Thursday, November 24, 2016

My First 100 Days in Office at ERAU

Since joining the +Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) August 16th, a lot has happened in our lives. We have seen two more launches, but because of my high paced new role as an Assistant Professor of Commercial Space Operations and raising our toddler (Rafael, aka Rafi), my blog will be pushed to the occasional update. We survived our first Hurricane (thanks Matthew) and another Presidential election (personal opinions suppressed), which brings us to this post, my First 100 Days in Office. New President's are judge by what they promise and then accomplish in their first 100 days in office and with USA Thanksgiving, it is a good time to think back and reflect on what I have done so far and a bit about upcoming plans.

Spacesuit Up!

As the newest member of the CSO program, I am preparing to take over management of the Spacesuit Operations Lab in January, which I have tentatively renamed, mostly to avoid dooming acronyms in the space industry, the Spacesuit Utilization of Innovative Technology Laboratory (SUIT Lab). The SUIT Lab will focus on experiential learning for students and research initiatives with industry. Stay tuned for updates in 2017!
Donated U2 "Dragon Lady" high altitude pressure suit (David Clark Company designed). We are hanging out in the Suborbital Spaceflight Simulator (SSFS).

Friday, July 29, 2016

Farewell to thee Cape Canaveral. #ERAU new professorship and #NROL61 launch.

3-2-1... we're moving.

There have been a lot of changes brewing for our family lately but I am proud to announce my big career news: Aug 16th I will evolve into a Professor of Commercial Space Operations at +Embry-Riddle, Daytona Beach Campus! +Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has a fantastic history of contributions to aviation and space and I hope to do my part in the new Spacesuit Lab!

A photo from one of my visits to ERAU campus. The Wright Flyer next to the observatory and landmark sign, all pointing to soar higher.

Monday, July 18, 2016

SpaceX CRS-9 missed launch, in Canada.

We were disappointed to miss this launch AND landing, but we were happy with family in Canada all week.

Approaching YYZ

The official stats:
July 18 Falcon 9   •  SpaceX CRS 9
Launch time: 0445:29 GMT (12:45:29 a.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the 11th Dragon spacecraft on the ninth operational cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. The flight is being conducted under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Delayed from Dec. 9, June 24, June 27 and July 16. Read our full story. [July 18]


Monday, July 11, 2016

Spring time at Kennedy Space Center = robots! NASA #Swarmathon and Robotic Mining Competition @Swarmathon @NASARMC @SpaceFlorida

April/May is competition season in Florida with a gambit of activities surrounding the end of the school year for most colleges and universities. Two of these competitions were hosted by +NASA Kennedy at the +Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: NASA Swarmathon and +NASA Robotic Mining Competition. Below are a few highlights from my experience as a Robot Wrangler and Mining Judge on behalf of Space Florida, but be sure to check out the competition websites for more information on how to get involved.

Say nice things to your robot. The Forth Law of Robotics?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

NASA's International Space Apps Challenge 2016 Summary on behalf of Space Florida #SpaceApps

NASA's +International Space Apps Challenge is a global hackathon that brings talented minds together across the planet for 48-72 hours to help solve space related challenges designed by space industry professionals (2016 URL). During the past two years I have been able to create two challenges on Space Florida's behalf, "Fit as a MOoSE: Metabolic Observations of Space Explorers" in 2015 and "Book it to the Moon" in 2016.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Speedy rocket soars to kick off weekend #MUOS5 #AtlasV #TGIF

The view from the ITL was... well short. But amazing of course. Any time you can watch a rocket launch from up close is going to be a good memory. I brought out my big lens to capture the launch, I believe it was my first time using it to capture one up close. Granted all professional media photos are way better than mine, I still like to capture one or two moments through the lens each launch. This Atlas V configuration had 5 solid rockets sending the MUOS-5 satellite into orbit, meaning it had a big thrust-kick right off the pad and towards the sun, which not the best angle for shots, but I saw a few creative lens flares out there. Congrats to United Launch Alliance again, what a great way to start off Jen's birthday weekend!

My tweet text: Cleared the tower. #MUOS5 on it's way to orbit hitching a ride on #AtlasV rocket with @ulalaunch this morning. #TGIF

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I was somewhere in the desert when we missed another launch. ABS 2A & #Eutelsat 117 West B

We were away on vacation visiting friends and family in Colorado and Utah. We were somewhere in Greenwood Caverns during the launch. No behind the scenes photos. No barge landing either. Oh well.

Uncredited photo plastered across social media. Probably belonging to Eutelsat

The official stats:
June 15 Falcon 9   •  ABS 2A & Eutelsat 117 West B
Launch time: 1429 GMT (10:29 a.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the ABS 2A and Eutelsat 117 West B communications satellites. ABS 2A will distribute direct-to-home television, mobile and maritime communications services across Russia, India, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean region for Asia Broadcast Satellite of Bermuda and Hong Kong. Eutelsat 117 West B will provide Latin America with video, data, government, and mobile services for Paris-based Eutelsat. Built by Boeing, the satellites launched in a conjoined configuration and will use all-electric propulsion for orbit-raising. Delayed from 4th quarter 2015, March, April, May 3 and late May. Moved forward from June 16. Delayed from June 14. Read our full story. [June 15]


Saturday, June 11, 2016

The chaotic dance of life with rocket gazing #DeltaIV #Heavy #NROL37

First of all, June 11th, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

On Thursday afternoon I spent a few hours with friends waiting on the NASA Causeway patiently in our car, but we knew the weather was not going to clear up in the long launch window. Oh well, we had a pre-scrub scrub to head home (we would have seen it from home at the end of the window if the weather magically cleared). The launch was pushed to Saturday, which meant no up close launch viewing, but a new possible angle. We were en route to a very chaotic day. First we dropped off Teddy at his 2nd home for our vacation travels and then we headed to Jen's afternoon ballet recital in Titusville. We stopped for a late Mexican food lunch and were able to watch the launch from the riverfront before heading to her show. With the far distance to the launchpad, we didn't get the glorious show we previously saw from the CCAFS Skid Strip for the Orion EFT-1 launch, but the rumble was still nice and loud. It was overcast so the show ended pretty quickly.

Scrub day at CCAFS. I took this photo with a jumbo lens from the NASA Causeway in the morning of the first launch attempt (June 9th).

Friday, May 27, 2016

A hockey player's salut for Memorial Day Weekend launch of #Thaicom8 by #SpaceX

Tournament Weekend! Since moving to Florida I have competed in the Memorial Day [Weekend] tournament at the Space Coast Iceplex. I left home a little early to make sure I wasn't driving at the beginning of the +SpaceX launch window. I watched patiently on the webcast and found the rocket right on target to the North so I gave it a hockey player salut since I knew my photo quality was going to be low anyway. I then watched the webcast as SpaceX landed for the third time in a row on their barge out in the Atlantic Ocean!

Here's to you rocket! Tweet text for these two photos: Hockey player salute to #SpaceX #THAICOM8 launch from @SCIceplex Memorial Day Tournament! Great work @SpaceX!

That evening was probably our worse game because of fierce competition, but I did set up a goal in the final minutes.

The official stats:
May 27 Falcon 9   •  Thaicom 8
Launch time: 2139 GMT (5:39 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Thaicom 8 communications satellite. Thaicom 8 will provide Ku-band broadcast and data services to Thailand, Southeast Asia, India and Africa. Moved forward from June. Scrubbed on May 26. Read our full story. [May 27]