 10, 000 people to operate shuttle. Now working for commercial. Leaner, fewer jobs available. Could be a lot of new jobs available in new environment. Optimistic.
Hale: The Navy produce new engines for missiles every year. Navy costs have gone up. Unanticipated consequences. Will hard to find jobs that people are used to. If new commercial space takes off, it will help. Thousands of jobs in other sectors may be available though.
Dr. ISS got life extension. Useful to be more supportive.
Hale: ISS as destination attractive place to test technologies.
Stern: Open ISS to researchers. Suborbital is like minor leagues. ISS could help with this.
Becky in Tuscon: Don't forget other countries wrt to ISS.
ans: good point. Not hard to negotiate, who gets how much.
Dr: will Chinese ever be part of this?
Ans: troubled relations.
Dr: followup John Atlanta on 50 ton rocket: ack prob, engines proposition highly technical stuff
Ans: can't make it reusable from the start.

discussion of shuttle problems and why it cost so much

Congressional micromanagement discussion: mixed bag. Not everyone qualified.

Politics plays a role in this. Not engineering decisions, but implications.

Depots discussion: can't put Moonbase with current launch costs.

Private sector and public sector roles.

I emailed the Sea Dragon question. It was called "dreamy". Neither guest was familiar with the concept. Dr. Space doubted there was a market for such a heavy lift capability.

No shortage of ideas.  I skipped over a part of this show because it seemed to get lost in details.  I guess I am not too patient with that.

More on Sea Dragon here.  The Sea Horse rocket tests.  Excalibur design in the nineties.

Comment:  If you want to lower launch costs, this is it.  Otherwise, you will have to wait until some new technology gets invented.  The idea of fuel depots has its own set of issues.  This concept is akin to a 18 wheeler that gets a lot of stuff up there at once.  Everybody wants a Cadillac to do a 18 wheeler job.  This is no Caddy, but an 18 wheeler that will get the goods up there.

Mon 7:15 am

Just checked Thespaceshow's blog for any mention of my question.  Not there, so I am going to download the mp3 file and look for it.  I found it at approximately 1 hour, 13 minutes, and a few seconds into the show. It is near the end.  The time may not be perfect, so if it isn't exactly there, you can be sure that it is there.  You may have to hunt for it.  It is at the end of the show because the discussion ended about the question and he said that there were 5 minutes left.

Morning Summary, Sun. April 17

The statistics:

Time approx 4:00 am
Sitemeter; Fri morning 4459; v. today 4473; 14 down 3 from Fri
Blogger: Fri 34, down 12 from Fri; overnight is 13 so far, compared with 20 this time yesterday
Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not a click on Amazon, same as yesterday.

YouTube page: 823 channel views, 466 upload views.  Channel views improve by 1, upload views improve by 51!  Wow.  Somebody watched my videos yesterday.  Excellent!  This looks like my most popular video, The Finer Points of Quantum Foam, has gotten a lot more popular.  It looks like that is what has driven the numbers seen above.

I feel like I am making progress.  It depends upon which metric you want to look at.  I talked to more people than usual yesterday, in keeping with my daily plan.  This may not seem like much, but it could be a big step forward from what I have been doing.  It is clear that the efforts on the web alone will not move this blog forward.  It is too easy to ignore somebody when all they are looking at is a computer screen. Sometimes, you just have to make an appearance somewhere.

Good things are happening, though it may not appear to be sometimes.

As far as the daily plan is concerned, I will follow up on what I did yesterday.  That is following the KISS principle, which is what I want to make a habit out of.

One thing I might want to add is this; since the blog has become much more complex, I want to emphasize that I have a tutorial on YouTube that shows how to navigate this blog.  I will add more tutorials to that, as needed.  Also, there is a tutorial on how to set up a Picasa Web Album, if you want to use this blog to sell something.

