Tag Archives: Moon race

Remembering a Great Adventure: The First Circumlunar Mission


After a piloted orbital mission to test the Apollo equipment in October 1968, on December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 took off atop a Saturn V booster from the Kennedy Space Center with three astronauts aboard—Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr., … 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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Parallels Between the Sputnik and 9/11 Crises


Is there a relationship between the so-called “Sputnik moment” in October 1957 and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks? Yes, at several levels there are intriguing parallels between the Sputnik crisis of 1957-1958 that Eisenhower faced and the aftermath of 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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NASA’s Overestimates of Soviet Lunar Capabilities During the Moon Race


Many times NASA officials used the national security intelligence on the Soviet Union to sustain their case for an aggressive effort to complete Apollo by the end of the 1960s. In a few instances these public statements aroused within the … Continue reading

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Timing of the Apollo Landing in Relation to the Soviet Lunar Program


Americans have long known that the American effort to land on the Moon served as an enormously effective response to a Cold War crisis with the Soviet Union. When Apollo 11 landed on the Moon in July 1969 few recalled … 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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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight”


Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight. By Jay Barbree. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2014. Introduction by John Glenn. Illustrations. 517 pages. ISBN: 978-1250040718. $19.68 USD. Hardcover with dustjacket. Whatever else Jay Barbree’s Neil Armstrong: A Life of … Continue reading

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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

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