The Space Reviewin association with SpaceNews
 

NSRC 2020

Articles previously published in The Space Review:

December 2007:

Where the candidates stand on space

As 2008 presidential campaign shifts into high gear this week with the Iowa caucuses, those interested in space policy struggle to find out what the major candidates think about NASA and other space topics. Jeff Foust reviews what these candidates have said—or not said—about space during the campaign so far.
Monday, December 31, 2007

How to tell your ORS from a hole in the ground

Operationally Responsive Space has attracted considerable attention in military space circles in the last few years, although with less progress to date than its advocates might have hoped. Dwayne Day examines the history and future prospects of ORS.
Monday, December 31, 2007

Is XSS-11 the answer to America’s quest for Operationally Responsive Space?

Earlier this month NASA selected a new lunar mission that uses a pair of spacecraft based on the recent XSS-11 technology demonstration mission. Taylor Dinerman argues that this presents an opportunity for military and civil space leaders alike to utilize this spacecraft as a common bus for a wide range of other missions.
Monday, December 31, 2007

Deepening democracy and space policy 2.0

Space advocates have been fighting an uphill battle for years to increase NASA’s share of the federal budget and have more influence in Washington overall. Kathleen Connell describes how several new developments could make NASA and space policy more relevant and influential.
Monday, December 31, 2007

How an intermodal COTS system can accelerate commercial servicing in GEO

The latest round of NASA’s COTS competition has attracted not just entrepreneurial companies but established space companies as well. Andrew Turner and Gerrit van Ommering of Space Systems/Loral describe their COTS proposal and how it could be used for other space markets.
Monday, December 17, 2007

Spaceports still taxiing towards takeoff

Like the ventures they intend to host, new spaceports have developed more slowly than once anticipated, but that has not stopped others from proposing new spaceports of their own. Jeff Foust reports on efforts in New Mexico and elsewhere to press ahead with their spaceport plans.
Monday, December 17, 2007

The truth, it is out there…

Just when you thought the Face on Mars proponents had faded away, they’re back with more evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations and terrestrial conspiracies. Dwayne Day examines the evidence (or lack thereof) and how such conspiracy theories compare with the study of history.
Monday, December 17, 2007

Review: Astronautics

Can any one book claim to provide the definitive history of the Space Age? How about two? Jeff Foust reviews a two-volume work that claims to offer a detailed history of spaceflight from its origins to the present day and beyond.
Monday, December 17, 2007

Why doesn’t the buck stop here?

In a recent presidential debate one candidate essentially took a pass on a question regarding human missions to Mars. Daniel Handlin examines why politicians can take such an attitude to space exploration and what can be done to change that.
Monday, December 10, 2007

Galileo and Trident: Britain’s incompatible bedfellows

Despite its previously-stated objections, Great Britain went ahead with its fellow EU members and approved the new funding plan for Galileo. Taylor Dinerman argues that this sets the stage for a battle of political loyalties in the UK between the US and the EU.
Monday, December 10, 2007

Space launch evolution and revolution

Launch vehicles under development today do not promise the radical reductions in launching payloads to orbit that may be needed to open up new markets. Eric Hedman suggests that what’s needed is some creative thinking about how to effectively apply existing and new launch technologies.
Monday, December 10, 2007

Review: Apollo Moon Missions: The Unsung Heroes

While the public’s attention during the Apollo program and beyond has been on the astronauts who flew to the Moon, many thousands more worked out of the limelight to make those missions possible. Jeff Foust reviews a book that profiles a handful of those people.
Monday, December 10, 2007

Aerospaceplanes and space solar power

A key obstacle to space-based solar power is the low-cost access to space needed to make any such project economically feasible. Mike Snead argues that the basic technology needed for such “aerospaceplanes” exists today.
Monday, December 3, 2007

The spooks and the Sputniks

For all the criticism of their missteps, the CIA did a good job of analyzing the Soviet space program during the Cold War. Dwayne Day examines one historical document that provides an overview of how the agency viewed the Soviet space efforts a decade after the launch of Sputnik.
Monday, December 3, 2007

China and India want to play

Some recent reports have suggested that China and India are looking for ways to cooperate with the US and other nations in human spaceflight, including the ISS. Eric Hedman explores the ways such cooperation, despite various political pitfalls, could be beneficial for all involved.
Monday, December 3, 2007

Robert Goddard and the “colonial cringe”

When Robert Goddard proposed some of his rocketry concepts, he was derided by many of his fellow Americans. Taylor Dinerman writes how this reaction was typical of an era when many Americans deemed their own art and science inferior to Europe.
Monday, December 3, 2007

How to beat the ban of humans on Mars

Congress is considering an appropriations bill for NASA that, in one form, includes a prohibition on work related to the human exploration of Mars. Michael Huang suggests some ways around that measure should it become law.
Monday, December 3, 2007

Review: Space Is the Place

The concept of “space art” to many is limited to illustrations of distant planets and galaxies. Jeff Foust reviews an exhibition of alternative space art that goes in very different—if not bizarre—directions.
Monday, December 3, 2007


November 2007:

Secret Apollo

In the 1960s there were hidden tensions between NASA and the US intelligence community, which both operated in space but with radically different levels of openness. Dwayne Day examines how those tensions played out when NASA drafted a contingency mission plan for its last Apollo lunar mission.
Monday, November 26, 2007

The space station: the best of times, the worst of times

The latest shuttle mission and more recent work on the ISS have cleared the way for the launch of two key laboratory modules from Europe and Japan. Taylor Dinerman contends that now is the time to examine the long-term future of the station in order to maximize its value for all the partners.
Monday, November 26, 2007

Norman Mailer’s boring Moon landing

Norman Mailer, the legendary author who passed away earlier this month, wrote on a wide range of topics, including the Apollo 11 mission. Elizabeth Howell looks back at Mailer’s book on the mission and how his feelings of boredom during this historic mission reflect on NASA and human spaceflight in general.
Monday, November 26, 2007

What space startups really need

The last several years has seen a surge in new space ventures, but most have found difficulty in attracting funding beyond individual “angel” investors. Rocky Persaud argues that what the industry needs is an incubator-like entity to help these new ventures mature.
Monday, November 26, 2007

Review: Von Braun

It is hard to find anyone more influential—or more polarizing—in the history of spaceflight than Wernher von Braun. Jeff Foust reviews a new book that promises an authoritative biography of the legendary rocket engineer.
Monday, November 26, 2007

Sustaining exploration: communications, relevance, and value (part 2)

The challenge for NASA is determining the value it provides to its stakeholders and communicating those values to them. In the conclusion of her two-part article, Mary Lynne Dittmar examines what NASA can do to actively reshape itself to improve the value it offers.
Monday, November 19, 2007

The chicken and the egg: RLVs and space-based solar power

RLVs need a large market to be economically viable, while space-based solar power needs low launch costs for its own economic viability. Taylor Dinerman examines how to bridge the gap to enable both RLVs and space solar power.
Monday, November 19, 2007

AstroMom and Basstronaut, revisited

In early 2002 a former NASA official and a pop star both tried to be the next space tourist; both failed. Jeff Foust recounts their sagas based on insights from recent conferences and a new book.
Monday, November 19, 2007

Space property rights and the 3:10 to Yuma

What can a Western teach us about space property rights? According to Jonathan Card, it’s a reminder that there’s a need for the rule of law on any frontier.
Monday, November 19, 2007

Review: Mars Wars

The relative success, to date, of the Vision for Space Exploration stands in contrast to the failure of the Space Exploration Initiative. Jeff Foust reviews a book that recounts the history of SEI and the lessons to be learned from its failure.
Monday, November 19, 2007

Sustaining exploration: communications, relevance, and value

It has become fashionable of late to critique and criticize NASA’s communications efforts, especially given the belief by many that NASA has not done a good enough job communicating the importance of space exploration to the general public. In the first of a two-part report, Mary Lynne Dittmar argues that such criticism is focused too much on tactics rather than broader strategic concerns.
Monday, November 12, 2007

Exploding Moon myths: or why there’s no race to our nearest neighbor

Recent and upcoming lunar missions, and even announcements of proposed missions, have given the impression to some that there is some kind of new race to the Moon developing. Dwayne Day find the flaws the various explanations given for why these missions are all taking place now.
Monday, November 12, 2007

Why “Save Mars” is worth the effort

Some space advocates have been pressing Congress to drop language in the House version of the NASA budget that would prohibit spending on any project exclusively intended to support human Mars exploration. Chris Carberry explains why what appears to be a minor provision in the overall bill is so critical.
Monday, November 12, 2007

Hillary Clinton’s civil space policy

As the only presidential candidate of either party to release a detailed science policy, Hillary Clinton’s approach to space policy has come under scrutiny. Taylor Dinerman examines what Clinton said—and did not say—and its implications for the agency and its exploration plans.
Monday, November 12, 2007

Review: The Wonder of It All

As a new generation of space exploration ramps up, there is a renewed interest in that original generation of space explorers. Ron Wells reviews the lesser-known of two new documentaries about the Apollo astronauts and examines what sets it apart in its examination of the only people to have walked on another world.
Monday, November 12, 2007

Bissell’s people

Was a CIA official really responsible for formulating the “freedom of space” concept? Dwayne Day revisits a recent article and finds new twists in the historical record.
Monday, November 5, 2007

Rocketplane reset

While its orbital vehicle program suffered a setback with the loss of its NASA COTS agreement, Rocketplane recently revealed a new design for its XP suborbital spaceplane. Jeff Foust reports on what’s different about the new design, and why.
Monday, November 5, 2007

NASA and major policy issues

Why did Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton release a space policy proposal more than a year before the general election? Eric Hedman argues that NASA and its contributions to the nation will play a bigger role in the upcoming election than they have in the past.
Monday, November 5, 2007

Hillary Clinton’s space policy and the Earth sciences

One key facet of Hillary Clinton’s space policy is a renewed focus on Earth science. Taylor Dinerman warns that this approach faces challenges, both in procurement as well as in the sensitive area of climate change.
Monday, November 5, 2007

Review: Epic Rivalry

It’s been over a month since the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, but there are still plenty of new books out there about the early history of the Space Age. Jeff Foust reviews one book that offers a good, but not necessarily earthshattering, review of the Space Race.
Monday, November 5, 2007


October 2007:

Hard start, tough finish

Armadillo Aerospace came within seconds of winning part of the Lunar Lander Challenge at the X Prize Cup this weekend, but like last year failed to come away with any prize money. Jeff Foust recaps the trials and tribulations the team encountered during the two-day event in New Mexico.
Monday, October 29, 2007

Tinker, tailor, satellite, spy

The first satellites launched 50 years ago helped establish the concept of “freedom of space” that allowed spacecraft to orbit over the territory of other nations. Dwayne Day reviews newly-available documents that helps identify the origin of the concept within the US government.
Monday, October 29, 2007

Two women spacecraft commanders: the meaning of the meeting

Last week featured the first meeting in orbit between a female shuttle commander and female station commander. James Oberg looks at this historic moment and examines how it came about much differently than some other female firsts in space.
Monday, October 29, 2007

The humanities and space history

A recent conference that examined the first 50 years of the Space Age attracted a wide range of perspectives from the humanities. Taylor Dinerman writes that, while some of these academic views may not sit well with space advocates, they can help supporters sharpen their arguments.
Monday, October 29, 2007

A Guggenheim Fund for spaceflight

Early aviation benefited from a private foundation that endowed research programs that improved the state of the art of key technologies. Pat Bahn makes the case for creating a similar fund to support the emerging commercial suborbital spaceflight industry.
Monday, October 22, 2007

China, the US, and space solar power

A new study has concluded that space solar power is feasible, but leaves unanswered who should proceed and how. Taylor Dinerman argues that China, with its voracious appetite for energy, can play a role as both a customer and co-developer.
Monday, October 22, 2007

Space war and Futurehype

Projecting the future of space utilization, including the weaponization of space, is fraught with peril. Nader Elhefnawy looks back at one particularly alarmist prediction and what it means for current concerns about military activities in space.
Monday, October 22, 2007

Review: Living Off the Land in Space

Space missions have traditionally had to rely on the Earth for all of their supplies, an approach that is not scalable to long-term exploration. Jeff Foust reviews a book that examines alternative technologies that could allow future explorers to loosen their ties to Earth.
Monday, October 22, 2007

Back to the future: The Outer Space Treaty turns 40

Despite criticism from some quarters, the Outer Space Treaty has worked well for the four decades of its existence. However, Jessica West warns, the treaty faces new challenges as the users of space and their technologies change.
Monday, October 15, 2007

