Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Publications & Multimedia
  Should NASA have a monthly collector's magazine?

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Should NASA have a monthly collector's magazine?
utopia1
New Member

Posts: 6
From: Waterford
Registered: Sep 2013

posted 09-23-2013 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for utopia1   Click Here to Email utopia1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Who else thinks NASA should release a monthly magazine, each issue covering a specific mission and with each issue comes that mission's patch and also a piece of Saturn V rocket that will eventually lead to a fully assembled Saturn V/Apollo CM/LM model once all issues are collected?

If it's a success, they could maybe move on to collecting pieces to assemble a shuttle or the ISS?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27770
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-23-2013 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a very nice idea but impractical for several reasons.

As a federal agency, NASA could not sell such a magazine, as it is not permitted to collect money from the public (for any reason, other than some family-assistance funds that were specifically approved by Congress).

And so NASA would need to underwrite the expense of production and distribution.

Even if its outreach programs were not restricted by the sequester (which is currently the case), NASA's budget has been cut to the point where there is no available funding to support such a project.

Besides, precedent would suggest that there is not a sustainable market for such a publication. Other than "Spaceflight" magazine, which the British Interplanetary Society supports through membership pledges, past attempts at establishing a space exploration-themed magazine have failed.

The best example is probably "Final Frontier," which had to begin incorporating science fiction just to stay afloat, and then faced competition from sci-fi dedicated magazines, such as as "Analog" and "Omni" (which also ultimately folded).

More recently, SPACE.com tried publishing the glossy "SPACE Illustrated," which had the backing of millionaires, television advertisements and more, and couldn't get the traction to survive at the newsstand.

And that's to say nothing of the general trend away from print publications in favor of websites and e-publications...

cspg
Member

Posts: 4200
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-23-2013 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by utopia1:
Who else thinks NASA should release a monthly magazine...
In 2013? That's a bit late, don't you think?

As Robert pointed out, NASA publications (print) have dried up thanks to the budget/economy situations. They may have funded projects (books) but then passed them along to commercial publishers.

And I don't think that there's a market for yet another magazine (still waiting for the English version of the French "Espace & Exploration" — but even they have pulled out from newsstand distribution, subscription only).

And I didn't renew any of my magazines subscription (economy, storage place, etc.) not that I prefer e-pubs (I hate them) but there comes a point where it doesn't make sense collecting them (and you can't resell them due to their weight). A beautifully illustrated/interesting book can still find itself in my budget but not magazine (and as for every rule there are exceptions: for example, Sky at Night's Apollo issue).

utopia1
New Member

Posts: 6
From: Waterford
Registered: Sep 2013

posted 09-23-2013 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for utopia1   Click Here to Email utopia1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't see how the year is relevant? Interest in spaceflight is very much alive. And as you said people will buy space magazines on special occasions such as the Sky at Night Apollo Special that you and I have bought along with many others.

An official NASA magazine would be a special occasion. It would interest lapsed space fans and also older people who grew up with Apollo. The sales snag of having the model collection with each issue would ensure that people would feel the need to keep buying the magazine.

I know it won't happen due to NASA being a federal agency as Robert stated, but I think the interest in spaceflight should not be underestimated. With the new film "Gravity" on the way, and space tourism due to take off soon, interest in spaceflight will soar.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27770
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-23-2013 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If a market exists for such a magazine, then it needn't (and shouldn't) come from NASA.

The Commercial Space Act of 1997 precludes NASA from undertaking activities that commercial industry can fulfill, and while magazines weren't the original intent of the law, if the market is strong enough, then a commercial publisher should be the one to benefit from the public's interest.

"Sky At Night" is not really an appropriate example, as their spaceflight-themed specials are driven by their existing audience (amateur astronomers being a much larger market than spaceflight enthusiasts).

Even at the height of recent public interest in space, circa 1995, the market was simply not there for a spaceflight-dedicated magazine.

cspg
Member

Posts: 4200
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 09-23-2013 04:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by utopia1:
I don't see how the year is relevant? Interest in spaceflight is very much alive.
  • No more shuttle flights (or access to space for the US).
  • No money available.
  • If launching food and clean underwear is to be labeled as interesting, that pretty much sums up why my interest has been waning...
quote:
Originally posted by utopia1:
With the new film "Gravity" on the way, and space tourism due to take off soon, interest in spaceflight will soar.
  • "Gravity" is only a movie (with no more shuttle).
  • As for the soaring of space tourism, that remains to be seen — yet has to be successful. And is it space that will drive the interest or the "celebrities" who will fly?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27770
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-23-2013 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
If launching food and clean underwear is to be labeled as interesting, that pretty much sums up why my interest has been waning...
Sorry Chris, but if you can't see the interest in new types of spacecraft being launched, regardless their payload, that speaks more to your own biases then it does the activity being undertaken.

