Astrogator and CEO Mike Loucks - BGM Interview

Mike Loucks is the CEO of Space Exploration Engineering (SEE), which he co-founded in 1995. He received a BA in Physics/Astronomy from Whitman College, WA in 1985 and an MS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado in 1991. He co-founded SEE corp. in 1995 after working as an operations and trajectory planning expert for Orbital Sciences Corporation.

The NASA Apollo missions and science fiction by Robert Heinlein got Mike interested and space and astronomy. Early on, he pondered becoming an astronomer but later decided that aerospace engineering was his true passion. We chatted about the founding of SEE and his work there. Mike then told me about the kinds of computer and software tools he uses for orbital and celestial mechanics and the role Macs have played in his life. Mike finished with some great advice for students who want to pursue a career in aerospace engineering.

What the Sky Will Look Like When We Collide With Andromeda Galaxy

Our Milky Way galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy are gravitationally bound and will collide in about 4 billion years. Because stars are so far apart in a galaxy, many light years, the term “collision” really means interleave and gravitationally interact. Still, it will light up our sky. NASA has done a simulation to show us what it will look like. That is, if anyone is around to watch!

NASA Conducts First All-Woman Spacewalk

I’ve been gripped by the livestream of Jessica Meir and Christina Koch conducting the first-ever all-woman spacewalk. The historic event generated such interest that NASA made a host of details publicly available. More than it would do for another such mission. It contains information about this walk and explains what went wrong last time NASA tried to conduct an all-woman spacewalk. It also gives details of how to follow online.

In Honor of Apollo 11, Orbitrack Will Be Free on July 20th

Southern Stars Group, LLC has released the following:

On the 50thanniversary of Apollo 11’s first manned moon landing, a new iOS app – Orbitrack – lets you explore the universe of spacecraft in orbit around our home planet today, using cutting-edge augmented and virtual reality technology.

Better yet: for just one day, July 20th, 2019, Orbitrack will be offered for free on the iTunes Store.

Highly rated, Orbitrack is available in the Apple App Store now for $4.99 (free on 7/20) and for Android in the second half of 2019. For more information, visit Southern Stars Group.

iPhones Have 100,000 Times More Processing Power Than Apollo 11 Computer

iPhones have over 100,000 times more processing power than the Apollo 11 computer; with 4GB of RAM they have over a million times more memory, and with 512GB of storage they have over seven million times more storage.

Despite the rapid technological advances since then, astronauts haven’t actually been back to the moon since 1972. This seems surprising. After all, when we reflect on this historic event, it is often said that we now have more computing power in our pocket than the computer aboard Apollo 11 did. But is that true? And, if so, how much more powerful are our phones?

It’s amazing to see how far technology has advanced since then.

Science Fiction Author Darren Beyer (#2) - TMO Background Mode Interview

Darren Beyer is a former NASA Space Shuttle engineer at Kennedy Space Center who worked on launching and recovering more than a dozen missions. He also conducted astronaut training and had the honor of working onboard every Space Shuttle orbiter except Challenger. In late 1998, he left NASA to become an author.

The result was the Anghazi series of novels, Casimir Bridge, released in 2016 to rave reviews thanks largely to his commitment to putting the science back in science fiction. The second installment, Pathogen Protocol was released in October, 2018. In this second show with Darren, we continue our previous discussion: Back to the Moon first or off to Mars first? With robot companions? Industrializing the Moon. Plus: Darren’s approach to the third novel in the Anghazi series and an explanation of how his characters achieve interstellar travel.