Tag Archives: space science

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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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: “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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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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Vikings 1 and 2 and the Failure to Detect Life on Mars


The first truly successful landings on Mars took place in 1976 when the Viking mission used two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter. Launched on August 20, 1975, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Viking … 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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The Earth as Art


This is so cool! You may view in this stunning video the Earth through the eyes of the Landsat-7 satellite. At a sublime level these images are art, showing the beauty of the Earth from space. If we got nothing … 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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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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