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.
Caleb Henry of SpaceNews returns to the show to talk about the OneWeb acquisition and related fallout, Starlink antennas, the ongoing C-band drama including the satellite-buying bonanza, and he helps us understand the FCC-GPS-Ligado situation.
To start, there’s exciting news! My son is due at the end of August, and so I’ll be taking some time off after he arrives. Before that, I wanted to check in on two storylines.
Professional shit-stirrer Dmitry Rogozin made it pretty clear that Russia is not interested in the Artemis Program, while various countries around the world partner with NASA on it. And we’re only a few weeks out from the NSSL Phase 2 awards and there is some related budgetary considerations being debated, so it’s a good time to circle back on that.
NASA recently established the Suborbital Crew office within the Commercial Crew Program, which will focus on developing a plan to fly personnel on suborbital spaceflights. At the same time, Virgin Galactic signed an agreement with NASA to provide private orbital spaceflights to the ISS.
Jake and Anthony are joined by John Johnson. John is an expert on exoplanet research at Harvard University, having done work for NASA on Kepler but also as Principal Investigator for the MINERVA project. He also founded the Banneker Institute at Harvard, an organization dedicated to helping people of color enter astronomy and the subject of our current fundraiser.
Grant Bonin, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Spaceflight joins me to talk about everything they’ve been up to lately, including being acquired, signing deals with SpaceX for rideshares on Starlink missions and on dedicated flights to SSO, signing deals with new launch companies and international providers, and a lot more including manifesting satellites, last-mile services, and about what makes Spaceflight unique.
Mark Wiese, Manager of NASA’s Gateway Deep Space Logistics, joins me to talk about the logistics architecture for Gateway and, specifically, the selection of SpaceX and Dragon XL for missions in the future. He even lets me get really nerdy and responds to some of my complaints and questions from past episodes!
Northrop Grumman was awarded $187 million for the Gateway Habitat design, which caps off NASA’s 2020 budget work for Artemis components. Additionally, Kathy Lueders was named head of human spaceflight at NASA, which is huge and fantastic news. We take a look at the Artemis program’s acquisitions so far and the road ahead under Lueders’ leadership.