RocketSTEM Magazine – March 2017

The latest issue of the RocketSTEM magazine is now available:  Issue #14 • March 2017 – RocketSTEM –

We’re launching another issue of RocketSTEM to celebrate the start of our organization’s fifth year. While half a decade has been quite a journey for us, it is nothing compared to the 50-plus-year history of Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. From racing the Russians to the Moon during the Apollo program, through the construction of the International Space Station during the Space Shuttle program, and now the most recent launch of the Falcon 9 rocket by SpaceX, the world-famous launch pad has quite a story to tell. Speaking of SpaceX, the private space firm is also preparing to launch its biggest ever rocket – the Falcon Heavy – from Pad 39A later this year. But the company’s founder, Elon Musk, is already laying the groundwork for an even bigger rocket – the Interplanetary Transport System – that will allow humanity to colonize Mars and explore even further out into the solar system. In the meantime, a fleet of orbiters and rovers from three space agencies are busy checking out the Red Planet, while NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been been analyzing a dwarf planet named Ceres.

All that – and more – in this issue of RocketSTEM magazine.

And, as always, every issue remains free to read online or download as a PDF.


Exploring Mars – Eight rovers and orbiters from three space agencies are at the Red Planet.

Helo, Mars! – Learn to compute flight data for the proposed Mars Helicopter Scout.

Historic Pad 39A – The launch pad has been America’s gateway to space for five decades.

Falcon Heavy – SpaceX is gearing up to debut its new rocket later this year.

SpaceX goes bigger – The Interplanetary Transport System may open up the solar system to exploration.

Dawn’s harvest – Spacecraft has been revealing secrets of Ceres, a dwarf planet.

The Space Show this week – Feb.20.2017

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

1. Monday, Feb. 20, 2017: 2-3:30 pm PST (5-6:30 pm EST, 4-5:30 pm CST): We welcome back Eric Lerner of Focus Fusion and LPP Fusion for updates.

2. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017: 7-8:30 pm PST, 10-11:30 pm EST, 9-10:30 pm CST: Frank White and Nick Nielsen of The Overview Effect join us for a special presentation

3. Friday, Feb. 24 2016: 9:30-11 am PST; (12:30-2 pm EST; 11:30 pm – 1 pm CST) We welcome back Jay Witner & Ron Jones of The Integrated Space Plan for new updates and information.

4. Sunday, Feb. 26,, 2017: 12-1:30 pm PST (3-4:30 pm EST, 2-3:30 5 pm CST): Dr. Paul Spudis returns to the show for a must hear program. Lots has been happening with talk about returning to the Moon. Don’t miss this discussion.

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

Video: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sends a Dragon to ISS and lands booster at Cape

This morning SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon spacecraft full of cargo heading to the International Space Station. The Dragon will berth to the station on Wednesday morning.

After the first stage booster separated from the upper stage, it came back down for a powered landing onto SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral.

Landing Shot from the roof of the VAB – credits Trevor Mahlmann (Hi-Res image)

[ Update: Here is a drone view of the landing:

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on


Here is a video of the landing as seen during the SpaceX webcast:

After liftoff the rocket disappeared quickly into a cloudy sky:

The launch was the first for SpaceX from Pad 39A, which is the same pad used by most of the Apollo Saturn V launches to the Moon and for most of the Space Shuttle launches. Here is a brief history of the pad:

Update: This Dragon mission has a particular emphasis on science and technology cargo.

Here is a video of a briefing held last Friday on the science payloads:


Satellite images of the Oroville dam

Images from a DigitalGlobe satellite show the effects of the high water runoff through the spillway at the Oroville Dam in northern California: DigitalGlobe on Twitter:  “Before and after imagery of the #OrovilleDam.

Lots more images of the dam and the lake, including a shot during the drought: Dramatic Satellite Images Show the Oroville Dam From Drought to Overflow – Gizmodo.