DoD/SpaceX talks for suborbital cargo delivery.

I have had it explained to me that my first attempt to call this a backdoor way to get to an ‘assault shuttle‘ was, at absolute best, horribly optimistic. So be it. Still cool:

The U.S. military command that oversees logistics operations has signed an agreement with SpaceX and XArc to study the use of space launch vehicles to transport supplies in an emergency.

Army Gen. Stephen Lyons, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, announced the agreement Oct. 7 at a National Defense Transportation Association virtual conference. 

“Think about moving the equivalent of a C-17 payload anywhere on the globe in less than an hour,” Lyons said. The C-17 is a very large military cargo plane capable of transporting a 70-ton main battle tank.

Why, yes. Yes, I have thought about the potentialities. …Which are going to remain potentialities, at least until they figure out how to launch missions where it doesn’t take months to plan everything out. Damn you, objective reality. Damn you.

Via Instapundit.

Tweet of the Day, The Dragon Has Landed edition.

Sometimes, the 21st Century has its moments.

SpaceX continues on with space corvette tests.

Oops, did I type out that in the title? I meant ‘space tourist vessel.’ Silly me:

SpaceX just fired the engine of its latest Starship prototype, paving the way for a test flight in the near future.

The company conducted a “static fire” test of Starship SN5 today (July 30), letting its single Raptor engine blaze while the vehicle remained tethered to the ground at SpaceX’s South Texas facilities, near the village of Boca Chica.

Continue reading SpaceX continues on with space corvette tests.

SpaceX lights the candle May 27th.

I think that Shepard’s Prayer is appropriate at this moment:

NASA gave the green light on Friday to next week’s launch of two astronauts aboard a SpaceX vessel—the first crewed space flight from US soil in nine years and a crucial step towards ending American dependence on Russian rockets.

Top officials at the US space agency and Elon Musk’s company had been meeting since Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for final checks of the Crew Dragon space capsule ahead of its maiden May 27 crewed mission.

I kind of need this to work. I don’t think I have to explain why, right? I need it to work, and I really want a private company doing the work, too. Here’s praying that it does.

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

Nice:

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.

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.




Falcon Heavy’s central core booster did not survive reentry.

That’s a shame, but this is how you learn:

Elon Musk said on a conference call with reporters that the launch “seems to have gone as well as one could have hoped with the exception of center core. The center core obviously didn’t land on the drone ship” and he said that “we’re looking at the issue.” Musk says that the core ran out of propellant, which kept the core from being able to slow down as much as it needed for landing. Because of that, the core apparently hit the water at 300MPH, and it was about 100 meters from the ship. “It was enough to take out two thrusters and shower the deck with shrapnel,” Musk said. That should be worth seeing on video: “We have the video,” Musk confirmed, “it sounds like some pretty fun footage… if the cameras didn’t get blown up as well.”

Continue reading Falcon Heavy’s central core booster did not survive reentry.




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.