SpaceX Targeting Dec. 16 Return to Flight from Vandenberg with First Iridium NEXT Satellites

File photo of a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket in a processing hangar. The company is now targeting Dec. 16, 2016 for their "Return to Flight" to launch 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg AFB, Ca. The mission comes three months after a Falcon-9 rocket exploded while fueling during a launch wet dress rehearsal. Photo Credit: SpaceX

File photo of a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket in a processing hangar. The company is now targeting Dec. 16, 2016, for their “Return to Flight” to launch 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. The mission comes three months after a Falcon-9 rocket exploded while fueling during a launch wet dress rehearsal. Photo Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX is aiming to return their Falcon-9 rocket to flight (RTF) later this month from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., pending FAA approval following a Sept. 1 explosion at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., which took out their rocket, launch complex, and their customer’s AMOS-6 satellite.

Although the investigation is still ongoing, SpaceX is confident that the accident was related to flight preparation, rather than a vehicle or engineering design issue. That said, the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company is now targeting Dec. 16 to return Falcon-9 to launch, aiming for a 12:36 p.m. PST liftoff from Space Launch Complex 4E to deliver 10 Iridium NEXT satellites to low-Earth orbit.

Iridium NEXT engineers pose with their satellites. Photo credit: Iridium

Iridium NEXT engineers pose with their satellites. Photo credit: Iridium

The 10 satellites represent the first set of 70 total that Iridium is launching with SpaceX to replace their current constellation; all of which are contracted to fly on seven Falcon-9 launches over the next 18 months (prior to the AMOS-6 accident, Iridium wanted all their launches flown by the end of 2017).

As outlined on Iridium’s website: “The Iridium NEXT satellite constellation uses a unique cross-linked architecture made possible by four antennae on each satellite, allowing them to communicate with each other and deliver a truly global network. Each satellite also features a main mission antenna that links the subscriber to this cross-linked infrastructure. Once fully operational, Iridium NEXT will offer greater bandwidth, data speeds and other functionalities (like global, real-time aircraft and ship surveillance).”

Although a root cause for the AMOS-6 accident has yet to be confirmed, the investigation has focused heavily on a breach in the cryogenic helium system of the rocket’s second stage liquid oxygen tank, with special attention narrowed to “one of the three composite over wrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) inside the LOX tank,” said SpaceX in an Oct. 28 update.

A company spokesperson declined to comment on what changes SpaceX will put into play during final preparations to fly Iridium’s booster, in comparison to the AMOS-6 rocket or prior Falcon-9 fueling operations. SpaceX also declined to update on progress at their Cape Canaveral Launch Complex-40 and historic NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) pad 39A, where Falcon Heavy flights and Falcon-9 crews will be launching from in the near future (although the October 2016 update on the company’s website does mention they expect pad 39A to be ready for Falcon-9 launches by the end of this year).

Launch Complex-40 took serious damage from the explosion Sept. 1, and Space Florida recently requested $5 million in funds from the Florida Department of Transportation for help with “infrastructure improvements” on KSC pad 39A for SpaceX, who currently has a 20-year lease for the historic launch pad, since December 2014.

It is assumed SpaceX will attempt another landing of their rocket on one of two offshore autonomous barges the company operates for Iridium’s first booster, but when asked about it this afternoon SpaceX declined to comment.

.
Be sure to “Like” AmericaSpace on Facebook and follow us on Twitter: @AmericaSpace

.

38 comments to SpaceX Targeting Dec. 16 Return to Flight from Vandenberg with First Iridium NEXT Satellites

  • perry

    so the tax payers are going to foot the bill for 5mil for launch pad 39 musk is going to be a very profitable enterprise are the expense of the fl tax payers if they ge this money which is not a loan but a give away to improve musks launch pad 39 while it may create jobs but to the tune of 5mil i have no problem with giving the money as a fl tax payer but do i as a tax payer get to share in the profits of his company as we are helping him build his company and with that said i am 100% in favor of space flight and space exploration because some day just some day we will have to expand beyond this planet if the sirvival of man is to continue that is if dont destroy ourselves 1st which is very likely with the china sea and middle east and who knows what so with that said i am in favor of space research but not for all to pay and one to profit

  • Tracy the Troll

    Perry,
    I agree Musk should be required to take SpaceX public so that we all can enjoy the profits of the successes of the company.

    • James

      Tracy the Troll –

      If he decides to “take SpaceX public”, it might open up a large can full of questions and ‘legal worms’ that he would most likely prefer to avoid.

      Musk has run a quasi-military funded ‘fast response’ launcher ‘shop’ from almost day 1 of the beginning of SpaceX and the details of government subsidizes, technical help, intellectual and real property transfers, or other taxpayer paid for help might be embarrassing to his ‘super cool’ and ‘commercial loving’ Martian wannabe friends.

      The management of quasi-military projects and how Presidents and other powerful insider folks can pick ‘winners’ and ‘non-contenders’ is a sensitive and murky political world that usually carefully avoids the legal light of full public disclosure.

      Perhaps ‘backroom’ secretive decisions made for political friends and ‘wink and nod’ considerations raise far too many auditing questions, legal issues, or ‘Mars Now and Cheaply Too’ marketing and advertising constraints when exposed to the harshness of legal daylight and public scrutiny.

      As for the military utility of the Falcon 1, Falcon 9, and Falcon Heavy family of fast response launchers, one might suspect that investing scarce tax dollars and other valuable government resources in the solid propellant ‘stick’ family of launchers would have provided a much simpler and more reliable and useful group of fast response launchers.

      See:

      “Orbital ATK, CRS-2, and the return of ‘The Stick'” By Jeffrey Smith November 7, 2016
      At: http://thespacereview.com/article/3097/1

      The solid propellant version of the ‘stick’ probably would rarely have launches strongly constrained by “winds aloft” weather issues.

      Note concerning the solid propellant Athena II:

      “Athena II launched the Lunar Prospector to the moon in 1998 and remains the only commercially developed launch vehicle to fly a lunar mission.”

