The Space Reviewin association with SpaceNews
 

NSRC 2020

Articles previously published in The Space Review:

December 2004:

Assaying Gold at Bigelow Aerospace

Bigelow Aerospace is investing up to $500 million to develop inflatable habitats. Sam Dinkin interviews the corporate counsel, Mike Gold, to assess the promise.
Monday, December 20, 2004

Thinking big at Bigelow Aerospace

Bigelow Aerospace has taken the torch from the Ansaris. In this backgrounder, Sam Dinkin takes a look at this audacious sponsor of the America’s Space Prize.
Monday, December 20, 2004

Professor Grinch

Duke University professor Alex Roland is a frequent critic of NASA. Dwayne Day explains why Roland’s criticism should not be taken seriously, and why the media is also to blame.
Monday, December 20, 2004

Is 2004 the breakout year for space entrepreneurship?

Space entrepreneurs and activists have been waiting for years for the right circumstances to support the growth of new space companies. Jeff Foust reviews two very different events this year that together could herald a breakthrough for new space ventures.
Monday, December 20, 2004

Sean O’Keefe: NASA’s indispensable reformer

Last week NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe announced his resignation. Taylor Dinerman examines O’Keefe’s record and legacy at NASA.
Monday, December 20, 2004

Old myths never die, they just (sorta) fade away

The Vision for Space Exploration has been burdened with a number of myths and misunderstandings since its announcement in January. Dwayne Day finds that while the myth of a trillion-dollar cost for the program has faded, another myth lives on.
Monday, December 13, 2004

Getting into the act

HR 5382 passed the Senate unanimously at the last minute. Sam Dinkin analyzes this long-sought legislation supporting space adventure travel.
Monday, December 13, 2004

The Senator from Hawaii

Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye will become the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee in January. Taylor Dinerman wonders if Inouye will use that position to push some of the visions for space exploration espoused by a former Hawaiian senator.
Monday, December 13, 2004

Mars: the only goal for humanity

The Vision for Space Exploration has focused on sending humans to the Moon rather than Mars. Donald Barker argues that, for reasons that extend beyond science and education to the future of the US itself, the nation should focus on Mars exploration.
Monday, December 13, 2004

A lunar vision at $2,000/kg

The conventional wisdom pans the Moon. Sam Dinkin offers an alternative approach to lunar exploration that opens the Moon to lunar tourism and settlement.
Monday, December 6, 2004

Another dubious mandate?

NASA’s windfall in the final 2005 budget has been credited in large part to the last-minute efforts of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. However, Greg Zsidisin cautions that relying too much on DeLay without building a broader consensus within Congress could cause problems for NASA down the road.
Monday, December 6, 2004

Review: Centauri Dreams

If humans are ever to explore beyond the inner solar system, including journeys to the stars, new propulsion systems will be needed. Anthony Young reviews Centauri Dreams, a book that examines the state of the art in breakthrough propulsion.
Monday, December 6, 2004

Stephen Hawking on the men who shaped the known universe

Our visions of the universe have been shaped by the work of a handful of scientists through the ages. Taylor Dinerman reviews On The Shoulders of Giants, where one of those people, Stephen Hawking, discusses the work of others.
Monday, December 6, 2004


November 2004:

Is it time to dump the t-word?

Space tourism has gained a great deal of credibility in the last few years thanks to SpaceShipOne and other ventures. However, Jeff Foust wonders whether the term itself has connotations that are out of step with the near-term realities of commercial spaceflight.
Monday, November 29, 2004

Space debris: not just an American problem?

