Thursday, May 31, 2012

mission accomplished!

congrats to jarad and everyone at spacex for a very successful mission!  dragon safely landed in the coast of baja this morning.  i am so proud of his contributions and to see history being made.

dragon capsule in ocean waiting to be retrieved

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

mission update from jarad...

ok, the mission is coming to end, along with these emails.

list of accomplishments:
-falcon 9 is 3 for 3, no one has that record
-dragon did a bunch of cool flips and maneuvers, like catching up to the space station from 5 million meters away. (these are all first in history for a commercial (private) company to accomplish)
-dragon got grappled with the america's hat arm 2
-dragon docked to the station
-the astronauts have unloaded all their underwear
-the astronauts have loaded all their loaded underwear, other garbage, water, experiments.

at 3:30 am pst we'll be undocking from the station with the arm, be pushed away, get into a different orbit, perform a de-orbit burn (over australia) and reenter to splashdown into the pacific.

splash down is set for 8:30 am tomorrow morning (5/31/12). the boats left sunday night for their trip out to meet dragon from space.

thank you so much for all the interest/support/congratulations. makes me feel good about what i've done and that my work has done something so exciting. 

quote of the week...

"nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
~thomas jefferson

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

teardrop camper in 30 days...

since my last post almost a month ago, we have been thinking long and hard about what we want out of our camper.  jarad has been modeling it on the computer and when we looked at his design, we realized that it is only 48 inches wide, which is bigger than a twin size mattress but too small for a double size mattress (54 in).  my original idea was for it to be big enough to hold a queen size mattress (60 in.), but i am now realizing that is probably too big, and would require a much bigger/heavier trailer bed.

knowing that we wanted a larger camper, we had to take a good look at the trailer we bought to see if it could be easily widened or if we would need a 6 x 8 trailer instead.  we even considered getting a boat trailer, which is a lot bigger, light weight and fairly inexpensive.  since then, we have decided to use the existing trailer and build on top of the wheels.  this past memorial day weekend jarad spent a lot of time building the trailer bed and getting the hitch on his truck.  he is still modeling the camper and we will begin building the base of it this week.

our plan is to take it on the road for a 12 day road trip to colorado, wyomming and idaho at the end of june/beginning of july.  we have exactly a month to complete is our progress so far.

completed trailer bed

truck hitch and receiver

we have also been thinking of names for the camper.  jarad's dad has named it the "love shack" and it seems to be sticking.

Monday, May 28, 2012

music...led zeppelin

led zeppelin, "kashmir"

***one of my all time favorites!!!***

here is another version that will blow you away...

david garrett, "kashmir"


Sunday, May 27, 2012

memorial day weekend...

just want to remember and recognize all those who serve our country.  wishing everyone a happy, safe and fun memorial day weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

dragon docks at international space station...

another email update from jarad...

"We're fully locked into the space station now, they'll open the hatch tonight at some point.

Splashdown on Thursday morning.

We've shown everybody that was against us how we could perform this mission safely and exactly.

All the hard parts are over."

dragon attaches to robotic arm

dragon attaches to international space station

Thursday, May 24, 2012

launch update from jarad...

check out these pictures of dragon from the space station here.

Obama called Elon (the owner) a few times last night, he thought it was a telemarketer so he ignored it, finally he had his assistant answer the phone. Obama said "congrats."

Other things about dragon:
-Scotty from Star Trek's ashes are in dragon
-there's an experiment on dragon testing fermenting grapes in space, for you whino's

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

quote of the week...

" after the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box."
~italian proverb

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

deep fried oreos...

we had a bbq last weekend for some good friends that were visiting, and jarad decided to make deep fried oreos for dessert.  we have never made these before, but he was inspired from the fair food at rodeo and a deep fry food truck that comes to his office.  they are way too easy to make and very delicious...a dangerous combo. 