The proceeds from the ad sale will go to support The Space Show, which is a worthy cause.  I hope by your being here, you are at least somewhat interested in supporting the Space Program, and therefore, will be in agreement that space is a worthy cause.  It is even more than worthy, because the best people in the business are on that show.  If these folks can't do it, it can't be done.  They are definitely worth listening to.  If you get the chance, please listen to the show.  Follow the link on this page to find Dr. Livingston's website ( in the interesting reading links on the sidebar).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pics are in

From JP Aerospace's latest mission.  I've put an ad up there with it that went along for the ride.  Here's a pic of the ad shortly after launch.

Atlas Shrugged

I read this book in 1993. It was a pretty long book as I recall. I read some of Ayn Rand's other books, but this was the first novel. It has been so long that I have forgotten much of the story.

By way of Al Fin's blog, I checked out the SparkNotes to refresh my memory. I've never heard of SparkNotes. I used CliffsNotes back in the old days. When I say old days, I mean back in the old days when books were on paper. In those days, when you said "browse the web", somebody would have said "wtf?".

I think I may have mentioned this before, so, at the risk of repeating myself, I'll mention it again. I first read about Ayn Rand from one of Robert Ringer's books- "Winning Through Intimidation".

The topic of Atlas Shrugged is current with the opening of the new film this past week. My plans are not to go. I know the story. I have the books. But, more than that, I think I have a way for the "strike" to be successful in such a way that the moochers will have to sit up and take notice.

As you may know, I have advocated Space Colonization. That's where the men of the mind can go to start their new society. Leave this rotten, corrupt world behind, and start anew.

It can't be done, you say? Why not? Everything about space lends itself to the object of freedom. How can any government or political entity ever control space? In order to control a territory, it must have limits. But space has no limits, no boundaries. The problems that space presents are the same problems that are on Earth: you have to find a way to survive and prosper.  Those ways can be mastered in space as well as on the ground.  Space beckons.  All that is needed for this is this: for those who can answer the call, to have the courage to answer it.

Plan for today

I have to improve my results on revenue and pageviews if this blog is ever going to be anything more than a hill of beans.

To that end, I must get into a habit of doing things that I am not doing now.

Number 1) I am not getting out enough. Frankly, it is cheaper to sit around here on the computer all day. But it isn't productive. Seven months of this has not yielded anything. I have to do things differently. This observation isn't even new. On the other hand, I have to keep it realistic. I can't take roadtrips every week. Too expensive.

2) I need to use the phone more. I don't use phones. Again. I like to use email and all these other internet devices, but it keeps people at a distance. I need to get people involved in this somehow. That may mean that I have to bug people, but bugging people is unavoidable.

3) Along the lines I set forth yesterday, the blog may be getting too complex. I need to always remember to keep it simple stupid (KISS).

Three daily goals is enough.

Good morning world

Back at it again, ready to get back to work. First of all, let's get the statistics out of the way:

Time approx 5:00 am
Sitemeter; Fri morning 4442; v. today 4459; 17 down 2 from Thurs
Blogger: Fri 46, up 3 from Thurs; overnight is 20 so far
Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, not even a click on Amazon

With respect to Amazon, I am going to look into something I just saw. I may be able to set up a store here, but I think I'd better be careful about that. I have gotten plenty of revenue sources that aren't producing. I added one yesterday for referrals to Uverse, but nobody has inquired about it.

The audience numbers tell me something about the quantity, but not the quality of the pageviews. If I had comments, then I'd know that I had real people coming by, as opposed to bots. Bots aren't good for much except for the appearance of traffic that really doesn't exist. I am keeping this real, therefore without comments, I may have just bots dropping by here. Or lurkers. A lurker isn't necessarily friendly. Lurkers could be anybody who doesn't really want to help this blog, for whatever reason.

So, in sum, I have a small number of pageviews, no revenues, and no comments. This looks pretty grim. Anything positive to report? Well, yesterday, I got one more like for my Facebook page. I noticed that yesterday on Facebook, but not here on my Facebook Badge, which still shows 6.

I guess that since I have a YouTube account, I can report those stats here too. I want a synergy between these sites. This is the place where it is all coordinated, so I guess I'll report that, starting today.

YouTube has 6 subscribers and 10 friends. The channel has had 822 views, with 415 upload views. My channel was created in October 2010. A link to my channel is at the bottom of the page at the video bar.

