Category Archives: Space

A Balance Sheet on All of the Landings on Mars


Since the beginning of the space age there have been 17 landings on the surface of Mars, some of which were not successful. Initially the Soviet Union carried out two attempted landings in 1971, Mars 2 and 3, but the … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Scientific Exploration of Mars”


The Scientific Exploration of Mars. By Frederic W. Taylor. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010. V + 348 pages. Prologue, acknowledgments, notes, illustrations, appendices, index. ISBN: 978-0-521-82956-4. $45, hardcover. Mars has long held a special fascination for humans who pondered … Continue reading

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Recalling the First Vikings on Mars


The 20th of July marked the 39th anniversary of Viking 1’s touch down on Mars after a voyage of nearly one year, followed within a two months by Viking 2. The landings represented the culmination of a series of missions to … Continue reading

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Forty Years Since the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project


Forty years ago a great adventure took place. It was one that changed the course of history. In the middle of a forty-year the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union the heads of the two rival … Continue reading

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“New Horizons” Reaches Pluto


The “New Horizons” spacecraft is a major NASA program to complete the initial exploration of all of the major bodies of the solar system. It was designed to help understand worlds at the edge of our Solar System by making the … Continue reading

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Recalling the Voyages of the Space Shuttle Endeavour


The quest for a reusable spaceplane extends far back into the 1920s, but it only found realization with the inaugural flights of the Space Shuttle in the early 1980s. NASA initially built four spaceworthy orbiters—Columbia (OV-102), Challenger (OV‑099), Discovery (OV‑103), … Continue reading

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Stimulating Aerospace Capabilities in America


Historians five hundred years hence may well characterize successful human flight, and all that followed in both air and space, as the most significant single technology of the twentieth century. Has it fundamentally reshaped our world, at once awesome and … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “GPS Declassified”


GPS Declassified: From Smart Bombs to Smartphones. By Richard D. Easton and Eric F. Frazier. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2013. Foreword by Rick W. Sturdevant. Illustrations, acknowledgments, abbreviations, notes, selected bibliography, index. Pp. xii – 301. ISBN: 978-1-61234-408-9. Hardcover … Continue reading

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Governing Antarctica: A Continent Dedicated to Science or a Place of Geopolitical Rivalry?


In many respects, the history of cooperation and collaboration in Antarctic science mirrors the larger story of how the various great powers have interrelated since the conclusion of World War II. If one were to characterize it accurately throughout the … Continue reading

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Reconsidering the Place of Cooperative Programs in Relation to the International Space Station


The national space programs of the worlds have long been dominated by national concerns over international affairs. This is most assuredly the case with the United States. Manifested in the context of both competition and cooperation, international concerns have been a … Continue reading

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