Video: Orbit 10.26 – Our first look at CubeCab

The latest live program is in the archive: Our first look at CubeCab – Orbit 10.26 – TMRO

CubeCab CEO Adrian Tymes joins us to talk about their plans to create a small sat launcher and the new deal struck to launch 1000 picosats with ThumbSat

Space news topics:

* SpaceX drops plans for powered Dragon landings
* Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser Resumes Testing
* House has voted on 2018 budget for NASA and Space Corps
* LISA Pathfinder Mission Ends
* Progress departs ISS, making room for next Soyuz crew
* InSight’s Seismometer is Fixed, Integration Begins

TMRO is crowd-funded:

TMRO:Space is a crowd funded show. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to for information, goals and reward levels.

Jordin Kare – laser propulsion expert, physicist, rocket designer & filksinger – dies at age 60

Physicist, rocket designer, laser propulsion proponent, co-founder of LaserMotive, and music composer Jordin Kare passed away last week: Remembering Jordin Kare (1956-2017) – Centauri-Dreams)

We’ve just lost a fine interstellar thinker. Jordin Kare has died of aortic valve failure at age 60. While Kare played a role in the Clementine lunar mapping mission and developed a reusable rocket concept in the 1990s that he thought could be parlayed into a space launch system (in typical Kare fashion, he called it “DIHYAN,” for ‘Do I Have Your Attention Now?’), it is through a laser sail system called SailBeam and a ‘fusion runway’ concept that he will most likely be remembered among those who study starflight. But he was also an active science fiction fan, ‘filksinger’ and poet whose name resonates wherever science fiction fans gather.

Here is Jordin’s song “Fire in the Sky“, sung by Kristoph Klover from the To Touch the Stars album of space inspired music.


The Space Show this week – July.24.2017

The guests and topics of discussion on The Space Show this week:

1. Monday, July 24, 2017: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome back Ken Davidian on entrepreneurism, NewSpace, commercial space.

2. Tuesday, July 25 , 2017: 7-8:30 PM PDT, 10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT: We welcome back Dr. Pat Patterson on SmallSat 2017.

3. Wednesday, July 26, 2016: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details.

4.SPECIAL TIME: Friday, July 28, 2017; 7-8:30 PM PDT, 10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT: For those of you wanting to be on The Space Show, this is your chance. Give us a call. In addition, if you would like to co-host a program, call us and show us what you would do as a co-host! Special for a special show.

5. Sunday, July 30, 2017: 12-1:30 PM DST (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): We welcome back Dr. Mike McCulloch to discuss Mike’s latest work on EM Drive, advanced propulsion, dark matter and more.

See also:
* The Space Show on Vimeo – webinar videos
* The Space Show’s Blog – summaries of interviews.
* The Space Show Classroom Blog – tutorial programs

The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.

The Space Show - David Livingston
David Livingston

The sun expels another giant spray of coronal mass reports on another massive explosion from the sun, this time on the farside:

Earlier today, July 23rd, a spectacular CME emerged from the farside of the sun. Coronagraphs onboard the orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) tracked the fast-moving cloud as it billowed into space:

And here is a GIF video of the Sun as seen by the STEREO spacecraft;

At around 5:00 on 2017/07/23 there is a large coronal mass ejection.


If this explosion had occurred 2 weeks ago when the huge sunspot was facing Earth, we would be predicting strong geomagnetic storms in the days ahead. Instead, the CME is racing away from our planet … and directly toward Mars. Compared to Earth, the Red Planet is currently on the opposite side of the sun, and apparently in the crosshairs of this CME. Mars rovers Curiosity and Opportunity might be observing the effects of a solar storm later this week.

Videos: Planet satellite captures launch of more Planet satellites

On July 14th, a Russian Soyuz rocket launched a large government earth observation satellite as its primary payload and 72 small satellites, including 48 for the earth observation company Planet (formerly Planet Labs). Planet has something in the range of 150 active small satellites, which they call Doves,  viewing the earth in low earth orbit. (After a few years, the satellites reenter the atmosphere for a fiery destruction.) During the launch, one Dove happened to be passing overhead and took a series of images during the launch:

Satellites Taking Pictures of Rockets Carrying More Satellites

At Planet, we launch new satellite flocks regularly. For years, we’ve been talking about getting that perfect shot from space of a rocket mid-flight; and as our on-orbit fleet has grown in size, the odds of one of our satellites being in the right position to image these rocket launches have only increased. Last week, the orbits aligned.

Our Dove constellation is a monitoring one, meaning we point each Dove straight down, imaging what’s directly below in strips as the Earth rotates. In the hours leading up to our recent Soyuz launch we determined that a Dove would be near enough to Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to get a shot of our newest flock launching. Once we determined it was possible, our Attitude Control team worked with our Mission Operations team to point a Dove at the launch pad.

And, to put it frankly, the results are pretty cool. Check out what we captured:

To create this animation, we pointed a Dove approximately 50 degrees off-nadir towards the pad, capturing one still image per second of the fixed target as the Dove travelled overhead at an approximate speed of seven kilometers per second (or 15,658 MPH). Then our Imaging Team cropped and stitched the stills together. All in all, this short clip covers about two and a half minutes in real-time including lift off and flight.

From an operational standpoint, these on-orbit maneuvers were exciting to perform. We realized we’d be able to snap these images about 5 hours prior to launch; and our extensive ground station network made it easy to get the target commands up to the satellite really quickly. The next morning, right around the time the Doves Flock 2k were deploying from the Soyuz into orbit, we received the data.

Looking through it for the first time was exciting for the team. We’ve captured some spectacular imagery over the last few years, but these launch shots of the Soyuz are some of my personal favorites. Learn more about the flock of 48 satellites of Flock 2k that launched onboard the Soyuz.


Here is a ground view of the launch:


Here’s a recent interview with Planet co-founder and CEO Will Marshall:

And a time-lapse of Planet images of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada for mass production of lithium batteries: