Aerospace ScienceThe study of air and space flight, astronomy and the effect of flight on living organisms
There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. – Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince.In his famous book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn described two t...
October 23, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
Just when you thought Saturn's ring situation couldn't get any cooler than the recent equinox photos by Cassini, make way for the mega-ring. Astronomers Anne Verbiscer, Michael Skrutskie, and Douglas Hamilton just announced that they've discovered a fantastically huge ring around Saturn. Their tool...
October 09, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
Water is an extremely useful substance in space. The recent finding of water on the Moon has generated considerable comment in the space community; a quick search on Google using the phrase “lunar water” returns over 7.66 million hits. Lunar water’s significance lies not in its role as a medium f...
October 04, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
Some people go to Las Vegas to gamble, others to learn about Mars.
September 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
As NASA prepares to shut down a historic wind tunnel in Virginia, some hope for a stay of execution.
September 10, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
How can we find other Earths if their suns keep blinding us?
September 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
September 2009 | By Tom Crouch
In 1961, Alan B. Shepard’s successful 15-minute sub-orbital hop gave President Kennedy the high cover needed to announce a reach for the Moon, “by the end of this decade.” America’s spirit was lifted and Alan Shepard became a national hero, getting ticker tape parades and White House receptions. T...
August 21, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
Even around other X-planes, the X-48B looks weird.
August 2009 | By Peter Garrison
Last week, the Augustine Commission held another public meeting in Washington DC and Dr. John Marburger testified. For those just joining our story in progress, Marburger was President Bush’s Science Advisor and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House between...
August 11, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
The Moon versus Mars controversy has reared its ugly head yet again. For the newcomers, this is the perennial “debate” among space buffs about what the next destination in space should be. I do not mean to suggest that all possibilities are encompassed by these two options; it just seems that mos...
August 03, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
August 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
Mr. Ian Sheffield of Edinburgh Scotland is miffed. He claims to have not one, but two dust samples of the Moon—one from the Apollo 11 mission and another from the Apollo 15 mission. He explains that he bought these lunar samples “from a dealer” about 3 years ago. The article does not indicate how ...
July 24, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
“Your job is not to envision the future, but to enable it.” – Antoine de St. ExuperyOriginally, I had not planned to write anything for the blog today; the web is already inundated with retrospective-, perspective-, nostalgia-laden, crying-in-my-beer pieces on today’s 40th anniversary of the Apollo...
July 16, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
It's all about the solar beta angle.
July 14, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
We’re about to get a peek at the solar system’s
July 2009 | By Guy Gugliotta
July 2009 | By Paul Hoversten
The new Augustine Commission met for the first time last week (June 17). The one-day agenda was filled with presentations on rocket-building, including reviews of NASA’s current efforts along those lines, followed by briefings on a number of possible alternatives. Suddenly, the space blogosphere ...
June 25, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
Bill Elkins has been outfitting astronauts since before NASA was born.
June 10, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
Last time, I outlined some of the basic principles of lunar resource utilization. The Moon is our nearest source of material resources in space and learning how to extract what we need from the Moon is a key skill in our expansion into the Solar System.All this is very well and good, but how do we...
June 05, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis