Space-Related Headlines of May 2008

This month, a handful of space-related headlines have hit the news and has been chosen for this installment of headlines of May 2008. In this article, you will encounter information about the death of a pioneer in space exploration; the future plans of NASA; and the contents of a popular space publication.

Space Community Loses NASA Pioneer

One of the last German rocket scientists who traveled to the United States after World War II (and helped establish the engineering base for the NASA space program) has passed away. Ernst Stuhlinger was 94 years old when he died last Sunday. According to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Stuhlinger had been battling health issues for a couple of months.

Stuhlinger is best known for his role as chief scientist for Wernher von Braun and as becoming a part of the collection of German scientists who relocated to Huntsville in 1950 to work with the Army , who had just established the Ordnance Missile Laboratories. It would be the von Braun team that later gains acclaim for developing the propulsion system that assisted NASA in being able to place a man on the moon in 1969.

Retirement came for Stuhlinger in 1975, where he had served as the associate director of science at the Marshall Space Flight Center. This is the same location where the design for the Saturn V moon rocket was completed. In later years, Stuhlinger would pen a book based upon his experiences with von Braun. The last public appearance that the former scientist would make was in December when he spoke at a seminar in Huntsville titled “Science Goes to the Moon and Planets.” His lecture had touched upon the 50 years of work he had completed for various rocket programs. Unfortunately, Stuhlinger was unable to attend the 50th anniversary of America in space that took place in February.

Future Plans for NASA

Have you ever stopped to think what the future goals of NASA are? Where do they plan on exploring next and how can it benefit the rest of world? In taking a look at NASA’s Strategic Plan and Vision for Space Exploration, you will learn that the prestigious space programs has a handful of objectives on their platter for the future.

These future goals of NASA include flying the space shuttle without any incidents until it is retired in 2010; developing and expanding partnerships with private industries; creating a program that focuses on returning humans to the Moon; establishing a lunar base; pursue future exploration of Mars and many other destinations; developing a revamped Crew Exploration Vehicle (referred to as Project Orion) by 2014; increasing the number of programs concentrated in science and aeronautics; and completing the International Space Station.

Popular Space Book Relaunched

The popular “Space Exploration” book by Carole Stott has been relaunched with a new look, book cover, and eight pages of brand new text. This publication is a joy for anyone with an interest in astronomy and exploring what the planets and the rest of the Solar System has to offer. Some of the features that have already mesmerized the curious include original spacecraft photography; satellite tracking devices; impressive images of Neptune; a look into the life of an astronaut; weightlessness; and a recap regarding the exploits of the first person on the Moon.