Category Archives: Space

NASA’s Non- #JourneyToMars

Eric Berger reports on Wednesday’s House hearing.

If NASA is smart, they’ll be putting a plan together for a return to the moon, to present to the next administration, preferably with a lot of public/private partnership.

[Update a few minutes later]

Keith Cowing had a roundup related links yesterday. And here‘s Doug Messier’s summary and Jeff Foust’s story.

SpaceX Plans

Jeff Foust has the highlights of what Gwynne said at the conference yesterday (I flew back last night, got in about midnight).

Not covered: I asked her the status on crossfeeding Falcon Heavy. She said definitely not first flight — they want to get the thing flying first (which makes perfect sense), but want to get there, maybe in the next two years. She also said that they had no current customer for a “sixty-ton(ne) payload.” Parenthesis because I don’t know if she meant English or metric, but either way, that’s the first time I’ve heard that number. The original stated payload (with crossfeed) was fifty-three tonnes (I think, have to double check, might have been tons), but that was also in expendable mode. I can imagine with the improved performance of the new larger densified Falcon cores, it would go up, but it’s not clear what the flyback penalty is. I may follow up with her in email.

[Update a few minutes later]

30th Space Wing is planning for a Falcon landing at Vandenberg this year.

Off To DC

I got up at 3 AM to catch a 5 AM flight from LAX to DCA via ORD. Heading there for the FAA-AST Space Transportation Conference tomorrow. Earliest flight I’ve ever taken from there, I think. I had TSA pre-check, but the line wasn’t open yet, so I had to do the whole drill. The American terminal is pretty dead at 4 AM. Anyway, I’m in a flying chair somewhere over the plains with Internet. It almost feels like the 21st century.