Chair Force Engineer

Thursday, September 20, 2007

AIAA Space 2007, Day 3

Today was a slow day. Not too many people (besides the grammar schools) visited the exhibit area. The booths closed up at 2 PM, so I went home after we tore down. I didn't go to any of the presentations in the afternoon.

Previously, I had heard a rumor that a prominent Orbital Sciences employee has traditionally brewed special batches of beer, which he would share with others after every successful OSC launch. Today I had the opportunity to speak with the gentleman in question. Our primary topic of discussion has nothing to do with the "Taurus-2" concept, or with responsive spacelift. It was about the beer rumor. Unfortunately, the truth pales in comparison with the rumor. The special beer was only used to celebrate the inaugural Minotaur I launch.

During the course of this trip, I learned a very valuable lesson. When attending a conference in southern California, ALWAYS get a room in the hotel closest to your conference location. I stayed 12 miles away, and the horrendous SoCal traffic meant that my drive to the conference could take as long as an hour.

I spent a quaint and quiet evening in Seal Beach. The city is steeped in Apollo and Delta tradition, but I spent my time merely taking in my first views of the Pacific Ocean and eating at an Irish-themed restaurant. It was a lovely way to end a sorely-needed trip away from the office.