      And, “Athena Provides Unique Customer Benefits
      • 100% domestic content improves sustained availability
      • Inherent simplicity increases reliability
      • Responsiveness:
      – 99% probability of favorable winds aloft at launch vs 25% for liquid propulsion systems”

      From: ‘Modernized Athena Ic and IIc Space Launch Vehicles’
      At: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed/data/space/documents/athena/Athena%20Fact%20Sheet%20Review%20vers%204.pdf

      Oh well.

      A new President is coming into office soon. Maybe he’ll drain NASA’s management swamp that is currently full of folks who ‘ignore the nearby resources on the Moon and shovel Mr. Musk’s Martian pixie dust’.

      Let’s see how the new President works out.

      • Tracy the Troll

        James,
        Yes we are going back to the moon and in a big way! Trump being a builder gets construction! and just think of the jobs! The High Tech Jobs.

        • James

          Tracy the Troll –

          I hope so.

          “I went to that rally not because I supported Trump but because I genuinely wanted to first-handedly meet and talk to his supporters. It was a bizarre experience and I felt like I was in a completely different universe for an hour, but I ended up gaining a better understanding of his base’s reasons for supporting him. I witnessed the pains of being jobless and blue collared, the humiliation of having fought for your country but still disrespected by a faraway liberal elite in Washington, and the visceral fear of being replaced by people who don’t look like you. I saw an old woman reduced to tears because she was so happy and hopeful about a Trump administration.”

          And a note about the writer: “Ms. Liao is a recent graduate of Yale and works in mobile partnerships acquisitions at Google.”

          From: ‘The Hypocrisy Of The Liberal Elite’ By Jaja Liao Dec 1, 2016
          At: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2016/12/01/the-hypocrisy-of-the-liberal-elite/#2452e1cb33d4

          I expect America’s upcoming President to lead the whole world in gaining real benefits from tapping Lunar resources and the full scale industrialization of the Moon and the rest of Cislunar Space. If President Donald Trump does that, he will always be known by historians and other folks around the world as having been a truly great American President.

          If Elon Musk and SpaceX help in that difficult but needed Cislunar resource tapping and industrialization effort to benefit our beautiful Home Planet and all Earthlings, that would be great!

          And if President Donald Trump fails to start leading that really ambitious Cislunar resources tapping and development effort, he probably will be scarcely remembered by historians and other Earthlings a hundred years down the road.

          Historians and all those other Earthlings are often tough and critical folks.

    • James

      Tracy the Troll –

      “Perhaps this is payback…”

      Nope.

      It is simply another indication that reducing the risks of spaceflight by having super reliable launchers and ensuring we have diverse redundancy in spacecraft and launchers capable of reaching LEO and the Moon are essential for reducing astronaut long-duration mission risks and efficiently tapping Lunar resources to industrialize the Moon and the rest of Cislunar Space and eventually do that same type of development on and near Ceres and Mars.

      For long human space missions, risk reduction is far more important than pseudo cheap stuff that lacks reliability.

      • Tracy the Troll

        James,
        I don’t think its a coincidence that this happened so close to announcement of return to flight of SpaceX.. And by reading your comments above I constantly am reminded that SpaceX is a qausi-military startup to fast track reusability. Now consider that Russian Relations are at an all time low under the outgoing Administration combined with the naming of MAD DOG as the new SOD…

        • James

          Tracy the Troll –

          “SpaceX is a qausi-military startup to fast track reusability”

          Why “fast track” what you already have?

          Oh yeah, I forgot! Narrow partisan Presidential politics of ‘the Moon is a Republican destination and I need to provide California with jobs and gain a forever grateful political friend’ might explain the foolish game of canceling the one launcher we had with an extensive technical history of actual reuse and many launcher growth options.

          The Space Shuttle and its large and reusable SRBs flew its first space mission in 1981.

          Ares I-X with its designed to be reusable first stage first flew on October 28, 2009.

          SpaceX was started in 2002 and has yet to reuse a booster. If “fast track reusability” was the real goal of SpaceX, they have failed miserably to deliver on that goal.

          “As of May 2012, SpaceX had operated on total funding of approximately $1 billion in its first ten years of operation. Of this, private equity provided about $200M, with Musk investing approximately $100M and other investors having put in about $100M (Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, …).[57] The remainder has come from progress payments on long-term launch contracts and development contracts. As of April 2012, NASA had put in about $400–500M of this amount, with most of that as progress payments on launch contracts.[58]”

          From: ‘SpaceX’ Wikipedia

          Funny how Jeff Bezos hasn’t had to repeatedly slip his hands into the pockets of the American taxpayers and yet has managed to repeatedly accomplish the goal of putting a large rocket into space and reusing it.

          The President’s partisan political pseudo “commercialization” fingerprints are on the Falcon family of government subsidized ‘not so fast’ and ‘yet to be reused’ launchers.

          If you want commercial reusable launcher space access without the ‘Mars Now And Cheaply Too’ hype and secretive backdoor partisan politics, watch what Jeff Bezos is doing with Blue Origin.

          Note:

          “The company is developing technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal to dramatically lower costs and increase reliability. Blue Origin is employing an incremental approach from suborbital to orbital flight, with each developmental step building on its prior work. The company motto is ‘Gradatim Ferociter’, Latin for ‘Step by Step, Ferociously’.”

          From: ‘Blue Origin’ at Wikipedia

          Also note:

          “‘Mars is absolutely the right place to be ultimately. But (the) moon is the first training ground and the first stepping stone. At the end of the day, we would rather me a lunatic three days away than be a Martian six months away,’ Jain told CNBC.”

          And, “‘So I really believe the problems living on the moon are similar – the high radiation, vast temperatture difference – and if we can solve that problem on the moon we can easily go on living on Mars after.”

          And, “In the meantime, Jain is focused on getting to the moon. The moon has key resources such as iron ore, water, rare Earth minerals and precious metals, as well as carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and helium-3, a gas that can be used in future fusion reactors to provide nuclear power without radioactive waste.”

          From: ‘Elon Musk may have a new partner in his mission to colonize Mars’
          By Arjun Kharpal CNBC December 1, 2016
          At: https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/6de264f8-143a-3f09-8a15-326cc20e843e/elon-musk-may-have-a-new.html

          • Tracy the Troll

            James,
            I think the concept of dropping the booster into the ocean then picking it up drying it out refurbishing the engines from salt water intrusion and refilling with solid fuel …is so “90s” and non-spectacular.

