June 8, 2018: Weekly Spatial Resolutions

Stark China Man
Because a Iron Man from China somehow works. This site contains my opinions and ideas only, not the opinions or ideas of any organization I work for. It’s my idea playground, and I’m inviting you in. Welcome!

What is “Too little, Too late” for $100, Alex?

Some Russians think a reusable rocket may be useful. It’s true! It’s in this article: Russia’s advanced technology fund says it will begin testing a reusable rocket to rival SpaceX by 2020.

Or maybe not: Russia may lack the funds to compete with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. So, now a Russian makes the argument that developing a competitor to the Falcon 9 makes no sense–because there are no payloads for a Russian rocket with similar capability. Maybe these guys should really talk with SpaceX before they go with that decision.

That would be something, though, if the Russians actually built a reusable rocket to rival a Falcon 9, wouldn’t it? Especially with no bribes or putting aside of money to make sure Uncle Vlad gets his crystal-encrusted Mercedes. Uncle Vlad dresses like an adult, unlike the fellow pictured in the link.

Worst. Idea. Ever?

What do you get when you combine a Ford Pinto and a Koenigsegg Agera? The linked post above is asking something similar by suggesting SpaceX and Boeing would be the bestest BFF’s to get to Mars. You know, kind of like suggesting that Luke Skywalker should join Darth Vader and the Dark Side of the Force.

Hint: SpaceX is not the Pinto.

Don’t listen to the previous guy…

…the French do have a plan for reusability, and the linked post serves as a reminder of those plans. ArianeGroup’s Charmeau said reusability might be considered during his lamentation against SpaceX’s influence on the launch service market. The two French gentlemen in the linked post show a more nuanced understanding of what needs to happen. There are even PowerPoint slides. It’s heartening to see disagreement about which way to go with launch in France. That means at least they’re talking about it, right?

The Motley Fool also highlighted the two different messages coming from the CEO and from his own company. I wonder how long ArianeGroup will allow him to remain? The Motley Fool also posted some of the reasons why SpaceX is charging a little bit more for military and government launches. People call it the FAR, but other, more cynical types, call the reason military/government CYA.

Space Race: China Releases Plans to Build a New Space Station

“Many Bothans died to bring us this information.”

The Raptor engine, plus thirty other Raptors, will be what powers the Big “Falcon” Rocket’s first stage. It will be, potentially, what powers people to Mars. So, it’s important to SpaceX’s plans, and this story steps a through a short history of the engine’s slow emergence to the public. If 31 engines sound like a lot, it is, but then SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy last February–and that had 27 engines in total on its first stage boosters.

Fun Fact: The failed Soviet N1 rocket sits right between the Falcon Heavy and BFR, at 30 engines. It never succeeded, even though the USSR’s engineers where slowly figuring out why things weren’t working.

NASA’s priorities appear to be out of whack with what the public wants

This post is about a Pew Research Center survey. The survey compares what NASA thinks is a priority, and what regular people think NASA’s priority should be. These priorities don’t match–at all. The upshot is–maybe NASA needs to very carefully think about the future of its Space Launch System.

Under the Heading of “Writing Checks Your Company Can’t Cash”

I think Elon does a great job of not rolling his eyes at silly statements. Especially statements from a CEO whose company had the resources, people, and money to get folks to Mars about three decades ago. He suddenly believes his company has the will and money to get his company’s spacecraft to Mars first: Elon Musk Offers Simple Retort After Boeing Says It’ll Beat Him to Mars. Musk’s response is appropriate. Again.

Are there no fishbone-diagrams? Are there no risk-matrix reviews? Orion’s teams are sure to encounter those pleasant processes and others in excruciating bullet-time. Although, it would be cool if Boeing could pull it off.

This must be something to see!

When an article compares the debris-strewn areas of Kazakhstan to Jakku, it might be worth investigating. China isn’t the only country to launch rockets from land-locked spaceports. Russia started it all, and the article linked above talks about the space junk raining down on the land from launches out of Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. And some people make a business out of scavenging that junk.

Whatever Happened to China’s Space “Iron Man?”

Yes–just for fun. Three years ago, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) showed off a robot that looks uncannily similar to a certain armor developed by Marvel Comic’s Tony Stark. The robot was to be used on land probes and in one of China’s space stations.

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