Nathan Veitch A question of when

I do hope this happens within my lifetime :D
Posted: 16 April 2015 at 08:43

Doug Vining A question of when

Here's the updated video of the almost successful landing of the Falcon 9 rocket. So close!
Posted: 16 April 2015 at 08:59

Doug Vining Commercializing the Moon

Little-known space company Moon Express has caused a stir by requesting permission from the US government to land a probe on the moon. As a US company, Moon Express needs approval from the US authorities to launch rockets and fly beyond Earth's orbit. On the other hand, SpaceX has already announced its intentions to fly a mission to Mars. No other countries have private companies launching space probes, and no private companies have gone beyond Earth orbit, yet, so it's an interesting legal question. Can one regulate space? My money is still on SpaceX to win this race, although they don't seem to be much interested in the moon. Perhaps they haven't considered the tourism potential?
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Posted: 10 June 2016 at 15:06

Doug Vining Moon taxi announced

We've long thought that SpaceX would win the space tourism race. In fact we published this MindBullet on that subject a couple of years ago. Now it's happening.
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Posted: 28 February 2017 at 07:22

Doug Vining Elon Musk's next big gamble

Elon Musk is not afraid to take a chance, if the potential rewards are there. His latest concept called BFR could stand for Big Freaking Rocket or Big Fat Risk - either would make sense. But there is method in his apparent madness.

The key to all this lies in reusability, the holy grail of affordable and profitable launch systems. SpaceX has already proved they can reuse the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, and have landed 16 of those boosters. But making the second stage and the Dragon self-landing too would be more difficult, if not impossible. If they had a more powerful engine, they could combine the upper stage with a space plane and make the whole unit reusable.

That's where the Raptor engine comes in, already extensively tested. Burning liquid methane, it's much more powerful than Falcon's Merlin engines, and could land the BFR on a single engine. That's another part of the problem - you need a different kind of rocket engine in the vacuum of space to the one used to land at sea-level atmospheric pressures. The BFR will have two sets of engines, four vacuum engines to get to the Moon or wherever, and two normal engines for landing, with their own fuel tanks.

If the BFR concept works, the entire system becomes ...
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Posted: 3 October 2017 at 09:13

Doug Vining Dear Moon, here we come

Way back in 2015, we speculated that SpaceX would launch a 'Moon Taxi' sometime in the future. Well, it seems we anticipated the future quite correctly, even if we got some details wrong!

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Posted: 18 September 2018 at 12:36
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