~pack of oreo cookies
~pancake batter (follow instructions on box)
~peanut oil
~powdered sugar

how to:

you will need a deep pot for this, we used our pressure cooker.  fill it about a third of the way full with peanut oil and let it get hot.  it is helpful to use a thermometer, so that you know when the oil has reached  350 degrees. 

drench your oreo cookies in the pancake batter and gently drop them into the oil. 

cook them for about a minute on each side or until golden brown.  remove from oil and place on paper towel to absorb extra grease.  dust with powder sugar and enjoy!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

launch email update from jarad...

Ok space fans, This is a huge event for me and my company. We're launching our Falcon 9 rocket with our Dragon spacecraft mounted to the tip. Our mission is to rendezvous with the international space station about 4 days after the launch.

The launch is scheduled for this Saturday morning 1:55 am Pacific coast time, it's a late one. If we don't launch, our next window is on May 22nd, I don't know what time. Our launch window is about 10 minutes long the reason for this is that we have to launch and meet up with the space station. It's only in a good location to do that about every 3 days.

This is another first for Spacex and private aerospace. We'll be the first fully private company to dock with the space station, we'll also be receiving the 2nd reentry certificate from the FAA ever.

"oh this sounds cool, what do you/did you actually do for this event?" you may be mumbling this.

Well, when I'm not riding bicycles or flying r/c helicopters, I'm turning my brain into mush at work trying to solve problems in cheap and innovative ways. We have a very different style of work here than any other aerospace company. I would consider work here to be more like college. You're on your own, you don't have to answer to a senior engineer b/c we don't have any. I'm 31, and I'm old for working here. I personally do all my design/cad/analysis. I help out with testing, but by that time  I'm usually onto another project. 

My department is avionics. Avionics are the computers, sensors, controllers, and power for the rocket. The nervous system if you will. I use my expensive mechanical engineering degree from the University of Vermont to  package all of these electronics. To boil it down, I design boxes for electronics that will function through the rough trip up to space, in space, and then under salt water when we splash down.

Here's a list of things that I design that will (should) be functioning on this launch.

For the F9 rocket:
-telemetry recorder (black box)
-GPS receivers
-camera enclosures
-things that make wiring easier

For the Dragon capsule:
-batteries (this was my whole last year, hardest thing I've done)
-power distribution box
-power management unit
-other smaller boxes that i don't know what they do.

On the Space station:
-I designed the power distribution box that powers the radio that the astronauts use to control dragon.

Go to for the live video broadcast. Click here for an overview of the mission.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

quote of the week...

"worrying is like paying interest on trouble not yet due."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

happy birthday tony...

happy birthday to my very special uncle tony!  he is smart, funny, a good story teller and and an amazing father/uncle/friend. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

happy birthday meg!!!

happy birthday to my bestest friend, meg.  she is one of the most loving, loyal and down to earth people i know.  i love you like family and wish you all the best on your special day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

happy mothers day...

wishing all the mothers out there a special day.  i am blessed to have such strong and inspirational women in my life.  we had a fun day celebrating (mothers day as well as isabelle and tony's birthday) with family, food and fun in the pool.

Friday, May 11, 2012

garden box...33 weeks

we are getting a new crop of snap peas, and this one in particular is huge!

artichokes did not like their move into the container.  i am surprised because it is a very hearty plant, but for now it has a new home in the shade.

and our squash have many new blossoms.  jarad made a solution of milk and baking soda to get rid of the fruit flies and mold.  it seems to be working and hopefully we will get a full sized squash this time around.

i didn't get a picture of it, but the herb box is starting to sprout the rosemary i planted last week, and here is an overall view of the box.

the big lettuce plant is gone.  it had gone to flower and we weren't getting anymore nice leaves off it it.  we have a small one started now, and the yellow plate has soapy water to attract the flies as well. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

sky zone...

isabelle's 13th birthday party was at a trampoline gym called sky zone, located in torrance.  we had a blast jumping on the wall to wall trampolines, diving into the foam pit, and playing dodge ball and basketball.

 after only a few minutes of jumping, your heart rate is elevated and you are breaking a sweat, and if that isn't enough, they offer aerobic and boot camp classes on the trampoline, that is said to burn 1000 calories an hour.  it was so much fun and a great workout as well, they have several different locations, so check them out here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012