Orbital debris, while not yet a serious issue, has been an area of concern to some space professionals. Taylor Dinerman describes how a combination of technical innovations and international agreements can minimize the problem.
Monday, November 29, 2004

Stop giving thanks and start giving forward

Our holidays help us rest on our laurels. Sam Dinkin offers a new slate of holidays that look forward to new glory.
Monday, November 29, 2004

The legacy of great men

The success of the Vision for Space Exploration will depend on a relatively small cadre of talented engineers and managers, as was the case with Apollo. Anthony Young remembers some of those people who guided Apollo to the Moon.
Monday, November 29, 2004

Review: The First Space Race

Before the US and the USSR raced to the Moon, the two superpowers raced to launch the first satellite. The Space Review checks out The First Space Race, which offers a concise history of those efforts.
Monday, November 29, 2004

The costs and benefits of less-than-perfect legislation

Legislation designed to enhance the regulatory framework for commercial manned suborbital spacecraft is going down to the wire in Congress. Nathan Horsley examines the bill and concludes that, while useful, it is not essential to the future of the industry.
Monday, November 22, 2004

Of rocketships and paper clips

While SpaceShipOne won the X Prize, other teams are continuing efforts to develop their vehicles. Jeff Foust reports on what one of the leading teams, the da Vinci Project, is up to.
Monday, November 22, 2004

A meaningful role for the space station

The Vision for Space Exploration has put the future of the International Space Station into question. Mark Wessels argues that the station could support the vision by becoming a receiving lab for Mars samples.
Monday, November 22, 2004

Stanley Crouch and the future of the American space industry

The future of the aerospace industry depends on the ability of educators, companies, and the government to develop a new generation of scientists and engineers. Taylor Dinerman notes, though, that popular culture can be a powerful counterforce to those efforts.
Monday, November 22, 2004

The greatest game of all time

We give thanks this week that major colonizing nations faced severe trials like those in the game Rome: Total War. Sam Dinkin plays havoc with the concepts to find the best strategy for space colonization.
Monday, November 22, 2004

Will government-sponsored space prizes fly?

The success of the Ansari X Prize has led to consideration of larger government-funded prizes. Douglas Jobes wonders, though, whether Congress is really serious about the idea.
Monday, November 15, 2004

US-India space cooperation: the next level

Warming relations between the United States and India has opened the door for space cooperation between the two nations. Taylor Dinerman suggests that India could play an even greater role in space in the future.
Monday, November 15, 2004

The making of a space policy

While John Kerry’s space policy is now a historical footnote, there is still some interest in how that policy formed. Jeff Foust reports on comments made by one of the people involved in shaping that policy.
Monday, November 15, 2004

Back to Iraq, but what about the Moon?

After his reelection President Bush has said he plans to spend the political capital he earned in the campaign. Greg Zsidisin discusses whether current events will allow Bush to spend some of that capital on the exploration vision.
Monday, November 15, 2004

Mother of all colonizers

The long history of colonization extends from Babylon to Iraq. Sam Dinkin follows the lineage and its implications for space.
Monday, November 15, 2004

A mandate for exploration?

After last week’s election, President Bush said he plans to spend the political capital he has earned. Taylor Dinerman argues that if Bush plans to use that capital to promote the Vision for Space Exploration, he has to find a way to keep the public involved.
Monday, November 8, 2004

Vote yes on Prop 2001

California voters approved a measure to fund stem cell research last week. Sam Dinkin suggests that a similar approach for funding space exploration could trigger a space race among the states.
Monday, November 8, 2004

The invisible Big Bird: why there is no KH-9 spy satellite in the Smithsonian

The new space hangar at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center features the shuttle Enterprise and a variety of other spacecraft. Dwayne Day explains why a widely-anticipated spysat is missing, however.
Monday, November 8, 2004

Decision point

In 1962 Wernher von Braun had to make a critical decision: how to send Americans to the Moon. Tom Hill examines historical documents to explain how von Braun reached that decision.
Monday, November 8, 2004

Sagan’s rationale for human spaceflight

Carl Sagan was not an advocate for human spaceflight for most of his career, but late in life changed mind. Michael Huang believes that the reasons Sagan adopted for supporting humans in space may be the most compelling of all.
Monday, November 8, 2004

Both ends of the spectrum

Election day is nearly upon us in the US. Sam Dinkin summarizes the key differences between John Kerry and George Bush on space policy.
Monday, November 1, 2004

November’s moral dilemma

Democratic space activists face a conundrum: do they vote for their party’s Presidential candidate, or the President who unveiled a new space exploration vision? Greg Zsidisin looks at both history and current events to offer a solution.
Monday, November 1, 2004

Bush versus Kerry on space weaponization

Missile defense systems, space-based and otherwise, have been at the center of controversy in this administration and previous ones. Taylor Dinerman compares how George Bush and John Kerry would handle the subject over the next four years.
Monday, November 1, 2004

Robots and Hubble: a bad idea?

