Tag Archives: public perceptions

Boarding the Spaceplane?


I posted this originally to the blog, “Above and Beyond,” on June 15, 2015. I thought I would reprint here. During the administration of President Ronald Reagan, senior government officials began to discuss the possibility of developing an “Orient Express,” … Continue reading

Posted in aeronautics, aviation, History, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Balance Sheet on All of the Landings on Mars


Since the beginning of the space age there have been 17 landings on the surface of Mars, some of which were not successful. Initially the Soviet Union carried out two attempted landings in 1971, Mars 2 and 3, but the … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“New Horizons” Reaches Pluto


The “New Horizons” spacecraft is a major NASA program to complete the initial exploration of all of the major bodies of the solar system. It was designed to help understand worlds at the edge of our Solar System by making the … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Recalling the Voyages of the Space Shuttle Endeavour


The quest for a reusable spaceplane extends far back into the 1920s, but it only found realization with the inaugural flights of the Space Shuttle in the early 1980s. NASA initially built four spaceworthy orbiters—Columbia (OV-102), Challenger (OV‑099), Discovery (OV‑103), … Continue reading

Posted in History, Space, Space Shuttle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stimulating Aerospace Capabilities in America


Historians five hundred years hence may well characterize successful human flight, and all that followed in both air and space, as the most significant single technology of the twentieth century. Has it fundamentally reshaped our world, at once awesome and … Continue reading

Posted in aeronautics, aviation, History, Personal, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Space as Battlefield or Sanctuary?


For more than fifty years since the first space satellites were orbited the world engaged in activity in outer space for military scientific, and commercial purposes, but without placing weapons there or engaging in serious efforts to target objects in space. … Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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

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

Posted in Apollo, Cold War Competition, History, Lunar Exploration, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The International Space Station and the Clash of Civilizations


As the operations on the International Space Station now move toward a score of years, it may be that this cooperative venture provides one of the clearest opportunities present for tying nation-states together. One is reminded of the quote from … Continue reading

Posted in International Space Station, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts on an Historical Essay Currently Underway: The Space Program and the Ideal of American Exceptionalism


I have been working on an essay, that I hope to publish someday with the following working title, “The Space Program and the Ideal of American Exceptionalism.” My definition of American exceptionalism emphasizes the perceived special national character of the U.S. as … Continue reading

Posted in History, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments