Category Archives: Book Review

Cesium Demo Using STK Scenario/TLE Data

Coming Soon: Orbital Mechanics/Astrodynamic Problem Solutions

While in the midst of preparing for a journal paper I decided that I wanted to showcase my abilities. I will solve all the problems from Vladimir Chobotov’s Orbital Mechanics, Third Edition, and Richard Battin’s An Introduction to the Mathematics and Methods of Astrodynamics, Revised Edition and post the solutions online. I hope to have this done by January 2.

Not only will this be a good review for myself but it will showcase my abilities to solve problems relating to the field I want to enter. Hopefully, it will prove to be a valuable tool in the future.

As for the featured picture: I am in the process of getting myself certified Level 1 with STK. I dropped this scenario into Cesium while I was practicing and exploring STK before the exam. My exam is due December 22. I will let you know the results soon!

Lessons from Gene Kranz's "Failure Is Not An Option"

FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION is an overview of Gene Kranz’s time as a controller with the newly formed Mecury Program to the last Apollo mission. He describes the growth of a burgeoning new space program, the success and the failures, and the men and women that took America to the moon.

The dedication of Gene’s team and his resolve to be TOUGH and COMPETENT following the Apollo 1 disaster that claimed the lives of Ed White, Roger Chaffee, and Gus Grissom are exemplary of a leader. His resolve to forge his team from mere engineers to operators is incredible. His resolve paid off when he and his team helped bring home Apollo 13 alive and safe. Time and time again Gene makes critical decisions based on his extensive preparation, the implicit trust he has for his fellow controllers, and his gut. A new group of young controllers seems to join the old with each mission. With each mission the young become old with their experience in the trenches.

Several lessons that can be gained:

  • Preparation: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”-John Wooden. Gene’s team was more than a group of engineers. They were operators. They knew the system and their spacecraft extensively inside and out.
  • Trust: If you don’t trust your team to make the right decisions then why do they work for you? There was an implicit bond of trust between Gene, his underlings, and his peers.
  • Mentorship: One day you will be replaced. If the system is to run smoothly¬† you have to encourage individual growth while showing them the ropes.

What does this mean for me?

In Dr. O’Neill’s laboratory we often face critical, time-constrained decisions. My ability to answer them is a reflection of my capabilities. In my current down-time I am focused on improving my CAD, Orbit Analysis, and Coding knowledge.

 

 

 

Lessons from Gene Kranz’s “Failure Is Not An Option”

FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION is an overview of Gene Kranz’s time as a controller with the newly formed Mecury Program to the last Apollo mission. He describes the growth of a burgeoning new space program, the success and the failures, and the men and women that took America to the moon.

The dedication of Gene’s team and his resolve to be TOUGH and COMPETENT following the Apollo 1 disaster that claimed the lives of Ed White, Roger Chaffee, and Gus Grissom are exemplary of a leader. His resolve to forge his team from mere engineers to operators is incredible. His resolve paid off when he and his team helped bring home Apollo 13 alive and safe. Time and time again Gene makes critical decisions based on his extensive preparation, the implicit trust he has for his fellow controllers, and his gut. A new group of young controllers seems to join the old with each mission. With each mission the young become old with their experience in the trenches.

Several lessons that can be gained:

  • Preparation: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”-John Wooden. Gene’s team was more than a group of engineers. They were operators. They knew the system and their spacecraft extensively inside and out.
  • Trust: If you don’t trust your team to make the right decisions then why do they work for you? There was an implicit bond of trust between Gene, his underlings, and his peers.
  • Mentorship: One day you will be replaced. If the system is to run smoothly¬† you have to encourage individual growth while showing them the ropes.

What does this mean for me?

In Dr. O’Neill’s laboratory we often face critical, time-constrained decisions. My ability to answer them is a reflection of my capabilities. In my current down-time I am focused on improving my CAD, Orbit Analysis, and Coding knowledge.