            Launching a booster ..then watching it come back down 10 minutes later to a lunch pad …is Buck Rodgers. that’s what the public want to see. Its Cool. We dump way too many things in the ocean.

            • James

              “Its Cool.”

              Tracy the Troll –

              If “Cool” was a real space goal, we would be exploring and exploiting the Moon’s resources with rovers controlled via the Internet in near real time from universities and science centers all around the Home Planet.

              If “Cool” was a real space goal, we would have Presidents that promote and lead the rebuilding and expansion of the International Space Station and who encourage every nation on the planet to send astronauts there to train and prepare for long-duration Lunar missions to fully industrialize the Moon and use its resources and machines to build huge space based solar power stations to beam power down to our power hungry home planet.

              If “Cool” was a real space goal, we would be planning to use the industrialized Moon to build large Orion nuclear pulse spaceships that could defend our Home Planet against nasty incoming asteroids and comets and be used to tap the many resources and opportunities of our entire Solar System.

              If “Cool” was a real space goal, we would have leaders that were serious about shipping a 12,000 kilograms of plutonium to the Moon each year because that amount of plutonium is enough to power a human crewed Orion nuclear pulse spaceship out on a fast mission out to distant parts of our Solar System and return with many tons of samples from the Kuiper Belt objects, and the small planets of Pluto, Haumea, and Makemake.

              “The Kuiper belt /ˈkaɪpər/ or Dutch pronunciation: [‘kœy̯pǝr],[1] sometimes called the Edgeworth–Kuiper belt, is a circumstellar disc in the Solar System beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun.[2] It is similar to the asteroid belt, but it is far larger—20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive.[3][4] Like the asteroid belt, it consists mainly of small bodies, or remnants from the Solar System’s formation. Although many asteroids are composed primarily of rock and metal, most Kuiper belt objects are composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed “ices”), such as methane, ammonia and water. The Kuiper belt is home to three officially recognized dwarf planets: Pluto, Haumea, and Makemake.”

              From: ‘Kuiper belt’ at Wikipedia

              If “Cool” was a real space goal, we would be carefully considering and planning how to use built on the Moon Orion nuclear pulse spaceships to build O’Neill Cylinders and Terraform the Moon and Mars.

              “The O’Neill cylinder (also called an O’Neill colony) is a space settlement design proposed by American physicist Gerard K. O’Neill in his 1976 book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space.[1] O’Neill proposed the colonization of space for the 21st century, using materials extracted from the Moon and later from asteroids.[2]”

              And, “Each would be 5 miles (8.0 km) in diameter and 20 miles (32 km) long, connected at each end by a rod via a bearing system. They would rotate so as to provide artificial gravity via centrifugal force on their inner surfaces.”

              From: ‘O’Neill cylinder’ at Wikipedia

              “For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.”

              And, “Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.”

              And, “To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the world’s leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many. With resources increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, we are going to have to learn to share far more than at present.”

              From: “Stephen Hawking: ‘This is the most dangerous time for our planet'”
              By Stephen Hawking, The Guardian Dec. 5, 2016
              At: http://uk.businessinsider.com/stephen-hawking-this-is-the-most-dangerous-time-for-our-planet-2016-12

              If “Cool” was a real space goal, we would select much smarter leaders who are quite serious about using an enlarged International Space Station and the Moon’s resources and many opportunities to improve the lives of all the good folks on the home planet.

              Note:

              “The International Panel on Fissile Materials, at Princeton University, estimates the stockpiles of weapons-grade plutonium at 88 metric tons for the United States and 128 metric tons for Russia. To give you a sense of how much plutonium that is, it is an unclassified fact that a nuclear weapon can be made with as little as 4 kilograms of plutonium. It’s a slightly touchier subject that this is the average in the U.S. stockpile — one can make do with less. But let’s do the math: Even at 4 kilograms per nuclear weapon, 88 metric tons represents enough material for 22,000 nuclear weapons.

              One hundred and twenty-eight metric tons is enough for 32,000 nuclear weapons.”

              From: ‘The United States and Russia Are Prepping for Doomsday’
              October 8, 2016
              At: https://www.yahoo.com/news/united-states-russia-prepping-doomsday-165806407.html

              • Tracy the Troll

                James,
                You do realize you are taking about trillions of US dollars in investment right? …That all needs to be initiated by say a 15 ton payload launcher that costs $3,000,000 or $3M or $100 per pound. Hopefully SpaceX can pull this off…eventually as they are trying to do this very thing. So we need a F9R full thrust for this price. Then all of the goodies you suggested are possible.

                • James

                  Tracy the Troll –

                  “You do realize you are taking about trillions of US dollars in investment right?”

                  Yep. But the good news is that it is a pay as you go forward project and exploring for Lunar resources and industrializing the Moon will be an international combined effort of many dozens of countries and businesses.

                  Start with small and medium sized resource exploration rovers and ISRU robots on the Moon that are controlled in near real time from Earth. In comparison, rovers and robots on Mars are extremely inefficient and slow moving due to the varying but always large distances to Mars which cause long delays in communication.

                  See: Lavoie and Spudis (2016) AIAA Space 2016
                  At: http://www.spudislunarresources.com/Bibliography/p/119.pdf

                  Scale up and invest more in the Moon as seems logical and appropriate.

                  Despite the hype and empty rhetoric, Mars colonies have much higher risks and costs and little to no direct economic benefits to the Home Planet anytime soon.

                  Note:

                  “The gross world product (GWP) is the combined gross national product of all the countries in the world. Because imports and exports balance exactly when considering the whole world, this also equals the total global gross domestic product (GDP).[nb 1] In 2014, according to the CIA’s World Factbook, the GWP totalled approximately US$107.5 trillion in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), and around US$78.28 trillion in nominal terms.[1] The per capita PPP GWP in 2014 was approximately US$16,100 according to the World Factbook.[1] According to the World Bank, the 2013 nominal GWP was approximately US$75.59 trillion.[2]”

                  From: ‘Gross world product’ Wikipedia

                  We Earthlings can afford to tap Lunar resources and industrialize the Moon, especially if we decide to start collecting taxes on the many tens of trillions of dollars in investments that are hidden away in secret off shore banks… The CIA and NSA know full well who owns those investments, but taxing those hidden investments would probably take far more courage and wisdom than our current politicians seem to possess.

