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The Space Review Looks at Commercial Crew, American Leadership

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 16, 2011
Filed under , ,

A Boeing CST-100 crew module docks at a Bigelow Aerospace space station. (Credit: Boeing)

In The Space Review this week….

Commercial crew and NASA’s tipping point
The release this week of a new budget proposal will again stoke debate about NASA policy, including its commercial crew development plans. Jeff Foust reports that agency officials and company officials alike are seeing commercial crew as both increasingly likely and critical to NASA’s future.

American leadership
In debates about space policy, the term “American leadership” is often used without discussion about what it actually means. Lou Friedman argues that such leadership involves not going it along in space but leading cooperative space ventures with other countries.

The beginnings of planetary exploration: the first probes to Venus
Fifty years ago this month the Soviet Union launched its first missions to Venus, although neither spacecraft reached its destination. Andrew LePage examines the rushed Soviet effort to send a spacecraft to Venus.

In rod we trust
Fans of The Simpsons may remember the “inanimate carbon rod” as a highlight of a particular space-themed episode. Michael A. Shoemaker notes that similar rods played a minor role in space history as well.

Review: Reopening the Space Frontier
Space has long been perceived as a frontier, but in terms of human spaceflight there’s been little progress in pushing back that frontier for decades. Jeff Foust reviews a book that examines why that’s been the case and what can be done to reopen that frontier.