Ad Astra

Congratulations to SpaceX on their successful launch of a commercial satellitea few days ago. One small step for access to space for all, not just government bureaucrats.

I just watched a TED Talk by Bill Stone from 2007, who vowed to lead a prospecting expedition to the Shackleton crater on the south pole of the moon, which definitely contains millions of tons of hydrogen, possibly in easy-to-access ice deposits.

Without any return fuel.

That’s my kind of space mission.

Gratuloj je SpaceX, kiu sukcese lanĉis komercan sateliton antaŭ kelkaj tagoj. Unu malgrana paŝo cele al ĉies kosma aliro, ne nur registaraj burokratoj.

Mis ĵus rigardis TED Talk de Bill Stone de 2007, kiu votis estri esploran ekspedicion al la kratero Shackleton je la suda poluso de la luno.

Sen iom da karburaĵo por reveni.

Tian kosmomision mi ŝatus.

Private Enterprise

So now that it seems that Nasa’s new spacecraft designs are in such bad shape as to be unsuitable for their stated purpose of returning to the moon, it seems more and more likely that private companies like SpaceX are the future of space travel.

SpaceX has just announced a long-duration uncrewed version of its Dragon capsule that can be used as a little mini space station. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they were working on designs for getting to the moon and beyond.

Of course this all depends on the Falcon 9 being proven as a reliable launch vehicle. The Falcon 1 is one for four at the moment, so there’s still a ways to go.

Rocket Staging

Well, the past week has been pretty eventful; we sold our 650-square-foot condo and have bought a 1400-square-foot townhouse in Richmond, BC. And we’re moving in just over 3 weeks, so the craziness is like to continue.

I’ve even been too busy to note last Saturday’s SpaceX launch and subsequent failure of their 3rd Falcon 1 rocket. Turns out that the new engine they were testing burned a little longer than they expected after shutdown, and the first stage bumped into the second stage after they separated. Which is disappointing, but an easy fix — just separate a bit later after main engine cutoff.

There’s even a video, which is pretty darn cool.

SpaceX say that they might launch another rocket in a month or so. I’m a huge space geek, so of course I’m hoping that the fourth time will be the charm.