                  “So we need a F9R full thrust for this price. Then all of the goodies you suggested are possible.”

                  The SLS and International Orion form a great combination for human Moon missions. A Lunar Lander is needed.

                  And Blue Origin’s reusable New Glenn launcher with a hydrolox third stage looks like it may eventually be quite useful for launching robotic Lunar exploration and ISRU missions as well as many other types of missions.

                  As for the “F9R full thrust” note:

                  “However, in space you get what you pay for. If the government tries to save money by turning to upstart launch companies offering cut-rate prices, risks will rise even as launch costs fall. And since the loss of one satellite can cost as much as half a dozen launches, those risks can wipe out any savings associated with relying on “commercial” launch companies.”

                  “And oh, by the way, ULA can reach all eight of the orbits the military needs to operate in. SpaceX can only reach four of them. ”

                  From: ‘How President Trump Can Avert A Crisis In U.S. Space Policy’
                  By Loren Thompson December 2, 2016
                  At: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2016/12/02/how-president-trump-can-avert-a-crisis-in-u-s-space-policy/#a6c46d632821

                • James

                  Tracy the Troll –

                  “The global super-rich are stashing trillions of dollars offshore with the help of some of the world’s biggest banks, putting billions of dollars out of the taxman’s reach and masking wealth inequality’s true heights.

                  Wealthy people were hiding between $21 and $32 trillion in offshore jurisdictions around the world as of 2012, according to a 2012 study from the Tax Justice Network, an organization which aims to promote tax transparency.”

                  From: ‘Global Super-Rich Stashing Up To $32 Trillion Offshore, Masking True Scale Of Inequality: Study’ By Jillian Berman 04/29/2013
                  At: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/29/wealthy-stashing-offshore_n_3179139.html

                  There is lots of money.

                  • Tracy the Troll

                    James,
                    Good luck with getting money out of the super elite. But then again you need to make the economics work which is

                    “15 ton payload launcher that costs $3,000,000 or $3M or $100 per pound”

                    That’s where the price point needs to be to get the moon.

            • James

              Tracy the Troll –

              “I think the concept of dropping the booster into the ocean then picking it up drying it out refurbishing the engines from salt water intrusion and refilling with solid fuel …is so “90s” and non-spectacular.”

              Hhmmmm… Actually it was 70s thinking. We could do it differently.

              Strap on a belt of pressure fed liquid propellant rockets to an SRB or solid propellant first stage and you can land it wherever you want to land it.

              Another option is mid-air retrieval.

              Get an evolved and much larger version of:

              ‘Airlander 10: World’s largest aircraft slowly drifts toward commercial use’
              By Sebastian Anthony 4/8/2015
              At: http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/04/airlander-10-worlds-largest-aircraft-slowly-drifts-towards-commercial-use/

              “Mid-air retrieval is a technique used in atmospheric reentry when the reentering vehicle is incapable of a satisfactory unassisted landing. The vehicle is slowed by means of parachutes, and then a specially-equipped aircraft matches the vehicle’s trajectory and catches it in mid-air.”

              From: ‘Mid-air retrieval’ Wikipedia

              SRBs and solid propellant rockets can offer simplicity, minimal launch crew, high thrust, extremely rare delay issues due to excessive winds aloft, and hard to beat reliability. These are real virtues in the very tough world of fast response launchers.

              Note that solid propellant launchers have a busy future:

              “PARIS — A Chinese commercial launch-service provider created earlier this year to bid for small-satellite business worldwide expects to launch 10 of its Kuaizhou solid-fueled rockets per year between 2017 and 2020, the company said Nov. 29.”

              And, “CASIC and Expace appear to have seen the same market trends that were behind development of Europe’s Vega small-satellite launcher, led by Italy, which has conducted seven successful launches and has scheduled an eighth launch for Dec. 5 from Europe’s Guiana Space Center spaceport on the northeast coast of South America.”

              And, “Tan Qinghai of CASIC said in the China Daily article that the CASIC Fourth Academy’s the latest version of the Kuaizhou rocket, which can place a 1,000-kilogram satellite into a 700-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit — and 1,500 kilograms into a 400-kilometer orbit — is scheduled to make its first flight in 2017.”

              From: ‘New Chinese commercial-launch company advertises high launch rate, low price’
              By Peter B. de Selding — November 29, 2016
              At: http://spacenews.com/new-chinese-commercial-launch-company-advertises-high-launch-rate-low-price/

              Also:

              “Encouraged by this success, the VEGA launcher is preparing for the development of its ‘consolidated’ version designated VEGA-C, which will offer a significant performance improvement in terms of payload weight and volume compared to the current model, allowing broader mission capability and increasing the competitiveness of this launch system. For example, VEGA C will allow expanding the payload capacity up to 2200 kilograms into a 700 km polar reference orbit.”

              From: ‘The VEGA launcher is preparing for a commercial future with VEGA-C’
              Source ASI, AVIO 7/18/2016
              At: https://www.researchitaly.it/en/projects/the-vega-launcher-is-preparing-for-a-commercial-future-with-vega-c/

            • James

              Tracy the Troll –

              “I think the concept of dropping the booster into the ocean then picking it up drying it out refurbishing the engines from salt water intrusion and refilling with solid fuel …is so “90s” and non-spectacular.”

              Actually that was late 70s thinking. We could do it differently in the future.

              Strap on a belt with some pressure fed liquid propellant rockets to an SRB or solid propellant first stage and you can land it wherever you want to land it.

              Another option is mid-air retrieval.

              Get an evolved and much larger version of:

              ‘Airlander 10: World’s largest aircraft slowly drifts toward commercial use’
              By Sebastian Anthony 4/8/2015
              At: http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/04/airlander-10-worlds-largest-aircraft-slowly-drifts-towards-commercial-use/

              “Mid-air retrieval is a technique used in atmospheric reentry when the reentering vehicle is incapable of a satisfactory unassisted landing. The vehicle is slowed by means of parachutes, and then a specially-equipped aircraft matches the vehicle’s trajectory and catches it in mid-air.”

