Public television station KQED in San Francisco produced this documentary on the emerging commercial space industry.

Written by Astro1 on December 30th, 2014 , Commercial Space (General)

SpaceX employees

According to The Waco Tribune, SpaceX will be adding 300 new jobs due to a $46-million expansion at its McGregor, Texas test facility.

That’s in addition to 500 jobs at the SpaceX launch site near Brownsville, Texas — a total of 800 new jobs.

To put that into perspective, NASA’s Johnson Space Center employs about 3,000 civil servants and 10,000 contractors. (Or perhaps 12,000 ┬ácontractors– the Houston Chronicle and various NASA websites give conflicting figures.) But that number is down from 17,500 workers in 2007 and will remain relatively flat, based on projected NASA budgets. The SpaceX workforce, on the other hand, has the potential to grow rapidly as the company expands into commercial markets.

Written by Astro1 on December 30th, 2014 , SpaceX


Astrophobia is the fear of outer space. It can take many forms, from a fear of the stars to a fear of space travel.

One example of the later is actress Jessica Chastain, who starred in the movie Interstellar. When Hollywood Reporter asked Interstellar cast members if they would personally like to go into space, Chastain was the only one who said no — quite emphatically.

Yet, NASA chose Chastain to narrate this new advertisement for its Orion program.

Based on official plans, Orion will carry only four astronauts into space, once every two years — the lowest flight rate since Project Mercury. It would appear┬áthat NASA, like Chastain, has a fear of flying in space [very often].

Written by Astro1 on December 30th, 2014 , Space Exploration (General)