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The Space Review January 30, 2012

Charles Rector's Weblog; Feb. 3, 2012; By Charles Rector
Type: News

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

The need for real "rocket science" to solve Russian spaceflight setbacks
The failure of Russia's Phobos-Grunt spacecraft remains a mystery even as some Russian officials suggest a foreign power like America may have had a hand in the spacecraft's demise. James Oberg argues that some rational engineering analysis -- aka "rocket science" -- can shed light on the spacecraft's loss and dispel conspiracies.

Campaign lunacy
Space, typically an issue that gets very little attention in presidential campaigns, burst into public prominence last week thanks to a series of debate questions and speeches. Jeff Foust reports on how Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and other Republican candidates outlined their views on space, and what they also left out.

Not evolution -- revolution
The press and public do not seem to be accepting Newt Gingrich's position on space policy. Sam Dinkin discusses the implication for the transition to low-cost space access.

The geometry of shadows
The National Reconnaissance Office recently released a selection of images taken from the newly-declassified GAMBIT and HEXAGON reconnaissance satellite programs. Dwayne Day examines the relevance of those images to American space and defense efforts from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Review: Tweeting the Universe
Can the vastness and majesty of the universe be condensed into 140-character snippets? Jeff Foust reviews a book that offers a Twitter-inspired examination of various questions in astronomy.

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

Caution and optimism about the future of human spaceflight
Six months after the Space Shuttle completed its final mission, many are still uneasy about the future of America's human spaceflight efforts. Jeff Foust reports that many in the field see cause for optimism for the future, mixed with a dose of caution about the obstacles in the path ahead.

A vision for a new frontier purpose for American spaceflight
Supporters of spaceflight have struggled to find rationales to back continued expenditures on relevant projects. Robert D. Lancaster argues that future spaceflight efforts should be based on planetary defense, access to resources, and settlement.

The difficult road to the Moon
Fifty years ago this week NASA launched the first in a series of Ranger spacecraft to the Moon, with poor results. Drew LePage examines the development of those spacecraft and the unfortunate outcomes of those early missions.

Review: Saving Hubble
One of the biggest space advocacy victories of the last decade was the grassroots push to restore a shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Jeff Foust reviews a documentary that recalls those efforts that attracted support from a broad swath of the general public.

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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