Tag Archives: History

The Great NACA Fact-Finding Trip to Germany in 1936, and its Results


Last week I presented a discussion of the political process whereby two additional NACA laboratories were created. Here is the pre-history of that set of decisions. In the first part of 1936 John J. Ide, the NACA’s European representative since 1921, … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Why Mars”


Why Mars: NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration. By W. Henry Lambright. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. Preface, introduction, conclusion, notes, index. Hardcover. Pp. ix – 320. USD $45.46. ISBN: 978-1-4214-1279-5. W. Henry Lambright’s Why Mars: NASA and the … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight”


Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight. By Jay Barbree. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2014. Introduction by John Glenn. Illustrations. 517 pages. ISBN: 978-1250040718. $19.68 USD. Hardcover with dustjacket. Whatever else Jay Barbree’s Neil Armstrong: A Life of … Continue reading

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A Short History of Reentry and Recovery from Space in Less than 1,000 Words


The atmosphere surrounding the Earth and supporting life here makes spaceflight harder than it would be if it did not exist. It is said, only half-jokingly, that getting to orbit is like getting “halfway to anywhere” because of the energy … Continue reading

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What is the Attraction of a Space Station?


There has been an international crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) since 2000. Why? What is it about the idea of a space station that has made it so important for the nations of the world. It seems that … Continue reading

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Homer Newell and the Beginnings of the NASA Space Science Program


When Congress established NASA in 1958 it explicitly charged the new space agency with “the expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space.” In fulfillment of that mandateNASA created the Office of Space Sciences and installed as … Continue reading

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World Series Memories: The A’s versus the Dodgers 40 Years Ago


On October 12, 1974, forty years ago, the World Series opened with the Oakland A’s playing the Los Angeles Dodgers for the championship. It was a lackluster World Series, but both teams were superb. The A’s were the reigning champions … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Exit Berlin”


Exit Berlin: How One Woman Saved Her Family from Nazi Germany. By Charlotte R. Bonelli. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014. This is both a fine historical study and a strikingly intimate portrait of one individual’s efforts to help … Continue reading

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Homer Newell and the Early Post-War Space Science Program


Homer E. Newell (1915-1983) is one of the NASA leaders I am profiling in a book I have underway. His career was remarkable. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and served as a theoretical … Continue reading

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Hail to the Royals: It’s Been a While Since but in 1985 they Won it All


The recent walk-off victory by the Kansas City Royals over the Oakland A’s in the 2014 play-in game brings to mind the last time the Royals were in the playoffs. That was in 1985, 29 years ago and it proved … Continue reading

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