“The Department of the Air Force seeks to leverage the current multi-billion dollar commercial investment to develop the largest rockets ever, and with full reusability to develop and test the capability to leverage a commercial rocket to deliver AF cargo anywhere on the Earth in less than one hour, with a 100-ton capacity,” the document states.
SpaceX’s first long-duration astronaut mission is coming to an end, with a Crew Dragon capsule undocking from the International Space Station and headed for a splashdown off the coast of Florida early Sunday (May 2).
Strapped inside the Dragon capsule, called Resilience, are four astronauts who will make the first U.S. night water landing in more than 50 years. The crew, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, is wrapping up a six-month mission to the station.
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.
Mostly involving variants of Who else here thinks SpaceX will be ready for the Moon shot before NASA is? Hell, if SpaceX can get Starship into orbit, somebody might end up saying Why wait? But never mind me: I’m cranky when I haven’t had my dinner. This is cool news.
They launched Falcon 9 to put another sixty satellites in orbit for SpaceX’s full-coverage internet Starlink project. Fun fact: there’s a thousand up there by now (out of a projected forty thousand). Another fun fact: that’s the ninth time the company used that booster.
I may be happier about this than the ongoing work on a no-fooling rocketship. The tests of their heavy rockets are genuinely exciting and fascinating, yes. No argument there. But this stuff with the Falcons is what’s going to end up making space a hell of a lot cheaper to exploit. And I’m very happy that somebody’s doing the tedious work involved.
“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.