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Andrew Jones returns to the show for the third time to talk about China’s current missions and future plans, including Chang’e-5, Tianwen-1, the Chinese Space Station, and the international politics surrounding it. And then we dig into the Chinese commercial market a bit—launch companies and remote sensing companies are raising a ton of money, but …
 
NASA awarded Venture Class Launch Services contracts to Astra, Firefly, and Relativity. Astra almost made orbit with its most recent test flight of Rocket 3.2. And something is up at Firefly, but I don’t know what yet. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 35 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Melissa, Kris, Pat…
 
Starship SN8 took flight last week on a mostly-successful mission to test its final descent phase. I share some thoughts on the test, the state of Starship development, and what that all means for the near future of Starship. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 36 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Melissa, Kr…
 
A lot of big, long-running projects have faced delays recently, and it seems like as good a time as any to check in and share some related thoughts. I cover a lot in this one: the Orion PDU issue, Ariane 6, Japan’s H3, Dream Chaser, Vulcan, and New Glenn. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 36 executive producers—Brandon, Matth…
 
SpaceX Crew-1 successfully launched and docked last week, kicking off a new era of the ISS. It’s a good time to zoom out and look at the ISS program overall, and what it means for the future of space development. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 36 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Melissa, Kris, Pat, Matt…
 
With a massive amount of news happening in the week following the election here in the US, it’s a good opportunity to give everyone a listen in on MECO Headlines. I run through all the stories of the week each and every weekend just like this for the supporters of MECO, so if you like what you hear, join the Headlines tier or higher! This episode o…
 
Last week, IAC 2020 brought a flurry of announcements and statements to digest. It’s a good time to check in on current and future lunar politics, with some statements by the ever-antagonistic Rogozin, seven countries signing onto the Artemis Accords, a handful of lunar development contracts announced, and the US election within sight. This episode…
 
The Space Development Agency has selected L3Harris and SpaceX to produce satellites for a missile warning constellation. I break down the details of the SDA project, the technical aspects, and what it means to see SpaceX enter the world of satellite manufacturing and sales. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive produ…
 
I’m back after a few wonderful weeks offline with my newly-arrived son, Will! I figured I’d jump back in with a rundown of the important and notable bits of news that happened while I was gone. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive producers—Brandon, Matthew, Simon, Lauren, Melissa, Kris, Pat, Matt, Jorge, Ryan, Nadi…
 
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 comp…
 
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…
 
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 …
 
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 mu…
 
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, L…
 
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…
 
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 ex…
 
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 …
 
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