Weekly Space Report: Starship/Super Heavy Wet Dress Rehearsal, Preparations for 33 Engine Static Fire, ISS/Soyuz Crew Return Plans, NASA/DARPA Nuclear Thermal Rocket Development


Nuclear? Look, if there is one place where the guvvies can provide a smokescreen for their malfeasance in the guise of “regulation” (of politically embarrassing commercial enterprises like SpaceX) it is nuclear rockets.

Musk had better watch out for political backstabbing by Congresscritters that view SpaceX as embarrassing to NASA hence to themselves. Yes, he’s been able, thus far, to avoid embarrassing NASA too much by according NASA much of the credit for his success in the minds of midwits – and yes he may be quite willing to continue to deploy that strategy. But in the calculus of power funded by the world’s reserve currency, why put up with the residual risk when you can eliminate it?

In a better universe than ours, NASA would adopt something along the lines of the fusion prize awards legislation we came up with, featuring provisions accommodating commercial access to nuclear test facilities: