A Dragon Spreads its Wings

Congratulations to SpaceX on a spectacular launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon capsule for the COTS-2/3 cargo delivery demonstration mission. Dragon is safely in orbit, its solar array wings are deployed, and, right this minute there is a Dragon flying around the world, headed toward a rendezvous … Continue reading

Space Shuttle Launch #NASATweetUps, Past and Present

Space Shuttle Atlantis is poised to launch to the International Space Station, and NASA is hosting a Twitter meet-up, or tweet-up, at the launch. If you’re one of the 150 lucky invitees attending the shuttle launch as guests of NASA, I can tell you from personal experience that you are … Continue reading

The Dawn of a New American Enterprise

The space program announcement on Monday was, in my view, status quo shattering. It engages a lot of risk, but if you look carefully at what it says (as opposed to what the mass media says it says), you will see that it unlocks an enormous realm of opportunity. In … Continue reading

Carnival of Space #18

Image by R.A. Smith from “The Exploration of the Moon” Hear ye! Hear ye! Step right up ladies and gentlemen and prepare to be shocked and amazed at the wonders of the universe that await you here at the Carnival of Space. I’m Ken Murphy, custodian of the Lunar Library … Continue reading

In space, no-one can hear you sing in the shower

…because there isn’t a shower. “Sweat doesn’t fall of you. The water just accumulates until it gets too big and agitated and falls off like a sphere of water. It then floats around until it hits something. It takes a lot of water to fall off.” Imagine huge water balls … Continue reading

ISDC News Wrap-up

Howdy everyone! I’m almost done convalescing after co-chairing the ISDC, and have done a little scouting around the web to see the news that came out of it. Much of which I only got to see bits and pieces of whilst patrolling the conference making sure that everything was going … Continue reading

International Space Development Conference – Online Registration Closes Soon!

Howdy everyone! Regular visitors to the Lunar Library know that yours truly is one of the co-chairs for the International Space Development Conference coming up over the Memorial Day weekend here in Dallas. This is the largest citizen space conference in the world, and gathers together leaders in industry, academia, … Continue reading

Falcon 1 second demo flight now targeted for March 19-22

From Elon: The launch window is now March 19th to 22nd (California time). During extended ground testing in late February, one of our second stage thrust vector control boards indicated a problem. Although our analysis showed substantial margin for flight, we decided nonetheless to increase the robustness of certain of … Continue reading

A win-win business case for COTS?

(Via Clark at HobbySpace RLV and Space Transport News) An analysis of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program by aerospace engineering and consulting firm Spaceworks Engineering, shows a potential $6.5 to $7 billion market for COTS services, with the government saving as much as $8 billion over the same period … Continue reading

Discovery launches on complex mission to ISS

NASA press release: NASA’S SHUTTLE DISCOVERY BEGINS MISSION TO THE SPACE STATION CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew lifted off Saturday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 8:47 p.m. EST on one of the most complex missions ever to the International Space Station. Shortly … Continue reading

Orion CEV mock-up rolled out for media

In this artist’s concept, the Orion CEV docked to a lunar lander, is depicted orbiting the moon. Credit: Lockheed-Martian Associated Press reporter recounts his experiences as he tries out Lockheed-Martian’s mock-up of their Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, (CEV). Fresh off of receiving an $8 billion contract to build it, Lockheed-Martian … Continue reading

Astronaut collapses at “Welcome Home” celebration

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, an astronaut on the STS-115 mission, collapsed twice Friday, a day after she returned to Earth in the shuttle Atlantis, and officials attributed her wobbles to the adjustment from 12 days at zero gravity. Wobbly and light-headed, Stefanyshyn-Piper collapsed while speaking publicly at a welcome-home ceremony. Fellow crew … Continue reading

Ansari, Expedition-14 crew arrive at the International Space Station

Anousheh Ansari, X-Prize backer and private astronaut, has arrived at the ISS, along with the station’s new crew. In downlink video of the hatch opening, she could be seen smiling broadly, and wearing an X-Prize cap. You can read about her adventures in near-real time: she is blogging from the … Continue reading

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