Spaceflight Vol 54 No 02 – February 2012

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Is X-37B stalking China’s space station?
In a world exclusive, Spaceflight examines the evidence that suggests the US Air Force is testing a new orbit-to-orbit space surveillance system, focusing on Tiangong-1.

US Space Commercialization
Dwayne Day takes a look back to the early days of space commercialization and reviews the changes made with successive decades as both NASA and industrylearned to cope with changing demand.

Curiosity heads for Mars
Spaceflight’s Ken Kremer joins Editor David Baker to open a year-long watch on NASA’s latest Mars mission with a report from Cape Canaveral and news about the mission so far.

The second generation Shenzhou
Philippe Coué turns the telescope on China’s latest manned spacecraft and describes its first test flight to Tiangong-1, reporting on plans for 2012 to put a crew aboard the mini-station.

GMES – are Europe’s plans at a crossroads?
In one of the biggest programmes for monitoring the European natural and socio-economic environment, GMES faces major challenges in times of fiscal; austerity and EU intervention. Is that good or bad?

Olaf Stapledon: The finest of the First Men
Kelvin Long and Richard Osborne host a seminar on one of the giants in futures thinking, an inspiration to many and a model for the philosophical debate on humanity’s purpose in space and time.

Regular Features

Britain in Space – A ‘go’ for NovaSAR – Low-thrust at Surrey University – Overdue retirement for aging satellite – Manchester zaps the Canaries

World News Analysis – Is X-37B stalking China’s space station – Air force wings in orbit
International News – Astrium to manage ISS operations – Building security – Renaissance for rocket research – Middle age spread for Ariane – Leinbach goes private

In brief – news shorts from around the world

International News – Stratolaunch aims for air-drop market – Reusable booster system studied – SBIRS buildup – More carbon data sought

Coming up – a schedule for what’s next in space

Satellite Digest – 468 October 2011

A View from the Hill – political space news hot from Washington DC

Book Reviews – Jane’s Space Systems and Industry 2011-2012 – A Vertical Empire, History of the British Rocketry Programme, Rockets and Missiles

ISS Operations Summary – 12 November to 11 December 2011

Letters

Society News – NASA astronaut receives BIS award – SpaceX comes to London

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