Space Exploration

Space exploration is both an international and a commercial effort; several countries, companies, and multinational organizations operate hundreds of Earth observation and information exchange platforms near and beyond Earth's orbital plane. RAND research assists policymakers in planning the most efficient and cost-effective strategy for advancing space exploration and cooperation for both military and commercial benefits.

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2016

    This issue highlights RAND research on new ways to measure wellbeing in cities; effects of cigarette advertising on teens; supermarkets in so-called "food deserts"; the decline of civics education in American schools; and more.

    Feb 29, 2016

  • NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman works outside the International Space Station's Quest airlock in October 2014

    Commentary

    Don't Worry About Russia Backing Away from Space and WMD Cooperation

    Two symbols of U.S.-Russian cooperation are nearing the end of their life expectancies, the International Space Station and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. But both stand as remarkable milestones of achievement and reminders of what can be accomplished when nations put aside political differences for the betterment of humanity.

    Feb 27, 2015

  • Satellite space station

    Blog

    Space Talk Launches Politics Aside

    Hundreds of guests packed the Cary Grant Theatre at Sony Studios to kick off RAND's Politics Aside event with a discussion on space technology, policy, and leadership. Matt Miller, columnist, author, and radio host moderated the panel, which included Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs; George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic; and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman.

    Nov 14, 2014

  • space launch

    Blog

    A Public-Private Model for Funding Space Missions

    The future of manned space flight, including missions to Mars and other deep space destinations, will likely depend on the combined resources of governments and commercial enterprises, say Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.

    Jul 23, 2013

  • The International Space Station

    Commentary

    Kill the Space Launch System to Save Human Spaceflight

    Even in the face of a budgetary spending cap and the ever-looming possibility of new cuts, NASA continues investing in a robust and diverse human spaceflight program. But with fiscal uncertainty expected to continue, it should consider reordering its spending priorities.

    Apr 5, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Update to The Sigma Scan

    This external publication is an online database of short Horizon Scanning Centre think-pieces. RAND Europe updated 25% of the papers on this database, to incorporate more recent policy issues, evidence, and developments.

    Jan 1, 2011

  • Commercial Book

    Planets for Man

    Endeavors to determine -- on the basis of then-current biological and cosmological knowledge -- whether there are other worlds where man can survive or where human life may even now be flourishing.

    Oct 9, 2007

  • Commercial Book

    Habitable Planets for Man

    ''Habitable Planets for Man'' examines and estimates the probabilities of finding planets habitable to human beings, where they might be found, and the number there may be in our own galaxy.

    Oct 8, 2007

  • Commercial Book

    Space Handbook: Astronautics and Its Applications

    Seminal guide from 1958 on the uses and characteristics of space systems, including astronautics and its applications, technology, rocket vehicles, propulsion systems, propellants, internal power sources, guidance, communication, and more.

    Oct 8, 2007

  • Aerial photo of highway

    Project

    Program Focuses on Infrastructure Research, Technological Innovation

    Technological innovation is central to critical infrastructures like transportation and energy systems, counterterrorism, space enterprise, and nearly every other aspect of society. RAND Science, Technology and Policy Program manages research on new technologies and their implications for the nation and the world.

    Sep 20, 2006

  • Commentary

    A Future for U.S.-China Space Cooperation?

    Published commentary by RAND staff

    Dec 13, 2004

  • Report

    The Earth Below: Purchasing Science Data and the Role of Public-Private Partnership

    The Science Data Purchase Program, commonly known as the Science Data Buy (SDB), has been a success in supplying commercial remote sensing data that serves NASA science requirements, but plans for its continuation are uncertain. Although NASA has said that it will purchase science data when it is cost- ...

    Jan 1, 2000

  • Report

    The Cosmos on a Shoestring: Small Spacecraft for Space and Earth Science

    Small spacecraft have become popular for a number of reasons, most prominently the needs to reduce overall cost, be built more quickly, and spread mission risks. Despite the risks, however, small spacecraft fulfill important roles in earth science, astrophysics, space physics, and planetary science. NASA's current generation of small spacecraft is capable of impressive levels of performance.

    Jan 1, 1998

  • Report

    International Agreements on Cooperation in Remote Sensing and Earth Observation

    As of the end of 1997, the U.S. had cooperative agreements with 76 countries and six multinational organizations covering the operations of 32 active satellites. This report catalogs the agreements and assesses the extent of interagency coordination.

    Jan 1, 1998

  • Report

    Linking Space Exploration Programs to National Goals

    Space programs extend over long periods of time and require considerable financial investment.

    Jan 1, 1994

  • Report

    Space and Surface Power for the Space Exploration Initiative: Results from Project Outreach

    Describes the findings of the Space and Surface Power panel, one of eight project panels evaluating submissions to the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) Outreach Program, or Project Outreach.

    Jan 1, 1992

  • Report

    Power systems for space exploration

    Concepts submitted to Project Outreach for Space Exploration and Extended Habitation serve to highlight a number of important research areas, and in particular, the importance of broad-based support for research into power and propulsion technologies...

    Jan 1, 1992

  • Report

    Lunar Exploration by Photography from a Space Vehicle

    A description of a camera that, as a payload of an early space vehicle, could photograph the moon. The resulting pictures should be superior to those obtained by telescope or by television cameras such as those carried by Pioneer I and II.

    Jan 1, 1992

  • Report

    Human Support Issues and Systems for the Space Exploration Initiative: Results from Project Outreach

    Describes the findings of the Human Support panel, one of eight project panels evaluating submissions to the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) Outreach Program, or Project Outreach.

    Jan 1, 1991

  • Report

    Space Transportation Systems, Launch Systems, and Propulsion for the Space Exploration Initiative: Results from Project Outreach

    This Note analyzes a number of transportation and propulsion options for Mars exploration missions.

    Jan 1, 1991