Space travel is hard

When you think of outer space exploration, most folks from my generation tend to think of Florida’s Cape Canaveral, rather than Virginia’s Eastern Shore or Wallops Island. However, when it comes to manned space travel or space exploration, there has been a lot more activity in Virginia than Florida the past few years. You probably know nothing …

Morning Musings

Bergdahl I: The President continues to say that he is ‘proud‘ of the Taliban-Bergdahl prisoner swap, yet support on the Hill is just about non-existent. The House Intelligence Committee Chairman says the United States is going to ‘pay for this,’ while the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman laments that ‘you cannot help but worry‘ about the …

Chinese Nationals Not Beaming Up, Anytime Soon

The U.S. government appears to have reached a few preliminary conclusions about what export control laws apply to the Virgin Galactic program, and likely much of the future civilian space services industry. And, not surprisingly, Chinese nationals need not apply for the $250,000 Virgin Galactic adventure … unless you’re creative enough to use immigration laws …

Uncle Sam Has a Little Company On the Moon, China Lands Space Probe

China made a little history yesterday. It became the third country ever to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon. Only the United States and the Soviets have done so. Accompanying the lunar module is a rover named Jade Rabbit. JR is reportedly loaded with experiments and going to probe a particular section of the …

JFK Dreamed Big, Literally Reached for the Stars

The nation can learn a lot from John F. Kennedy’s presidency, yet for some reason folks in this town only seem to want to focus on bad things. For example, the 50th anniversary of his assassination, as it is being billed. Several newspapers will run front page stories with photos of his JFK’s casket. It’s somewhat …

Virginia Makes a Little Outer Space History, Again

Tired of the gloom and doom brigade and the federal government shutdown news coverage? Looking for some good news? Well, look up. Way up to the stars. A little outer space history was made this weekend and Virginia had a big role in it. Launched from the oldest launch facility in the United States (yes, …

Fly Me to The Moon, Sort Of: Virginia To Make Lunar Exploration History Next Month

Alright, it may not be landing a man on the moon but its still a milestone for Virginia’s growing role in outer space exploration and commercialization. Next month NASA will launch a car-sized Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) from Virginia’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island. Virginia has been building its outer space program for …

NASA to Launch Rockets Today … From a Virginia (not Florida) Location

Later this morning NASA is scheduled to launch two sounding rockets at the Wallops Flight Facility in Chincoteague Island, Virginia. The launches were scrubbed yesterday because of weather complications. What is the big deal about the story? Well, it is not Florida, it is Virginia. Growing up in Florida and having seen many space shuttle …

Congratulations to NASA, USA

One of the first images from the NASA Curiosity Rover should remind all of us of the ability of folks to do great things. Kudos to the folks at NASA for making it so. Every time NASA, yes NASA, not the Ruskies or the Chinese, accomplish a feat such as this one it reminds me of watching, …

Fly Me to the Moon, Literally, We Should

It is good to see folks in this town think of things out of this world. Over at the Space Politics Blog, they’ve reminded us that there are Members of Congress who are focused on the future of the U.S. space program. And returning to the moon, colonizing it, should be part of that effort. Now …

While the DC politicians quibbled, good things happened

While Washington, DC quibbled, history was recently made with the first-ever private sector launch of a commercial spacecraft in history to successfully dock with the International Space Station.  I especially enjoyed the SpaceX‘s press release: Previously only four governments — the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency — had achieved this challenging …