Interest in spaceflight however, does not equate to interest in a magazine, so in that we agree.

As for space tourism, numerous market studies show the growing interest has little to anything to do with the celebrity-factor. If anything, the public's own desire to fly is driving the celebrities to get involved.

utopia1
New Member

Posts: 6
From: Waterford
Registered: Sep 2013

posted 09-23-2013 04:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for utopia1   Click Here to Email utopia1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
True, but a proper retrospective spaceflight magazine with full stats and interviews with those involved would surely be a good seller.

Previous magazines may have kept us up to date with current goings on. But a magazine like this would be purely historical. Even if it's not by NASA as I stated.

If it was properly put together with the model collection included, it would be a history and science magazine all in one. People love to collect these kind of magazines.

The Marvel model collectors magazine is a good seller. So is the dinosaur model magazine. I know Marvel may have a bigger overall following but it's a template as to what a magazine like this could achieve.

onesmallstep
Member

Posts: 573
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 09-23-2013 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't forget Ad Astra, the bimonthly magazine of the National Space Society, is still going strong, as is Quest, published quarterly. And All About Space, a nice glossy imported from the UK, is now into its 17th issue.

Yes, the magazine world is littered with several space titles that didn't last or got new leases in life (Space World was made into the then-National Space Institute, later Society, official magazine before becoming Ad Astra). I'm thinking of the late, lamented Spaceflight News, started in 1985 and closed down in 1991. For a pre-Internet era publication, it had great photos, excellent (mostly Shuttle) coverage and interviews. Sadly, it came out just before Challenger so there was a big gap before it could cover any new or upcoming missions. It did review most of the 25 shuttle flights up to that point. And Countdown magazine was later merged with Quest, now published by the Univ. of N. Dakota.

I'm still upset at a magazine that closed down several years ago (the name escapes me) that mixed spaceflight history and model rocketry, and had Walt Cunningham as a contributor. I never got a refund for the unpublished issues! Nice layout and coverage, though.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27770
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-23-2013 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The National Space Society's "Ad Astra" follows more of a membership perk model then it does a subscription (attempts to take it to the newsstand have failed). "Quest" is much more an academic journal than a magazine for the public (not that there is anything wrong with that).

I'm not saying a mass market spaceflight magazine is impossible, but if the audience was clearly there (or even believed to be there), I think we'd have already seen the established publishers pursue the idea.

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 1423
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 09-23-2013 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
And that's to say nothing of the general trend away from print publications in favor of websites and e-publications...
I think that for the reason Robert stated, kicking off a new magazine on spaceflight in these times would be a challenge.

While I think hard copy books are always something I would like to have and keep, magazines are just not practical anymore. For example; I subscribed to Aviation Week and Space Technology (AW&ST) for 33 years. Last year I did not renew my AW&ST subscription as by the time I received my weekly copy the news was old news (mostly due to this forum for spaceflight and other aircraft related sites) so all I ever did was flip through the pages and throw it away. I even question my Air & Space subscription (my last holdout magazine I pay for).

It is just better reading it online and saving magazines are just difficult. Just my thoughts.

Rick
Member

Posts: 273
From: Yadkinville, NC
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 09-23-2013 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What Robert probably won't say, I'll say for him. Why release a monthly collector's magazine that stands a very real chance of being outdated before it even hits the market when you've got ... well ... collectSPACE? cS was, is and always will be my primary source of information for space collectibles.

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 405
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-23-2013 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I could go for a magazine that included a piece of a full-scale Saturn V that would eventually lead to a fully-assembled Saturn V/Apollo CM/LM once all issues are collected...but man, when that February issue with an S-IC tank goes out, your mail carrier will not like you.

JBoe
Member

Posts: 78
From: Edgewater, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 09-24-2013 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA does publish an online magazine (pdf) called Goddard View, but it's only highlighting Goddard Space Flight Center.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27770
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-24-2013 09:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Goddard View" is the center's employee newsletter. Most, if not all the NASA centers, have their own.

For example, Johnson Space Center's Roundup and Kennedy Space Center's Spaceport News.

mikej
Member

Posts: 379
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 09-24-2013 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let us not forget the Marshall Star.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2218
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-24-2013 08:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick:
What Robert probably won't say, I'll say for him. Why release a monthly collector's magazine that stands a very real chance of being outdated before it even hits the market when you've got ... well ... collectSPACE? cS was, is and always will be my primary source of information for space collectibles.

Which is why if a magazine were to ever come around - whether from NASA or whoever - the focus should be on past developments, not present (and maybe a look to future plans....) Reading the Internet can be like drinking from a fire hose and can be hit or miss, too.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement