Category Archives: Launch Vehicles

Boomerang Air-Launched TSTO RLV Concept Part III: Carrier Plane Support Subsystems

Before getting into my thoughts on potential options for the carrier plane itself, I wanted to mention a few nice-to-have options for the carrier plane itself. I don’t know that any of these is strictly required, but all potentially help: … Continue reading

Posted in Boomerang TSTO RLV, Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Orbital Access Methodologies, Rocket Design Theory | 3 Comments

Boomerang Air-Launched TSTO RLV Concept Part II: Carrier Plane Gamma Maneuver Safety Considerations

In this post I would like to discuss some of the key considerations and options governing the carrier plane for my Boomerang TSTO RLV concept. Specifically I’ll be covering considerations relating to safely supporting the Gamma Maneuver, and useful support … Continue reading

Posted in Boomerang TSTO RLV, Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Orbital Access Methodologies, Rocket Design Theory | 5 Comments

RLV Markets Part IV: Why Small May Be Beautiful

With the progress SpaceX has been making with trying to recover their F9R first stage, and their concepts for Mars Colonial Transport, BFRs, and 4000 satellite constellations, a lot of the industry has been fixated on very larger RLVs. I … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, RLV Markets | 8 Comments

Boomerang Air-Launched TSTO RLV Concept (Part I)

Back when I left Masten to start Altius, I originally thought I was starting a launch vehicle company focused on reusable nanosat launchers. While we pivoted away from that to focus on space robotics, I’ve continued to dabble with a … Continue reading

Posted in Boomerang TSTO RLV, Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Orbital Access Methodologies, Rocket Design Theory | 20 Comments

Random Thought: Venus Really-Balloon Rockets

I haven’t run the numbers on this yet, but I was thinking about how to do reusable transportation on Venus recently. My previous Venusian Rocket Floaties blog post showed that existing upper stages, sealed off, could float at altitudes high … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, Space Transportation, Venus | 10 Comments

Healthy Industries vs. Monocultures

One of the things I’ve believed for a long time is that for the NewSpace industry to be successful and healthy, that we need to see multiple providers and customers for the various goods and services in the industry. One … Continue reading

Posted in Bigelow Aerospace, Commercial Crew, Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Space Policy, SpaceX | 17 Comments

Venusian Rocket Floaties

While doing research previous in preparation for the Venus ISRU series, one of the questions that I knew needed a good answer was “how do you actually send vehicles to/from a floating cloud colony?” Unlike the any other near-term manned … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, Space Transportation, Venus | 30 Comments

A Modest Proposal: the COTS Approach to SLS/Orion

I came up with an interesting new idea based on the recent press conferences about the successful completion of NASA’s COTS program, Bigelow’s report on the study they did on commercial lunar development, and the SLS/Orion developers discussion of “Removing … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, COTS, Launch Vehicles, NASA, Politics, Space Exploration, Space Policy, Space Transportation, Technology | 22 Comments

DARPA Experimental SpacePlane 1 (XS-1) Program (Updated)

Over on twitter today, Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) reported on a new reusable rocket project that will be starting in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO) next month. Rumor has it that Jess Sponable, the former Program Manager for the DC-X project, … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, Space Transportation, Technology | Tagged | 27 Comments

Random Thoughts: SLS Dual-Use Upper Stage as a Super-ACES

Friends, Americans, Countrymen. Lend me your ears. I’ve come to provide constructive suggestions to SLS, not to bury it. A couple days ago, a friend asked me what I knew about the DUUS “Dual-Use Upper Stage” for SLS, and if … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, NASA, Space Transportation | 9 Comments