Articles by Donald
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These documents may be distributed at will, but only if they are not changed in any way, and only if the author's name, the copyright notice, the names of the journals they first appeared in, and a copy of this notice remain attached to each article. In addition, these articles may not be sold for money, or published for sale in any way, without the author's prior written permission.
The United States' new plan to return to Earth's moon
Mars represents a
painful accommodation with two conflicting
political constraints. The United States is unlikely to fully
retreat from human spaceflight -- especially with geopolitical
adversaries like China entering the fold. Congress will not
move beyond the Space Shuttle and Space Station if it costs much more
than the country already spends. Critics called the plan
“Apollo Redux.” Supporters called it a
politically-realistic strategy to keep the United States a spacefaring
power. Who is correct?
Do we really need giant giant
rockets to return to Earth's moon? (Acrobat file.)
Where is the commerce in NASA's plans to return to Earth's moon? (Acrobat file.)
So, we're off to the moon. What do we do once we're there?
Let's waste not on the way back to Earth's moon.
Can we really explore Mars with robots alone?
Before it even gets underway, human Mars exploration is headed for a political trainwreck. The likelihood of trouble is so great that advocates for human exploration of the Solar System probably should look elsewhere -- toward a return to Earth's moon or asteroid mining expeditions.
Here is small article I wrote following a several-week visit to Shetland, a group of about one-hundred islands north of Scotland. What do Shetland and Mars have in common? Read on! The article appeared as an Op Ed piece in Space News.
Apollo Twenty-Five Years Later: will we return to the Moon? The answer is a resounding "Maybe," but if so it will take a long time. This article appeared in Astronomy in 1994; they edited it very heavily and this is the original as I wrote it. A number of the ideas in this article later evolved into my more definitive analysis in Reach Out and Touch the Stars, however, note that I am far more positive in the later article. Things really are going better for commercial endeavors in space. (The "dramatic" section titles resulted from the many operas I was attending at the time.)
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