Cluster Newsletter vol. 4: The Holy Grail of Space

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

October 1, 2019

Hi there,

Last weekend brought what could be the biggest space industry news in years. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled Starship – a rapidly reusable rocket that he hails as "the Holy Grail of space." Being able to launch, land, and immediately relaunch a reusable rocket is a critical breakthrough that would make space flights similar to air travel. Trips out into the solar system would become dramatically more affordable as the primary cost constraint would be propellant. Musk said Starship would conduct its first test flight in as little as a month with plans to make orbit in half a year. If you haven't seen the rocket's Raptor engine in action, well, you're in for a treat.

Now for some rocket-related space trivia – NASA/JPL strapped a Star 48B solid rocket motor to this Venus orbiter named after a famous Portuguese explorer. Scroll down to the end for the answer. See you in a fortnight!

Kim Taylor
CEO, Cluster

Avg. Weekly Earnings, Manufacturing Workers - August 2019

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Source: Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Fall Is the Best Time to Find a Job

  • A new survey commissioned by LinkedIn found that October has the highest number of job openings on its website. Also, 89% of hiring managers filled spots in less than four weeks. LinkedIn Editor-in-Chief Dan Roth sat down with CBS This Morning to discuss the survey.
  • According to the results, Monday morning is the best time to look for work, and the first 25 applicants are 3 times more likely to land a job.
  • Mr. Roth reveals that demonstrating job skills is key to landing a position. He advises job-seekers to take skills assessments and list those on one's professional profile. The biggest skill in demand is communication skills. Candidates who show that they can communicate have a better shot at securing a job.  
  • The US is experiencing a tight labor market so companies need to think more expansively as to who can fill certain roles. They have to be willing to take risks, train people, and think about hiring unorthodox candidates.  
  • Talent recruiters are being asked to take creative writing classes to help craft better job descriptions that will attract the right candidates. more here >>

California Governor Signs Bill Letting NCAA Athletes Get Paid

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 206 becoming the first state to allow college athletes to take sponsorship deals and effectively get paid – a practice long forbidden by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
  • The NCAA released a statement calling the law “unconstitutional.” The organization agrees that changes to its current approach to student-athlete compensation are necessary, but believes improvements should be made through the NCAA’s rules-making process.
  • Legislators in other states, including New York and South Carolina, voiced support for similar proposals. SB 206 bars the NCAA from punishing students if they've been paid for the use of their name, image or likeness, whether in connection with a lucrative shoe contract or a modest endorsement for a local restaurant.
  • Governor Newsom admits the bi-partisan bill forces the hand of the NCAA to adopt substantive reforms. California legislators are open to reworking the law once the NCAA makes its formal reform recommendations this month.
  • Newsom signed the bill during an episode of a television show hosted by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who is a prominent supporter of the legislation. more here >>

Today’s roundup was written by Lawren Henderson with contributions from Kim Taylor and Justin Parker in Los Angeles.

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Upcoming Events in SoCal


Oct 10:  South Bay Tech & Aerospace Happy Hour
Common Space Brewery
Hawthorne
This happy hour is for all the engineers, scientists, and researchers in the South Bay. Come get to know the aerospace and tech community in your neighborhood. Don't forget to bring along your co-workers and business cards. Info

Oct 12: The Very Special Innovation Fair
STEM3 Academy - Orange County
Irvine
Take the whole family to a STEM-focused celebration of innovation. The fair features demonstrations and displays of robotics, drones, electronics, engineering, AR/VR, and other STEM activities . Info

Check out our calendar for all the latest SoCal events here

Sailor Venus!

Source: NASA

Magellan undergoes final checks. Kennedy Space Center, 1989