NASA is pressing ahead with plans for a robotic repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope despite concerns about its cost and complexity. Jeff Foust examines those issues as well as two alternatives that might be more viable.
Monday, November 1, 2004

Review: Light This Candle

Alan Shepard earned a place in space history as the first American to fly in space, but his life story had never been fully told. The Space Review checks out Light This Candle, a biography of Shepard that describes his journey from New Hampshire to the Moon.
Monday, November 1, 2004


October 2004:

Burt Rutan, in his own words

The success of SpaceShipOne has put Burt Rutan at the center of attention in the space community, curious about his past efforts and future plans. Jeff Foust offers excerpts of a wide-ranging talk Rutan gave just days after winning the Ansari X Prize.
Monday, October 25, 2004

Implementing the vision

NASA has awarded contracts to a number of companies to develop exploration architectures. Sam Dinkin reviews and critiques what these companies have proposed.
Monday, October 25, 2004

The US election and the future of the solar system

The outcome of next month’s presidential election will have a significant effect on NASA’s exploration plans. Taylor Dinerman examines what the outcome of the election will mean to space exploration and development.
Monday, October 25, 2004

Space: what love’s got to do with it

Much of the attention surrounding SpaceShipOne has focused on the technical accomplishments of the vehicle. Vanna Bonta reminds us that its flights also touched us deep in our souls.
Monday, October 25, 2004

The great (well, ok) space debate

Little has been said about space policy during the Presidential campaign. Jeff Foust reports on a debate between representatives of the Bush and Kerry campaigns that offered some new insights on where the candidates stand on space.
Monday, October 18, 2004

Iran’s satellite: a look at the implications

Iran has announced plans to launch a small satellite using a rocket that could also be used to deliver nuclear weapons. Taylor Dinerman argues that this development could push the US to develop space-based missile defense systems.
Monday, October 18, 2004

The space settlement prize

What is the best motivation for promoting space settlement? In the conclusion of a long-running debate, Alan Wasser makes the case for prizes.
Monday, October 18, 2004

Flu to the Moon

What is the best motivation for promoting space settlement? In the conclusion of a long-running debate, Sam Dinkin makes the case for auctions.
Monday, October 18, 2004

Standing on the threshold

The success of SpaceShipOne may open the door for public space travel. Anthony Young draws parallels with the early aviation and automotive industries to measure the prospects for commercial spaceflight.
Monday, October 18, 2004

Suborbital graduation day

Getting commercial suborbital service started is a lot like completing a dissertation. Sam Dinkin looks at some of the j’s to dot and x’s and 7’s to cross to get things going.
Monday, October 11, 2004

Space tourism meets ITAR

Export controls may make suborbital space tourism vehicles developed in the US difficult or impossible to send overseas. Taylor Dinerman describes how ITAR and the MTCR could hurt suborbital vehicle developers.
Monday, October 11, 2004

When good legislation goes bad

HR 3752 was designed to help suborbital vehicle developers, but a recent change in language could actually do more harm than good. Jeff Foust reports on the problem and efforts by commercial space advocates to salvage the bill.
Monday, October 11, 2004

Space shot

The Futron-Zogby poll only extrapolated suborbital tourism demand for rich people. Sam Dinkin offers an executive summary for a lottery business plan that would expand demand.
Monday, October 11, 2004

Auctions, races, and space settlements

Various methods for promoting the development of space settlements have been proposed and debated. Alan Wasser restates the case for races rather than auctions.
Monday, October 11, 2004

Now what?

On Monday SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X Prize and, advocates claim, opened the door wide open for space tourism. What happens now? Jeff Foust examines the short- and long-term issues raised by the victory.
Thursday, October 7, 2004

Ka-CHING!

