ISDC Starts Wednesday, May 20th

The International Space Development Conference starts Wednesday, May 20th in Toronto. This annual event is sponsored by the National Space Society. It brings together leading managers, engineers, scientists, educators, and business people from civilian, military, commercial, entrepreneurial, and grassroots advocacy space sectors. This year’s conference includes Lori Garver (former NASA Deputy Administrator), Kip Thorne (physicist), George Whitesides (CEO of Virgin Galactic) and Buzz Aldrin. Breakthrough Technologies are not only paving the future, but are critical.. Read More

Air Force X-37B Flight to Carry NASA Materials Science Experiment

On May 20, an advanced NASA materials science experiment will be carried as a payload on board the U.S. Air Force X-37B winged reusable spaceplane. The X-37B is set for its fourth Atlas-V launch from Cape Canaveral. The Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space (METIS) project is planned to remain in space for at least 200 days. By flying the METIS investigation on the X-37B, materials scientists will have the opportunity to expose.. Read More

A Singular Suggestion Toward a Radical Idea for Lunar Industrial Development

Dennis Wingo has a new piece on his blog entitled, “A Singular Suggestion Toward a Radical Idea for Lunar Industrial Development.” With technology advancement continuing in many fields such as robotics, telepresence, autonomous operations, swarms, and augmented and virtual reality, the cost of space exploration and economic development of the Moon, Mars and the rest of the solar system is decreasing. With this idea in mind, Dennis explains that the first two lunar.. Read More

SpaceX Upcoming Abort Test

America has had no access to space for humans on American vehicles since 2011. That space gap is about to stop, not thanks to a space-military-industrial complex goliath, but thanks to a private industry David–SpaceX. Before NASA will let SpaceX fly humans in its Dragon V2 capsule, the space agency requires that SpaceX test its “launch abort system,” the system that will carry astronauts to safety if their launch rocket blows up. That.. Read More

Space Solar Power Initiative Established by Northrop Grumman and Caltech

Northrop Grumman Corporation has signed a sponsored research agreement with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the development of the Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI).  Under the terms of the agreement, Northrop Grumman will provide up to $17.5 million to the initiative over three years. The team will develop the scientific and technological innovations necessary to enable a space-based solar power system capable of generating electric power at cost parity with grid-connected fossil fuel power plants. Read the.. Read More

Deep Space Smackdown — Dragon 2 vs. Orion

There’s a race between the future and the past boiling between a space upstart and an aerospace giant—Elon Musk’s 13-year-old SpaceX and Lockheed Martin, a company whose roots go back 103 years.  At the heart of the matter is a potential competition for a future in deep space between two spacecraft, SpaceX’s Dragon 2 versus Lockheed Martin’s Orion. The Dragon 2 has been contracted by NASA for short runs only—to take astronauts to the.. Read More

Need For a New Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle Strategy

by Gerald Black Gerald Black is a retired aerospace engineer with more than 40 years experience in the industry. After graduating from college, he first worked for Bell Aerosystems Co. in the Buffalo, New York area from 1967 to 1968 as a Rocket Test Engineer. One of the engines he helped test was the engine for the ascent stage of the Apollo Lunar module. Later he worked for more than 39 years for GE Aviation in.. Read More

Congress Poisons Space Program with Pork

In the latest NASA authorization bill, a cabal of pork-seeking congressmen complain that too much money is going into the program that will end America’s manned space gap—NASA’s Commercial Crew program. America has not been able to get its citizens into space on American vehicles for four years. Instead, America pays the Russians to take its astronauts to the International Space Station on Soyuz rockets at a cost of over $70 million per.. Read More

New Book by Shaun Moss Outlines a Permanent Mars Settlement

Shaun Moss has written a book entitled, The International Mars Research Station: An Exciting New Plan to Create a Permanent Human Presence on Mars. It is available as a Kindle download for $4.99 Get it here. Shaun describes the book: For years we’ve dreamed of sending people to Mars. With the emergence of disruptive new technologies from space companies and university researchers, it’s now possible to design mission architectures that can send people to Mars.. Read More

Technically-achievable, Near-term Space Logistics

  This is a post by Mike Snead, President of the Spacefaring Institute and Associate Fellow of the AIAA. If this comes as a surprise, so be it. The United States has a remarkably robust aerospace industrial base that has been capable, since the 1990s, of building an integrated, airline-like spacefaring logistics infrastructure throughout the Earth-Moon system. This infrastructure would be suitable for passenger—yes, passenger in every legal/ethical sense of the word—travel as.. Read More