              From: ‘Mid-air retrieval’ Wikipedia

              For quick reuse, propellant could be replaced as a cartridge, or a large and insulated plastic lined propellant slug, that fits snugly against the stage’s lightweight steel alloy, or carbon fiber, casing.

              Other fast and cost cutting possibilities do exist.

              SRBs and solid propellant launchers can offer simplicity, quick access to a specifically needed orbit, minimal launch crew, high thrust, extremely rare delay issues due to excessive winds aloft, and hard to beat reliability. These are real virtues in the very tough world of both general commercial launches and the reliable fast response launches of time critical replacement military satellites during an international crisis.

              Note that solid propellant launchers have an evolving and busy low cost future:

              “PARIS — A Chinese commercial launch-service provider created earlier this year to bid for small-satellite business worldwide expects to launch 10 of its Kuaizhou solid-fueled rockets per year between 2017 and 2020, the company said Nov. 29.”

              From: ‘New Chinese commercial-launch company advertises high launch rate, low price’
              By Peter B. de Selding — SPACENEWS – November 29, 2016

              “Encouraged by this success, the VEGA launcher is preparing for the development of its ‘consolidated’ version designated VEGA-C, which will offer a significant performance improvement in terms of payload weight and volume compared to the current model, allowing broader mission capability and increasing the competitiveness of this launch system. For example, VEGA C will allow expanding the payload capacity up to 2200 kilograms into a 700 km polar reference orbit.”

              From: ‘The VEGA launcher is preparing for a commercial future with VEGA-C’
              Source ASI, AVIO 7/18/2016
              At: https://www.researchitaly.it/en/projects/the-vega-launcher-is-preparing-for-a-commercial-future-with-vega-c/

              “The Epsilon rocket (イプシロンロケット Ipushiron roketto?) (formerly Advanced Solid Rocket) is a Japanese solid-fuel rocket designed to launch scientific satellites. It is a follow-on project to the larger and more expensive M-V rocket which was retired in 2006. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) began developing the Epsilon in 2007. It is designed to be capable of placing a 1.2 tonne payload into low Earth orbit.[2]”

              And, “The Epsilon costs US$38 million (£23m) per launch, which is half the cost of its predecessor.”

              And, “To reduce the cost per launch the Epsilon uses the existing SRB-A3, a solid rocket booster on the H-IIA rocket, as its first stage.”

              And, “Due to a function called “mobile launch control”,[11] the rocket needs only eight people at the launch site, compared with 150 people for earlier launches.[12]”

              From: ‘Epsilon (rocket)’ at Wikipedia

        • James

          Tracy the Troll –

          “Now consider that Russian Relations are at an all time low under the outgoing Administration combined with the naming of MAD DOG as the new SOD…”

          A young and liberal guy I know told me that “MAD DOG” is OK. I’m not sure what that means, but General Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis would be known everywhere as a wise and famous military leader if he managed to help devise and implement a careful and well-planned universal international policy of shipping the world’s plutonium to the Moon.

          “General Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis is a consummate reader, with an extensive collection of books”

          And, “General Mattis, who is unmarried, instead moved his books — all 7,000 of them — many of which, he has since given away to libraries.”

          From: ‘Inside the mind of ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis’
          By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst December 2, 2016
          At: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/02/opinions/inside-the-mind-of-mad-dog-mattis-bergen-opinion/index.html

          Why should the world ship its plutonium to the Moon?

          Large Orion nuclear pulse spaceships that are powered by relatively small plutonium explosions can be built at and launched from Lunar bases and are one of the many excellent opportunities offered by an industrialized Moon.

          If need be, the Orion nuclear pulse powered spaceships could initially be launched from the Moon using large chemically powered SRBs somewhat similar to those that were used with the Space Shuttles and are currently being used with the Ariane 5.

          Such large and super capable Orion spaceships could readily explore everywhere in our Solar System, including Ceres, and other asteroids, and even far distant Pluto and its moons. Such Orion super spaceships could also protect the Earth and its environment from incoming large extinction sized asteroids and comets.

          If Elon Musk and the Space X folks really do want to Terraform Mars, then using large and built on the Moon Orion nuclear pulse spaceships to redirect comets and asteroids and cause them to impact the Martian polar regions is a useful and doable option.

          These large and built on the Moon Orion super spaceships would also be quite useful for building huge O’Neill Cylinders for long-term space settlements.

          See: ‘O’Neill cylinder’ at Wikipedia.

          Such a built on the Moon plutonium powered Orion spaceship option is probably our best bet for the Terraforming of Mars during this century.

          And if built, such Orion nuclear pulse spaceships might also end up saving a large city, small country, or even most of the species on our Home Planet from a large impact event.

          Note:

          “Mars’s CO2 atmosphere has about 1% the pressure of the Earth’s at sea level. It is estimated that there is sufficient CO2 ice in the regolith and the south polar cap to form a 30 to 60 kPa atmosphere if it is released by planetary warming.[1] The reappearance of liquid water on the Martian surface would add to the warming effects and atmospheric density,[1] but the lower gravity of Mars requires 2.6 times Earth’s column airmass to obtain the optimum 100 kPa pressure at the surface.[9] Additional volatiles to increase the atmosphere’s density must be supplied from an external source, such as redirecting several massive asteroids containing ammonia (NH3) as a source of nitrogen.[1]”

          From: ‘Terraforming of Mars’ Wikipedia
          At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming_of_Mars

        • se jones

          Tracy, I’ll give you a 55 for your spy vs spy sabotage theories. Good job.

          http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

          • john hare

            Nice site. I seem to have racked up a few points as well. Do I get the 10 points for offering a prize when I was proved wrong and paid up?

            • se jones

              Oh what the heck, I’d give ya 10 points for that.

              Get enough points and you’re entitled to a coupon for a Reynolds Wrap® hat discount. So far, only Gary Church is in that league, but James is working on it. Giving credit where it’s due.

