The Case for US Commercial Space

The US is in a heated commercial space race with China, and early indications are that we are losing. While US policymakers debate the preferred state for a Department of Defense headquarters, China is launching ahead with its commercial space ambitions. China’s acceleration in the commercial space industry is evidenced by the successful launch of a methane-liquid oxygen rocket by LandSpace on July 12, 2023, beating out US rivals, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, in the race to launch carrier vehicles fuelled by methane, which is deemed less polluting, safer, cheaper, and a suitable propellant

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Ever Wonder Why the Rockets Launch at the “Top of the Minute”?

With few exceptions, orbital space launches occur at the top of the minute.  The exception to this occurrence is if a rocket supports an interplanetary mission and the orbital mechanics need to be more precise.  All commercial, civil, and national security launches require a Launch Collision Avoidance analysis or L-COLA to ensure the rocket and payload do not run into an orbiting satellites, piece of debris, or space station.  As the number of satellites, pieces of debris, and space stations increases, fewer opportunities exist to launch safely.  This problem is going to get worse!   The Space Force currently provides

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Modern Range Management For The Modern Space Age

Space launches have traditionally relied on limited windows to ensure public safety and allow unimpeded access through the air domain. Unfortunately, as the number of launches increases, windows become more inefficient. Launch opportunities are limited by vehicle performance, inter agency adjudication of airspace priorities, orbital mechanics, and an unending list of other considerations. To establish these launch windows, airspace, marine traffic, public-use spaces, and other areas must be cleared during the window in case of an anomaly and to provide a clear passage to and from space. Airspace closures often require dozens of flights to route around the spaceport

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