Tag Archives: transportation

The Current Crop of Commercial Starts-Ups in Space Were not the First


Many journalists and others have been much enamored with the activities of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson, and other entrepreneurs who have bet their fortunes, at least some of their fortunes, on the development of new space access … Continue reading

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

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

Posted in History, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

The Railroad and the Space Program Revisited: Historical Analogues and the Stimulation of Commercial Space Operations


I am planning to give the paper, “The Railroad and the Space Program Revisited: Historical Analogues and the Stimulation of Commercial Space Operations,” at an upcoming conference entitled “Spinoffs of Mobility: Technology, Risk & Innovation.” This is the theme for … Continue reading

Posted in History, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Historical Analogies and the Commercial Development of Space


I recently completed a study on historical analogies and the commercial development of space. This study explored several historical episodes in U.S. history where the federal government undertook public/private efforts to complete critical activities valued for their public good. This largely … Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Proposed Syllabus for “Spaceflight and Society” Course, Fall 2013


I am the instructor for a course at Johns Hopkins University in the Fall 2013 semester with the title, “Spaceflight and Society.” I taught this class in the fall of 2011 as well and had a great time doing it, … Continue reading

Posted in History, Personal, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Is Space Tourism Soon to Become a Reality?


With the successful test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2) at the end of April, 2013, we are one step closer to commercial space tourism. This is not orbital tourism, of course, but the ability to fly above 100 km … Continue reading

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

Interpreting the Decision to Build the Space Shuttle


Wernher von Braun once supposedly told his colleagues: “We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.” Whether true or not the statement reflects what has been viewed for the last forty years as one of the traditional difficulties … Continue reading

Posted in History, Personal, Politics, Science, Space, Space Shuttle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Spaceflight”


Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Spaceflight. By Chris Dubbs and Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011. Hardcover with dustjacket.  344 pp. Illustrations, notes, index. ISBN 978-0-8032-1610-5. US $34.95. Should spaceflight in the United States be dominated by … Continue reading

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

Venturing to the Outer Solar System: Pioneer 10 and 11 and the Technology of Long Duration Space Exploration


As the first attempt to send robotic probes to any part of the outer solar system, in 1964 NASA scientists first conceived of what became Pioneer 10 and 11, missions that undertook a “windshield tour” of Jupiter and Saturn as … Continue reading

Posted in History, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments