US Opinion and Commentary

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Farewell to Eugene Cernan, the Last Man to Walk on the Moon

Posted January 17th, 2017 at 12:51 pm (UTC-4)
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The final footprints he left in the lunar soil before stepping onto the ladder turned 44 years old a few weeks ago. It is a mark of America’s loss of cosmic daring that they remain the freshest of all of the many prints NASA astronauts made during the course of six landings.

President Obama Says We’re Going to Mars. If Only It Were That Easy

Posted October 11th, 2016 at 12:53 pm (UTC-4)
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[P]rivate companies have always been the space program’s manufacturing backbone….What was different then was that those contracts were essentially work made to order—like planning precisely the house you want and hiring an architect to build it for you. Now it’s more like buying into a development:

America Will Take the Giant Leap to Mars

Posted October 11th, 2016 at 9:34 am (UTC-4)
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We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time.

A Second Life in Space for Cold War Nukes

Posted April 27th, 2016 at 1:34 pm (UTC-4)
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In the tradition of turning swords into plowshares, it’s an appealing idea: converting the U.S.’s ballistic missiles into rockets for civilian space transport. It’s also a sensible one — and Congress should change the law to make it happen.

Use Outer Space to Strengthen U.S.-China Ties

Posted April 26th, 2016 at 4:31 pm (UTC-4)
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The United States and China have differing goals and priorities in space….Failure to reconcile their differences in this domain could lead to a renewed arms race that could be to the detriment of both sides.

Inaction on Climate Dims Space Future

Posted April 7th, 2016 at 3:16 pm (UTC-4)
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In contrast to NASA, Florida Gov. Rick Scott still seems to be closing his eyes to climate change. Last year several former state Department of Environmental Protection employees said they had been told not to even use the term. While Scott disputed those claims, he has failed to do anything to suggest he takes climate change seriously. […]

Scott Kelly’s Giant Step for Mankind

Posted March 1st, 2016 at 3:39 pm (UTC-4)
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Scott has flown so long so we can make huge advancements in our understanding of how long-duration space flight impacts human physiology, something that is essential if we are ever going to travel to more distant destinations, such as Mars.

The Challenger Disaster: Lessons Learned

Posted January 28th, 2016 at 11:51 am (UTC-4)
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30 years ago today, NASA was forever changed. The U.S. space agency’s space shuttle Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Shortly after liftoff, with live cameras rolling, the shuttle broke apart and dropped Atlantic Ocean, killing all seven crew members. It was the celebrated U.S. space agency’s first inflight tragedy. And like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or 9/11, Americans remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when it unfolded. The tragedy was probed, but in 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke apart while re-entering the atmosphere, killing all seven crew members on board. Despite the grave losses, NASA pulled itself out its institutional trauma and looked again to the future. Despite the grave losses, NASA pulled itself out its institutional trauma and looked again to the future. In the three decades since those disasters, the agency has put multiple rovers on Mars and completed the International Space Station – just two examples of triumph over tragedy.