Category Archives: Space

Space Access

Henry Vanderbilt will be on the show on Friday with a “mystery guest.” Hope this is good news about a resurrection of the conference.

I’ll miss it because I’ll be attending this event in DC. Flying up from Orlando this afternoon.

[Afternoon update, from MCO]

[Friday-afternoon update]

Here’s the official press release:

We are very pleased to announce that there will be a Space Access Conference next spring, April 18th-21st 2019, in California’s Bay Area at the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley.

Space Access 2019 will be run by a team from the Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society with advice & support from us. The SA2019 Conference Chair will be ERPS’ Michael Wallis, with much relevant experience with both space and conference running. Proceeds (if any) will benefit both ERPS and SAS.

We expect the conference style will evolve – that’s one of the benefits of bringing in a new crew with fresh perspectives. But the essence of Space Access will remain the same: Three intensive days focusing on the technology, business, and politics of radically cheaper space transportation, discussed in depth by a cross-section of the people making it happen.

We will post occasional pointers to updated conference information on the website, but the primary web page for SA2019 information will be Check it out for conference hotel and registration information, and for the conference program as it evolves.

See you all there in six months!

About the same in terms of distance from LA, maybe a little further. But I look forward to it.


Paul Allen

Rest in peace.

I’m happy that he invested in space, I guess, but there is a long history of wealthy people doing that to little effect, because they didn’t understand either the technology or the business, and they either thought they were smarter than everyone else (because, you know they were rich), or listened to the wrong people. The big difference with Elon and Jeff Bezos is that they were technically competent and quick studies.

I’m a little depressed that so many people my age are dropping like flies.

[Update a few minutes later]

I wonder what this means for Stratolaunch? It never made business sense to me. Will it survive without him?

[Tuesday-evening update]

Bill Gates remembers his business partner, without whom Microsoft would have not existed (for better or worse).

I think history will record him as more of a computer pioneer than a space one.

First Man

Eric Berger liked the movie.

[Afternoon update]
Thoughts from Marina Koren. Despite Gosling’s stupid statement, “it’s not an unpatriotic movie.”

[Late-afternoon update]
Here is Alan Boyle’s review.

[Saturday-morning update]

For those saying they’ll watch it at home, I rarely go to the theater, but this is the sort of film that deserves a big screen.

[Friday-afternoon update]

John Podhoretz hated it.

Soyuz Failure

Yes, I heard, but don’t know details. This should be a precipitating event to accelerate Commercial Crew.

[Update Friday morning]

It was an interesting coincidence that this event occurred in conjunction with the ISPCS, where it was discussed by both SpaceX and Boeing, in response to ASAP concerns.

Neither Mulholland nor Reed suggested that development of their commercial crew vehicle could be accelerated much from their current schedules in response to the Soyuz MS-10 failure, adding they would not cut testing needed to ensure their vehicles’ safety.

“We look at it in terms of, ‘Could I work extra shifts or put extra people on it?’” Mulholland said. “It never crossed our mind to think what could you not do, what scope can you reduce.”

“You have to do the same work. You have to do the right work,” Reed said. “The question is whether there’s a way you can compress that schedule. You don’t look at in terms of cutting out work.”

Silly me, I look at it in terms of are we serious about getting Americans into space on American rockets, or are we not?

The Anti-SpaceX Smear Campaign

Eric Berger did some digging into it. Looks a lot like Boeing is behind it. Weird that Julian Epstein is involved.

[Update a while later]

In thinking about it, Epstein, with his history of smearing Clinton’s accusers, to the degree he’s involved, is a good person for this smear campaign as well. Meanwhile, Keith Cowing is less than impressed.

[Friday-evening update]

Dave Mosher dug deeper. I don’t have a problem with Hagar; he seems sincere, though I disagree with him, and I’m not sure he fully understands the issue. But it appears that Boeing took advantage of him.