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The Space Review August 29th, 2011

Charles Rector's Weblog; Sep. 4, 2011; By Charles Rector
Type: News

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

Resilient, disaggregated, and mixed constellations
US military space programs are facing a vicious cycle of cost, complexity, and requirements that is no longer sustainable.  Thomas Taverney proposes that large, exquisite systems should be replaced by constellations that mix big spacecraft with smaller, less expensive ones.

Worrying about a lack of Progress
The International Space Station program suffered a setback last week when a Progress cargo spacecraft failed to each orbit. Jeff Foust reports on the effect the failure will have on access to the station for cargo and crews as well as its role in the ongoing political debate about NASA's future.

Exploration initiatives from the private sector
Prospects for human space exploration seem uncertain at best, given limited direction and funding concerns. Lou Friedman sees some hope, though, in the form on new initiatives from the private sector.

The Grey Ghost, fading
The USS Hornet earned a place in history by serving as the recovery ship for Apollo 11.  Dwayne Day describes how the carrier, now a museum, is quietly sitting in an abandoned port in the San Francisco Bay area, rusting away.

The Mars Consortium 2011
How can governments win public support for funding human expeditions to Mars? Frank Stratford argues they may have to be pushed to do so by private initiatives.

Note: Because of the Labor Day holiday, next week's issue will be published on Tuesday, September 6.

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

New opportunities for smallsat launches
Small satellites show increasing potential to do more in space at lower costs than big satellites, but an ongoing challenge has been finding cost-effective ways to launch them.  Jeff Foust reports on new opportunities involving existing large rockets and proposed small rockets to serve the smallsat market.

An enduring value proposition for NASA human spaceflight (part 3)
In the latest installment of her assessment of the value of NASA's human spaceflight program, Mary Lynne Dittmar examines the national security implications of human spaceflight, particularly from the perspective of soft power.

Ranger: Voyage to the Moon and beyond
Fifty years ago this month the first spacecraft in the Ranger program launched into Earth orbit.  Drew LePage examines the early history of this program and how it set the foundation for more than just missions to the Moon.

The wit and wisdom of Burt Rutan
Last month recently-retired aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan was a featured guest at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Eric Hedman recounts what Rutan had to say about his career and work, including development of suborbital vehicles, at the event.

Review: The View from Here
This is a turbulent time for the space workforce, as some workers lose their jobs while other companies wonder how they'll attract a new generation of engineers.  Jeff Foust reviews a book that provides practical career guidance for aerospace and other engineers.

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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