Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Maintaining A Presence 

NASA's glory days in space are decades gone, but it manages to maintain a public presence with experiments like this.  Strapping 18 electric motors to the wings of a plane is a come down from mighty rockets and shuttles, but it shows that the agency's aeronautical engineers have never stopped thinking or challenging the rules of flight.  Publicizing novel ideas is part of the agency's efforts to get its budget renewed annually.  It has to show that it is producing valuable intellectual capital that can be spun off to industry for the betterment of citizens.  While the idea of 18 motors is far out and probably will never be used, it does demonstrate that agency engineers are willing to stretch their thinking beyond conventional wisdom.  So, kudos to NASA for staying on the leading edge (and renew the budget.)


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