While on vacation I found a book in the house I was renting with a little note enscribed in the margin:
When you’re green you grow.
When you’re ripe you rot.
Finding this quote was quite heartening as it validated my own philosophy of life. When I know something well, I stop doing it in search of something that I don’t know at all. My teachers always recommended that I just do one single thing well and be really really good at it. I now know I did not choose that route for a simple reason — to be green forever. But Kermit the frog was right: “It really isn’t easy to be green.”
So I’ve been a big fan of SpaceX for a while, and even considered trying to get a job there at one point. I’m on their mailing list, and they just released a huge project update with lots of fantastic photos.
But get a load of the new rocket they’re building:
It is important to appreciate that the Falcon 9 is a *big* vehicle. To give you a sense of scale, it stands about 18 stories (54 meters) tall on the launch pad and has a cargo area in the nose that is 17 feet in diameter and 50 feet long – big enough to carry a bus to orbit. Falcon 9 has a maximum thrust of just over one million pounds, which is four times the maximum thrust of a Boeing 747. The Falcon 9 Heavy, which I expect will fly about two years after the standard Falcon 9, will have over three million pounds of thrust, which is almost halfway to a Saturn V.
Hall of Fame basketball player Larry Bird was once asked what he wanted his epitaph to be; surprisingly, he said that he wanted to have played as hard at practices where not a soul was in attendance as in Game 7 of a World Championship series. Nice.
That’s something I occasionally need to remind myself on weekend outings.