Category Archives: Technical

The Apollo Guidance Computer

In researching my previous post, I talked about the delta-vs planned for Apollo 8. In the Apollo Flight Journal, there’s commentary breaking down the items that were entered for each maneuver. They were all handled by the Apollo Guidance Computer. … Continue reading

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Orion can’t Enter Lunar Orbit in its Current Design

Recently, I found out Jeff Bell has hit a lot of the same ennui that I have, only he expressed it in an interview on The Space Show. He said many things that I agree with, and I hope he’s … Continue reading

Posted in Humans to Anywhere, Near Earth Objects, Technical | Leave a comment

Another Attempt at Satellite Mass Production

Iridium was one of the darlings of the New Space era of the 1990s. It was going to revolutionize communications by letting people talk around the world with one phone. The program broke new ground in satellite manufacturing, as almost … Continue reading

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Major Roadblock to High Flight Tempo: The Range

Looks like a fire in one of the downrange RADAR units has shut down the range for a couple flights, including SpaceX’s next station delivery and booster return demonstration. This is something that has to get fixed if we’re going … Continue reading

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Walking back Propellant Cross-Feeding?

I’m thinking of building a model of Falcon Heavy, and was looking at the SpaceX website to get some dimensions. The Falcon Heavy web page has a fairly involved description of systems involved, and in it, it talks about how … Continue reading

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Big day for Commercial Space!

Yesterday, one major event took place and another was announced. In the first, SpaceX launched the SES-8 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit. Taking place on the third attempt, this second flight of the v1.1 Falcon 9 overcame the second stage … Continue reading

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Budgetary Realities at NASA Driving Difficult Choices

Plutonium-powered Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) are the most practical way to power spacecraft that are going to explore the outer solar system. They’ve also proven to be useful on Mars, where the Curiosity rover uses the constant power and waste … Continue reading

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The Future of Spaceflight, Potentially seen in one Image

SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell showed this image at a conference in New Mexico. It shows an intact Falcon 9 v1.1 1st stage approaching the water. When I look at the picture, I see engines firing in an attempt to softly land, … Continue reading

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Some old Friends Appear Again

Whenever I hear about asteroid missions or retrievals, I look at the lists for some of the asteroids I researched in my early work. In this latest study searching for asteroids that work well for NASA’s asteroid retrieval mission the … Continue reading

Posted in Asteroids, My Past, Near Earth Objects, Technical | Leave a comment

Should have Taken a Screen Grab!

NASA announced the completion of SLS‘s Preliminary Design Review, a mandatory step in any development where a lot of outside experts are brought in to review the work done so far. After that data review, there’s a series of presentations … Continue reading

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