To begin my new Hyperbola (pr. hy-per-bo-la) blog this single scene from Stanley Kubrick’s seminal sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey seemed as apt as anything.
In one shot it links mankind’s first use of a tool, in this case a bone, to what Kubrick, and screenplay co-author Sir Arthur C. Clarke, thought would represent the most advanced technologies at the beginning of the 21st century, an orbiting nuclear weapon – not obvious from the movie but if you read Clarke’s 1972 book The Lost Worlds of 2001 that’s what it is supposed to be.
As Flight’s technical reporter I like to tackle the World’s space programmes from a technology point of view. The devil, after all, is in that technical detail the industry and its government space agency customers like to keep to themselves. Why Hyperbola? It is all about orbital mechanics, need I say more?Continuing on from what was simply the Orbiting the Blogosphere posts on the Flight International blog, Hyperbola is supersonically combusting into a daily beat blog about the spaceflight industry from Boeing’s Delta IV evolved expendable launch vehicle to Jeff Bezos’ New Shephard, from Armadillo Aerospace’s highs and lows to Lockheed Martin’s $8 billion Orion crew exploration vehicle.
So now you have a daily reason to tell me my views are just, hyperbolic…
But from my orbital plane expect links as plentiful as the stars in the monolith stargate’s starfield or the craters on the Moon; especially today as the launch of Hyperbola coincides with Flight’s parent company Reed Business Information’s charity blogathon day.
With the recent big news about Google’s Lunar X Prize still reverberating around the blogosphere, one of my preferred blogs, hobbyspace.com has linked to discussions about likely contenders for that competition, to place a private rover on our natural satellite.
Meanwhile Mr X at chairforce engineer, another of my favoured blogs, is looking at commercial human spaceflight tech, speculating on propulsion development for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and comments made by Randy Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings (another blog I visit) about liquid oxygen options for the spaceliner.
I agree with Mr X that SS2 won’t be a liquid oxygen hybrid system, why? Because I have spoken to Virgin Galactic and they told me they ruled that out. But they have examined other options. Where Mr X might be right is in hybrids ultimately not being able to do the job. But for now I expect a hybrid system to propell SS2 into the stratosphere sometime in 2009.