See, THIS is what I was expecting out of The Future.

It’s not quite right. Yet. But I don’t think I’m getting a Bradbury or Heinlein-style rocketship – self-contained, easy to refuel, and with a turnaround time in hours – until we get a few more iterations of our engines. Or, hey, a reactionless drive, since I’m blue-skying it. But this would do, for my fifties. This would very well do.

Blue Origins lodges complaint with GAO over SpaceX.

It’s about NASA lunar lander contract: “The protest focuses on the decision to award only one company, SpaceX, the lunar lander contract from a three-way competition. Alabama-based Dynetics also had developed a lunar lander for the contest.” (Via Instapundit) …Look, I like Amazon just fine. Amazon Prime, affiliate revenue, it’s my publisher.

But… Blue Origins is a privately funded spaceflight research organization that brings payloads along for the ride, and SpaceX is an unmanned and manned orbital transport enterprise. I have no doubt (and some hopes) that Jeff Bezos will eventually have an extremely profitable company and a fleet of silver rocketships; it’s just that, in the meantime, we’re trying to get back to the moon before I die of old age. Well, that’s maybe not NASA’s specific rationale – but it absolutely should be. I’d have given SpaceX the contract, too: they’ve got direct experience at this point. That includes, again, manned missions.

Moe Lane

Question: Why Does Elon Musk keep doing things like the Cybertruck?

A: Because people keep putting down cash for them.

When Tesla unveiled its new pickup truck last Wednesday, many critics blasted it as ugly and impractical. But despite these criticisms, more than 200,000 people have put down a $100 deposit to reserve a spot in line for the new vehicle, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Sunday.

All-electric designs have helped every Tesla vehicle stand out from its competition, but Tesla’s Cybertruck is unconventional even by Tesla’s standards. Other pickup trucks are boxy, with a square cabin in the front and a flatbed in the back. The Cybertruck has a triangular design that looks a bit like the DeLorean in Back to the Future.

Continue reading Question: Why Does Elon Musk keep doing things like the Cybertruck?

So, how much *should* you sell out for, when it’s Elon Musk?

Background: Elon Musk’s building a spaceport out there in Texas for his Mars rocket — and God DAMN but that’s just an observation that’s chock-full of crystallized awesome — and the retirement community next door is possibly not entirely enthralled with having regular bouts of Rocket Summer. So Musk’s offering three times the appraised value of their houses to buy them out. No fuss, no muss, he’ll even throw in VIP passes to see the rockets go up.

Continue reading So, how much *should* you sell out for, when it’s Elon Musk?

Falcon Heavy rocket brought back with *more* of its pieces.


SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk said Thursday that the company’s recovery fleet in the Atlantic Ocean recovered the two halves of the Falcon Heavy’s payload shroud after the heavy-lifter’s second launch from the Kennedy Space Center. Musk said the company plans to reuse the fairing for the first time later this year.

As Fark Geek noted: recovering the rockets themselves for reuse? Whatever, man. That’s old news at this point. But retrieving and reusing a component that makes up 10% of the launch cost? Yeah, that’s noteworthy. As was the originally rocket recovery, of course, but one gets jaded so quickly, these days.

Underground LA ‘Loop,’ or final touches on supervillain scheme?

You make the call:

Continue reading Underground LA ‘Loop,’ or final touches on supervillain scheme?

SpaceX announces passenger for 2023 moon orbital mission.

Whatever it takes, man.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced Monday night that entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa would be the first private person to fly solo around the moon aboard the company’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) launch vehicle. Maezawa, a 42-year-old from Japan, is a billionaire who founded Zozotown, an online retail shop. The excited future space traveler exclaimed at the event, “I choose to go to the moon.”

Continue reading SpaceX announces passenger for 2023 moon orbital mission.

I have a confession to make about Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches.

Every time he does one and it makes the news it always seems like it’s coming out of a technothriller.  For example:

Back in 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that the founder of SpaceX and Tesla was figuring out how to launch small satellites into space to create a high-speed network with the capability of reaching everyone on the planet.  This week, SpaceX will take a significant step forward in their mission to turn that dream into a reality. The company will be launching two test satellites on February 21, after initial plans to begin on February 17 were delayed to “perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing.”

Continue reading I have a confession to make about Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy test flight today.

Via Geeks Are Sexy, here’s the live feed:

3:10 Eastern Time, which means… not at 3:10 Eastern Time, sorry.  Expect a delay on this launch, because there’s always going to be a delay.  Heck, it might not even launch today.  But if it does, Elon Musk is going try to send a Tesla to Mars.

OK. I’m not particularly enamored of our current self-appointed tech barons.  But I have to give him style points for using a car with ‘Space Oddity’ playing as ballast payload.