On September 15, a SPACEX rocket ship launched four people into earth’s orbit. The purpose of this blog is not to share all the amazing facts; if you want to read them, you can do it here. Yes, there has been a lot of space trips going on lately, but I think this one is […]
On September 15, a SPACEX rocket ship launched four people into earth’s orbit. The purpose of this blog is not to share all the amazing facts; if you want to read them, you can do it here. Yes, there has been a lot of space trips going on lately, but I think this one is different for a number of reasons.
First of all, the crew of this mission are all amateur astronauts. Each of the astronauts have a reason for wanting to fly this mission, but the reasons seem to be more philanthropic than with recent space trips. In fact, the financier for this mission was Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of a financial services firm. He financed this mission to raise awareness and donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Secondly, these astronauts are going to be spending days in orbit, not minutes. The mission will last three days, from launch to splashdown. For other missions, the goal for the astronauts was to simply check a box that said they entered space, for however brief a period. For SPACEX, there was actually work done while in space.
Lastly, this mission will orbit at 363 miles above the earth, far higher than previous space trips. In fact, for one of the previous space trips, it has been questioned whether or not the capsule even reached what is accepted as “space.”
This mission, still in progress at the time of this writing, is shaping up to be really spectacular.
ATI offers many courses related to Space exploration. You can see our course list here.
And, as always, a full listing of ATI’s courses can be found here.
Most people know what Origami is. In case you don’t, the goal of Origami is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Modern origami practitioners generally discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper. So, you ask, how could Origami possibly be […]
Most people know what Origami is. In case you don’t, the goal of Origami is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Modern origami practitioners generally discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper. So, you ask, how could Origami possibly be related to anything of interest to rocket scientists? As you will see, there most certainly is a connection between Origami and Antenna technology.
CubeSat is a miniaturized satellite, or nanosatellite, intended for space research. Due to their small size, large numbers of CubeSats generally perform their unique tasks by working together in large constellations. To date, there are about 1500 CubeSat satellites in orbit.
Although technology advances have allowed satellites to be effectively miniaturized, the antenna associated with each CubeSat can not be miniaturized; the laws of physics simply do not permit the antenna to be any smaller than it is. And, since the antenna must remain large, it would not fit in the small area inside the miniature satellite. Since the antenna is necessary to allow the satellite to communicate with other satellites, and with earth stations, there needed to be a way to get the large antenna into the small satellite.
As explained here, Dr. Kim and his colleagues at Pusan National University and the University of Alabama, USA, developed a new deployable antenna for CubeSats. Inspired by the mathematics which are the root of Origami, the team designed an antenna which could be folded and stored inside the Cubesat. Once in orbit, the antenna would be deployed, and unfolded to its full and functional size. This new advance in Antenna design now allows nanosatellites to be part of our satellite fleet.
So, although many may have thought that antenna design could not be pushed any further, Dr. Kim proved them wrong. What other previously unimagined advances in antenna technology are yet to be imagined?
To learn more about Antennas, consider taking the upcoming ATI course entitled Antenna and Array Fundamentals. You can learn more about this offering, and register, here.
Lastly, as always, a full listing of ATI’s courses can be found here.
Although I work for Applied Technology Institute now, I spent 40 years working in a career that had me riding nuclear submarines frequently, often for weeks at a time, doing tests and working closely with sailors in the US Navy. Suffice it to say, I know a little about Submarines and Submariners. Admittedly, I do […]
Although I work for Applied Technology Institute now, I spent 40 years working in a career that had me riding nuclear submarines frequently, often for weeks at a time, doing tests and working closely with sailors in the US Navy. Suffice it to say, I know a little about Submarines and Submariners. Admittedly, I do not know one one-hundredth of what is known by our many brave Submarine Sailors, past and present, but I but probably know more than most civilians.
So, what is the most realistic, and best Submarine movie ever made? I am asked this question often, and although I have a quick and definitive response whenever I am asked this question, I decided to do a little research before writing this blog post. I will reveal my top choice and my bottom choice, later.
When I googled the topic, I had hundreds of hits, so I decided I needed a systematic way to choose which sites I would visit. I picked three sites. First, I choose the Number 1 google hit, as google would want me to do. Second, I chose the US Naval Institute, as I belong to this fine organization, and I trust what they say. Lastly, I chose IMDB, the greatest movie site on the internet, which everyone should check out if they don’t already know about it.
Here is what I found.
The two movies that appear on most top ten lists are Das Boat and Hunt for Red October. These movies are not always Number one and two, but they are almost always on the list.
Many of the movies of the movies on top ten lists are foreign films. Many are also older films from the WW2 era starring famous actors who are no longer with us. There are many films in this category ( foreign and older ) which I have never seen before. In fact, based on the recommendation by a Navy Captain on the USNI site, before writing this blog, I decided to watch the 2019 UK-French film called “The Wolf’s Call”; more on that to follow.
Most of the movies on these lists make sense. Even if I have never seen the movie before, the title and the picture on the box look like they would be submarine movie. The one notable exception was a top- choice chosen by an officer in the US Navy on the US Naval Institute Site. He chose “Office Space” as his top choice. He justified his choice by saying “TPS reports, multiple bosses, a defective printer, coming in on Saturday, the oversight team of The Bobs that are There to Help, and the engineers are not allowed to talk to the normal people.” A rather bizarre choice, but humorous and understandable to anyone who has served on a sub.
Some of the movies that people put on their top pick list were terrible movies. My bottom choice actually appears on some of the lists.
So, after reviewing these sites, and after watching a new movie which piqued my interest, I will reveal my top choice and my bottom choice. Top choice was, and remains, Das Boat. (Honorable Mention goes to Hunt for Red October.) Bottom Choice was, and remains, Crimson Tide. My latest movie, The Wolf’s Call, did not impress me, in fact, it would be fairly low on my list. I look forward to watching a few more of the submarine movies that I have not seen. Who knows, I may find one that beats Das Boat. Please feel free to leave recommendations in the comments section.
From IMDB, the tag line for 1981 film Das Boat is “The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-Boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.” I have seen this film many times, and I still enjoy watching it each time I see it. This film is ranked as IMDBs second best Submarine Movie, and as IMDB’s 77th best overall movie.
ATI has a submarine related course coming up in late September called SONAR Signal Processing. You can learn more about this course, and register, here.
Another fun course offered by ATI is Submarines and Submariners. Although this course is not being offered in the near future, you can read about it here. If this course interests you, and you would like us to run it, or bring it your location for your staff, please let us know, and we can work with you.
