Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mars Plans Leaking out

Not a huge surprise for those who’ve been paying attention, but Elon said in a speech that SpaceX’s Mars craft will fly by burning methane. It has the advantages of higher specific impulse than kerosene at an easier storage temperature … Continue reading

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You can have on in any color, as long as it’s black

Popular Mechanics talks about how mass-produced satellites may revolutionize the space industry. Such price reductions only make place if launch costs can be knocked down because, let’s face it, if you’re going to spend $400M to launch something, does it … Continue reading

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Curiosity’s Worst-kept Secret

So, what’s the big announcement going to be?

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Rand Simberg and Space Safety

Earlier this year, Rand Simberg of Transterrestrial Musings fame, ran a Kickstarter project to write a paper about our irrational approach to space safety. He’s mostly finished the paper, but it’s gotten so long that he wants to publish it … Continue reading

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This is the way the World Almost Ended…

New interpretations of some astronomical observations made in 1883. It’s possible that the Earth had a grazing pass with a breaking-up comet.

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Considering a second edition of Space: What Now? released as an e-book. It’ll require at least another chapter, and I’ll get a chance to correct some of the errors I made. Probably put it on Amazon for a buck or … Continue reading

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More Details on SpaceX’s Flight

Lots of discussion about radiation upsets, where there’s talk of designing to be forgiving of radiation upsets rather than taking the performance hits from using radhard components. I’ll be very curious to see how this architecture works outside of Earth’s … Continue reading

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No Methane (Yet)

Given several previous studies that showed methane on Mars in higher concentrations than should be, one of Curiosity’s instruments was built to sense methane on the surface. So far, no dice, but with continued funding something is bound to show … Continue reading

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A Non-Controversial Self Portrait

While politicians have gotten into trouble taking pictures of themselves, I don’t think Curiosity’s will cause a flap.

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Switching to Earth-Day Schedules

Like the teams supporting Spirit and Opportunity in the past, the control team for Curiosity started out working shifts around a 24 hour and 40 minute day, like the day/night cycle on Mars. This has the odd effect on Earth … Continue reading

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