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Space exploration

Space exploration news and analysis from The Nation

  • November 14, 2009

    Water on the Moon — and Money for NASA

    "Water found on the moon," the headlines said – water that "could be used for drinking," the LA Times reported, possibly enough for "future astronauts to live off the land." The "water" that was "found," however, consisted of 25 gallons. The average American uses about 80 gallons of water per day, according to the US Geological Survey. But most of that is for flushing the toilet and taking showers. If the astronauts used lunar "water" only for drinking, and if three astronauts each drank six eight-ounce glasses per day, they would drink the 25 gallons in about three weeks. There would be a problem, however. NASA didn't find one big frozen puddle – their spectrometers identified dust that suggested water molecules were "likely to be mixed in with the soil." Getting the H2O out of the frozen soil would take energy and equipment. Maybe it would be easier for our people to bring their own water.

    Jon Wiener

  • February 26, 2009

    Lab Test: Who Profits From Scientific Research?

    Does the profit motive distort and degrade the unpredictable path of scientific discovery?

    William Deresiewicz

  • August 30, 2007

    NASA Scientists Challenge Security Rules

    Wary of government efforts to silence global warming research, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Goddard Space Flight Center are going to court to block new security rules.

    Dave Lindorff

  • April 21, 2005

    DeLay’s Grab for NASA

    When it comes to ethics violations, the sky is no longer the limit.

    David Corn

  • June 30, 1969

    Space Is Not Black

    Days before the Apollo 11 launch in 1969, The Nation lamented a government that spent freely on white astronauts, engineers, and contractors, but could not find jobs at home for its black population.

    Jack Robertson


  • January 13, 1969

    The Moon Will Wait

    In early 1969, Nation editors were skeptical about the space race, and NASA’s “juvenile, brutal approach” in rushing to get a man on the moon.

    The Nation