Another Space Nerd Roundup

The Atlantic has a conversation with Eric Anderson of Space Adventures: The Coming Age of Space Colonization.

I remember this stuff being a big deal in the late 70’s; you couldn’t pick up a fanboy magazine without slogging through a lot of fanciful stories about how we by gosh were going to have a huge, impossibly advanced space colony within the next decade or so (Spin up the wayback machine: remember Omni and “L5 by ’95”? Admit it, already).

And in the “how to get there” category: CalTech Assigns Students to Design a Mars Mission, or at least to one of its moons.

Finally, closer to home: SpaceX Dragon Splashes Down, Completing CRS-2 Mission. This is becoming less and less newsworthy, which is a good thing.

Chasing the Dragon


The SpaceX Dragon has successfully completed its first demonstration mission to the International Space Station.

Wish I had time to opine more, but for now get thee to this here link for pictures and details.


Here’s a shot of Dragon waiting for its ride home:

“Here there be Dragons” (Via SpaceX)

The significance of this mission cannot be overstated. From my layman’s perspective, it was pretty much flawless – and did I mention this was only the second flight? There’s been a lot of skepticism about the whole Commercial Crew program from politicians and others who are ordinarily pro-free market, but when seeing their NASA cash cow starved, begin to freak out and insist on throwing more money at an agency which has not demonstrated that it can successfully develop a new spacecraft in the past thirty years. Continue reading “Chasing the Dragon”

The View From Up There

ISS Cupola, courtesy NASA

A really nice photo essay from astronaut Don Pettit, who blogs for Air & Space Smithsonian when he’s not busy on the International Space Station. This is a shot of the cupola, which I used as a focal point for action on the ISS in Perigee.

How To Train Your Dragon

Dragon spacecraft. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX has got it goin’ on, ya’ll. This is just the second orbital flight of their Dragon capsule, and darned if they didn’t berth with the Space Station!

As our illustrious Vice President Jar-Jar Biden might say: “This is a big #@$&%! deal”. Just another example of what private citizens can do when they’re allowed to make money and follow their passions.

Viva Capitalism!

UPDATE: Archive videos from NASA TV here.

UPDATED UPDATE: Really, really excited about this? You can take a class in space hotel design this summer. Beats Medieval French Poetry or Transgender Victim Studies…

Flying Dragon

Credit: CollectSpace, via

Congratulations to SpaceX!

After a last-half-second abort on Saturday, they fixed their little problem and lit the candle early this morning. Their launch window to ISS was instantaneous, so this is quite a big deal that they could pull it off on just the second try. It also speaks well of Falcon 9’s reliability (and repair ability).

They have a lot of on-orbit tests to do before NASA will let it anywhere near the space station, but this is a very good start.

I’m saving up $$ for my ticket!