I love just about everything to do with space, from robotic probes to human missions. Suffice it to say that the data and images being returned from the Curiosity Rover on Mars, the Rosetta-Philae space probe on comet 67P/C-G, and the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt keep me in a constant state of excitement.
I remember watching the first humans landing on the Moon with bated breath. I still get a lump in my throat and a little tear in my eye when I watch the NASA video and hear Neil Armstrong saying: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” I tell you, I'm reliving the moment just writing these words.
Like many others, I was extremely disappointed when we stopped visiting the little rascal, not the least that we subsequently discovered that there is a significant amount of water on the moon. Couple this with the possibility of Luna lava tunnels being used to form a base, and I'm ready to pack my suitcase if anyone invites me to go.
Can you imagine trundling around Tycho crater on the Moon, or climbing Olympus Mons on Mars, or sightseeing on the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt? Well, it looks like we are gearing up to re-start human exploration in space. This leads us to NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will take humans farther than we’ve ever gone before.
Orion, which will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, is intended to facilitate human exploration of the asteroids and of Mars, as well as providing a means of delivering or retrieving crew or supplies from the International Space Station (ISS) if required.
Orion with ATV SM (Source: NASA)
The reason I'm waffling on about all of this here is that we've just announced that our keynote speaker for the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Minneapolis will be Darrel Raines, Flight Software Production System Manager, Orion Program, NASA, Johnson Space Center, Robotics and Software Branch.
Darrel will be giving his keynote — Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle Overview: Embedded Flight Software — on Wednesday, November 4, from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m.
This keynote will be open to all pass types, including the ESC Demo Hall Pass! With ESC taking place next week, we realize this is short notice. Due to this, we will be waiving the $75 fee for all new Demo Hall Pass registrations until Monday, November 2, to give anyone who wishes to attend plenty of time to sign-up and get ready for an exciting discussion from one of NASA's best.
Have you registered yet? If not, why not? All I can say is that you'd better sign up quickly before all the good seats are taken! And, when you do so, make sure to use discount code NASA75 to obtain a complimentary Demo Hall Pass or to take $250 off the current rate of a full Conference Pass.