Category Archives: Science

NASA Viking Missions to Mars Retrospective on C-SPAN


In July 2016 NASA’s Langley Research Center celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Viking program, which placed two orbiters around the red planet, and landed two spacecraft on tis surface in 1976. Historians William P. Barry, Roger D. Launius, Glenn E. … Continue reading

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Key Developments in USA/USSR Space Cooperation During the Cold War


The post-Cold War era has seen the United States and Russia undertake fundamentally significant cooperative ventures in space. This was an enormously significant development for the pursuit of aggressive human space activities, no doubt, but it tends to overshadow a … Continue reading

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Vikings 1 and 2 and the Failure to Detect Life on Mars


The first truly successful landings on Mars took place in 1976 when the Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking … Continue reading

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Announcement of Public Lecture: 40th Anniversary of Viking Landings on Mars


Join us for a series of presentations at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, Virginia Air & Space Center, Hampton, Virginia, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Viking landings on Mars. Open to the public Admission is free. In this special Sigma Series … Continue reading

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The Earth as Art


This is so cool! You may view in this stunning video the Earth through the eyes of the Landsat-7 satellite. At a sublime level these images are art, showing the beauty of the Earth from space. If we got nothing … Continue reading

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A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 – by Isao Hashimoto


Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a truly fascinating–as well as undeniably scary–time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos in 1945 and concluding … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Gospel According to Lost”


The Gospel According to Lost. By Chris Seay. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009. My father used to say when he was unimpressed by some observation that it represented “a remarkable grasp of the obvious.” That is how I felt when … Continue reading

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Announcing the Space Policy and History Forum #19


Space Policy and History Forum #19 Astrobiology in Action by Dr. Michael Meyer Lead Scientist for the Mars Exploration Program, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters   The idea that a planetary neighbor could have life has invigorated space exploration for … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Unintelligent Design”


Unintelligent Design. By Mark Perakh. Amherst, MA: Prometheus Books, 2003. This fine book offers a powerful and sustained critique of the creationism argument versus evolutionary theory, especially the most recent iteration of “intelligent design” which has been politically but not … Continue reading

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Setting Course for the Red Planet: Early Flyby Missions to Mars


Robotic exploration of Mars has been one of the persistent efforts of the space age. It began, just as lunar exploration had, in a race between the United States and the Soviet ­Unionto see who would be the first to … Continue reading

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