Category Archives: ULA

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part VI: Roving Depots

In the last post in this series, I discussed the idea of large-scale depots for human spaceflight applications, which operate in fixed, low-orbits. While the final post in this series will investigate human spaceflight depots that operate in fixed higher … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, ISRU, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NASA, NEOs, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, ULA, Venus | 6 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part V: Human Spaceflight Fixed Depots (Low-Orbit)

For this next depot taxonomy post, we’ll finally be talking about what people usually think about when they hear the term orbital propellant depot — larger, cryogenic refueling facilities, focused on enabling large-scale human spaceflight missions, performed by a diverse … Continue reading

Posted in Blue Origin, Commercial Space, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NEOs, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, RLV Markets, Space Development, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, Venus | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

An Updated Propellant Depot Taxonomy Part IV: Smallsat Launcher Refueling Depots

After a brief hiatus, I’d like to continue this series with the type of depot I’ve spent the most time thinking about over the last several years, and the first type of depot that really fits the mold of what … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Exploration, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA, Venus | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

FISO Telecon Lecture on LEO Propellant Depots for Interplanetary Smallsat Launch

Today I gave a lecture on the Future In-Space Operations Telecon Series on the idea of using LEO propellant depots for interplanetary smallsat missions. Here’s a link to the archive page, which has both the presentation itself and an .mp3 … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, Lunar Commerce, Mars, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Transportation, SpaceX, ULA | 6 Comments

AAS Paper Review: RAAN Agnostic 3-Burn Departure Methodology for Deep Space Missions from LEO Depots (Part 2 of 2)

Ok, picking up where the first part left off, we’ve reviewed the background, methodology, and some general observations on the methodology from our RAAN-agnostic 3-burn departure paper. In this part, I want to go over an interplanetary launch campaign concept … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Space, International Space Collaboration, International Space Competition, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Exploration and Development, Mars, NEOs, Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Transportation, Technology, ULA, Venus | 5 Comments

AAS Paper Review: Practical Methodologies For Low Delta-V Penalty, On-Time Departures To Arbitrary Interplanetary Destinations From A Medium-Inclination Low-Earth Orbit Depot

I’d like to share a technical paper about propellant depots and interplanetary mission orbital dynamics that I helped co-author this past year, with the help of two of my astrogator friends, Mike Loucks and John Carrico of Space Exploration Engineering … Continue reading

Posted in Orbital Dynamics, Propellant Depots, Space Transportation, ULA | 12 Comments

Random Thoughts/Rocket Legos: Masten Xephr as a Vulcan SRB Replacement?

I’m sick at home today, so had extra time to think about fun technical concepts, so here’s an interesting one to think about. Right now, ULA’s plans for Vulcan include using expendable Orbital ATK GEM 63XL sold strapon boosters to … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, MSS, Random Thoughts, Rocket Legos, ULA | 7 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

Random Thoughts: ACES/EUS Public Private Partnership Idea

A few years ago, I did a “Random Thoughts” blog post about synergies between the proposed ACES stage and the proposed SLS upper stage. Now, I’m still not the world’s biggest SLS fan, and I’m still not a fan of … Continue reading

Posted in Launch Vehicles, NASA, Random Thoughts, ULA | 10 Comments