Ten million dollars changes hands over the Mojave Desert. Sam Dinkin looks at the significance and implications of this historic event.
Thursday, October 7, 2004

Gallery: SpaceShipOne flight X2

A collection of photos from SpaceShipOne’s October 4 X Prize qualification flight.
Thursday, October 7, 2004

Dealing with the risks of space tourism

Wednesday’s SpaceShipOne flight offered a reminder of how risky commercial suborbital spaceflight can be, or at least seem to be. Jeff Foust explores the real and perceived risks and what the industry and regulators are doing to mitigate them.
Monday, October 4, 2004

A “Moore’s Law” for space transportation: what will it take?

Entrepreneurs have long sought markets that can drive enough demand for space transportation to stimulate investment in new low-cost vehicles. David Hoerr argues that the issue is not new markets, but creating a large enough supply of space transports.
Monday, October 4, 2004

Not so innocents abroad: China returns to the International Astronautical Congress

China is planning a major presence at the International Astronautical Congress this week in Vancouver. Dwayne Day looks at the role such conferences have played and China’s efforts to become a major player there.
Monday, October 4, 2004

2004: So far, what a great year

Despite problems with the space shuttle and ISS, 2004 is turning out to be a great year for the space industry. Taylor Dinerman celebrates the accomplishments made by the public and private sectors to date.
Monday, October 4, 2004

Gallery: SpaceShipOne flight X1

A collection of photos from SpaceShipOne’s September 29 X Prize qualification flight.
Monday, October 4, 2004

Rolling towards history

On Wednesday SpaceShipOne completed the first of its two Ansari X Prize qualification flights, but not without a little drama. Jeff Foust reports from Mojave.
Saturday, October 2, 2004


September 2004:

Unsung heroes of the personal spaceflight revolution

Much of the media attention surrounding the Ansari X Prize has focused on personalities like Burt Rutan and Peter Diamandis. Robin Snelson points out the contributions of a pair of lesser-known yet important people, and the role the prize has played in awakening a long-dormant interest in space.
Monday, September 27, 2004

Reducing launch costs: a lower limit?

Space advocates and entrepreneurs have long believed that space access costs must, and can, drop dramatically. Jeff Foust reports that some believe that instutional barriers may create an unsatisfactory lower limit on launch costs.
Monday, September 27, 2004

Is the Great Galactic Ghoul losing his appetite?

The “Great Galactic Ghoul” long preyed on Mars-bound spacecraft, but recent successes have left this mythical creature without much of a meal. Taylor Dinerman looks at whether the lessons of these successes can be transferred to the exploration vision.
Monday, September 27, 2004

Review: Out of Gas

The case for solar satellites, lunar extraction and fusion critically depend on the price of energy rising. Sam Dinkin finds there is still oil, gas, and money to run the economy.
Monday, September 27, 2004

“Near Space”: a new area of operations or a new Pentagon buzzword?

Military officials have recently expressed an interest in “near space”, the realm between the upper atmosphere and low Earth orbit. Taylor Dinerman describes why near space is so interesting and the role suborbital vehicles can play there.
Monday, September 20, 2004

Elevators and exploration

NASA’s new focus on the Vision for Space Exploration means that it has largely abandoned efforts to develop low-cost space access, including revolutionary approaches like the space elevator. Jeff Foust reports on what some experts believes are alternative means for supporting such a project.
Monday, September 20, 2004

Operation Public Eye

Reporters are unlikely to be included in the first human mission to Mars. Gregory Anderson offers an alternative approach that can give the media the means to offer independent reporting of such an expedition.
Monday, September 20, 2004

Don’t read this column

The SEC definition of who is financially qualified investor has loopholes, as do bank credit-scoring algorithms. Sam Dinkin asks if the sky is the limit for this volatile concoction.
Monday, September 20, 2004

CEV: a different approach

Conventional wisdom has NASA’s new Crew Exploration Vehicle being launched by an EELV. Jeff Foust reports that some people within and outside of NASA are promoting an alternative to the EELV based on an element of the space shuttle program.
Monday, September 13, 2004

Orphan RLVs

Government-supported development of RLVs has all but died off in the last few years. Taylor Dinerman argues that while the business case for RLVs may be weak now, there are strong defense-related reasons to continue their development.
Monday, September 13, 2004

