Heavy Blogging Coming Soon…

…to that other blog I run.

In today’s blog post, I just opened the kimono a bit about our new rendezvous and docking product (the tractor beam I’ve hinted at) and committed to try and do at least one short blog post per day for the next month while we push through a major product development sprint. Should be a wild ride.

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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6 Responses to Heavy Blogging Coming Soon…

  1. Andrew W says:

    After the third wine.

    I just got an email saying Skribit is closing the doors, so, hint, hint, I guess now would be a good time to get rid of a few of those ideas that have been suggested … especially mine.

  2. PrairieKirk says:

    I’m certainly looking forward to it!

  3. Andrew W says:

    Boom rendezvous is one of those ideas that has probably occurred to a lot of people over the years but never got onto the ISS because of bureaucratic inertia (though when the shuttle retrieves a satellite using the Canada arm that’s basically what you’ve got).

  4. A_M_Swallow says:

    That docking ability may provide robots and other machines with the equivalent of fingers. This technology may have many uses on Earth as well as in space.

    Magnets can be used to pick up steel cans but not aluminium cans, I suspect this technology can pick up aluminium cans. The same applies to wood and plastic objects.

  5. Andrew,
    I decided to read up a bit on how shuttle did those retrievals, and the reality is that the astronauts with MMUs did most of the hard work of capturing and detumbling the spacecraft. But yeah, this would enable you to do something like that mission a lot easier and without requiring a 100DOF wetware-in-space-suit “end effector”…

    You’re right though that Kirk’s Boom Rendezvous idea was one that was considered and dismissed as far back as the 1960s. The problem is that (as the paper described) it’s pretty easy to get lockin for a suboptimal solution if it ends up being the first one that gets to market.


  6. AM,

    Yeah, it works great on aluminum. Admittedly it’s not just like magnets. Magnets can act over a decent distance, this stuff requires pretty intimate contact. That’s not to say that it isn’t potentially quite useful for a lot of terrestrial applications, just that it has it’s own properties and nuances you have to consider.


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