Lastly, as always, a full listing of ATI’s courses can be found here.
How many of you know about the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) or the various INCOSE Certifications including Associate Systems Engineering Professional ( ASEP ), Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP), or Expert Systems Engineering Professional ( ESEP )? The purpose of this Blog post is to enlighten those who are not aware of the […]
How many of you know about the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) or the various INCOSE Certifications including Associate Systems Engineering Professional ( ASEP ), Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP), or Expert Systems Engineering Professional ( ESEP )?
The purpose of this Blog post is to enlighten those who are not aware of the INCOSE organization, or the INCOSE certifications. Both of these are things that most Systems Engineers should already know about, and if you don’t, you may find this informative.
INCOSE is comprised of nearly 20,000 Systems Engineering Professionals. Their mission, as stated on their web page, is “to address complex societal and technical challenges by enabling, promoting, and advancing Systems Engineering and systems approaches.” Also from their web page, the goals of INCOSE are to 1) be a focal point for dissemination of systems engineering knowledge, 2) promote international collaboration 3) Assure the establishment of professional standards in systems engineering, 4) improve the professional status of all systems engineers, and 5) encourage governmental and industrial support for Systems Engineering. There is a wealth of other information on their web page, so anyone interested in INCOSE should visit the INCOSE Web site.
One of the services that INCOSE has provided is a mechanism for Systems Engineers to be certified at some level as a Systems Engineering Professional ( ASEP, CSEP or ESEP ), indicating that they have met all of the standards defined by INCOSE, indicating that the individual is a qualified Systems Engineer. Earning an INCOSE certification is not easy, but it is something that over 3000 individuals have accomplished to date.
Mark Wilson, from Strategy Bridge and INCOSE recently published a fascinating article where he pontificates on whether or not the INCOSE CSEP certification is worthwhile. Warning, spoilers coming, leave this page immediately if you don’t want to know how the story ends ……. He concludes that the INCOSE SE certifications ARE worthwhile, both for the individual who earns the certification, and for the organization that employs that individual.
Earning the ASEP certification requires that the individual pass a rigorous exam demonstrating knowledge of Systems Engineering concepts. CSEP certification also requires that the individual have a demonstrated track record of having worked successfully in a Systems Engineering role. ESEP certification simply raises the bar and requires more experience. To prepare for the exam, candidates often take a short-course which reviews many of the concepts that are tested.
Applied Technology Institute offers a 3-day short course called CSEP Preparationwhich will prepare students for the INCOSE SE exam, applicable to any of the three certification levels. This course walks through the CSEP requirements and the INCOSE Handbook to cover all topics that might be on the INCOSE exam. Interactive work, study plans, and three sets of sample examination questions help you to prepare effectively for the exam. Participants leave the course with solid knowledge, a hard copy of the INCOSE Handbook, study plans, and a sample examination.
ATI will be offering the next CSEP Prep ( live virtual ) class starting on September 27. Students may register for this class using the link above. If you would like to learn more about the CSEP certification prior to registering for the course, ATI will be offering a free short session ( live virtual ) on September 10 where the instructor will provide information about CSEP and CSEP Prep class. Additional information on this free short session, and link to register, can be found here.
We hope to see you at the CSEP short session, or the CSEP Prep course, in September.
How many of us actually think about automation and safety when we drive our cars? Rest assured, the Department of Transportation has a well thought-out plan which has been documented in a series of reports. In 2017, DOT issued Automated Driving Systems, A Vision for Safety 2.0. In 2018, the DOT expanded the scope of […]
The concepts described in this series of reports date back to second half of the twentieth century (1950 -2000) when engineers concentrated on the most rudimentary safety and convenience features such as seat belts, cruise control, and anti-lock brakes. During the next 10 years ( 2000 – 2010 ), engineers worked on advanced safety features like blind spot detection, and warnings for lane departure and forward collisions. These advances simply alerted the driver to a potential safety issue, but still did nothing to remedy the situation. From 2010 to 2016, engineers came up with driver assistance features like automatic emergency braking and lane centering assist. These features were the start of the path toward fully automated vehicles. From 2016 to 2025, we will become acquainted with partially automated safety features like adaptive cruise control and self-park. All of this should lead us to a fully automated vehicle capable of driving on highways using autopilot in the years following 2025. It has been a relatively short span of time, and there have been many advances in automated vehicle technology.
As automobile drivers, we are not really sure how these automated systems work. We simply know that they work, and we are glad that they are there to help us out. Behind the scenes, however, engineers and scientist are thinking about the requirements and designs and continuously developing ways to advance the state of the art.
While radars were once only associated with complex military systems, they are becoming more common today in cars that require them for many of the automated features that have been developed over the years. Simple radar technology is behind many of the collision avoidance features in today’s cars, and it was instrumental in turning simple cruise control into adaptive cruise control. In order for automated features in cars to advance, however, so to must the state of the art in radar. One such advance in radar technology is its ability to not only detect a target, but to track it too. And then, another advance is its ability to track multiple targets at the same time. Advances in this technology will truly advance our ability to move closer to the goal a fully automated vehicle.
Submarine accidents which result in the submarine careening to the sea bottom are spectacular in Hollywood movies and video games, but they do not happen often in real life. In fact, for the U.S., we have not lost a submarine to the depths since 1968 when USS Scorpion was lost with 99 souls due ( […]
Submarine accidents which result in the submarine careening to the sea bottom are spectacular in Hollywood movies and video games, but they do not happen often in real life. In fact, for the U.S., we have not lost a submarine to the depths since 1968 when USS Scorpion was lost with 99 souls due ( most likely) to an inadvertent activation of a battery or a torpedo. Prior to that, in 1963, USS Thresher was lost with 129 souls due to ( most likely ) a piping failure during a deep dive. Due to actions taken as a result of lessons learned from those two mishaps, the U.S. has not had a major submarine loss since then. The safety record for U.S. Submarines since 1968 has been remarkable, and the envy of other countries.
Yeah, but what if?
To be prudent, the U.S. must assume that there will be submarine accidents in the future, even if they are not U.S. submarines. For this reason, the U.S. continues to maintain a force dedicated to the rescue of downed submarines. Undersea Rescue Command (URC) is the U.S. Navy’s official command for the rescue of sailors during a submarine casualty anywhere in the world. If you would like to learn more about this command, you can read about it here.
