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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Space News Roundup January 10, 2011

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Space News Roundup January 5, 2011

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

ULA to Government: Don't Force Compeition

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) that is the product of the Boeing and Lockheed Martin merger is laying off 19% of its workforce to reduce overlap in the Atlas and Delta rockets. That isn't what caught my attention, though.
[ULA Chief Operating Officer Dan Collins] urged the government not to force a competitive environment on an industry that may be ill suited to it.

"I'm not saying no to competition, I'm just urging us to be judicious in its use," Collins said. "Our success will be judged not on how widely we used the tool of competition, but ... on how wisely we used the tool of competition."
For some odd reason I thought competition was the natural state of the market until the government starting screwing with it. They acknowledged that SpaceX is really there only current competition due to ITAR.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, after talking about switching from a cost-plus to fix-price contracts, said:
"The Air Force has erected enormous barriers to entry at least in the launch market, and made it really very difficult to get in," Musk said. "It's sort of strange that we have over 30 missions on contract for Falcon 9 — which is a vehicle that has more capability than the Delta 4 Medium — but not one of those is with the Air Force. Why is that?"
So Mr Collins, no need to worry. The government isn't going to let, um I mean force any competition on you.

Space News Roundup January 4, 2011

Also if you didn't realize it, The Space Review came out yesterday:

Monday, January 03, 2011

Space News Roundup January 3, 2011

  • Canada is looking to build and launch their own rocket. To be honest, I understand their desire to reach an important space milestone, but I think they would be better served by building the infrastructure for launches and buying launches from private companies, such as Boeing and SpaceX. Of course ITAR is always an issue...
  • NASA's Mars rover Spirit is still not talking.
  • Some band I've never heard of wants to play in space aboard Virgin Galactic.
  • NPR has a roundup of NASA's plans for manned space.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 The year of Private Space?

Leonard David believes 2011 is the year private space (or new space) will take off. Here's crossing our fingers.

SpaceX Makes NASA Look Bad

Robert Block at the Orlando Sentinel thinks SpaceX's ability to launch a cheese-manned capsule into orbit and recover it for $800 million is "raising some serious questions about NASA." Meanwhile, NASA is spending $500 million in six months on a program that no longer exists.

First Android in Space

In February, NASA hopes to launch Robonaut 2 to the International Space Station. R2 (who could resist) is humanoid from the chest up.

How to Colonize Mars

Joel Levine, a researcher at NASA Langley has just published a book called The Human Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet. I haven't read it yet, but as soon as I can get it I will post a review.

Fox has a overview.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

There are no words for how stupid this is...

I can't even bring myself to comment on how dumb this is.

"You are so dumb, really dumb, for real"

Government 1 Common Sense 0

Due to the insanity that is the United States Federal Government, The Constellation program has been cut but NASA is still forced by congress to spend $500 million on the dead Ares 1 rocket through March.

From Fox News:

Constellation is the umbrella program that includes the Ares I, the rocket NASA has been building to replace the space shuttle as means of transport to and from the International Space Station, as well as other spacecraft that would have been capable of performing a variety of missions. President Obama cancelled Constellation last year, but thanks to congressional delays and inaction, the program simply won't die -- and it's costing big bucks.

This is mostly related to the fact that congress can't get a budget passed. Hopefully the next congress can get something together. In a world of deficit hawks and tea parties, however, this seems insane. This is why the government shouldn't be doing so much, they suck at most things.

Top Space News of 2010

Clark Lindsey has his list of the top space related news of 2010.

This is my top three. It is completely based on my own (rational) self-interest. In other words, things that I believe help get my wife and I into space.

3. Bigelow Aerospace signed a deal with Boeing (of all people) to launch space stations into orbit. Apparently, six countries are interested in leasing their very own space station.

2. Scaled Composites/Virgin Galactic had a successful glide test of VSS Enterprise and Eve.

1. It is hard to argue that SpaceX had the best year of any new-space company. They closed it out with a successful launch and re-entry of the Dragon capsule carrying a wheel of cheese on December 8. They also signed the largest commercial launch contract in history with Iridium.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

NASA Jumps into Gaming

Apparently NASA is working on a massively multiplayer online game called Astronaut: Mars, Moon, and Beyond. A demo is avalible at their website.

Top Stories of 2009

Alan Boyle at MSNBC reviews the top space stories of 2009 and allows you to vote for your favorite.