Monthly Archives: April 2016

Fundamental cost of putting stuff in orbit: theoretical minimum vs RLV

What is the minimum energy of orbit, and how does that compare to the energy in a chemical rocket’s propellant? Accessing a 150km LEO orbit requires first the energy to get to 150km. That’s roughly (in Energy/mass, or J/kg, aka … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

SpaceX Amateur Business Case Study

There have been several times in recent weeks that people either in person or on the internet have speculated about SpaceX’s finances and business model. In some cases the speculations have been that SpaceX is pricing their Falcon 9 below … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Commercial Crew, Commercial Space, COTS, Launch Vehicles, SpaceX | 45 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 | 18 Comments

New (?) ideas for utilizing space for business: hypergravity for athletic training

(Note, I had previously written this along with the isotope separation, but wanted to give that idea a chance for discussion first.) Another possible use for hypergravity is for training humans. A big 2-gee facility on Earth would be expensive … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

How Relevant is New Shepard to Orbital Launch?

With Blue Origin’s successful launches and recoveries of New Shepard starting just about six months ago, there have been many people questioning how relevant it is to future orbital launch vehicles. Some of this seems to be honest curiosity about … Continue reading

Posted in Blue Origin, Launch Vehicles | 19 Comments

New (?) ideas for utilizing space for business: hypergravity for isotopic enrichment

One night, as I was putting my daughter to bed and waiting for her to fall asleep, I tried to think of some new markets for space utilization. We often hear about attempts to find industrial uses for microgravity for … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 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

Sea Launch Sold

I read just yesterday that Sea Launch has been sold. Then I get an email last night that this post from August 2014 inspired the purchase that solidified when SpaceX was able to recover on land the first try after … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments