Category Archives: Space Transportation

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes: Part 4–Propellantless Horizontal Soft-Landing Methods

As mentioned previously in Part 2 of this series, one of the key elements in establishing a lunar beachhead is developing ways to safely and affordably land payloads and people on the lunar surface. In Part 3, we discussed a … Continue reading

Posted in Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes, Space Development, Space Settlement, Space Transportation, Technology | 28 Comments

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes: Part 2–The Beachhead Analogy

This observation may already be bleedingly obvious to everyone else, but I feel it is worth explicitly stating: One of the top priorities of early missions to any destination in the solar system should be to drive down the cost … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes, Space Settlement, Space Transportation | 30 Comments

Lunar Orbital Facility Location Options

For travel throughout cislunar space, I’ve long been an advocate of having depots on both ends of the journey. The LEO depot provides a refueling stop at the first practical point after leaving the ground, and also a spot for … Continue reading

Posted in Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Transportation | 15 Comments

ESIL-8 Elements of Lunar Commerce Presentation

I was invited to give a talk on lunar commerce at a Emerging Space Industry Leaders workshop last week hosted by ULA at their Centennial, Colorado campus, and put on by my friends at Advanced Space LLC and the FAA … Continue reading

Posted in Altius Space Machines, Business, Commercial Space, ISRU, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, MHD Aerobraking and TPS, NASA, NEOs, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Settlement, Space Transportation, SpaceX, Technology, ULA, Variable Gravity | 36 Comments

Summary of Some ULA Papers from AIAA SPACE 2015

ULA has often used the AIAA SPACE conferences as a venue for discussing technical ideas they were working on. In fact, I’ve written several blog posts over the years summarizing or commenting on previous versions of their papers. This year’s … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Orbital Access Methodologies, Propellant Depots, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA | 19 Comments

Space Tourism Musings

My post on Wednesday about Passengers as an RLV market got me thinking about the old Futron Space Tourism study from 2002. Background on the Futron 2002 Space Tourism Market Study If you’re relatively new to the space scene, this … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, Commercial Space, Space Transportation | 3 Comments

Why the Moon?

In spite of my interest in the Asteroid Redirect Mission, I’m still a firm believer that the Moon has a major role to play in space settlement. While Mars and Venus (at the cloud level) may have atmospheres more conducive … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, International Space Collaboration, ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, NASA, NEOs, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Settlement, Space Transportation, Venus | 12 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

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes: Part 1–Gear Ratios

[Note: I haven’t quite finished with my Venus ISRU series, but some of the articles I’ve read over the past few days drew me back to this series on propellantless lunar launch approaches that I started writing four years ago … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes, Space Settlement, Space Transportation | 70 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