Tag Archives: space science

Robotic Emissaries to the Stars


Five spacecraft from Earth are currently moving out into the stars. After their operations cease, these spacecraft will continue to coast indefinitely. None of them will come close to any known stars, and it is unlikely they will encounter any … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Apollo, Applications Satellites, Cold War Competition, Earth Science, History, International Space Station, Lunar Exploration, Science, Space, Space Shuttle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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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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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