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After I've thought about it a bit...

I write for other outlets other than this web page and my books. Here, you'll find links to other articles I've done as well as more thought-out topics that I may have touched on in the blog The most recent essays are at the top.

April 2007 - Locally - On April 2nd, I got my first real fan mail. A 3rd grade teacher read I Want to go to Mars to her class, and she sent me her copy to see if I'd sign it. She also sent pictures drawn by her class. It reminded me why I've taken up this craft.

Why I Write...and why you Should too

March 2007 - The Space Review - there'd been a flurry of articles about crewed asteroid exploration missions, some of them alluding to the fact that such trips may be easier than going to the moon. The argument didn't make sense to me, so I used the JPL NEO office orbit visualizer to try and figure out how often such a mission would happen. The more complete article can be found here.

Asteroid Missions: Be Patient or Bring Lotsa Gas

April 2006 - High Frontier, The Professional Journal of Air Force Space Command. The article is titled "Space Situational Awareness: Before you Control, you must Understand," and examines four incidents that happened to satellites in recent years and their broader implications. Discussion moves to the architecture of a center that could track such events in an effort to build our knowledge, eventually allowing us to discriminate natural events, satellite failures, and attacks. The journal will be available for download from the Space Command library website.

High Frontier, Volume 2 Number 3 (Acrobat Required)

In an article in The Space Review, Duane Day said that the failure of Falcon I could be compared to 55% of other rockets flying successfully on their first flight. I took a look at the list used for the argument, and found several boosters that had flight heritage before they flew. I wrote a counterpoint.

First flight success isn't the whole story

July/August and November/December, 2005 - Space Times, The Magazine of the American Astronautical Society, published a two part article of mine.  Titled Entertaining Proposals, part 1 (J/A pp 18-21) looked at how a crew on a long-distance mission will pass the free time that they have.  Part 2 (N/D pp 15-19) took a different viewpoint and described how space missions could use the natural tension of building a mission to create some very entertaining, and hopefully engaging, television.  Unfortunately, Space Times is not available online.

Space Times

August 15, 2005 - Jeff Foust, editor of The Space Review, was unable to attend this year's Mars Society Conference. He asked me to summarize the proceedings.

The Woodstock of Mars

January 3, 2005 - After the (minor, compared to what it could have been) hoopla over asteroid 2004 MN4, I tried to think of a way to prevent something like its unprecedented threat rating from hapening again. The result was this article in The Space Review.

Revising the Torino Scale

November 8, 2004 - After stumbling upon a book called Apollo: A Retrospective, I found the text from a speech Wernher von Braun gave on June 7, 1962. In it, he became the last "major holdout" in the lunar mission mode decision to fall in line behind the new favorite: Lunar Orbit Rendezvous. The criteria he set out as the reasons for his decision were fascinating to me, so I summarized it for The Space Review.

Decision Point

Here, I mused about the recent prize craze in the space industry. After attending the Centennial Challenges conference hosted by NASA, I tried to think of some problems that the prize approach could run into.

Beware Prize Fatigue

Here is an early article I did for The Space Review. Published right after President Bush announced the new vision for space exploration, I wanted to get some of my ideas (later covered in more detail in the book) out quickly.

Let's Add a Wrinkle...

Here's an article from the premier issue of the Space Operations Communicator. It deals with orbiting supply depots and how their use could provide a backbone for space exploration in the future. I've rethought some of the technical details in this one, but still believe the concept to be sound. (Later: this article actually came out first, as it's referenced in The Space Review article above)

Orbiting Supply Depots

The Updated Past, Present and Possible Futures of Space Activity