Category Archives: NASA

A Diary in Space

I recently read a fascinating book – a diary of a man who spent about a year on a space station. In his journal, he expresses his excitement about learning to live and work in space. He’s proud of the … Continue reading

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What drives me nuts about “The Martian”

“The Martian:” Yeah, Martian dust storms are nothing. Yeah, Rich Purnell could’ve explained his maneuver to the NASA top brass with about six acronyms and the phrase “gravity assist.” Yeah, real-life-JPL has almost nothing to do with human space exploration. And … Continue reading

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Space programs are not ambitious enough

This week, NASA announced the selection of nine instruments for a proposed mission to Europa. Europa is probably the best place we know about to find alien life, and the discovery of alien life would surely be an achievement rivaling the … Continue reading

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How to Get to Mars

NASA wants to go to Mars. Great! The approach, as the agency has been publicizing with fancy graphics like the one below, seems to consist of the following: Send astronaut Scott Kelly to the International Space Station for one year, … Continue reading

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Space to get excited about

Last month, NASA repeated an accomplishment they first checked off in 1964 – with some few improvements hardly worthy of the intervening half-century. But tomorrow morning, assuming the weather is a “go,” we will get to see a space travel event that … Continue reading

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Back to the Future

This week, NASA launched the Orion spacecraft on a test flight. I have a conflicted viewpoint about this event. To me, Orion is both exciting and deeply disappointing. On the one hand, Orion is NASA’s first entirely new spacecraft for … Continue reading

Posted in Concepts, NASA, Skepticism, Space | 1 Comment

Space fleets

A couple days ago, an article on NASASpaceFlight described an architecture of vehicles Bigelow Aerospace allegedly presented to NASA. Bigelow is a company developing inflatable space habitats – they’ve launched a few technology demonstrators already, and an inflatable module is set to go up … Continue reading

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A difficult question for space advocates

It’s that time of year again! That is, it’s NASA Authorization Act time. Mostly, I agree with Dr. Steve Squyres’ views. NASA does need a clear long-term goal, it is getting too little support for its missions, and it would be best to … Continue reading

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Antares and tiny satellites

This weekend was full of excitement for commercial space fans. Orbital Sciences Corporation launched the Antares rocket, making them only the second private company to put a vehicle into orbit. Like the SpaceX Falcon 9, Antares is intended to carry … Continue reading

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Marswhelmed

So, the Mars Science Laboratory “Curiosity” has discovered evidence that, about three billion years ago, the environment on the planet Mars could have supported Earth-like microbial life. Some news outlets (including the MSL Twitter feed) are billing this discovery as … Continue reading

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