Main Engine Cut Off

T+53: Loren Grush

T+52: XCOR Winds Down, ULA Wins STP-3

XCOR laid off the rest of its staff and is closing up shop after losing a contract with ULA, which leaves ULA in an interesting spot for Vulcan-ACES. On the ULA side, they won their first Phase 1A contract from the Air Force, and the contract price sheds some light on just how much they’re cutting their costs.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 16 executive producers—Kris, Mike, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Laszlo, Jamison, Guinevere, Nadim, Peter, and four anonymous—and 56 other supporters on Patreon.

T+51: The SpaceX Steamroller, Blue Origin Chooses Alabama

SpaceX launched two missions last weekend, flew new titanium grid fins on Falcon 9, and are really picking up the pace. And Blue Origin got cozy with the Alabama Launch Alliance by announcing that they’ll build the BE-4 production facility in Huntsville—if the engine is chosen for Vulcan.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 15 executive producers—Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Laszlo, Jamison, Guinevere, Nadim, Peter, and four anonymous—and 55 other supporters on Patreon.

T+50: Boeing Gets XS-1, SpaceX Gets X-37B

Boeing’s proposal won Phases 2 and 3 of DARPA’s XS-1 program, and I’m pretty bummed about it. And the Air Force announced that SpaceX will launch the fifth X-37B mission in August.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 14 executive producers—Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Laszlo, Jamison, Guinevere, Nadim, and four anonymous—and 52 other supporters on Patreon.

T+49: Dr. Thomas Lang

Dr. Thomas Lang, Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the UCSF School of Medicine, joins the show to discuss human health and physiology in space.

This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 13 executive producers—Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Brad, Ryan, Laszlo, Jamison, Guinevere, and four anonymous—and 51 other supporters on Patreon.

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.