The blog author has had some personal experience working with the Undersea Rescue Command, and all comments that follow are the authors personal opinions, and not an official opinion of the U.S. Navy or Applied Technology Institute. In case you missed that, please go back and read it again.
Two significant issues that confront the Undersea Rescue Command are funding and localization.
The funding issue arises from the fact that our submarines are so safe, and our safety record is so good, there is a hesitance to pay too much attention ( and funding ) to an organization which may not ever be called into service. Unfortunately, there is not much the technical community can do about that; it will have to fall upon the Public Relations Office at U.S. Navy.
Localization, however, is a problem which the technical community can help solve. When a submarine goes to the bottom, the Undersea Rescue Command jumps into action, and reports to the vicinity of the accident very quickly. Unfortunately, the Undersea Rescue Command cannot start their rescue mission until the precise location of the sunken submarine is known, and that is often a difficult problem. Until the submarine is located, the rescue can not actually begin. Often, in exercises, or in other countries, by the time the submarine is located, it has become a recovery mission rather than a rescue mission.
So, how can we simplify the task of locating a downed submarine? Some of the answer lies in the concept of operations, or things that a distressed submarine can do to facilitate the search for them. Some of the answer lies in advances in sonars and sonar signal processing. And the rest of the answer lies in innovative new ideas, for example, using AUVs or UUVs to find distressed submarines ( cool idea ).
Applied Technology Institute is offering several courses in the coming months that will help you brush up on your skills, so that you can apply them to this problem. You can find information about our Sonar Signal Processing course, and register for the course here. Additionally, you can find information about our Passive and Active Acoustics Fundamentals course, and register for the course here. Lastly, a full listing of ATI’s Acoustics and Sonar Engineering Courses ( including AUV and UUV courses ) can be found here. If you are interested in a course which is not currently on the schedule, please let us know, so we can try to schedule an offering soon.
As I said earlier, the author has had the pleasure of working with the Undersea Rescue Command several years ago, and was very impressed with the hard work and dedication exhibited by all members of their team. The following picture shows me and the rest of the JHU/APL Team that worked with the URC. We are posing inside of the Pressurized Rescue Module which travels to the distressed submarine to perform the rescue. Although no one would ever want to experience being on a submarine in distress, they should feel encouraged that a team as dedicated and qualified as URC is on the job.
I am so excited that the Tokyo Olympics are finally here, and things seem to be going well for USA so far. I really wanted this week’s blog to be related to the Olympics, so I searched for some aspect of the Olympics that could be related to Science and Technology. I had to look […]
I am so excited that the Tokyo Olympics are finally here, and things seem to be going well for USA so far.
I really wanted this week’s blog to be related to the Olympics, so I searched for some aspect of the Olympics that could be related to Science and Technology. I had to look no further than the Opening Ceremonies. The Intel Drone Light Show was absolutely spectacular, and it reminded me of the power of UAVs. If you missed it, you can watch it here.
In the early days of UAVs, scientists seemed to concentrate on the military aspects of UAVs, and UAVs were used mostly as instruments of war. Now, however, UAVs are being used for so much more.
CBInsights published an article, 38 Ways Drones Will Impact Society: From Fighting War to Forecasting Weather, UAVs Change Everything. This article reminds us that UAVs have applications in Defense, Emergency Response, Disaster Relief, Conservation, Disease Relief, Healthcare, Agriculture, Weather, Maritime, Waste Management, Energy, Mining, Construction, Infrastructure, Insurance, Realty, Urban Planning, Personal Transportation, Airlines, Telecommunications, Internet, Outdoors, tourism, Entertainments, Sports, Hollywood, advertising, retail, manufacturing, fighting crime, fitness, food services, journalism, air travel, gaming, space, education, and security. In fact, there are even other applications which are not even discussed in the article. The possibilities are endless.
The Intel Drone Light Show at the Olympics was amazing. In the future, using Drones for aerial displays may well replace Fireworks for large venues. Although Drones may be more a more expensive option at this time, they are more versatile, and they may get cheaper, and they are certainly safer. Think of how many fingers and limbs will be saved, as long as people steer clear of propellers.
Since UAVs are gaining in popularity, now might be a good time to brush up on your UAV Design skills. ATI is offering a course that can help you with that. You can read about the ATI UAV Design course, and you can register for our upcoming offering here.
A full listing of all the courses offered by ATI can be found here.
Leading by example, that is one of the things that I admire most. Leading people on, that is something I do not like at all. So, you may be asking, where am I going with this blog? I am glad you asked. I have been active in STEM recruiting for many years. I have always […]
Leading by example, that is one of the things that I admire most.
Leading people on, that is something I do not like at all.
So, you may be asking, where am I going with this blog? I am glad you asked.
I have been active in STEM recruiting for many years. I have always been of the belief that Science and Engineering stands to benefit immensely by having a diverse work force. For that reason, I believe that it is important that smart and enthusiastic people be attracted to, and recruited by, the STEM workforce. This should include males and females, young and old, minorities and non-minorities, democrats and republicans, straight and gay, I could go on and on. But we must find people who are joining the STEM workforce for the right reasons. I do not believe that anyone, regardless of their demographics, should be encouraged to enter the STEM workforce solely because jobs are plentiful or salaries are high. To recruit someone using only these enticements would simply be “leading them on.” It would set those individuals up for unhappiness and failure, and that would be wrong. STEM workers need to love STEM, and find a job which allows them to love working in STEM. A better way for recruiting a diverse STEM workforce would be for a STEM professional from one of the underrepresented groups “leading by example”, thus showing other members of that underrepresented group that STEM careers can be fun and rewarding as well as profitable.
I recently learned about Abagail Harrison, also known as Astronaut Abby. She is a young STEM professional from an underrepresented group, and she is effectively leading by example. She generally does not call attention to the fact that she is a well-paid woman in STEM, but rather, she simply shows her excitement and her achievements in STEM, and thus becomes a role model that similar underrepresented people can aspire to, if, and only if, they are attracted to work in the STEM field. Take a look at her Mars Generation Page, and you will see what I mean.
So, what can a Technical Training company do to increase diversity in the STEM workforce? We can continue to track our statistics, and watch to see if the situation is improving. We look forward to a day in the future when the efforts of people like Abagail Harrison will result in a more diverse STEM workforce, a more diverse set of potential Instructors, and a more diverse Student pool. When that day comes, ATI will be blessed with the opportunity to have more underrepresented Instructors, and more underrepresented students.
