The Space Review Looks at Apollo, ET and Space Junk

The crew of Apollo 11

This week in The Space Review….

Breaking the shackles of Apollo
For decades after the Apollo program, many have argued for similar approaches for returning humans to the Moon. Travis Senor makes the case for a very different, long-term approach to human exploration of the solar system.

Apollo: secrets and whispers
Just how would a spy satellite been incorporated into an Apollo mission to take high-resolution images of the lunar surface? Dwayne Day follows up last week’s piece on the Lunar Mapping and Survey System with additional insights and illustrations.

Searching for ET
Last week’s announcement of the discovery of a microbe that can incorporate arsenic, instead of phosphorus, into its DNA widens the prospects for life on other worlds. Lou Friedman argues that the search for extraterrestrial life, in particular intelligent life, would benefit from having a firmer strategy.

Review: Confronting Space Debris
Everyone agrees that orbital debris is a major problem, but how big of a problem does it have to become before we take more action to resolve it? Jeff Foust reviews a new study that compares orbital debris with a wide range of other problems that have gone through similar cycles of action.

Space Review Looks at NASA in Limbo, Space Colonization and Solar System Exploration

This Week in The Space Review

Black Apollo
As part of preparations for the Apollo landings, NASA needed to get detailed imagery of potential landing sites. Dwayne Day reveals a partnership between NASA and NRO that proposed using Apollo spacecraft equipped with reconnaissance satellite cameras to provide those images.

Year of the solar system
While most of the recent attention NASA has received has been on its human spaceflight programs, its robotic missions also are noteworthy. Lou Friedman contrasts the impending milestones for the agency’s missions with the fiscal issues some of those programs face.

Space colonization in three histories of the future
Space settlement has long been a core tenet of space advocates, who have offered a range of scenarios about how it would work. John Hickman examines these proposals and highlights the flaws in their historical analogies.

NASA’s extended limbo

Last month the president signed into law a NASA authorization bill that reoriented the agency’s human spaceflight efforts. However, as Jeff Foust reports, budget delays and implementation questions keep NASA’s future plans uncertain.

Spacevidcast Talks to Author Andrew Chaikin

On our 100th live show we have special guest Andrew Chaikin, who is best known as the author of “A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts.” First published in 1994, this acclaimed work was the main basis for Tom Hanks’ 12-part HBO miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon, which won the Emmy for best miniseries in 1998.

Space Show Covers ISDC, Apollo 13 and U.S. Space Policy

Monday, April 12, 2010, 2-3:30 PM PDT: We welcome back Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto to discuss the upcoming ISDC, provide us with a report on Space Access Society and more.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 7- 8:30 PM PDT: This show is in honor of Apollo 13. Our guests will be Gary Moir and Don Harvey.

Friday, April 16, 2010, 9:30-11:30 AM PDT: We welcome back noted author Dr. Philip Harris to the show. We will be discussing the recommendation for a White House Conference on Space, space development, and space policy. For more information, visit

Sunday, April 18, 12-1:30 PM PDT. We welcome back Mark Whittington, journalist, author. Mark will provide us with different perspectives on U.S. space policy.

California Seeks to Preserve Apollo 11 Relics on Moon


To California, Moon Junk Is State Treasure
The New York Times

In one small step for preservation and one giant leap of logic, the official historical commission of California voted Friday to protect two small urine collection devices, four space-sickness bags and dozens of other pieces of detritus, all currently residing nearly a quarter of a million miles from the state.


The Space Review Looks at Apollo, Space Elevators


In The Space Review this week….

Coping with the closing
Space enthusiasts have coped with the relative lack of progress in the four decades since humans first walked on the Moon in varying ways. John Hickman describes these various approaches and how they can pose obstacles to the future.

Still on the ground floor

Jeff Foust reports on a recent conference where the space elevator community took stock of the current situation and made plans to forge ahead.

PAN’s labyrinth
An Atlas 5 is scheduled to launch next month a mysterious satellite identified only as PAN. Dwayne Day sheds a little more light on this spacecraft and its possible mission.

Review: The New Solar System

Hundreds of books have been published about the solar system, making it difficult for new ones to stand out. Jeff Foust reviews one that succeeds at standing out thanks to updated material and good design.

NASA to Receive Primetime Emmy Award



NASA Television has been honored with a Primetime Emmy Award by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The 2009 Philo T. Farnsworth Award recognizes the agency for engineering excellence and commemorates the 40th anniversary of the technological innovations that made possible the first live TV broadcast from the moon by the Apollo 11 crew on July 20, 1969.


Can We Preserve Historic Landing Sites on the Moon?


Landing spot ‘centre for Moon tourism’

“Take only pictures, leave only footprints” is the message to visitors at many beauty spots. One place you won’t see it, though, will be at the first extraterrestrial national park, perhaps set up to preserve the spot on the moon where Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their giant leap for mankind.


Is America Too Bored to Explore?

Earth Rise

Space: Is the final frontier all it used to be?
The Associated Press

“At the frontier, the bonds of custom are broken, and unrestraint is triumphant.” So said Frederick Jackson Turner, the 19th-century historian whose ideas showed Americans how important their frontier experience was to them.

“I wanted to be a spaceman — that’s what I wanted to be. But now that I am a spaceman, nobody cares about me.” So sang Harry Nilsson, the musician who in 1972 channeled the changing feelings about space exploration in this country.


Neil Armstrong: Way Better Than Pete Conrad

The crew of Apollo 11
The crew of Apollo 11

Our latest poll is complete, and it seems like you Parabolic Archers have decided that Neil Armstrong is your favorite Apollo astronaut. Neil was far ahead of Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell:

Neil Armstrong – Apollo 11 (51.0%, 44 Votes)
Jim Lovell – Apollo 13 (28.0%, 24 Votes)
Pete Conrad – Apollo 12 (11.0%, 10 Votes)
Steve Austin – Apollo 19 (10.0%, 9 Votes)


The Space Review: Apollo 11 Anniversary Edition


Today in The Space Review….

Apollo’s greatest achievement
Alan Stern says it’s the inspiration it provided to a generation of Americans, some of whom are now turning their attention to the commercial development of space.

Why are we celebrating the great Moon hoax?
Apollo is still thought by many as the first small step in the human exploration of the universe. That belief, argues Michael Potter, is the real “hoax” of the Apollo program as those journeys were more of a dead end than a giant leap.

Apollo: The Race to the Moon, twenty years on
Thomas J. Frieling interviews the authors of “Apollo: The Race to the Moon” to get their perspectives on the anniversary and the creation of the book.

Reviews: Remembering Apollo in ways old and new
The 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 has brought a new slate of books and other options for remembering and understanding that mission. Jeff Foust reviews several of these, from a book by an Apollo 11 astronaut to an iPhone game.

A square peg in a cone-shaped hole: The Samos E-5 recoverable satellite (part 2)
In the second of a three-part examination of an early reconnaissance satellite program, Dwayne Day recounts the unique technical challenges faced by the team developing the camera for the Samos E-5 spacecraft.

The new politics of planetary defense
A change in administrations had led to a change in how national security risks are assessed. Taylor Dinerman argues that planetary defense—protecting the Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids and comets—should play a role in those revised assessments.

Fisher Releases Replica of Apollo Space Pen



As we celebrate the historic moon landing of Apollo 11 on July 20, Fisher Space Pen Co. is making available 1,000 limited edition AG7-40LE Space Pens. The pen is designed as a replica of the historic anti-gravity model pen that was invented by company founder, Paul C. Fisher, in 1966 and flew aboard the Apollo missions.