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Thanks To the Private Space Industry, Things Are Looking Up For Space City USA

Smilodon I live there, just a small town (47 comments)

I guess I *have* to post something, since I have lived in Titusville for a while, and also lived in the region for a shorter time in the early shuttle program days.

I have worked on the shuttle program and currently work in commercial space.

Titusville is just a small town in Florida, always has been, and almost certainly always will be. That isn't necessarily a bad thing if that is what you are looking for.

And, as others have mentioned, has been famously "anti-growth" during many periods in history. Which probably hasn't been that helpful when growth was a little more active around here.

The city has had a complex relationship with the space program and the tourist industry in Florida. Most of the "decay" are overly ambitious structures from the Apollo days (IE malls and large resort hotels). They were pretty run down even in the early "boom" days of the shuttle program. They have only suffered more under the extreme impact of the shuttle program shutdown.

In some cases, this was turned around into finally demolishing these structures and replacing them with something more appropriate for the area. There are newer hotels of the normal "big box" type on the interstate exits now, and most of the riverfront "resorts" are gone or converted to other purposes.

Like every town (in Florida particularly), attempts are made to attract tourism. There have been a number of failed schemes since the Apollo days. Before my time, there was a jungle park owned by Johnny Weismuller of "Tarzan" fame, there was a tacky "JFK" museum in the shuttle days, etc. etc. It all looks so good when you are surrounded by "big tourism". Orlando to the west, Daytona Beach and St. Augustine to the north, the Cape Canaveral cruise ports to the east. But, it's just those places that mean you are generally bypassed for activities that they all do better.

The space center is a huge tourist attraction, but you mostly get tourists from Orlando who just come out to the center and then head back.

And remember, Titusville is a "river front" town, not "ocean front". That makes a huge difference.

On the plus side, We do have access to unspoiled beach and wildlife in the national parks north of the space center. It is a great locale for fishing and boating. In spite of them letting *me* in, lots of smart and industrious folks live here (either retired or still active from the space center). It is a short drive to just about any tourist activity you would like to participate in (beaches, theme parks, etc.). But, like most small towns, it is short on great night spots, trendy food places, hip hotels and boutique shopping. But it has tiny, small-town versions of most of this stuff too.

Not a town booster, but it's really a pretty routine place of its type, just twisted a bit with all the big ups and downs of the biggest local industry. Any improvements in the employment numbers can't help but be a boost to the community (and others in the region). That isn't much of a mystery when you took the hit of the shuttle shutdown.

about 3 months ago

Programmer Debunks Source Code Shown In Movies and TV Shows

Smilodon Re:common and fun (301 comments)

Oddly I was just watching the original "Terminator" the other night (got a cheapie Blu-ray with extras), and noticed some of his "code" overlays were COBOL! Skynet has been around a while, apparently (or else COBOL makes a big come-back in the future).

about a year ago

1 of 3 Dell Inspiron Mini Netbooks Sold With Linux

Smilodon Configuration Advantages (230 comments)

Didn't see this posted previously, but keep in mind that only the Linux configuration of the Dell allows the buyer to order the larger Solid-State hard drive and more than one meg of memory.

I think this means that anybody planning a dual-boot or even XP machine may be buying the Linux one to get more memory and "disk" space.

Not that a lot of folks aren't sticking to Linux as well (in general, netbooks have been good to Linux), just sayin'...

about 6 years ago

ESA Unveils Re-Entry Module

Smilodon Finally? (101 comments)

"A REAL re-entry vehicle" (that exists only on paper)? "Finally?" "Useless wings?"

Good grief, who writes this stuff anymore? I'm sure ESA's ideas are interesting and innovative, but making this out to be the savior of the manned space program is a bit facetious to say the least.

Is it not essentially a lifting body (in spite of some new ideas)? NASA pioneered this concept, which was intended to be applied to reentry vehicles at some point. The concept was most recently expressed in the X38B crew return vehicle.

Admittedly, the X38 was canceled, but due to budgetary reasons, not because it was a bad idea. And this program was well along (with real flight hardware) when canceled.

more than 6 years ago


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