Bob Zimmerman examines the planned landing site.
Breakthrough and NASA have signed a Space Act Agreement for support of a private mission. This is the most likely way for it to happen, and it will probably happen before a Europa mission (it probably would have even with Culberson, given the requirement to use SLS).
I’ve been busy for the past couple days, and will continue to be, with first the Space Settlement Summit, and starting today (and concluding tomorrow) a meeting of the Moon Village Association. For those who want to participate, the latter will supposedly start to be live streamed at 8 AM PDT, but I don’t know the URL. I’ll update when I get there and find out what it is.
[Update after conference start]
Here is the livestream. Scott Pace is speaking.
It’s about to make its last flight. Most of the media won’t realize how historical this event, or that rocket is. Somewhere, Max Hunter is smiling.
This is terrible, and a huge loss to the lunar development community. I just saw him in January at the lunar landing science workshop at Ames. He had finally come around to oppose SLS. Condolences to his family and other friends, RIP, and ad astra.
[Update a few minutes later]
More from Leonard David, who was as shocked by the news as I am. I hadn’t been aware that he had lung cancer.
It’s about 0230 EDT, and I’m still up, planning home renovations for tomorrow. But I’m in south Florida, about fifteen minutes from the swamp to the west, and the sky is clear for both the Perseids and the Parker Solar Probe Delta IV launch in an hour, 150 miles north-northwest of me. So I might as well stay up a little longer. Hoping I’ll see the Milky Way for the first time in a long time.
Well, saw half a dozen meteors, one of them right next to the ascending rocket. No Milky Way, though.
[Update Sunday night]
Given my recent failed attempts to see it, I’m wondering (slightly depressed) if it’s an age-related vision decline. It was very distinct in my youth, but it seems like there are a lot fewer stars than there used to be.
Marina Koren has the story, with a quote from Yours Truly. It launches at 3:30 in the morning, not sure if I’ll have the gumption to get up to watch from Palm Beach (or worse, drive up to the Cape). On the other hand, if it’s clear, should be lots of Perseids visible then, since it’s a new moon.
It appears that he’s getting more serious. I wonder if the topic of ability to gestate in partial gravity will be a topic?
They’ll occur during a new moon this month. I’ll probably be in Florida, so I may drive into the swamp to watch. In California, it’s usually pretty chilly at night in the desert.
Has ten more moons, for a new total of seventy nine. I’m old enough to remember when there were only four.