Presidential leadership is needed to form a space policy which will help achieve goals of landing crews on Mars starting in the 2030s. What should be made clear, however, is that the next president will not need to completely reinvent our national space policy.
LOX-rich staged combustion oxygen-kerosene engines have been in production for decades in Ukraine.
NASA continues to actively solicit ideas for instruments to attach to the ISS exterior for studying Earth.
For stakeholders in the U.S. government space enterprise, the most important agenda item for Congress is passing a budget for the new fiscal year that will keep high-priority programs on track. Unfortunately, an uglier scenario — budgetary chaos — is looming.
The successful launch of the U.S. Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System communications satellite Sept. 2 rounds out a multibillion-dollar constellation that has been in development for more than a decade. But the launch is also a reminder that more than three-and-a-half years after the February 2012 launch of the first satellite, some two years behind schedule, the MUOS system’s advanced capabilities remain unavailable.
Activities for and about young professionals and students have become increasingly popular at space conferences recently. The goal of these activities is to inspire and cultivate young people, but they seem to be missing something.
We might see the danger of asteroid impact, fatalistically, as a matter of chance, like predicting the weather a decade hence. However, this is not so: we should be able to identify and track essentially all of the bodies that will strike Earth catastrophically.
For almost a decade and a half, through various foreign policy rough spots — even during the Cold War — the United States and Russia have cooperated in space. However, recent developments point to a growing, self-inflicted conundrum. Fortunately, Congress has a few months to stop this issue from severely affecting U.S. security interests in — and protected by — space.
Not surprisingly, U.S. presidential candidates’ stances on taxes, the economy and national security resound more with voters than space policy. However, space policy remains a germane topic for candidates to consider.
Measuring approximately 10 centimeters on a side and weighing around 1 kilogram, cubesats have gained popularity among small companies, universities and emerging countries. As cubesats’ use continues to grow, debris mitigation and avoidance regulations are also becoming progressively restrictive in order to avoid a degradation of space use among space industry operators.
If humanity ever wants to send people to any deep-space destination in the solar system at any price, let alone one the nation or world can afford, we must be prepared to take risks and lose astronauts.
Right now, several companies, notably OneWeb and SpaceX, are working to launch massive satellite constellations into space to provide super-fast Internet virtually anywhere on Earth. It remains a question whether the path to the new era of space-based connectivity will be spurred by healthy commercial competition or regulatory turf wars over satellite spectrum.
If the space community seeks to turn the Matt Damon film into a commercial for sending people to Mars, we will fail miserably.