About Me

I'm an Explorer, Engineer, Writer, Public Speaker, and Entrepreneur. I write about exploration, travel, and science. 

Any views expressed on this site are my own.  

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Entries in NASA (5)



After 9 months and more than 350 million miles of travel, the Curiosity rover just landed on Mars. AMAZING, AWESOME, UNBELIEVABLE... don't even begin to describe the feeling of watching the landing. This is a vehicle the size of a small car, the most technologically advanced robotic spacecraft EVER built, and it's on Mars right now. Here are the first photos I captured from the live stream on my desktop.

"Live stream" is an interesting term here...

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For the Love of Guinness

At the end of my first work tour, instead of heading back up to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, I decided to go east. To the land of my long, long looooong ago relatives: Ireland.

That’s where I fell in love with travel. And Irish people. And Guinness.

(It’s also where I met my current travel companion. But more on that gal later.)

If NASA screwed up my college plans, Ireland blew them out of the water. Before Ireland, my only international experiences had come from a 2-hour 8th grade bus ride to Tijuana (with my parents) and two fishing trips to Canada when I was 9 and 18. Crossing the pond was a whole new thing.

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India... We Have a Problem

I like to think I’m an explorer. My parents can attest. It probably started when I was about three and they gave me a Big Wheel—the little bikes kids get before they graduate to the tricycle (see below).

My Big Wheel explorations were mostly just me trying to escape the clutches of my (very patient and loving) parents. I wasn’t very fast at first, especially before my legs could reach the pedals and my dad had to attach wood blocks to them so I could reach. But they humored me, let me escape just far enough before reigning me in and I got to explore the neighborhood.

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Indian Summer

I’m going to India for the summer to write about the Indian space program. When I tell people that, most first say something like, “wait, India has a space program?”

(Actually the first response I got was: “wait, don’t they poop in the streets there?”)

Yes. Yes, they do have a space program (I can’t comment on the latter… yet). India plans to become the fourth nation on Earth to send a human being into space and they’re about four years away from doing so (after Russia—which was the Soviet Union at the time—the U.S., and China). Their space efforts in 2012 might be akin to the American space program of 1957, four years before Alan Shepherd became the first American in space. Except, NASA wasn’t even founded until 1958. And the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has been around since 1969.

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Why I Like Stars


I just picked up a book that has sat on my shelf or in moving boxes for the past eight years: Rocket Dreams, by Marina Benjamin. I don't know why I picked it up. I do this from time to time when walking past my book shelf and I never really know what compels me to do so. Maybe there's an invisible hobbit or leprechaun sitting on my shoulder whispering commands in my ear, I don't know.

I paged through the book, stopping on a star with a circle around it written in pencil next to a paragraph where Benjamin writes about the philosophy of spaceflight, citing french scientist turned philosopher, Gaston Bachelard.

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