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30 January 2020

Rocket on the chilled rail at Poker Flat

In cold, dry, subarctic air, a rocket taller than a house tilts northward, awaiting the moment when a person inside a nearby concrete building pushes a button. The ink-black Chatanika River valley will then flash white, and erupt with a clap of thunder.


20 September 2011

The “Future” of Human Spaceflight

Well, it looks like Congress has finally decided what NASA’s next foray into human spaceflight will look like. If you’re thinking to yourself that that rocket looks the offspring of a Saturn V rocket and a Space Shuttle, then you’re absolutely right. Those solid rocket boosters on the sides are the same as the ones used for the Space Shuttle, as is the main engine for the first stage. In fact, if you take off Saturn V-like paint on the first stage, you would find a big familiar orange fuel tank. The second stage will use J-2x engines, based on the Saturn V engines.