Category Archives: Lunar Exploration

Apollo 13 and Nostalgia for an Earlier Time


A cultural debate has raged during the first part of the twenty-first century over the meaning of the Apollo program. Much of the recollection of Apollo’s legacy revolves around ideas of ‘progress’ for the American nation. At the same time, Apollo … Continue reading

Posted in History, Lunar Exploration, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Antarctic and Outer Space Treaties after the Cold War: Are They Still Valid?


The two separate treaty regimes—The Antarctic Treaty of 1960 and the Outer Space Treaty of 1967—worked relatively well in the context of the Cold War environment between World War II and about 1990. The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union, … Continue reading

Posted in History, Lunar Exploration, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Truly Hilarious Cartoon on the Apollo/Saturn Stack


This cartoon from the XKCD website helps explain with considerable humor the awesomeness of the Saturn V. It uses onlty the most common words in English to rescribe the stack. You may find the original here. Enjoy!

Posted in Apollo, Cold War Competition, History, Lunar Exploration, Personal, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in History, Lunar Exploration, Politics, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Lunar Exploration, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Lunar Exploration, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Surveyor Landers on the Moon


Like so many other point of intersection, soft landing on the Moon with robotic probes proved a venue for Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The Soviets won that competition February 3, … Continue reading

Posted in Apollo, Cold War Competition, History, Lunar Exploration, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Apollo, Lunar Exploration, Space | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Moon: A Brief History”


Moon: A Brief History. By Bernd Brunner. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010. 304 pages. Bibliographic essay, illustrations, acknowledgments, index. ISBN-13: 978-0300177695. Hardcover with dustjacket. $16.50 USD. There is no question but that the Moon has had an important … Continue reading

Posted in Apollo, Lunar Exploration, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment