Category Archives: Space Policy

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

SLS, Shuttle, and The Danger of the “No Payloads” Argument

I’m not a particularly big fan of NASA’s SLS. Anyone paying attention with even a shred of self-honesty can tell that two of the primary reasons why Congress forced NASA to build SLS were to preserve and enlarge payrolls at … Continue reading

Posted in NASA, Space Exploration, Space Policy | 16 Comments

Random ULA Thoughts

[Disclaimer: My current company and former company have both done work with ULA. In fact, we just started another small IRAD project with ULA. We’ve also done work with SpaceX in the past, but our current work with ULA is … Continue reading

Posted in Space Policy, ULA | 33 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

Certification and Rules-based Technology Regulations: Part of Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Brian Wang over on Next Big Future brought up a point I’ve been thinking about for a while. In an article about why Canada is likely to beat the US to having molten salt nuclear reactors (in spite of the … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, Space Policy, Space Safety | 6 Comments

Penny for NASA (Centennial Challenges)

I remember the first time I was exposed to the fact that NASA gets less than 1% of the federal budget, and the suggestion that we could do so much more awesome stuff if NASA just got 1% of the … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, NASA, Prizes, Space Policy | 16 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

YHABFT: RD-180 Sales Ban Rumor, A-Com, and FY11 Budget Request HLV Propulsion

The RD-180 Sales Ban Rumor As some of you probably saw on twitter last night, Russia Today ran a piece claiming that Russia was mulling a sales ban on the RD-180 rocket engine to the US (h/t Jeff Foust). For … Continue reading

Posted in NASA, Space Policy, Space Transportation, YHABFT | 14 Comments

Crew Safety Perspective

There’s been a lot of discussion over the past year or two on a few blogs (this one, Transterrestrial Musings, and also Wayne Hale’s blog, among several others) about the proper level of emphasis on crew safety for commercial crew … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, Commercial Space, COTS, NASA, Space Policy, Space Safety, Space Transportation | 28 Comments

Random Thoughts: Columbus Article Link and Lunar Patents?

I don’t think this counts as my monthly blog post, mostly because I’m linking to and commenting on someone else’s blog post, but here goes. Michael Mealling (a fellow Masten Alumni gone entrepreneur) set out this year to do a … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Policy, Space Settlement | 8 Comments