Short news from Earth 3-2-2020.

Just a short roundup of passing links. Apparently, Boeing’s Starliner failed because they didn’t test it correctly. Like a lot of their recent work, the article holds back no punches regarding their other recent failures. Its honest, and I consider it a well written read. Just like the 737 Max, they skipped quite a few final tests in a rush to deliver. Yea, get in line for a ticket on that rocket. Beoing, I have to ask, what ever happened to you being the best in the world at this? At one time you were legendary. But, to investors – buy now while the stock is low. Boeing will recover from recent setbacks and redeem themselves.

However, SpaceX is not to be ruled out. They recently won the contract for the Psyche mission. (Wiki here, and props for the cool mission name). They want to visit an iron rich asteroid that might be considered a planetary core. You will find the slashdot discussion here.

One more thing to consider is their recent failed pressure test. Another (cnet) link here. Lots of video and information. Now, This is why I would fly on SpaceX. They report their failures, tweet, show videos. I would rather see it boom on the launchpad before I get into it. SpaceX, you guys are committed and its great to see publicly the love you all put into your work.

NASA, you could take a lesson from them – You can not buy that kind of public love or public relations, and when it comes to funding – a huge fan base does not hurt. If anyone in NASA is listening to me – If you want $$$ from congress, you need to show the public more often just whats being worked on, progress being made, how and how hard it is. Don’t be afraid to publicize failures, even bad news generates interest. Now, I’m sure thousands of scientists have blogs and feeds, but NASA needs a more public face, and more of a public profile I mean, where do I click to see what NASA projects achieved this week? Show your homework, and not at 5 year intervals.. SpaceX has the public’s eyes now (and investors). NASA, get current with publicity, or be relegated to the back of the class.

Its common knowledge a lot of NASA’s problems, in my opinion, comes down to bad management on many levels. Yes, that might stir up feelings in some of you, but all I can say is that SpaceX has done more in the science of space travel and rocketry in the last 5 years then you have shown the public in the last 40 years. SpaceX is getting somewhere and while supporting the private sector is the way to go, its quite embarrassing to see our tax dollars vanishing. Yes, you have lots to show for it, but how often does NASA make the front digital page? Pfft, We don’t even have our own shuttle in any form anymore, and I think that is outright pathetic. We have to outsource our own space missions and the means to launch them.

Now, before everyone gets upset about that, I do try to draw attention to every link NASA posts that actually makes a visible public view. The Rovers, the Mars work and ALL the missions to ALL of the planets represents a HUGE body of work. And, as an agency, the private sector would not exist without NASA forging the way first all those many years ago. However, depending on other nations and the private sector getting the publicity for launching our cargo to the ISS, I consider somewhat nationally emasculating.

However, NASA does know its roots when the sky was all stars. Kudos to NASA for speaking out about light pollution and the StarLink constellation. SpaceX, you may have been a bit overly ambitious in respects to that space project. While you may have had all good intentions, I think painting them dark is an even worse solution. If we are to all have access to space, your space junk is cluttering up low earth orbit and putting lives and missions in danger. You need to perfect swarm technology to relocate those and create windows at will, so that all countries can have a window to orbit without worrying about some cubesat killing all the passengers. As far as I’m concerned, this rapid deployment of thousands of cubesats without full and proven swarm control is HIGHLY irresponsible.

There is a military consideration here that all nations should take notice of. SpaceX is creating a virtual sphere around our planet that can be used as kinetic bullets to anyone they want to limit access to. This is some serious discussion to the future of humanity in space. Access to orbit should be controlled by a planetary council. If we don’t speak up now about access to space, well – that’s the kind of stuff that historically starts wars. Should a foreign nation need to pay SpaceX for clearance for them to open a hole in the swarm so your mission can safely and successfully leave the planet? And yes, It does lead some credence to the idea that should a nation need to shoot it’s way into orbit, so be it. SpaceX, you should not have blocked the road. Shame on you SpaceX. Shame.

SpaceX, your StarLink program is irresponsible and contributes to orbital pollution. When your cubestats get lasered into de-orbit en masse, well you deserve that for dumping into our orbital ‘oceans’. Do not come to congress asking for help, you will be known as the ones who crapped on our planetary doorstep. If I had any power to deny you, I would, in this respect.

And also in the news is Ad Astra. They are working on a simple launch program, based on basic rocketry. Link via hackaday. I think we will see some very cool things from this company in the future.