The Space Review: The Sun Also Sneezes

This week in The Space Review….

Taking the initiative: SLI and the next generation
While there’s been a recent surge in interest in reusable spacecraft, including both capsules and winged vehicles, work on reusable launch vehicles has languished. Stewart Money argues that it’s time to revisit making launch vehicles at least partially reusable.

When the Sun sneezes
Last week the Sun produced the most powerful solar flare in four years, a reminder that the Sun is approaching another peak in activity that could pose hazards to modern-day civilization. Jeff Foust reports on the steps scientists and government agencies are taking to predict and prepare for solar storms.

The case for international cooperation in space exploration
ESA is currently weighing which major space science mission it should pursue in the coming decade, a decision that will rest in part on the role of international cooperation on this missions. Lou Friedman suggests that this could be a model for broader cooperation in space exploration.

Review: Voyages of Discovery
Later this week the space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch on what will almost certainly be its final mission. Jeff Foust reviews a book that provides a history of Discovery and the over three dozen missions it’s flown.

The flight of the Big Bird (part 3)
Dwayne Day continues his history of the KH-9 HEXAGON reconnaissance satellite program with an examination of spacecraft operations, including the deep sea recovery of one of the first film capsules returned by a KH-9.