Main Engine Cut Off show

Main Engine Cut Off

Summary: A short, weekly podcast about spaceflight, exploration, policy, and strategy in the modern era and near future.

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  • Artist: Anthony Colangelo
  • Copyright: © 2016–2018 Dot First, LLC


 T+119: Dr. John Charles | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:52:31

Dr. John Charles spent nearly 33 years at NASA—most recently as Chief Scientist of the Human Research Program—working on human spaceflight through Shuttle, Mir, ISS, and beyond. He lead missions such as STS-95 (John Glenn’s Shuttle flight), STS-107, and the Twins Study with Scott and Mark Kelly. He retired from NASA in February 2018 and is now the Scientist in Resident at Space Center Houston. We talk about his career, the human spaceflight issues he worked and solved in his time at NASA, and the things that need to be solved for the exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

 T+118: Rapid Agile Launch Initiative | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:23:58

Last week, the US Air Force announced and expounded on the Rapid Agile Launch Initiative. Along with the new initiative, the new era of small launch is finally here, so it’s worth discussing a bit.

 T+117: Q&A | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:28:16

This month we talk EM-1, Moon by 2024, the commercialization of LEO, and more.

 T+116: On the Moon by 2024 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:21:31

The National Space Council met this week and Vice President Pence announced the administration’s intentions to see humans land on the moon by 2024. I break down my thoughts and observations coming out of the meeting.

 T+115: Caleb Henry | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:47:12
 T+114: EM-1 Hot Drama with Eric Berger | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:46:34

Eric Berger of Ars Technica joins me to talk about the latest in SLS Hot Drama: the 2020 budget request and a Bridenstine appearance in the Senate that might just go down in history. This week, NASA has proposed flying the three prime missions of SLS on commercial vehicles, setting the stage for an interesting few months of politics and engineering, and introducing some serious questions about the future of SLS.

 T+113: Q&A | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:32:24

This month, we talk the GEO slowdown, the LEO boom, and as always, take on some fun launch vehicle questions.

 T+112: SLC-20, SPD-4, and a Soyuz Soapbox | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:15:20

Firefly Aerospace is taking over Space Launch Complex 20, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive-4, and NASA is looking to buy more Soyuz seats, even though they always say it’s too late to do that.

 T+111: SpaceX, the Established Launch Provider | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:30:33

A tale of politics, protests, and contracts tells the story of how SpaceX is in transition—and maybe has already transitioned—from a scrappy upstart to an established launch provider.

 T+110: Starship, New Glenn, and RS1 Updates | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:22:22

ABL Space Systems announced some changes to RS1, Blue Origin broke ground in Huntsville and signed a new customer, and SpaceX has been making steady progress on Starship.

 T+109: Q&A | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:39:37

We cover a lot of ground in this round of questions, nearly all focused on the future—ISS crew scheduling, ISS facilities, ISRO human spaceflight, science missions, and launch vehicles.

 T+108: Layoffs and Launch Sites | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:28:13

I wanted to spend some time breaking down a few news items from last week that may be leading indicators of trends for 2019: layoffs at Stratolaunch, Tethers Unlimited, and SpaceX, and Relativity signed a lease for Launch Complex 16 at Cape Canaveral.

 T+107: Chris Gebhardt | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:58:28

Chris Gebhardt of NASASpaceflight joins me to talk all things SpaceX: Starship and its upcoming hopper tests, DM-1 and the government shutdown, and more.

 T+106: Q&A | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:42:58

This month I tackle questions on future space architectures, companies working in space right now, and finish with a 2018 Top 10 ranking.

 T+105: Jonathan McDowell | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:35:00

Jonathan McDowell joins me to talk about his recent paper proposing 80 kilometers, rather than 100, as a more appropriate boundary of the edge of space.


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