The problem with Freedom

Japanese animation has provided viewers with another glimpse of what humanity’s future in space might be like with a series called Freedom. Dwayne Day take a look at the series, and the aggravations those in the US face just to try and watch it.
Monday, October 15, 2007

Letter: the weaponization of space

Yousaf Butt responds to a recent piece on space weaponization, arguing that offensive space weapons do little to protect that country’s space assets from attack.
Monday, October 15, 2007

Review: The Star Wars Enigma

The Strategic Defense Initiative, with its plans to deploy space-based weapons to destroy enemy missiles, remains controversial long after the program, and the Soviet Union, faded away. Taylor Dinerman reviews a book that offers an evenhanded history of SDI.
Monday, October 15, 2007

Review: Endless Universe

In recent years the inflation model of the Big Bang has emerged as the best explanation of the origin of the universe, but it is hardly the only one. Jeff Foust reviews a book by two prominent cosmologists who propose an alternative model to explain the Big Bang.
Monday, October 15, 2007

Our potential in space

Proponents of human space exploration often struggle to develop compelling rationales for such missions. Frank Stratford explains how the best reason for human spaceflight may be to unlock the vast untapped potential of humanity.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Weaponization of space: who’s to blame?

Some media accounts credit—or blame—the United States for perceived plans to put weapons in space. Jim Oberg uses a recent article as the latest evidence that space weaponization efforts by the former Soviet Union are often overlooked.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Rebutting the regulatory myth

So just how heavy is the regulatory burden for commercial launch companies? Joe Latrell takes issue with a recent article that suggested that such companies have few regulatory issues to deal with.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Galileo: is the symbol stumbling?

As European officials try to develop a new financing package for the Galileo satellite navigation system, the debate continues over the true purpose of the project. Taylor Dinerman argues that political visions are blinding some European officials to more practical alternatives.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Review: Red Moon Rising

The 50th anniversary of Sputnik has provided a major opportunity for publishers to release books about the historical event. Jeff Foust reviews one book that looks at the origins of the Space Age with a more geopolitical focus.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Looking back versus looking ahead

The 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik is a natural occasion to take measure of what we have—and have not—accomplished in space. Jeff Foust describes how this is a more appropriate time to start looking ahead.
Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sputnik’s blastoff: the terrifying view from the launch site

The launch of Sputnik was the first time a rocket had deliberately flown a trajectory intended to place something in orbit. Jim Oberg describes how, to the people witnessing the launch, that flight actually looked frightening.
Thursday, October 4, 2007

SpaceWar 2057

Sputnik opened up a whole new environment for the military to exploit, but one that has been used to support combat rather than as a battlefield itself. Dwayne Day explains why the slowing pace of military space developments makes it unlikely we’ll see revolutionary changes in the military’s use of space over the next half-century.
Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sputnik in perspective: the totalitarian heritage

Sputnik was one of the most famous products of one of the worst totaltarian regimes to exist in human history. Taylor Dinerman examines why the Soviet Union, like Nazi Germany before it, was drawn to rocketry.
Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Exploration of, and Conquest of, the Moon!

Journeys to the Moon were on the minds of aerospace experts and the public alike in the years prior to the launch of Sputnik. Ken Murphy reviews two 1950s-era books that took very different approaches to how humans might go to the Moon.
Thursday, October 4, 2007

Space myths

Spaceflight is an expensive, high-tech endeavor that suffers from too much government regulation, right? A lot of people might agree with that sentiment, but Wayne Eleazer busts some enduring myths.
Monday, October 1, 2007

Miscalculations of Galileo: Europe’s answer to GPS is floundering

Galileo has gone from the one serious competitor to the American GPS satellite navigation system to one battling for its survival. Timothy Barnes reviews the history of the European program and problems it has encountered along the way.
Monday, October 1, 2007

Beyond the Outer Space Treaty

As the Outer Space Treaty turns 40, some people have criticized it as a relic from the Cold War. Taylor Dinerman explains how the treaty, like other international accords, don’t reflect the state of space today.
Monday, October 1, 2007

Titan of the world

A former Titan missile complex in Washington state is up for sale on eBay, prompting some creative thinking about how it could be put to use. Dwayne Day describes his preliminary plans for world domination.
Monday, October 1, 2007

Review: A Ball, A Dog, and A Monkey

Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik and the beginning of the Space Age, and a number of books have been recently published on the topic. Jeff Foust reviews one book that looks at how people both famous and obscure played a role in the first year of a new era.
Monday, October 1, 2007


