Friday, May 22, 2015

VIRGIN GALACTIC VISIT!

Once in a while you get to something that is expected to be amazing then turns out to be so much more spectacular then you could imagine.  Last week was one of those moments.  Virgin Galactic had organized a tour of the Space Ship Company where they build and maintain White Knight II and the next version of Space Ship II in Mojave California.  Of course I signed up immediately, and brought along my friend Don.   We arrived at the VG building at 9am.   The facility is named Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hangar, or FAITH.  I had been to the last big gathering of future astronauts in September of 2013 with 300 people.  This was a more intimate tour getting to see the facility in full operation up close, and talk to many of the engineers, pilots, and members of the team.




My level of confidence in the project is higher then before the accident, not that I had any lack of confidence then.  It's just a reminder of the enormous task, we are going into space and through this endeavor paving the way for all people to be able to travel to space with the ease of a flight to Vegas.







We were only aloud to take one picture in the facility with White Knight II which was just amazing to have that proximity to the aircraft.   In the pics, myself, then with Don, then the VG group: Enrico, Myself, Future Astronaut Allen, Beth, and Rose.  A great day and another step closer to space.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The New Space Ship II

Very soon I will be going to the Mojave Desert to tour the Virgin Galactic assembly facility and see the progress of the new Space Ship II under construction.  As soon as I return I will post what ever information and photos that I can.  I'm very excited to see the progress.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Astrophotography.

Lately I've been learning about astrophotography.  Between my 8" SC telescope and my Canon Digital SLR I'm starting to get some interesting results.


Last night the moon was in good form and we had clear skies in Los Angeles 


The Orion Nebula is good practice, easy to find and the photo shows some nice colors.  Still working on focusing techniques.


After days of looking I was finally able to get a decent shot of the Lovejoy comet two weeks ago.  
Very hard to find in our light polluted skies, with the help of a friend looking with binoculars and the telescope we eventually saw what looked like a dim smudge.  Only after a long exposure with the camera did the ghostly green comet come into view.  Can't wait to get out in the dessert for some really dark skies and see what I can find.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Virgin Galactic Crash





 Many people emailed me about the Space Ship Two crash on Friday October 31st, I wanted to take time and think about about it before I had a response.  First and foremost my heart goes out families of both pilots, and the entire Virgin Galactic team.  Since I have become a member of the "Future Astronaut Community" we have all gotten to know many of the dedicated people that work on the various aspects of the program and share the excitement of the successes as well as the grief.  As I've stated in the past I believe in the Virgin Galactic mission and will remain part of the team, this is just a reminder that going to space is still a challenge and not to be taken for granted.  If this means the commercial space flights will be delayed for a few more years, that's fine, I'll be here ready to go.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mars!



What an amazing thing to see such a clear high rez photo from another planet.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Seven Minutes In Space!

Check out a great article on KCET Art Bound by Shana Nys Dambrot.  She dropped by my studio and we chatted about being the first artist in space, robots, and other futuristic things.

The model of the White Knight II and Space Ship II was very useful in describing how the flight actually works.  Every time I tell the tale it gets me more excited for the event, which is still probably about 2 years away.  Check out the article, hopefully there will be more interesting space news as the year goes on.  The photo was taken by the ultra talented Eric Minh Swenson.