Too bad NASA, as well as so many (all?) government programs, never learned how to run efficiently and had not blown through so many billions of dollars, with so little to show for it. If they ran more like private industry and were not so horribly inept with budgets, were the least bit efficient, and had some degree of accountability, there might still be a shuttle program.
Yes! The technology has advanced to a point where you don't need humans to fight the war. You have those drones and spider robots and what not. All our technology advances are being put to use to fight wars. And the villains whom the governments try to destroy using this advanced technology are also using the same technology to counter those attacks, to camouflage their hideouts, to arm themselves with the latest weaponary.
Where is the common man in all this? He is suffering. There are yet no automated technology tools to find out who is hungry , undernourished , under distress. There are no technology tools to automatically reach these people and provide them the required help.
Can the next generation of Drones do such kind of humanitarian tasks? Then and then I will say that the technology is really helping the mankind to survive . And not just for killing each other.
While I understand the comment, please realize that anytime you place your tail on 3.7 million pounds of high explosive you have to accept that you can have a bad day. Risk is part of the business of experimental flight, indeed of any kind of exploration. We accept risk when we get in our cars, planes, trains and other means of transportation so you have to accept it here.
Thank you Brian for a niece tech anthology, which also reminds me why I became an engineer rather than a doctor, my father's profession. I also remember as a child seen the moon landing on our BW TV set, and been inspired to imagine life beyond our solar system.
I was lucky to work at NASA JSC as my first job on the computer mainframes used for the simulators.
Like the others here, this takes me back to watching the final Apollo missions. In those days, it seemed like anything was possible and much of that was thanks to engineers. It was a formative time for me and undoubtedly a major reason I ended up a EE. Watching mission control, I think I hoped to one day go to work wearing a short-sleeved white shirt with a black tie, finished off with a pocket protector.
Apollo was an amazing adventure, I watched the first landing on a hastily, purchased B/W TV. Now, technology has surpassed Apollo to the extent that we have to recognise there is nothing humans can do in space which robots cannot do better. Even warfare is waged with drones, Predator and Reaper. It is sad, but magnificent to see the advances in scientific understanding.
What we need now is the James Webb telescope, and DSCOVR to study earth climate.
Thanks for sharing you thoughts Brian. I congratulate Willam Shockley and Claude Shannon, among others, for their work, and for laying the foundation for the innovations that have made our lives so much easier ...
... the possiblity of mere mortals to carry portable devices and communicate with the world ... among other numerous possibilities.
According to a USPTO search, the trademark for "Velcro" was registered in 1958 by VELCRO S. A. CORPORATION, Switzerland. I didn't find the original patent for Velcro, but I found some other patent filings in 1959 that referenced Velcro.
I always thought it was a NASA space program spin-off. Regardless of whether Velcro was invented by NASA, so many other items have been. Probably too many to count.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.