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
US Department of Defense
Space based solar power and not losing sight of the plot
“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
Of Starships and spaceplanes, and roads less traveled
The first Martian to visit Earth is a young boy, a twist on visiting the old country of your parents. To him, Earth is a distant place, with an odd blue sky, and sparking some anxiety. This was the premise of a short film at the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex in the early 1990s, … Continue reading Of Starships and spaceplanes, and roads less traveled
It ain’t over till it’s over
It's over. They worked out an agreement. The boss stuck his head into the conference room to make the announcement. Judging from the look on everyone's face, clearly, there was some confusion. Interrupting our meeting and just blurting out late-breaking news does this. How could it be over when we were just getting started? February … Continue reading It ain’t over till it’s over
Are you happy, on average?
It was only some years ago I wandered upon the word “wonk” or “wonkish” as a reference to someone diving too much into obscure details. It's implied, annoyingly too much. First come the numbers, then come the graphs. The predictable debate comes right along – does X cause Y, or is it the other way … Continue reading Are you happy, on average?
A picture worth a thousand words – flight rate, NASA and space exploration
We needed launches. Lots of launches. That much was clear, even if how to get there was not. It seemed it was always the same meeting, about a launcher real or imagined, a Shuttle upgrade or some vehicle post-Shuttle. Perhaps the rocket was expendable, the big dumb booster, or perhaps it was reusable. Perhaps it … Continue reading A picture worth a thousand words – flight rate, NASA and space exploration
Revisiting commercial space and NASA
Before “commercial space” there was “cost-plus space”. It was in this Byzantine world that whistle blower Ernie Fitzgerald said back in the 1960s “There are only two phases of a program. The first is ‘It’s too early to tell.’ The second ‘It’s too late to stop.’” While today’s trending topics in space exploration are about … Continue reading Revisiting commercial space and NASA