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Marina Koren

Marina Koren Marina Koren is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic. She was previously the news editor at National Journal.
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Don’t Blame the Government Shutdown for SpaceX Delays

January 16, 2019 NASA astronauts haven’t launched to space from the United States in nearly eight years. They’ve gone to space, of course. An American astronaut is up there right now. But they launch from Kazakhstan, at a hulking facility in the middle of the desert, in a Russian capsule, snuggled close to...

The Chill of U.S.-Russia Relations Creeps Into Space

January 14, 2019 FROM NEXTGOV arrow On the afternoon of the failed launch, Jim Bridenstine of NASA and Dmitry Rogozin of Roscosmos had only known each other for a few days. Less than one mile from the launchpad, the heads of the American and Russian space agencies watched as the Soyuz system lofted the crew, one...

NASA Hits Its New Year’s Target at the Edge of the Solar System

January 2, 2019 FROM NEXTGOV arrow After Pluto was discovered, in 1930, astronomers wondered whether the solar system stopped there. For decades, they peered through their best telescopes, searching for hints of more objects in the darkness. In the early 1990s, when telescope technology became powerful enough, they found one. The object was thousands of times...

Spacesuits for Spiders

December 15, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Recently, a user of an online forum for science-fiction writing posed an intriguing question to the rest of the community. In the user’s imaginary world, spiders rule the planet. The arachnids have grown intelligent enough to build a spacefaring empire, and they need spacesuits to travel into space. So, then:...

NASA Administrator on Elon Musk: ‘That Was Not Appropriate Behavior’

November 30, 2018 If Elon Musk wants to launch American astronauts into space, he can’t smoke weed and drink whiskey on a podcast again. That’s a message from Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, to the founder of SpaceX, which, along with Boeing, is developing transportation systems that would allow the United States to...

Reefer Madness at NASA

November 26, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The story of NASA’s efforts to restore the country’s ability to launch American astronauts into space from U.S. soil has just gained a rather interesting new chapter. NASA has decided to conduct reviews of SpaceX and Boeing, the two companies the agency hired to develop astronaut-transportation systems that would allow...

Hawaii’s Mars Simulations Are Turning Into Moon Missions

November 21, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For the last five years, a small Mars colony thrived in Hawaii, many miles away from civilization. The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS, was carried out in a small white dome nestled along the slope of a massive volcano called Mauna Loa. The habitat usually housed six...

If Everyone Left the International Space Station

November 9, 2018 In November 2000, some 250 miles above Earth, a capsule carrying one American and two Russians docked to the International Space Station (ISS). A hatch leading to their new living quarters swung open, and the crew members floated in and got to work. They hooked up cables and computers for...

Trump's Space Force Faces an Uncertain Fate

November 9, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For the past several months, Donald Trump’s administration has explored the creation of a new military branch to protect national interests in outer space. Perhaps no one is as excited about this effort as President Trump, who came up with the idea. “He only asks me about the Space Force...

Trump's Space Force Faces an Uncertain Fate

November 9, 2018 For the past several months, Donald Trump’s administration has explored the creation of a new military branch to protect national interests in outer space. Perhaps no one is as excited about this effort as President Trump, who came up with the idea. “He only asks me about the Space Force...