NASA’s Dragonfly: A Quadcopter on Titan

A couple posts ago, I reviewed a book about an expedition to Titan---arguably the most interesting celestial body in the Solar System---and I'd like to continue in that theme this week, turning my attention to a real, official Titan exploration project under development at NASA: the Dragonfly mission. Dragonfly will be a quadcopter aircraft sent... Continue Reading →

By Fusion Drive to Pluto

Oddball mission studies are my jam. Sometimes, they are NASA's jam, too---the agency is not afraid to occasionally explore the more speculative topics, spacecraft which rely on advanced technologies and are many decades away from ever seeing implementation. I stumbled across one such study when I was doing some reading on Pluto the other day.... Continue Reading →

A Journey Through Soviet Space Music

Space travel was at the center of the Soviet psyche, and key to the communist vision of the future. Humans would one day expand across the whole cosmos, exploring and building among the stars, and the socialist countries, particularly the USSR, would lead the way. All humanity would eventually join hands in plunging into the... Continue Reading →

Space History: Interkosmos

Today we take international cooperation pretty much for granted when it comes to spaceflight---last year an Israeli moon probe hitched a ride aboard an American SpaceX rocket, to name just one example, and of course the ISS continues to fly with the participation of eighteen different countries. This is the obvious way of doing things.... Continue Reading →

Guest Post: Orbital Momentum as a Commodity

Hello, everyone! Today I have a guest post by my friend Eamon K. Minges, author of the upcoming novel Paradigm's End from Kindle Direct Press. He'll be examining various energy-efficient methods of orbital launch, comparing their merits, and discussing their possible applications. With no further ado: Part 1: Tsiolkovsky's Tyranny For over sixty years, humans... Continue Reading →

The Shape of Starships to Come

This may be a controversial statement, but any ship large enough to support a crew is too large to be a realistic option for interstellar travel. Space is big, unfathomably big, and the problem of venturing between stars has occupied theorists for quite a long time, leading to some audacious proposals. To see how vast... Continue Reading →

TMK-E: The Nuclear Mars Train

Last week I posted a review of the 1963 film A Dream Come True, about a Soviet expedition to Mars, and today I'm going to share the Mars mission the Soviets were actually planning when that movie came out. It was... ambitious, to say the least. "Nuclear-powered Mars train from pole to pole" levels of ambitious.... Continue Reading →

That Time the USAF Nearly Nuked the Moon

The Space Race was a wild time, especially in its early years, when the United States was shocked and humiliated by Sputnik and Gagarin, and threw money at various insane ways to take the lead. I've already written about the proposed one-way trip to the Moon; other highlights include an inflatable re-entry pod and flying to... Continue Reading →

The New Antarctica

Somewhere between the current human presence in the space—zilch, save for three people aboard the ISS—and the most ambitious, wide-eyed, optimistic visions for colonization—Musk's million people on Mars, Bezos' trillions throughout the solar system—there's a middle ground where we work on and explore other planets, but inhabit them only in the same sense that we... Continue Reading →

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