The article in the link above does read a little bit like a press release for the company responsible for the aircraft tracking system, but it’s still interesting. And might really help in shedding light on two tragedies involving Boeing aircraft.
There are no answers about causes of the accidents in the article–just quoted speculation. But the story highlights the fact that data from the tracking system is pointing to similar problems leading up to the two crashes. And that’s one of the reasons that system exists. If the data from it helps to prevent future accidents, then that’s something good coming out of something very bad.
Aaaaand suddenly, the autonomous Moon vehicles from Japan become less sexy and less interesting. They won’t be able to corner worth a damn.
But they’ll be more reliable and be extremely good on gas. 😉
Don’t worry, the linked article doesn’t talk about the wonderfulness of Marie Kondo in space. Astronauts won’t need to worry about the efficient and beautiful folding techniques for t-shirts in space. But the article does a good job describing the differences astronauts are seeing between older systems, such as the Soyuz capsules and the space shuttle, and newer ones like the Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Dragon.
What’s funny to me is this article also shows the generation gaps. One astronaut in there talks about how hard it is to get used to touchscreens to do commands, instead of using the very tactile, but occasionally accidentally-pressable prone toggle switches. I just know that a few generations from now, the kids today will complain about missing the intuitive swipe features of a touchscreen, rather than having to using their eyes to select commands in augmented reality devices.
I remember using keyboards with clicky sounds. Get off my lawn you kids!!! 🙂
Let us ask the obvious question: what was the Pentagon doing before?
Two things to note as well. The 15,000 people who will go into space force are not a much larger pool of bodies than what U.S. Air Force already has identified as space operators within its ranks. And that’s probably including acquisitions officers, who mainly ARE NOT space operators. So, where are the other bodies from the NRO, NGA, NSA, USA, and USN (to name a few)?
The amount of money for a space force is also small. Smaller than what I’ve seen. And the money will mainly go to programs already in play (not appearing to leverage some things small satellites bring to the table), but does not provide any new, more space-focused capability. And very little of it seems to be invested in the people, which is the whole point of breaking this group off to become a space force.
Should it really be news that a transportation vehicle did what it should do, and transported people safely to their destination? It’s not like the news covers trains, cruise ships, or airplanes that arrive without drama (imagine the headline–“US Passengers arrive at Charles De Gaulle”). Or is it news because the world is genuinely worried that Russian launches are becoming less reliable? I look forward to the day when this type of thing is so common, so routine, that it’s not news. That would be a great day (and newsworthy)!!
Just in case anyone was wondering what the heck SpaceX is doing down in Texas. Starhopper looks like it’s coming along. It will be interesting to see what happens when the company finally lights it up. No matter what the result.
To be very, very clear–this isn’t news. NASA has been trotting out this idea every now and then for decades. China started doing the same not too long ago. So why is the news reporting on it again? Maybe it’s something to do with budgets?