I'm a True Geek

Yesterday was a big day for New England. Most people were watching the unstoppable Patriots during the day and then in the evening the Red Sox won the World Series. I wasn't watching the games though. I was reading about the Lunar Lander Challenge competition while hacking a new serial port motor driver I just ordered.

I'm not even going to try and explain what I mean by the hacking bit above, but I will tell you about the Lunar Landing Challenge. This is a competition setup by NASA where they pay up to 2 million dollars to the first team that creates a rocket which can fly to a platform land and then fly back. There are some other rules that I won't mention. Here is a more detailed description for those who care.

One of the big reasons I was interested was because Armadillo Aerospace had entered the competition for the second year in a row. I've been reading about this team for many years. Last year they were the only team to fly and they broke their landing gear during this competition thus failed to complete it. This year they were again the only team to enter (although a lot of other teams were very close to making it this year), and again failed. This year it seems like the gods conspired against them. Here is a short story about their failure. I was disappointed that they didn't win. Mainly because they have this tight design,test,iterate engineering model that is the way I approach my engineering problems. Their leader is John Carmack who makes his real money writing video games. I've actually met him a few times on business trips to his game company when we were trying to get their latest video games to run better on my company's hardware. From those encounters I've realized he's a very bright guy.

Anyways I just though I'd let you all know that while most of the world was cheering for a sports team, I was cheering for my favorite rocket scientist. You'd have to be a geek to understand!


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