Category Archives: Space

SABRE

Rocketry Revolution #4: Air Breathing Rockets

In a Pangaea issue entitled Revolution #3, I laid out the latest three revolutions in rocketry. Reusable rockets like SpaceX and Blue Origin, Air-launched rockets like Stratolaunch and Virgin Orbit, and Drone-launched rockets as exemplified by the Aevum Raven. Each revolution is designed to make space more affordable and accessible. Reusable rockets are obviously more...

Spencer Disque

Systems Engineer, Sigma Space Corporation Washington, D.C., USA Spencer Disque has been with Sigma Space Corporation since 2009. Starting as a mechanical engineer, he designed airborne and spaceborne science instruments for NASA projects and supported them for field campaigns. He also supported design and flight testing of single photon lidar (SPL) in the infancy of the program. Over...

Surveying Instruments on Mars

Above image credit: National Geographic Keen-eyed viewers of the groundbreaking National Geographic Channel series “Mars,” now in its second season, might have noticed familiar-looking equipment among the near-future science fiction gadgets—surveying instruments. We highly recommend this series for the techie and non-techie alike. It’s a mix of the story of a fictionalized first Mars colony,...

Nattaporn Thoonsaengngam

Research Assistant & Geodesist, National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand Chiang Mai Province, Thailand “I wonder, because it is a wonder,” says Nattaporn Thoonsaengngam, a talented researcher, published geodesist, and professional photographer. The worlds of astronomy, geodesy, radio astronomy, humanity, and natural and built environments are all captured by her mind’s eye, photographer’s lens, and...

Rocket Drone

Revolution #3: Drone-launched Rockets

Think of it as a revolution inside a revolution tucked inside yet another revolution. Revolution #1: ground-based reusable rockets as exemplified by rocket billionaires Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The reuse of launch vehicles is lowering barriers to space flight. Great stuff! Revolution #2: air-launched rockets. A shining example is Paul Allen...

Venus UAS deployment Black Swift

Drones over Venus

While attending the AUVSI XPONENTIAL conference last May, I spoke with the team at Black Swift Technologies, a Boulder, Colorado-based UAS engineering firm specializing in scientific platforms, and I asked them to keep me updated with their progress. I recently received the news that it has been awarded a NASA contract to develop a UAS...