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Hosts The Space Shot & The Cosmosphere Podcast. Podcaster. Techie. Bibliophile. Space science & history nerd. I’ve also been a jeweler for 15+ years.

The experience isn’t all I’ve come to expect from an Apple product

I decided to buy a pair of the gorgeous and, by all accounts, decadent AirPods Max this weekend. Over the past few days, I’ve clocked in 10+ hours of listening time with my favorite playlists, and the sound quality is truly spectacular for Bluetooth audio. That being said, the experience isn’t all that I’ve come to expect from an Apple product.

I tried a pair of AirPods Max a few months back at an Apple store, and I was blown away in the short time I was able to experience them in the store. Taking a pair home blew my…


The content you’re looking for has slipped into digital nothingness

What is digital amnesia? It’s also known as digital obsolescence, but basically, it happens when a file, website, or piece of computer hardware can no longer be read or function, thereby depriving us of the ability to read the contents stored in that medium.

What I’ve found in some cases while researching episodes of The Space Shot, is that a lot of space mission websites have just been left as is; HTML code and web design that dates to the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Links that used to be functional are broken, even on newer NASA websites from the…


A brief policy overview from Apollo to Artemis… and hopefully beyond

The operation of NASA has always been intertwined with Presidential politics. Since its inception, NASA has been an independent agency that is part of the executive branch. For better or worse, this has meant that each President can impart their legacy on the agency. Some Presidents like Ford and Carter took a more hands-off approach, so I’ll be skipping them for now.

Space became a defining part of President Kennedy’s legacy, even if he had not intended to make it so upon entering office. …


My wife and I took inspiration from more places than we can count for the declaration we gave earlier this month in front of family and friends when we got married.

Colorado allows couples to self-solemnize, so we decided to something that reflected our values, instead of having a judge or priest officiate our wedding.

We collaborated on this declaration and we hope this inspires you if you’re writing vows of your own.

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Together, we declare:

We are embarking on this adventure as copilots, best friends, lovers, and equals.

The strength of our union is derived from our consent as…


Out of This World Science

Setting the stage for the current exploration of Mars

On July 4, 1997, the Mars Pathfinder mission and the Sojourner rover landed on the surface of Mars. This mission was an example of what NASA could do with a “low cost” flight, with the budget being roughly $280 million for the vehicle, operations on Earth, and a rocket.

This incredible panorama shows Pathfinder and the Sojourner rover on the Martian surface.

Pathfinder had a unique airbag design that would later be used for Spirit and Opportunity. The airbag coupled with a heatshield, parachute, and retro rockets allowed the spacecraft to slow to landing speed after traveling 300 million miles…


Starting 13 Years of Amazing Science

On June 30, 2004, the Cassini-Huygens mission performed its SOI or Saturn Orbit Insertion burn to enter orbit around this enigmatic gas giant. This day marked the beginning of over 13 years of continuous operations in the Saturnian system. Online you may see that Cassini arrived on either June 30th or July 1st, depending on the source, that’s due to its arrival late in the evening and time zones. (The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is located in California, so when Cassini arrived at Saturn at 9:12 p.m. Pacific time, it was June 30th.)

Kevin Gill processed this striking image which shows Saturn and some of its moons. “Processed using calibrated red, green, and blue filtered images of Saturn taken by Cassini on September 9, 2007.” Caption- Kevin Gill Photograph- NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/CICLOPS/Kevin M. Gill

Liftoff took place on October 15, 1997, when…


Opinion

Always Learning, Adapting, and Improving

On June 28th, 2015, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 on what was to be the 7th resupply mission to the ISS. I was enjoying a nice cup of coffee in my hometown, watching the launch with a few other people at my favorite coffee shop in Fort Collins. That’s when it happened.

The rocket disintegrated in flight.

We all got quiet. Even people who’d never seen a launch could tell something was wrong. Thankfully, no humans were on board, but it was still a distressing experience. Seeing a rocket explode is never something I want to see.

About a month…


Twenty-four years ago this week, a Progress resupply spacecraft collided with the Russian Mir Space Station. What was meant to be a routine procedure ended up being anything but that. The Spektr module was damaged by the collision and with the hull of that module compromised, the station began to lose atmosphere.

Thankfully the two Russian cosmonauts and British-American Astronaut on the station were able to seal off the damaged module.

They would spend the next few days fighting power losses, a spinning station, and an increasing amount of condensation inside the Mir. This NASA photograph shows some of the…


A quick thought on a past statement and hope for the future.

Like many in the space community, I’m interested to learn more about Joe Biden’s record on space policy and NASA programs. While there isn’t a ton to go on, I found this statement he made in the Congressional Record from 6/19/73 to be interesting.

Screen capture from the 1973 Congressional Record. Full version can be seen here.

Nearly 40 years have passed from when he made this statement, so obviously, his policy positions could be markedly different. I find it interesting from a historical perspective and realize policy positions can/do change.

If the Republicans continue to control the Senate, NASA could be in for a period of relative stability in the coming four…


Wet burps, rockets, and tasty space drinks

On July 29th, 1985, the Space Shuttle Challenger launched on the STS-51F mission, successfully completing an Abort to Orbit. An early shutdown of one of the RS-25 engines meant that the Challenger wasn’t able to reach as high of an orbit as planned, but the mission was still Go.

A dramatic camera angle framed this picture of Challenger, as it rose from the Pad 39A. Challenger carried experiments studying life sciences, plasma physics, solar physics, high-energy astrophysics, astronomy, and some cans of soda.

Liftoff! Picture- NASA

This weird payload, part of the “Cola Wars,” flew on STS-51F. The crew of the Challenger performed…

John Mulnix

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