In the meantime, please support businesses like ours that are making every effort to see more diversity in the STEM workforce. To learn more about Applied Technology Institute, or to register for one of our courses, or to register for one of our free short courses, please visit us at www.ATIcourses.com.
Mankind has always been fascinated with exploring the Moon, and that will probably always be the case. At first, in the time leading up to the famous first moon landing in 1969, the goal was simply to reach the moon, and spend a short time looking around, and return to earth safely. Now, 50 years […]
Mankind has always been fascinated with exploring the Moon, and that will probably always be the case. At first, in the time leading up to the famous first moon landing in 1969, the goal was simply to reach the moon, and spend a short time looking around, and return to earth safely. Now, 50 years later, the goal is more ambitious since technology can support so much more. The first objective today is to reach the moon, and stay there. The next goal would be to use the moon as a landing pad to support exploration of things beyond the moon, most notably Mars. The NASA Artemis Missions will be the way these objectives are accomplished. I am not sure about you, but this mission snuck up on me, and I am learning about it now.
The Artemis Mission is comprised of six projects which together will allow NASA to accomplish its goals of reaching the moon, staying on the moon for long term exploration, and getting closer to ultimate goal of being able to send men (and women) beyond the moon. The six projects include:
Ground Systems – Upgrading Earth ground systems to support the larger rockets which will be needed
Space Launch System – The new and more powerful rocket that will launch man toward the moon and beyond
Orion – The spacecraft that will bring astronauts to the moon’s orbit, and return them to earth from the moon’s orbit
Gateway – The outpost spacecraft which will orbit the moon and be living quarters for the astronauts when they are not on the moon surface
Lunar Landers – The spacecraft which will transfer astronauts between the Gateway and the moon Surface, and
Space Suits – The new and improved suits that the astronauts will need to carry out their mission.
The timeline for this mission has three major milestones, namely, the three Artemis missions, Artemis I, Artemis II, and Artemis III.
Artemis I – an unmanned flight to test the Space Launch System and Orion, scheduled for 2021
Artemis II – a manned flight to test the Space Launch System and Orion, scheduled for 2022
Artemis III – A manned flight to the moon that will return man to the moon.
This is a truly ambitious mission, and an even more ambitious schedule.
ATI offers a plethora of courses which relate to Space exploration. Check out our list of Space related courses here. If you are interested in the legal aspects of Space exploration, you can register for our upcoming Astropolitics class here.
Although the author thinks Space Exploration is exciting and important, and I fully endorse all of the goals of the Artemis Mission, I can’t help but wonder why the Government is not spending at least as much money on exploration of the deep oceans. I would challenge the US to start investing more money in Ocean Exploration, but not at the expense of Space Exploration. Both of these are important. I am curious what readers think about this issue, please leave your comments below.
And, if you are interested in Ocean Exploration, ATI has a few courses which may be of interest to you too. Please check out our full list of offerings here.
And if you simply want to learn more about the Artemis Mission, you can go to the NASA Artemis site that describes the mission in more detail.
There is a new record for the most spacecraft launched by a single rocket at one time. In January, The Transporter-1 mission, part of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program, lifted off atop a Falcon 9 booster from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida with 143 satellites aboard. Among the satellites […]
There is a new record for the most spacecraft launched by a single rocket at one time. In January, The Transporter-1 mission, part of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program, lifted off atop a Falcon 9 booster from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida with 143 satellites aboard. Among the satellites in the payload, 10 SpaceX STARLINK satellites, which will be added to a constellation which will provide a global internet system.
ATI is pleased to announce a new series of free virtual short courses starting in January 2021, led by industry leaders and some of your favorite instructors. These 1-hour sessions, from 12:30pm to 1:30pm ET, will be delivered live and you will have an opportunity to ask the instructors questions at the end of the […]
ATI is pleased to announce a new series of free virtual short courses starting in January 2021, led by industry leaders and some of your favorite instructors. These 1-hour sessions, from 12:30pm to 1:30pm ET, will be delivered live and you will have an opportunity to ask the instructors questions at the end of the session. Each short session includes an important take way from one of our full courses that can be implemented on your project. Keep visiting aticourses.com as we schedule more.
An ATI Staff Member who has not taken any ATI Radar Courses yet found a story in her Inbox about a highway officer in Texas who was operating a hand-held radar to catch speeders. As you can read in the following copy of the letter, the officer purportedly locked onto a USMC F/A-18 Hornet Jet. […]
An ATI Staff Member who has not taken any ATI Radar Courses yet found a story in her Inbox about a highway officer in Texas who was operating a hand-held radar to catch speeders. As you can read in the following copy of the letter, the officer purportedly locked onto a USMC F/A-18 Hornet Jet. The story purports that the Jet detected energy from the hand held radar, and automatic tactical systems on the Jet nearly fired on the radar/officer, but the pilot overrode those automatic systems preventing a catastrophic mishap.
Although this story is humorous, it also demonstrates that the writer, and some readers, are not familiar with how hand-held radars work, and how the Tactical Systems on the USMC Jet work. In fact, a Snopes article gives an excellent explanation of why this story, although humorous and entertaining, is not factual, and could not have actually occurred. A fascinating explanation of the fallacies associated with this story can be found at https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/police-radar-missile/
So, in order to better recognize articles like this for what they are, please consider learning more about Radar Systems. ATI offers 78 courses dealing with Radar, Missiles, and Defense, but our most popular Radar courses are Radar 101, Radar 201, and Radar Principles. More information on all of these courses can be found on the ATI web page at the following links.
Thomas Stanley Logsdon, 82, of Seal Beach, California, passed away on May 1, 2020. Tom was an internationally recognized rocket scientist, author, expert witness, keynote lecturer, and short course instructor. He used his extraordinary knowledge of mathematics and physics to help put a dozen astronauts on the moon and played an integral role in the […]
Thomas Stanley Logsdon, 82, of Seal Beach, California, passed away on May 1, 2020. Tom was an internationally recognized rocket scientist, author, expert witness, keynote lecturer, and short course instructor. He used his extraordinary knowledge of mathematics and physics to help put a dozen astronauts on the moon and played an integral role in the invention of the Global Positioning System (GPS), which is so vital to our modern world.
Tom was a well-recognized and praised Applied Technology Instructor for more than 30 years. Tom would typically come teach his courses in Columbia two or three times yearly, enjoying a long friendship during dinners with ATI’s President Jim Jenkins. A great friendship also developed between Lisa Badart and Tom, with over 13 years of working together to schedule and facilitate his courses. He loved to share with Lisa his adventures and stories. ATI Staff old and new loved working with him. He will be missed by all. See some links to his popular courses below.
