Tag Archives: American exceptionalism

Project Apollo and Technological Versimilitude


There is no question that the success of Project Apollo in the 1960s helped to create a culture of competence for NASA that translated into a level of confidence in American capability, and especially in the ability of government to … Continue reading

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Announcing the Space Station Freedom Program, January 25, 1984


We are coming up on the the thirtieth anniversary of the public announcement by President Ronald Reagan in his January 25, 1984, State of the Union Address about building a space station. At that time he said: “America has always been greatest … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “To Touch the Face of God: Religion and the American Space Program, 1957-1975″


To Touch the Face of God: Religion and the American Space Program, 1957-1975. By Kendrick Oliver. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012. There is something ethereal in the enterprise of spaceflight. Oliver Kendrick’s To Touch the Face of God: The … Continue reading

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“The Passenger” by Iggy Pop: A Musical Tour of Cold War Berlin


Iggy Pop has contributed many memorable songs to modern culture. His song, “The Passenger,” written with Ricky Gardiner was recorded and released in 1977 on his Lust for Life album. Iggy Pop wrote the lyrics for the song while riding on Berlin’s S-Bahn, … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Inventing the American Astronaut”


Inventing the American Astronaut. By Matthew H. Hersch. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. x + 219 pp., illus., notes, selected bibliography, index. ISBN 978-1-137-02528-9. $27.00 (paperback). Matthew H. Hersch takes on an exploration of the work life of the American astronauts … Continue reading

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Eisenhower Revisionism and Sputnik


At present Dwight D. Eisenhower enjoys a presidential stature that ranks just below the greatest of the American presidents, especially Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson. This has not always been the case. For the last thirty years Eisenhower revisionism has been … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation”


The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation. By Tom Englehardt. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1995. Revised Edition 2007. Author Tom Englehardt asks the core question of this study thusly: “Is there an … Continue reading

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Early USAF Missile Evolution: Atlas, Thor, Titan, and Minuteman Launchers


During the early 1950s all the armed services of the United States worked toward the fielding of ballistic missiles that could deliver warheads to enemy targets, in some cases intercontinental targets half a world away. Competition was keen among the … Continue reading

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The First Three USAF Astronauts


Three of the first seven of America’s astronauts—the Mercury Seven selected in April 1959—came from the ranks of the United States Air Force. They were L. Gordon Cooper Jr. (1927-2004), Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom (1926-1967), and Donald K. “Deke” Slayton … Continue reading

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Proposed Syllabus for “Spaceflight and Society” Course, Fall 2013


I am the instructor for a course at Johns Hopkins University in the Fall 2013 semester with the title, “Spaceflight and Society.” I taught this class in the fall of 2011 as well and had a great time doing it, … Continue reading

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