Tag Archives: U.S. Civil Space

The Cold War Origins of Space Access


It is almost a truism that the primary U.S. space launch capabilities were created only because of the challenge of an exceptionally desperate Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union. Accordingly, the development and deployment of ballistic missiles, space-based intelligence-gathering … Continue reading

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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

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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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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Rocket Ranch”


Rocket Ranch. The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center. By Jonathan H. Ward. Chichester, UK: Springer Praxis, 2015. Jonathan B Ward’s Rocket Ranch is an enjoyable overview of the Kennedy Space Center during the … Continue reading

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What Happened to the Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003?


NASA personnel and leaders had a celebration planned on February 1, 2003, for the return of Columbia and its crew after the successful completion of STS-107. STS-107 had been launched from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on January … Continue reading

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Recalling the Challenger Accident Thirty Years Ago


Thirty years ago on January 28, 1986, NASA and the nation suffered loss of the space shuttle Challenger during launch from the Kennedy Space Center. Many Americans had been excited about this mission, even more than those that had gone before, … 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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Recalling the First Rendezvous in Space


It seems hard to believe but 50 years ago the first rendezvous in space took place in December 1965 when Gemini VI and Gemini VII met in orbit. Those were heady times; the U.S. was on the way to the Moon and … 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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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Interstellar Age”


The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission. By Jim Bell. New York: Dutton Books, Published by the Penguin Group, 2015. xi + 321. Notes and further reading, acknowledgments, index. ISBN: 978-0-525-95432-3. Hardcover with dustjacket. $27.95 USD. Part memoir, part … Continue reading

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