Tom was born on September 27th, 1937 to George Stanley Logsdon and Margaret Buckman Logsdon, in Springfield Kentucky. After graduating from Springfield High School in 1955, he went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Math & Physics at Eastern Kentucky University and a Master’s degree in Point-Set Topology (Mathematics) from the University of Kentucky. He had many wonderful teachers, but always fondly recalled Prof. Robertson from Springfield High School, and his college mentor, Dr. Smith Park, a beloved Mathematics professor at EKU. In 1984, he was awarded an honorary PhD from EKU and was the Alumni of the year for EKU’s 100th anniversary.
After graduation, Tom landed his first job as an Aero-ballistics Engineer for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, CA, kicking off a 32-year career in the aerospace industry. He was recruited by Rockwell International to become a Trajectory Mathematician on the Apollo Space program. When asked about his job on a television interview, he said, with his usual clever sense of humor, “before the flight, we predict where the rocket will go, and after the flight we try to explain why it didn’t go there!”
He went on to work on the Shuttle Spacecraft program and in the mid-1970s Tom employed his mathematical genius to determine the placement of 24 satellites (satellite constellation) which make up our worldwide GPS. He was recently recognized as one of 28 original Inventors of GPS. While at Rockwell, he also worked on the Saturn V moon rocket, Skylab flight maneuvers, and unmanned Mars missions. He was also awarded the Rockwell Presidential Award and held a patent centered around navigation of jetliners.
In addition, Tom was a well-respected author, writing over 30 books, from his first book about space travel, “A Rush Toward the Stars”, to some of the first computer programming books, to his best-selling “Six Simple Solutions that Shook the World.” He also taught computer science at USC for many years.
After retiring from Rockwell, Tom ran a full-time business up until his death, producing books, magazine articles, and technical papers; teaching GPS & Orbital Mechanics short courses for NASA & JPL, lecturing around the world, being a guest speaker for Crystal Cruises (averaging 8 cruises a year), and appearing on radio and TV.
He was passionate about playing tennis and did so until just prior to his death. His career and pleasure travel took him to over 100 countries, all seven continents, and around the globe several times over. In 2016, Tom was inducted into the Kentucky Aviation Museum Hall of Fame.
Tom wed Cynda (Cyndi) Hedrick in Newport Beach, CA and became stepfather to Chad Stephen Logsdon. Cyndi Logsdon actively supported Tom’s business by designing his charts & course materials; giving him feedback on his courses, books, and presentations; keeping him organized; and accompanying him to many exotic places to coordinate his appearances.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Stanley and Margaret Logsdon, his wife Cynda, his sister, Ann Logsdon Sims of Bardstown, KY, and two sisters who died in infancy, Molly and Rose Mary. He is survived by daughter, Donna (Drew) Schilder, along with his stepson Chad, his brother, Pat (Patsy) Logsdon of Loretto, KY, seven nieces and nephews, and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
NOTE: If you have not used Zoom before, to see the video, you will need to download the App on your smartphone, Mac, or PC prior to joining the meeting. You can go here and choose the appropriate platform: https://zoom.us/download or when you click on the meeting link above, it will ask you to download the App. Or You can call in to the Telephone Dial-In number and just listen.
In a January 16, 2020 Washington Post article, Abha Bhattarai writes about LEGO’s growing demographic of stressed-out adults. One person’s LEGO time is described as a “kind of guided meditation.” The author of the LEGO book, Build Yourself Happy: The Joy of Lego Play, calls her LEGO pieces “therapeutic.” LEGO is capitalizing on the growing adult market by […]
In a January 16, 2020 Washington Post article, Abha Bhattarai writes about LEGO’s growing demographic of stressed-out adults. One person’s LEGO time is described as a “kind of guided meditation.” The author of the LEGO book, Build Yourself Happy: The Joy of Lego Play, calls her LEGO pieces “therapeutic.”
LEGO is capitalizing on the growing adult market by improving their instructions and introducing new lines of models to provide a “joyful creative challenge.”
Eric Honour, founder of Honourcode, a Systems Engineering training company now owned by Applied Technology Institute, LLC, has used LEGOs for years in a couple of the training classes. Students build robots using Mindstorms Robotic Invention System 2.0. Both successes and failures with the final LEGO robots results in great fun and a huge learning experience.
ATI courses which incorporate the Mindstorm RIS 2.0 Lego Sets include:
Applied Systems Engineering has four different groups building LEGO robots to interact as a whole. The LEGO exercise demonstrates concept, methods, requirements, system architecting, product design and implementation, integration and test, and leadership and collaboration.
Applied Test & Evaluation uses LEGOs in groups for a Test Challenge: Plan for T&E, build the robot per instructions, then follow their T&E plan.
What an amazing toy! Fun for kids of all ages. Valuable as a means to relax, to collaborate, to test, and to learn to better work with yourself and others.
The world is changing, so maybe ATI should too. Applied Technology Institute (ATI) has conducted specialized training in satellite communications, space, defense, radar, sonar and acoustics, signal processing, and specialized engineering and systems engineering since 1984. Our clients include DOD, government agencies, military, government and military contractors, technical industries, NASA facilities, and aerospace contractors. A […]
A complete list of ATI’s offerings can
be found at https://aticourses.com/courses/ . At
a glance, it appears to be a comprehensive list of courses that would be of
interest to any Rocket Scientist, who, as the ATI tagline suggests, we believe
to be our core students.
The year is now 2020 and a lot of things
have changed since Applied Technology Institute was founded in 1984. Technology has advanced in ways that could
never have been anticipated, wars are no longer being fought in the same way,
and relationships between countries are no longer as stable as they had once
been. The world is changing, so maybe
ATI should too.
Perhaps, employees of our core customers
( DOD, government agencies, military, government and military contractors,
technical industries, NASA facilities, and aerospace contractors ) need to be
more than just Rocket Scientists today.
In addition to understanding Rocket Science, they may also need to be
familiar with the world in which the Rockets will be deployed, and the geo
political conditions under which they will be deployed. With this additional background, the Rocket
Scientist will be better able to understand the requirements of his Rockets,
and the needs of the soldiers who will be using those Rockets. Said differently, perhaps the Rocket needs to
be considered as a part of a larger system which includes the organizations
that use the Rocket, and the goals of those organizations.
