Author Archives: launiusr

The Surveyor Landers on the Moon


Like so many other point of intersection, soft landing on the Moon with robotic probes proved a venue for Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The Soviets won that competition February 3, … Continue reading

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Something Fun for a Friday: “Stairway to Heaven” by Heart


This is a stunning live performance of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” by Heart at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C., on December 2, 2012. Ann and Nancy Wilson offer a memorable performance. This song features Jason Bonham on … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Never Just a Game”


Never Just a Game: Players, Owners, and American Baseball to 1920. By Robert Fredrick Burk. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994. This work is the first volume of a two-part study on labor relations in Major League Baseball … Continue reading

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The Place of Theater Re-Creations in Museums


I would like to call your attention to an article by Susan Evans, “Personal Beliefs and National Stories: Theater in Museums as a Tool for Exploring Historical Memory.” Just published paper in April 2013 issue of Curator: The Museum Journal. This is … Continue reading

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Gerard K. O’Neill and the Great Disappointment


Disappointments must not be forgotten. One of the great disappointments of those interested in the use and development of human space capabilities has been the inability to colonize the solar system. Emerging from the Apollo program of the latter 1960s … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Past Imperfect”


Past Imperfect: Facts, Fictions, Fraud—American History from Bancroft and Parkman to Ambrose, Bellesiles, Ellis, and Goodwin. By Peter Charles Hoffer. New York: Public Affairs, 2004. In many ways this is a fascinating work. Past Imperfect: Facts, Fictions, Fraud—American History from … Continue reading

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


Eighty years ago a great adventure took place. In the first part of 1936 John J. Ide, the NACA’s European representative since 1921, fired off an alarming report on the state of aeronautical science on that continent. Ide, the sometime … Continue reading

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Is There a Spaceplane Revolution in Our Future?


During the Reagan administration of the early 1980s, senior government officials began to discuss the possibility of developing an “Orient Express,” a hybrid air and spaceplane that could carry ordinary people between New York City and Tokyo in about one … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Seeing Like a Rover”


Seeing Like a Rover: How Robots, Teams, and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars. By Janet Vertesi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Acknowledgments, illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. 304 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. ISBN-13: 978-0226155968. $33.25 USD. Janet Vertesi, now assistant … Continue reading

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Might We Renew the Promise of American Life?


I was struck while rereading Herbert Croly’s 1909 political manifesto, The Promise of American Life, about its continually important message. Croly was a leading figure in the Progressive Movement of the first two decades of the twentieth century, a political philosopher, … Continue reading

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