Time to ask the big questions
All of these issues are symptoms of fundamental problems with how we approach space today. Many of these problems are rooted in decisions made years, if not decades, ago. Exploring these decisions can be useful, if only to best understand the process that led to those decisions. However, we are forced to cope with the consequences of those past decisions today. If this is the best we can do to explore and develop the final frontier, we may be stuck on Earth for the foreseeable future.
As stated above, there is a temptation to quickly patch the problem that caused the loss of Columbia and press on. Yet it’s clear that the way we approach space today is filled with problems and pitfalls; Columbia is not the only evidence of this, merely the most visible and the most unfortunate. Rather than get right back on that horse, perhaps its time to ask some more fundamental questions. How fast should we be riding? Where should we be going? And should we even be riding a horse?
That is what The Space Review is about: exploring the fundamental issues and the fundamental problems related to the exploration and development of space. The Space Review is not another news publication — there are already plenty of those available online — but instead an online magazine devoted to the past, present, and future of space exploration. In particular, there will be an emphasis on where we should go from here: the goals organizations should set in space, the destinations we should explore, the technologies we need to make it happen, the policies that help or hinder us, and so on.
What should you do, gentle reader? First of all, please come by every week and check out our latest articles: we plan to publish from one to three articles a week, ranging from in-depth studies of specific topics to short essays and book reviews. Give us feedback, about both the articles and the site: everything here is currently “in beta”, to borrow the jargon of the software industry, so your suggestions can be easily incorporated into the site in the coming weeks. If you have an article or essay you’d like to contribute to the site, please send an email to email@example.com. Oh, yes: be sure to tell your friends and colleagues about us too.
It is my hope that The Space Review can become an effective forum for discussing and debating our future in space. Recent events have made it as clear as ever that if we are truly interested in exploring and developing space, we need to reexamine why and how to best do it. We owe that to the crew of the Columbia and the others who have paid the ultimate price in the exploration of the final frontier.
It’s clear that the way we approach space today is filled with problems and pitfalls; Columbia is not the only evidence of this, merely the most visible and the most unfortunate.