Main Engine Cut Off

A short, weekly podcast about spaceflight, exploration, colonization, policy, and strategy in the modern era and near future.

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A short, weekly podcast about spaceflight, exploration, colonization, policy, and strategy in the modern era and near future.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-11-28 01:53
last episode published
2019-11-27 17:29
publication frequency
9.4 days
Anthony Colangelo author  
Dot First, LLC owner  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Technology Science & Medicine Natural Sciences



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

T+140: Launch Protests and Lander Hopefuls

Blue Origin successfully protested the US Air Force’s RFP for the National Security Space Launch program, which will have big implications for the way the current round of contract awards plays out. NASA added five new providers to the Commercial Lunar...
Dot First, LLC author

T+139: RemoveDEBRIS with Richard Duke

Richard Duke from the Surrey Space Center joins me to talk about their RemoveDEBRIS mission, which launched last year and carried out 4 different tests focused on space debris removal and management.This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you...
Dot First, LLC author

T+138: Peter Beck, Founder of Rocket Lab

Peter Beck, Founder, CEO, and CTO of Rocket Lab, joins me to talk about what they’ve been up to with Electron and Photon, as well as some of their new offerings like ground station support through KSAT and Photon missions to the Moon.This episode of Ma...
Dot First, LLC author

T+137: Artemis Politics, United Lander Alliance

Artemis and international politics were on display on the first day of IAC 2019, followed by strange-yet-politically-minded partnerships on the second day.This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 38 executive producers—Kris, Pat, Matt, ...
Dot First, LLC author

T+136: Starship to GTO, SSO from Florida

A few bits of follow-up on Starship to GTO, the Bridenstine-Musk show at SpaceX HQ, and flying to polar orbits from Florida.Meetup alert! Sunday, October 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. Hang out with me, Jake, and a ton of amazing people of space the night...
Dot First, LLC author

T+135: Jake Robins on Starship

Jake Robins, host of WeMartians and my co-host on Off-Nominal, joins me for Part 2 of our conversation about SpaceX’s 2019 Starship update. Part 1 can be found over on WeMartians.Meetup alert! Sunday, October 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. Hang out with m...
Dot First, LLC author

T+134: Headlines (with news on Orion, NEOCam, and more)

I’ve got a special preview of MECO Headlines for the main feed this week, with news on Orion, NASA’s FY2020 budget, NEOCam’s legacy, Starship, and more.This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 39 executive producers—Kris, Pat, Matt, Jor...
Dot First, LLC author

T+133: Kurt Klaus on CLPS

Kurt Klaus Chair of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group’s Commercial Advisory Board joins me to talk about NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, and the wider potential for commercial flights to the Moon and beyond.This episode of Main Eng...
Dot First, LLC author

T+132: SpaceX SmallSat Updates

SpaceX updated their SmallSat launch offering—dropping the price and increasing the number of flights. It certainly looks like they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the small launch market. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 3...
Dot First, LLC author

T+131: Andrew Rush, CEO of Made in Space

Andrew Rush, CEO of Made in Space, joins me to talk about their big new NASA contract for Archinaut One and the history, present, and future of in-space manufacturing. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 40 executive producers—Kris...
Dot First, LLC author

T+130: SmallSat Launch Roundup

SmallSat was last week which meant a flurry of announcements. This year was launch heavy, so I break down some announcements from SpaceX, Arianespace, and Rocket Lab. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 40 executive producers—Kris,...
Dot First, LLC author

T+129: Steve Altemus and Dr. Tim Crain, Intuitive Machines

Steve Altemus, President & CEO, and Dr. Tim Crain, VP of Research & Development, from Intuitive Machines join me to talk about their Nova-C lander, the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, and their task order from NASA for a landing on t...
Dot First, LLC author

