Main Engine Cut Off

Episode T+169: Commercial Small Launcher Updates

There have been a ton of recent updates from commercial small launch companies, like increased payload mass and volume from Rocket Lab, contracts and funding from ABL, solved vibration issues from Virgin Orbit, and a few others. With a handful of vehicles on the verge of their first launch, it’s a good time to take a higher-level look at these competitors.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 39 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Melissa, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 399 other supporters.

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Episode T+168: SpaceX and ULA Win NSSL Phase 2

The long-awaited news is finally here! ULA and SpaceX have won the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 launch contracts from the US Department of Defense, which leaves Blue Origin’s New Glenn and Northrop Grumman’s OmegA out in the cold. I talk through what this means for each company and launch vehicle, and where things will go from here on all sides of the issue.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 39 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Melissa, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 398 other supporters.

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Episode T+167: Phillip Hargrove, NASA Launch Services Program

Phillip Hargrove, a Launch Vehicle Trajectory Analyst at NASA joins me to talk about NASA’s Launch Services Program. We discuss how LSP interacts with mission teams like Mars 2020 Perseverance, launch providers like United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, and what kind of work they tackle in their unique role tying it all together.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 39 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Melissa, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 398 other supporters.

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Episode T+166: Laura Klicker and Daniel Gillies, Astrobotic

Two members of the Astrobotic team join me for a conversation: Laura Klicker, Payload Systems Management Lead, and Daniel Gillies, Mission Director for the Griffin/VIPER mission. We talk about Astrobotic’s first Peregrine mission coming up next year, the very exciting VIPER mission to the south pole of the Moon in 2023, payload management across multiple flights, the technical aspects of their various vehicles, and a whole lot more.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 397 other supporters.

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Episode T+165: Caleb Henry on the OneWeb Acquisition, Starlink Antennas, C-Band Drama, and More

Caleb Henry of SpaceNews returns to the show to talk about the OneWeb acquisition and related fallout, Starlink antennas, the ongoing C-band drama including the satellite-buying bonanza, and he helps us understand the FCC-GPS-Ligado situation.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 397 other supporters.

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Episode T+164: An Announcement, and a Check-in on International Space Policy and NSSL Phase 2

To start, there’s exciting news! My son is due at the end of August, and so I’ll be taking some time off after he arrives. Before that, I wanted to check in on two storylines.

Professional shit-stirrer Dmitry Rogozin made it pretty clear that Russia is not interested in the Artemis Program, while various countries around the world partner with NASA on it. And we’re only a few weeks out from the NSSL Phase 2 awards and there is some related budgetary considerations being debated, so it’s a good time to circle back on that.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 392 other supporters.

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Episode T+163: Suborbital Crew, Virgin Galactic to ISS

NASA recently established the Suborbital Crew office within the Commercial Crew Program, which will focus on developing a plan to fly personnel on suborbital spaceflights. At the same time, Virgin Galactic signed an agreement with NASA to provide private orbital spaceflights to the ISS.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Peter, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 385 other supporters.

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Episode T+162: Grant Bonin, SVP of Business Development at Spaceflight

Grant Bonin, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Spaceflight joins me to talk about everything they’ve been up to lately, including being acquired, signing deals with SpaceX for rideshares on Starlink missions and on dedicated flights to SSO, signing deals with new launch companies and international providers, and a lot more including manifesting satellites, last-mile services, and about what makes Spaceflight unique.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Peter, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 385 other supporters.

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Episode T+161: Mark Wiese, Manager of NASA’s Gateway Deep Space Logistics

Mark Wiese, Manager of NASA’s Gateway Deep Space Logistics, joins me to talk about the logistics architecture for Gateway and, specifically, the selection of SpaceX and Dragon XL for missions in the future. He even lets me get really nerdy and responds to some of my complaints and questions from past episodes!

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Peter, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 384 other supporters.

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Episode T+160: Lueders Leads HEO, Northrop Grumman Awarded HALO Contract

Northrop Grumman was awarded $187 million for the Gateway Habitat design, which caps off NASA’s 2020 budget work for Artemis components. Additionally, Kathy Lueders was named head of human spaceflight at NASA, which is huge and fantastic news. We take a look at the Artemis program’s acquisitions so far and the road ahead under Lueders’ leadership.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Nadim, Peter, Donald, Lee, Chris, Warren, Bob, Russell, John, Moritz, Joel, Jan, Grant, David, Joonas, Robb, Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut!), Frank, Julian and Lars from Agile Space, Tommy, Adam, and seven anonymous—and 377 other supporters.

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