Category Archives: Space Exploration

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy

After way too many years in the wilderness, the concept of orbital propellant depots and in-space refueling in general, are finally beginning to be taken seriously again in public circles. A couple of examples include: Elon’s announcement that he is … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NASA, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, Venus | Leave a comment

On Avoiding Some of the Mistakes of Apollo

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. With a blog named Selenian Boondocks, I figured it probably made sense for me to say something. Earlier this year, thanks to some good advice from several friends, I … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, COTS, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Policy, Space Settlement | 21 Comments

Random Thoughts: First Pass Analysis of a White Dragon/Xeus Lunar Sortie Mission

After yesterday’s SpaceX announcement of having booked two customers for a Apollo-8 style mission around the Moon and back, using Falcon Heavy and Dragon V2, I got thinking about ways to take the next step in lunar tourism–surface missions. Now, … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Propellant Depots, Random Thoughts, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, YHABFT | 51 Comments

SpaceX Mars Plans: Jon’s First Take

I’ve had a lot of friends ping me today about my thoughts on Elon’s Mars talk today. I was in a meeting when it happened, and literally was pinged by half a dozen people during the meeting… Now that I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, ISRU, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Commerce, Mars, NASA, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Settlement, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, Venus | 60 Comments

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes: Part 0–An Elevator Pitch for the Moon

[Note: After getting a few posts into this series on the “how” of alternative lunar transportation concepts, I realized that some commenters were asking about why we should even be going to the Moon, or what we’d be doing there. … Continue reading

Posted in ISRU, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Lunar Transportation Schemes, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Settlement | 15 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

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 | 14 Comments

Random Thought: Simulating Mars Speed-of-Light Delays on ISS

[Note: I’m almost positive this isn’t a new idea, but I figured I would share it, just in case.] One of the many concerns with deep-space human spaceflight missions, is that all of NASA’s experience has been with missions close … Continue reading

Posted in Lunar Exploration and Development, NASA, NEOs, Space Exploration | 16 Comments

Top 10 Reasons Why Something ARM-like Is Worth Doing

[Up-front Disclaimer: My space startup is being paid under the Asteroid Redirect Mission BAA to do a study contract on one possible way to do the Option B mission. Even though we’re not dependent on follow-on work, I figured it … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Crew, International Space Collaboration, ISRU, Lunar Exploration and Development, NASA, NEOs, Space Development, Space Exploration | 25 Comments

Random Thoughts: Inspiration Venus?

This morning, Grant Bonin (of the UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory) sent me a very interesting JBIS paper from about 6 years ago, discussing a manned-flyby/robotic-telepresence expedition to Venus. In light of the Venus ISRU series, I thought it worth doing … Continue reading

Posted in Space Exploration, Venus | 6 Comments