Category Archives: Space

Lunar Science Workshop

Light posting because I decided at the last minute to fly up to San Jose for the workshop at NASA Ames. Been listening to lunar stuff all day. Highlight: a talk by Jack Schmitt, the only geologist to walk on the moon, and the second to last to walk on it, a little over 45 years ago. And with the death of John Young a few days ago, only one of five remaining moon walkers. He’s looking pretty good at 82, and I think he stands a good chance of seeing the next person walk on the moon.

Running Scared

France and Germany are studying reusability in rockets. I found this amusing:

The idea for Callisto did come in part as a response to SpaceX, which has now landed 20 boosters and flown five customers on used rockets, but both Astorg and Dittus describe the project as very different.

“It’s not a copy of what SpaceX is doing,” Dittus said. “In some aspects we are also skeptical [about reusability as] the right path, but we will see what is best and then we can come up with ideas of how we proceed.”

Riiiiiiiight.

Meanwhile, Orbital ATK is taking USAF money to try to resurrect Liberty.

When all you have is a hammer…

The Webb Telescope

We had dinner with Leonard and Barbara David when we were in Colorado over the holidays. He told me that he’d been working on this piece about whether it’s too big to fail.

I’ve been concerned about the risk for years. I hope it works, but it’s not the approach I’d have taken. The next big telescope will be assembled in space, not launch origami.