Last week, IAC 2020 brought a flurry of announcements and statements to digest. It’s a good time to check in on current and future lunar politics, with some statements by the ever-antagonistic Rogozin, seven countries signing onto the Artemis Accords, a handful of lunar development contracts announced, and the US election within sight.
The Space Development Agency has selected L3Harris and SpaceX to produce satellites for a missile warning constellation. I break down the details of the SDA project, the technical aspects, and what it means to see SpaceX enter the world of satellite manufacturing and sales.
I’m back after a few wonderful weeks offline with my newly-arrived son, Will! I figured I’d jump back in with a rundown of the important and notable bits of news that happened while I was gone.
With Anthony off on parental leave, Jake is joined by guest host Emilee Speck and guests Anna and Henna from But It Is Rocket Science to talk about making space podcasts and Life on Venus?!
Jake and Anthony are joined by Loren Grush to catch up on a wild few weeks—from VR tours of spaceships, the Doug Loverro situation, Mars mayhem, Starship hops, and of course, the DM-2 boating fiasco.
There have been a ton of recent updates from commercial small launch companies, like increased payload mass and volume from Rocket Lab, contracts and funding from ABL, solved vibration issues from Virgin Orbit, and a few others. With a handful of vehicles on the verge of their first launch, it’s a good time to take a higher-level look at these competitors.
The long-awaited news is finally here! ULA and SpaceX have won the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 launch contracts from the US Department of Defense, which leaves Blue Origin’s New Glenn and Northrop Grumman’s OmegA out in the cold. I talk through what this means for each company and launch vehicle, and where things will go from here on all sides of the issue.
Phillip Hargrove, a Launch Vehicle Trajectory Analyst at NASA joins me to talk about NASA’s Launch Services Program. We discuss how LSP interacts with mission teams like Mars 2020 Perseverance, launch providers like United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, and what kind of work they tackle in their unique role tying it all together.
Jake and Anthony are joined by Lord British himself, Richard Garriott de Cayeux. Richard is a storied video game designer/developer, an entrepreneur, an astronaut who flew to the ISS for a week, and an adventurer with so many tales it’s hard to keep up. Richard is also the son of Owen Garriott, a NASA astronaut who flew on Skylab II and STS-9.
Richard joins us to talk about growing up as the son of an astronaut, to tell tales of spaceflight and undersea adventures, to ruminate on the commercial spaceflight industry, and to blow our minds with stories of dodgy Russian safety protocols.
Also, our fundraiser is over and we’ve made a significant impact on two organizations working hard to bring racial equity to STEM and space. We raised nearly $35,000!
Two members of the Astrobotic team join me for a conversation: Laura Klicker, Payload Systems Management Lead, and Daniel Gillies, Mission Director for the Griffin/VIPER mission. We talk about Astrobotic’s first Peregrine mission coming up next year, the very exciting VIPER mission to the south pole of the Moon in 2023, payload management across multiple flights, the technical aspects of their various vehicles, and a whole lot more.