Behind Today’s Contentious FCC Spectrum Auction
Fantastic article by Debra Werner, for SpaceNews, that explains the furor over today’s FCC spectrum auction.
Space Development Agency Officially Established
The Space Development Agency is up and running, and we have some details on what its first task will be. And this is all a really good example of why I’m supportive of Space Force as a wholly separate branch.
Episode T+114: EM-1 Hot Drama with Eric Berger
Eric Berger of Ars Technica joins me to talk about the latest in SLS Hot Drama: the 2020 budget request and a Bridenstine appearance in the Senate that might just go down in history. This week, NASA has proposed flying the three prime missions of SLS on commercial vehicles, setting the stage for an interesting few months of politics and engineering, and introducing some serious questions about the future of SLS.
NASA’s SLS Pushback Continues
Within the span of 3 days, NASA has officially, publicly stated that they want all previously-SLS-only flights flown on commercial vehicles. This is a massive shift, and as I said yesterday, one that will probably be rejected by Congress.
NASA 2020 Budget Request
In the current era, White House budget requests often don’t matter much in the outcome of NASA’s budget, but they do speak volumes about the administration’s intentions.
Audacy signs MOU with ICEYE
I’m not big on MOUs, but Audacy is one of the most exciting up-and-comers in space today, so it’s worth noting when they sign something with a potential customer.
Episode 17 - Larry from Boeing
Tim Dodd, the Everyday Astronaut, joins Jake and Anthony to talk about DM-1, the future of the ISS, Shuttle and Starship aborts, and imagine what Boeing livestreams will look like.
Air Force Secretary Wilson Stepping Down
Seemed like the writing was on the wall back in October, but now it’s actually happening.
SpaceX’s First Dedicated Starlink Launch Set for May
The downrange distance for landing suggests that the launch will carry quite a payload.
Stark Contrast Between NASA Directorates Put On Display
The differences in how the Science directorate and Exploration directorate are managed—politically and internally—are striking.
Maxar Keeps SSL, Lays Off 4%
Caleb Henry wrote an extensive update on Maxar’s rough patch.
Incredible Video of Hayabusa2’s Sample Acquisition
I can’t stop watching this video—especially how the debris scatters in low gravity.
Thanks to February Patrons
Very special thanks to the 261 of you out there supporting Main Engine Cut Off on Patreon for the month of February. 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.
Episode T+113: Q&A
This month, we talk the GEO slowdown, the LEO boom, and as always, take on some fun launch vehicle questions.
Canada Commits to Lunar Gateway, Canadarm3
We all knew Canada would contribute Canadarm3 to the Gateway, but it is politically important for NASA to have this stated commitment. Unfortunately, Canadarm2 and the ISS will be operating until 2030, sucking up most of the time, money, and attention.
Senate Bill Introduced for ISS Extension to 2030, Human Space Settlement Amendment
I am very supportive of the human space settlement amendment, but 11 more years of ISS makes me woozy.
Episode T+112: SLC-20, SPD-4, and a Soyuz Soapbox
Firefly Aerospace is taking over Space Launch Complex 20, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive-4, and NASA is looking to buy more Soyuz seats, even though they always say it’s too late to do that.
Episode T+111: SpaceX, the Established Launch Provider
A tale of politics, protests, and contracts tells the story of how SpaceX is in transition—and maybe has already transitioned—from a scrappy upstart to an established launch provider.
Air Force Awards EELV Phase-1A-6 Contracts
Big news from the Air Force, with 3 launch contracts going to each provider for the 2021–22 timeframe.