Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Editorial

  • Book Review: “The Case For Space”

    Paul KnightlyJune 19th, 2019

    Title: The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility Author: Dr. Robert Zubrin Publisher: Prometheus Books, 2019 Format: Hardcover Pages: 395 ISBN: 978-1-63388-534-9 Retail Price: $25.00 The past decade of space travel has witnessed massive leaps in the viability of new commercial spaceflight ventures and the realignment […]

  • What did Opportunity’s ‘last words’ actually mean?

    Jason RhianFebruary 17th, 2019

    "My battery is low and it's getting dark." This supposedly was the last message sent back to mission controllers on Earth by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. But is this actually what she "said?"

  • Notes on the Run: Put on your tinfoil hat because here we go…

    Jason RhianFebruary 3rd, 2019

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – “Have you seen UFOs? Are aliens real?” My response to this line of questioning is almost always the same and, usually, not suitable for print. 

  • Notes on the Run: Where the wild things are

    Jason RhianJanuary 13th, 2019

    The locations where rockets are tested at or lift off from are usually in the middle of nowhere. Within these swamps and deserts live a wide assortment of creatures that you have to contend with if you're going to be in the space business.

  • Notes on the run: Embrace the suck

    Jason RhianDecember 30th, 2018

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- One of the things you have to get accustomed to when covering the space program is when things go wrong. Weather, idiotic boat captains, "out of family" sensor data, bad mouse food - you never know what, or who, might creep in to complicate what should be a simple process.

  • OPINION: 50 years after Apollo 8 NASA is grounded

    Jason RhianDecember 25th, 2018

    On Dec. 25, 1968 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders circled the Moon in their Apollo 8 capsule. This was a dark period in U.S. history and, as one person stated via a telegraph, Apollo 8 had "saved 1968." It was a time when anything seemed possible. It now serves as a reminder of a bygone age.

  • Notes on the Run: What is it like to see a rocket launch?

    Jason RhianDecember 15th, 2018

    One of the questions I'm often asked is “What’s it like attending a rocket launch?” Perhaps the best way to answer the question is by detailing some of our recent experiences during the launch of Northrop Grumman's S.S. John Young to the International Space Station.

  • Inside Opportunity: Oppy still silent

    James RiceNovember 1st, 2018

    Dr. Jim Rice has provided this latest update from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Has the rover been silenced forever?

  • Is flag controversy to blame for First Man’s performance at the box office?

    Jason RhianOctober 29th, 2018

    Does the exclusion of Neil Armstrong planting the US flag on the Moon have anything to do with First Man not meeting expectations at the box office?

  • Discovery Channel marks NASA’s 60th Anniversary with Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow

    Jim SiegelOctober 12th, 2018

    As a 60th anniversary tribute to NASA’s formation in 1958, the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel will be airing a 90-minute documentary entitled Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow. 

  • Opinion: Musk marijuana story much ado about nothing

    Jason RhianSeptember 9th, 2018

    Elon Musk smoked pot and drank whiskey in California. The story was painted as if the event was some bizarre Matthew McConaughey moment where Musk was banging on a bongo drum and smoking weed. After watching the 2.5-hour Joe Rogan interview, one is left with the impression that some in the media must be in desperate need of views.

  • Inside Opportunity: Oppy still silent as dust storm begins to settle

    James RiceSeptember 1st, 2018

    It has been a long 80 days. We last heard from our rover on the slopes of Perseverance Valley back on June 10. However, we are continuing to listen diligently every day during our programmed fault communication windows, as well as through the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. So far however - nothing.

  • He who laughs last – launches best: Parker Solar Probe mission a testament to faith

    Jason RhianAugust 13th, 2018

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- A speech during a pivotal scene in the 2016 movie Captain America Civil War, has become relevant in terms of the recent flight of the Parker Solar Probe. If you don't think so, you might want to chat with Eugene Parker. 

  • Inside Opportunity: As dust storm continues to rage Oppy sleeps

    James RiceJuly 28th, 2018

    Our Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover, situated at the Red Planet's Perseverance Valley located on the western inner rim of Endeavour Crater, continues to remain silent due to the ongoing global dust storm. The storm has placed 'Oppy' into a mode designed to protect her in instances just like the one the golf cart-sized rover is currently enduring.

  • Book Review: It’s a Question of Space

    Jason RhianJune 24th, 2018

    There has been a wealth of books written about astronauts' experiences in space. A good many of these are accounts detailing what transpired behind the scenes. Few however have contained actual questions asked by the average citizen as well as the response. Former NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson works to address this in his latest offering - It's a Question of Space.

  • Chasing New Horizons: An epic exploration to a strange new world

    Laurel KornfeldMay 9th, 2018

    Close to three years after the historic New Horizons Pluto flyby wowed the world, mission principal investigator Alan Stern and astrobiologist and mission science team member David Grinspoon tell the riveting story of a monumental exploration 26 years in the making in their new book Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto.

  • Opinion: Mutants, airstrikes and more: Space ‘fake news’ on the rise

    Jason RhianApril 1st, 2018

    Fake news, a relatively new term that has entered the public lexicon. Stories regarding space flight have recently seen an uptick in incorrect information being reported and given the complexity of the subject matter, it might be understandable—but it is also preventable.

  • Pixels and privatization: An artist’s view of NewSpace

    Jason RhianMarch 11th, 2018

    They produce the imagery that inspires the masses to turn their gazes skyward, but what do artists actually think with regards to where space exploration is and where it is going? To find out, SpaceFlight Insider spoke with James Vaughan, a digital artist in the age of the privatization of space.

  • What are some of the obstacles to NASA’s efforts to find life on Mars?

    Press ReleaseMarch 1st, 2018

    The possibility of life on Mars has grabbed the imagination for centuries, inspiring books, films, records, and Earthbound dreamers to gaze into the sky and wonder what could really be out there. NASA is now looking at ways to see of Mars was ever habitable and if it contains life today. The agency is working to overcome an array of hurdles to achieve this long-held dream.

  • OPINION: Ending ISS too soon would be an Apollo-sized mistake

    Derek RichardsonFebruary 4th, 2018

    It appears the Trump administration may look to end support for the International Space Station by 2025. This proposal, if approved by Congress, would be a huge mistake similar to that of ending the Apollo program in 1972.