Races, beauty contests, franchises, and build-out requirements for lunar property

Lunar property rights are a critical ingredient to successful governance of the Moon. Sam Dinkin makes the case for using auctions, rather than races or lotteries, to assign those rights.
Monday, September 13, 2004

Marketing space to the general public

Efforts to win greater support for space exploration among the general public have largely failed. Jeff Krukin believes that advocates can do a better job making space relevant to the average person.
Monday, September 13, 2004

Estimating the cost of the vision

A new report by the Congressional Budget Office concludes that the cost of the Vision for Space Exploration will exceed current estimates by tens of billions of dollars. Dwayne Day discusses the report and its effect on NASA’s budget.
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Colonize the Moon before Mars

A debate has been raging about whether to emphasize the Moon or Mars in future exploration activities. When it comes to colonization, Sam Dinkin concludes that the Moon is far superior on the merits.
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Space elevator dry run: next stop, the Moon

With one-sixth the gravity and no atmosphere or weather, the Moon may be less of a technical challenge to build the first space elevator. Sam Dinkin lets the line run out to see how hard the idea fights.
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

A better way to promote space settlement in our lifetimes

Some property rights advocates have argued that the US should amend or withdraw from the Outer Space Treaty. Alan Wasser offers an alternative that will give the benefits of property rights without the messy treaty complications.
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Democracy, development, censorship, and satellites

The French government has threatened to force a satellite operator to stop carrying an Arab extremist channel. Taylor Dinerman says that a better approach is to let such channels stay on the air, if for nothing else than to have something to ridicule.
Tuesday, September 7, 2004


August 2004:

Debating the Aldridge report

The release of the Aldridge Commission’s final report in June was greeted with widespread approval by the space advocacy community, but at least one organization is dissatisfied with the report. Jeff Foust reports on a debate between the leaders of two organizations with widely differing opinions on the utility of the report.
Monday, August 30, 2004

Can the US really build a global persistent surveillance system?

A new generation of spaced-based surveillance systems is only now starting to overcome years of problems that have slowed their development. Taylor Dinerman describes how these systems can be combined to create an overarching network of satellites that can keep tabs on world events continuously.
Monday, August 30, 2004

Buy the light of the Moon

Lunar advertising has been postulated for almost 100 years by George Allan England in 1906 and most famously by Robert Anson Heinlein in 1950. Sam Dinkin updates the case for lunar advertising with a modern business plan.
Monday, August 30, 2004

Whatever happened to solar power satellites?

Solar power satellites have promised clean, cheap electricity for decades, yet little progress has been made. David Boswell reviews the status of the concept and makes the case for developing a demonstration system.
Monday, August 30, 2004

The brilliant minds at JPL

For years scientists and engineers at JPL have developed new missions to explore the solar system. Anthony Young offers his appreciation for their work and reviews two relevant books.
Monday, August 30, 2004

Dancing on eggs: US space cooperation with China

To date there has been very little cooperation between the US and China in space. Taylor Dinerman examines how the two countries, along with a third partner, can work together on space projects.
Monday, August 23, 2004

Alighting the pilot

As suborbital and orbital tourism get going, a crucial early decision for designers will be whether a human pilot is needed. Sam Dinkin weighs the need for a pilot.
Monday, August 23, 2004

For Armstrong

The Vision for Space Exploration has faced considerable criticism since its introduction earlier this year. Stuart Atkinson argues that, for the vision to be a success, it needs a clear goal of looking for life on Mars.
Monday, August 23, 2004

Review: Universe on a T-shirt

For millennia scientists have sought a “Theory of Everything” to describe the physical world. Jeff Foust reviews a book that describes the history of that quest.
Monday, August 23, 2004

The case for shuttle-derived heavy lift

A number of proposals have been advanced to develop shuttle-derived heavy-lift launch vehicles. Thomas Olson looks at the concept and wonders if this is an idea whose time has passed.
Monday, August 16, 2004

Tile repair and shuttle return to flight

The first post-Columbia shuttle flight will test NASA’s ability to repair damage that doomed Columbia. Taylor Dinerman looks at the plans to test tile repair techniques on STS-114 and how they may be applied to future spacecraft.
Monday, August 16, 2004

