The Future Of Space Exploration – With Guest Tim Folger (Part 1)

April 25, 2013

John P. Millis, PhD for – Your Universe Online

Why have we never set foot on Mars? At the conclusion of the Apollo Moon Program, many Americans believed that traveling to the Red Planet was the next logical step. Yet 40 years later we remain in Low Earth Orbit.

And even the Space Shuttle Program seems to have underachieved. Designed to make hundreds, possibly thousands, of flights to space, the fleet managed less than 200 before being retired.

Now, with no replacement for the shuttle fleet ready, the US is looking to the future with uncertainty. So what exactly happened? Why have so many resources been invested in Low Earth Orbit and what happened to the promise of sending people to Mars? Even more important, what is the next step for manned space exploration?

To explore this question, redOrbit spoke with Tim Folger, a science writer and proponent of space travel, to try and understand where we have been and where we are going.


Tim Folger is contributing editor at Discover magazine and the series editor of The Best American Science and Nature Writing, an annual anthology published by Houghton Mifflin. He has been writing about science and the environment for more than 20 years on subjects ranging from quantum mechanics to tsunamis. In 2007 he won the American institute of Physics science writing award as has also been recipient of Best American Science Writing on numerous occasions. In addition to Discover, his work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Men’s Health, Science, and other national magazines. When he’s not busy traveling the globe for his next story, he lives in a small town in New Mexico.