Author Archive: Stewart Money

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Orbital ATK Sues DARPA Over Competing Satellite Servicing Program

Orbital ATK Sues DARPA Over Competing Satellite Servicing Program

  In-space satellite servicing has been a long-standing goal for both those who own and operate Earth orbiting spacecraft, as well as those who have dreamed of developing business models based on servicing them. In the past, the latter was often represented by various NASA factions, with in-space satellite repair being a major talking point […]

Very Different Press Takes on SpaceX Turbo-Pump Cracks

Very Different Press Takes on SpaceX Turbo-Pump Cracks

As SpaceX is making the final touches on launchpad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in advance of its upcoming inaugural flight from that historic venue, a Washington Post article centers on blade cracks in the Falcon 9 rocket’s turbo-pumps. The piece, written by Andy Pasztor goes under the scary headline┬áCongressional Investigators Warn of SpaceX […]

Posted in: SpaceX
Waiting On the Worlds To Change

Waiting On the Worlds To Change

The inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States is a remarkable event in more ways than one, but for the American space program, it could prove to be hinge-pin in history. At this point, there is no way to know what policy directions the Trump White House may provide […]

Posted in: NASA
SpaceX Falcon 9 Returns to Flight  (And Lands Again)

SpaceX Falcon 9 Returns to Flight (And Lands Again)

After working through a four month stand-down as it sought to understand and address the cause of the September 1st, 2016 explosion that destroyed a Falcon 9 booster and its payload during a pre-launch wet dress rehearsal at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX returned to flight in typically dramatic fashion on Saturday, successfully launching 10 Iridium Next […]

Posted in: SpaceX
John Glenn, The Club of Firsts and The Empty Chair

John Glenn, The Club of Firsts and The Empty Chair

The passing of John Glenn on December 8th, 2016, signified the end of an era in American spaceflight in more ways than one. The loss of Glenn marked not only the death of the first American to orbit the Earth, but also the last of the famed “Mercury 7” group of test pilots who formed […]

Posted in: NASA
Counting the Costs of International Space Projects

Counting the Costs of International Space Projects

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. As U.S. space pundits await signals over what direction NASA’s policy will take under the Trump Administration, this photo of the European Space Agency’s general meeting should serve as reminder of some of the downsides of increased international participation in large space projects. Exercising leadership and […]

Posted in: NASA, Trump
Virgin’s VSS Unity Makes First Free Flight

Virgin’s VSS Unity Makes First Free Flight

After completing four captive carry test flights, Virgin Galactic conducted the first-free flight drop test of its second SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity. The test took place on Saturday, December 3rd over California’s Mojave Desert.   “Today, VSS Unity was piloted by Mark Stucky and Dave Mackay, with pilots Mike Masucci and Todd Ericsson as well as […]

SpaceX Aims for Mid-December Return to Flight

SpaceX Aims for Mid-December Return to Flight

Although SpaceX has yet to make an official announcement, it appears that the company’s return to flight following the September 1st ‘anomaly’ that destroyed a Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral will come in less than two weeks, on December 16th. The news came via a press release from Iridium Communications, which confirms that SpaceX will […]

Posted in: SpaceX
The Drudge Effect on Space Policy

The Drudge Effect on Space Policy

By any measure, the Drudge Report is one of the most influential media websites in the world. So what does it mean when Drudge develops a fascination with space? In the weeks since the U.S. presidential election vaulted Donald Trump to the on-deck position of the most powerful job in the world, Drudge has been […]

Posted in: NewSpace, Space Tourism
ULA’s Debuts New “RocketBuilder” Website

ULA’s Debuts New “RocketBuilder” Website

It may not have a reusable rocket, or even the prospect of one, but that doesn’t mean United Launch Alliance isn’t without a few advantages of its own in competing for commercial launch orders. On Wednesday, ULA introduced a new website, called RocketBuilder.com,┬ámeant to highlight its newfound commitment to transparency, lowering launch prices and becoming […]

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