Tag Archives: History

Immediate Outcomes from the Columbia Accident in 2003


The loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003, signaled the beginning of an important policy debate about the future of human spaceflight. NASA grounded the shuttle fleet, appropriately so, at the time of the accident, but wanted to return … Continue reading

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What Happened to the Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003?


NASA personnel and leaders had a celebration planned on February 1, 2003, for the return of Columbia and its crew after the successful completion of STS-107. STS-107 had been launched from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on January … Continue reading

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Is there such a Thing as American Exceptionalism?


I was struck by the discussion of American exceptionalism that became a running sub-theme of the recent American Historical Association annual meeting in Atlanta. It seems there is no way to square the perspections of exceptionalism presented everywhere with the … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Books Review: “The National Labs”


The National Labs: Science in an American System, 1947-1974. By Peter J. Westwick. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003, xii, 403 pp. $49.95, ISBN 0-674-00948-7..06 To help win the cold war the United States created a set of research institutions throughout … Continue reading

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Video of Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Flyover, May 8, 2015


Recently video premiered at the annual International Council of Airshows convention that captured last May 8th’s Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Flyover. This took place in Washington, D.C., and the assembled aircraft are stunning. Here is the video. … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Independence”


Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free. By John Ferling. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2012. Writer John Ferling, has a knack for writing engaging, reflective, and insightful historical narratives. In Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free he tackles the process … Continue reading

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Recalling the First Rendezvous in Space


It seems hard to believe but 50 years ago the first rendezvous in space took place in December 1965 when Gemini VI and Gemini VII met in orbit. Those were heady times; the U.S. was on the way to the Moon and … Continue reading

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What Do You Do for an Encore after You’ve Been to the Moon?


As early as January 1964 NASA administrator, James E. Webb, had been asked by President Lyndon B. Johnson for a well-developed proposal of future space objectives after the Apollo Moon landings. Webb did not want to respond; instead he tried … Continue reading

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Hail to the Royals: It’s Been a While but in 1985 they also Won it All


The recent World Series victory by the Kansas City Royals over the New York Mets brings to mind the last time the Royals were in the October Classic. That was in 1985, 30 years ago and it proved to be one of the … Continue reading

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Sputnik and Free Overflight in Space


It came like a shock to the system on October 4, 1957. The Soviet Union launched a beach ball-sized orbital satellite to usher in the “Space Age.” The act in itself proved neither particularly shocking nor threatening but what it … Continue reading

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