Busy, Busy, Busy

I was going to blog yesterday, but figured I needed to get some comments in on that AST Human Spaceflight NPRM before time runs out next month. Most of the phrasing in the actual regulation seemed to be common sense stuff that you’d want to do anyway if you weren’t running some sort of rinky-dink fly-by-night space tourism shop anyway. There were a few areas I figured I’d comment on, including sticking my neck out and trying to make an attempt at a rational argument for why gun bans might not be the best way to protect crew and the public from hijackers/terrorists. I probably should have left that one alone, but couldn’t resist.

It’s kinda amusing reading all of the rather rude and clueless comments so far. I actually agree with at least some of the sentiments expressed there. I truly wish we were in a clean-slate situation where a more market-based instead of regulatory situation could be tried out. I think that if the FAA existed, that a market based solution to protecting third parties could probably be found that was less burdensome and maybe even safer overall. That said, we live in this world, and in this reality the FAA exists. AST has been given Congressional authority. If you disagree with that, try to get it changed by statute. But insulting the guys at AST and telling them that you spit on their proposals is immature as heck. It’s times like these where I can see why most people think that libertarians are a bunch of nut jobs.

Changing tack a little bit, it’s funny to mention that my coworker Ian thinks he’s finally figured out what the government is doing to actively impede the progress of commercial space development. He said that all they had to do was distract all the alt.space engineers from actually doing engineering by getting them so wrapped up in debating politics and government on their blogs and reading silly political satires about cows, and doing other things other than actually building stuff. I still don’t see what he had against the cows humor…

Anyhow, I really think I’ll actually be in a position to blog some more about space stuff in the near future. We’ve now got most of the long lead-time items ordered in for our XA-0.1 demonstrator, and we’ll probably have a rocket vehicle skeleton assembled and in our shop within the next week or two. And that should be cool.

Stay tuned, and Ken, keep up the good work!

[Update: Dan over at Space Pragmatism added a few space related cow jokes. What with the Philippines reference in my blog’s name, I’m tempted to crack a joke about Space Balut, but that would just be fowl.]

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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5 Responses to Busy, Busy, Busy

  1. Dan Schrimpsher says:

    Nell forgot space cows 🙂

  2. Rich Pournelle says:

    I don’t believe in grand conspiracies, let alone think blog coverage is distracting to the industry. Not everyone can work on rockets for their day job. Many space blogs offer alternative views, analysis, rumors and the occasional useful information. The signal to noise ratio isn’t great, but all this new noise is useful.

  3. Jon Goff says:

    You need to adjust your sarcasm filter, I was trying to be funny. Seriously though, if I didn’t think blogging were at least somewhat useful, I probably wouldn’t have started this one in the first place.

    Keep up the good work there with XCOR. I’m looking forward to seeing those Rocket Racers.


  4. Randall Clague says:


    Thanks for your putting your comments up early. Your thoughts on IP vs. safety improvements and NDAs stimulated a good discussion here at XCOR on that and related topics.


  5. Jon Goff says:

    You’re welcome. It’s nice to know that there are at least one or two things that I managed to think up before you guys did. BTW, what did people think about me opening up the whole guns on board can-of-worms?


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