              • john hare

                Thanks for that It gives me a comfortable margin ahead of Tracy. I agree on the James posts. I actually followed one of the links to a Loren Thompson article since it wasn’t buried in a three screen cut-n-paste. An interesting mix of anti-commercial FUD, never change anything, and the president can fix it with the stroke of the pen. Note to self, aluminum futures.

                • se jones

                  A sense of humor: your score goes down!
                  (for those in Rio Linda, a lower score = better).

                  Oh, Loren Thompson’s propaganda pieces are often an embarrassment for Forbes. Hypocrisy on stilts and much pot calling the kettle black.
                  I didn’t know Boeing & LM were philanthropic organizations giving away their services for free. Learn something every day.

          • Tracy the Troll

            se jones,

            I had no idea on just how bad Chinese corporate espionage was and is…per below.

            http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/12/06/im-democrat-but-ive-gotta-admit-its-now-trump-2-dems-0.html

            The only company that is trying to radically reduce the cost of launch is SpaceX.. Yes I know Blue Origin is in the Mix as Well.

            How does ULA and Boing and Lockheed martin get to $100.00 per pound to orbit?

            • se jones

              “How does ULA and Boing and Lockheed martin get to $100.00 per pound to orbit?”

              Probably never. Considering their market, what’s their motivation?

              Chinese corporate espionage is what it is, espionage has been going forever, that won’t ever change.

              What’s more outrageous to me is the overt selling out by American companies. Everyone in high-tech manufacturing knows the rule; if you outsource manufacturing of your product to China, you have about two years to make a profit until the Chinese reverse-engineer it and begin selling it themselves at a lower price. Contracts, patents, and intellectual property mean nothing to the Chinese. The US owners and their upper management take the money and run, while their staff can go flip burgers.

              • Tracy the Troll

                se jones,

                “How does ULA and Boing and Lockheed martin get to $100.00 per pound to orbit?”
                Probably never. Considering their market, what’s their motivation?”

                Precisely the problem…Isn’t the world going to end because of “Climate Change” or at least become much harsher with flooding in 80 percent of the port cities around the world?

                Or are we just going to destroy ourselves fighting over cash flows? At any rate when the nukes start going off maybe space, the moon or Mars won’t look so inhospitable.

                Just sayin

  • James

    “So when ULA says it plans to replace its existing, highly reliable fleet of launch vehicles with a new launch vehicle powered by a new rocket engine that will utilize a new fuel requiring new ground infrastructure, that implies a fair amount of risk. And when SpaceX says it plans to launch big satellites into high orbits by bolting together three of its Falcon 9 launch vehicles into a “Falcon Heavy” variant that will have 27 engines in its first stage, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that might be a bit risky too.”

    From: ‘How President Trump Can Avert A Crisis In U.S. Space Policy’
    By Loren Thompson December 2, 2016
    At: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2016/12/02/how-president-trump-can-avert-a-crisis-in-u-s-space-policy/#a6c46d632821

  • James

    Yep, it seems obvious that 27 jet engines on a wide body airliner would reduce maintenance and repair costs.

    So all those two and four jet engine powered wide body airliners have been made totally obsolete by the new and much cheaper to maintain and repair 27 jet engine powered wide body airliners.

    Actually, the flight cost reductions are so excellent that soon all airplanes of all sizes will have 27 or more jet engines!

    And somebody needs to tell that confused Jeff Bezos Blue Origin guy that his reusable New Glenn launcher with only seven methane and oxygen powered rocket engines on its reusable single core first stage will be much more costly to maintain and repair and a lot more time consuming to reuse than the wonderfully complex three cores quickly bolted together launcher system with 27 kerolox rocket engines spouting flames and hot gases and otherwise known as SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy.

    Someone super smart in some important rocket office in the Air Force has wisely decided that three core reusable launchers with 27 first stage rocket engines are so much easier to quickly bolt together the cores and maintain and repair the 27 engines that the Air Force will soon only buy launches on reusable three core quickly bolted together launchers that have at least 27 engines firing when it lifts off! Wow! Three cheers for that very smart Air Force hero!

    The Air Force’s long history of Falcon rocket subsidies and technology transfers make the obviously lower maintenance and repair costs and lovely complexity of 27 kerolox rocket engines and super quickly bolted together three cores an indeed powerful example of how rocket science and taxpayer money, rocket technology, and a super huge and valuable NASA launchpad can be used to enable a super duper reliable and reusable fast response launcher and add further billions into the bulging bank vaults of our grand billionaire rocket designer Elon Musk!

    So obviously that confused Bezos guy with his privately financed and relatively simple New Glenn launcher doesn’t stand a chance in competing with the lower maintenance and repair costs of 27 rocket engines and the superior bolted together complexity of Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy fast response launcher.

    Yep, just remember that the Air Force and our space policy brilliant President really don’t want any reusable launcher unless it lifts off with the glorious complexity of at least three cores bolted together and the low maintenance and repair costs and time savings that repeatedly accrue from maintaining and repairing at least 27 kerolox rocket engines.

    The super low 27 rocket engine maintenance and repair costs for the quickly bolted together Falcon Heavy have impressed the President and Air Force generals so much that they are considering adding a DC-3 cabin and wings to the Falcon Heavy and using it as Air Force One. Imagine that! The President could quickly cruise from Washington, DC to California and then, if he changes his mind in mid-flight and wants to go to Mars or an asteroid he could do that too!

    Yep, the superior complexity and low maintenance and repair costs of 27 rocket engines means the Falcon Heavy is the new and super big high tech wave of the future!

    The whole world is in complete awe of the amazingly complex, fast response, quickly bolted together, low cost, and reusable Falcon Heavy that launches with 27 cheap to maintain and repair kerolox rocket engines firing full thrust to lift into a high Mars orbit a critically needed and super secret 600 million dollar Defense Department satellite!

  • Tracy the Troll

    James,
    How does ULA and Boeing and Lockheed Martin get to $100.00 per pound to orbit?

    • James

      Tracy the Troll –

      “How does ULA and Boeing and Lockheed Martin get to $100.00 per pound to orbit?”

