Space Studies Tuesday: Mission Planning

Links to the lessons: and

These lessons are pretty straightforward and administrative in nature, so I grouped them. 

I'm not sure I learned a lot from these lessons, as the planning stage is similar to ones I'd seen before.  However, I was hit again by how much pre-planning takes place.  Of course, as you'll read in Phase E, all that planning can get overcome by budget and political requirements of the day.  (Not like we've ever seen that before, right?)  I've said it more than once, but I'll say it again--that's one way I think Commercial Space has an advantage: they aren't tied to the whims of a Congress that changes every 2 years, or a President that can change every four.  Commercial interests, of course, can change as well, but usually, companies are not so willing to dump their investments.

I was surprised, however, about how much mission planning goes into when they can get the best DSN coverage.  (DSN=Deep Space Network).  This makes sense because what good is a mission if we can't receive the data--but I hadn't given much through to how the system gets taxed.  This makes me wonder--if we are going to increase our space presence--do we need more receiving stations on Earth, and is this another potential area for Commercial Space?

BTW, thanks to those who send condolences on the loss of our dog, Layla.  She will always be a big part of us, but she was such a great dog, we just could not be without canine love.  Saturday, we adopted a shepherd/hound mix, Toby.  He's setting in nicely, and we all adore him.

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