Main Engine Cut Off

T+48: Rand Simberg

Rand Simberg joins me to talk about his recent trip to the Space Tech Expo, the dawning of the age of in-space manufacturing, the future of SLS and Orion, the National Space Council, and a lot more.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 12 executive producers—Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Laszlo, Jamison, Guinevere, and four anonymous—and 50 other supporters on Patreon.

T+47: Uncrewed EM-1 Delayed to 2019

Last week was rough for the Space Launch System. An issue with weld tooling was discovered, with some serious consequences, and then a LOX tank dome was dropped and damaged beyond repair. To top it off, NASA announced that EM-1 will fly without crew, and is delayed until 2019.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 12 executive producers—Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Laszlo, Jamison, Guinevere, and four anonymous—and 46 other supporters on Patreon.

T+46: Eric Berger

Eric Berger, Senior Space Editor at Ars Technica, joins me to talk SLS/Orion, New Space vs. Old Space, space policy in the Trump administration, and why the fight might not be settled until 2020.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 10 executive producers—Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Laszlo, and four anonymous—and 46 other supporters on Patreon.

T+45: 2018 Air Force Launch Vehicle Contracts, and the Dim Future of Antares

As the award date approaches for the 2018 Air Force launch vehicle development contracts, we keep hearing from Congress about how they would like to see it go. And I discuss the future of Antares and the Next-Generation Launch Vehicle in light of the continuing flights of Cygnus on Atlas V.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 9 executive producers—Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, and four anonymous—and 42 other supporters on Patreon.

T+44: SpaceX and the Age of Reusability

SpaceX made history this week by launching SES-10 with a previously-flown first stage. I discuss implications of this achievement, the things we learned from Elon Musk in the post-flight press briefing, and the doubters, as always.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 8 executive producers—Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, and three anonymous—and 41 other supporters on Patreon.

T+43: March Lightning Round

T+42: Blue Origin Introduces New Glenn

This week, Blue Origin shed some more light on New Glenn—by way of an animation, launch agreements, and a talk by Jeff Bezos at Satellite 2017—and the first fully-assembled BE-4 shipped to their test site in Texas for a hot firing. I discuss the new details we learned and how New Glenn will fit into the industry in the 2020s.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 6 executive producers—Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, and two anonymous—and 36 other supporters on Patreon.

T+41: EM-1 Follow-up, Dragon 2-Falcon Heavy to the Moon

This week is all about #hotdrama, with two surprise media briefings: one from NASA on a potential crewed EM-1, and one from SpaceX on a privately-crewed journey around the Moon—riding on a Dragon 2 and Falcon Heavy—at the end of 2018. I discuss the implications of both, and go on a rant about SpaceX and “focus.”

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 5 executive producers—Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, and one anonymous—and 34 other supporters on Patreon.

T+40: The Potentially Infamous EM-1 Memo

T+39: Opportunities for Private Companies within Government Programs

This week, NASA officially announced that NanoRacks will be adding an airlock onto the International Space Station to add capabilities and capacity to their already-up-and-running business. That announcement, along with some early insight into NASA policy in 2017, got me thinking about commercial opportunities within government programs, beyond Commercial Cargo and Crew.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 4 executive producers—Pat O, Matt Giraitis, Jorge Perez, and one anonymous—and 28 other supporters on Patreon.