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.

  • Blog

    The Fight Against COVID, Sexual Violence in the Military, Disinformation on Social Media: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the ongoing fight against COVID-19, countering sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military, disinformation on social media, and more.

    Jul 23, 2021

  • Blog

    COVID-19 Disinformation, Biden's Address, Leaving Afghanistan: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Russian and Chinese campaigns to spread malign and subversive information on COVID-19, President Biden's address to Congress, the planned U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and more.

    Apr 30, 2021

  • Super Typhoon Noru photographed by ISS astronaut Randy Bresnick above the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on August 1, 2017, photo courtesy of NASA

    Report

    Responsible Space Behavior for the New Space Era

    The early space domain was dominated by two superpowers. Today, the world has more than 60 spacefaring nations, multiple commercial space operators, and a global economy that is inextricably linked to space. Now is the time to develop responsible space norms.

    Apr 26, 2021

  • RAND Space Enterprise Initiative (crop)

    Multimedia

    Introducing the RAND Space Enterprise Initiative

    RAND Space Enterprise Initiative lead Bruce McClintock describes the mission and goals of the Space Enterprise Initiative and the importance of making space research available to all.

    Sep 4, 2020

  • Astronauts on a planet looking at outer space, illustration by yogysic/Getty Images

    Blog

    How Accurate Were Predictions for the Future?

    Anticipating the risks and opportunities posed by all kinds of change is a RAND specialty. In 1964, using RAND's now-famous Delphi method, experts pondered topics like medical advancements, space, artificial intelligence, and controlling the weather.

    Jul 14, 2020

  • Dr. Mae Jemison delivers the Haskins Lecture on Science Policy at RAND's Santa Monica Headquarters on January 23, 2018

    Blog

    Pursuing the Extraordinary Through Space Exploration

    NASA astronaut Dr. Mae C. Jemison delivered RAND's 2018 Haskins Lecture. She discussed how the pursuit of interstellar travel benefits society, the vital role science plays in our lives, and the importance of continued investment in research and technology.

    Jan 25, 2018

  • scientific illustration designed at RAND for Haskins Lecture

    Multimedia

    Pursuit of the Extraordinary

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, Dr. Mae C. Jemison, RAND's 2018 Haskins Fellow, discusses why we must consciously pursue an extraordinary tomorrow in order to build a better world today.

    Jan 23, 2018

  • An artist's rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration between Earth and the moon

    Commentary

    Mining the Moon for Rocket Fuel to Get Us to Mars

    Students from around the world participated in the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. They proposed designs of what a lunar launch and supply station for deep space missions might look like, and how it would work.

    May 16, 2017

  • Periodical

    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

  • People commuting to work in London

    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.

    Dec 31, 2010

  • Commercial Book

    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

    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

    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

  • Commentary

    Commentary

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

    Published commentary by RAND staff

    Dec 13, 2004

  • Report
  • Report

    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