Archive for the ‘Rockets’ Category

MARS ONE: Mars-Bound Candidate Walks Away – Pulls Back the Curtain Revealing a Mess or is it?

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Since the first announcement of the Mars One program, people have either picked up the story and hailed it with headlines trumpeting our colonization of the red planet or they’ve been standing there with confused looks slapped on their faces. Media outlets have just accepted that Mars One is taking us to Mars and we should all be excited.

Now the curtain has been lifted on Mars One…

By an actual finalist who’s basically packed his bags and walked away from it all.

Joseph Roche, one of the final candidates for the one-way trip to Mars, has walked away from the program recently and is revealing everything that he’s experienced during his time with Mars One.

Originally media and Mars One reported that 300,000 potential one-way ticket holders had applied.

Roche claims it’s less than 3,000 applicants.

Mars One boasted of the lengthy interview process.

Roche says it came down to a 10 minute Skype interview.

Mars One claims that there are billions behind this whole program.

Roche revealed that applicants contribute financially by spending money on Mars One merchandise to earn points.

Mars One’s selection process sounds more like a cross between filling out a Jelly of the Month Club application, joining Amway and learning that QVC is going to launch one in every ten callers to the moon if they also purchase the bonus steel cutlery set.

Roche’s revelations came about because he’s worried just how badly this entire “program” could affect the popularity that space exploration is currently enjoying:

“My nightmare about it is that people continue to support it and give it money and attention, and it then gets to the point where it inevitably falls on its face. If, as a result, people lose faith in NASA and possibly even in scientists, then that’s the polar opposite of what I’m about. If I was somehow linked to something that could do damage to the public perception of science, that is my nightmare scenario.”

In response to Roche’s claims and the interviewer, Elmo Keep, the man behind Mars One, Bas Lansdorp responded to the allegations that Mars One is quickly falling apart:

So what is actually happening at Mars One? Who knows. But even with the two year delay Lansdorp announced? The first Mars One unmanned mission is only five years away.

In 12 years we’re either going to look back and laugh at Mars One…

Or we’re going to be crossing our fingers and holding our breath when those first four astronauts are sitting in a rocket aimed at the sky.


Jump! Jump! Grasshopper Rocket Stretches Its Legs in Latest Test

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

SpaceX keeps coaxing their Grasshopper rockets into longer jumps as they continue to develop their reusable rocket program.

In the latest test, shown in this video, SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket takes another leap into the history books by making a longer jump away from and safe return to the dead center of its launch pad. Seriously. Watch it!

For those who’d like to know why all the space nerds and getting so excited? Think of the two little rockets attached to the giant fuel tank that the shuttle would piggyback on. Two minutes into the flight they detach, deploy multiple parachutes and land about 150 miles off the coast where a small army of a recovery crew retrieves the boosters, using two specially designed boats. During this whole process motors inside the boosters are used to basically blow-dry the interiors from all the ocean they gulped during their time at sea. Turnaround time is a long process.

Along comes Elon Musk with the idea of a booster that’s like a homing pigeon. It goes up, does its job and then instead of helplessly landing in the middle of the ocean like Bambi on an ice pond, it flies itself back home, landing on its own little pad like a puppy playing frisbee and waiting for the next throw.

The Grasshopper eliminates a lot of space taken up in an old-school booster for chute deployment systems, allows for quicker turnaround time and stops about a hundred people from having to towel off a couple of giant booster rockets.

SpaceX is getting closer to their first take-off/recovery ‘landing’ where they’ll be substituting the ocean for dry land to see how the Grasshopper returns back to the ‘ground’. Once those tests are completed, it won’t be long before the Grasshopper does what Musk hopes it’ll do…

Move us into space faster and more frequently than ever before.


Boeing Tests Spacecraft that Could One Day Take You to an Orbiting Hotel

Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Boeing_s Space Capsule Undergoes First Drop Test | Popular Science.jpg

budget suites.jpg

Boeing tested it’s CST-100 capsule by dropping it from 11,000 feet in the air from a helicopter into the desert.

According to reports, the test seemed to go fine, but what’s interesting is who footed part of the bill for the testing:

Bigelow Aerospace paid for some of the testing, according to Boeing, punctuating the space destination company’s interest in using the CST-100 to get to orbit. Bigelow, the brainchild of hotelier/motelier Robert Bigelow, envisions using inflatable space stations as orbiting labs or other destinations, but the company doesn’t have a rocket, so it will need a partner like Boeing.

Robert Bigelow is the owner of Budget Suites of America. Just think, children born now could be gossiping with each other in 18 years about who got a room in an inflatable space structure for after prom.


Paul Allen, Burt Rutan Team to Launch Rockets from Gigantic 1.2 Million Lb. Plane

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

UPDATE: Two key points missed in the initial post. First, this will indeed the largest plane ever built. Second, the rockets launched into orbit will be built by Weird Things darlings SpaceX.

Paul Allen and Burt Rutan have teamed up once again to send a plane into low-Earth orbit. Although this time, it’s on a bit grander scale.

Stratolaunch Systems will revolve around massive 1.2 million lb. planes using six 747 engines requiring 12,000 foot runway to bring the bird up to low orbit. It would then be capable of launching a rocket and landing back on Earth, therefore maximizing cost effectiveness and launch flexibility.

It’s also freaking gigantic. Seriously. Look at this thing.


They hope to launch within five years.

“We have plenty and many challenges ahead of us,” said Allen at the press conference today. “But by the end of the decade…Stratolaunch will be putting spacecraft into orbit [and will] give tomorrow’s children something to search for in the night sky.”

It’s a good thing we stopped dreaming