Profile

Scrapbook photo 1
Scrapbook photo 2
Scrapbook photo 3
Scrapbook photo 4
Scrapbook photo 5
Scott Maxwell
Works at Google
Attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lives in Pasadena, CA
45,746 followers|1,497,353 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideos

Stream

Scott Maxwell

Shared publicly  - 
2
Add a comment...
 
Q: When should you clear out the old spacecraft to make room for the new ones? A: Over my dead body.

The amount of money it will take to keep Opportunity operating can probably be found in the James Webb Space Telescope's couch cushions. And the article's conclusion nicely summarizes why canceling MER and other long-term missions would be a terrible idea.

In particular, his point about such missions being where many junior people get their start is a terrific one; I saw that many times, as new folks rotated through MER to pick up experience on their way to other jobs.

I hope NASA isn't as dumb as I suspect they are.

Via +Barbara Cohen.
13
6
Steven Flaeck's profile photoJesse Clark's profile photoPeter da Silva's profile photoKee Hinckley's profile photo
6 comments
 
+Steven Flaeck If I'm sure of one thing, it's that I don't have a complete list in my head. :-/ I tried to avoid learning stuff like that, having negative (as in less than zero)) interest in administrative issues. But I couldn't help learning that it includes salaries, facilities (JPL office space, the testbed, etc.), and "external" expenses such as the DSN. It used to include outreach and a lot of other things, but those have mostly been cut now.

I'd be all for handing operations off to a university, if the only alternative is to shut the rover down altogether, but (a) there's no structure in place for such a thing and probably not time or money to develop it, (b) it might be unlawful for reasons that are obscure to me, and (c) NASA would probably be against it anyway because they don't want a university or a group of volunteers or whatever to show them up -- and they'd probably prefer to avoid questions about when and to whom they're going to hand over future missions.

Indeed, establishing the pattern that missions get handed over at some point means less funding for NASA: their funding would be cut with the idea that universities and private institutions would pick up the slack. From the perspective of NASA, which institutionally cares a lot less about science than you might hope, it's more rational to switch a functioning spacecraft off than to take such risks.

There are technical problems with the handover, not least being a load of infrastructure and lore that aren't easily communicated, but those aren't the real killer. The killer issues are not technical but bureaucratic.
Add a comment...

Scott Maxwell

Shared publicly  - 
 
I don't even know where to start. Killing Jews was legal in Nazi Germany, you idiot; the question of legality doesn't just miss the point by a country mile, it misses by intergalactic distances.

You just need to listen to this guy defend himself by saying he was just doing what his country asked of him, to see the mindset at work in the entire Nazi structure.

Godwin, my ass. Sometimes the comparisons are called for -- not often, but sometimes. And this is very definitely one of those times.

You belong in prison forever, you monster.
21
2
Jeffery Ryan Stewart-James's profile photoMichael Mayea's profile photoTobias Thierer's profile photoLuis Avila's profile photo
3 comments
 
I hate ties also there absurd un needed and are a aid to keep ones focuse away freaken tie wearing nazi
Add a comment...

Scott Maxwell

Shared publicly  - 
 
Oh, nothing. Just taking pictures from space of our giant laser-wielding nuclear-powered Mars robot. As you do.
14
1
Ian Lindstrom's profile photo
Add a comment...

Scott Maxwell

Shared publicly  - 
 
Hank Aaron (yes, that Hank Aaron) says Obama faces racism, which makes the racists crawl out of the woodwork. How utterly foul. (No baseball pun intended.)
The Atlanta Braves have been deluged with hate mail after baseball great Hank Aaron's recent comments about racism in America and President Obama's critics.
9
2
Matt McIrvin's profile photoBen Etherington's profile photoSven G's profile photoTim S's profile photo
4 comments
Sven G
+
1
2
1
 
+Matt McIrvin , yup.  It is very uncomfortable to seem to be on the same side as the nutters. 

Doesn't make the Obots' creed any less idiotic.

As per Julia's quote:

"... If the Democratic president orders the "extrajudicial" murder of American citizens, you must support him. If he chairs death squad meetings in the White House every week, checking off names of men to be murdered without charge or trial, you must support him. If he commits mass murder with robot drones on defenseless villages around the world, you must support him. If he imprisons and prosecutes whistleblowers and investigative journalists more than any other president in history, you must support him. If he cages and abuses and tortures a young soldier who sought only to stop atrocities and save the nation’s honor, you must support him. If he "surges" a pointless war of aggression and occupation in a ravaged land and expands that war into the territory of a supposed ally, you must support him. If he sends troops and special ops and drones and assassins into country after country, fomenting wars, bankrolling militias, and engineering coups, you must support him. If he throws open the nation's coastal waters to rampant drilling by the profiteers who are devouring and despoiling the earth, you must support him. If he declares his eagerness to do what no Republican president has ever dared to do -- slash Social Security and Medicare -- you must support him."
Add a comment...

Scott Maxwell

Shared publicly  - 
 
Mark is in charge of a project to develop systems to land ever-larger payload on Mars. And he's clearly having too much fun doing it. :-)
 
Helicopters.  Rockets.  A train track.  A Mars lander parachute.  High speed cameras.  What more could you ask for?  (Mythbusters: eat your heart out.)
9
1
Juan Ochoa's profile photo
Add a comment...
In his circles
4,114 people
Have him in circles
45,746 people
Jari Sundell's profile photo

Scott Maxwell

Shared publicly  - 
 
When I was a kid, microscopes were for looking at leaves and ants in my back yard. Now I can look at moon rocks.
 
