Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts/Rocket Legos: Masten Xephr as a Vulcan SRB Replacement?

I’m sick at home today, so had extra time to think about fun technical concepts, so here’s an interesting one to think about. Right now, ULA’s plans for Vulcan include using expendable Orbital ATK GEM 63XL sold strapon boosters to … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, MSS, Random Thoughts, Rocket Legos, ULA | 6 Comments

Random Thoughts: RLVs and Megaconstellations

Last month I was out in Washington DC for a satellite industry conference (the 2017 Satellite Show). My startup has been working on a cool satellite servicing related project that I need to blog about soon, and we were out … Continue reading

Posted in Blue Origin, Business, Launch Vehicles, MSS, Random Thoughts, RLV Markets, Space Transportation, SpaceX | 12 Comments

Random Thoughts: First Pass Analysis of a White Dragon/Xeus Lunar Sortie Mission

After yesterday’s SpaceX announcement of having booked two customers for a Apollo-8 style mission around the Moon and back, using Falcon Heavy and Dragon V2, I got thinking about ways to take the next step in lunar tourism–surface missions. Now, … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Random Thoughts, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, YHABFT | 51 Comments

Random Thoughts: Throwing the Moon a Bone

[Note: This blog post was originally planned to be something significantly longer, triggered by one of Eric Berger’s recent Ars Technica articles. But running a bootstrapped startup gave me the choice of waiting until this was totally irrelevant, or saying … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, Commercial Space, COTS, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Random Thoughts | 9 Comments

Random Thoughts: ACES/EUS Public Private Partnership Idea

A few years ago, I did a “Random Thoughts” blog post about synergies between the proposed ACES stage and the proposed SLS upper stage. Now, I’m still not the world’s biggest SLS fan, and I’m still not a fan of … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, NASA, Random Thoughts, ULA | 9 Comments

Random Thoughts: New Shepard for Pop-Up TSTO NanoSat Launch

Blue Origin’s recent successful launch, recovery, and re-flight of their suborbital RLV New Shepard got me thinking about an idea that I came up with back in late November shortly after their first flight. In an article written shortly after … Continue reading

Posted in Blue Origin, Launch Vehicles, Random Thoughts, Rocket Design Theory | 32 Comments

Random Thoughts: Space Debris Cleanup Funding Mechanism

Ever since that Kosmos spacecraft t-boned an Iridium spacecraft a few years back, more and more people have been paying attention to the space debris issue. We’ve been able to live with the nuisance caused by space debris for a … Continue reading

Posted in Orbital Debris Remediation/Mitigation, Random Thoughts | 17 Comments

Random Thoughts: SBSP for All-Electric Aircraft?

I haven’t blogged about Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP) much. At least not as much as Chris and some of my other cobloggers. While I try to be non-dismissive of ideas like this, I’ve never been able to convince myself that … Continue reading

Posted in Random Thoughts | 14 Comments

XCOR Thoughts

For those of you who read my blog but somehow hadn’t heard the news already, three of XCOR Aerospace’s four founders left the suborbital rocket startup this past week. I got a notification last week on LinkedIn about Dan DeLong … Continue reading

Posted in Random Thoughts | 9 Comments

Random Thought: NASA Externships as an Alternative to “Training-Wheels” Intramural R&D?

[Here’s one last draft I’ve found to polish off–this one only from a year ago. It’s a little bit of a touch subject–I’m not trying to denigrate what the NASA teams mentioned in this post were doing, just trying to … Continue reading

Posted in NASA, Random Thoughts, Space Policy | 6 Comments