Sometimes all you have to do is point to a couple of items, then stand back and wait for the messages to roll in. I'm hoping that will be the case with these items.
We're running this Associated Press story about the worries that NASA officials and members of Congress have about the "spaceflight gap" - the period between 2010 and 2015 when the space shuttle fleet is retired and the next-generation Orion spaceship is not yet ready for launch. The worry is that NASA might have to rely on (gasp!) the private sector or other countries to provide space services. To be sure, the United States should have its own spacefaring capability, but I'm betting that some people might say the best thing for NASA to do is to leave the spaceship-building business to the private sector. Others might say that the government has to take the leading role in such a risky business. What do you say?
I was struck by this comment from John in Kansas: "I want to thank you for the occasional postings of amateur astronomy tools - if you could do more of that, I might be more prepared for next year, when I take my kids out to rural Kansas for the first time to look at the moon, planets and stars. So if an astronomy expert has some sound advice on the best (affordable ... which is subjective, I know) available tools and gadgets for seeing craters on the moon, keep 'em coming!" Now if that's not an invitation for feedback, I don't know what is. Do you have any suggestions for John? Leave them below - and if I think of anything, I'll do the same.