Main Engine Cut Off
By Anthony Colangelo
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A short, weekly podcast about spaceflight, exploration, colonization, policy, and strategy in the modern era and near future.
||CleanT+40: The Potentially Infamous EM-1 Memo||Robert Lightfoot, the Acting NASA Administrator, sent a memo to the agency on the possibility of putting a crew on EM-1. I discuss the potential fallout from this idea and where the SLS/Orion program may be heading in the future.||2/18/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+39: Opportunities for Private Companies within Government Programs||This week, NASA officially announced that NanoRacks will be adding an airlock onto the International Space Station to add capabilities and capacity to their already-up-and-running business. That announcement, along with some early insight into NASA policy||2/9/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+38: 2017 NASA Transition Authorization Act Speculation||Marcia Smith of SpacePolicyOnline.com saw a draft of the 2017 NASA Transition Authorization Act, and it contains some very interesting changes from the 2016 version that bounced around Congress last year. I discuss what some of these changes may mean in t||2/2/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+37: Government Subsidies, Private Capability, and the 2010 National Space Policy||Four members of the House of Representatives sent letters to DARPA and the Pentagon this week to file a complaint about a program in conflict with the 2010 National Space Policy. It’s a situation reminiscent of the debate over commercial use of retired||1/27/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+36: Falcon 9 Flies with New Fueling Procedures, and the NASA-Boeing-Soyuz Saga||SpaceX is off to a strong start in 2017 with a very successful launch of Iridium-1 and a promising next few weeks. I also discuss the very interesting story developing between NASA, Boeing, and Russia regarding Soyuz flights to the ISS.||1/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+35: NASA Policy Grab Bag||While we don’t yet have hard details on which direction NASA programs are headed during the Trump administration, we have started to get some hints. The leadership of the Congressional subcommittees that NASA depends on will be largely unchanged, and Bo||1/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+34: SpaceX’s COPV Investigation and Return to Flight||SpaceX wrapped up their investigation into the Amos-6 explosion, and the news is mixed. I discuss their findings, their path back to flight, and some other 2016-2017 odds and ends.||1/5/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+33: SpaceX’s Commercial Crew Delay, Fueling Process Approved, and the Inmarsat-Falcon Heavy Situation||Inmarsat, under regulatory pressure to get flying, decided to take a mid-2017 launch slot on Ariane 5, moving away from Falcon Heavy. Everyone thinks it’s a big deal, but for the wrong reason. And SpaceX’s Commercial Crew flights have been delayed, bu||12/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+32: Soyuz-U Failure and Satellite Servicing||A Progress launch failed on its way to the ISS, so I discuss how this may affect the politics of the ISS and NASA going forward. And then I get into some thoughts on satellite servicing in general, and specifically surrounding Restore-L and Orbital ATK’||12/8/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+31: ULA’s RocketBuilder||Tory Bruno took to the stage to announce RocketBuilder, their new way to market and sell Atlas V launch services. I discuss my initial thoughts about it and what the announcement means for ULA going forward in the commercial market.||12/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+30: SpaceX Nearing Falcon 9 Return-to-Flight||All signs point to SpaceX nearing a return-to-flight mission for Falcon 9. I discuss what to watch for in the months ahead, and read some email.||11/23/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+29: Commercializing the NASA Exploration Roadmap||Following up on last show’s topic, there are signs that NASA may be moving away from Orion in the future. I discuss how I see NASA modernizing their exploration roadmap, politically, in the next administration.||11/16/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+28: The Future of NASA and the Moon||NASA released an RFI for small scientific payloads bound for the lunar surface, meant to “address strategic knowledge gaps” associated with human missions to the Moon. I talk about how this could indicate a shift of the SLS/Orion roadmap, and how NASA||11/2/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+27: Financial vs. Political Capital and Mission Sustainability||In light of the recent Schiaparelli lander failure, I discuss the differences between missions supported by financial and political capital, and how those differences will play out in the next era of space exploration.