SpacecraftSub-orbital, orbital, lunar, interplanetary and interstellar vehicles designed to navigate space
September 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
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
Burt Rutan remembers the birth of the VariEze and names his favorite aircraft.
August 2009 | By Linda Shiner
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
When you’re 200 miles up, it’s easy to hide what you’re up to.
August 2009 | By Michael Cassutt
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
Armed with their checklists, the Apollo astronauts literally read themselves to the moon.
July 20, 2009 | By Matthew Hersch
“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 probably premature to declare SpaceX an established launch company on the basis of yesterday's successful orbiting of Malaysia's Razaksat satellite (see video below). I doubt they'll want to gloat too long, given the technical and financial risks inherent in the rocket business, and the diffic...
July 14, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
It's all about the solar beta angle.
July 14, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
The space shuttle glows in photographs taken by one of its own technicians.
July 13, 2009 | By The Editors
How much should we spend on America’s space program? Does NASA’s budget need an infusion of billions of dollars? The way these questions are answered gives some indication of why one believes we have a space program, what it should be doing and whether money is the key needed to unlock the barrie...
July 08, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
We’re about to get a peek at the solar system’s
July 2009 | By Guy Gugliotta
Shuck the spacecraft. 182 spacewalkers have.
July 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
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
At 2:25 this afternoon, Eastern time, Japan's Kaguya lunar orbiter will smash into the moon, its maneuvering fuel nearly spent and its two-year mission ended. I'll miss it. Kaguya has been the most media-friendly of the new lunar missions launched to date, returning beautiful, elegant photos and mo...
June 10, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
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
While the resources of space have the potential to revolutionize spaceflight—giving us a much wider range of activities than are now possible, including habitation of other planetary bodies—discussions on various internet forums show that there is a lot of confusion and lack of knowledge about spac...
May 30, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis