In telling people who ask that I edit a newspaper specializing in space, I
feel compelled to note right off the bat that NASA represents only part of
what we cover.

It’s probably more than they care to know, but I think it’s important for
people to understand that space is about so much more than the astronaut
launches and robotic landings that tend to dominate mainstream media
coverage of space. The still-raging controversy over President Obama’s new
direction for U.S. human spaceflight has served only to reinforce this
NASA-centric view.

It’s true that the United States far outspends everyone else on space, with
the most visible portion of that budget going to NASA. But it’s also true
that the United States is but one of literally dozens of nations
increasingly active in at least one of the three main categories of space
activity: civil, military and commercial. And within each of these there are
numerous and dynamic sub-categories, each with its own goals,
constituencies, controversies and unique complexities — just ask NASA;
better yet, ask the European Space Agency.

And with all this comes an amazingly rich diversity of information, opinion,
perspectives, insights and outlooks, some relevant to just one small sector,
others to the industry at large.

It is in recognition and appreciation of this that introduces
its guest blog feature, which will feature regular contributions from some
of the most respected voices from all sectors of the industry.

Lots of what gets posted here will be opinion, some (ideally) will be news,
some surely will be pure speculation — albeit of the informed variety.

The idea is to provide a forum for those who are part of this industry to
learn, inform, critique, debate and, hopefully, have some fun in the

Warren Ferster is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews and is responsible for all the news and editorial coverage in the weekly newspaper, the Web site and variety of specialty publications such as show dailies. He manages a staff of seven reporters...