Tag Archives: science

A Short History of Air and Space Defense in the Cold War


Following World War II, although some demobilization took place, the Cold War precipitated a continuation of an expansion of military aerospace activities and fostered the search for a truly effective air and space defense for the United States. In the … Continue reading

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Homer Newell and the Early Post-War Space Science Program


Homer E. Newell (1915-1983) is one of the NASA leaders I am profiling in a book I have underway. His career was remarkable. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and served as a theoretical … Continue reading

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The Federal Government and the Development of Aerospace Technology


Since 1903, the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars developing aerospace technology, on the management of the infrastructure necessary to support its operations, and on the military and other practical applications that it affords. Accordingly, through a … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age”


Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age. By Matthew Brzezinski. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2007. The fiftieth anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, sparked the publication 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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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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Announcement of Public Lecture: 40th Anniversary of Viking Landings on Mars


Join us for a series of presentations at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, Virginia Air & Space Center, Hampton, Virginia, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Viking landings on Mars. Open to the public Admission is free. In this special Sigma Series … Continue reading

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Space Navigation: Looking to the Stars


For centuries mariners have looked to the stars to cross the oceans. Mariners at sea carried instruments such as cross staffs and sextants to determine the position of celestial objects in the sky. When combined with an accurate time reference, … Continue reading

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Three Zones of the Solar System


With the success of the New Horizon’s spacecraft visiting Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, it seemed appropriate to discuss hte major zones of the solar system. The solar system consists of the Sun and the objects bound to it through … 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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