And to so to start what I plan to be a weekly feature, a round-up of the biggest developments of the past week that have caught my eye. In future I'm also planning on linking back to my own posts, but today will just be external links.
The biggest news this week has to be SpaceX's announcement that they plan to land a Dragon capsule on Mars in 2018. I have been dwelling on this a lot and have some thoughts I'd like to share soon on a near tern manned mission using this technology.
Additionally we saw a new very small launch vehicle unveiled by Vector Space. I'm not sure how much demand there will be for launchers in this payload range but will be the more competition the better. It will also be interesting to see how far this design can be scaled up. More info here.
Blue Origin posted (by email) some information on the development of their BE-4 engine. Here's a summary.
Finally, a good piece on Buzzfeed on the SLS and its lack of uses, and an Economist article on Billionaire philanthropists that mentions Elon Musk and Jeff Bezo's space projects.
Saw this week about the Cobalt Valkyrie on Popsci. Is a very pretty plane and will be following its future development with interest.
Also this week Japan's' X-2 5th generation fighter prototype made its first flight, and while slightly older news I saw this article on Lockheed-Martins' return to the civil aviation market with the LM-100.
Australia orders 12 subs from France. Compared to the problems with the Royal Navy's Astute program seems a good deal.
That's it for this week! Check back for more news and commentary.