Over a week ago, Europe’s ArianeGroup unveiled a new reusable launch vehicle they call “SUSIE,” a “Smart Upper Stage for Innovative Exploration.” Given the acronym, NASA must be rubbing off on them. Though the name is sure to be memorable, like Wall-E, reusable launcher announcements usually make a splash only to be quickly forgotten. But … Continue reading SUSIE, space launch, and the many journeys to full reuse
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 quad-fold pamphlet “Space Benefits – today and tomorrow” is from 1971. I am not sure who gave me this one, but … Continue reading Flashback Friday – “Space Benefits – today and tomorrow,” 1971 NASA pamphlet
Early September saw some good news in the space sector, but not of the usual sort that quickly goes viral. The University of California San Diego received a gift of $150M to fund the Sanford Stem Cell Institute. Their valuable work with stem cells already includes years of research in Earth orbit. Yet news like … Continue reading Space benefits, stem cells, and why we’re just getting started
Here is another item 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. Front cover of the folded NASA pamphlet "Living and Working in Space," from 1983. The NASA pamphlet, "Living and Working in Space," from … Continue reading Flashback Friday – “Living and Working in Space,” 1983 NASA pamphlet
“The General doesn’t like it,” he said, because “he doesn’t want to own the big, easy target that’s the first thing destroyed in the next war.” So much for what we might do together on Space Based Solar Power. This would be a short call. The idea of a massive power station floating in space … Continue reading Space based solar power and not losing sight of the plot
Occasionally, I will post some items 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. Welcome to the first entry for "Flashback Friday." Kennedy Space Center Spaceport News, November 20, 1981 "Orbiter Columbia Returns to … Continue reading Flashback Friday – when once NASA reused a spaceship
Graphs with a lot of space launch data can be a bit of a Rorschach test, including the part about seeing angels or demons. The lonely data point, on the other hand, is easy to employ to jump to about any answer, and nowadays, there is no lack of these unique space sector events. In … Continue reading Commercial launch trends – what do you see?
Saying the universe is vast is an understatement, though it sounds better than saying we have no idea about the nature or extent of everything we have no idea about. These are not your project’s unknown unknowns. This is where words fail. Recently, NASA revealed the first images from its James Webb Space Telescope. If … Continue reading Is this now?
Frustration oozes from the pages of “Escaping Gravity,” and rightly so. Seemingly at odds, but only if you’re not in the business of space exploration, there is also a determination to carry on and leave a positive impact throughout the memoir of Lori Garver, Deputy NASA Administrator from 2009 to 2013. If you have come … Continue reading A book review – “Escaping Gravity” by Lori Garver
Some years after the loss of Columbia in 2003, one of our interns focused on NASA's spaceflight supply chain. Naturally, if you're talking about a topic, he figured it would be a good idea to start with a definition of what he'd learned. "The NASA spaceflight supply chain is a bunch of groups and organizations," … Continue reading On the matter of NASA, supply chains, and time
“We have one data point. All we need is one more and we can draw a line.” This was one of our many meetings where we dwelled on lessons learned, the Space Shuttle, and what’s next in reusable launch. As far as jokes go, at least for number crunchers, this was a good one. Except … Continue reading Mind the gap
A curious thing happened along the way collecting data about rockets and spacecraft to see what patterns emerged over time. This week I published the mid-year “State of Play,” an assortment of graphs mainly, driven by the belief a picture does so much more to communicate than rows or columns or endless bullets on a … Continue reading The problems we want to have
If NASA commercial space is a thing, how much of a thing is it? Numbers can help provide part of an answer, but not all of the story. For that, we need context about NASA’s commercial programs, the rest of NASA, and the world in which NASA lives. Also, there is the 3rd law, where … Continue reading NASA commercial space, the 16%
Baking is not cooking, the same way rocketry is not flight. Or at least, that would be a first impression, to constantly hear about the extreme precision required to get to orbit or anywhere after. In contrast, right after takeoff, an airplane can lose an engine, or even both, only to glide along and land … Continue reading Rocketry – is it more like baking, or cooking?
It’s not surprising to see studies again showing optimism can help us live longer. There is a circularity here. Any news about being optimistic and living longer promising to live on quite a while. Good memes, by definition, persist, going from trending to chitchat, back to studies, and then appearing again in the news. There is … Continue reading NASA, aerospace, and optimism – in search of the right setting