Tag Archives: Soviet Union

Chronology of Key Space Anniversaries for 2017


1942—75 Years Ago 3 October—Germany launched its V-2 rocket and is the first spacecraft to cross the Kármán line (100 km). 1947—70 Years Ago 20 February—The United States sent fruit flies into space. 1952—65 Years Ago 1 April—The U.S. Army … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Soviet Robots in the Solar System: Mission Technologies and Discoveries”


Soviet Robots in the Solar System: Mission Technologies and Discoveries. By Wesley T. Huntress Jr. and Mikhail Ya. Marov. Chichester, UK: Springer Praxis, 2011. Paperback, 467 pp., illustrations, ISBN 978-1-4419-7897-4. $44.95. It seems hard to believe now, but once there … Continue reading

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Remembering the Gemini Program


Since it is the fiftieth anniversary of the the end of the Gemini program in 1966, with the flight of Gemini XII on November 12-15, I thought it appropriate to reflect on what I refer to as the middle child … Continue reading

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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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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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Eisenhower as Sputnik Crisis Leader


Since tomorrow is the anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, I thought it appropriate to reflect on the Eisenhower response to what became an important crisis in his presidency in the fall of 1957. Without question, in reacting to Sputnik … 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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Setting Course for the Red Planet: Early Flyby Missions to Mars


Robotic exploration of Mars has been one of the persistent efforts of the space age. It began, just as lunar exploration had, in a race between the United States and the Soviet ­Unionto see who would be the first to … Continue reading

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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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