So, through this blog, ATI is asking our
readers for their opinion. Should ATI
expand our course offerings to include more courses which will show Rocket
Scientists how and why their Rockets will be used?
One example of a possible new ATI course deals with Peacekeeping and Stability Operations. The following Course Description is from the syllabus of “Peacekeeping and Stability Operations”. The instructor for this course would be Mr. Stephen Phillips from JHU/APL.
Course Description ( Peacekeeping and Stability Operations ) Intelligence plays a pivotal role in the identification, preparation, and execution of peacekeeping and stability operations performed in a multinational context. Stability and peace operations are designed to prevent, contain, or resolve regional conflicts. These operations are increasingly becoming a core mission in supporting the overall goals and objectives of the current global conflict. This course examines the concepts of nation building, stabilization, reconstruction, and transition across the spectrum of peace operations and analyzes the role of various actors, including nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, private military companies, and government organizations, and how they interact in the stabilization mission and environment.
One example of an American intervention to stabilize
and reduce the expansion of conflict occurred in the Persian Gulf in the 1980s. Operation Earnest Will was the American Military
protection of Kuwaiti-owned tankers from Iranian attacks in 1987/1988, three
years into the Tanker War phase of the Iran-Iraq War. Steve recently presented an excellent
summary of Operation Earnest Will. This
presentation can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZUQiKDmhE8
ATI looks forward to growing our course
list, and growing our student body, through collaborations such as this. Again, we would love to hear what you think.
A recent article on the Military.com web site shares the story of the latest attack by a swarm of drones and guided missiles on Saudi Oil Plants. Saudi Arabia currently has at least six Patriot batteries, which cost about $1 billion apiece, according to Bloomberg News. But analysts said the systems are designed to defend […]
A recent article on the Military.com
web site shares the story of the latest attack by a swarm of drones and guided
missiles on Saudi Oil Plants. Saudi Arabia currently has at least six Patriot
batteries, which cost about $1 billion apiece, according to Bloomberg News. But
analysts said the systems are designed to defend against high-flying ballistic
missiles and were vulnerable to swarms of low-and-slow drones and subsonic,
ground-hugging cruise missiles. This article highlights the ever changing
military world, and the need for ongoing education and training on emerging technology.
From the State Department in 2015 “As other nations begin to employ military UAS more regularly and as
the nascent commercial UAS market emerges, the United States has a
responsibility to ensure that sales, transfers, and subsequent use of all
US-origin UAS are responsible and consistent with US national security and
foreign policy interests, including economic security, as well as with US
values and international standards.” This issue was discussed in an ATI
Blog from 2015. While the UAS market is no longer the new kid on the block,
it is ever changing now more than ever. We need to continue effective training
and education for ongoing support and future development as well as that of
guided missiles as they are now being used in tandem. As we move forward into
2020 the need for continuing training and education on UAS, engineering and
missile design and deployment is clearly a worldwide hot spot and needed now
more so then ever. Whether the UAS is for conventional or shadow wars, ATI
Courses has an education offering to help you navigate these ever emerging technologies.
Although the term “Systems Engineering” dates back to the 1940s, and the concept was practiced even earlier than that, there seems to be a growing emphasis on System Engineering, perhaps because Systems have become more complex in recent times. During my early years of training and practice as an electrical engineer decades ago, I do […]
Although the term “Systems Engineering” dates back to the 1940s,
and the concept was practiced even earlier than that, there seems to be a
growing emphasis on System Engineering, perhaps because Systems have become
more complex in recent times. During my early
years of training and practice as an electrical engineer decades ago, I do not
recall hearing or learning much about Systems Engineering, but it seems to have
gotten much more well-deserved attention since then. Feel free to argue these points if you wish,
but this has been my observation.
So, what can go wrong if Systems Engineering principles are
ignored? What could possibly go wrong if
you have multiple engineers concentrating on their own aspect of the overall
design, and no one paying attention to the overall system? Take
a look at this humorous video and see what can happen…
But seriously, though…..
One of the best descriptions of Systems Engineering that I have
seen is from INCOSE ( International Council on Systems Engineering ). It says “Systems engineers are at the heart of creating successful new
systems. They are responsible for the system concept, architecture, and design.
They analyze and manage complexity and risk. They decide how to measure whether
the deployed system actually works as intended. They are responsible for a
myriad of other facets of system creation. Systems engineering is the
discipline that makes their success possible – their tools, techniques,
methods, knowledge, standards, principles, and concepts. The launch of
successful systems can invariably be traced to innovative and effective systems
how can today’s busy and overworked engineer learn more about Systems
Engineering? Or, even if you think you
already know everything about Systems Engineering, how can you refresh your knowledge
so it is more relevant to the workplace of 2019?
Technology Institute may have exactly what you are looking for. ATI recently merged with Honourcode, Inc.,
and now offers a full line of Systems Engineering courses being taught by
original Honourcode instructors, including Eric Honour.
There is still time to register for our next
offering of Applied Systems Engineering, being offered in Columbia, Md starting
on September 23, 2019. This course
includes a hands-on class exercise conducted in small
groups. Part A analyzes a system concept and requirements, developing specific
test requirements,. Part B creates an effective test program and test
procedures for the product system. Part C builds the robotic systems per
assembly instructions. Part D implements the test program to evaluate the final
robots. It is a really fun and
informative in-class exercise. Here is a cool video of the System Product
built in this class.
read more about this opportunity at the following link.
Since it has been 50 years since man first stepped on the Moon (Apollo 11), and since we are now winding down from the celebration of the 50th anniversary of that great event, we should remember that there are still physical remnants of that mission, and other missions, which remain on the surface of the […]
Since it has
been 50 years since man first stepped on the Moon (Apollo 11), and since we are
now winding down from the celebration of the 50th anniversary of
that great event, we should remember that there are still physical remnants of
that mission, and other missions, which remain on the surface of the moon, and
that this landing site, and similar landing sites, have significant historical
importance. In fact, there is an
organization called “For All Moonkind, Inc”, which has a stated mission to “protect
each of the six human lunar landing and similar sites in outer space as part of
our common human heritage.” Learn more
about this organization at https://www.forallmoonkind.org
So, what did
mankind leave on the moon, and why did we leave it there? A full catalog of items left behind can be
found at https://history.nasa.gov/FINAL%20Catalogue%20of%20Manmade%20Material%20on%20the%20Moon.pdf
It is a fascinating read, but why was so much left behind? Some of the things left behind were memorial
or tributary items. Other items were left
purely to lighten the load and facilitate the return trip to earth. And there were items left for scientific
experiments. For experiments, some items
were left because engineers are simply hoping to examine them in the future to
determine how they have fared after continuous exposure to the elevated
radiation levels on the moon. Other
items, however, were part of actual moon experiments which delivered data to
earth scientists. The only remaining
Apollo experiment that still returns data to earth after 50 years is NASA’s
Lunar Ranging Experiment, LURE.
