Tag Archives: Department of Defense

The Transit Program and the Origins of Nuclear Power Systems for Spaceflight


Since the dawn of the space age more than 50 years ago, the United States has pursued a variety of methods for delivering electrical power to spacecraft in flight. Nuclear power systems are the only ones that have been found … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The New Space Race: China vs. the U.S.”


The New Space Race: China vs. the U.S. By Erik Seedhouse. Chichester, UK: Springer-Praxis, 2010. Acknowledgments, figures, tables, abbreviations, illustrations, appendices, index. 256 Pages. ISBN: 13-978-1441908797. Paperback, $34.95 USD. Springer-Praxis has been churning out these books on spaceflight for some … Continue reading

Posted in International Space Station, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Reflections on the Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb


It comes up every year at the time of the anniversary. It is one of the most difficult and complex questions in American history. Why did the leadership of the United States choose to drop the atomic bomb on Japan … 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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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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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

Posted in History, Personal, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Announcement of Opportunity to Submit Input to Study on Human Spaceflight


Now is your chance to tell everyone what you think about the direction the United States should take in human spaceflight. The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies is currently conducting a congressionally‐requested study to examine the … Continue reading

Posted in International Space Station, Lunar Exploration, Politics, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Redirect: Chicken Little Was Right


I published on March 4, 2013, a new commentary on the policy issues surrounding what to do about asteroid/meteor/comet impacts. Chicken Little Was Right  just appeared on the National Air and Space Museum’s blog. It notes that yes, indeed, the … Continue reading

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“Lost and Gone Forever”? Clementine and the Blending of Civilian and Military Space Science


I have been working on a study of the Clementine program, a lunar orbiter that flew in 1994. Here is the abstract for this study. I would welcome any thoughts about it. In the early 1990s, just as the Cold … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “US Presidents and the Militarization of Space, 1946—1967″


US Presidents and the Militarization of Space, 1946—1967. By Sean Kalic. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2012. I was quite pleased when Sean Kalic’s book, US Presidents and the Militarization of Space, 1946—1967, appeared in the Centennial of Flight … Continue reading

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