Great rundown by Doug Messier of Parabolic Arc on the first two days of the NASA Advisory Council meetings. The full council meets Thursday and Friday.
Scott Johnson with Spaceflight Insider got in touch with SpaceX about the signature sonic booms of Falcon 9.
Included in this round of 13 payloads selected for the Flight Opportunities program is PlanetVac from Honeybee Robotics, flying on a Masten lander. PlanetVac could be an incredible (and wonderfully simple) solution for a sample return mission.
NASA still seems to be somewhat confused in their public statements about what is the SLS’ second flight. The Europa missions have been mandated to fly on SLS no later than 2022, per the FY 2016 budget, but some NASA representatives keep saying EM-2 is on the docket for 2021.
A little bit of a bummer that this is an exclusive agreement, but Orbital ATK should do well with it. These next generation storable propellants are going to be a huge improvement in both performance and spacecraft processing.
Things are starting to heat up surrounding Blue Origin’s orbital plans, and I expect to hear more sometime soon—especially with the BE-4 nearing its full-up test. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Blue Origin enter the competition for the next round of NASA cargo and crew contracts.
Sad to see Nexø I plunge into the Baltic Sea, but they recovered the rocket successfully so it looks like they should get some good data out of this launch.
This kind of autonomy is going to be hugely beneficial, especially when you consider the signal delay between Earth and Mars which is between 4 and 24 minutes.
Robotic satellite servicing is going to be a very interesting (and huge) segment of the industry to watch.
Elon forgot to add “Build a rover for the Mars colony” to this list. After all, Bioweapon Defense Mode sounds like a pretty good thing to have on a planet filled with air that isn’t yet breathable.