March 6, 2016

The Relationship Between Rocket Science and Human Resource Management (Source: Huffington Post)
Bezos and Musk have mastered the art of detail-oriented allocation of human capital, a valuable asset in an aerospace industry where small errors in detail have explosive consequences. But applying airtight calculus to management isn't always a popular human resources strategy. In August the New York Times ran a lengthy article ripping into Amazon's employee practices, profiling workers who had to sacrifice their time and relationships to accommodate the data-driven and competitive corporate culture.

Musk is of a similar managing style, even calling himself a "nano-manager" in the way he pushes his employees to perfect even the smallest details. This isn't a characteristic that most employees would like to see in their bosses, a sentiment shared by an anonymous Quora user online claiming to have worked at SpaceX. "He won't hesitate to throw out six months of work because it's not pretty enough or it's not 'badass' enough. But in so doing he doesn't change the schedule," the user posted.

There have been several lawsuits filed against SpaceX, alleging that the company violated state labor laws by regularly expecting employees to work overtime without proper compensation and even denying workers breaks. Whether or not you agree with their managerial styles, it would be hard to discredit the achievements that Bezos and Musk have reached under their guidance. And if history is any indicator, people will gloss over their controlling attitude towards employees. (3/5)

Spacecraft Finds “Magic Island” in Hydrocarbon Seas of Titan (Source: Ars Technica)
By comparing radar images of Saturn's exotic moon Titan, scientists have found a bright, island-like feature that has changed over time. The images, captured by the Cassini spacecraft from 2007 through 2015, show this "magic island" brightening and then dimming again. Click here. (3/5)

CosmoCourse Aims for Russian Suborbital Tourism (Source: Sputnik)
A Russian privately owned company called CosmoCourse declared its intent to create a reusable suborbital tourist spacecraft. According to CosmoCourse’s CEO Pavel Pushkin, he came up with the idea of suborbital tourism back in 2013 when he was working at Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. "We were reviewing various concepts of commercial space rockets and came up with the idea of launching people into space via suborbital trajectory.

We met an investor who wanted to participate in some kind of space project, and decided that suborbital tourism would be the best choice," he told Sputnik. The project’s estimated development cost is about $150 million. CosmoCourse has already managed to receive approval from Russia’s space agency Roscosmos for the technical design specifications of the project. (3/5)

How We Lost the Moon (Source: Aeon)
The moon has always enchanted dreamers, but Apollo is a fading memory and routine lunar travel seems as remote as ever. Click here. (3/5)

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