A Rocket Car Future (for some)

A Rocket Car Future (for some)

Currently I’m attending the Next Generation Sub-Orbital Research (and Education) Conference in Palo Alto, California. I’m staring at all my notes struggling with finding a coherent theme, idea, or even emotion that I can use to tie together my thoughts. I find that I just can’t; this is a conference that simply defies being captured in a straight forward manner. My struggle to find a coherent message comes from half of my brain bouncing up and down shouting “this is so awesome” as it basks in all the goodness that is commercial space, while the other half of my brain says “But this is only for the 1% – and that’s not me…” I’m going to try and explain this mental dichotomy, but I want to say upfront,...

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Kindness at 30,000ft

Kindness at 30,000ft

Earlier today I wrote on Google+ that there are day’s when you run head first into the tail-end of the probability distribution. Today was one of those days, and now that it’s over and I’m laying in bed typing, I can happily say I got to see both sides of the Gaussian. It started as a normal travel day for me. I got up far too early, shoveled myself in and out of the shower and into the car, following the inner mantra, “You were upgraded, it’s ok. They will feed you, then you can sleep.” From waking at 6:30am to being at the airport at 8am to being in the air by 9:30am, all was good. I was looking forward to a meet up with Bay Area astronomy folks, and needed to spend a bit more time on my talk. I had plenty of time for all of...

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Breaking Stereotypes with We are CosmoQuest

Breaking Stereotypes with We are CosmoQuest

The question I get asked the most is “Why are you an astronomer?” The tone of this question varies from “I never thought I’d meet an astronomer? How did this happen?” to “Are you insane – that’s hard! Why would you do that!” to “Do astronomers have a reason to exist?” to, well…. reactions vary and it is clear I’m not the vision of what people expect an astronomer to look or sound like. I’m not the only one who experiences this. I sometimes think the only people who look like “astronomers” are white, 50-something men who make poor wardrobe choices. The problem with this stereotype is that’s just not astronomy. We are young. We are old. We are men and we are women....

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