Category Archives: Science

Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Gravity Well: America’s Next, Greatest Mission”


The Gravity Well: America’s Next, Greatest Mission. By Stephen Sandford with Jay Heinrichs. Pacific Grove, CA: Gavia Books, 2016. Appendices, acknowledgments, index. 304 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9962422-9-5. Hardcover with dustjacket $24.95 USD. I have been reading books such as The Gravity … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “A Vision of Modern Science”


A Vision of Modern Science: John Tyndall and the Role of the Scientist in Victorian Culture. By Ursula DeYoung. (Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology.) 280 pp., illus., bibl., index. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. $85 (cloth). … Continue reading

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Chronology of Key Space Anniversaries for 2017


1942—75 Years Ago 3 October—Germany launched its V-2 rocket and is the first spacecraft to cross the Kármán line (100 km). 1947—70 Years Ago 20 February—The United States sent fruit flies into space. 1952—65 Years Ago 1 April—The U.S. Army … Continue reading

Posted in Apollo, Applications Satellites, Cold War Competition, Earth Science, History, International Space Station, Lunar Exploration, Science, Space, Space Shuttle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Soviet Robots in the Solar System: Mission Technologies and Discoveries”


Soviet Robots in the Solar System: Mission Technologies and Discoveries. By Wesley T. Huntress Jr. and Mikhail Ya. Marov. Chichester, UK: Springer Praxis, 2011. Paperback, 467 pp., illustrations, ISBN 978-1-4419-7897-4. $44.95. It seems hard to believe now, but once there … Continue reading

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Roger Launius Article Available On-Line at “Metascience”


I have just published the article, “Advising Presidents on Science when Presidents Rebuff Science Advice,” a discussion of the book, Science Policy Up Close, about the place of John Marburger III as Science Advisor to President George W. Bush. It … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Big Splat: Or How Our Moon Came to Be”


The Big Splat: Or How Our Moon Came to Be. By Dana Mackenzie. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003. If there is one dramatic moment—as opposed to myriad important but mundane events—in the history of lunar science it is … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “A Scientific Peak: How Boulder Became a World Center for Space and Atmospheric Science”


A Scientific Peak: How Boulder Became a World Center for Space and Atmospheric Science. By Joseph R. Bassi. Boston: American Meteorological Society, 2015. Abbreviations and acronyms, archives consulted, foreword, acknowledgments, images, notes, index. 246 pages. Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-935704-85-0. $35.00 USD. Joseph … Continue reading

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The Total Coolness of the Stardust Sample Return Mission


Stardust was the first U.S. space mission dedicated solely to returning extraterrestrial material from beyond the Moon. It was launched on February 7, 1999, on a 3 billion-mile roundtrip it rendezvoused with Comet Wild 2, captured comet and interstellar dust … Continue reading

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Homer Newell and the Early Post-War Space Science Program


Homer E. Newell (1915-1983) is one of the NASA leaders I am profiling in a book I have underway. His career was remarkable. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and served as a theoretical … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future”


Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future. By Jeffrey Bennett. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008. Preface, acknowledgments, photographs, bibliography, and index. ISBN: 978-0-691-13549-6, 211 pages, $26.95 hardcover with dust jacket. While the … Continue reading

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