Category Archives: Space Transportation

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, Space Settlement, Space Transportation | 68 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

Centaur UnCrasher Stages for Simplified Lunar Landings [Updated 11:35pm MDT 9/4/13]

[Editor’s Note: I was recently pinged by a friend on NASASpaceFlight.com about an “UnCrasher” lunar lander architecture concept I had written about a few years ago. I went to point him to a blog post on the idea, when I … Continue reading

Posted in Lunar Exploration and Development, Space Transportation | 20 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

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