Although bearing the cover month of February, this issue is the first appear on the screens or through the letterboxes of readers around the world in the New Year. But it brings the sad news of the death of John Glenn, for many the iconic representation of America’s early steps on the road to the Moon.
We also remember this month the loss of the Apollo 1 crew in a tragic accident at Cape Canaveral when astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee were rehearsing for their inaugural flight in NASA’s new spacecraft just 50 years ago.
Looking back, we draw open the veil on a highly classified US satellite and explore the ways in which it was used for both tactical and strategic purposes.
But there is hope for the future as we review the latest developments for a German citizen to fly into space as part of a competitive bid to expand the inventory of European astronauts.
We also review aspects of commercial space flight which will help energise the government-led programmes bringing unity in fulfilling a dream of expanding human exploration in deep space, finding that without this partnership the prospects are less bright.
German female astronauts
Having introduced the competition to find Germany’s first woman astronaut in last month’s issue of Spaceflight, Tony Quine now provides brief biographical details on the candidates.
Remembering Apollo 1
Fifty years on from America’s first catastrophe in a manned spacecraft, the Editor looks again at the tragic circumstances which led to the loss of three astronauts and to the wider repercussions.
Humans in Space – an Update
In this age of political convulsions Spaceflight reviews the changes and the challenges now facing protagonists of human space missions and asks whether it is not time to renew links with the commercial world.
STRAWMAN – The Deep Black Signals Intelligence Satellite
Intelligence analyst and specialist Dwayne Day opens the books on a class of satellite which served both tactical and strategic interests during the chilly days of the Cold War.
Renowned Belgian space historian and archivist Theo Pirard speaks with the outgoing head of ESA’s Earth observation satellite programmes and discusses the development of the integrated pan-European programme.
News Analysis – Data Highways Open – Going, going… – ExoMars Success
ISS Report – 16 November 2016-8 December 2016
Briefing notes – news shorts from around the world
Satellite Digest – 529 November 2016
Flashback – A regular feature looking back 50 years ago this month
Correspondence – Reality Check – Bugs in Space – Be careful…
Obituaries – Joseph Vincent Charyk – Ewen Whittaker
Shelf – William Leitch – SpaceX’s Dragon
Society News – 2016 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards – Rockets in Droitwich
IT’S A NEW YEAR – THERE IS ONLY ONE RESOLUTION
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