View lunar rocks through a microscope

Virtual Microscope is a web app that lets you view through a microscope thin sections of Apollo lunar samples representing a wide range of rocks. You can observe with different light polarizations, zoom, take measurements, and share links to sample views.

Here’s the Apollo lunar rocks collection:

http://www.virtualmicroscope.org/content/moon-rocks

You can use the Virtual Microscope, a great educational resource, to also view other rocks and specimens:

http://www.virtualmicroscope.org

Image: screenshot of a lunar regolith breccia sample seen through the Virtual Microscope. Credit: The Open University. View the sample here: http://goo.gl/XCwfnR

#Moon #Apollo
4
Add a comment...

Scott Maxwell

Shared publicly  - 
 
I find this especially infuriating because I hope to install solar panels this year. Grr!
 
The Yiddish word "chutzpah" means gall and utterly arrogant nerve. It should be re-spelled to "koch-spah" after this news… that the ever-meddlesome Koch brothers are now funding a major campaign against state efforts to ramp up solar energy.  It would be one thing if they limited their attacks to ending tax rebates and minor subsidies for solar and wind… hypocritical, given how much they have benefited from vastly larger oil-gas-coal subsidies, tax breaks and almost free access to resources on public lands. 

No, they are also targeting "net metering" which is the law allowing a homeowner who owns a rooftop solar unit to sell excess power back to the utility.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-solar-kochs-20140420,0,7412286.story#axzz2zSLfKKoM

Please read that again.  The Koch brothers do not want you selling your excess power to the market.  Their beef is with filling energy markets with millions of little-guy producers.  Their "institute" proclaims that its aim is to "preserve the public utility power company concept" -- a state mandated monopoly system in which single companies control all access to energy.  Some enterprise capitalists! Some libertarians!

But let's dig deeper to the heart of it.  WHY are the Kochs (and their Saudi partners) doing this right now?  Because solar energy is taking off.  Because efficiency and durability rates have been skyrocketing, in part because we had the wisdom to use some mild incentives to boost an important new industry, the way US Postal contracts stimulated air travel, in the 1920s, or public roads spurred the rise of the automobile.

Only with this difference: renewable energy systems are improving far FASTER than airplanes or automobiles did, in their nascent days. And more spectacular tech advances loom on the horizon, that they can see coming fast.

Dig it well.  The Kochs would not be doing this if renewables weren't taking off and a looming threat to the brothers' bottom line.  Millions of autonomous citizens, generating and selling their own power is no longer a sci fi pipe dream.  It is coming true fast… and the parasite dinosaurs are bellowing.
The Koch brothers and large utilities have allied to reverse state policies that favor renewable energy.
10
2
Scott B's profile photoJohn Beisley's profile photoG.Waleed Kavalec's profile photoJonathan Bradshaw's profile photo
5 comments
Scott B
 
+Jonathan Bradshaw I have to say that, having read the article, it refutes your concerns as to the amount of energy used to create the panels and the associated carbon footprint.. 
ONE home installation can save 524 tonnes of CO2e over its lifetime seems pretty damned green to me.. even if that were a gross over estimation, it consumes less of a finite resource.
"The information provided by REC is valuable in helping to demonstrate that solar panels have a very low carbon footprint and an energy payback that is considerably less than most people are led to believe"

FWIW i do not consider myself a tree hugger at all. All our house lighting is LED, but I have a car that does not get particularly good mileage, and i am hard on the loud pedal.. it makes me smile.. but i do believe in trying to minimize our destruction of the planet that birthed us..
Add a comment...

Scott Maxwell

Shared publicly  - 
 
This is so amazing. It reminds me of Karl Sims's mid-'90s work evolving virtual creatures with genetic algorithms, some of which you can see here: Karl Sims - Evolving Virtual Creatures With Genetic Algorithms
 
Hilarity.
16
4
Isaac Kuo's profile photoPhilip Callan's profile photoHector Socas-Navarro's profile photoEddie S's profile photo
 
I read too quickly...I thought it was "Computer simulations teaching themselves to plank"
Add a comment...

Scott Maxwell

Shared publicly  - 
 
I didn't have time to set up my camera to try to take pictures of the eclipse last night -- too busy scrambling around reconfiguring my new routers for my home network -- but they wouldn't have looked anywhere near this good anyway. So maybe it's just as well. :-)
 
Blood moon.
7
1
Dmitry Volkoff's profile photo
Add a comment...
People
In his circles
4,114 people
Have him in circles
45,746 people
Jari Sundell's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Site Reliability Engineer
Employment
  • Google
    Site Reliability Engineer, 2013 - present
  • JPL
    Mars Rover Driver Team Lead, 2013
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Pasadena, CA
Previously
Rocky Mount, NC - Seminole, FL - Greenville, NC - Champaign, IL
Story
Tagline
I'm a pretty big wheel down at the cracker factory.
Introduction
On a small red light in the night sky lives four hundred pounds of thinking metal sent from Earth.  Once upon a time, I told that metal what to do.

(Disclaimer: my opinions are mine, not my employer's.  Duh. :-)
Bragging rights
I fought cancer and won. I had a robot on another planet, and I drove it around and made it do stuff. I was a trending topic on Twitter. I wrote a book. I took a privacy case all the way to the Supreme Court. Now I keep Google up and running. But I'm just this guy, you know?
Education
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Computer Science
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
@marsroverdriver on Twitter