Category Archives: Technology

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

Random Thoughts: Integral Payload Fairing Habitats As a Potential Alternative/Competitor to Inflatables?

2009 was a busy year for me. Around the same time that we were slogging away at getting Xombie and Xoie prepped for the Lunar Lander Challenge at Masten, and around the time that the Augustine Committee was trying to … Continue reading

Posted in Bigelow Aerospace, Technology | 16 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 Thought: “Sufficiently Advanced” Propulsion Technology

In many discussions of rocket technology, a skeptic will often make some comment about how things would be so much better if we had Warp Drive. But the reality is that we don’t really need Warp Drive for things to … Continue reading

Posted in Rocket Design Theory, Technology | 14 Comments

Some Blog Post Topics for 2013 (Updated 1/2/13)

Last month, while in the middle of a technical writing project for work, I tweeted a list of a few blog posts I wanted to write sometime in the near future, and asked some friends to nag me occasionally until … Continue reading

Posted in Administrivia, Altius Space Machines, Bigelow Aerospace, Commercial Space, COTS, Excuses for Light Blogging, ISRU, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, MHD Aerobraking and TPS, Space Settlement, Space Transportation, SpaceX, Technology, Venus | 9 Comments

Tooting Someone Else’s Horn: Quest Product Development Corp’s Advanced MLI Technologies

Since I’m not yet ready to talk about some of the neat ideas we have in the hopper at Altius, I figured it might be fun to do some blog posts on some of the cool-but-not-very-well-known space technologies that are … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, Propellant Depots, Technology | 12 Comments

XCOR/ULA Aluminum Rocket Nozzle Announcement

I’ve been too busy to do much blogging lately, but I just saw this on twitter a bit over an hour ago: XCOR and ULA Demonstrate Revolutionary Rocket Engine Nozzle Technology, and wanted to make some comments. First off, I … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Technology | 37 Comments

Variable Gravity Research Facility (xGRF)

For those of you who aren’t reading our ASM Blog, I participated in a panel at the SSI Conference last week in San Jose. Dallas Bienhoff presented the paper we are working on coauthoring, Gary Hudson talked about earth-to-orbit transportation, … Continue reading

Posted in Bigelow Aerospace, Lunar Exploration and Development, NASA, Space Development, Technology | 49 Comments

Hydrogen Based Polymers for Densified Propellant Storage?

I read an interesting article yesterday on Valterri Maja’s blog (Gravity Loss) about a new class of hydrogen-based materials being researched out at the University of Es sen and a few other locations. Apparently they found a method for lining … Continue reading

Posted in Technology | 9 Comments

MHD Aerobraking and Thermal Protection Part III: Aerobraking and Aerocapture

While using electromagnetic effects for atmospheric reentry and thermal protection is interesting, it’s only one of several promising options that have been proposed over the years.  There is another application though, where exploiting magnet-hydrodynamic effects could be a much bigger … Continue reading

Posted in Lunar Commerce, MHD Aerobraking and TPS, Space Transportation, Technology | 16 Comments