I am using Twitter as well, but I don't know if am going to report Twitter stats yet. They are similar to these numbers here. The purpose of Twitter is the same as with everything else. But the results have been disappointing.

To recap once again, pageviews, revenues are unchanged from yesterday, and I'm adding reports on YouTube stats. I may report on Twitter stats here, but not yet. I may add another Amazon revenue source. Very slight improvements, but I have to step it up somehow.

Friday, April 15, 2011

About today's plan, how simple things get complicated

A case in point is this blog.  All along, I wanted it to be self financing.  But that has failed.  Why?  For the same reason that is plaguing NASA.  You start with a simple idea that should be affordable, but complexity is allowed to creep in, and that ruins the plan.

The original idea for this blog was for it to at least make some money off advertising.  That is what AdSense was for.  Since the blog is free, I figured even a little money should keep the blog in the black.  But it didn't turn out that way.  Why?

I asked the blog to do too much.  A simple idea got too complicated because I wanted the blog to not only be profitable, but to support me eventually.  It may never do that.  Besides, I don't have forever in order to get that done.  In short, I became too ambitious.  This reminds me of what we studied while I was still in college.  It was the story about the development of IBM's OS/360.  This operating system became too costly; the reason for that was that it was too ambitious.  An incredible amount of money went into it, but IBM could afford it because they were the kings of the computer world at that time.  I've learned enough from my own experience to know that mistakes can be costly.  Allowing complexity to creep in because of too much ambition is a costly mistake.

NOTE:  A quick scan of the Wikipedia link does not necessarily confirm directly my hypothesis- too much ambition leads to excessive complexity.  But I do recall that discussion somewhere.  It may have been in the classroom.  But this was nearly 30 years ago.  Pardon me, I am relying upon memory.  I think the point is valid, nonetheless.  If nothing else, it is valid in my own situation with respect to this blog.

The answer to this problem is to reduce the ambition.  Lower the horizons a bit.  If the blog is to ever survive, it must stay economical.  The same is true for space travel and colonization. 

Incidentally, that is why I believe JP Aerospace is important as a model.  It is a going concern.  They make money and that is what ensures their survival.  JP is making steady progress to his goal, but it is taking a long time.   Considering how ambitious his ultimate goal is, the ultimate goal may not be reached.  But, it is worthwhile because other things can get achieved along the way.  Besides, he just might succeed after all.

As for NASA, they started out with a simple idea, a reusable spacecraft.  But it became too ambitious a project, and that allowed complexity to creep in.  In the end, it became a remarkably complex and wonderful bit of engineering.  But it also became terribly expensive.  Like IBM's OS/360, it was only affordable because of deep pockets.  But even deep pockets are only so deep.  There are limits that have to be acknowledged.  Going forward, NASA needs to lower its ambitions on what types of spacecraft get engineered.  They should not be too complex, but instead, should be tailored to meet the needs of a particular mission.

In addition, NASA needs to become economical minded.  The nation's pockets aren't so deep anymore.  The focus should be on simplicity.  That's why I suggest the big, dumb rocket to ferry huge amounts of matter into space, but at an affordable cost per pound.  It will be up to others to take advantage of this opportunity.  That's where private enterprise can step in.

Some of this nation's leaders want to lower carbon dioxide emissions and be more green.  Fine.  Here's a way to do it.  Put carbon dioxide on the Moon.  It may sound ridiculous, and it may well be.  But carbon dioxide, even though it may be a problem according to some people, is very useful for life support.  It can be made into rocket fuel and oxygen to breathe.  It gives the chance to practice ISRU for a future Mars mission.  And it may lead to colonization of the Moon for the purposes of setting up an economical rationale for being there. 

There are even more, but let's keep this post simple.  See. I'm doing it again.  It is seductive. 

Good Friday

The day sneaked up on me.  It wasn't until late yesterday that I knew what day today would be.  Okay, I have to make this brief.

Time approx 5:30 am
Yesterdays stats:  Sitemeter @ 4442 , net change =  4442-4423= 19. An improvement over yesterday. Blogger shows 43, which was a drop of 10, since there were 53 yesterday. A bit of a setback. No bids, Amazon had no sales, but it did have a click thanks, that is an improvement. No donations.

