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Space colony art: Don Davis


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Space law panel + Grasshopper news

Jeff Foust and others are posting notes on Twitter from the University of Nebraska sponsored space law discussion panel underway in DC this afternoon:
/-- (jeff_foust) on Twitter
/-- Twitter / Search - #spacecyber2011

Some initial posts from Jeff:
/-- "Tim Hughes of SpaceX notes that they expect their next F9/Dragon flight to occur 'late this year or early next year.'"
/-- "Hughes: first test of F9 reusability tech demonstrator (Grasshopper) in 1st quarter of next year."
/-- "Q: has the Comm' Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 stood the test of time? Hughes: too soon to say; hasn't been tested yet"
[My emphasis]

Comments

SpaceX is moving fast on the Grasshopper. I was expecting such tests to take place years from now. Wonder how this will effect Blue Origin's business since they're basically trying to do the same thing.

Posted by JRW at 10/12/11 22:32:55

They can move fast cause it doesn't involve NASA.. kinda makes you wonder if they'll take that lesson to heart.

Posted by Trent Waddington at 10/13/11 03:27:54

Trent,
The challenge is that while SpaceX can move fast on items when they line up with their critical path, they have very limited extra resources, so they have to pick their battles. People who think "wow look how fast commercial space can go without NASA" often have no idea of how undercapitalized most space companies were. Sure, if there were more billionare space enthusiast philantrocapitalists, you could see people working quickly on all sorts of things, but right now in the space world, most of the money for developing and fielding new technology comes from NASA or DoD in one form or another. And that probably isn't going to change much until someone has a good financial exit with a healthy ROI.

~Jon

Posted by Jon Goff at 10/13/11 21:13:54

Jon, that's understandable, but SpaceX has a revenue stream and NASA's delays are interfering with their ability to tap it. If ORBCOMM gets sick of waiting and takes their business elsewhere, how many other customers will go with them? If capital is the problem, stop dicking around and start flying already.

Posted by Trent Waddington at 10/14/11 08:18:00
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