September 2007:

Space economies and economics

Since the beginning of the Space Age advocates of spaceflight have sought to justify the billions spent on government space programs on economic grounds. Jeff Foust reports on recent comments by NASA administrator Mike Griffin on the “Space Economy” and the need for more partnerships between the public and private sectors.
Monday, September 24, 2007

Heinlein in Hollywood

Robert A. Heinlein had a significant impact on science fiction and spaceflight, but his legacy in translating his works to the big and small screen is mixed at best. Dwayne Day examines that record and why such adaptations have been so difficult.
Monday, September 24, 2007

Still crazy after four decades: The case for withdrawing from the 1967 Outer Space Treaty

It’s been 40 years since the signing of the Outer Space Treaty, one of the cornerstones of international space law. John Hickman describes how the treaty has hindered, not supported, the development and settlement of space, and why it may now be time to scrap it.
Monday, September 24, 2007

Please, Mr. Bezos

Blue Origin, the space venture founded by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, has operated under a shroud of secrecy. Taylor Dinerman argues that it would do the company, and the industry, some good to be a little more open.
Monday, September 24, 2007

Review: Two Shadows on the Moon

As luck would have it, a documentary film about the Apollo Moon landings shares a title with a new book on the same topic. Jeff Foust reviews the two and finds that despite the different media, the two have much more in common than their titles.
Monday, September 24, 2007

Google’s moonshot

Last week Google and the X Prize Foundation rolled out a prize for a privately-developed lunar rover. Jeff Foust reports on the announcement and analyses the challenges any competitors will face in trying to win the prize.
Monday, September 17, 2007

Gallery: Google Lunar X Prize at NextFest

A selection of images from the Google Lunar X Prize announcement and other events at the Wired NextFest event last Thursday in Los Angeles.
Monday, September 17, 2007

Finishing the space station

After years of delays and threats of cancellation, the International Space Station is finally entering the home stretch of its assembly phase. Taylor Dinerman reviews the challenges the station program has faced, both technical and programmatic.
Monday, September 17, 2007

From the European garage

When a European company rolled out its entry into the suborbital space tourism sweepstakes, it was dismissive of entrepreneurial, largely American ventures. Bob Clarebrough argues that European companies could learn a lesson or two from American garage tinkerers.
Monday, September 17, 2007

It’s Solar System Ambassador time!

JPL is recruiting a new class of “ambassadors” designed to educate the public about space exploration. Tom Hill describes the program and explains why you should sign up.
Monday, September 17, 2007

How to save your Vision

The Vision for Space Exploration has been mired in debates and suffered from lukewarm support in the last couple of years, raising questions about its long-term viability. Frank Sietzen explains what NASA needs to do to restore interest in and momentum for its exploration plans.
Monday, September 10, 2007

Astronauts and the futile quest for perfection

Last week’s Congressional hearing on astronaut health care reviews did little to resolve the controversy surrounding allegations of intoxicated astronauts. Taylor Dinerman argues that it’s time for NASA to put the controversy behind it and acknowledge that no one, not even astronauts, are perfect.
Monday, September 10, 2007

D.D. Harriman versus Dan Davis

The Man Who Sold the Moon and its central character, D.D. Harriman, have been role models to many space entrepreneurs. However, as Jeff Foust reports, Harriman is not the only Heinlein character who has inspired real-life commercial space pioneers.
Monday, September 10, 2007

STS-5 and the impact of Apollo-era decision-making

In 1982 NASA declared the space shuttle operational and removed the ejection seats that served as an escape system on the shuttle’s first four flights. Paul Torrance critiques that decision-making process, made by Apollo-era management, and argues for an enhanced focus on safety in future manned spacecraft.
Monday, September 10, 2007

Review: Laika

There are other ways to communicate space history than just the standard nonfiction book or biography. Jeff Foust reviews a book that uses the graphic novel format to tell the story of the first living creature to orbit the Earth.
Monday, September 10, 2007

Selling US space power short

When asked to define the importance of space power, some people fall back on banalities like ATM and credit card transactions. John Sheldon argues for rethinking the importance of space power in terms of economics, diplomacy, and military strength.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Becoming a true spacefaring America

