atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4292: That would be so much more preferable to this.

SpaceX has a position open, "Ground Support Equipment Technician", in McGregor, Texas, that I do believe I could handle quite well. At this point, moving to Texas and working for a major space contractor would be preferable to just about any other option that I've got vis-a-vis living quarters and employment.

McGregor is where they do most of their engine testing, and somewhere on their site I saw them say that they typically run a test about every day or so.

This would be an exciting opportunity for me, because I like machines and I like rockets and it would be damned interesting work. opposed to what I'm doing now which--while it pays some of the bills--is clearly not a career track that has much potential to it.

If I got as far as an interview, I'd wager that my general enthusiasm for space exploration and technology would be enough to secure me some kind of job there, even if all I ended up doing was editing technical manuals--something I'm actually pretty good at. I'm smart enough (and good enough with machines) to do a lot of the work they're asking of the GSE tech, but there would be a bit of a learning curve present.

I'm going to toss in a resume sometime in the next few days. Nothing will happen if I don't throw my hat in the ring, and you never know; I might end up doing something interesting and make a career out of it. That would be marvelous.

It would mean leaving Illinois, of course, but I'm not sure that's such a bad thing.

* * *

Last night I had a dream in which I was tackled by Haruhi Suzumiya. She got jealous because I was talking to Yuki and not to her.


* * *

"Do you want to watch The Soup or The Leftovers?" My wife asked me.

"I'd like to watch something that's not about food," I replied.

* * *

When the moon hits your eye, you're probably already dead, since you've fallen out of a lunar module without a space suit on. (Also, it was a long time ago since it was only 1969-1974 that anyone went to the moon.)

* * *

Speaking of which, the NASA transcripts of the Apollo missions contain the usual collection of acronyms, and NASA-ese for "space suit" is "Portable Life Support System", or PLSS. Only a government agency could take a simple phrase like "space suit" and double the number of syllables required to name the thing.

* * *

That really was pretty depressing when I commented, the other day, about "the dead art of traveling to other worlds". We certainly can't do that now; all the knowledge and experience that NASA had in the Apollo days has perished. People have retired, many have died, and there's no comprehensive record of the tools and techniques used to build and fly the Apollo spacecraft.

It's possible that we could re-develop the practical know-how; we did it once already, and there are probably enough references remaining that we'd do it faster and better the second time...but how much better it would have been if we hadn't stopped in the first place? What would we have now if we hadn't stopped going to the moon in 1975? Where would we have gone? What would we have seen?

I mean, it's about like what would have happened if Europeans just decided to stop visiting the New World after making a few trips: "You know, it's too expensive, and there really isn't anything over there that we don't have here, so why bother going? We have problems to solve here in Europe, so we should do that first rather than throwing all that money into the ocean...."

If you really want to understand how much of a travesty it was for us to go to the moon a few times and then stop, think about that favorite dish that your grandmother used to make, for which she never wrote down the recipe. Then multiply that by about three hundred thousand; then you have an approximate idea of the combined knowledge of the engineers and technicians who built and maintained the Apollo spacecraft and simulators, who programmed the computers, and who ran the consoles during flights...and did all that with slide rules. That is the kind of expertise that is gone.


"Dead art of visiting other worlds", I said, and I meant every word. Argh etc.

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