Tag Archives: international relations

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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Dennis Tito and the Quest for Orbital Space Tourism


I recently wrote a blog post on the “The Long Path to Space Tourism” about pre-twenty-first century efforts to make possible ordinary people traveling into space. In addition that story, I also want to discuss a major breakthrough in space tourism … 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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Tooting My Own Horn: One of My Articles is on ScienceDirect as One of the Most Downloaded Articles


I received in the e-mail recently notification that my article, “Why Go to the Moon?The Many Faces of Lunar Policy,” was one of the top twenty-five most downloaded articles from Acta Astronautica 70 (January–February 2012): 165–75, the journal where it appeared. … 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

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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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Protesting Cassini’s Launch


The Cassini space probe—the largest interplanetary probe ever launched, weighing 6.3 tons, and extending 22 feet in length—was a joint NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), and Italian Space Agency (ASI) mission to study Saturn and its rings, moons, and magnetic … 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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Video: The Space Program Under Presidents Nixon and Ford


On Jun 13, 2013, John Logsdon, George Washington University; William Barry, NASA Chief Historian; and I participated in a set of presentations on “The Space Program Under Presidents Nixon and Ford.” The video of the presentations is available here. Enjoy!

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