Category Archives: Space

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New Shepard does it again

Blue Origin’s vertical landing in West Texas this morning after a NASA test flight to orbit of equipment for future precision moon landings.

Watching a piece of history

President Trump and Vice-President Pence plan to go see SpaceX launch a pair of veteran astronauts to the ISS station on Wednesday, the first launch of people from our soil since 2011.

They will ride in a Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 heavy off old Pad 39A in Florida. Pity it’s not in South Texas, where SpaceX is planning to do launches.

With the president in attendance, and running for re-election, a lot is riding on this in addition to the two astronauts. Good luck to all.

UPDATE:  Weather abort. Next window to try be Saturday afternoon.

Wright brothers

Don Suber on Twitter: “116 years ago today, America’s Wright Brothers flew the first airplane. Within 66 years, America landed a man on the moon. No other nation has in the 50 years since.”

But the winds of Kitty Hawk are blowing in China and India, who are likely to be next. NASA talks about returning, after killing two shuttle crews, but seems happiest with its steady fed funding.

No mention of these white boys’ anniversary on Google’s cartoon, not until a woman or minority is discovered to have participated I suppose.

The Expanse expands

Season 4 is up and running. As usual, with my poor hearing, the story gets less of my attention than the special effects. The show’s claim to being really scientific, however, gets blown up every time we hear a rocket engine burning somewhere or an explosion in space. Really now.

Must not remember the old horror movie poster line: In space, nobody can hear you scream.

Via Amazon

Starship prototype

Turns out that Elon Musk’s SpaceX isn’t just about shipping people and goods to NASA’s space station, but, some day, a trip to a nearby star. Not sure why he built this, near Boca Chica in the Rio Grande Valley on the Texas-Mexico border, when we haven’t even gone back to the moon yet, much less Mars.

India goes for Luna

Blast off of an Indian orbiter, a 1.4-ton moon lander and a 56-pound robot mobile rover on the far side of the moon is today, seven months after the Chinese put a lander on the far side of the moon.

These landers are preparation for manned explorations, including establishment of moon bases, however small at first. Trump reportedly is (take that for what it’s worth) angry that NASA isn’t moving faster on putting Americans back on the moon by 2024.

NASA is a biiiggg bureaucracy—with lots of paperwork—which moves at a snail’s pace. I’m betting on the first base being Chinese.

Via Science Alert & PJMedia

Try, try again

Israel will try once more to land a robot craft on the moon.

“The 5-foot-tall Beresheet 1, the world’s first privately funded moon lander, crashed into the moon while attempting a landing [April 11] Apparently, a technical glitch caused its main engine to stop mid-landing.”

The second attempt could take 2 to 3 years to get ready. If at first you don’t succeed…

Via UPI