Space advocates have long desired strong presidential leadership for the nation’s space program. Mike Snead sees the upcoming change in administrations as the best opportunity to push for presidential leadership in revamping the nation’s space transportation infrastructure.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Chumash Indians and the Air Force

Did an Indian tribe really put a curse on a launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base? Dwayne Day examines what we know—and, more importantly, what we don’t know—about those claims.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

NASA’s troubled future

NASA’s focus on implementing the Vision for Space Exploration has strained the agency’s resources and forced it to make cutbacks in other programs. Donald Beattie warns than such cuts could actually hurt NASA’s ability to properly manage and carry out the Vision in the years to come.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Review: “Live from Cape Canaveral”

The upcoming 50th anniversary of Sputnik has triggered a series of new books that examines the history of the Space Age. Jeff Foust reviews one account from the only reporter to have covered every manned US launch to date.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007


August 2007:

Something dangerous and new

Scaled Composites and its founder, Burt Rutan, have had to grapple with tragedy and other changes in the last month. Jeff Foust reports on what Rutan had to say about last month’s fatal accident and his continued focus on developing low-cost and safe space systems.
Monday, August 27, 2007

The rise and fall of great space powers

Since the beginning of the Space Age, space programs have been adjuncts of national policy rather than self-sustaining ventures in their own right. Nader Elhefnawy discusses how a shift to space resource exploitation could alter that formula, depending on national and international politics.
Monday, August 27, 2007

Exploration and annihilation: a sobering anniversary

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the first successful flight of the Soviet R-7 ICBM. Taylor Dinerman ruminates on the roles ICBMs have had on a half-century of spaceflight.
Monday, August 27, 2007

The V-Prize: one hour to Europe

The success of the X Prize has spurred a number of similar efforts to use prizes to advance space goals. Paul de Brem examines one of the latest, a prize to promote the development of point-to-point suborbital vehicles.
Monday, August 27, 2007

Review: Calibrating the Cosmos

Trying to understand cosmology means grappling with many counterintuitive concepts, from the expansion of the universe to dark energy. Jeff Foust reviews a book that provides a primer on the topic for those who know little about the subject but are willing to learn.
Monday, August 27, 2007

Blue skies on the West Coast: a history of the aerospace industry in Southern California

California is known for many things, but one area where its contributions are less well known is aerospace. Dwayne Day reviews a recent historical symposium that examined the impact Southern California’s aerospace industry had on both the region and the nation as a whole.
Monday, August 20, 2007

From one, many

Small satellites have recently found new acceptance as a complement to larger spacecraft. Jeff Foust reports on a couple of new initiatives that use clusters of smallsats to replace big satellites.
Monday, August 20, 2007

Arianespace: super rockets or super sales force?

Arianespace has achieved considerable success in the commercial launch market in recent years. Taylor Dinerman credits this success as much to its sales and marketing as to the company’s launch vehicles themselves.
Monday, August 20, 2007

Eats, shoots, and leaves

Little nuances of grammar can have a big effect on interpretation. Dwayne Day responds to a recent essay on China’s space plans with a critique of how the use of punctuation affected the article’s tone in a negative way.
Monday, August 20, 2007

Letter: A space nerd responds

Michael Huang replies to a recent response to his essay on how space advocacy groups should cooperate with one another on common goals.
Monday, August 20, 2007

Space: the search for a political consensus

While President Bush unveiled the Vision for Space Exploration three and a half years ago, some believe it has suffered to some degree from a lack of high-level attention since then. Frank Sietzen explains why the creation of a broad political consensus, necessary for the Vision to survive, required educating the public on the benefits of space activities.
Monday, August 13, 2007

Fifty years of US space policy: the more things change…

Just after the Space Age began the Eisenhower administration published a document outlining why the US should go into space. Taylor Dinerman examines the document and finds its reasons are still at the core of US space policy today.
Monday, August 13, 2007

A renaissance for space solar power?

