This week in The Space Review….
International partners and NASAâ€™s new direction
While the debate in recent months about space policy in the US has been focused on its effects on the countryâ€™s space capabilities, those changes also have an effect on NASAâ€™s international partners. Jeff Foust reports that European and Japanese partners see new opportunities for perhaps an expanded role in human space exploration.
Buzz Aldrin was back in the news late last week when an article indicated that the Apollo 11 moonwalker had changed his mind and was now in favor of developing a lunar base before going to Mars. Dwayne Day cautions that thereâ€™s less to that report than meets the eye.
SIM and the â€œready, aim, aimâ€ syndrome
The search for extrasolar planets, in particular Earth-like worlds, has become one of the hottest areas of astronomy in recent years. However, Philip Horzempa warns that a recent report could threaten the future of a long-awaited mission designed to search for other Earths.
Review: The Grand Design
For hundreds of years astronomers have been moving the Earth from the center of the universe to just one world among many billions. Jeff Foust reviews a book where Stephen Hawking makes the ultimate extension of that transition while explaining why the laws of physics seem so fine-tuned for life.