      Politically and technologically support Lunar propellant production.
      Politically and technologically support PROFAC (Propulsive fluid accumulator) research and development.
      Politically and technologically support the research on new and enhanced materials.
      Politically and technologically support the research on AI.
      Maintain close business relations with innovative launcher companies.
      Understand that as our international science and technology capabilities evolve in the next hundred years many things that are difficult or impossible to do will become cheap and quite doable by many nations and companies. AI and other robots will be be big enablers of cost reductions.
      Note that if ULA built a single stage to orbit launcher and refilled it with propellant in LEO with PROFAC and Lunar supplied propellant, then the whole weight of the empty launcher should be considered as a payload.

      As a thought experiment, consider a first stage of ULA’s Atlas V that is launched to LEO without an upper stage. If Lunar and PROFAC (Propulsive fluid accumulator) derived propellant could be used to resupply that first stage, then all of the empty weight of that first stage of an Atlas V is a valuable payload that can be used for many purposes once it is resupplied with propellant in LEO.

      Since all of that Atlas V first stage, including its highly efficient RD-180 rocket engine, and even human launch preparation work, insurance, and launchpad costs could thus be considered as a part of the payload’s cost and payload’s preparation cost and thus not really a launch cost, we could consider that the ‘only’ real costs that could be counted as launch costs would be the costs of the RP-2 and liquid oxygen propellants.

      And if we wanted to be even much more snake oil cheaper, even those launch propellant costs might be accounted for as a general ‘last one hundred mile’ payload transportation cost and we could end up with only payload costs and zero launcher costs to LEO. Yep, I’m laughing, but nonetheless accounting is accounting…

      Yes, there would be new costs once the first stage is in LEO, but those costs shouldn’t be counted as part of the cost of getting the payload, that consists solely of the very useful and reusable Atlas V first stage, into LEO.

      Getting the needed international political and financial support and business technology investments for the critically needed PROFAC and Lunar derived propellant infrastructure and resource extraction capabilities would enable many types of useful risk minimized and low cost LEO and beyond LEO missions.

      Under the proper technological and infrastructure environment, launchers are actually payloads.

      In any case, we humans can and will significantly reduce LEO access costs.

      And yes, with the PROFAC and Lunar derived propellant infrastructure investments “ULA and Boeing and Lockheed Martin” and many other companies and nations could “get to $100.00 per pound to orbit”.

      “A Propulsive Fluid Accumulator is an artificial Earth satellite which collects and stores oxygen and other atmospheric gases for in-situ refuelling of high-thrust rockets. This eliminates the need to lift oxidizer to orbit and therefore brings significant cost benefits. A major portion of the total world payload sent into low earth orbit each year is either liquid oxygen or water.”

      And, “Klinkman and Wilkes proposed, at the AIAA Space 2007 and Space 2009 conferences, that gases could be harvested at the very edge of the earth’s atmosphere by a high vacuum pump. An ion propulsion engine would consume a portion of the harvested gases and would restore the spacecraft’s orbital momentum.”

      From: ‘Propulsive fluid accumulator’ Wikipedia
      At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propulsive_fluid_accumulator

      • Tracy the Troll

        James,
        a fascinating example of allowing existing technology to be repurposed and utilized within the current government costing structure. It would appear that this is exactly the plan at NASA

        https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-for-refueling-mission-spacecraft

        Its almost as if SpaceX would build a SSTO vehicle if they could which I suppose is the holy grail of Launch. Lockeed Martin did this in 1999 with the VentureStar and the X-33 Demo craft before tanking it because it reduce their cash flows and profit margins I believe. And since the VentureStar program contract allowed Lockheed to keep all of the intellectual property from that program…Non of it will ever see the light of day.

    • James

      Tracy the Troll –

      “The X-33/Venturestar program was initiated by NASA in 1995 to develop a technology maturity demonstrator that would give future entrepreneurs the confidence that the technologies required for a commercially-developed Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) vehicle were sufficiently matured to permit successful development to start by about 2000. The X-33 prototype was to demonstrate these maturities through a brief series of flight demonstrations. The Lockheed X-33/Venturestar concept was selected to fulfill this role. Taking note that the “Prime Directive” for designing an SSTO vehicle is to “keep the weight out,” the resulting X-33 design that consisted of side-by-side tanks (2 hydrogen and 2 oxygen) plus an aeroshell to form the external shape clearly violated this rule. The failure of this design approach has had the residual effect that SSTO concepts are not viable. How did this happen? We have to go back to the beginning to the mid-1960s and a prophetic conversation by the author with a Lockheed person in the early 1990s. Lockheed had embarked on a continuing series of studies featuring side-by-side and nestled tanks that were reported periodically during that same period. This design path evolved to the X-33/VentureStar vehicle concept with the inherent design deficiencies. Thus, the X-33/Venturestar concept was doomed to failure as an SSTO at the outset. The eventual tank manufacturing problems only rang the final bell.”

      From: ‘Why the X-33 VentureStar Gave SSTO a Bad Name’
      By Carl F. Ehrlich, Jr September 2009
      At: http://enu.kz/repository/2009/AIAA-2009-6456.pdf

      • Tracy the Troll

        James,

        “the resulting X-33 design that consisted of side-by-side tanks (2 hydrogen and 2 oxygen) plus an aeroshell to form the external shape clearly violated this rule.”

        If the design itself did NOT meet known SSTO parameters why was it allowed to proceed to Hardware construction?

        Would that be corruption? Or are they covering up the design now?

        • James

          Car designs, and airplanes and rockets, are sometimes not optimized for safety or success because we humans have limited knowledge and many other issues. To error is human.

          Note:

          “There will undoubtedly be setbacks—if low-cost, reusable spaceflight were easy it would have been done before. But at this point it clearly is no longer theoretical, and Glenn recognized that.”

          And, “‘As the original Glenn, I can tell you I see the day coming when people will board spacecraft the same way millions of us now board jetliners,’ Glenn wrote. ‘When that happens, it will be largely because of your epic achievements this year.'”

