Tag Archives: NASA

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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Gerard K. O’Neill and the Great Disappointment


Disappointments must not be forgotten. One of the great disappointments of those interested in the use and development of human space capabilities has been the inability to colonize the solar system. Emerging from the Apollo program of the latter 1960s … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Seeing Like a Rover”


Seeing Like a Rover: How Robots, Teams, and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars. By Janet Vertesi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Acknowledgments, illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. 304 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. ISBN-13: 978-0226155968. $33.25 USD. Janet Vertesi, now assistant … Continue reading

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NASA Viking Missions to Mars Retrospective on C-SPAN


In July 2016 NASA’s Langley Research Center celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Viking program, which placed two orbiters around the red planet, and landed two spacecraft on tis surface in 1976. Historians William P. Barry, Roger D. Launius, Glenn E. … Continue reading

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The Beginnings of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory


We are approaching in 2017 the centennial of the founding of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory (LMAL) by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), at Hampton, Virginia. Now NASA’s Langley Research Center this facility transformed aeronautics in the United States … Continue reading

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The Current Crop of Commercial Starts-Ups in Space Were not the First


Many journalists and others have been much enamored with the activities of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson, and other entrepreneurs who have bet their fortunes, at least some of their fortunes, on the development of new space access … Continue reading

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Key Developments in USA/USSR Space Cooperation During the Cold War


The post-Cold War era has seen the United States and Russia undertake fundamentally significant cooperative ventures in space. This was an enormously significant development for the pursuit of aggressive human space activities, no doubt, but it tends to overshadow a … Continue reading

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Visualizing Apollo’s Exploration and the Idea of Progress


For all but a handful of space travelers the voyages of exploration into space were events participated in vicariously by the  billions of humans living on Earth. It has brought a connectedness and reinforced a common set of values among … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Atmospheric Science at NASA”


Atmospheric Science at NASA: A History. By Erik M. Conway. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. Acknowledgments, list of abbreviations, illustrations, notes, index. ISBN: 9780801889844. Hardcover with dustjacket. 416 pp. $57.00 USD. During the first decade of the Space … Continue reading

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A Brief on the Apollo 1 (Capsule 204) Fire, January 27, 1967


What happened? The Apollo 1 (204) Command Module was on the ground at the Kennedy Space Center on January 27, 1967 when a fire broke out in the capsule.  The three crew members (Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Edward … Continue reading

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