Eric Berger of Ars Technica returns to the show to talk about NASA selecting SpaceX’s Starship for its Artemis landings, Bill Nelson’s nomination hearing, Amazon buying 9 Atlas V launches for Kuiper, and the state of Blue Origin.
NASA selected SpaceX’s Starship as its ride for crew to the lunar surface as part of the Artemis program. As the Source Selection Statement outlines, Starship was selected as the sole winner because of the constrained lander budget. It’s an aggressive, interesting, and exciting move from NASA, so I have a lot of thoughts.
President Biden nominated Bill Nelson to be the new NASA Administrator, so I check in on some of my past thoughts on NASA Administrators and Jim Bridenstine, talk about Bill Nelson’s history in space policy, and what the future may hold under a Bill Nelson NASA.
Our good friend Jake Robins, host of WeMartians and my cohost on Off-Nominal, joins me to talk about the arrival and early operations of the 2021 Mars fleet—Hope, Tianwen-1, and Perseverance. Then we dig into what the future of Martian exploration looks like, including strategy, communications, sample return, and the upcoming decadal survey.
Leo Enright, the guy from Irish TV, joins Jake and Anthony to talk about covering space from a non-traditional space country, how he got started covering space, some current topics including Perseverance, ESA’s new Director General, and to generally have a great time.
Peter Beck, Founder, CEO, and CTO of Rocket Lab, joins me to talk about going public, their new, bigger launch vehicle, Neutron, updates to their Electron and Photon offerings, eating hats, and avoiding eating hats in the future.
Relativity sorta-announced a bigger launch vehicle, Terran R. A few days later, Rocket Lab really announced a bigger launch vehicle, Neutron. I hate one announcement, and love the other.
SpaceX broke their turnaround record and is racking up quite the flight history across their Falcon fleet. Lockheed selected ABL for a launch from the Shetland Islands. Firefly shook up their board, is looking for new investment, and won a CLPS contract from NASA.
Christian Davenport, reporter at The Washington Post, joins me to talk about the aborted SLS Green Run hot fire, the space policy landscape as we enter a new administration, Axiom’s Ax-1 mission and its crew, and Virgin Orbit’s first successful launch to orbit.
With our beloved JB on his way out, Jake and Anthony have been appointed NASA autocrats for five years with $25 billion per year to spend. They have done the homework, mostly, and will now unveil their grand plans.