It is that time again……
Since I am the only one that cares I feel that I must keep my readers abreast of developments in space…..since they will be paying for it with their tax dollars for many generations to come…..
Now would it not be nice to know what you are paying for?
Bear with me and learn stuff.
August will be the launch of US Space Command……
We’re a week away from having a US Space Command—not to be confused with a US Space Force. “Next week we will formally stand up the new unified combatant command that will be known as the United States Space Command,” Vice President Mike Pence announced Tuesday during a meeting of the National Space Council, referring to space as “war-fighting domain,” per Space.com. In tweets late last year, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan clarified that a potential Space Force—to be established by 2020 pending congressional approval and funding—would “serve as a force provider for personnel, assets, and capabilities supporting space operations, while Space Command will serve as the operational command that will employ space capabilities and lead space operations.”
Nearly 90 people will be under the direction of Gen. John Raymond, Space.com reports, describing a formal ceremony to establish the command on Aug. 29. Those personnel will be in charge of missile warnings, space control, satellite operations, and space support, said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, who also spoke at the meeting, per the Hill. “The direction is clear, we understand it and we’re moving out.” Shanahan noted in 2018, “This action reflects the value of space contributions to national security, the evolution of the threats to US space systems, and the importance of deterring potential adversaries from attacking US space systems.” It’ll be America’s first new combatant command in a decade, following the creation of the US Africa Command in 2009.
Virgin Galactic has announced a new Space Port in New Mexico….
Spaceport America is no longer just a shiny shell of hope that space tourism would one day launch from a remote spot in the New Mexico desert. The once-empty hangar that anchors the taxpayer-financed launch and landing facility has been transformed into a custom-tailored headquarters where Virgin Galactic will run its commercial flight operations. The interior spaces unveiled Thursday aim to connect paying customers with every aspect of the operation, providing views of the hangar and the space vehicles as well as the banks of monitors inside mission control, the AP reports. Two levels within the spaceport include mission control, a preparation area for pilots, and a lounge for customers and their friends and families. There’s also space behind two massive sliding doors to accommodate two of Virgin Galactic’s carrier planes and a fleet of six-passenger rocket ships.
Company officials say the space is meant to create “an unparalleled experience” as customers prepare for what Virgin Galactic describes as the journey of a lifetime. Just how soon customers will file into the spaceport for the first commercial flights to space has yet to be determined, but Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides says that once the test flights are complete, commercial operations can begin. He envisions a fundamental shift in humanity’s relationship with space, noting that fewer than 600 people ever have ventured beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. “We’re going to be able to send way more than that to space from this facility here,” he says. “In another 15 years, I really hope that we’ve had thousands of people go.” About 600 people have reserved a seat, according to the company, at a cost of $250,000 a ticket.
Does that come with a payment plan?
Instead of looking for cash in tourism why not come up with a plan to help clean up the space around this tiny blue planet of tired and worn out satellites?
For the low, low price of $2.25 million, SpaceX will put your small satellite on a big Falcon 9 rocket and shoot it to orbit with a bunch of similarly small satellites. It’s part of a new initiative called the SmallSat Rideshare Program, and with a first flight in late 2020 or early 2021, it will carry only diminutive instruments, a boon for their makers. While a Falcon 9 carried out a similar rideshare mission last year, that launch was organized by another company. This time, SpaceX itself is promising “regularly scheduled, dedicated Falcon 9 rideshare missions,” according to its website.
Lastly…..why is space so critical?
Easy answer lots of wealth possibilities……a prime motivator……
Why is space so critical to the future? Space is powerful precisely because it benefits from the attributes and principles of a network. A network can deliver power, information, and goods from one node, or all nodes, at a fraction of the increase in cost per customer compared to a linear system. The post office is an example of a linear model. If you send a letter to 100 different people, you have to pay for 100 stamps. The Internet is an example of a networked model. If you want to send an email to 100 people you can send it at a fraction of the cost. Most of our terrestrial economies are modeled on linear design, driving up cost for every delivery to a new customer. A networked space infrastructure will always win the cost war against a linear terrestrial infrastructure. Consequently, the first civilization to build a robust networked space infrastructure will dominate the global economy of the 21st century.
Space will be a multi-trillion-dollar market that will disproportionately benefit the first great power that builds a vibrant infrastructure there. Finishing second in this race means accepting defeat. Why is this the case? Whoever moves into a new marketplace first defines and sets the terms of that market. If America is first to build the infrastructure of space, its rule of law and values, including every human’s inherent right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, will underpin the marketplace. If China is first, its values will dominate. China continues to demonstrate a lack of regard for fair economic practices, the rule of law, human dignity, or liberty.
The Real Stakes in the New Space Race
But does any of this promised wealth and influence violate a standing treaty on space?
A first ever space thingy……a crime of sorts…..
It’s an unfortunate custody dispute between estranged spouses, with one element that makes it stand above all others—it has led to what the New York Times reports might be the first allegation of a crime in space. In the short version, astronaut Anne McClain is accused of improperly accessing the bank accounts of spouse Summer Worden while McClain was aboard the International Space Station, reports Click2Houston. Worden has the bank records to prove that McClain did so, and the astronaut is not denying it. McClain is not accused of taking or even moving any money. She maintains that she was simply doing what she had always done while the couple was together: keeping on an eye on finances out of concern for the boy they’d been raising together. “She strenuously denies that she did anything improper,” says her attorney.
Worden, though, says she is “appalled,” and she and her family have filed formal complaints with the FTC and with NASA. They see it as identity theft. The dispute centers around Worden’s 6-year-old son, who was 1 when the couple met. They married in 2014, but Worden resisted having McClain legally adopt him as her son, too, per the Times. Now that they’re splitting, McClain is fighting for shared parenting rights. If McClain’s name is familiar, it might be because of an odd story from earlier this year. She was supposed to take part in the first-ever all-female spacewalk, but NASA called it off at the last minute, explaining they didn’t have enough medium-sized space suits. (This even became a bit on SNL.) A NASA spokesperson tells the Times the allegations had nothing to do with the scrapped spacewalk
This sounds like an Adam Sandler movie….God knows he could use the work…..
Sunday and MoMO has me trained……she taught me to play fetch…..LOL
Have a great day and thanx to all for the visits and comments over the last week…..your time is much appreciated.
“Lego Ergo Scribo”