          From: “One of John Glenn’s last acts was to praise reusable rockets
          Less than two weeks ago Glenn said Blue Origin has made ‘epic’ achievements.”
          By Eric Berger 2/9/2016
          At: http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/12/one-of-john-glenns-last-acts-was-to-praise-reusable-rockets/

    • James

      The idea of reusing such resupplied with propellant SSTO launchers in LEO to send payloads to the Moon or elsewhere in Cislunar, or beyond Cislunar, Space seems more interesting, useful, and cost effective than simply having them return to Earth.

      NASA and various other folks’ efforts to resupply propellants to satellites could create a large demand for propellant and servicing missions to both commercial and military satellites.

      We humans are going to mine and industrialize the Moon and make good use of the rest of Cislunar Space. And that means an enormous increase in mass going to LEO.

      Increasing numbers of spaceflights, major spaceflight risk minimization abilities, reductions in space transportation costs, and a revolution in reducing spaceflight’s negative environmental impact on the Earth will occur as various types of propellant begin to be supplied or enabled by PROFAC Earth atmosphere mining satellites, Lunar polar mines, and Space Based Solar Power.

      The SLS with its very large hydrolox propellant core is potentially an amazingly great Earth departure stage and Lunar Lander for large and complex payloads if it is resupplied with propellant in LEO and low Lunar orbit and if the RS-25 is modified to have multiple restart capabilities.

      Another option might be replacing the SLS’s excellent RS-25s on the SLS’s core with the simpler and restart capable J-2X hydrolox rocket engines which could become a doable and useful engine choice for some missions. This occasional engine swap on Earth and a LEO refill of propellant would quickly give us a huge Lunar Lander.

      “On February 27, 2013 NASA continued testing of the J-2X engine of 550 seconds in duration at NASA’s Stennis Space Center.[21]” From: ‘Rocketdyne J-2’ at Wikipedia

      Cars and trucks are quite versatile and useful human transportation tools because they often have the option of two or three or more engine options and the SLS could be extremely useful for a great many decades if had multiple hydrolox engine options.

      There is also the possibility of sometimes replacing the SLS’s RD-25s with the simple to restart, efficient, low cost, and probably multi propellant capable Japanese LE-9 hydrolox Expander Bleed cycle rocket engines.

      Japan’s new H3 launcher will have two and sometimes three LE-9 engines on its core and could be quite competitive with the Falcon 9 launcher due to the LE-9’s simplicity and reliability.

      Note that our extremely versatile, reusable, and multi propellant capable hydrolox RL-10 is also a relatively simple, efficient, very reliable, and in-space restart capable Expander Bleed cycle rocket engine.

      “The RL10 was the first liquid hydrogen rocket engine to be built in the United States, and development of the engine by Marshall Space Flight Center and Pratt & Whitney began in the 1950s, with the first flight occurring in 1961. Several versions of the engine have been flown, with two, the RL10A-4-2 and the RL10B-2, still being produced and flown on the Atlas V and Delta IV.”

      From: ‘RL10’ at Wikipedia
      At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RL10

      Launcher and rocket engine simplicity and reliability are essential risk reducing features for space missions and keeping your customers satisfied. Launcher reliability issues can cause delays and your customers may switch to other launchers.

      Note:

      “The launch next year of a commercial communications craft jointly managed by London-based Inmarsat and the Greek satellite operator Hellas-Sat has been switched from SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket, officials said Thursday.

      Inmarsat said in a statement it decided with Hellas-Sat to the satellite’s launch to an Ariane 5 rocket following a delay in SpaceX’s launch schedule.”

      From: ‘Citing SpaceX delays, Inmarsat moves satellite launch from Falcon Heavy to Ariane 5’ By Stephen Clark December 9, 2016
      At: https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/12/09/citing-spacex-delays-inmarsat-moves-satellite-launch-from-falcon-heavy-to-ariane-5/

    • James

      Tracy the Troll –

      Consider:

      “The Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25, otherwise known as the Space Shuttle main engine (SSME),[4] is a liquid-fuel cryogenic rocket engine that was used on NASA’s Space Shuttle and is planned to be used on its successor, the Space Launch System. Built in the United States by Rocketdyne, the RS-25 burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants, with each engine producing 1,859 kN (418,000 lbf) of thrust at liftoff. Although the RS-25 can trace its heritage back to the 1960s, concerted development of the engine began in the 1970s, with the first flight, STS-1, occurring on April 12, 1981. The RS-25 has undergone several upgrades over its operational history to improve the engine’s reliability, safecty and maintenance load.”

      From: ‘Space Shuttle main engine’ Wikipedia
      At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_main_engine

      Tracy, this is the super reliable, powerful, and highly efficient hydrolox rocket engine that the President and his pseudo commercial political friends are trying to destroy through politically attacking and killing the SLS/Orion system and thus ending our effective national leadership options for international Lunar missions.

      If the political attacks by our President and his great billionaire friends are successful against the SLS and Orion, most likely our American national leadership in LEO and the rest of Cislunar Space would become a bad joke told at international conferences where nobody in his or her right mind would want to partner to do Lunar or Mars missions with such secretive ‘American’ politically back-stabbing pseudo commercial launcher entities.

      The President’s highly politicized and partisan foolishness managed to divide, confuse, and delay America’s attempt to lead an international effort to tap the resources of the Moon. What other real damage has he done?

      Well, NASA no longer has access to the enormous SLS/Orion Lunar Mission capable Launchpad 39A. That was a highly useful, needed, and thrown away billion or two billion dollar American government asset. And somebody said with a grateful and big smile, “Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. President!”

      Maybe our President could still manage to also ‘get rid of’ Launchpad 39B by ‘giving it away’, too. Yep, he will always be known as a President who was wonderful at taking great care of his political friends. As folks have long noted, ‘Legal types of corruption are the best kinds.’

      Lots of folks are still wondering about the President’s illegal secret emails to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illegal home-based server even though he claimed he knew nothing about that server until he read about it in the newspaper…

      Whoppers aren’t just made in restaurants, they are also served up frequently to our sycophantic national White House press reporters who gobble them up without even asking any real questions or burping.

      Such is life.

      See also:

      ‘Lost in Space or Thrown Away? – Revisiting the 2009 Augustine Committee Report’
      October 7, 2016 by Paul Spudis
      At: http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/lost-in-space-or-thrown-away-revisiting-the-2009-augustine-committee-report/

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>