Category Archives: Space History

Buzz

Emilee Speck got the court documents. As someone who’s known them all for years, this is very sad.

[Afternoon update]

Here’s a statement from Christina:

[Wednesday-morning update]

Here’s the latest, from Chris Davenport.

[Bumped]

[Late-morning update]

Marina Koren has more at The Atlantic.

SpaceShipOne

It’s the fourteenth anniversary of its first space flight. Here’s a blog post I wrote in Mojave the evening before.

[Update a while later]

The future ain’t what it used to be: Space tourism edition.

I do think though, that with Blue Origin getting ready to start test-passenger flights, it’s finally arriving.

And Then There Were Four

Alan Bean has left the earth for the last time.

I just saw Buzz last night at the ISDC awards ceremony, which was probably the most encouraging in the history of that meeting, in which (amid saving The Expanse for another season, with many of the cast and production crew present) Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world, laid out his vision for humanity in space that was shared by all in that room. There will be a party tonight, and I don’t think the organization will have had a more joyous one in its history. It was fitting that it occurred in the very same hotel where the very first conference was held, thirty-seven years ago.

Columbia Anniversary

It’s been fifteen years. Challenger was the beginning of the end of the Shuttle program, less than five years after the first flight. Columbia doomed it, though it continued to fly for eight more years. But the decision to end it led to the much more hopeful future we have now, with new commercial vehicles finally demonstrating real reusability, and competing with each other to drive down costs.

Here are my immediate thoughts at the time. Click on follow-up posts for a lot more.

[Update a few minutes later]

Glenn Reynolds: We just entered a golden age of space exploration. Why all the pessimism?

More importantly, we’re finally entering an age of not merely exploration, but development and ultimately settlement.

[Afternoon update]

In rereading what I wrote then, I’m surprised at how prescient it was and how well it held up. Including the foretelling of the book that was to come a decade later.

[Update a few minutes later]

Note my comment there at the time:

Who has an operational solution that’s any better than NASA’s?

Who’s been funded to provide one?

The fact that NASA hasn’t done better does not imply that it cannot be done better. NASA operates under significant political constraints.

Note that fifteen years later (and the two people doing this had started two years earlier), that problem seems to have been solved.

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.