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Anthony Colangelo

I’m Anthony Colangelo.

I host Main Engine Cut OffThe Multilogue, and Quirks and Compulsions.

T+42: Blue Origin Introduces New Glenn

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This week, Blue Origin shed some more light on New Glenn—by way of an animation, launch agreements, and a talk by Jeff Bezos at Satellite 2017—and the first fully-assembled BE-4 shipped to their test site in Texas for a hot firing. I discuss the new details we learned and how New Glenn will fit into the industry in the 2020s.

T+41: EM-1 Follow-up, Dragon 2-Falcon Heavy to the Moon

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This week is all about #hotdrama, with two surprise media briefings: one from NASA on a potential crewed EM-1, and one from SpaceX on a privately-crewed journey around the Moon—riding on a Dragon 2 and Falcon Heavy—at the end of 2018. I discuss the implications of both, and go on a rant about SpaceX and “focus.” This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 5 executive producers—Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, and one anonymous—and 34 other supporters on Patreon.

T+40: The Potentially Infamous EM-1 Memo

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Robert Lightfoot, the Acting NASA Administrator, sent a memo to the agency on the possibility of putting a crew on EM-1. I discuss the potential fallout from this idea and where the SLS/Orion program may be heading in the future.

T+39: Opportunities for Private Companies within Government Programs

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This week, NASA officially announced that NanoRacks will be adding an airlock onto the International Space Station to add capabilities and capacity to their already-up-and-running business. That announcement, along with some early insight into NASA policy in 2017, got me thinking about commercial opportunities within government programs, beyond Commercial Cargo and Crew.

T+38: 2017 NASA Transition Authorization Act Speculation

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Marcia Smith of SpacePolicyOnline.com saw a draft of the 2017 NASA Transition Authorization Act, and it contains some very interesting changes from the 2016 version that bounced around Congress last year. I discuss what some of these changes may mean in the light of Commercial Crew delays, NASA RFIs regarding SLS and Orion, and continued Russian reliability issues.

T+37: Government Subsidies, Private Capability, and the 2010 National Space Policy

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Four members of the House of Representatives sent letters to DARPA and the Pentagon this week to file a complaint about a program in conflict with the 2010 National Space Policy. It’s a situation reminiscent of the debate over commercial use of retired ICBMs as low-cost launch vehicles, except this time, Orbital ATK is on the other side. I discuss the current issues and how their resolution may affect future policy decisions.

T+35: NASA Policy Grab Bag

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While we don’t yet have hard details on which direction NASA programs are headed during the Trump administration, we have started to get some hints. The leadership of the Congressional subcommittees that NASA depends on will be largely unchanged, and Boeing and SpaceX were each promised 4 more Commercial Crew flights. I also talk a little bit about how the Air Force One and F-35 situations apply to NASA programs.

T+33: SpaceX’s Commercial Crew Delay, Fueling Process Approved, and the Inmarsat-Falcon Heavy Situation

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Inmarsat, under regulatory pressure to get flying, decided to take a mid-2017 launch slot on Ariane 5, moving away from Falcon Heavy. Everyone thinks it’s a big deal, but for the wrong reason. And SpaceX’s Commercial Crew flights have been delayed, but we did find out that NASA’s Safety Technical Review Board approved their plan to load crew before fueling. That is a big deal.