22 June 2017

Space Junk

Some time ago I wrote on this subject. My concerns originated when a "fleck of paint" hit the windshield of the Space Shuttle at a closing speed of something like 17,000 miles per hour and cracked the windshield to the point that experts feared a heavier object would have compromised the Shuttle's survival in space.
Now I read this article, and it is comforting to know experts are also concerned and trying to come up with a solution to the trash heap we are building in earth's orbit.
Now all we need to do is figure out how to do the same thing with that Delaware-size pile of trash in the Pacific ocean!

God help us.


Ed Bonderenka said...

Remember that scene in "Gravity"?
Chain reaction of junk in space that seemingly precluded us ever returning.

Old NFO said...

That's an interesting concept, it will be more interesting to see if they can pull it off! :-)

Anonymous said...

Do you miss flying?

I stumbled upon your blog many years ago and have read faithfully. I am thinking of leaving the flying profession and would welcome your insights.

I enlisted in the Army Reserve at 17 while in high school (not the brightest move), went to college as a reservist (medic) and got pulled out for active duty in 1990 for Desert Storm. That obviously turned into nothing but some time in the sand box and I graduated from college in 1992. After graduation and OCS I got a flight spot and flew Apaches in Kosovo and Iraq while on active duty. Bailed from active duty before my 20 and guard bummed full time flying Blackhawks in a Dustoff unit. That led to a year long Dustoff tour in Iraq and then a tour in Afghanistan as I finished a 21.5 year career (reserve + active duty + guard)

During that time I went from being an active duty RLO to a Guard WO (long story....but retired as WO3). Since 2012 I have been flying helo medevac for Air Methods (not sure if that is who you worked for). It is a 24 hour shift (which is nice) and mostly day VMC which is not that difficult in a pretty urban area. Aircraft are well maintained and easy to fly. I've done two different aircraft since I've been here and training and support was decent both times through the school house.

The problem is that the flying does not excite me and the pay is not that great. My brother has a job opportunity for me in a general management position that pays about 50% more.

Flying really doesn't excite me any more. I'm 52 years old and I think I am ready for something new. I will miss the 24 hour shifts, but I don't feel much satisfaction flying a helicopter any more.

I probably need to work 8 or 10 years more. I'm excited by the thought of new challenges, but I also realize that I will never pilot anything again. I've never paid for an hour of flight time and never intend to.

So my question to you is - do you miss flying or had it become just a job for you? I know you have that side instructor gig, but that is not something I see as an option for me. If I walk away I will be done for good.

Sorry for the long comment.

Greybeard said...

Wow, wow, wow.
Anon, I am honored and pleased that you think my opinion is worth listening to.
I too was working for Air Methods when I retired.
I left because the job and the industry (in 2013) was changing in a way I didn't like.
For me, it was exactly the right decision.
Do I miss being a part of a team that was helping others when they were having the worst day of their lives? I STILL have dreams about my old job.
Am I glad I left the industry when I did?

I really don't know how to advise you, except to say- if you are questioning, listen to your heart.
And... money IS NOT everything. (But you already know that.)
It breaks my heart to push "Publish your comment" here.

The Old Man said...

I am more concerned about cleaning out the trash heap on the Potomac. That influences the environment and living conditions FAR more than the Pacific patch ever could.

Old NFO said...

Re the plastic at sea, there is this- :-)