Sunday, October 18, 2009

An Anniversary and a Question

I began this blog a year ago. At the time, I expected to post perhaps every couple of weeks as news on future planetary exploration became available. Two-hundred forty-eight entries later, it appears that that estimate was bit low. Of course, I hadn't counted on the Mars Science Laboratory slip, nor the wealth of information made public for the selection of the outer planets Flagship mission, nor the Decadal Survey in progress.

I have followed the twists and turns of planning for future planetary missions now for almost thirty years. Before the advent of the web, it was a painful process of reading Aviation Week and Space Technology every week, going through NASA technical reports, and looking through conference papers. Today, there is such a flood of information on the web that I'm not sure that it's any easier to keep up.

For many years, I assumed that I was the only person interested in following the development of exploration roadmaps and the politics behind them. (Probably not coincidentally, my first career was a planner and then manager of products and product roadmaps for a large high tech company. If you want to talk about twists and turns and politics...) Now I know that I'm not the only person interested in this topic. Currently, the site is visited by 1,200 - 1,300 unique visitors a month.

I do have a question for you. Many of you probably follow this blog through a news reader. I have the option to either post the entire blog to readers or only the first few lines (the current setting). I've set up a new poll on the site to ask which you prefer.

So, thank you for your interest and comments. Suggestions for improvement to the web are always welcome (vkane56[at] The next couple of years should be fun as the Decadal Survey process continues and as a number of in-flight missions reach their targets.

- Van


  1. Dont stop, dont change! This blog is now very high on my 'to visit list'!