Tag Archives: U.S. Civil Space

Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Astronauts Wives Club”


The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story. By Lily Koppel. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2013. Illustrations (some color), author’s note, acknowledgments, 272 pages, hardcover with dustjacket. $28 USD. On one level Lily Koppel’s new book is a breezy, entertaining … Continue reading

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Apollo 11 and the World’s Reaction


When the Apollo 11 spacecraft lifted off on July 16, 1969, for the Moon, it signaled a climactic instance in human history. Reaching the Moon on July 20, it’s Lunar Module—with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin aboard—landed on … Continue reading

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The Cold War Origins of Space Access


It is almost a truism that the primary U.S. space launch capabilities were created only because of the challenge of an exceptionally desperate Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union. Accordingly, the development and deployment of ballistic missiles, space-based intelligence-gathering … Continue reading

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The Legacy of Apollo: 45 Years On


July 2014 marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the epochal lunar landing of Apollo 11 in the summer of 1969. Although President John F. Kennedy had made a public commitment on May 25, 1961, to land an American on the Moon … Continue reading

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The Apollo Program and the Idea of Progress


It is somewhat trite to suggest that America was founded on the idea of progress and that it remains both an amorphous concept and one central to American national identity. In the 1830s an astute French interpreter of United States … Continue reading

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Announcement: The Search for Life in the Universe


For those in Washington, D.C., on July 14, 2014, check out this opportunity to learn about the possibilities of life beyond Earth. It is available live at the NASA Headquarters and on-line from NASA TV.

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Announcing My New Study: “Historical Analogs for the Stimulation of Space Commerce”


I have just published as a part of the NASA History Series Historical Analogs for the Stimulation of Space Commerce.  The write-up for it reads: “With the rise of a range of private-sector entrepreneurial firms interested in pursuing space commerce, … Continue reading

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The First Commercial Space Activity: Communications Satellites


The first commercial activities in space resulted from the efforts of the telecommunications industry to extend operations beyond the atmosphere almost with the beginning of the space age. Indeed, satellite communication was the only truly commercial space technology to be … Continue reading

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Whatever Became of the Apollo 1 Spacecraft?


On January 27, 1967, Apollo-Saturn (AS) 204, later named Apollo 1, was on the launch pad with the astronauts moving through ground simulations in what was called a “plugs out” test. The three astronauts to fly on this mission—Gus Grissom, … Continue reading

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Three Zones of the Solar System


The solar system consists of the Sun and the objects bound to it through gravity. This includes the Sun, eight planets (since 2006 when Pluto was redesignated as a dwarf planet), their 158 currently known moons, and a large number of … Continue reading

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