Category Archives: War Commentary

The Old Space Age Began

Today is the 60th anniversary of Sputnik. I have some thoughts over at The Weekly Standard. I’ll have more later today at PJMedia.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Henry Spencer reminds me that upon the successful launch, Korolev supposedly said “The road to the stars is now open.” A little premature, I think…

[Update a while later]

For a detailed history of the program, go read Asif Siddiqi over at The Space Review (it’s part one, the second part will appear next Monday).

[Update a couple minutes later, after going through the Siddiqi piece]

This is excellent. It is likely now the best available history of its development.

[Update a few minutes later]

Anatoly Zak reminds us that Sputnik wasn’t about the satellite; it was about the rocket.

[Update a while later]

More from Siddiqi on recent translations. Kind of amazing how much we still don’t know about space history six decades later.

[Update a while later]

How dreams of space-faring zombies resulted in Sputnik. Well, sort of.

[Update late morning]

Here‘s Chris Gebhart’s take.

[Afternoon update]

My (other) take is now up over at PJMedia. As usual, most comments are ignorant and/or idiotic.

[Update a week later]

Part 2 of Siddiqi’s new history is up now.


The National Space Council

They had their first “meeting” today (scare quotes because it was basically a scripted dog and pony show). Bob Zimmerman has some thoughts. Mine: The tension between the old cost-plus dinosaurs and commercial space within the administration was on full display, but everyone recognizes that we’ve shifted back to the moon. “Civil” space remains focused on pork, “commercial” space is focused appropriately on cost reduction. Nothing new on the milspace side to anyone who’s been following it, but I’m sure it was news to several of the council members.

[Update a while later]

Here’s Pence’s statement, but it’s behind a paywall at the WSJ.

[Late-afternoon update]

Here’s Ken Chang’s report. Check out the kicker.

[Update Friday morning]

Eric Berger: The history of presidential pland to “go back to the moon.” Yes, you should be skeptical. SpaceX or Blue Origin will beat NASA back to the moon. And that’s not a bad thing.

The Permian Basin

An analyst says that it’s a virtually infinite source of oil.

And it’s bad news for bad people around the world.

[Update a few minutes later]

Mexico’s largest shale field is now open for business. In theory, this should help the economy down there as well, and perhaps relieve the pressure to emigrate. But the place is still pretty corrupt.