I’m Anthony Colangelo.

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

Formerly: A List Apart and Cognition.

Let’s Make Space Better

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We’ve put together a fundraiser with the help of our Off-Nominal Discord community to benefit two fantastic organizations that are helping make our space industry a better place: Black Girls Code and the Banneker Institute at Harvard.

Thank You to May Supporters!

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Very special thanks to the 414 of you out there supporting Main Engine Cut Off for the month of May. 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.

Great Moment Theory, Representation, and Role Models

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Though NASA and its projects provide a source of hope through scientific advancement and inspiration, those things can often feel unreachable to many of us. However, the platform it provides for representation and for role models to step forward into the public eye is hugely important.

Northrop Grumman Receives $2.37 Billion Contract for OPIR Development and Procurement

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Roper has been the chair of the Space Acquisition Council, which has been trying to find ways to get funding out into the industry during the pandemic to help contractors of all sizes. They’ve moved much slower than I would have expected when hearing about the Council in the early days, but seems like the news will start flowing now. Starting with what is essentially advancing funds that were already planned is nice, but I’m expecting to see some splashier funding setups soon enough.

First Two Gateway Elements to Launch Together

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The decision was primarily communicated as a way to eliminate technical risk and complexity, but it certainly plays well on the political and budgetary side of things, too. The convergence of political factors this year are a nightmare for NASA’s budget outlook, not to mention the federal budget generally.

Thank You to April Supporters!

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Very special thanks to the 402 of you out there supporting Main Engine Cut Off for the month of April. 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.

SpaceX Posts Lengthy Starlink Visibility Update

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Coinciding with a presentation to an astrophysics decadal survey committee meeting, SpaceX posted a bunch of information (and really nice visualizations of Starlink satellites) about what they’re doing to work with astronomers on the visibility issue. It’s wonderful to have this amount of information put in one place, straight from the source.