||10/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+26: OA-5, Antares, and Orbital ATK’s Road Ahead||I took a trip down to Wallops Island, Virginia this week for the launch of OA-5—the return to flight for Antares, sending Cygnus up to the ISS on a resupply mission. I recorded this episode on the long drive home afterwards, and talked about what Antare||10/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+25: Falcon 9 Updates and the 10% Discount||Gwynne Shotwell, President of SpaceX, spoke at two events and dropped some tidbits about the Falcon 9 investigation, future versions of the vehicle, and what kind of discount they would offer for “flight-proven” stages. I break down the new info, and||10/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+24: ULA’s RapidLaunch and Commercial Market Competitiveness||After a few busy weeks of Blue Origin and SpaceX news, I spend some time talking about ULA’s RapidLaunch program and how they are working to get competitive within the commercial market.||10/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+23: SpaceX Mars Architecture Initial Reactions||Elon Musk took the stage at the IAC this week and unveiled SpaceX’s architecture for their planetary exploration and colonization plans. Jake from WeMartians and I discuss our initial reactions to and takeaways from the event.||9/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+22: SpaceX Mars Architecture Announcement Preamble||SpaceX is set to make an announcement next week at the IAC 2016 regarding their Mars colonization architecture. I talk about what we know, what I expect to see, and what I hope is included in their plans.||9/21/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+21: Blue Origin Previews New Glenn||Blue Origin surprised us all by previewing their massive next rocket, New Glenn. I discuss the few details we know, how New Glenn could fit into the market, what questions need to be answered, and many other things to consider in the wake of the announcem||9/14/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+20: Mike Johnson, Chief Designer at NanoRacks on NanoRacks’ History, NextSTEP, and Wet Workshops||Mike Johnson, Chief Designer at NanoRacks, joined me this week to talk about his incredibly interesting career in spaceflight, the past and future of NanoRacks, their NextSTEP proposal, and a handful of other topics.||9/7/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+19: SpaceX’s Manifest, Flight-Proven Hardware, Blue Origin Updates, and Antares’ Engines||SpaceX has a busy manifest as they close out 2016, including SES-10 which will fly with a “flight-proven” first stage. A few bits of info have come out regarding Blue Origin’s future plans—including flying diverse payloads on New Shepard, and cons||8/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+18: Robert Zubrin on Mars Exploration and Colonization Internationally, within NASA, and at SpaceX||Dr. Robert Zubrin, President of The Mars Society, creator of Mars Direct, and author of The Case for Mars is on the show this week to discuss Mars exploration and colonization internationally, within NASA, and at SpaceX.||8/24/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+17: NextSTEP Habitat Prototypes, and the Zombie Centaur||NASA selected six companies, as part of the NextSTEP program, to develop ground prototypes of deep space habitats, and the Centaur could live on as a wet workshop. Orbital ATK pushed OA-5 to late September. SpaceX landed yet another stage on the ASDS, and||8/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+16: Moon Express Licensing, and NASA’s Disdain for Artificial Gravity||Moon Express gained government approval for their upcoming mission to win the Google Lunar X Prize. And I go on a rant about artificial gravity and how NASA shrugs it off as unnecessary.||8/10/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+15: More SLS Roadmap Details, and Landed Falcon 9 Static Fires||The roadmap for SLS got a little murkier this week thanks to some additional details in the GAO report regarding its cost and schedule. SpaceX test fired a landed core three times in three days last week, paving the way for reuse of the CRS-8 core.||8/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+14: The Post-EM-1 Roadmap for SLS, and Potential Uses for SpaceX’s BFR||Before Mars and exploration-centric talk, I talk about Orbital ATK’s agreement for exclusive use of LMP-103S. Then I take a hard look at the post-EM-1 roadmap for SLS, and theorize some potential uses for SpaceX’s giant Mars-bound rocket—lovingly re||7/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+13: SpaceX’s CRS-9 Success, Senate Hearing Recap, and US-Russian Plans for the Moon||SpaceX had a great night launching the CRS-9 mission, and it’s all good signs for their future. The Senate hearing, as I predicted, was focused on maintaining the status quo. US and Russian engineers and scientists have some ideas on the future of inter||7/20/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+12: The Competition of Reusability Between Falcon 9, Vulcan, and Ariane 6||Ted Cruz called a hearing on NASA’s space exploration policy in the next president’s administration. The president of France’s CNES discussed some policy statements, and I went on a rant about his thoughts on Ariane 6 and its competition.