This week in The Space Review….
A gateway to space emerges in the desert
Last Month Virgin Galactic formally dedicated its “Gateway to Space”, the new terminal building and hangar at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Jeff Foust reports on the event as well as the work still in progress for both Virgin’s spacecraft and the spaceport itself.
Recalling the Mars flagships
November is shaping up to be a critical month for Mars exploration, with the planned launches of Russian and American missions to the Red Planet. Lou Friedman notes that ongoing debates within the administration could also spell doom for long-term Mars exploration plans.
Propellant depots: the fiscally responsible and feasible alternative to SLS
While NASA begins development of the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, some have proposed propellant depots as an alternative architecture. Andrew Gasser argues that depots, despite the criticisms of some, offer a feasible and less expensive approach to human space exploration.
The Moon Treaty: failed international law or waiting in the shadows?
The Moon Treaty is widely regarded as a failed treaty since the biggest spacefaring nations, including the United States, have not signed on to it. Michael Listner warns, though, that elements of the treaty could make their way into international law even if the US doesn’t sign or ratify the treaty.
Review: The Space Shuttle
With the shuttle now retired, books recounting the history of the program are making their way onto bookstore shelves. Jeff Foust reviews one such book that includes stunning imagery from various shuttle missions, but has one surprising omission.