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

Flashback Friday – “Apollo 10 The Lunar Module in Lunar Orbit,” 1969 Grumman pamphlet

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. [Click picture to Zoom] Front cover of the quad-fold NASA/Grumman pamphlet "Apollo 10 The Lunar Module in Lunar Orbit," from 1969. It’s … Continue reading Flashback Friday – “Apollo 10 The Lunar Module in Lunar Orbit,” 1969 Grumman pamphlet

SUSIE, space launch, and the many journeys to full reuse

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

About Starships, and the (not what you think) reusability we need

Recently, a SpaceX Starship ran into a setback that’s been ongoing for a couple of years now –  tile popping off. We get to see all this, as SpaceX runs a very open program, much of Starship taking place in the sights of a paparazzi of cameras and drones. We see that sticking protective tile on … Continue reading About Starships, and the (not what you think) reusability we need

Please phrase your answer in the form of a question

The best answers led us to better questions. It is easy to embrace this notion as just part of the process, learning and all that, and all good. Admittedly, this sentiment may just be comforting fiction. I wasn’t lost. I was exploring. Why admit that we didn’t look far enough ahead, that what was evident … Continue reading Please phrase your answer in the form of a question

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

What’s old is new again – more on refueling in space

On my shelves sits a childhood book “Planets and Spaceflight” published in 1957 by General Mills. The front cover is “Planets” and the rear “Spaceflight”, full of vivid descriptions and beautiful artwork of so many places to go and how we will get there. The publisher being best known for Cheerios leaves me sure the … Continue reading What’s old is new again – more on refueling in space