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The Space Review July 12, 2010

Charles Rector's Weblog; Jul. 14, 2010; By Charles Rector
Type: News

Welcome to this week's issue of The Space Review:

The gap in NewSpace business plans
Last week came word that Rocketplane has filed for bankruptcy, ending its long but ultimately unsuccessful effort to develop new suborbital and orbital launch vehicles. Jeff Foust examines how the company's failure can be linked, at least in part, to a gap in financing models for NewSpace companies.

Weather and launch failures
Weather is a frequent cause of launch delays and has been linked to a number of launch failures over the years. Wayne Eleazer examines two such launch failures and what they say about the launch decision process.

Review: The Eerie Silence
This year marks the 50th anniversary of SETI, an effort that has yet to detect evidence of intelligent life beyond Earth. Jeff Foust reviews a book that offers a critical analysis of SETI and how the effort should be changed to better look for other civilizations in the universe.


The Space Frontier Foundation's annual NewSpace Conference attracts a unique mix of revolutionary space entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, engineers, regulators, and space policy leaders to explore the opportunities and challenges of opening the space frontier to human settlement. Conference sessions highlight the latest discussions on NASA-private sector cooperation, technologies of tomorrow, and the state of affairs in the commercial space industry. The featured evening event, the NewSpace Awards Gala, will recognize the achievements of steely-eyed rocket men, futuristic thinkers, and space enthusiasts from around the world. The conference is set for July 23-25 at the Domain Hotel in Silicon Valley, CA. For more information and to register for the conference, visit


If you missed it, here's what we published in our previous issue:

A change in tone in national space policy
Last week the White House released a new national space policy. Jeff Foust reports on how the new policy reflects as much a change in tenor as a change in substance over previous policies.

A new debate
For the last several months the space community has been gripped by the debate on the future of NASA's human spaceflight program. Bob Clarebrough argues that it may be better to debate exactly what role NASA should play in a future with expanded commercial space capabilities.

About those scrapped Atlas ICBMs
Wayne Eleazer follows up a recent article on the use of suplus ICBMs as launch vehicles by discussing what happened to one class of ICBMs that were particularly desirable as launchers.

Does a moonbase make for a good video game?
A new videogame out today, developed in cooperation with NASA, transports players to a moonbase 15 years from now. Jeff Foust checks out the game and its effectiveness in inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers.

Rebuttal to "The EMP threat: fact, fiction, and response"
William Radasky and Peter Vincent Pry, who served on the EMP Commission, respond to an article earlier this year that argued that solar storms pose a greater EMP threat than nuclear weapons.

We appreciate any feedback you may have about these articles as well as
any other questions, comments, or suggestions about The Space Review.
We're also actively soliciting articles to publish in future issues, so
if you have an article or article idea that you think would be of
interest, please email me.

Until next week,

Jeff Foust
Editor, The Space Review

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