A (sort of) debate between Paul Spudis and John Grunsfeld. I think that Grunsfeld is far too pessimistic about the moon, but I also think that this debate is irrelevant. Our future in space will be determined by billionaires, not Congress or NASA.
A new theory.
I’ve been watching this Kickstarter project. I was talking to Jon Morse a couple weeks ago, and he didn’t expect it to succeed. He was right; it only raised a third of the million dollars it sought. But it’s a useful market test for private space exploration. Maybe if they shoot for half that. I do think we’re entering a new era of what I call “normal science,” before the Manhattan Project, the Cold War, and Apollo screwed everything up, and things like the big telescopes (the first high-tech astronomy programs) were funded philanthropically.
Some thoughts on Enceladus, from Carolyn Porco.
I’m at a workshop on how to look for it at UC Irvine, so posting will be light today.
I think this is the future of space science.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has seen the impact site. Burn was ten times too short, fell from 2-4 kilometers, almost-full tanks probably exploded on “landing.”
But they think it was a software error, which is good news.
A lot of what NASA is doing is going to undergo a rethinking in the next few years, I think.
What looks to be an interesting paper from Martin Elvis, an astrophysicist who groks private spaceflight.