Space Science and Technology

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RAND was an early leader in the field of space science, producing seminal works in the design, launch, and operation of satellites in the 1940s and '50s. RAND continues to pursue space studies: Current topics include international cooperation (and the United States' dependency on foreign components), orbital debris (or "space junk"), and the funding of space missions.

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

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    Responsible Space Behavior for the New Space Era

    Apr 26, 2021

    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.

  • RAND Space Enterprise Initiative (crop)

    Multimedia

    Introducing the RAND Space Enterprise Initiative

    Sep 4, 2020

    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.

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    Recent results of high-altitude research by means of rockets and satellites.

    An account of the more important recent advances in high-altitude research based on rocket and satellite data and a presentation of a quantitative picture of our current knowledge of atmospheric physics. Some findings which have not yet been properly...

    Jan 1, 1958

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    Basic objectives of a continuing program of scientific research in outer space.

    A discussion of the basic objectives of the current, planned, and predictable programs of scientific research in outer space. The suitability of satellites and rockets in various roles of data collection is considered, and the importance of these da...

    Jan 1, 1958

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    A Family of Recoverable Reconnaissance Satellites

    This research memorandum is the product of a feasibility study undertaken by several members of the RAND technical staff. The basic idea of using a spin-stabilized panoramic camera in the manner described herein was developed by M. E. Davies in the spring of 1957.

    Jan 1, 1957

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    Artificial Satellites of the Moon

    A discussion of the requirements for establishing an artificial satellite of the moon.

    Jan 1, 1956

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    Project Feedback Summary Report: Volume I

    An analysis of the potential of an unconventional reconnaissance method whereby inaccessible points on the earth may be viewed by television from a satellite orbiting at 300-mi altitude. The current code name for this project is "Feed Back."

    Mar 1, 1954

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    Project Feedback Summary Report: Volume II

    This volume contains information on the specific design aspects of the Feed Back device.

    Mar 1, 1954

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    Utility of a Satellite Vehicle for Reconnaissance

    The authors investigate the utility of an earth-circling space vehicle as a reconnaissance device. They conclude that TV satellites are feasible and likely to be useful if built and operated.

    Apr 1, 1951

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    The Satellite Rocket Vehicle: Political and Psychological Problems

    This paper deals with the probable political effects resulting from the launching of a satellite vehicle under United States auspices, and from its successful use for purposes of military intelligence.

    Oct 4, 1950

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    Mixing in Inhomogeneous Gas Jets

    An analysis of a freely expanding turbulent jet.

    Aug 30, 1949

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    Communication and Observation Problems of a Satellite

    This report comprises a discussion of problems and requirements of instrumentation for communication between ground stations and a man-made satellite on an orbit above the earth's equator.

    Jan 1, 1947

  • A spaceship near a planet

    Report

    Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship

    In 1946, more than 11 years before the orbiting of Sputnik, history's first artificial space satellite, Project RAND—then active within Douglas Aircraft Company's Engineering Division—conducted a study on the feasibility of a space vehicle from an engineering standpoint.

    Jul 1, 1946

  • People

    People

    Andrea M. Abler

    Technical Analyst
    Education M.A. in security studies, Georgetown University; M.S. in oceanography, University of California San Diego; B.S. in physics, University of Maryland Baltimore County; B.A. in history, University of Maryland Baltimore County

  • People

    People

    Jonathan Balk

    Research Assistant
    Education B.S. in aerospace engineering, University of California-Los Angeles

  • People

    People

    Timothy M. Bonds

    Senior Fellow
    Education M.B.A. in business administration, Washington University in St. Louis; M.S. in aero/astro engineering, University of Illinois; B.S. in aero/astro engineering, University of Michigan

  • People

    People

    Jennifer Brookes

    Physical Scientist
    Education Ph.D. in physical chemistry, University of Washington; B.S. in chemistry & biology, University of Portland

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    People

    Brian Dolan

    Engineer
    Education Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, University of Cincinnati; B.S. in mechanical and aerospace engineering, SUNY Buffalo

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    People

    Andrew Dowse

    Director, RAND Australia
    Education Ph.D. in information science, University of New South Wales; G.D. Legal in intelligence and security, Queensland University of Technology; M.Sc. in information science, University of New South Wales; B.Eng. in communications-electronics, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

  • People

    People

    Mel Eisman

    Senior Operations Research Analyst
    Education M.S.I.E. in operations research, Pennsylvania State University; B.S. in industrial engineering, State University of New York

  • People

    People

    Paola Fusaro

    Analyst
    Education M.A. in international security, Sciences Po Paris; B.A. in political science and economics, Sciences Po Paris

  • People

    People

    Marissa Herron

    Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education M.S. in remote sensing intelligence, Naval Postgraduate School; M.S. in aerospace engineering (statistical orbit determination), University of Colorado at Boulder; B.S. in aerospace engineering, University of Arizona