Trade Simulation: CCJ

March 16th, 2011
I'm not ready to jump in to short-term investing, so I'm making a fake trade here instead. Details: Cameco Corp. (CCJ) Trade time: 2011-03-16 15:03 EDT Market value at trade: 29.99 Number of shares: 30 Cost plus fees: 906.7 Read More

Panorama: Snow Over Pyramid Lake

February 28th, 2011
Andy and I drove up to Frazier Park on Saturday to let the kids experience the arctic storm. On the way up we stopped at Pyramid Lake for lunch. The temperature was hovering around freezing, and every once in a while we got a sprinking of snow. Click to view the QuickTime VR panorama taken from the shore of the lake: Pyramid Lake Panorama Preview I shot JPEGs to avoid filling… Read More

Getting Ready for March Storm 2010

February 9th, 2010
Just a quick plug for March Storm 2010, which is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in the political process of space exploration. If you've read my recent posts about the future of NASA, you know that changes are happening, and we may see a major expansion of human space flight in the years ahead. This year's budget process in Washington DC is a critical time for the new path, and the efforts of every space advocate now will make a big difference. It is the right of every citizen of the United States to visit with their elected representative and make their case. ProSpace has organized an event called… Read More

Future of NASA: Final Score

October 8th, 2009

The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, often known as the Augustine Committee, held another public meeting today to discuss the final scoring of each option. I previously posted timelines for most of the options, here listed with their line numbers as specified in the summary report.

Why Ares I

September 27th, 2009

In a change from the August 12 meeting of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, NASA's Ares I project appears to still be on the table. In their Summary Report, it is included in their Option 3: Baseline Program of Record, which projects a human return to the surface of the Moon in the mid 2020s. This option would require an additional investment of $3 billion per year in NASA's exploration program. In the interest of evaluating this option, I'm going to review what Ares I is supposed to do and the progress it has made, and then look ahead to… Read More

Ten Best New Space Ideas

September 25th, 2009

My list of ten of the best ideas I've come across, some of them are a little older than others.


DIRECT is NASA's last chance to retain its own crew launch system in the wake of Space Shuttle retirement. It's a derivative of the Space Shuttle External Tank and Solid Rocket Boosters, combined with the Orion space capsule. Given how many pieces of this rocket are flying today, it seems possible to get this operational relatively quickly. Unfortunately, the DIRECT team made some strategic blunders while trying to get their idea accepted, and then came off as paranoid when… Read More

Ares V Light

September 14th, 2009

The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee recently released a summary of their report. The contents of that report mostly reflects the documents they had previously released and their comments during the public meetings. The report lists the most promising of the combinations of different options for exploring beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). Several of the architectures that they recommended include a new heavy lift vehicle (HLV) called Ares V Light, also known as Ares V Lite. Very little information has been released about this HLV, so I'll document… Read More

Message to the President Concerning Human Spaceflight

August 26th, 2009

In Future of NASA: Analysis, I mentioned that I would be sending a message to President Obama concerning the options for human spaceflight included in the initial report of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee. Well, here it is:

Mr. President:
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write to you concerning the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee. I was very impressed by the public meetings and the documents released by the committee. Their deliberations have been thoughtful… Read More

Future of NASA: Analysis

August 21st, 2009

Over the past couple of weeks I have written several posts about the alternative architectures proposed by the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, also known as one of the Augustine Committees. Most recently I posted timelines of each architecture:

Future of NASA: Deep Space (Shuttle Derived)

August 19th, 2009

Previous: Deep Space (Commercial HLV)

The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee has drawn up several alternate architectures for NASA to pursue its mission of sending astronauts beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). For a more complete summary, see "Future of NASA: Program of Record". The seventh architecture in the list is focused on exploration missions to deep space using a Shuttle-derived heavy-lift launch vehicle (SDLV), assuming an increased budget of $3 billion per year.

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