Category Archives: Space

The Planetary Society

Entirely not unexpectedly, they have some terrible suggestions for Trump and NASA:

  1. Maintain the exploration of Mars as the organizing principle for NASA’s human spaceflight program
  2. Direct NASA to plan an executable, affordable path for sending humans to Mars orbit by 2033
  3. Expand NASA’s highly successful science portfolio
  4. Continue to grow and support the commercial space industry
  5. Initiate annual five percent increases to NASA’s budget for five years

The only good one is the fourth. Here are mine:

  1. Make the continuous reduction of the cost of space activities the organizing principle for NASA’s human spaceflight program
  2. Direct NASA to end development of its own launch systems and to start to procure propellant in LEO to enable trips beyond
  3. Expand NASA’s science portfolio with data purchases
  4. Continue to grow and support the commercial space industry
  5. Direct funding from SLS/Orion to support 1-4

Wasteful Spending

Trump is going to order a government-wide review of it.

[Update a while later]

Congratulations to Altius Space Machines for their NASA SBIR Phase II win for cryo propellant transfer technology development. If we canceled SLS/Orion, we could found several thousand efforts like this.

“We Will Definitely Catch Up”

As I said, I went to the Satellite 2017 conference. Unfortunately, my flight was too early yesterday to catch this panel:

Shotwell also anticipates that using Falcon 9 rockets with pre-flown first stages will enable the company to execute on its backlog, which is currently loaded with customers that expected to have their satellites launched in 2016. SES-10 was one such mission.

“We do anticipate reflying about six vehicles, [with] pre-flown boosters this year, which should take some of the pressure off of production,” Shotwell said.

Let hope. I’ve been saying that the plans for the Apollo 8 re-enactment next year aren’t as unrealistic as some think (I give it about 30%). They have to get flying again, and they have to fly the heavy this year, and they have to get in those qualification flights, but I think those, not the Dragon itself, are the long pole in the tent. Once they have both pads going, they may in fact be able to work of that backlog, and if they’re regularly reflying first stages, that will be historic.

Death, And The Meaning Of Life

I have no idea how I will face my impending end (and I’m doing everything reasonable to put it off as long as possible), but I get meaning from my goal of moving humanity into space, and I’ll continue to do so as long as I’m alive. When I see people who win the lottery have their lives ruined over it, I suspect it’s because they don’t have any real purpose in life other than material pleasure, and have never given any serious thought to what they’d do with the winnings. I’d have no problems at all; if I had a billion dollars, I’d start a serious space venture.