All in all, a mixed bag. An improvement here, a setback there. Still, no cash flow. What if there is nothing at the end of the week? I will continue, as long as I can.

This will become a fixture here for now on. These summaries are real world, and that's is what this blog is about. It isn't about daydreams, nor fantasies. I should hope not.

The business yesterday involved the possibility of my going back to work on a real job making some daily bread again. This was always a possibility, but yesterday it almost became a reality. It was out of necessity, not for myself, but to help out someone else. It turned out that my services weren't necessary, so I am on standby, however. I have to treat this as a business day even if I don't work.

That's the reason for the brevity. I have to get ready in case I might be needed.

My daily plan is, if I am not working, is to write about how simple things start to get more complicated. I am going to use some examples from real life to illustrate the point. I think it may be profitable to read this and study it and take it to heart.

Thanks for your attention. I have to get ready for my day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Signing off for today

Another busy day.  I'm happy with what I'm doing even if it doesn't pay anything.  Anyway, everybody who came today, thanks.  See ya tomorrow.

Space Show April 11, 2011

Dr. James Wertz of Microcosm, Inc. is on the show.

I am going to do something a little different this time.  I am going to mark the mp3 file with what was being discussed at the time moment in the recording.

These times seem to fluctuate, times on player inconsistent and therefore estimates, so they are very approximate;  the topic itself is highly condensed.  Hard to find it by using this as a guide, which was my goal, so I probably won't do it this way again.

3:30 Introduction of Dr. James Wertz
5:30 Emphasizing lower costs as agenda, where conference is
10:30 Mon. May 2, what panels about and who is on them, who are speakers
12:30 Full list of papers on website "reinventing"  "USA getting outperformed"
16:30 Dr Space not at conference this year, his engineer's wife in Japan dealing with tsunami issues
19:30 Keynote and lunch speakers Tues, Wed, Thurs- and what is about "focused group"
22:00 Very professional conference, the place to be for networking, "where it is happening"

Some discussion about comparable space capabilities of various countries- USA not always on top.

27:00 "imperative to have this capability" "only forum in this process" "key issue: dramatically expensive"
29:00  break, comment:  Shocking revelation about the expensiveness of USA space assets and what it means.  This has serious consequences not only because of budgetary issues, but performance consequences as well.   After the break, some discussion of books.  "Field has gotten old."  Need for replacement book.
Evidently a new teaching book he's talking about. "Smad book"

32:00  Astronautic book needed and created.  Replacement of old smad book.   Changing way books being used.  Ebooks, etc.  Want combine traditional book with website.  Calculations etc.  Web site references in the book.  Elaborates on features like this.

37:00 Dr. Space recommends a book which available for free.  This must be same  book discussed in an earlier post.  Discusses "John's" book.  Wertz knows him, he says.  Adopted a bunch of teenagers.

40:30 Textbooks on Kindles.  Comment: Chris Laird said no way to this.  Dangerous in a way.  But it is definitely convenient and therefore seductive.

44:30 Books on teaching of astronautics.  How to get these books.

49:30 Continued discussion of books.  And second break.

53:00 Recap of textbook and conference.  Website not there yet.  Discussion swerves into technology. SBIR's.

57:00 Spacecraft discussion.  Small telescopes.  Small thrusters.  Cubesats.  Mentions composites. "Flying propellant tank"  maneuvering capability, modern tech in regards to above.   Two years away from launch.

Mini sprites.

1:01:00 Some joking about the government running up the costs.  Not funny.  Composite tank technology question asked by Dr. Space.  Can use for cryogenics.  Evidently solved this problem.  No expansion or contraction, may be problematic.  Long discussion of composites.  Composites are strong compared to metals and lightweight.

1:07:00 Tank fell at high altitude and still reusable.  Rugged quality.  Discussion of X prize. Sold composite tanks to participant that worked well for them.  Metals v composites and their interfaces.

1:11:00 Can work around interface problems.  Stringers as part of wall of a tank and bolt to them.
How tanks can be used, for example, as a frame to build around.  Discusses how he got into this line of work.

