The Space Flight Software '08 workshop in Maryland was really nice. It was a great chance to meet several folks I've worked with over the last few decades, mostly as voices over the phone, and meet some folks new to me and the industry. The theme of the workshop was to share lessons learned and ideas used to make our missions more robust and reliable, more efficient, and reduce cost where possible. The idea is not only to test new technologies and integrate successful ideas with existing work, but to also maximize relevant data return on science objectives.
As might be expected, there was a lot of chatter about space projects, upcoming manned rocket development, recent discoveries in deep space, and success of various recent and ongoing missions. Congratulations to the Phoenix Mars Polar Lander team, by the way, on the successful completion of your mission!
In my opinion it was a very successful and well-enjoyed set of lectures, and lecturers. Thank you to the folks at JHU-APL who organized and made it possible.
I enjoyed all of the lectures, and only wish we'd all had a little more time for our presentations and
Q&A, and rubbing elbows. The environment was very relaxed. I kind of had to rush through my slides a bit (sorry guys..) and still ran a bit over. If any of the attendees have follow-on questions for me, feel free to email questions.
This kind of collaboration, if you will, is the kind of thing that makes our community and our projects that much more successful and unique. You often find this kind of idea-sharing in the commercial realm.
Speaking of cool subjects and space... HST recently returned the first-ever optical picture of an extrasolar planet- Fomalhaut b . How cool is that?!