I’ve been advertising the renewed Space Access Conference for a few weeks in the left sidebar. I’m heading off to it in the morning. Hope I’ll see some of my readers there.
The new NPRM has been released. People have until mid-June to comment.
How much will it cost? A conversation with Jim Bridenstine.
Bob Zimmerman isn’t impressed.
I’d note that Jackie Wattles is one of CNN’s space reporters (the other is Rachel Crane, who I met at last year’s launch, and who just received a space journalism award in February from the Commercial Space Federation, a few weeks after giving birth).
Speaking of FH coverage, here’s Eric Berger’s take.
To cap off an exciting week in space, and particularly private space, the Roc flew for two hours in Mojave this morning.
I still don’t understand the business model for this airplane. I wonder if it will be another Spruce Goose (whose time in the air was vastly exceeded by this flight).
[Update a couple minutes later]
Doug Messier was there.
[Update early afternoon]
Here‘s Jeff Foust’s story.
Looks like the landing failed. Or at least the landing wasn’t soft. It probably left a long trench.
Great effort, though. Just getting into lunar orbit on the first attempt was a huge success; JPL missed the moon completely with several of the Ranger attempts. I hope they’re funded to try again.
This is indeed an extraordinary claim. We’ll see, I guess.
An interesting article from Eric Berger. This stuck out to me:
Neither Bridenstine nor Pence said so explicitly, but these comments reflect their sense that NASA has become too bureaucratic, too tentative, too risk averse. During his town hall this week, Bridenstine had a telling response when asked why, by setting such an ambitious goal of a 2024 landing, was he not putting schedule over safety?
“I would not say it’s a return to schedule over safety, I would say it’s a return to schedule,” he said. “Safety is paramount for everybody at this agency, it always has been. But the number one mission is not safety. If it was, we would all just stay in the ready room and just watch CNN.”
I gave him a copy of my book after it came out, when he was a congressman. He later told me he’d read it.
[Update a while later]
This is the first that I’d heard Boeing was considering Starliner for cislunar missions. I thought they’d sized the TPS for entry from LEO. I wonder if that means they’d have to beef it up?
Amazon is entering the race, with a plan for over 3000 satellites.
It’s going to get crowded up there, if all these happen.