Tag Archives: U.S. Civil Space

NASA’s Overestimates of Soviet Lunar Capabilities During the Moon Race


Many times NASA officials used the national security intelligence on the Soviet Union to sustain their case for an aggressive effort to complete Apollo by the end of the 1960s. In a few instances these public statements aroused within the … Continue reading

Posted in Apollo, Cold War Competition, History, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Timing of the Apollo Landing in Relation to the Soviet Lunar Program


Americans have long known that the American effort to land on the Moon served as an enormously effective response to a Cold War crisis with the Soviet Union. When Apollo 11 landed on the Moon in July 1969 few recalled … Continue reading

Posted in Apollo, Cold War Competition, History, Lunar Exploration, Politics, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Space Shuttle and the Costly Nature of Space Access


Why is space flight so expensive? Lowering the cost of space access has long been a major goal of rocketeers. Thus far they have largely been unsuccessful in doing so. Space travel started out and remains an exceptionally costly enterprise. The … Continue reading

Posted in History, Space, Space Shuttle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The International Space Station and the Clash of Civilizations


As the operations on the International Space Station now move toward a score of years, it may be that this cooperative venture provides one of the clearest opportunities present for tying nation-states together. One is reminded of the quote from … Continue reading

Posted in International Space Station, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whither Space Astronomy?


The space age provided astronomers an opportunity to expand research far beyond the capabilities offered by ground-based observatories of earlier eras. During the 1960s they began using space-based technology to enhance humanity’s understanding of the universe. In addition to greatly enhanced … Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Mystique of the Space Suit


Wherever astronauts go, from the beginning of the human spaceflight program to the present, they have been characterized by their uniform. Nothing sets astronauts apart from ordinary Americans more than the physical existence of a space suit, and in this … Continue reading

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

Chronology of Key Space Anniversaries for 2015


1945—70 Years Ago 4 July—The NACA’s Pilotless Aircraft Research Division (PARD) launched from Wallops Island, Maryland, its first test vehicle, a small two-stage, solid-fuel rocket to check out the installation’s instrumentation. The group soon began serious work to learn about … Continue reading

Posted in History, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Thoughts on an Historical Essay Currently Underway: The Space Program and the Ideal of American Exceptionalism


I have been working on an essay, that I hope to publish someday with the following working title, “The Space Program and the Ideal of American Exceptionalism.” My definition of American exceptionalism emphasizes the perceived special national character of the U.S. as … Continue reading

Posted in History, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Why Mars”


Why Mars: NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration. By W. Henry Lambright. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. Preface, introduction, conclusion, notes, index. Hardcover. Pp. ix – 320. USD $45.46. ISBN: 978-1-4214-1279-5. W. Henry Lambright’s Why Mars: NASA and the … Continue reading

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

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight”


Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight. By Jay Barbree. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2014. Introduction by John Glenn. Illustrations. 517 pages. ISBN: 978-1250040718. $19.68 USD. Hardcover with dustjacket. Whatever else Jay Barbree’s Neil Armstrong: A Life of … Continue reading

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