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The Space Review, January 4, 2010
By: Charles Rector | Newsletter | 5:40pm, January 5, 2010
Welcome to this week's issue of The Space Review:

NASA's dangerous new year
The next several months will be critical to NASA and its future plans as the White House prepares a new space exploration policy. Taylor Dinerman warns of the potential dangers facing NASA if the White House changes course or doesn't raise then agency's budget.

Complexity and danger
Some argue that human spaceflight is such a complex, dangerous venture that it should be left to government agencies. Bob Clarebrough counters that private ventures are just as capable as governments, if not more so, to explore the solar system.

A lighter shade of black: the (non) mystery of STS-51J
A handful of shuttle flights in the 1980s and 1990s were classified military missions, and details about only one of those missions have been released. Dwayne Day provides some more information about this particular shuttle mission and why it may remain the only one to be declassified for years to come.

Review: By Any Means Necessary
Nearly a decade after orbital space tourism became a reality, there have been remarkably few first-person accounts of these journeys. Jeff Foust reviews a book by Greg Olsen that recounts his space travel adventure.

If you missed it, here's what we published in our previous issue:

Space fetishism: space activism's obsession with technological and ideological saviors
Many space activists have pinned their hopes for humanity's future in space on specific technologies or ideologies. Dwayne Day describes why such "fetishism" is doomed to fail.

Britain's new space agency: a provincial subcommittee or a national asset?
Earlier this month the British government announced that, at long last, it would create a standalone space agency. Taylor Dinerman examines the impact this new agency could have and the importance of keeping civil and military space efforts separate.

Why should humans go to Mars?
Mars is widely seen as the long-term goal for human space exploration, even among those who don't favor near-term missions there, but why go to Mars at all? Frank Stratford argues that exploring Mars is all about preserving, and challenging, humanity.

Review: Selling Peace
Twenty years ago the door to greater commercial cooperation in space with Russia opened, albeit slowly and with considerable opposition in some quarters. Jeff Foust reviews an insider's account of the efforts to take advantage of Russian space capabilities in commercial ventures.

Gallery: SpaceShipTwo rollout
A collection of images from the rollout of SpaceShipTwo in Mojave, California.

We appreciate any feedback you may have about these articles as well as
any other questions, comments, or suggestions about The Space Review.
We're also actively soliciting articles to publish in future issues, so
if you have an article or article idea that you think would be of
interest, please email me.

Until next week,

Jeff Foust
Editor, The Space Review
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