User Interface Design

A few things I’ve learned about user interface design working on a flight project at NASA: Assume your operator is looking at your Graphical User Interface (GUI) at 3am after having been awake¬†since 6am the previous day. Make stop buttons tiny/hidden to keep them from getting accidentally pressed. Make ABORT buttons huge. In your user guide, explain how each value… Read more →

XKCD Space List

XKCD has had many space-themed webcomics over the years. Here are a few of my favorite space-themed ones. Up Goer Five Space Launch System Height Six Words Angular Size Space Elevators Tensile vs Shear Strength The Corliss Resolution Realistic Criteria Nanobots A Bunch of Rocks     Read more →

Up Goer Five – XKCD

There’s an art to explaining something in the simplest terms possible…

Another thing that is a bad problem is if you're flying toward space and the parts start to fall off your space car in the wrong order. If that happens, it means you won't go to space today, or maybe ever.

Another thing that is a bad problem is if you’re flying toward space and the parts start to fall off your space car in the wrong order. If that happens, it means you won’t go to space today, or maybe ever.

Why space?

If [people] are starving, why should a government spend money on space exploration? Recently, India was publicly asked this question with the launch of their Mars orbiter. Ernst Stuhlinger once infamously answered this query by a nun. His eloquent response boiled down to this: research is¬†necessary to improve the lives of people in the future, and we cannot only look… Read more →

ISS for the World

This post is based on a presentation Dr. Julie Robinson (ISS Chief Scientist) gave at the International Aeronautical Congress in Beijing, China this past September. Dr. Julie Robinson’s Top Ten ISS Achievements in 2013: 10. Preventing the loss of bone mass in space through diet and exercise 9. Understanding mechanisms of osteoporosis and new ways to treat it 8. Hyperspectral… Read more →

Space for People

There has been much said about the need for more students to go into STEM fields and the difficulty of exciting the public about space. I’ve had opportunities to talk with kids about what got me excited about space and with space professionals and educators at conferences about how engineers can participate in inspiring the next generation. A common idea… Read more →