September 7, 2018: Weekly Spatial Resolutions

French space
What is this? French space? Bien sur!! 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!

Namibian Youth Takes First Steps to Entering Space

For those constantly pooh-poohing small satellites, this probably won’t change your mind. But then nothing will, right? For the others, this is story shows how a trend is encompassing nations traditionally ignored by space technology. A Namibian student gets a chance to not only further his space engineering education in Japan, but he may eventually get to build and fly a small satellite under Japan’s Joint Global Multi Nation Birds (BIRDS) program.

University space programs, using small satellites to not only introduce students to building satellites but also operate them in space, are sometimes a nation’s first step towards its way to become a space nation.

A Republican breaks with Trump on the ‘space force’ — in private, at first

This is “courage,” in the same way that eliminating the headphone jack on the iPhone is “courage.”

First, saying anything to anyone in this day and age, and then be surprised by it being recorded, is either terrible acting or just being plain dumb.

Second, saying the President has dumb ideas is not risky.

Third, I doubt Vice President Pence will ask this politician for any opinions.

Success in critical communications tests for James Webb Space Telescope

Considering the large amounts of money and the large amount of the JWST’s schedule that has been pushed to the right, this headline should not be surprising.

Sadly, all the other problems with this program makes the headline above newsworthy.

India and France Collaborate on ISRO’s First Human Space Mission Beginning with Space Medicine

France has partnered with India on several space projects, so this makes sense. Since the Indians would like to get three humans into space in four years, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) probably could use the French’s help. That’s an aggressive schedule.

What this won’t probably help is the way India has fallen behind from its own launch tempo. The nation’s space agency has been very, very slow launching this year.

Astronauts could stay at this space ‘motel’ on the way to Mars

Property values in the space immediately around plans for this motel have taken a nosedive :=).

You’ve gotta hand it to Lockheed–the company keeps throwing spaghetti at the wall in the hopes that something gets budgeted for it.

America’s Spaceport Boom Is Outpacing the Need to Go to Space

Let’s clear things up here.

First, the reasons for building a spaceport are important.

  1. Will launch services have to deal with more or less scheduling conflicts at these new spaceports? Answer: it depends.
  2. Will launch services have to worry about range issues, such as air traffic? Answer: it depends.
  3. Will launch services be able to launch satellites into a desirable inclination? Answer: it depends.
  4. Will launch services have to spend more or less money to launch their vehicles from these new spaceports? Answer: unknown.
  5. Are there launch services already waiting for these new spaceports? Answer: no.

Next, is the “Boom” (poor word choice) really outpacing the need to go to space?

  1. Are U.S. rockets generally “cheap enough” to launch? Answer: not yet.
  2. Are current U.S. rockets able to be launched from these new spaceports? Answer: Not really.
  3. Are small satellites being launched more often, or less often? Answer: the data says more.
  4. Are satellite operators waiting for launch service providers to launch their satellites? Answer: yes.
  5. Or are launch service providers waiting on satellite operators to launch the satellites? Answer: no.

There are more questions that could be asked, but the above are the ones that immediately come to mind. There are many, many people who have a “Field of Dreams” mentality when it comes to projects like this, not relying on good supporting data. Some of these spaceport projects might succeed. But in some ways, I don’t think the kinds of questions, such as the ones I’ve just posed above, have been considered.

And to be more clear, the reason why these spaceports are outpacing the number of launches has nothing to do with the need to go to space. Rather, it’s that these spaceports aren’t built with big launch vehicles in mind. A few are built on promises and plans, but have no real launch vehicle ready to use them. There are several good reasons why a company like Rocket Lab decided to open a launch pad on New Zealand’s coast, and not at any of the new spaceports in the United States. Those reasons should be examined.
<h4>Don’t Ignore Ethical Aspects of Planetary Protection, Scientists Say

Because when it comes to ethics, scientists have historically considered ethics important?

SpaceX rockets, space station among fan ideas for future LEGO sets

A Falcon Heavy made from LEGOs??!! Please tell me more.

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