New Space Facilities

The Pentagon wants to buy some.

These can be done pretty quickly and cheaply, both because the cost of access has dropped, and because the customer actually wants them, not a jobs program. ISS has warped our notions of what space stations have to cost and how long they should take to build as much as Apollo has about how much going to the moon has to cost.

7 thoughts on “New Space Facilities”

  1. If I may be so bold as to steal from Eric S. Raymond; we’ve been quick to build the Cathedrals in a market that can bear only the Bazzars. But this too will come to pass. One can speculate on the psychology of paranoia as a motivator to a sustainable space economy. I suspect there are other historical examples of a societal good stemming from mental disorder.

  2. It’s a good thing to start small (80 Kg payloads)when trying this, because:

    1.) Each individual station flies under the radar ( said to be everything below about $50 million) of the Congress members looking for nice big juicy projects in their districts.

    2.) “Besides prototype payloads, outposts are intended to serve as logistics nodes and as such could host fuel depots and support berthing or docking.”

    Which can lead to expanding the logistical strength of an already logistically strong US space future.
    3.) “capable of supporting space assembly, microgravity experimentation, logistics and storage, manufacturing, training, test and evaluation, hosting payloads, and other functions.”

    And

    3.) “Those ranged from supporting in-space servicing for extending the spacecraft’s lifetime to the ability to change orbits and even human rating.”

    Human rating a vehicle with an 80 kilo payload will be close to making it a a single person orbiting pod for in-space assembly and other tasks, … basically a wrap-around vehice that’s just one step up from wearing a space suit with, perhaps, attached waldoes.

    1. single person orbiting pod for in-space assembly … with, perhaps, attached waldoes

      One of those pods that Hal uses to kill Frank Poole? Or a 21st Century version of Project Mercury?

      1. Probably a compromise between the 2001 artwork and Mercury, without the re-entry shield, and without Hal. Lighter all around that way. 😉

  3. I must be missing something. How does this differ from a generic description of every other unmanned satellite since Sputnik?

    1. Intent and will power. While some of this looks like old news, it reads to me like there will be more work like that done on the x-37b.

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