Category Archives: Space

Morgan Stanley

…says that Elon Musk is building an elevator to orbit. Not literally, but certainly functionally.

[Update a while later]

Some news from Blue Origin as well, revealing more details about BE-4 and New Glenn. I found this curious, though:

Becoming a government supplier doesn’t happen overnight. There is a series of certifications one has to go through. Right now having ULA using our engines and qualifying our engines into that supply system is a good thing for us. They will fly a year ahead of us, in 2019. We will come into the market in end of 2020, 2021. And at that point if we choose to go into government contracting, it will imply setting up cost accounting systems that are geared to the government.

I don’t understand what he means, unless they plan to provide launches cost plus. For a fixed price, their accounting is none of the government’s business.

[Update later morning]

Chris Bergin has an update on the SpaceX launch manifest. Among other things, FH launch in December remains a possibility, NASA is OK with a flight-proven rocket for CRS missions, and first landing at Vandenberg will happen with the Iridium 4 mission. Plus, a mystery payload next month.

[Noon update]

Elon revealed more technical (but not financial) details on an AMA Saturday.


Gwynne apparently had some interesting things to say about the plans. They’re going to (as some have surmised) built a production facility at LA Harbor, because transportation from Hawthorne would be too unwieldy. And it also makes sense that they’d use Bolsca Chica as the first launch site. Particularly if they use an off-shore platform that won’t require solidifying the soil at the launch site. Haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure it will easily fit through the Canal.

[Update a while later]

Meanwhile, in China, a private (?!) company wants to copycat them. I take this more seriously than the government program.

The Old Space Age Began

Today is the 60th anniversary of Sputnik. I have some thoughts over at The Weekly Standard. I’ll have more later today at PJMedia.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Henry Spencer reminds me that upon the successful launch, Korolev supposedly said “The road to the stars is now open.” A little premature, I think…

[Update a while later]

For a detailed history of the program, go read Asif Siddiqi over at The Space Review (it’s part one, the second part will appear next Monday).

[Update a couple minutes later, after going through the Siddiqi piece]

This is excellent. It is likely now the best available history of its development.

[Update a few minutes later]

Anatoly Zak reminds us that Sputnik wasn’t about the satellite; it was about the rocket.

[Update a while later]

More from Siddiqi on recent translations. Kind of amazing how much we still don’t know about space history six decades later.

[Update a while later]

How dreams of space-faring zombies resulted in Sputnik. Well, sort of.

[Update late morning]

Here‘s Chris Gebhart’s take.

[Afternoon update]

My (other) take is now up over at PJMedia. As usual, most comments are ignorant and/or idiotic.

[Update a week later]

Part 2 of Siddiqi’s new history is up now.