The Space Review: Dropping Shoes, Lunar Dragons and the Lame Name Game

In The Space Review this week….

Flashlights in the dark
Later this week the National Reconnaissance Office may declassify details about two of its early Cold War satellite reconnaissance systems as part of ceremonies marking the office’s 50th anniversary. Dwayne Day offers a preview of what we may learn about the KH-7 and KH-9.

Space science caught in a Webb
Cost overruns have put the future of the James Webb Space Telescope in jeopardy. Jeff Foust reports on the mission’s growing cost and the concerns some scientists have that funds for Webb will come at the expense of other programs.

Dropped shoes
Last week NASA chief technologist Bobby Braun announced plans to leave the agency and return to academia, the latest in a series of officials to leave NASA in recent weeks. Lou Friedman expresses concern this is a sign that the agency’s commitment to science and technology development is unraveling.

Moon dragon
Does China really have long-term ambitions to send people to the Moon, as some have argued? Dwayne Day discusses how a lack of information hampers our assessments of Chinese human spaceflight plans.

Wanted: better spacecraft names
NASA launched over the weekend its latest mission, a pair of lunar orbiters known by the acronym GRAIL. Jeff Brooks argues that NASA could win more support for its missions if it came up with names for its missions that resonated better with the public.