The fall season has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, and even the Sun is getting into the Halloween spirit as evidenced in this “jack-o’-lantern” image captured recently by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. But before you go out trick-or-treating, we’ve got a number of stories to captivate your curiosity. We highlight the 10th anniversary of SpaceShipOne rocketing into space and claiming the Ansari X Prize. We give you the scoop on Spaceport America in New Mexico, from where Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo may soon be launching commercial passengers on trips to space. We tell you all about the Deep Space Network here on Earth that allows us to communicate with the many spacecraft exploring the solar system. And we’ve got an interview with Charley Kohlhase who was instrumental in the development of many of those planetary probes. We’ve also loaded this issue of RocketSTEM with articles about Orion’s upcoming launch, the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, the arrival of two new orbiters at Mars, Rosetta’s successful journey to a comet, a decision made on NASA’s commercial crew program, and a beginner’s guide to planetary photography.

All that – and more – in this issue of RocketSTEM magazine.

Download PDF    Buy at Blurb

Table of Contents

Orion’s December flight test critical for deep space human exploration plans

MAVEN and MOM arrive safely at Mars

Boeing, SpaceX garner NASA contracts to launch astronauts from American soil

Charley Kohlhase has been our ambassador to the planets

Deep Space Network: Finding the signal for 50 years

Eight essential facts about NASA’s Deep Space Network

Rosetta is deciphering comet’s tale

Rosetta: First mission to orbit and land on a comet

Exploring the surface of a comet

Spaceport America: A convergence of ideas and events

Gliding a spaceship back to Earth

SpaceSHOT: SpaceX CRS-4 launch

The Chalkboard: SpaceShipOne curriculum connections

SDO images ‘jack-o’-lantern’ Sun

JAXA launches Himawari-8 weather satellite

Astronaut Reid Wiseman on the first spacewalk of Expedition 41

How to photograph the planets

M16: The Eagle Nebula

A look at ‘The Last Man on the Moon’

SSEP: Sending student experiments to the ISS

Blazing a trail: SpaceShipOne and the Ansari X Prize

RocketSTEM • October 2014 • Vol. 2 No. 5 Issue 9 (ISSN: 2326-0661)  © 2014 All Rights Reserved

We hope you will continue to be inquisitive about this universe we all inhabit. Educators and students may reuse the magazine’s material in their classrooms, however, no commercial use or other reproduction is allowed.

Make a Donation

RocketSTEM Media Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established for the purpose of fostering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education via the promotion of the wonders of space exploration. If you enjoy this magazine, please consider making a donation to our organization. One-time donations may be made via PayPal on the Donations page of our website.

RocketSTEM Media Foundation is registered with the IRS as a tax-exempt charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code. Donations are fully tax deductible as allowed by law.

Check out every issue of the magazine!