Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Tuesday, September 28, 2004

  Live from the Mojave desert 10 hrs til launch

First off, I noticed, in registering for my crew pass, someone in on a wifi connection. I'm seated on the other side of the wall, getting on one blog entry before I have to go manage people.

Mark Schaffer - the aerospace student from Illinois, made it here – with 35 volunteers! Let's hear it for the Illinois Space Society! One introduced herself to me - "Brianna" - asks me what I do - I say, "network engineer with roots in aerospace" - and run out of things to say.

I drove down with Elf – more on that story later - we made it to the mojave airport - walked in, I asked: "what can we do with him?" Jennifer looks him up and down and declares "He's a VIP volunteer." He gets the spiel, signs the release, and bang he's on the team, too. Last I saw him tonight, he was hanging with the wery Russian staff of Interorbital.... "We don't like wings. Wings suck. Fuck wings."

Elf also started an irc channel - #SpaceShipOne on irc.freenode.org. Presently there are about 50 people in there.....

First person I meet? Jerry Pournelle. He's grumpy because he's both a VIP and a media person... and nobody in the media department has ever heard of him. I've heard of him – I've read every last one of his books and most everything else he's published or edited – we've had a few brief dialogs in email – he liked Rhysling and me when I sent it to him 12 years ago - I'm not gonna sing that song tonight- I know his son's a big part of Xcor, transplanted home of many of the starry eyed dreamers that once made up Rotary Rocket – I sidle over, calm him down a little, then Jennifer Cohen arrives... there's more confusion...

I mouth the words “Can I help?” to Jennifer, she nods no, I'm disappointed, I had quick daydreams about driving Jerry to the VIP party and having 30 minutes to debate our respective positions on getting resources to space vs from space. Ah well, maybe later. He heads off to the party. Later on, he and Niven stop by, looking for the next party. Must be nice to have that many novels to your credit...

... me I'm picking up trash, and loving it.

The fate of a writer in a big event - I'm the only person here right now in an enormous hangar; all the other volunteers have vanished somewhere, I should get up and find Elf. There were a bunch of people gathered around the Xcor building...

I must look "official" - new volunteers keep streaming in and ask me where to go. I send them in through the "exit" to the registration desk. Hah! I'm actually being useful, for a change....

I'm packing my guitar, but I'm in the mood to write a new song. One with no minor keys. Hell, I'm in the mood to talk to people. I'm in the mood to run towards the stars...

I've got a pair of sleeping bags, and some beach chairs, and a laptop, and
Greg Klerkx's new book "Lost in space - the fall of NASA and the dream of a new space age" but I gotta go now.

It's 10 hours to launch time.
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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