Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

  Too much raw material

That describes my writing day today. I am gonna have to take a day off and parallelize the audio->editing process before I accidentally re-use more tapes.

Heard a rumor yesterday that Greg Bear maintaines a house near mine, where he putters in the garden (same as me) and works on his next book. (same as me, 'cept that he's 30 books ahead). He has a blog now! His books EON and Eternity were great influences on me as I spent the late 80s and early 90s boning up on the near earth asteroids...

Speaking of raw material... the MUSES-C mission originally featured a cool nano-rover but that was canceled in 2000 due to budgetary constraints. Sigh. I take some comfort that the Japanese did manage to launch a scaled down craft, and it is due for a swing-by of earth in May - on it's way to ITOKAWA.

I have been trying to get an interview about the mission plan fromBall Aerospacefor NEOX version 1 and especially NEOX version 2 (featuring an "Deep impact" style impactor) f - a certain "R.P. Reinert, R.W. Dissly, and S. Mitchell" ...for ages... as they presented at the last AAS meeting: I've emailed Ball so I can get more details - no response. I've googled - no answers - I swear I saw the proposed mission plan on the web... can't find it....

Anybody know these guys? I've got a project that might help enhance their quest....

I guess I'll have to wait until the next AAS meeting.

It's been a rocky day. I have got a couple meetings tomorrow morning. Can't sleep. Gah. I keep having nightmares about 10 million wasted shuttle launches while 2003 YT1, 2001 US16, and 2000 JS16 slip quietly by.

2003 YT1 especially interests me - it's a "fast rotator", meaning that it is solid enough to rotate at a speed probably in excess of it's surface gravity - or, its exceptionally massy - either way means that it is an excellent candidate for mining... and/or a tether based launch system... It comes within .78 AU on April 30th.

and 2001US16 comes within .028 AU on May 8th. .028 AU, kiddies, is only 11 times further than the moon....

And 2004+HH20 passes by at a mere... agh... I can't say it.

Wave a fist at these rocks as they pass by with me. All that mass... so near, and yet so far.

If you really want grumpy, see all the other free rides to the solar system we've missed this year. Or all the missions scrapped since we decided to create an international sucking sound.

I gotta get some sleep.
Here's the list of the closest real estate on the hoof

ID Date Distance-AU Lunar-dist
2003 WP7 2003 Dec 04 06:55 0.0183 7
2003 WY25 2003 Dec 11 23:36 0.0248 10
2001 SY269 2004 Mar. 18.32 0.02676 10
2001 US16 2004 May 8.23 0.02860 11
(25143) 2004 June 26.83 0.01290 6
1999 MN 2004 July 11.06 0.01737 8
(4179) Toutatis 2004 Sept.29.57 0.01036 5


Night. I think I will haul the air mattress out to my front porch, with sleeping bag, and try to come to terms with mars and venus. Damn, damn, damn - I missed the Space Access conference, too. I will try to take heart, as I try to sleep tonight, that others can get as grumpy about space policy as I can... Amen. After the veneer of reform fades, pass me a quarter billion for 16 asteroid missions please? The payoff is somewhere between a billion and umpteen trillion dollars a year, in about 12 years, for the remaining life of our species. Sure wish I could interest a VC in that, but I guess I'll go back to hacking VOIP and wireless technologies into cafe's and the beach... for now.

I have to misquote PJ ORoarke here: "Giving money and attention to NASA is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."

 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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