Monthly Archives: October 2012

Skybox: Employee References and a Philosophy of Making Space Commonplace

Skybox doesn’t really think of itself as a satellite company at all, said founder and Chief Product Officer Dan Berkenstock:

“People typecast us as an aerospace company, but we think of ourselves as a big data company,” he said. “Nobody says Google is a data center company. It’s a search company, but the servers are there, they’re in the background, and part of Google’s competitive advantage is they’ve figured out how to make very good, very low cost, very scaleable data centers. That’s kind of the same thing here with Skybox. We’re a big data company that just happens to use satellites to get that data.”

"Myth Buster in the Space Industry" Rand Simberg (Competitive Enterprise Institute)

 “If you don’t want to lose crew, don’t got into space.”
 “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships were built for.”
 “Most humans never got more than ten miles from the place they were born, throughout history.”

Rand Simberg: “When you have a congressman congratulating the NASA administrator saying, “We’re glad that you made safety the number one priority for that mission.” What he’s really saying is, “everything else is number two, its a lower priority”…actually doing the mission is a lower priority than making sure its safe. Safety becomes such a high priority that we’d rather not fly – “because we don’t want to risk an astronaut.” There’s something fundamentally wrong with that. What it says is that, “Space isn’t important. Actually doing things in space is not that important.” If you agree to that, then agree to it and make sure, make it very explicit, that’s what you’re saying.”

“One thing we have to recognize: people have different risk tolerances. There’s some people who are willing to risk more, for whatever their perceived reward is, and, we have to let them do that. The least safe way to get to 29,000 feet is to walk there. You know, about 10 percent of the people who climb Everest, don’t come back. But we’re not telling them they can’t do it. When we come up with these numbers, “loss of crew, 1 in 2,000…” that’s completely an arbitrary number. There’s no rational basis for it. And particularly for a vehicle that’s going to fly as seldom as Ares One did, what they are saying is, “we want a guarantee that we’re never going to lose crew.” Well, if you want to do that just do go into space. Its a tough frontier…its nutty to think we’re going to open it up without loosing people.

“Every one of the FAA regulations was written in blood – they learned by flying – and, we have to do the same thing in space. And we have to recognize that.”

"Thank you man of tomorrow…" Jon Steward on Planetary Resources

“Space pioneers going to mine mother fucking asteroids!! For precious materials – boom! boom! Yes!! Stu is all in! -You know how rarely the news in 2012 looks and sounds how you thought news would look and sound in 2012. The only thing missing in my futuristic fantasy is newsman Scott Kelly’s non-futuristic sense of style…the best part, ain’t no government boondoggle.”

Anticipating Advancement Into a Frontier Now, on Earth

“Make our ambitions in space so tasty, so seductive, so enticing, that people will be beating down the door to get into the science classroom. That people won’t be mindlessly disconnected from the advancing frontiers of science and technology because those discoveries will be writ large in the daily papers.”
“Tips on Presenting Complex Scientific Ideas to a General Audience: Sure you can say spatial and temporal, but why not just say space and time?”

We Can Find Better Sponsors

Note the only two logos on Curiosity are for government institutions…NASA’s
website received 2 billion hits surrounding the landing, Congress should require
NASA vehicles to seek sponsorship similar to Volvo Ocean Race/World Cup/Olympic
events. Curiosity should look like a NASCAR entrant.

360° panoramic photography by Andrew Bodrov,25.37,43.8