Welcome to this week’s issue of The Space Review:
Forty years after the Apollo 1 tragedy, an enduring myth is that the
crew could have been saved had the CIA communicated to NASA a similar
accident in the Soviet space program. John Charles examines the case
and finds more systemic problems with the young space agency than a
lack of information about Soviet accidents.
This time of year we pause to reflect on the tragedies that have
befallen the US space program over the years. Dwayne Day argues
that, rater than burying those events in the past, we should find
new, yearlong ways to learn from them.
Space advocates often speak of reaching out to the general public,
but in reality no such monolithic audience exists. Bart Leahy
describes ways to target pro-space arguments to specific groups
within overall society.
In the aftermath of the Chinese ASAT test earlier this month, many
people not only criticized the Chinese for carrying out the test but
also the US for developing a space policy that appears to support
space weaponization. Taylor Dinerman says the problem may be that
the US policy is simply too straightforward.
Dwayne Day responds to a letter in last week’s issue about ASAT
development by noting that, contrary to popular belief, the US
military has not been advocating the development of kinetic energy
ASATs, in large part because of orbital debris concerns.
Despite the success of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, it’s
worth recognizing that these spacecraft are neither the first nor
arguably the most important wheeled spacecraft to roam across a
distant surface. Jeff Foust reviews a book that examines the history
of rovers, from Apollo to future missions to the Moon and Mars.