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Workers at the Spitz planetarium factory consult over a part. Photo courtesy of Spitz.
In this issue
Take a small step and a great leap while reading this issue, built around our earthbound notions of space. Chris Stokel-Walker treads Under the Dome in a look at the past and present of planetariums, those projected star maps that started with a man’s vision of popularizing knowledge about the night sky.
We then trip the light fantastic with a Dance of the Sphere. Chris Krupiarz, a spacecraft flight software engineer, takes in a commissioned dance performance built around the ship he and his colleagues are currently assembling, the Solar Probe Plus. The probe will dart as close to the sun as anything humanity has ever created, and the dance plays with the fierce radiance of our star.
Closer to home, two satellites engage in an eternal chase around Earth, designed to complement each other and provide astonishing insight into changes in our climate. But they are soon to Fall from GRACE, Jennifer Mack explains, as the pair reaches far beyond their expected lifespan, and their replacements are racing toward launch.
Finally, Theresa Everline looks into the most important and iconic part of human space missions: the humble space suit. If The Suit Fits, wear it — and designers and manufacturers are pushing forward with the next generation of personal environments as humanity reaches again for the stars, however feeble our grasp.
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Glenn Fleishman is the editor and publisher of The Magazine, and contributes reguarly to the Economist, Boing Boing, TidBITS, and Macworld. The father of two, Glenn won two episodes of Jeopardy! in 2012, and he won't let you forget it.