Category Archives: Spaceflight & Parabolic Flight

Space Access 2019 – April 18-21 in Fremont, California

A reminder for the upcoming Space Access 2019 meeting:

Space Access 2019 Conference

The Technology, Business, and Politics of
Radically Cheaper Space Transportation

at the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley, April 18-21

SA2019 Conference Presentations Schedule Now Online!

This presentations schedule represents 90% of the final SA2019 three-day program. Things have evolved toward our having three major focus areas over the three days of the program: On Thursday, we feature the current Entrepreneurial Revolution in Smallsat Launch. On Friday, the near-future transition to Reusable-Rocket Transport Networks in Cislunar Space. And on Saturday, the eventual transition to Getting There Faster: Advanced High-Energy Space Propulsion. Stay tuned for minor schedule tweaks, more detail on presentations start-time & duration, and a few final program additions in the coming weeks.

Space Access 2019 will be the next round of Space Access Society’s conference on the technology, business, and politics of radically cheaper space transportation, brought to you this year in cooperation with the Bay Area’s own Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society.

And it’s coming up fast! Five weeks from this Thursday SA2019 gets underway. The Marriott is ten miles from the San Jose Airport, 24 from Oakland – book your flights soon before fares go up. And there’s no guarantee the Marriott will honor our special $130 room rates after March 26th – our rate block is already sold out for Wednesday night, and Thursday-Saturday are going fast, so book your room soon also! Conference Registration also goes up after the 26th, from the current $180 advance rate for Regular membership to $220, other rates also rising. Register now, and join us!

Latest SA2019 info will be at

Videos: “Space to Ground” – Mar.9.2019

This week’s Space to Ground report from NASA about activities related to the International Space Station:

On Wednesday, VP Mike Pence and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine talked with the ISS crew from NASA HQ in D.C.:

This Week@NASA reports on the SpaceX Crew Dragon mission and other recent space news:

A view of the Crew Dragon as it descended to the Atlantic ocean under four giant parachutes:

MD-1 Crew Dragon splashdown on March 8, 2019.


Sunburst and Luminary: An Apollo Memoir

SpaceX Crew Dragon successfully docks to the ISS and crew enters capsule

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station early this morning. The uncrewed vehicle, which was launched on Saturday morning, approached the station very systematically, carrying out a set of highly choreographed actions to prove that it was capable of safely maneuvering near the station before being allowed to approach autonomously, and very slowly, push its nose into the docking adapter on the port of the Harmony module.

The first Crew Dragon docked to the ISS.

The hatch was opened about 2 hours after the docking. Crew members entered the capsule wearing air masks in case there were any leaks of noxious fumes into the capsule during the trip to the station.

Some photos of the Dragon and the ISS during the rendezvous and docking:

The Crew Dragon nears the station. The nose cap was opened soon after the Dragon was deployed from the Falcon 9 upper stage.
A view of the ISS from the Crew Dragon. Overlaid are indicators of the vehicle’s distance from the station, relative speed, etc.
Targeting the docking adapter on the Harmony module.
Views from a camera on the Crew Dragon of the docking port (left) and from a camera on the ISS of the Dragon (right).
Ripley waits in the Dragon while the crew prepared to open the hatch. The astronauts wear masks initially in case of any air quality problems in the capsule.
Astronaut David Saint-Jacques and cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko test the air inside the Dragon. Astronaut Anne McClain remained in the Harmony module.

More about the docking at:

An appropriate musical tribute to the Crew Dragon flight:


The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos,
and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos

Videos: SpaceX Crew Dragon Demonstration-1 launch

Below are videos and images of the launch early this morning of the SpaceX Falcon 9 with the Crew Dragon for the Demonstration 1 mission (DM-1). (Will add more videos as they become available). The first stage landed successfully on a platform in the Atlantic. The Dragon is scheduled to dock with the ISS at around 6 am EST Sunday, Feb.3rd. Watch the rendezvous and docking live starting at 3:30 am EST (0830 UTC) on the .

[ Update: Post-launch briefing:

A second passenger aboard the Crew Dragon enjoys weightlessness:


The complete SpaceX/NASA joint webcast:

The first stage just after landing:

A preview video of the launch system on the pad:

A video tour of the interior of the interior:

More about the Crew Dragon:

A view of preparations for the mission:

An animation of how the Dragon will catch up with the  International Space Station:

Some screen captures during the countdown and launch:

Just after the first stage (left) and second stage (right) separated and the second stage engine began firing.
Test dummy Riley in the Dragon interior.
The Falcon 9 and the Crew Dragon on the pad before the launch.
View of pad about 5 minutes before scheduled liftoff.


Space 2.0: How Private Spaceflight, a Resurgent NASA, and International Partners are Creating a New Space Age

Videos: More views of the 2nd Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceflight

More imagery from Friday’s flight of the SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity (see previous postings here and here):

** Beth Moses enjoys the view from space:

“The face you make when you look back on Earth from space. Our Chief Astronaut Instructor, Beth Moses, is the 571st person to fly to space and the first woman to fly on board a commercial spaceship.” – Virgin Galactic

** Flight highlights:

** Post-flight interviews with Moses, Chief Pilot Dave Mackay, Co-Pilot Michael “Sooch” Masucci, and Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides:

** Feather reentry mode as seen from a camera on one of the booms:


The Cosma Hypothesis: Implications of the Overview Effect