The story of LURE is a fascinating one and can
be found at https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-institute/ieee-history/one-apollo-11-experiment-is-still-going-50-years-later
LURE allows the precise measurement of the distance from the earth to
the moon using high power laser on earth, and an array of mirrors, or
retroreflectors, on the surface of the moon.
The first mirrors were placed on the moon by Apollo 11, but additional
mirrors were placed on the moon by later Apollo missions. Lunar laser ranging has allowed man to
monitor the distance to the moon for the past 50 years, and we have noted that
the distance to the moon increases by a very small amount each year. Additionally, LURE has increased mankind’s
fundamental understanding of things like the earth’s rotations, continental
drift, and gravity itself.
As it is now
2019, and the world is more waste-conscious than it has ever been, we can only
hope that there will be increased attention to reducing the amount we leave on
the lunar surface, and in space.
Although some material will certainly be left during upcoming planned lunar
landings, we can only hope that it will be done for rational reasons, and in a
To learn more about working in Space, consider taking one of the many Space, Satellite, or Aerospace courses offered by ATI. A complete listing of all ATI courses can be found at https://aticourses.com/courses ATI does not currently offer any Space Archeology classes, but if anyone knows a qualified instructor for this class, we would be happy to talk to them.
There are currently 5 branches of the Armed Forces, namely, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and the Coast Guard. However, in light of changing needs and priorities, President Trump issued a new directive in February to establish the US Space Force as the sixth military branch, which will be within the Department of the Air […]
There are currently 5 branches of the Armed Forces, namely, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and the Coast Guard. However, in light of changing needs and priorities, President Trump issued a new directive in February to establish the US Space Force as the sixth military branch, which will be within the Department of the Air Force.
The directive states that “ Although United States space systems have historically maintained a technological advantage over those of our potential adversaries, those potential adversaries are now advancing their space capabilities and actively developing ways to deny our use of space in a crisis or conflict. It is imperative that the United States adapt its national security organizations, policies, doctrine, and capabilities to deter aggression and protect our interests.”
The directive provides the following priorities for the Space Force:
(a) Protecting the Nation’s interests in space and the peaceful use of space for all responsible actors, consistent with applicable law, including international law;
(b) Ensuring unfettered use of space for United States national security purposes, the United States economy, and United States persons, partners, and allies;
(c) Deterring aggression and defending the Nation, United States allies, and United States interests from hostile acts in and from space;
(d) Ensuring that needed space capabilities are integrated and available to all United States Combatant Commands;
(e) Projecting military power in, from, and to space in support of our Nation’s interests; and
(f) Developing, maintaining, and improving a community of professionals focused on the national security demands of the space domain.
The directive specifies that Space Force will be lead by a civilian to be known as the Undersecretary of the Air Force for Space, and will be appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. The directive specifies that a senior military officer ( General or Admiral ) will serve as the Chief of Staff of the Space Force, and will serve as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Applied Technology Institute looks forward to providing training to the workforce which will be needed to support the US Space Force.
A list of all the Space Related Courses offered by ATI can be found at
We are halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, also known as, Groundhog day! If you want to know more about the origins of this tradition, you can find that at the link below, but the story involves bears and badgers, and Germans and Christians, and superstition and science. You can’t make this […]
We are halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, also known as, Groundhog day! If you want to know more about the origins of this tradition, you can find that at the link below, but the story involves bears and badgers, and Germans and Christians, and superstition and science. You can’t make this stuff up, and you can’t tell the story any better than The Old Farmers Almanac. Check it out at….
There are so many Space Exploration Missions that are on the front page of the papers now, New Horizons for example. Let us not forget about ongoing missions that are no longer getting as much publicity at they may deserve, JPL Mars Science Lab Curiosity Rover Mission for example.The Curiosity Rover Mission was launched in […]
There are so many Space Exploration Missions that are on the front page of the papers now, New Horizons for example. Let us not forget about ongoing missions that are no longer getting as much publicity at they may deserve, JPL Mars Science Lab Curiosity Rover Mission for example.
The Curiosity Rover Mission was launched in November 2011 for an 8-month trip to Mars. Once on Mars, the Curiosity Mission was expected to last 2 years. Amazingly, the Curiosity Rover Mission is still in progress, and periodic updates on the status of that mission are still being posted at https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/mission/mars-rover-curiosity-mission-updates/
The success of that mission did not start when the Rover started sending back amazing pictures from Mars. The success of that mission started when the Rocket and Launch Vehicle propelled Rover into Space. The Atlas V-541 Rocket selected for this mission and built by Boeing Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp. performed as designed. If it had not performed as well as it did, the entire mission could have been in jeopardy. Rockets and Launch Vehicles are truly acritical component of every mission.
ATI is offering a Course on Rocket and Launch Vehicles in Columbia, Maryland from February 11 to 14, 2019. The course is being taught by Edward Keith, a multi-discipline Launch Vehicle System Engineer, specializing in integration of launch vehicle technology, design, modeling and business strategies. There is still time to enroll in this class, and you will be finished in time to get home for dinner on Valentine’s day!
Nothing is cuter than pictures of kids sitting at their computers, mastering skills their parents never dreamed of. And nothing is more popular than the current idea that all children should learn to code.My husband, Philip, & I strongly support this idea. He has been in IT since he was 18 years old and wants […]
Nothing is cuter than pictures of kids sitting at their computers, mastering skills their parents never dreamed of. And nothing is more popular than the current idea that all children should learn to code.
My husband, Philip, & I strongly support this idea. He has been in IT since he was 18 years old and wants our oldest daughter, Alice, to get involved in the IT field as well.
Alice is an 8 year old and extremely active child. When we introduced her to coding she was hooked! She spent hours working on her coding projects. It was so wonderful to see her working with her father and asking questions when she hit a difficult task.
Yesterday, she received a certificate of completion stating that she has demonstrated an understanding of basic concepts of Computer Science.
We couldn’t be more proud!