||7/13/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+11: SpaceX’s LZ-1 Expansion, Dream Chaser’s UN Ambitions, China and ESA’s Growing Relationship||SpaceX printed a public notice in Florida Today on July 3rd outlining plans for LZ-1 expansion. Sierra Nevada Corporation and the United Nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding future use of Dream Chaser by UN member countries. China solidi||7/6/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+10: Logan Kamperschroer on the Current State and Near Future of Storable Propellants||This week I talked to Logan Kamperschroer, a Graduate Research Assistant at the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. Logan’s research focuses on hypergolic rocket fuels—specifically the push to move away from the toxic storable||6/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+9: ExoMars 2016 and 2020, Chinese Partnerships and Policy||The ExoMars 2020 rover received a funding boost and a reassessed schedule, the 2016 orbiter/lander set its sights on Mars, NASA and ESA coordinated a practice communication session, and China opens up to the international space community.||6/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+8: Masten’s Xodiac and XaeroB, Blue Origin’s Next Flight of New Shepard||Masten Space Systems released a video of test flights of their two latest vehicles. Blue Origin was awarded a NASA Flight Opportunities contract, is planning the 4th flight of New Shepard, and began clearing land for their factory just outside Kennedy Spa||6/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+7: Bezos and Musk at Code Conference, and a Hard Look at Vulcan’s Economics||Some interesting tidbits emerged from interviews with Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk at Code Conference. And a hard look at the economics of United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan.||6/8/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+6: Orbital ATK’s Next-Gen Vehicle, Falcon 9 Proving Its Reusability, and ULA’s Tough Future||Orbital ATK shared some more details about their next-generation launch vehicle, SpaceX is working out their certification process for reflown stages, and how these events affect the industry and other competitors in the near future.||6/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+5: Space Stations Around the Moon and Mars, ExoMars 2016, and China’s Momentum in Space||Orbital ATK and Lockheed Martin unveiled proposals for space stations around the Moon by 2020, and Mars by 2028. ExoMars 2016 completed a functionality analysis test ahead of its October arrival at Mars. China revealed plans for its third space station, a||5/25/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+4: Boeing’s CST-100, SpaceX’s Dragon 2, and a Scorched Falcon 9||Boeing announced a 6 month delay in the schedule for their CST-100 crew vehicle. SpaceX’s Dragon 2 is in the lead to be the first Commercial Crew vehicle to fly. The most recently-returned Falcon 9 took a ton of damage on its way back to the drone ship||5/18/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+3: Falcon 9 GTO Mission Drone Ship Landing, Orbital ATK’s Current and Future Launch Vehicles||SpaceX landed another Falcon 9 first stage on their drone ship—this time on a GTO launch, which is a major milestone on their way to full reusability and Falcon Heavy flights. Orbital ATK’s Antares launch vehicle is set for an early July return to fli||5/11/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+2: SpaceX’s Red Dragon, Falcon Performance, and the Political Fallout of OA-6||SpaceX officially announced their first Red Dragon mission to Mars, which will pave the way for future missions. They also posted new performance metrics for Falcon 9 and Heavy, which position the launch vehicles very differently in the market. And a brie||5/4/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT+1: The Near Future of NASA’s Orion and SLS Programs||An analysis of NASA’s human spaceflight programs, Orion and the Space Launch System. How we got here, where we’re going, and how things could shake out with an eventful November in US politics coming up.||4/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanT-0: The Near Future of US-Based Competitors||An analysis of the intricate dance between United Launch Alliance, SpaceX, and Blue Origin as we enter the next era of spaceflight.||4/20/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
I appreciate the podcast
Wonderful podcast with good information concerning space exploration.
Good analysis of current trends in the aerospace industry.
I very much appreciate this intelligent podcast which praises private aerospace companies but also holds them accountable for their failures.
Very informative and fun
Great Space Podcast!
Love this podcast! Some space podcasters talk down to us because they assume many listeners are newbies. This one doesn't do that. Expect to get treated like a seasoned space fan. Bravo!