Longhorn days, football.

Starts to wrap up show.  Discussion of lowering of cost of moonbase.  Sounds encouraging.


In connection with what was mentioned on the show and this post , I have gotten the impression that many folks at NASA needs to study up on the KISS principle.  Perhaps the principle has gone out of style.

There is book you can buy off of Amazon with this title, but the reviews are bad.  One said- in connection to software and modern computers being so fast- that the principle is no longer necessary.  This is just sloppy thinking.  It ought to be adhered to on general principles even if it is unnecessary.  I think that's what gets you in trouble eventually.  The thing that is truly unnecessary is the complexity.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Friday's space show, April 8, 2011

Announcement: pay attention to newsletter and schedule, only a few shows in next few weeks.

No bad phone lines anymore, will hang up if line is bad.

Can't do show without contributions, looks like he asks for support on every program
reminder that it costs a lot of money for certain shows. Costs money to produce. Gives it away for free. My reaction: sure, if you got the money. If you don't?????

Has to get tough with listeners who are calling too soon. Introduces guest: Bob Zimmerman. Frequent guest on John Batchelor Show. One of top people he says. Behind the is his website. Bob is politically minded. More inclusive and broad than usual.

He says he likes comments on the website. David mentions SpaceX. Bob talks a bit about it. Falcon heavy 50 tons into LEO. Second most powerful rocket built. Spacex has a timeline and it looks firm.

He will be a leader in everything, says Bob. 1/10th cost of shuttle. Innovations to reduce the cost. How? Use strap ons for more power. Simple and straightforward. Not new technology, strap ons have been around a long time. He is building because the market needs. Makes Constellation more and more unnecessary. NASA can't dictate terms, he is in driving seat. Smart in every way. Consistent with Elon Musk, Bob says.

David asks about press conf. IPO question. David quotes paragraphs
Musk might take public next year, but doesn't want to relinquish control. Goals: to create self sustained colony on Mars.

(My comment) Don't hitch star to Musk. I like going to Mars, but that has to wait until we are ready. Don't always agree with Musk. He uses batteries on Tesla. Not fuel cells. Going to Mars is too ambitious. Zimmerman is gushing over SpaceX. I like what they are doing, but not a Mars mission this way.

(resume) SpaceX is growing company. (comment) Success is coming from competing against a moribund NASA. EZ act to follow.

(resume)SpaceX a threat? Ans: Opinion has changed. Not taken seriously. Now something of a threat. The threat is real, and they have to respond in like kind. Boeing, for example, lived off government all these years. Didn't have to lower costs. Faced with reality that SpaceX may end their business. Other example, ATK.

(comment) A bit of discussion about lower launch costs. What did I just do yesterday? But I didn't listen to this show on Friday. This puts me behind in a way.

ATK resumed: discussion of how ATK has changed. Bob points out that we are entering a period of transition. He says not as bad as Soviet Union. ( comment: we shall see)

Bob compares the old way to the way the old Soviet Union used to do things. Actually, from what I read yesterday, we could learn a lot from the Russians. This is too self congratulatory for what should have been long ago and could still go wrong. Nothing has happened yet. Time to rethink he says. I agree.

First caller "Marshall" asks about costs for getting a man rating. Can Musk get around paperwork requirements? Ans. Not waiting for NASA to tell him, he builds it and offers it to them instead. Put himself in strong position, gives faith he will produce in future.

When NASA shows up with paperwork, won't ignore them, but if NASA tries that, he can shut them up. Example FAA holds back license, like Scaled Composites, everybody sees them as standing in way.

Don't have to beg NASA for approval. Bert Rutan effect. Got ahead of curve, and tamed the bureaucracy. Not waiting for regs.

David: SpaceX is bright side. Asks about gov't shutdown. Shut down the most visible ones that upset the public. Political gamesmanship.

Salaries stop? If shutdown, will not be paid. ( I think they know that they will get paid) People are in pain (part of transition Bob says, you have to find it yourself).

Gov needs to get out of way. Get accused of bad things, but have to face realities that need to transition.

