The Right Stuff TV series on Disney+

Did you catch the new 8 episode streaming historical drama series The Right Stuff on Disney+? It premiered on October 9th, 2020 to a bit of fanfare.

From the Disney+ website:

The incredible story of the early days of the U.S. space program, based on the iconic bestseller by Tom Wolfe.

This series is highly fictionalized and dramatized and doesn’t follow the book perfectly. And that’s okay. It’s getting some heat from reviewers in this vein, but I think everyone should just calm down and realize that there was no point in copying the 1983 movie in this new series. This series is not an exact historical account. And who cares? The movie wasn’t either.

If you’re on the fence, this behind the scenes trailer might help get you pumped up for it:

And here’s the official trailer:

Besides being sort of a space nerd myself, the other thing that got me interested in following the production of this new series is that most of it was filmed right in my back yard. Several scenes were filmed on Florida’s Space Coast. And most of the rest was filmed on a soundstage at Universal Studios, Orlando. Additionally there were a few scenes that were filmed in downtown Orlando, Lakeland, and Tampa.

The most amazing thing about this series filming locally is that I had the amazing opportunity to be cast as an extra in several scenes of several episodes. See if you can spot me! Just remember, long haired and bearded hippies weren’t really a big part of the early space program, so imagine me without any facial hair. Type your guesses (episode number and time hack) below in the comments!

Thanks for your interest!

Kurt

Teleworking With Swarmies

During these strange and trying times of the current global pandemic, everyone seems to be trying their best to distance themselves from others while still getting their daily work accomplished. Many people also have the double duty of little ones that need to be managed in the midst of their teleworking duties.

This photo series gives you just a glimpse into my new life of teleworking from home, mixed in with the tasks of trying to handle my little ones too. I hope you enjoy it.

Swarmies love to watch me work! Maybe they’ll work for NASA when they grow up!

TV is never a good Swarmie-sitter, but sometimes a parent just needs a break from the chaos.

Sometimes an empty box is more fun than all the expensive toys in the house!

The doorbell rang this afternoon and nobody was there. Here’s what I found later on the doorbell camera.

Swarmies just love to help out around the house! Will they still be this helpful when they’re teenagers?!?

I heard a commotion from the next room. I ran into the kitchen to find this.

Swarmies and I had a long hard day today. Sometimes you just need a nap.

The Swarmies tried to run away today. Luckily I caught them before they got too far down the road.

This is the Swarmies most favorite bedtime story. Not sure why. Seems like an odd choice to me.

It’s moments like this that make raising Swarmies totally worth it!

So there you have it. There are good times and there are not so good times. But we do the best we can and we roll with the punches. Good luck to all you teleworking parents out there who are doing double duty these days! Stay strong!

Thanks for your interest! Kurt

Feel free to share! Here is a nice user friendly URL: https://tinyurl.com/TeleworkingWithSwarmies

Legal Disclaimer: Teleworking With Swarmies was done completely off the clock. No tax dollars were used. In addition, no Swarmies were harmed in the making of Teleworking With Swarmies.

Keep It Linear, Space Coast!

If we all try hard, we can keep our curve from going exponential!

Today on March 28th, 2020, Florida’s Space Coast is just about 2 full weeks into our local coronavirus experience.  And you can see from the above chart, we are curving upwards fairly gently so far. 

By it’s nature, this virus tends to spread exponentially at first before it finally settles down and turns into an overall bell shaped curve.  But if we all work hard during this critical early window, we can flatten the bell curve and turn the initial exponential portion of the curve into a more gentle curve.  Or if we really kick butt, we can go even more extreme and force it into a simple linear rise! 

Miami is already exponential!

The below chart shows both Brevard County (blue) and Miami-Dade County (orange) on the same scale. 

You can hardly tell the Space Coast is rising at all because Miami-Dade has nearly a thousand cases right now and we only have about 20 or so. You can clearly see that after only two and a half weeks, Miami-Dade is now exponentially rising.

So we on the Space Coast need to be especially cautious right now over the next week or two. If we are all really good about following the guidelines and rules, we can keep our beloved Space Coast from going exponential!

So stay inside. And if you do leave the house, stay away from others. And stay away from stuff that others have touched, as much as you can. That’s the best way we can all help keep this thing from going exponential.

4/4/2020 Update

It’s been a week since I originally posted this, so we’re about 3 weeks into our coronavirus experience now here on Florida’s Space Coast. And it looks like our curve is still doing really good. It’s curving up a bit from last week, but it’s still quite flat! Especially when you compare our curve to the Miami-Dade curve. Nice work, everyone! Keep it up! The more we isolate and stay away from others, the flatter this curve will end up being!

Just a couple days ago, the entire state of Florida went under a stay-at-home order, but I feel like most everyone was already following those sorts of rules anyways, so I don’t expect to see a significant change in our curve from that.

Thanks!

Thanks for your interest!  If you want to share this post, please share the link directly to this post, rather than sharing the top level blog link which will change over time. Thanks!  Kurt.

All data was taken from the amazing Florida Today coronavirus tracking map by county which allows the user to slide back and forth in time, which is totally and completely awesome!

Practicing with an Iron Rocket

Rocket science isn’t easy. Rockets are basically complex systems of other complex systems that all have to work together perfectly. Also, they’re highly explosive. So creating a brand new rocket can take a while. It’s careful and methodical work.

Take SLS, or the Space Launch System. (Yeah, I know it’s a terrible name. That’s not under my control, though.) SLS is going to replace the retired Space Shuttle. It will loft humans and spacecraft into low earth orbit and beyond.

SLS was funded starting in late 2010 and it’s first uncrewed test flight called Artemis 1, as of this writing, is scheduled to launch in late 2020. A lot of smart people will argue about why it took so long and who is at fault. But a lot of that time is simply due to the fact that rocket science isn’t easy.

All that to say, by the time the actual rocket arrives at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida from the factory at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, there won’t really be any time to spare. All the equipment and facilities and personnel at KSC will need to be ready to support. So we’ve been testing and rehearsing and practicing.

NASA has even built an Iron Rocket called the SLS Core Stage Pathfinder to practice with and to verify and certify all of our facilities, our equipment, and our processes and personnel. It arrived recently onboard a barge … the same barge that will deliver the real core stage.

Since it’s arrival, we’ve performed and practiced several different types of operations with this Iron Rocket inside the giant Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). These pretty awesome 360 degree videos show us lifting it up inside the VAB and then lowering it down into its resting place on the mobile launcher. Unless you’re watching these videos with a Virtual Reality rig, just click and drag your mouse to change the point of view! It feels like you are right there inside the VAB with the workers!

Thanks for your interest!

Kurt

Introduction to my Unisonic PONG Console from 1977

I created this short teaser video to introduce you to my Unisonic PONG Console that I played with when I was 7 years old. It still works great!

And if that short 4 minute teaser left you wanting more, then you’re in luck! You can also watch a 19 minute detailed walk-through version where I spend time giving the history of Pong clones and my teenagers also help me play all of the games on my Unisonic Tournament 2000!

Pong clone consoles were all the rage in the mid to late 1970’s. Mostly because several chip manufacturers started selling pong-on-a-chip micro-chips or integrated circuits.

My Unisonic Tournament 2000 model Pong clone console is not really all that rare. They were very popular in 1977 and gently used working models can be found and purchased pretty easily, even today.

If you’re interested in the tech behind the light gun (and light pens), you’re in luck because The 8-Bit Guy published a nice little technical video on just that topic:

Thanks for your interest!

Kurt



Thanks for visiting,
Kurt & Sam Leucht
Titusville, FL
http://www.leucht.com/
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