Saturday, October 17, 2009

Building the Private Space Ships of the Future!

It's been a while since I've posted anything space related... I've been reading up on all things private space sector and there are a few folks I'm keeping my eye on:

Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Bigelow Aerospace, Armadillo Aerospace, Ad Astra Rocket Company, and Blue Origin (This last one is pretty mysterious and not much is known about their progress.)

I completely believe that these private aerospace companies are what's really going to get humanity into space in a big way in the next couple of decades. I admit most of these companies are in their infancy, but they're developing relatively quickly and cutting deals with NASA and finding funding... I have no doubt that most if not all will grow into major players in space. We're in the space version of the late 70s just before the big Internet boom of the early 90s. Trust me, once these guys take off (or blast off) they're going to play off each other and compete and it's going to snowball.

It's not a huge stretch of the imagination to envision a near future with ships routinely flying around the solar system made up of standardized components developed by these different companies. The ship could have a version of SpaceX's Dragon command module as the bridge, Bigelow's BA 330 habitats for crew and cargo, Ad Astra's powerful VASIMR ion drives propelling them to distant targets, and once there dropping down with Armadillo landers!

I, for one, am looking forward to my retirement cruise to Mars on one of these ships.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Originally uploaded by alexthoth
Visited the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Del Ray Beach yesterday and I have admit I was very impressed. The whole place was bigger than most of the preserves in Pembroke Pines and it was teeming with wildlife. I was talking to a guy there and he said that most of the birds aren't even there yet and tend to show up when it gets cooler like the start of November.

I gotta go back. Too bad it's kinda far from my house.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Barnacle

Mai on bench
Originally uploaded by alexthoth
Marge and I spent the day at the Grove. We had lunch at GreenStreet Café, which is always good and walked around the Barnacle this Sunday. It was nice. The longer I was there the more I wanted a cute house surrounded by a hardwood hammock... preferably with on a bay or a lake.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sophie Aden Hernandez

Sophie Aden Hernandez
Originally uploaded by alexthoth
Just found out our baby is a girl!Also last night Marge felt it move for the first time!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cardinal takes off

Cardinal takes off
Originally uploaded by alexthoth
This has to be the coolest picture I've taken by far. I love the colors, the position of the bird, the sheer luck it took to take it! Very proud.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Got the Woodpecker!

Originally uploaded by alexthoth
It isn't the most crisp picture I've taken, but I blame the woodpecker who was in the shade of the tree's trunk!

Still need to get that gray fox and maybe I'll step up my avian goal up to bald eagle!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Amature Photography

I've become quite the nature photographer since getting my new Canon- PowerShot 12.1 Megapixel Digital Camera (PowerShot SX20 IS). The camera is great and I highly recommend it. The one thing I'm not liking about it is that it takes crap night shots. Don't know if it's me or a setting issue, but I haven't been able to take a single night picture worth a damn. If anyone out there has a solution for this please let me know!

The nature photography started out as a way for me to practice taking pictures with the new camera, but it's become a hobby of sorts. The great thing is that Broward County has all these awesome wetland mitigation and conservation banks all over the place with boardwalks where visitors can see all sorts of native birds and wildlife. I find myself going out trying to capture more and more images of plants and animals. It's almost like hunting!

Right now my goal is to get a picture of a gray fox and a woodpecker. Wish me luck.