Category Archives: Outbound News

So, About Plans, Mice, Men

Sigh. I had started this year strong, with every intention of averaging a post a day (or better) here. Obviously, I’ve gone off the path for that.

I have an out though: I said average.

This means that I have to post a lot more to get my average up, so I have my work cut out for me. And I certainly don’t want to just post junk, either. Then again, there is so much going on that good topics litter the ground these days.

To kick off my sprint to catch up with my plan, here’s the article that kicked me in the rear to get cranking again:

Get 1% Better Every Day: The Kaizen Way to Self-Improvement

Systems of Systems – Human Experience and Space

One of the tenets of the Outbound project is that Humanity already lives and works in space. We are surrounded by the environment that is keyed to our biology and allows us to live with at least a fighting chance for survival, but it is still only one environment, on one body in outer space. There are many more environments out there, and many more bodies in space. Through technology, we have already dipped our toes in, as Sagan said, and we know that adaptation is possible. If we survive ourselves, or terrestrial natural events, or even the vagaries of space threats that exist, we can get ourselves spread about the cosmos. Time, resources, and human industry are the only real design factors, and we have those.

Of course, the above is a philosophical argument. Not logically untrue at all, but vague. As an engineer, however, you can look at our species’ life in the universe as a systems engineering problem. Essentially, we are an imperfectly closed-loop system that is performance-limited by its nominally-closed nature. Said less-esoterically – Humans only live on Earth, and while it takes care of the bulk of our needs, staying home limits our potential. The definitions of our potential can be represented in many ways, of course. Many systems would have to come together to break out of our closed-loop construct, and those systems must be defined before our potentials can even be really hinted at.

With that in mind, I think it is high time to treat human Space Exploration and Exploitation (SE2) as a System of Systems puzzle. I am now looking at the high-level view of the system, and will progressively break it down into more and more subsystems, until there is a real framework to build upon to create a viable and understandable space-faring society. The work will not be easy, I have no illusions about that, and I will need to form a team of co-researchers and supporters to pull together what I expect will be a huge body of work. I think that’s all worth it, though. Let me elevate that: It is necessary.

Happy New Year – Rubber Meeting the Road and All That

I am loathe to adopt “New Year’s Resolutions”, but in this case, I have to make an exception. The Outbound project, as I see in in my mind’s eye, will only work if it gets out from behind that eye and makes itself real. With that, I am pledging that for the next year, starting with this post, I will average a post a day (minimum) on this Blog, and no less than seven posts a week.

There is too much going on in the space industry to have any excuses not to have anything to write about or to plan forward the human future.

Here’s something useful to check into, to go beyond just trying to motivate myself:

The How To Be A Rocket Scientist blog:

From the About page:

Brett Hoffstadt is an experienced aerospace professional with over 20 years of industry experience and a technical specialization in aerodynamics.  He is a certified Project Management Professional PMP(c) with a strength in projects for innovation and complex engineering systems.  He is also a passionate advocate and champion for greater representation in STEM subjects and careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  More accurately, he advocates ESTEAM: Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.  He has also been a trendsetter and creative force in efforts such as 3-d printing, music composing, and crowdfunding.  He has two patents pending for commercial aviation applications.  He also has a personal life with other people and pets that will be left at that.

I’ll chime in later about this recent entry into the discussion of Space Exploration and Exploitation.

Outbound: We Live and Work In Space.

This is Day One of the Outbound Story.

Or, at least, it is the first day for anyone outside of my own mind as to the existence of the concept I call Outbound.

Our species is a complex creature at the best of times, comprised of various parts enlightened self-interest, societal pressures, basic needs and fervent desires, and of course, mixtures of all of that into what we call the human condition. For the past several thousand years at least, most of that condition has been measured against the terrestrial background and the history that we have packaged with it. In recent years, however, we have begun to stretch beyond that ancient background, into the vacuum between us and other bodies in the cosmos. With great wonder, and with an ever-increasing sense of mystery, we have yearned for more information and perhaps more freedom in new frontiers beyond the confines of the Earth. There is an innate sense that we can indeed extend and amend the human condition into the universe, and that is only achieved by going Outbound.

I will soon have a forum set up to discuss the many, many questions that must be answered in order to follow the Outbound track, but until then, for those of you now aware of our web presence, think about one question, would you please?

What is outer space to you?