David says he thinks they are letting America down. (So, everything I said earlier in my own blog says the same thing, only he said it first. So it looks like I am parroting him, but I am not. I didn't hear the show.)

Bob says the government is the Emperor with no clothes. (Hah! I did say that before this show.)

NASA's funding is vulnerable because of New Space as well as the political milieu in which it finds itself these days.

Bob: Congress will waste a lot of money because they are still playing politics the same way they have been playing it all along. A political reality that prevents it from actually solving any problems.

Comment: the last election didn't force enough of these guys out. Nothing fundamental has changed. Business is still business as usual. I said this before the election and afterward.

Bob says "we are a democracy, we are in charge". I say really? The government is still doing what it damn well pleases.

David asks about other countries, Bob replies that most countries are still following Soviet style model. Russia is now more private than before, and is getting more money from its government. India is also following the Russian model, he says. China is old Soviet model, and they are not in it for profit. ( This indicates the feeling that they are rolling in dough and don't have to economize. This is what will bite them hard in the ass at some point in the future.)

comment: Bob's analysis of the business may be a little in conflict with what I found yesterday. Russia's success is that they keep it simple. America's problem is that we made our systems too complex and therefore, costly.

Some discussion of ITAR regs.

Bob emphasized transition. Out of control budget. (yes) Decline of manufacturing and growth in public sector. Where does money come from? Going bankrupt. Can't pay for space program if we are bankrupt. (yes) People won't recognize problem (yes Gushes over SpaceX again.)

Observation: He goes on about the transition and how, in his judgment, Obama doesn't want to shrink government, except for NASA. In effect, he wants to end NASA, without ( my comment here: any concern for what that may mean for this country. This is in keeping with a highly negative view of Obama, which appears to be greatly justified. People simply do not get the point here, I suspect.)

David mentions that Bob is Tea Party. Oh well. That pretty much wipes him out for the libs. They won't listen to this guy.

(Me again. Is the Tea Party interested in military spending? They should be. If they want to keep military spending and space programs, they may find that these conflict. Can't fund them both at this level. This is a big, big, issue. They need to get this right, because there isn't enough time.)

break in the program. One hour into it.

James Webb Space Telescope discussion: crowding out other science projects. Started as a 1.5 billion program, now at 6 billion. Originally scheduled for 2011, now 2015. Cost overruns have to come from somewhere. New projects can't start until Webb gets paid for.

Other programs have "died". ( Speculation alert: What if this happened for the same reason everything else does? What if they didn't keep it simple, but insisted upon doing it the most expensive way possible?)

I'm sorry, but the rest of this bores me. And annoys the living crap out of me. It is the same beast in a different costume. The same damned thing. I won't get bogged down discussing the same crap over and over again.

I am going to shut down the rest of the program at this point. This is belaboring the obvious by now.


resume the program

It appears from what Bob says, that the space program will be solidly in the hands of the private sector by the next election. That means that it won't be a political issue.

Question (Rob in Denver) came up about Musk's trying to get to Mars, and he said that he may not have considered it as well as he could have. Bob said he wrote a book about that Leaving Earth. Money not problem, he says, having the will to do it. Baffles him, he says. Can get his book on his website.

In fifties, most big science done by private industry. Musk, he says, doesn't need to know that now. He's getting the ball rolling. Government won't get us there. (I agree)

David says he may forbid emails, because he really wants phone calls.

Discussion about academia. Yawn. Will have to adapt, or go out of business. (true for anyone, anywhere, on any subject)

Comment by John caught my attention: More interest in educational value in a generic
sense than in actually solving a problem, unless moonlighting for a specific industry.

Real world v academia discussion. David is in academia himself, so he speaks from
experience here. Mentioned students activism leading to letters to Congress by graduates and undergrads alike. They can drive the discussion, he says. Ahead of the game. You can sign these letters, Seds letter (, future of human spaceflight.

Bob says universities are too dependent on government funding.

Another example which is analogous to the rocket problem in another post. Water recycling was too heavily engineered v the Russians system. More likely because they wanted to spend a lot of money as opposed to actually solving a problem.

Politics of climate science has warped the science itself. (comment: waste of money,
anyway in my opinion.)

