Saturday, July 20, 2019
Friday, July 19, 2019
Thursday, July 18, 2019
I have the need -- for speed!
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
People who were not directly involved with the Apollo 11 moon landing, 50 years ago, experienced the event in a passive manner, sitting in front of an analog television set, watching the transmissions from the lunar surface while commentators described what was happening on another world in awestruck, breathless tones. It is estimated that 500 million people watched the first moon landing on a planet that contained just 3.5 billion people. Apollo 11 was the most watched and most expensive reality show in human history.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Bill Gerstenmaier has been running NASA’s human space flight directorate since 2005. His tenure lasted through three administrations. He is a popular and well-respected NASA manager.
Yet, the fact that President Bush’s Project Constellation and President Obama’s Road to Mars never made it to the launchpad suggested that he was not the man to run President Trump’s Artemis “return to the moon” program. In the interest of getting Americans back to the moon by 2024, Gerstenmaier had to go.
Monday, July 15, 2019
More on Ron Moore's alt-history of the space race.
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Friday, July 12, 2019
It was very brief. I had seen him in the media talk about Mars a lot, and I just reached out and wanted to make sure that we were in alignment. We want to talk about Mars, and certainly, we want to go to the Moon to get to Mars because that’s the path.
And he said, “Absolutely. You got to go to the Moon to get to Mars because I certainly understand that.” He also says he wants us to talk about Mars. He said that’s the generational thing that will inspire the nation, and he says, “So keep talking about Mars.” And so that’s what we’re doing.
However, three more missions to the moon — Apollos 18, 19 and 20 — could have been flown, but instead were canceled. All of the hardware for these missions had already been built, and trained astronauts were ready to fly. The savings of those cancellations amounted to only a few tens of millions of dollars.
Thursday, July 11, 2019
The irrepressible Keith Cowing is spreading rumors again.
"There is a pervasive rumor circulating in the space sector that the President will make a statement associated w/the #Apollo11 anniversary. It would supposedly have more to do w/Mars than #moon2024. Sources talk about a 24 Jul event at @NASA - maybe JSC. #rumor #hearsay #gossip "
I can believe that the President is going to make a speech for the 50th Anniversary of Apollo. In fact, I advised him to do so recently.
However, I don’t think he’s going to abandon the moon and try to go directly to Mars. As recently as the 4th of July celebration on the Washington Mall the president was careful to mention going back to the moon and going to Mars to Gene Kranz in front of a million people, not to mention the millions more who watched on TV. I think he will talk about going back to the moon and going to Mars as two things that are linked. But he should do it at Rice University rather than JSC. The symbolism would be unmistakable.
The Roman general Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus said, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
The statement was true when Roman legions guarded the Pax Romana. It is true today as America’s armed forces maintain a fragile peace throughout the world. It will be true in the future when humanity expands beyond Earth. That means we need a Space Force to keep peace on the high frontier.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Monday, July 08, 2019
Sunday, July 07, 2019
Saturday, July 06, 2019
Friday, July 05, 2019
NASA has announced its plans for a nuclear-powered aerial drone, Dragonfly, that will fly from place to place on Saturn’s moon Titan. Dragonfly is planned to launch in 2026 for an expected landing in 2034. The lengthy flight will include a gravity-assist maneuver to increase the probe’s velocity.
Thursday, July 04, 2019
Wednesday, July 03, 2019
Tuesday, July 02, 2019
NASA is preparing to launch a probe to an asteroid called “16 Psyche,” also known as the “golden asteroid.” It holds industrial and precious metals worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion at current market value. The asteroid and similar mineral sources could help NASA change space exploration from an expensive government program to something that could create limitless prosperity.
Monday, July 01, 2019
Sunday, June 30, 2019
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Friday, June 28, 2019
A new poll shows that more Americans think detecting asteroids headed for Earth is our top priority in space, rather than sending American astronauts to the moon and Mars. However, the real results of the poll would seem to be that Americans tend to be ill-informed about space.
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
President Trump has a fixation on going to Mars. That’s misguided and problematic for several reasons. NASA is going to the moon in the near term, not Mars. Trump, first in a tweet and then in a line at a political rally, seemed to suggest otherwise, spreading confusion and consternation.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Monday, June 24, 2019
Sunday, June 23, 2019
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Friday, June 21, 2019
India is making a play to become a major space power © Getty Images India has started to make decisions that will make that country a major space power. The south Asian country is responding to China’s progress in space. It has not only set the date for the launch of its next moon mission; it has also decided that it needs its own independent space station.
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Amazon and Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos have two different visions for a space future. Musk wants to colonize Mars. Bezos wants to construct free-flying space settlements.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Monday, June 17, 2019
Sunday, June 16, 2019
And do not forget my analysis of the politics and history behind going back to the moon: Why is it So Hard to Go Back to the Moon?