Space solar power has been an intriguing concept for decades, but one that has failed to gain traction because of its high costs and cheaper terrestrial alternatives for energy. Jeff Foust reports that, thanks to a series of event and a new champion for the concept within the US government, space solar power is getting a new look.
Monday, August 13, 2007

Chinese intentions and American preparedness

Many people in the West have tried to speculate about China’s military space plans in the wake of its ASAT test early this year. Christopher Stone argues that there’s enough information publicly available today to draw conclusions that should be a cause for concern in the US.
Monday, August 13, 2007

A space nerd responds

Louis Friedman of The Planetary Society responds to a recent essay about space advocacy groups, arguing that it’s unwise to pigeonhole his or other groups as being simply “pro-science” or “pro-human”.
Monday, August 13, 2007

Review: Rocketeers

Just who are the people at the leading edge of the entrepreneurial space movement, and what motivates them? Jeff Foust reviews a new book that takes the reader on a tour of some of the leading NewSpace companies and people to help answer those questions.
Monday, August 13, 2007

Diversifying our planetary portfolio

A recent article suggests that humanity has less than a half-century to establish a permanent presence beyond Earth. Nader Elhefnawy argues that a truly self-sufficient space colony will require revisiting the industrial technologies and techniques in common use today.
Monday, August 6, 2007

From Russians to Berserkers

Not every idea in the space field is grand enough to be worthy of its own full-length article. Dwayne Day combines several of these, including updates on past reports on Russia and famous helicopters, into a single report.
Monday, August 6, 2007

The state of the RLV industry, 2007 (part two)

Last month’s accident at Scaled Composites will have an effect on the entrepreneurial space industry, although how significant remains to be seen. Taylor Dinerman examines the evolution of this industry and the need for openness by some of its participants.
Monday, August 6, 2007

The fragility and resilience of NASA

Recent problems have illustrated both the technical challenges facing NASA projects as well as the agency’s public perception. Eric Hedman discusses why this makes NASA’s new strategic communications efforts all the more important.
Monday, August 6, 2007

Review: the voice of von Braun

Wernher von Braun had the rare combination of technical expertise and the ability to communicate effectively with the public at large. Jeff Foust reviews a book that compiles a number of von Braun’s speeches over the years where he described his visions of spaceflight.
Monday, August 6, 2007


July 2007:

Preparing for the worst

Last week’s tragic accident in Mojave provided a stark reminder of the risks inherent in spaceflight. Jeff Foust describes what the industry is doing to prepare for the day when a space tourist vehicle crashes.
Monday, July 30, 2007

On the loss of our good friend Glen May

Tim Pickens recalls the life of Glen May, one of the three people killed in the explosion Thursday in Mojave.
Monday, July 30, 2007

Jules Verne returns: Will space guns provide low-cost access to space?

Launching people into space using guns was popularized nearly 150 years ago by Jules Verne, but has to date remained in the realm of science fiction. Bart Leahy reports on one venture’s effort to develop a gun launch system that could put payloads into orbit for a fraction of the cost of conventional rockets.
Monday, July 30, 2007

Spacepower for warlords

Space technology and services can do wonders for developing nations, but they can also be used to destabilize vulnerable parts of the world, especially in Africa. Taylor Dinerman describes the problem and what companies and governments need to do to resolve it.
Monday, July 30, 2007

Can’t all space nerds get along?

The space advocacy movement has been best for years by internecine debates regarding the roles of humans versus robots and the government versus the private sector. Michael Huang argues it’s time to set those debates aside in favor of the greater good.
Monday, July 30, 2007

NASA and the next administration

With the 2008 presidential campaign already in high gear, many in the space community are wondering what the next president will do with NASA. Jeff Foust reports on a recent panel session where a group of policy experts pondered both the current administration’s performance in space and what the future may bring.
Monday, July 23, 2007

Is a space elevator worth its weight in diamonds?

Recent proposals for space elevators have been based on ribbons made of carbon nanotube materials that don’t yet exist. Sam Dinkin explores an alternative using existing synthetic diamonds that could be technically and financially viable.
Monday, July 23, 2007

The state of the RLV industry, 2007 (part one)

Where there’s no evidence that the US government is willing to take another shot at a large-scale RLV development program, there have been smaller but encouraging signs in both the military and civil space sectors. Taylor Dinerman examines how those efforts can help bolster the overall RLV industry.
Monday, July 23, 2007

Letter: solar power satellites and space radar

Dwayne Day responds to a recent article about the Space Radar program, noting that sufficient power is among the least of that program’s many concerns.
Monday, July 23, 2007

Review: Space as a Strategic Asset

A nation’s space program can be seen as part of the “soft power” it projects across the globe. Eve Lichtgarn reviews a book that examines that connection and its implications for space policy in the US.
Monday, July 23, 2007

Destinations for exploration: more than just rocks?

