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Bridenstine NASA nomination again clears key committee on narrow vote:

“I can’t predict at this point what might happen if he comes to the floor,” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said shortly after his panel’s close votes on several nominations, including Bridenstine’s.

“I think probably we might not know until the leader (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.) decides to take him up.” [...]

“I know there have been a lot of conversations between the nominee and Sen. Rubio,” Thune said. “I think those conversations continue.”
SpaceX Mars / Re: Mars "domestic" launcher
« Last post by Lar on Today at 12:50 AM »
Hypersonic manoeuvring is already a dicey proposition - but yeah, eventually anything is possible. So what?

No need to get so dicey, people are exploring the trade space, you already made your point that you think it's a bad idea.
If it went vertical again,(thought I saw that somewhere)  that puts paid to the notion they were going to roll it in to the HIF, and supports the idea that it was for ease of tinkering.
Trump's pick to head NASA to host Bill Nye 'Science Guy' [at the State of the Union]:
Just to compete the recap: the know S2 reentered in approximately the right place and time because its post-burn propellant dump was observed and photographed by an airline pilot in Sudan (and others).

However, Ed Kyle (and others) have questioned whether all was fully nominal with that burn, since the observed propellant dump had a (beautiful) spiral pattern.  There was some inconclusive back-and-forth, but it seems that spinning during the propellant dump hasn't been observed before in completely-nominal missions.  This *could* be a normal but infrequently observed feature of the dump, or it could indicate something else (like perhaps Zuma was still attached to the stage and causing an asymmetry).
SpaceX Mars / Re: Mars "domestic" launcher
« Last post by QuantumG on Today at 12:42 AM »
Hypersonic manoeuvring is already a dicey proposition - but yeah, eventually anything is possible. So what?
The lander design is very Blue Origin in some ways. Not forgetting BO's nod to Flesh Gordon!

Flash. :)  (google what you said if you dare)
With Democrats opposed, Trump’s NASA pick gets political:

In an interview, Newt Gingrich, a Trump supporter, said he thought there was a “very high” chance that Bridenstine would soon be confirmed and that he thought Bridenstine would be “a very good administrator.”
2009? I expect they will be happy to get these off their manifest, as I expect they didn't get current rates for the launches...
SpaceX Mars / Re: Mars "domestic" launcher
« Last post by Robotbeat on Today at 12:29 AM »
Yeah, I don't think aerocapture would be wildly difficult for BFS.
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