Space vs. butter

The debate over space budgets have been going on ever since space became a budget item inspiring the 1972 song “Whitey on the Moon”, a speech from John Kerry, and hard choices in India. Sam Dinkin analyzes these loaded arguments.
Monday, August 16, 2004

Review: Moonrush

There have been many proposals to harvest helium-3 from the Moon to power as-yet non-existent fusion reactors on Earth. Jeff Foust reviews Moonrush, which offers a different rationale for going to the Moon to meet the energy needs of terrestrial civilization.
Monday, August 16, 2004

X-15 and today’s spaceplanes

Spaceplanes have come a long way from the X-15 to today. Sam Dinkin interviews Burt Rutan, Dan Delong, and Mitchell Burnside Clapp to get their impressions on the difference between the X-15 program and the suborbital rocketplanes they’re developing commercially.
Monday, August 9, 2004

Suborbital spaceflight: tourism vs. barnstorming

Recent developments suggest that the era of suborbital space tourism is right around the corner. However, Jeff Foust reports that the designers of some suborbital vehicles believe that a new generation of larger vehicles is needed for suborbital tourism to be commercially viable.
Monday, August 9, 2004

US space launch policy: security versus expense

The Air Force is reevaluating its policy of maintaining two separate EELV programs. Taylor Dinerman argues that the cost of going down to a single vehicle could be far greater than supporting two companies.
Monday, August 9, 2004

Review: The Depths of Space

The Pioneer missions to the outer solar system and Venus are often lost in the shadow of other missions. Jeff Foust reviews The Depths of Space, a book that reminds us of these missions’ accomplishments.
Monday, August 9, 2004

Space and subject classification

Space is classified under science or technology, and this influences people’s views on space. Michael Huang suggests that classifying space as a region is more appropriate for the present and future uses of space.
Monday, August 9, 2004

Soyuz to the Moon?

Sending humans back to the Moon will have to wait for at least a decade while the CEV is developed, according to current thinking. However, Jeff Foust reports, one company has proposed an innovative way to turn Soyuz missions to the ISS into circumlunar spacecraft.
Monday, August 2, 2004

Review: New Moon Rising

One of the most widely-anticipated space policy books in recent memory is New Moon Rising, the inside account of the development of the new space exploration policy. The Space Review checks out the book and finds there is a lot more to it than the behind-the-scenes details about the exploration vision.
Monday, August 2, 2004

The veto threat

Last month the head of the Office of Management and Budget threatened to recommend that the President veto an appropriations bill unless full funding for NASA is restored. Taylor Dinerman sees this as a sign that the administration is committed to the plan for reasons beyond just exploration.
Monday, August 2, 2004

Human spaceflight is inevitable

In a recent essay James Van Allen argued that there is little role for humans in space. Sam Dinkin counters that there are plenty of reasons other than science for humans to visit and settle space.
Monday, August 2, 2004

The vision and national survival

Many of the arguments attempting to justify the exploration vision have focused on space itself. Anthony Young argues that the exploration vision is not so much about space as it as about the American economy and national security.
Monday, August 2, 2004


July 2004:

Is the vision losing focus?

In the six months since President Bush announced the Vision for Space Exploration, the plan has suffered from indifference or criticism by the media, public, and Congress. However, Jeff Foust reports, some believe the biggest obstacle to implementing the vision could come from NASA itself.
Monday, July 26, 2004

Space privatization: road to freedom

A recent commentary argues that space privatization will worsen conditions on Earth and space and benefit only large corporations. Sam Dinkin responds that space privatization offers a chance for new freedom for space settlers and a great return for society and government on Earth.
Monday, July 26, 2004

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

The world, particularly the space community, still mourns the death of Carl Sagan in 1996. Dwayne Day says that now, more than ever, we need someone with Sagan’s rhetorical skills to make space exploration relevant to the general public.
Monday, July 26, 2004

Intelligence failure at the networks

Commercial satellite imagery is misused and underused by television news networks. Taylor Dinerman argues that proper use of such images can allow journalists to cover stories that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Monday, July 26, 2004

