SpaceNews published nearly 100 op-eds in 2015; here are the top 10. Some are thought-provoking, some are controversial, but all are worth a read.
The selections are based largely on online readership (along with some editorial judgments); they’re listed here in chronological order.
If you’d like to try to make the list for 2016 with your own commentary, here’s how to submit an op-ed for SpaceNews.
“10 Reasons Why an Asteroid Redirect Mission Is Worth Doing”
Jonathan Goff tells us why NASA’s nearly universally disliked Asteroid Redirect Mission, or one like it, might be worthwhile. (Feb. 9)
“Increased Competition Will Challenge ESA’s Space Authority”
With SpaceX and others challenging the status quo, the debate over who should be in charge of Europe’s space sector — ESA and the EU — is not over, Clemens Rumpf says. (Feb. 16)
“Align U.S. Space Policy with National Interests”
Scott Pace argues that international space cooperation, space commerce and international space security discussions could be used to reinforce one another to advance U.S. interests. (March 23)
“Why the U.S. Gave Up on the Moon”
If, as the Alliance for Space Development suggests, our nation wishes to move toward a path of permanent space settlements, the most logical step is our own planet’s satellite, Paul Brower says. (March 30)
“A Not-so-final Hubble Servicing Mission”
As we celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary, Donald F. Robertson says it’s time to start planning for the observatory’s next 25 years. (April 20)
“Three Things Orion’s First Flight Taught Us”
Michael Hawes says one of the most important benefits from the capsule’s Exploration Flight Test-1 is being able to evaluate the designs and verify that the models match actual flight performance. Here are his top three takeaways. (June 15)
“Humans to Mars in 20 Years: A Faster, Better, Cheaper Sequel?”
In the 1990s, Daniel R. Adamo says, the FBC mantra almost drove the U.S. robotic Mars exploration program into oblivion. Is human spaceflight now headed toward the same end? (June 29)
“Space Shouldn’t Be Hard”
Kevin Cheberenchick argues that mankind has a giant leap to make in rocket maturity if it is going to minimize the occurrence of failures and become comparable to aircraft’s safety and reliability. (Aug. 3)
“How We Go to Mars”
We are going to Mars, Rick Tumlinson says. The only questions are: When? Who? How? Which way? And, of course, Why? (Sept. 21)
“Space, Trade and Russian Rockets”
If the unstated goal for NASA, the U.S. Air Force and Congress is complete independence from international suppliers, that goal is laudable but represents an ideal that is years away from becoming a rational plan, Robert Bunn says. (Nov. 23)