Category Archives: Space

The Current Crop of Commercial Starts-Ups in Space Were not the First


Many journalists and others have been much enamored with the activities of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson, and other entrepreneurs who have bet their fortunes, at least some of their fortunes, on the development of new space access … 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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Visualizing Apollo’s Exploration and the Idea of Progress


For all but a handful of space travelers the voyages of exploration into space were events participated in vicariously by the  billions of humans living on Earth. It has brought a connectedness and reinforced a common set of values among … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Atmospheric Science at NASA”


Atmospheric Science at NASA: A History. By Erik M. Conway. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. Acknowledgments, list of abbreviations, illustrations, notes, index. ISBN: 9780801889844. Hardcover with dustjacket. 416 pp. $57.00 USD. During the first decade of the Space … Continue reading

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A Brief on the Apollo 1 (Capsule 204) Fire, January 27, 1967


What happened? The Apollo 1 (204) Command Module was on the ground at the Kennedy Space Center on January 27, 1967 when a fire broke out in the capsule.  The three crew members (Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Edward … Continue reading

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The Space Shuttle and the Expansion of the Astronaut Cadre in Space


The Space Shuttle has proven itself one of the most flexible space vehicles ever flown. Most assuredly, the range of possibilities for operations in orbit expanded dramatically with the launch of Columbia in 1981. Through the end of the program … Continue reading

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Redirect: “Apollo Lunar Landings Multiscreen” Video


This is pretty neat. This video depicts simultaneously the landing of all six Apollo missions that reached the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972. The compiler took all of the video from the Lunar Module and realligned them to 45 degrees … Continue reading

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3-D Scans of the Apollo 11 Command Module


To mark the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing mission, the Smithsonian has made available a stunning, high resolution 3-D scan of the Command Module Columbia. This is available here: http://3d.si.edu/apollo11CM. Now anyone with an internet connection can explore … 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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In Remembrance: Molly Macauley


I was both shocked and saddened to learn over this last weekend that Molly K. Macauley, whom I worked with many times over the years, was murdered while walking her dogs in Roland Park in Baltimore, Maryland, on the night … Continue reading

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