I’m Anthony Colangelo.

I write frequently at Main Engine Cut Off and, occasionally, right here.

Formerly: A List Apart and Cognition.

SpaceX Protests Lucy Launch Contract

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It’ll be endlessly interesting to see how this turns out, but now is precisely the right time for SpaceX to protest an award like this. They’re fresh off their Category 3 certification from the NASA Launch Services Program, they’re on a hell of a roll, and ULA has had quite a few scrubs and some long delays of late.

Thanks to January Patrons

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Very special thanks to the 256 of you out there supporting Main Engine Cut Off on Patreon for the month of January. MECO is entirely listener- and reader-supported, so your support keeps this blog and podcast going, growing, and improving, and most importantly, it keeps it independent.

New Raptor Fires Up

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Musk posted a few tweets last night about it. The best one is the last of the three, which is a video with booming sound. I guess they’re right—things do always test better on Sundays.

Maxar/SSL Cancels DARPA RSGS Satellite Servicing Agreement

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The telling sign here will be whether DARPA pursues a continuation of RSGS with Northrop Grumman, who lost out on the original round of agreements. Northrop Grumman may feel confident enough in their Mission Extension Vehicles and Pods that they don’t need the additional complexity of RSGS, or they may feel like the robotic arm would be a valuable boost to their work.

Wyler’s Wafers

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A $200–300 user terminal like this is the critical technology piece for OneWeb, SpaceX’s Starlink, and the like. Their business case would be near a complete collapse without it.