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The Space Review July 26, 2010

Charles Rector's Weblog; Jul. 29, 2010; By Charles Rector
Type: News

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

Note: We apologize for the late delivery of this week's issue, caused by major power outages in the Washington, DC, area after severe thunderstorms hit the area late Sunday.

Recasting the debate about commercial crew
One of the most controversial elements of the White House's plan for NASA, commercial crew, has suffered setbacks in Congress in recent weeks. Jeff Foust reports on how proponents of commercial crew believe that the effort's long-term success may hinge on resetting the terms of the debate about it.

A new debate, part 2
If radically reshaping and even breaking apart NASA is out of the question, what else can be done to reinvigorate the space agency? Bob Clarebrough examines the critical requirements for any successful effort to reform the agency.

The man who painted my future
Space artist Robert McCall passed away on February 26th of this year. Bob Mahoney recounts how a particular painting by McCall inspired him into the space industry and ponders, in light of recent developments, when the artist's grand vistas of a spacefaring civilization might become reality.

Review: The Edge of Physics
As astronomy and physics have become more specialized, the requirements for performing research have become increasingly demanding. Jeff Foust reviews a book that is part review of our state of knowledge in these subjects, and part travelogue to the extreme locations on Earth where this research is performed.

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

Critical partnerships for the future of human space exploration
The size of the challenges associated with human exploration beyond Earth orbit is likely beyond what any single space agency is willing to spend to carry out those missions. Andre Bormanis describes the types of partnerships that are critical to making such exploration possible.

The real message of a controversial statement
NASA found itself embroiled in controversy earlier this month over a comment made by the agency's administrator in a Middle Eastern television interview. Jeff Foust finds that the real message is not in the administrator's ill-advised words but in the reaction to them.

Should we care about other planets?
As NASA and other space agencies seek evidence of past or present life on Mars and elsewhere, there's the risk such exploration could contaminate those worlds. Linda Billings discusses the options to prevent such contamination, including even not exploring them at all.

Review: Carnarvon and Apollo
More than 40 years after Apollo 11, it's worth remembering that sites around the world helped make that mission, and the ones that preceded and followed it, a success. Jeff Foust reviews a book that examines the role of a little-known tracking station in Australia had on NASA's early spaceflights and the impact it had on its host town.

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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