I’m Anthony Colangelo.

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

Formerly: A List Apart and Cognition.

Vandenberg’s Lull is California’s Problem

Main Engine Cut Off

The big problem is that it’s painful to get established at Vandenberg because of the environment the state has created there. Head to Cape Canaveral, and Space Florida will actively throw money your way. Head to Vandenberg, and you better watch where you step.

Firefly, IAI to Partner on Beresheet-Derived Lander

Main Engine Cut Off

If the tips I picked up previously about Firefly using Intuitive Machines’ lander were accurate, this is a curious change. The Beresheet-derived lander is probably quite a few years out, though, as the mockups show it stacked on top of a Firefly Beta and it needs that kind of lift to get to the Moon.

Virgin Orbit Drops LauncherOne

Main Engine Cut Off

There hasn’t been much info released about the drop test, but apparently it went well. There still are a few issues to iron out, mostly surrounding the payload environment before it drops off the plane’s wing. Turns out planes vibrate a lot.

Acting Air Force Secretary Weighs In on Space Force Debate

Main Engine Cut Off

Sandra Erwin published an enlightening interview with Matt Donovan, Acting Air Force Secretary, where he shares his thoughts on the Space Force debate publicly for the first time. It’s a notable interview because he was the undersecretary of the Air Force for the past two years, yet we heard nothing from him through that time.

NASA Awards IXPE Launch to SpaceX for $50.3 Million

Main Engine Cut Off

Boy, is that inexpensive. IXPE is just a few hundred kilograms and is going to a 0° inclination orbit, so Falcon 9 could fit a bit more payload aboard, but not much. I’m going to guess that it will fly solo, and take the title away from FORMOSAT 5 for lightest payload flown by Falcon 9.

Thanks to June Patrons

Main Engine Cut Off

Very special thanks to the 289 of you out there supporting Main Engine Cut Off on Patreon for the month of June. 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.

Apollo, GAMBIT, and UPWARD

Main Engine Cut Off

If you’re into quirky space history, Dwayne Day wrote an incredible article for The Space Review this week on a NASA/NRO collaboration that never saw the light of day, nor was known about until now.