Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunnyvale weather facts from

  • July is the average warmest month. (avg temp 84F)
  • The highest recorded temperature was 109°F in 2000.
  • December is the average coolest month. (avg temp 59F)
  • The lowest recorded temperature was 19°F in 1990.
  • The maximum average precipitation occurs in January.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Student Aeronautics Competition from NASA

Aeronautics Competitions for High School and College Students

The Fundamental Aeronautics Program of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters announces a new aeronautics competition for high school and college students for the 2007-2008 academic year.

High school students are challenged to write a research paper to explain ideas for a future aircraft that could become the "DC-3" for cargo and passengers in the year 2058. Descriptions should be well-informed and include sections on fuel, environmental effects, noise levels, runway length and condition, operating costs, passenger and cargo loads, and service operations. Notice of intent for high school entries is due on Dec. 15, 2007.

College students are invited to design the next generation, 21st-century, "DC-3"-type aircraft. Some of the design considerations include reduced environmental impact, reduced noise, daily operations on short runways, cost analysis for production and operation, passenger and cargo limits, structure and materials, and engines. Students should also briefly describe three valid scenarios for potential use of this vehicle in the year 2058. Notice of intent for college entries is due on Jan. 19, 2008.

Any U.S. student enrolled in an accredited high school, secondary school, or home school in the United States or its territories is eligible to enter the competition for cash prizes. Non-U.S. citizens and students in international locations can enter as well, but they are not eligible for cash prizes. Trophies and certificates will be awarded to each winner, regardless of citizenship.

For complete details, visit: "

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

SGC Starts!

(I promise I'm listening, Bill!)

Kevin does a short overview of schedule and rules.

Sanjoy talks about having arrived early in India to track down his family history (in particular, an old book of family trees, photos, etc. that his father last remembers seeing when he five years old) and *actually finding* the book, relatives, and an old family home in an area near Calcutta.

Bill Nye speaks on moon missions, national pride, applying to be an astronaut, skeptical feelings toward current moon mission strategies and the lack of innovation in the last decades of space. He's very knowledgeable and entertaining. :-) Now he's talking about the X-15, "Defend America Act", planetary exploration, some environmentalism, Pluto, Apophis, the "Passion, Beauty, and Joy of Science", and is now answering questions.

Time for the first coffee break!

After the break, Will Marshall, SGAC Co-Chair, goes over a lot of the history of SGAC, through SEDS, ISU, Space Generation Foundation, Space Generation Forum at UNISPACEIII, Space Generation Summit in Houston in 2002, and the Space Generation Congresses since then. Then he talks a bit about aspiring toward very lofty goals, because that's how we can make big changes. He hits on how the tools we have today with the ease of travel and using the internet have allowed us to communicate more than ever before. This allows us to work with each other with almost a "collective intelligence," where we present individuals can brainstorm and ask problems to let others work with them to solve them.

(Web 1.0 was static web pages that inform. One group putting out information for others to digest.
Web 2.0 is interactive web pages that work toward this collective intelligence of all being able to contribute and collaborate. Individuals exchanging ideas and helping each other.)

How do we keep it going after SGC to make these changes? Will suggests very frequent telecons or chat sessions (once a week, maybe) with at least 3-4 other people dedicated to communicating each week. This makes people accountable to each other and more likely to make and keep commitments. Plus it keeps everyone inspired because they're reminded that there are others who share the same passions and dedication.

After Will, the project team leaders did short intros of their projects. See summaries of the teams at the links here:

Then it was time for us all to get to know each other a little better... we went around the entire room doing short intros of who we were, where we were from, and what we do at home (work/school/etc.). We have several from our host country of India and from the rest of Asia Pacific region, several from the European and North American regions, one from the Middle East, two from Africa, and two from South America!

We have a short first meeting of project teams where we break into our groups for the first time.
Several teams may post their notes in their team forums, so check those out here:

Lunch time!

Part way into lunch, Agnieszka, the SGAC Executive Officer gives us an overview of a recent survey (with an SGAC tool) she conducted for the UN about food security. She is an excellent resource as a connection directly into the UN branches we deal with, and has the ear of many important people who love hearing about SGAC activities. Let her know when you do things for SGAC!

When we fully resume after lunch, Kevin goes over several of the tools we have at our disposal within SGAC, including Mission Forge (a project management tool with interactive task lists, schedules, and other powerful features)

Jessica takes a few minutes to review what the SGAC Communications team (formerly the PR and Media & Promotion team) is working on with everyone, and offering their services to the participants in their own home nations and regions and within their project teams.

Then half the delegates go with Will to talk about fund-raising strategy, which all teams will likely need, and the other half stays to talk more personally with the Communications team.

The Communications team talks more about what their goals are for the time at SGC and the scope of the team within SGAC. They also speak on what they can do for the other project teams. Next, Jessica reviews several communications tools that could be used by the project teams, including the SGAC blogs (, Twitter ( and Jaiku (, Facebook (SGAC group:, and RSS feeds ( which can be read with readers like Google Reader ( If any delegates are blogging anywhere, sharing photos, etc., please tag your entries with "SGC2007" so that we can easily do web searches and find you later!

Then (through a few power outages) Alex called Space Adventures via Skype ( and he flipped through charts while Tom Shelley announced a very cool opportunity to suggest experiments and activities for Space Adventures' next client to go to the International Space Station for a two week stay. More information will be up on the main page of the Space Generation website shortly, and the presentation with specific details will likely be uploaded below.

After a few short announcements, we broke for an hour before resuming with a local DJ for the opening social dance party!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Space Generation Congress 2007: Day 0

So tonight will mark the end of prep and the beginning of Space Generation Congress 2007. Kevin and I have been here in Hyderabad for two weeks now (finally did some touristy things last night with the staff which was here!).

We have most of the staff and the team leads here, and we're having the first staff meeting, pretty much now.

Talking about tasks left, which are
* man the booth at IAC (we'll have lots to hand out)
* hand out lots of SGAC things at IAC
* help out setting up the IAC booth on Sunday
* get the wireless working in the main room
* alert the media
* finish name tags
* sort SpaceX bags by shirt size
* stuff the Space Generation messenger bags with all the printed stuff which is completely done!
* get info together for culture night and free time

Just took some pics as part one of a gagillion of my team's promo collection tasks, which will make an awesome database of raw materials for SGC and SGAC promotion.

Talking about more logistics and preparation, and there's really very little left to do. Whoo!!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

In Hyderabad, India with Kevin

We're here! (after some few dozen hours of travel...)

Hotel is hip and awesome; staff is super friendly; haven't seen much of the city yet... probably going to go out shopping on Monday. :-)

Will put pictures up soon!