Upcoming Milestones and a Month of Blogging

I just realized the other day, that we’re rapidly approach the 10 year anniversary of my first post on Selenian Boondocks. The big day will be on June 16th, 2015. In celebration of that milestone, I’m going to try to do a blog post a day for the next month. Some of those posts may be short, and may be links to blog posts I do on the ASM blog or Taong Boondocks, and if I get desparate, I might even do a few reposts or updates of some of the more popular articles from the past. But I want to try and do something every day over the next month.

In case you’re interested, the next month or so has a few other interesting milestones:

  • Tomorrow (May 16th) marks my one year mark on DuoLingo studying Spanish. I’ve had to use the streak saver a handful of times (~4 or 5), but my streak is currently at 364 days. I’m still a beginner, but can at least read signs in Spanish reasonably well.
  • June 4th is the one year birthday of our youngest son, Andrew Perigrin (“Pippin” or “Pip”) Goff. He’s a lot of fun. Probably our happiest baby so far.
  • July 2nd is the 5 year anniversary of incorporating my space robotics and technology startup, Altius Space Machines. We’ve been primarily bootstrapping since then off of a mix of government and commercial contracts, and sometime in the next month we should cross the $2M cumulative revenue mark for the company. That’s slower than I would’ve liked it, but we’re starting to gain some momentum, and finally in a new office in Broomfield, CO. BTW, this is the main reason why I don’t blog as often these days as I used to. That and four little boys and being recently called as an Assistant Scoutmaster.
  • July 6th is the 5 year anniversary of leaving my former startup, Masten Space Systems, to start Altius full-time. I’m really glad Dave roped me into helping him start Masten. It’s been great seeing how much they’ve accomplished since I left. I can’t repeat enough how proud I am of where they’ve taken things over the past five years. They’re cashflow positive off of flying EDL flights for NASA and commercial companies under the Flight Opportunities program. Last I heard they’re over 20 employees, they’re running the “black horse” team for the DARPA XS-1 program, and they’re about to start free-flying two new vehicles. Not to mention they have a vertical take off and landing rocket vehicle with >220 flights under its belt that I got to help build. 🙂
  • August 8th is the big 35 for me, and the 13th anniversary of getting back from my mission in the Philippines.
  • August 23rd is Tiff’s and mine 12th wedding anniversary.

Lots of milestones. Now let me see if I can actually keep up with the blog a day promise…

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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.
Jonathan Goff

Latest posts by Jonathan Goff (see all)

Jonathan Goff

About Jonathan Goff

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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4 Responses to Upcoming Milestones and a Month of Blogging

  1. john hare says:

    I’ll read them all. I haven’t been in too much of a blogging mood lately myself. I think my attempts to get back in the game must be with the Acme products that were rejected by the coyote. Not that bad, but frustrating.

  2. Robert Clark says:

    Thanks for your blog. As far as I know this is the only blog by someone in the industry that discusses the science and math involved in spaceflight, not just say policy issues.

    My request for a topic during the next 30 days would be your work on a magnetoshell with Altius. This is a heat shield formed using magnetic fields. If large enough, it can greatly reduce the need for propellant to slowdown on arrival at Mars, thus allowing the “aerocapture” technique to be used.

    A major problem with current manned Mars mission proposals are the long travel times in space used and the long total mission durations this requires, perhaps 900 days. The 6 to 8 months flight times would cause bone and muscle loss and vision damage. It is very disconcerting to see ISS astronauts after their 6 months stints on the ISS being pulled out of the Soyuz capsule on their return like invalids.

    William Gerstenmaier head of NASA’s human spaceflight section considered the 900 day mission times of such plans to be unfeasible. That is why I prefer fast flights to Mars.

    Interestingly it is possible to make such fast flights to Mars using chemical propulsion alone. This though would require huge rockets comparable to the size of the entire Saturn V at ca. 3 million kg gross mass in orbit.

    As a point of comparison the current plans for Mars flights use minimal energy trajectories at 3.8 km/s delta-v on Earth departure. The Saturn V however had a total delta-v of about 18 km/s. Imagine how much shorter we could make the flight at such a departure delta-v.

    Launching this large amount of mass from Earth’s deep gravity well though would be unfeasible. It would be doable however if the large amount of propellant required could be lunar or asteroid derived.

    But then we will really need now a non-propulsive method of braking at Mars because the large departure speeds would result in large arrival speeds at Mars.

    I especially like the fact that you are investigating with Altius using the magnetoshell with cube-sats. This could serve as a low cost proof of principle for a full-sized manned mission. For instance a rough calculation shows using all hydrolox in-space stages for Earth departure, the Falcon Heavy at 53 metric tons to LEO could get a Mars Pathfinder sized spacecraft to a 18 km/s departure delta-v. This could make the Mars trip at weeks travel times instead of months.

    Bob Clark

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  4. Pingback: Halfway Through the 10th Anniversary “Month of Blogging” | Selenian Boondocks

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