Category Archives: Space

Wednesday’s Book Review: “A Single Sky”


David P. D. Munns. A Single Sky: How an International Community Forged the Science of Radio Astronomy. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2013. x + 247 pp., illus., acknowledgments, list of abbreviations, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN 978-0-262-01833-3. $34.00, £23.95 (hardcover). In … Continue reading

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The International Space Station and the Clash of Civilizations


As the operations on the International Space Station now move toward a score of years, it may be that this cooperative venture provides one of the clearest opportunities present for tying nation-states together. One is reminded of the quote from … Continue reading

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They Said It Couldn’t Be Done…Really?


In 1835 Thomas Tredgold, a British railroad designer, said: “that any general system of conveying passengers would…go at a velocity exceeding ten miles an hour, or thereabouts, is extremely improbable.” In 1868 Representative Cadwallader C. Washburn of Wisconsin told the United … Continue reading

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The Mystique of the Space Suit


Wherever astronauts go, from the beginning of the human spaceflight program to the present, they have been characterized by their uniform. Nothing sets astronauts apart from ordinary Americans more than the physical existence of a space suit, and in this … Continue reading

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Chronology of Key Space Anniversaries for 2015


1945—70 Years Ago 4 July—The NACA’s Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD) launched from Wallops Island, Maryland, its first test vehicle, a small two-stage, solid-fuel rocket to check out the installation’s instrumentation. The group soon began serious work to learn about … Continue reading

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Thoughts on an Historical Essay Currently Underway: The Space Program and the Ideal of American Exceptionalism


I have been working on an essay, that I hope to publish someday with the following working title, “The Space Program and the Ideal of American Exceptionalism.” My definition of American exceptionalism emphasizes the perceived special national character of the U.S. as … Continue reading

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That Was The Year That Was in Space, 2014


While some might question it, 2014 was a fascinating year in spaceflight for the United States. This was not always a positive story. Here are my top five events of the year listed chronologically. Others may choose to emphasize other stories, … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Why Mars”


Why Mars: NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration. By W. Henry Lambright. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. Preface, introduction, conclusion, notes, index. Hardcover. Pp. ix – 320. USD $45.46. ISBN: 978-1-4214-1279-5. W. Henry Lambright’s Why Mars: NASA and the … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight”


Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight. By Jay Barbree. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2014. Introduction by John Glenn. Illustrations. 517 pages. ISBN: 978-1250040718. $19.68 USD. Hardcover with dustjacket. Whatever else Jay Barbree’s Neil Armstrong: A Life of … Continue reading

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A Short History of Reentry and Recovery from Space in Less than 1,000 Words


The atmosphere surrounding the Earth and supporting life here makes spaceflight harder than it would be if it did not exist. It is said, only half-jokingly, that getting to orbit is like getting “halfway to anywhere” because of the energy … Continue reading

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