Monday, January 17, 2011

Dream Chasing

If forced to only give one piece of advice to my kids, I would say it is “chase your dreams.”  So while I hope to focus this blog most of the time on the life part of work/life balance, occasionally work will show up here.  A big reason for that is because if I sit back and look at it, I have a pretty incredible “day job.”

For the past almost year, I have been the Program Manager for the Dream Chaser, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) vehicle to fulfill future needs for transportation of humans to Earth orbit.  Perhaps not as well known as it should be, but the Space Shuttle is retiring this year and with this retirement the United States capability to take humans to orbit is going with it. For the near future, US astronauts will be dependent on Russian Soyuz vehicles for transport to the International Space Station (ISS) and as the good capitalists they have become it is likely the price of those rides will grow significantly when the Space Shuttle stops flying.

SNC along with several other aerospace companies are developing a variety of approaches to offset the Space Shuttle’s retirement and quickly field a new US capability.  Without spending too much time in either the complex engineering or political issues involved, trying to work on such a challenging and pressing problem is both rewarding and taxing.

While I hope to stay true to the original purpose of this blog to discuss how I balance an exciting career with everything else I try to do, I hope you won’t fault me for occasionally bringing you into the world of building the next spaceship.  After all not everyone is as fortunate as I am to chase dreams as a part of their job.

An Artist's Rendering of the Dream Chaser Launching from Florida

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