Tag Archives: challenger accident

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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Recalling the Challenger Accident Thirty Years Ago


Thirty years ago on January 28, 1986, NASA and the nation suffered loss of the space shuttle Challenger during launch from the Kennedy Space Center. Many Americans had been excited about this mission, even more than those that had gone before, … Continue reading

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The Long Path to Space Tourism


Despite its recent visibility in the United States with the efforts of Virgin Galactic to build a suborbital vehicle, space tourism is hardly a recent concept. Mention of the idea goes back to the beginning of the twentieth century, and … Continue reading

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Course Syllabus for “Spaceflight and Society: Exploring the History of the Final Frontier”


Beginning on August 31 I started teaching as an adjunct instructor at the Johns Hopkins University. The course is “Spaceflight and Society: Exploring the History of the Final Frontier.” Only one class meeting thus far, but it has been great … Continue reading

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A Chronology of Key Spaceflight Anniversaries for 2011


2011 is a year containing many important anniversaries in space history. I have compiled a basic list of key anniversaries, some of which are already past. Many of the most important, however, are coming soon, especially the upcoming fiftieth anniversaries … Continue reading

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Reports, Reports Everywhere, and not a Shuttle Replacement in Sight


Hard to believe, but twenty years ago this December 17, the presidentially chartered Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program issued an especially significant report to the president that recommended the replacement of the Space Shuttle. Chaired … Continue reading

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A Shelf of Indispensable Books on the Space Shuttle


When NASA began work on what became the Space Shuttle at the end of the Apollo program, few recognized how important a part of American life it would become over the next thirty-plus years. While not vast, the literature on … Continue reading

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