T+128: NASA Shuffles CLPS, Partners on Blue Moon and Starship

NASA terminated OrbitBeyond’s CLPS task order, opened CLPS up to more providers, and announced exciting partnerships with Blue Origin, SpaceX, and others. This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 41 executive producers—Kris, Pat, Matt, ...
Dot First, LLC author

T+127: Gateway Habitat, Starhopper, and ABL Space Systems

I share some thoughts on three important stories from this week: NASA quietly announced their intention to sole source the Gateway habitat to Northrop Grumman, Starhopper made its first flight, and Lockheed Martin invested in ABL Space Systems. This ep...
Dot First, LLC author

T+126: The NASA Ousters

Two top NASA human exploration leaders—Bill Gerstenmaier and Bill Hill—have been ousted from their positions. I break down what this means for NASA and its plans, where things could go from here, and ponder whether these changes really matter. This epi...
Dot First, LLC author

T+125: Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones returns to the show to update us on China’s various efforts. We talk Chang’e-4 and Yutu-2, the mysterious Long March 5 delay, and what the future of Chinese launch may look like.
Dot First, LLC author

T+124: Gateway Logistics Services, FY2020 NDAA, and Small GEO Satellites

NASA put out a draft RFP for Gateway Logistic Services, the House Armed Services’ Committee weighs in on the US Air Force launch contracting drama, and a new company building small geostationary satellites has emerged.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+123: The Noosphere of Influence

NASA made a series of announcements about their ISS commercialization effort and the first Commercial Lunar Payload Services missions, and Firefly unveiled their Orbital Transfer Vehicle. And there’s a really interesting connection between all three st...
Anthony Colangelo author

T+122: National Security SpaceX Lawsuit

NSSL, LSA, OMG! Last week, SpaceX filed a lawsuit against the US Air Force over the Launch Service Agreement development contracts. We’re mere months away from bids being due for the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 launch contracts, so I figured...
Anthony Colangelo author

T+121: Artemis, Blue Moon, Starship, and Politics

NASA and the White House released a summary of the FY2020 budget amendment this week, alongside the new name: Project Artemis. I talk through some political fallout, what the future may hold, and the chaos elements that are Blue Moon and Starship.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+120: Dr. Mike Baine, Axiom Space

Dr. Mike Baine, Chief Engineer of Axiom Space, joins us to talk through Axiom’s plans for commercial low Earth orbit space stations.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+119: Dr. John Charles

Dr. John Charles spent nearly 33 years at NASA—most recently as Chief Scientist of the Human Research Program—working on human spaceflight through Shuttle, Mir, ISS, and beyond. He lead missions such as STS-95 (John Glenn’s Shuttle flight), STS-107, an...
Anthony Colangelo author

T+118: Rapid Agile Launch Initiative

Last week, the US Air Force announced and expounded on the Rapid Agile Launch Initiative. Along with the new initiative, the new era of small launch is finally here, so it’s worth discussing a bit.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+117: Q&A

This month we talk EM-1, Moon by 2024, the commercialization of LEO, and more.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+116: On the Moon by 2024

The National Space Council met this week and Vice President Pence announced the administration’s intentions to see humans land on the moon by 2024. I break down my thoughts and observations coming out of the meeting.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+115: Caleb Henry

Anthony Colangelo author

T+114: EM-1 Hot Drama with Eric Berger

Eric Berger of Ars Technica joins me to talk about the latest in SLS Hot Drama: the 2020 budget request and a Bridenstine appearance in the Senate that might just go down in history. This week, NASA has proposed flying the three prime missions of SLS o...
Anthony Colangelo author

T+113: Q&A

This month, we talk the GEO slowdown, the LEO boom, and as always, take on some fun launch vehicle questions.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+112: SLC-20, SPD-4, and a Soyuz Soapbox

Firefly Aerospace is taking over Space Launch Complex 20, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive-4, and NASA is looking to buy more Soyuz seats, even though they always say it’s too late to do that.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+111: SpaceX, the Established Launch Provider

