Next in Spaceflight

Spaceflight-Post-Cover-2016-07People who leave the Earth’s atmosphere and fly into space have an abiding affinity with the home planet. Why is this? This next issue of Spaceflight asks the question as researchers are beginning to open new analyses of the way the human brain, and the mind, react to connections with Earth.

We also look at one of the most outstanding planetary missions of this century – the epic flight of Messenger, the NASA spacecraft which has provided more information about Mercury, the solar system’s innermost planet than could possibly have been expected.

With spaceplanes and space tourism hot topics for debate, Michel van Pelt looks back at the pioneers in what may soon turn out to be the mode of transport carrying the most people sent into space. China and India are hot on the heels of Virgin Galactic, XCOR and other players and this could become the space highway of the future, carrying scores of people each year to the fringe of space.

And while NASA lays plans for human crews to Mars in the 2030s, Elon Musk is getting money from NASA to go there in two years’ time. Read all about it…

Contents

The Overview Effect
What is it that draws astronauts to gaze at the Earth? Psychologists are just beginning to study the effect of looking at our home planet and whether it is more important to our well-being than merely existing as place to live in.

Farewell Messenger
Launched almost 13 years ago, NASA’s Messenger spacecraft is a triumph of spacecraft engineering and a landmark in planetary exploration, becoming the first to orbit Mercury. We take a look at its accomplishments as we say farewell.

M for Monster
Space historian Dwayne Day opens the files on a cryogenic rocket motor which could have powered advanced versions of the Saturn rocket to found out why it never flew.

SpaceX takes NAA to Mars!
The US space agency has signed a deal with SpaceX to support a Dragon mission to Mars in 2018, a key step to putting humans on the Red Planet.

MOL/DORIAN Files Opened
Dr Neil Da Costa reports on another tranche of previously classified documents on the history of one of the most publicised spy satellites of all time and explores why it never got off the ground.

Higher and Faster – The Evolution of Rocket Planes
Michel van Pelt tracks the background to the developing story of rocket planes and connects a very old marriage to the possibilities for rocket flight in the future.

Regular Features

News Analysis – Stevenage wins BIOMASS contract – STEM centre for Stevenage

A Letter from the Editor

Briefing notes – news shorts from around the world

ISS Report – 16 April-15 May 2016

Flashback – A regular feature looking back 50 years ago this month

Satellite Digest – 522 April 2016

Shelf – International Space Station – Space Shuttle: A Photographic Journey – Abandoned in Place: Preserving America’s Space History

Obituary – Edgar Dean Mitchell (1930-2016) – John Hazelwood (1946-2016)

Correspondence – A New Place in Space – Hidden Treasures – Site Survey

Society News – A call to Tim Peake – Request for presentations – Dave Shayler on Skylab

What’s On

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