In The Space Review this week…
Building a foundation for commercial crew
As the debate over commercial crew development continues in Washington, NASA and industry are taking initial steps on such efforts. Jeff Foust discusses some of the ongoing efforts and planning that continue despite political uncertainty.
Halfway to the stars (atop piles of paper)
For every mission that actually flies, many more never make it beyond the proposal stage. Dwayne Day looks at the efforts companies and organizations put into such proposals, including one novel radar satellite system.
VASIMR: hope or hype for Mars exploration?
An advanced electric propulsion concept known as VASIMR has won support from some, including NASA leadership, for its potential to greatly reduce the travel times for human Mars missions. Jeff Foust reports that some Mars advocates are skeptical, at best, of the ability of this system to match expectations.