Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Lever Called "Don't even think about it, kid"

I can't remember the movie, but there is this western movie where one of the main character tries to re-start a train as plenty of assailants are about to take it over. The guy stumbles several times as he, as a youth, tries to recall his father's (a train machinist) processes. Some of these levers came with names like "Don't even think about it, kid"... 

Every time I remember that scene, I always make the parallel with rocket engines. Rocket engines folks are very awkward people. If you ask them to put sensors on their rockets, they will give you all the (good) reasons this is a bad idea. Deep down, I am intimately convinced that the key to do a better job with regards to rocket engines is to have better sensors on those engines or use other sensing technologies to monitor and eventually remove all the black magic of these systems.

PS: I have no inside knowledge of SpaceX's technology, this is a very generic statement.

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