In This Issue
Fall Issue of The Bridge on Space Exploration
September 1, 2021 Volume 51 Issue 3
Close collaboration between engineering and science has enabled marvels of space exploration over decades. Eight exemplary missions are described in this issue, conveying the excitement, challenges, and breakthroughs involved in efforts to better understand the wonders and mysteries of this solar system.
Articles In This Issue
  • Thursday, September 16, 2021
    AuthorDonald C. Winter

    The phrase “words matter” often refers to the impact of the words people use (or don’t use). In that context, I find it interesting to note the way the words science and engineering are being used by many in positions of influence.

    The term science has taken on new meanings as ...

  • Thursday, September 16, 2021
    AuthorSteve Battel

    I hope you enjoy reading the articles in this issue of The Bridge as much as we have enjoyed putting them ­together for you. I have worked my entire career at the interface of engineering and science and have experienced the rewards that come from developing technology to enable scientific ...

  • Thursday, September 16, 2021
    AuthorLouis J. Lanzerotti
    • Dancing lights in the polar skies—and at times even over Rome, Paris, Havana, Tokyo
    • Rocks falling to Earth from the “heavens”
    • Strange spots on the Sun—appearing…growing…vanishing
    • Planets racing in epicycles across the heavens
    • Curious behaviors of the ...
  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021
    AuthorJohn M. Grunsfeld

    Hubble is a monumental scientific success, a marvel of engineering, and an exemplar of teamwork.

    Operating in Earth’s orbit for 31 years, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST; figure 1) is perhaps the most productive scientific instrument ever created. Its chronicles are about more than a ...

  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021
    AuthorNicola J. Fox and Andrew S. Driesman

    The story of Parker Solar Probe shows how engineers and scientists navigated constraints to develop the invaluable scientific powerhouse now flying by the Sun.

    In July 1958, three months before NASA was created, the National Research Council issued a report with recommendations for future space ...

  • Tuesday, September 14, 2021
    AuthorHeather L. Enos and Michael C. Moreau

    The diverse science and engineering perspectives and experiences of the OSIRIS-REx team were key to overcoming the challenges of asteroid Bennu.

    On October 20, 2020, the OSIRIS-REx  spacecraft began a maneuver that had been envisioned years prior by scientists and engineers at the University ...

  • Tuesday, September 14, 2021
    AuthorAthena Coustenis, Olivier Witasse, and Christian Erd

    Engineering supports the science objectives of JUICE: to investigate Jupiter, its magnetosphere, the icy moons, and their interrelations in all their complexity.

    The first large mission in the European Space Agency’s Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 program is the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer ...

  • Monday, September 13, 2021
    AuthorStacey W. Boland and David J. Diner

    MAIA breaks new ground with its emphasis on human health applications and efforts to use commercial access to low Earth orbit.

    In 2007 an Earth science decadal survey outlined a vision for “a decadal program of Earth science research and applications in support of society” and called ...

  • Monday, September 13, 2021
    AuthorElizabeth P. Turtle and Ralph D. Lorenz

    Planning of the Dragonfly mission to Saturn’s moon Titan benefited from decades of scientific observations and technological progress.

    “NASA plans amazing thing for Destination X” is a frequent attention-grabbing headline format. Many possible mission concepts are considered for ...

  • Monday, September 13, 2021
    AuthorKenneth Sembach and Lee D. Feinberg

    JWST’s engineering advances and scientific discoveries will set the course for the future of astrophysics and space-based observatory development.

    The decision to stare at a “blank” region of the sky with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for several weeks in 1995 forever changed ...

  • Thursday, September 2, 2021
    AuthorKelly Smith

    Active engagement of humanists in discussions of the social dimensions of space science will enrich understanding and produce more thoughtful decisions and policies.


    “Inclusivity means not just ‘we’re allowed to be there’ but we are valued.”

    – Claudia ...

  • Thursday, September 2, 2021
    AuthorBill Hammack

    RON LATANISION (RML): We’re delighted to have an opportunity to talk with you, Bill. Your degree is from the University of Illinois, is that right?

    BILL HAMMACK: My bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering is from Michigan Tech and I have a master’s and a PhD from UIUC, also in ...

  • Thursday, September 2, 2021
    AuthorGuru Madhavan

    Long before Times Square blinked to light, New York City had the shimmering Crystal Palace, centerpiece of the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations, a World’s Fair that began in the summer of 1853. For a 25-cent ticket, throngs marveled at the multitiered structure of iron and steel. ...