Archive for September, 2012

Water, Water Everywhere

Water, Water Everywhere

Is the inner solar system one big swimming hole? The discovery of what is by all appearances is a dry stream bed on Mars by the Curiosity rover this week adds to a growing body of evidence that sometime in the distant past, at least portions of the Red Planet once more closely resembled our own blue marble,  somewhat inappropriately […]

Posted in: Asteroids, Mars, Moon, NASA
Sarah Brightman and the Future of Space Tourism

Sarah Brightman and the Future of Space Tourism

Several news sources have reported that English Soprano Sarah Brightman and Space Adventures have scheduled a news conference on Wednesday, October 10 in Moscow, where it is expected she will be introduced as the next space tourist to visit the International Space Station. Brightman’s announcement would mark a resumption in tourism flights to ISS which were suspended when […]

NASA Pushes for an L-2 Outpost

NASA Pushes for an L-2 Outpost

The Orlando Sentinel reported that NASA administrator Charles Bolden met with White House officials recently to lobby for the agency’s plan to develop a small space station at the Earth – Moon L-2 La Grange point beyond the lunar far side. If approved, the station, would represent the first step along the so-called “flexible path”of space exploration which was […]

Finally… A Mars Sample Return Mission?

Finally… A Mars Sample Return Mission?

NASA’s Mars Program Planning Group delivered its summary report today, a copy of which is here.   The  66 page document firmly establishes a Mars Sample Return as the next logical goal for Mars exploration, but examines a number of different architectures for achieving that goal, some of which involve multiple pre-cursor missions. Certain to be debated and offering […]

Posted in: Mars, NASA, SLS / Orion, SpaceX
Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

Past, present and future combine in one brief frame as the Space Shuttle Endeavour passes over SpaceX headquarters in the iconic spacecraft’s final moments with air under its wings. Whether it is a ship permanently moored to its quay as a floating museum, or a spacecraft or airplane forever captured in static display, there is something profoundly moving, and perhaps a […]

One Small Hop….

One Small Hop….

Only a day after the Boeing 747 carrying Space Shuttle Endeavour touched down in California,  bringing the last orbiter to ever experience flight, albeit only captive carry for this final trip, Elon Musk tweeted this brief glimpse into what may be absolute dawn of a new era of fully reusable spaceflight. Announced roughly a year ago, the SpaceX Falcon Grasshopper is […]

Launch Date Set for Next SpaceX Mission to ISS

Launch Date Set for Next SpaceX Mission to ISS

NASA announced today that it has set Sunday, October 7th as the launch date for the next SpaceX mission to the International Space Station. The mission, which will be the first of 12 currently scheduled under the Commercial Resupply Contract is set to lift off at 8:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time, with a backup slot available for the following […]

Building the Commercial Portfolio

Building the Commercial Portfolio

On September 12, SpaceX announced an agreement with SES to launch an additional three satellites beyond the SES-8 launch scheduled for next year.  Of particular note was the apparent provision that one or more launches, to begin in 2015,  could be carried out on a Falcon Heavy.  Immediately following its recent COTS 2/3 launch the company announced the first commercial agreement for […]

House SubCommmittee Hearing on SLS and Orion

House SubCommmittee Hearing on SLS and Orion

The House subcommittee held a hearing to “explore” progress in the SLS/Orion program today. Prepared statements can be found here. Two items stand out, the first is a new definition for affordability offered by Boeing V.P. Jim Chilton, who speaking of modest improvements in processing said, “This will enable the country to finally have access to […]

Posted in: NASA, SLS / Orion
Becoming a Multi-Planet Species

Becoming a Multi-Planet Species

Eleven years ago today, the 9/11 attacks wrought immense destruction on a human, and local scale in New York, the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa, and with American and allied troops still very much at war in Afghanistan,  it marks an event which continues to reverberate through  history. On 9/11, exactly one American, NASA astronaut Frank Culbertson was off […]

Posted in: NASA, Space Stations, SpaceX
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