Personal responsibility only process that works, he says. Process is a way to cover
your ass, he says. Needs personal responsibility. Government process is designed so that nobody will take the blame. ( David jokes about hate mail.)


Dr. Livingston is on again this afternoon, but I think I will defer on that broadcast today. I may return to it afterwards, though. The topic isn't that compelling for me, as I am most interested in propulsion, as opposed to guidance. I think guidance and control is definitely important, of course, but propuslion is more high priority for me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Should humans attempt to colonize space?

Looks like a modest number of people are participating in this discussion and poll.  Yes 57%, No 43%.

I haven't written a response to that over there, but why not here?

I say yes.  After the big, dumb rocket discussion, I am convinced that large amounts of matter can be sent into orbit with consumables that would support life for some time.  Not only that, but could be expanded over time for as anyone on Earth who wanted to do it.  This would not result in a completely new world immediately, but it would, over time, result in enough matter to sustain a human colony of some size for an indefinite period of time.

How many launches of the big, dumb rocket?  At 550 tons payload per launch, let's say that you were to do as many launches as the Space Shuttle, about 120.  That would result in 550 times 120 tons of matter.  This would result in about 66000 tons of matter, which is about the size of  two World War II aircraft carriers.  Actually, this is not terribly impressive after 120 launches, but the Space Shuttle has managed only a much smaller station, which definitely cannot support itself for long.

The WWII vintage USS Lexington could accomodate 2600 men.  Now, it would be a lot different in space, but it could definitely handle a lot more crew than the space station does now.  The configuration would be different of course.  It's method of providing for itself would be different too.  But something this large could become a base of operations for more significant forays into space.  And these would not require so much support from Earth.

I can envision a system of these stations in space which could become trading outposts between the Earth and the rest of the solar system.  They could produce goods that could be traded with Earth and vice versa.  The system, once deployed, could sustain itself through its own activities. 

I can't prove this, though.  Let's run that one by some experts.  I think that such a system could have a reasonable chance of being self supporting.

This looks interesting

Fuel cells made by United Technology. This looks like an advertisement, though. It was in a Google search which was in an effort to find out if anyone in the world is utilizing the hydrogen from ammonia concept, and to see how many places in the world may be using fuel cells in transportation. It didn't look like very many.

LEO on the cheap

This is a pdf file I am reading right now. It says that launch costs do not have to be as high as they are. This is a 1993 paper, so one wonders why nothing was done about it. But given the fact that the government doesn't really intend to make anything cheaper, then it becomes understandable.

Note:  I'll be updating this as I go along.  I'm just getting started.

Also:  here is the title page, which I hope will reassure readers that the author of this pdf is no amateur.


Update:   12:50pm

I have to mention that I begin reading this with a bias.  I suspect that there is a lot of waste in the government, that the government does not want to economize; but the opposite, and that lower costs are not only possible, but necessary if space travel is to ever become economically feasible.

Update: 12: 55pm

Just finished first chapter.  It is mostly about what, as opposed to how.  Still looking for how to lower costs.

Update: 1:07 pm
Survey of existing launch systems.  Next chapter, new systems ( from viewpoint of 1993)

Update:  1:24pm
Space plane is discussed.  Of course, it never became a commercial vehicle, or much more than an experimental vehicle.  Also, a modernized version of the Sea Dragon is discussed called SEALAR.  It wasn't the Big Dumb Rocket idea, though.  Actually, it was to be a small rocket.  It got dropped by the Navy just before it could do a launch.  Another idea that was discussed was the Taurus, which is still being developed, evidently.  I have heard of it, but it doesn't appear to have been a big success.  Three chapters in, doesn't look like there's anything here yet.

Update: 1:29
Will stop here for a little while.  Be back later.

Update; 1:57 pm

It is getting more into the why of the high costs of launch.  It confirms my suspicion that the US Government doesn't build these things for cost effectiveness.  You couldn't have possibly designed a worse spacecraft for the purposes of economy than the Space Shuttle.  It's is what I thought.  No intention exists to economize.