A tale of politics, protests, and contracts tells the story of how SpaceX is in transition—and maybe has already transitioned—from a scrappy upstart to an established launch provider.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+110: Starship, New Glenn, and RS1 Updates

ABL Space Systems announced some changes to RS1, Blue Origin broke ground in Huntsville and signed a new customer, and SpaceX has been making steady progress on Starship.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+109: Q&A

We cover a lot of ground in this round of questions, nearly all focused on the future—ISS crew scheduling, ISS facilities, ISRO human spaceflight, science missions, and launch vehicles.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+108: Layoffs and Launch Sites

I wanted to spend some time breaking down a few news items from last week that may be leading indicators of trends for 2019: layoffs at Stratolaunch, Tethers Unlimited, and SpaceX, and Relativity signed a lease for Launch Complex 16 at Cape Canaveral.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+107: Chris Gebhardt

Chris Gebhardt of NASASpaceflight joins me to talk all things SpaceX: Starship and its upcoming hopper tests, DM-1 and the government shutdown, and more.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+106: Q&A

This month I tackle questions on future space architectures, companies working in space right now, and finish with a 2018 Top 10 ranking.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+105: Jonathan McDowell

Jonathan McDowell joins me to talk about his recent paper proposing 80 kilometers, rather than 100, as a more appropriate boundary of the edge of space.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+104: Jake Robins

Jake Robins of WeMartians joins me to talk InSight, Mars EDL, and Mars 2020.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+103: Commercial Lunar Payload Services

NASA announced the nine companies that will be competing for Commercial Lunar Payload Services missions. I share some thoughts on the program overall, and discuss what we know about each company.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+102: November Q&A

This month for Q&A, we try to figure out what the hell is up with DM-1, hit a few questions about launch, and talk through a few space development topics.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+101: Starlink Addendum

As I was recording yesterday’s show about Starlink, SpaceX filed an application with the FCC for some changes to the Starlink plan. I read through the report and it confirms some of what I talked about yesterday, so thought it was worth an update.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+100: Midterms, and a Thought on Starlink

I share some space-focused takeaways from the US midterm elections and a thought that I had about recent Starlink reports.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+99: October Q&A

This month, I take on questions about small launch, future space ventures, and the Boeing/SLS saga/drama.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+98: Gateway Logistics Services

NASA released a request for information this week about cargo services to the Gateway—big news for the future of NASA and the Gateway. I break down the technical and non-technical bits of that announcement, as well as some updates on Space Force and th...
Anthony Colangelo author

T+97: SLS OIG Report, Air Force LSA Awards

I share some thoughts on the two rocket drama stories from last week: a brutal OIG report on Boeing’s work on SLS stages, and the Air Force selected three new launch vehicles to receive development funding.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+96: Blue Origin & Harris

Blue Origin and Harris announced an interesting partnership last week that’s worth discussing: Harris will be producing 5-meter fixed mesh reflector antennas that can only fit (for now) inside of New Glenn’s big fairing.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+95: September Q&A

This month, I take on questions about BE-4 and Vulcan, small launch, BFR, and human spaceflight.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+94: #dearMoon

Some thoughts on the #dearMoon project, SpaceX’s announcement, and the essence of SpaceX’s strategy—bringing us along for the ride.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+93: NASA Goddard and Restore-L

Pat O. and I took a trip down to NASA Goddard to explore all that’s going on there. We talk a bit about our visit, what we saw and learned, and we talk with Brent Robertson, project manager of Restore-L, NASA’s satellite servicing mission.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+92: Marcia Smith

Marcia Smith of Space Policy Online joins me to talk about the recent meetings of the NASA Advisory Council, the status of Commercial Crew, Space Force, and more space policy goodness.
Anthony Colangelo author

T+91: August Q&A

The first official MECO Q&A! I answer questions from listeners about any and all things space—mostly. (PS: Start sending me your questions for September’s Q&A episode!)
Anthony Colangelo author