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
Well, very soon you will be able to find out for yourself. Head on down to the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex, and go for the ride of your life on their soon-to-be-opened shuttle launch simulator.
Alan Boyle over at Cosmic Log has just interviewed Robert Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace, the company building and testing inflatable space habitats for low-Earth-orbit. Turns out that they’re not just for low-Earth-orbit. Bigelow’s long-range plans include assembling moon-bases out of his modules, at the Earth-Moon-L1 lagrange point, and flying them … Continue reading
Elon Musk has posted another update on the SpaceX website. The planned static firing test did not go ahead, and the rocket has been returned to the hangar for a stage de-mate and inspection. Elon didn’t go into what has necessitated that move. The flow-on effect is that the static … Continue reading
ABCNews has a short interview with the current crew of the International Space Station. It’s not mentioned in the interview, but there’s a strong perception out there that the ISS is a waste of time and money, that it’s a platform without a purpose. There’s no doubt that it’s a … Continue reading
The ISRO has successfully recovered an experimental unmanned space vehicle from orbit for the first time. This is an important milestone for India in their quest to develop an indigenous manned spaceflight capability.
(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
The Moon, that is – according to Space.com, it’s going to disintegrate. We’ve got about 5 billion years. The clock is ticking, folks!
He would have given us a Moon-full of opportunity! I highly recommend that you read Paul Spudis’ piece in this week’s Space Review. If you want to know more about Paul, here’s his OotC interwiew. If you want to know more about the Moon, do a little reading at the … Continue reading
An issue with a thrust vector control actuator on the second stage means that the launch wont happen in the current window (although the planned static fire will still go ahead). The next launch opportunity at the Kwajalein range comes in mid-February. Even that is likely to slip given the … Continue reading
I’m a bit late posting this, so apologies if you’ve already read about it, or seen it, elsewhere (and thanks to Jon Goff at Selenian Boondocks, which was how I found it). This is a lovely sight: It’s XCOR Aerospace‘s Liquid Oxygen/Methane rocket engine, developed for NASA as part of … Continue reading
Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX to most of us, has announced that it plans to launch its second Falcon 1 rocket on the 21st of this month. The rocket is on the pad, and the launch team have already taken it through a ‘wet dress rehearsal’ where they fuel it … Continue reading
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
When the countdown started for today’s attempted launch of Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station, weather forecasters put the chance of acceptable conditions at only thirty percent. The shuttle is now heading toward launch less than an hour away, and all constraints are green right across the board. … Continue reading
A group of French doctors using a specially modified Airbus A330 to simulate periods of zero gravity have successfully completed a weightless surgical procedure to remove a small cyst from a volunteer’s arm. This represents the first time that a human subject has been operated on in zero-g. In the … Continue reading
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
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
“The Survival Imperative: Using Space to Protect Earth” by Burrows, William E.
Published in 2006 by Forge Books (a Tom Doherty Associates press, like Tor Books), it weighs in at 350 pages of content plus several appendices. No errors noted.
Mr. Burrows, a professor of Journalism at NYU, is one of the better known chroniclers of the space age, and his book “This New Ocean” is a particularly well known title. In “The Survival Imperative”, Mr. Burrows picks up on the growing theme of “Space for the benefit of Earth”, and lays out a very compelling case for why our efforts to develop the space frontier are not merely a luxury, but rather a necessity if we value the continuity of our civilization into the indefinite future.
You really want to take the time to read this. It is an inexpressibly cool story, made even more so by the knowledge that a) it is true, and b) the author is writing it floating in zero gravity far above the Earth on the International Space Station. As I … Continue reading
Atlantis is home safely. Or, I should say, her crew is home safely. For the shuttle herself, I don’t think that being tucked up in a warm hangar at Kennedy Space Center counts as being ‘home’. If you’ll allow me a little poetic license, I believe that her home is … Continue reading
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
Space shuttle Atlantis’ landing has been delayed by at least a day, to give mission managers time to investigate an object seen floating close by that may have fallen off the shuttle. The object was spotted on footage from a payload bay camera, floating between the Shuttle and Earth in … Continue reading
There’s been a lot of whingeing from the science community that NASA’s plan to return humans to the Moon is stealing money from far more worthy pursuits, such as (insert whatever project the scientists in question are working on here). So it’s a real breath of fresh air to hear … Continue reading
Writing at the Planetary Society Blog, Mark Adler (who was mission manager for the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover), gives one of the most lucid and reality based rationales I have ever heard for returning to the Moon before engaging in human expeditions to Mars.
Congratulations to Anousheh Ansari, who has just realised her lifelong dream of travel into space. She has worked hard, trained hard, accepted real risk, and conducted herself professionally to get there. And in the mainstream media, she’s the first ‘female space tourist’. Anousheh is no more a ‘space tourist’ than … Continue reading