Update: 2:26 pm

It is getting a bit thick here in the analysis dept. Basically what you need is a simple launch system.  Also, you need to avoid re inventing the wheel.  Launching high value cargo should go into one type of vehicle and low value cargo in another. (that's my opinion)  I'm going to take a break here and resume later.

Update 3:45
I found a passage that is worth quoting, but not now.  Basically, NASA has a bias against producing cheaper technology.  The bias is opposite.  That bias also extends to our culture.  This makes sense to me.  It can be summed up in the phrase, "you get what you pay for".  The fallacy here is that if it is expensive, it must be better.  But if it is too expensive, it isn't going to do anybody any good.

Update 4:45

I've seen enough to reach a conclusion.  The culture has to change.  More expensive does not equal better results.  In fact, it may well be the thing that holds us back.  Rockets are simple, but are made more complex, and more expensive than they have to be.  The solution here may well be a big, dumb rocket to transport consumables, fuel, and low value freight.  The more expensive freight and crew should be on more complex machines that are designed for safety.  You can lose cheap cargo, but not crew, nor expensive machines.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I am listening to some Space Show shows once again

I've listened to two of them and trying to come up with a system that will allow me to review them quickly and easily.  This explains the long lag between posts.  I'm usually busy doing something even though it may appear that I am not.

The amount of information in this mp3 files is tremendous.  It is a great resource and I recommend it highly- that is if you want to get out of the wilderness of our ignorance that is in our modern culture.

I've been through two of these programs and started in on a third.  What I wrote above about it being a tremendous resource may not always be true.  On this latest show I started on, he seemed to be getting into some quackery stuff about Gaia communication satellite proposal on the show which aired on Nov 1, last year.  He began the show with a speech which closely adheres to what I often complain about here.  To that, I felt very much in harmony and sympathy, but then he makes this huge mistake and starts to talk about this proposition which struck me as ludicrous.

I don't want to be negative, but that's the kind of thing that can hurt you.  It may happen here too when you make just one tiny mistake of one kind or another and totally turn off an audience.  ( I turned the show off.  It may have been a good show, but this one thing bugged me enough to turn off the show.)

Anyway, I'm thinking about how to go forward with the blog now that I've obtained a DBA for it.  It is now, legally a business, but not a corporation.  He requested support for the Space Show and so I think I will try my best to support it as best I can.


I've listened to it again, and he did preface the remark with a note of skepticism.  Yet, he treats it in such a way that it can be taken as respectable.  That's the mistake.  I realize that I am in the same company as this fellow that I am calling a quack.  But I have always said that I am not a rocket scientist.  My stuff is only ideas that probably won't work for whatever reason.  I put them out there in the hopes that maybe something will work, it only needs to be tried.  (By who? Me? But I can't.  So, should I shut up?) How do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

I read this man's proposal.  I bit, but I didn't taste anything but sizzle, no steak.  Nothing to get your teeth into.  By the way, on the Space Show, a rocket scientist named John debunked this idea.  After listening to him, and reading this, I think John is more persuasive to me.


I am near the end of this show.  Charles, who has called the show many times, and has criticized JP Aerospace, says flatly that the Airship to Orbit will not work.  He believes he's overlooking some basic physics of the problem that he's working on.  I have no dog in this hunt, but I do think he has some ideas that are worth exploring.


Kelly in Connecticut called.  Can't ignore the physics.  Looking for unobtainium.  Have to find a way to eliminate the "overhead".  Every 29 out 30 dollars spent is overhead.  A more efficient vehicle is not necessarily the answer.  Not cheaper than an aircraft.  Don't have economy of scale.  ( my comment: May never have that).  Looks like an economic problem, not a physics problem, based upon this discussion.

Tony emails note about the Sea Dragon rocket ( on my sidebar  I checked into this, by the way.  A real deal rocket proposal that never flew).   Sea Dragon was talked about before on the Space Show ( I'd be interested in finding that show).  Bill Sprague?  I have to look that up.

After a really slow start, this was another good show.  The callers saved this one.


He says he treats everyone with respect as a matter of policy.  Nothing wrong with that, but this Steve fellow himself seems not to be properly respectful.  ( in my humble opinion)