This map updates a much older version from Kennedy Space Center (available here) for the recent news of the Space Force allocating three historic launch pads to four companies (Relativity, ABL Space Systems, Stoke Space, and Vaya Space.) How time flies. Once long ago NASA looked at Kennedy Space Center and the Cape as a … Continue reading It’s getting awful crowded out there – Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
“I didn’t understand a word you said”
Recently, the buzz around AI has been about being untraceable, the inability to explain why an AI does what it does. Try and backtrack through an AI’s logic step by step, and you are Alice going down the rabbit hole. This is so for those who create the technology, intimate with it to the most … Continue reading “I didn’t understand a word you said”
Revisiting the near future of human spaceflight
(With acknowledgments to David Brin, blogging at Contrary Brin, and a thank you for his feedback as I wrote this.) Across my many years witnessing and participating in space marvels, too often my awe of the moment got rudely shoved aside by wondering what comes next. Some just can’t resist that temptation to look ahead, … Continue reading Revisiting the near future of human spaceflight
Rising wages, meet technology adoption
Our space sector does not lack news about new tech, business deals, or novel things to come. But, with so much happening, imagine for a moment that the nature of the churn also changed. Would anyone notice? With too much noise, do we miss changes in the signal? The usual tropes marry change and technology … Continue reading Rising wages, meet technology adoption
Reusing, refueling, partnering – and going nuclear
Advocacy for innovation is always challenging, with much written about difficulties like the valley of death. There is one barrier that does not get much attention, though. We forget the future is always outnumbered in the here and now. Artist concept of Demonstration for Rocket to Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) spacecraft, which will demonstrate a nuclear … Continue reading Reusing, refueling, partnering – and going nuclear
AI, art, writing, oh – and spaceplanes
There are the facts, and there is the story. Both can be true, but one without the other is incomplete, as it is the story that carries meaning. As the AI ChatGPT consumes my social media feeds, it’s enough to make a blogger worry. One day soon, will an AI put the words and the … Continue reading AI, art, writing, oh – and spaceplanes
Flashback Friday-Inside a Space Shuttle Mobile Launcher Platform during launch
If you’re a sci-fi fan, you know Hollywood always has the lights go out when a spaceship takes a blast of photon torpedoes. Somehow we’ve figured out how to travel between the stars, but the electrical systems are kind of iffy. So now step into a mobile launcher platform below the Space Shuttle during a … Continue reading Flashback Friday-Inside a Space Shuttle Mobile Launcher Platform during launch
Space technology, meet 2023
A new year forces us to look back and get our bearings before focusing on what’s ahead. Milestones do that, whether beautiful or sad. On these occasions, we draw a mental line precisely marking time to a spot, with everything else on the other side. Similarly, the loss of Challenger, the fall of the Berlin … Continue reading Space technology, meet 2023
Launch costs – are we there yet?
What's the cost per pound? It's one of the eternal questions in our launch business, like "when is NASA going to Mars" and "who called this meeting?" If you were curious about this question more than 15 years ago, you would quickly hear someone say – it's about $10,000 a pound. Nowadays, we can ask … Continue reading Launch costs – are we there yet?
NASA: Making markets, not rockets?
There is an old joke in NASA, “a million here, a million there, before you know it, you might have real money.” It’s probably a line in any business grown large enough to develop an unhealthy disrespect for money. Yet our more serious discussions enforced the same idea. Could NASA nudge industry this way or … Continue reading NASA: Making markets, not rockets?
A checklist for commercial space and NASA
A paper of mine was published last week in the New Space Journal, “Ingredients and Anticipated Results for Characterizing and Assessing NASA and U.S. Department of Defense Partnerships and Commercial Programs.” Yes, that’s a mouthful. I often write about what’s next for NASA, the commercial space sector, and how these must move ahead together. My … Continue reading A checklist for commercial space and NASA
Technology, transforming the space sector, and us
After concluding a bat’leth tournament, a lone traveler in deep space passes through a jagged sliver of space-time. This piece of the galaxy is defective, a “quantum fissure” in techno-babble, as if whoever made it was asleep at the wheel. This is the universe of Star Trek, of course, full of all sorts of space-time … Continue reading Technology, transforming the space sector, and us
Flashback Friday – “Apollo 17” NASA pamphlet, 1972
Here is another item you won’t find anywhere online, on the belief that just as we never know where we may end up, it’s best to upload to the cloud while we can. Download the pamphlet as an OCR'ed .pdf This hand-out pamphlet, “Apollo 17,” was likely given to employees, the press, and the public … Continue reading Flashback Friday – “Apollo 17” NASA pamphlet, 1972
Starships mean gas stations in space, and so much more
NASA press releases often come and go where the world is left to ponder a message one step removed from chicken bones strewn on the floor-mat. If it’s not the acronyms, it’s the lingo or the leaning to put out only the facts, not what they mean. But if NASA ever buried the lede, it … Continue reading Starships mean gas stations in space, and so much more
Flashback Friday – “Skylab,” 1971 Martin Marietta fold-out poster “infographic”
(Published a day early, by mistake, enjoy!) Here is another item you won’t find anywhere online, on the belief that just as we never know where we may end up, it’s best to upload to the cloud while we can. This fold-out poster pamphlet “Skylab,” by Martin Marietta, is an infographic from before infographics were … Continue reading Flashback Friday – “Skylab,” 1971 Martin Marietta fold-out poster “infographic”