Monthly Archives: September 2016


The SpaceX Falcon 9 LC-40 pad explosion

By |September 24th, 2016|

On the morning of September 1, 2016, during a standard pre-launch static fire test of the SpaceX 9 rocket at launch complex 40 in Florida, there was a sudden explosion of the rocket on the launch pad. The satellite payload was also destroyed.  In the afternoon, SpaceX issued this statement:

“The anomaly originated around the upper […]

America’s First Suborbital Astronauts

By |September 18th, 2016|

Today’s suborbital spaceflight participants are following in the footsteps of pioneering Mercury astronauts Alan B. Shepard and Virgil “Gus” Grissom more than half a century ago.

NASA’s manned space program of the 1960s was a response to the Soviet Union’s cosmonaut program.  America was already in a space race with Russia after that country launched the […]

Blue Origin’s orbital spaceflight plans

By |September 10th, 2016|

Blue Origin’s corporate motto is “Gradatim Ferociter”, Latin for “Step by Step, Ferociously.” This is the operating business model for the company.  The company was founded by Jeff Bezos more than ten years ago. In recent years, Bezos has been more forthcoming with Blue Origin’s plans.

Over the last two years, Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital […]

Putting suborbital spaceflight safety in context

By |September 4th, 2016|

The risk of suborbital spaceflight came to international attention in October 2014. During a test of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo above the Mojave Desert in California, the co-pilot Mike Alsbury prematurely unlocked the spacecraft’s tail boom feathering system at Mach 0.8. This should have been done later in the flight, at Mach 1.4. With the […]