Category Archives: Space

Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Discovery of Global Warming”


The Discovery of Global Warming. By Spencer Weart. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004, rev. ed. 2008. A centrally important study in the vital center of debate about studies of global warming is Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming, … Continue reading

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Announcing the Space Policy and History Forum #15


For those in the Washington, D.C., area on March 30, 2015, we will be holding our next Space Policy and History Forum where we will feature Teasel Muir-Harmony of the American Institute of Physics presenting “Astronaut Ambassadors: The Apollo 11 … Continue reading

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Announcing a National Academies Presentation: “Our Place in the Universe, As Seen Through Past, Present, and Future Telescopes”


Our Place in the Universe, As Seen Through Past, Present, and Future Telescopes “What is our place in Universe?” Throughout human history, astronomy has repeatedly overthrown our understanding of this question and new telescopes and astronomers continue to do so. … Continue reading

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The Space Shuttle and the Costly Nature of Space Access


Why is space flight so expensive? Lowering the cost of space access has long been a major goal of rocketeers. Thus far they have largely been unsuccessful in doing so. Space travel started out and remains an exceptionally costly enterprise. The … Continue reading

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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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