Category Archives: History

Fielding New Army Air Forces Fighter Aircraft for World War II


During the 1930s the United States fell behind other nations in the development of fighter aircraft. This was explained in part by the Army Air Corps’ concentration on developing long-range bombers. At the opening of the war the U.S. relied … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Edge of Physics”


The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe. By Anil Ananthaswamy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. The author of The Edge of Physics claims that the study of physics is in crisis, … Continue reading

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NASA Aeronautics Research Goes Digital


During the latter 1960s and into the 1970s NASA pursued digital computational capabilities and achieved several significant results. One of the great successes in this arena has been the development of Digital Fly-By-Wire (DFBW) technology. The DFBW program originated at NASA’s Flight … Continue reading

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NASA Aeronautics in an Age of Spaceflight: Transformations


When the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) became NASA in 1958 the organizations that were still charged with aeronautical research underwent a transformation every bit as striking as the reorganization that made the great successes in spaceflight of the 1960s … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Discovery of Global Warming”


The Discovery of Global Warming. By Spencer Weart. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004, rev. ed. 2008. A centrally important study in the vital center of debate about studies of global warming is Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming, … Continue reading

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Announcing the Space Policy and History Forum #15


For those in the Washington, D.C., area on March 30, 2015, we will be holding our next Space Policy and History Forum where we will feature Teasel Muir-Harmony of the American Institute of Physics presenting “Astronaut Ambassadors: The Apollo 11 … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Myth, Memory, and the Making of the American Landscape”


Myth, Memory, and the Making of the American Landscape. Edited by Paul A. Shackel. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001. This is an interesting collection of essays on various aspects of public memory. The editor, University of Maryland professor Paul … Continue reading

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Are There No Great Movies about the American Revolution?


I have been watching the AMC series, “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” of late. This series is based on a fine book, Alexander Rose’s Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring (2006), which is both informative and exciting to read. This … Continue reading

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The Space Shuttle and the Costly Nature of Space Access


Why is space flight so expensive? Lowering the cost of space access has long been a major goal of rocketeers. Thus far they have largely been unsuccessful in doing so. Space travel started out and remains an exceptionally costly enterprise. The … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “John Ford”


John Ford. By Peter Bogdanovich. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. The accomplished film director Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon to name only two) interviewed legendary director John Ford in the latter 1960s. This book is … Continue reading

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