While NASA’s current exploration plans are focused on a return to the Moon and later human missions to Mars, are those the only—or best—destinations for astronauts in the inner solar system? Dan Lester and Giulio Varsi argue that in-space destinations, like the Lagrange points, have benefits that may far exceed those of planetary surfaces.
Monday, July 16, 2007

Griffin, Heinlein, and spaceflight

One of the keynote speakers at the recent Heinlein Centennial symposium was NASA administrator Mike Griffin. The Space Review provides highlights of his talk as well as a complete transcript of his speech.
Monday, July 16, 2007

Solar power satellites and space radar

One of the key obstacles to the development of a space radar system is the large power requirements for such spacecraft. Taylor Dinerman suggests that one solution could be through the use of solar power satellites, in the process providing a near-term market for such systems.
Monday, July 16, 2007

The ultimate solution to global warming: emigration

Greenhouse gas policy is a mere warmup to the environmental policy challenge of the millennium: waste heat. Sam Dinkin looks ahead and up to tackle this challenge.
Monday, July 16, 2007

Review: The Telescope

Thanks to a variety of technological advancements, astronomical telescopes are getting bigger and more powerful with each passing year. Jeff Foust reviews a book that delves into the history and technology associated with telescopes and their prospects for the future.
Monday, July 16, 2007

Strategic deception and the Chinese military space program

China’s test of an ASAT weapon earlier this year raised concerns about that nation’s future military space plans. Nader Elhefnawy argues that the test may not have been a demonstration of China’s capabilities so much as an effort to hide its weakness compared to the United States.
Monday, July 9, 2007

Sex and rockets

One of the lesser-known movies associated with Robert A. Heinlein is Project Moonbase. Dwayne Day discusses the movie and the contradictory messages regarding gender equality it contains.
Monday, July 9, 2007

An experience that sells itself

While there are plenty of suborbital space tourism vehicle concepts and projects underway, there’s very little experience regarding exactly what the spaceflight experience will be like for passengers. Jeff Foust reports on how one of the pilots of SpaceShipOne described what it was like to arc into space.
Monday, July 9, 2007

Galileo and Her Majesty’s taxpayers

With the public-private partnership model for the Galileo satellite navigation system now dead, European governments are examining what path they should take to keep the effort alive. Taylor Dinerman examines a recent debate in the British Parliament about the future of Galileo.
Monday, July 9, 2007

Helo 66 revisited

Sometimes writers get considerable feedback from articles they least expect any letters about. Dwayne Day describes the surprising number of comments he received about a recent article about a helicopter with a space history connection, and the new information those responses provided.
Monday, July 9, 2007

Review: Contact with Alien Civilizations

Considerable thought has been given regarding how to look for evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations, but should be be looking for it at all? Kenneth Silber reviews a book that explores not just how SETI searches are performed, but also the societal implications of success.
Monday, July 9, 2007

“We must ride the lightning”: Robert Heinlein and American spaceflight

This weekend marks the centennial of the birth of Robert Heinlein, a science fiction author whose works have served as an inspiration to many who have pursued careers in the space industry. Dwayne Day examines a memo written by Heinlein over 60 years ago that outlined his belief in the promise of rocketry and spaceflight.
Monday, July 2, 2007

European space tourism vehicles

Last month an unexpected player, European aerospace giant EADS, entered the race to develop suborbital space tourism vehicles. Taylor Dinerman assesses what this development means for both European aerospace and the space tourism industry.
Monday, July 2, 2007

NASA’s new outreach plan

In an effort to make the space agency more relevant to the general public, NASA has rolled out a new strategic communications plan. Jeff Foust examines the plan and the importance of raising NASA’s public profile.
Monday, July 2, 2007

Putting NASA’s budget in perspective

Nothing makes a space advocate angrier than saying that money spent on NASA could instead be spent on solving social problems here on Earth. Jeff Brooks examines the fallacies of such claims and why NASA should get more, not less, money.
Monday, July 2, 2007

Review: Space Invaders

Most of the attention given to planetary exploration missions has been focused on the science such missions provide, and not on the spacecraft themselves. Jeff Foust reviews a new book that examines the technical issues associated with designing, developing, and launching robotic missions into the solar system.
Monday, July 2, 2007


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