Y'herd thisun? 

“Some critics of manned space flight on Capital Hill are said to be using their influence to hold down the amount of research on this subject [of Human-affecting radiation in Space]; this could be an indirect way of slowing the pace of flights to the moon and Mars.”

from Space Commerce, Materials Processing by Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. John L. McLucas

Getting into Space... where to start?

TaggedSpace, Advocacy, SpaceX

I recently met a mother of a young Space kid. Great young man, has done SpaceCamp and visited SpaceX and has the bug. I sent her this note about my impression of active periodicals and thought that in case there were others who knew of smart kids, or anyone looking for a good item to donate to school libraries, it might be of some help.

"...There are a number of industry related magazines out there, but of the ones I’ve experienced the one that is most cost effective and (so far) excellent with every single issue is Spaceflight magazine which is part of the membership to the British Interplanetary Society.  Occasionally you can find the magazine individually on some newsstands … though I’ve seen it a lot more around Redmond and San Jose than around SoCal.  (I have yet to see it for sale even around Pasadena, which saddens me greatly but is probably par for the course of the general JPL metro robot-over-human space focus.)

Pretty much the membership means just the magazine subscription for us in America but still it is well worth it.  Plus, since [young person] is under 22 there is a great relative price for students ;-).

Here’s the address of BIS:

NASA TechBriefs, as we’d talked about, is free and very geeky and good over time ( ) and SpaceNews is weekly and important for the military, communications and remote sensing community but has an industry-style price so it’s not an impulse buy type of investment.  And, as long as we’re listing them, The Planetary Society magazine that is part of membership is hit or miss and usually thin on content over self-advertising and The AIAA Aerospace America magazine that comes with their membership is mostly on the “Aero” part.  But Spaceflight from BIS is consistently well put together and often gives us Americans details on our own country that we don’t get easily from within. 

I saw a few months ago that Bill Nye (now head of the Planetary Society) joined the BIS and I figure it was partially to get Spaceflight magazine himself, so that says something too... it would be nice if the Planetary Society would learn something from the BIS membership offerings but they have a different set of big goals so I dunno ;-). 

BIS also offers the choice of getting their Journal instead of or in addition to Spaceflight… the Journal is the high geek offering though and while it is true that Arthur C. Clarke and those of the ilk of Stephen Hawking are the type of authors it can be too daunting and theoretical and end up un-read unless a person is ready for it so my suggestion is still Spaceflight as the one that will pay off in routinely interesting and even inspirational reading.

Oh, note that my recollection of when I first joined is that  if [young person] joins midyear then the issues of Spaceflight already published in the year will all be sent at once; the membership and subscription is calendar year not by date of joining but that means that a good heft of stuff will come and provide significant instant gratification J.

Hope that is helpful.


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