US public land policy and applications for the Moon and Mars

The US has a long history of policies designed to transfer land to settlers. Sam Dinkin describes how those policies can apply to the development and colonization of the Moon and Mars.
Monday, July 26, 2004

Review: Musgrave’s space story

Story Musgrave has never fit into the stereotype of the steely-eyed astronaut. The Space Review reviews A Space Story, a DVD recording of a dynamic, even poetic lecture about space exploration by the former astronaut.
Monday, July 26, 2004

Webb’s Giant

Throughout the Apollo effort NASA administrator James Webb warned that the Soviet Union was developing its own giant booster to compete with the Americans, a warning that was often dismissed. Dwayne Day describes what Webb knew and how that knowledge became an insurance policy for Apollo.
Monday, July 19, 2004

Inflatable POOFs

Bigelow Aerospace has made major advances in the development of inflatable modules. Taylor Dinerman says that such modules could play a role in both space commercialization and the exploration vision.
Monday, July 19, 2004

Scenario planning for suborbital

The rise of a new suborbital industry has raised questions about both the size of the industry and the roles for its companies. Sam Dinkin analyzes how the market structure of the suborbital industry will differ depending on how many customers there are.
Monday, July 19, 2004

The great launch debate

Space exploration advocates are split on the question of whether NASA should develop a new heavy-lift launch vehicle. Jeff Foust reports on a debate among various leading space activists on the issue.
Monday, July 19, 2004

We never went to the Moon (No, really.)

In the 35 years since Apollo 11 there have been many rumors and claims that the landing was faked. Dwayne Day decides it’s time to put all the pieces together.
Monday, July 19, 2004

Not quite exactly déjà vu all over again: The Vision for Space Exploration and learning from history

The rollout of the new Vision for Space Exploration has drawn comparisons to the ill-fated Space Exploration Initiative. Dwayne Day finds that while NASA and the Bush Administration have learned some of the lessons of SEI, they have still made some major early stumbles.
Monday, July 12, 2004

A new movement or a new industry?

Last month’s flight of SpaceShipOne has been hailed as a major milestone for the “alternative space” movement. Taylor Dinerman notes that advocates need to focus less on movements and more on industries.
Monday, July 12, 2004

Moon, Mars, baseball, and football

NASA appears to be basing its lunar exploration program on its successful Mars exploration effort. Jeff Foust suggests that lunar exploration is a very different ballgame.
Monday, July 12, 2004

“Permission to believe” in a Moore’s Law for space launch?

Many space advocates believe that space access is poised for a revolutionary advance along the lines of microprocessors. Michael Turner believes that a Moore’s Law for spaceflight is by no means inevitable.
Monday, July 12, 2004

Don’t wait for property rights

A number of people, as well as the Aldridge Commission, have made the case for reforming property rights in space. Sam Dinkin argues that there’s no reason to wait for space property rights to invest in space.
Monday, July 12, 2004

A new space service?

The concept of a new branch of the US military devoted to space operations has been discussed from time to time. Taylor Dinerman discusses a recent article in a Navy publication that makes a strong case for an independent Space Force.
Monday, July 5, 2004

Oklahoma is OK for suborbital

The state of Oklahoma has made a concerted effort to attract entrepreneurial space companies. Jeff Foust reports on two suborbital RLV developers that have moved to the state in the last year.
Monday, July 5, 2004

Patents are not pat hands

Should an RLV startup devote resources to getting and defending patents for its technology? Sam Dinkin argues that such an approach may not give that company a winning hand.
Monday, July 5, 2004

Giant bombs on giant rockets: Project Icarus

If you think you witnessed a good fireworks display on the Fourth of July, imagine a Saturn V launching a 100-megaton bomb. Dwayne Day recounts the Project Icarus study from the 1960s to deflect an incoming asteroid.
Monday, July 5, 2004

The Aldridge Report: it’s all about execution

The Aldridge Commission laid out one of the boldest calls to date for change within NASA and its relationship with private industry. Thomas Olson warns, though, that how the commission’s recommendations are implemented will make all the difference.
Monday, July 5, 2004

Home