Tag Archives: U.S. Civil Space

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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Re-Direct: “Exploring Options”


On May 7, 2014, I wrote a short blog post for “The Mark News,” an on-line source of news and opinion. The piece, “Exploring Options,” is available here. I hope you find it useful. Comments are welcome. One of my … Continue reading

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Live HD view of Earth from the International Space Station


There is a very Cool High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) camera on the International Space Station, located here. The HDEV research investigation places four commercially available high definition cameras on the exterior of the space station for use in streaming live video … Continue reading

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