Here is the list of the main sources that could be tapped for teaching kids how to code:
Code.org This nonprofit foundation website is a great starting point for coding novices. It shares plenty of useful online resources, apps, and even local schools that teach coding. Be sure to watch the inspirational video on the main page. Updated periodically, the current iteration features some of the biggest names in tech talking about how they got started in coding.
CodeAcademy This interactive website is user-friendly and teaches kids basic code through fun, simple exercises that feel like games.
Code Combat Best for older kids, Code Combat uses an interactive, competitive gameplay mode to stimulate learning. Once you set up your parent account, kids can be online, playing in seconds. FREE
Codemoji Put those ubiquitous emojis to work in an educational way with this website that eschews complex codes for user-friendly expressions, quite literally. Kids learn to code by using emojis to substitute for html or css codes. They’ll have so much fun, they won’t realize the work they’re putting in. Codemoji plans start at $9.99 for three months, but include up to five kids’ accounts in that price.
Code Monster Particularly good for kids, Code Monster features two adjacent boxes. One displays code, the other shows what the code does. As you play with the code (with some help from a prompt), you learn what each command does. FREE
Khan Academy Known for its extensive and challenging math games, Khan Academy also has basic programming tutorials that teach kids how to build graphics, animations, interactive visualizations, and more. FREE
Lightbot Predominantly an app-based program, Lightbot offers a FREE demo online as part of its Hour of Code. Like what you see? Its pair of low-cost programming apps are all-ages friendly. Available for iOs, Android, and Amazon devices for $2.99.
Scratch Designed by MIT students and aimed at children ages 8 to 16, this easy-to-use programming language lets kids build almost anything they can dream. There are no obscure lines of code here. Instead, arrange and snap together Scratch blocks as if they were virtual Legos. But it’s more than just a coding guide, it’s a vibrant online community of programmers who swap ideas and inspiration. FREE
Stencyl Inspired by Scratch’s snapping blocks system, this software allows users to create simple games for iOS, Android, Flash, Windows, Linux, and Mac systems. If your child is serious about it, there are paid pro plans that come with advanced functionality.
Tech Rocket Founded by iD Tech, Tech Rocket’s free platform allows access to a dozen classes. For those looking for a more advanced experience, paid subscriptions are $19 per month.
Speaking for myself, I always considered the nuclear triad to include bombers, submarines, and missiles, but, I was wrong. Sandra Erwin points out in her Space News article, we really need to remember that these three components of the triad could not be effective without two other complimentary components, a competent work force to operate […]
Speaking for myself, I always considered the nuclear triad to include bombers, submarines, and missiles, but, I was wrong. Sandra Erwin points out in her Space News article, we really need to remember that these three components of the triad could not be effective without two other complimentary components, a competent work force to operate them, and a modern and reliable Nuclear Command, Control and Communications ( NC3 ) network.
Lt. Gen Jack Weinstein, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration recently pointed out that nuclear modernization efforts cannot be strictly focused on subs, bombers, and missiles, but must also be concerned about modernizing the NC3 system, causing him to remark “The Triad also means space capability.” The Nuclear Posture Review reported that many of the components of the current NC3 system are antiquated technology which has not been modernized in almost 30 years.
Sandra Erwin reports that the Air Force does have programs under way to modernize communications and early-warning satellites, but integration of these new systems will be very complex, and highly trained work force will be needed to build the systems.
Interestingly, Lt. Gen Weinstein has confidence in the military’s ability to train their people to operate these systems, but he expresses concern about educating the civilian workforce which will also need to be involved.
Applied Technology Institute (ATI) can play an important role in preparing the workforce which will support the future nuclear Triad since it offers a diverse collection of courses which cover all of the domains where the Triad will need to operate; air, sea, and space. Please consider looking at the current set of course offerings at ATI and consider taking some of our courses to better position yourself to make significant contributions to solving the complex problems associated with Strategic Deterrence in the future.
Happy 118th Birthday US Submarine Force! Happy 118th Birthday US Submarine Force! Take a look at an inspirational video at https://www.facebook.com/SUBLANT/videos/2214786651871777/ made by COMSUBLANT commemorating this anniversary. My first inclination after watching this video was to join the US Navy and become a submariner. If you want to do that, you can go to the […]
My first inclination after watching this video was to join the US Navy and become a submariner. If you want to do that, you can go to the US Navy homepage. The Navy is always looking for good people.
Since I am too old to join the Navy, my second inclination was to learn more about Submarines and Submariners. Lucky for me, ATI has just such a course. You can learn by taking the ATI “Submarines and Submariners Course” taught by two retired Submarine Commanders. Check out the Submarine Course at https://aticourses.com/Submarines_and_Submariners_Introduction.html
There’s a small, icy object floating at the outer edge of our Solar System, in the messy Kuiper belt. Or it could be two objects, astronomers are not sure. But NASA is on track to find out more, as that object has been chosen as the next flyby target for the New Horizons spacecraft – the […]
There’s a small, icy object floating at the outer edge of our Solar System, in the messy Kuiper belt. Or it could be two objects, astronomers are not sure.
But NASA is on track to find out more, as that object has been chosen as the next flyby target for the New Horizons spacecraft – the same probe that gave us incredible photos of Pluto in 2015. And now they want your help to give that target a catchy name.
Currently, the enigmatic Kuiper belt object is designated 2014 MU69, but that’s just the provisional string of letters and numbers any newly discovered object gets.
“Yes, we’re going to give 2014 MU69 a real name, rather than just the “license plate” designator it has now,” New Horizons’ principal investigator Alan Stern wrote in a blog post earlier this year.
“The details of how we’ll name it are still being worked out, but NASA announced a few weeks back that it will involve a public naming contest.”
And now, folks, our time to shine has arrived.
NASA has finally extended an invitation for people to submit their ideas for a name, although they note this is not going to be the officially-official name just yet, but rather a nickname to be used until the flyby happens.
The team at New Horizons already have a bunch of ideas prepared, which now form the basis of the naming campaign, and anyone can already vote for those.
Amongst current choices put forward by the team are Z’ha’dum – a fictional planet from the TV series Babylon 5; Camalor – a fictional city actually located in the Kuiper belt according to Robert L. Forward’s novel Camelot 30K; and Mjölnir – the name of Norse thunder god Thor’s epic hammer.
One of the most interesting aspects of MU69 is that we’re not even sure whether the object is one body or two – telescope observations have hinted it could actually be two similarly-sized bodies either in close mutual orbit, or even stuck together.