Tag Archives: U.S. Civil Space

Announcing a Forthcoming Conference: “NASA in the ‘Long’ Civil Rights Movement”


When: Thursday March 16 – Friday March 17, 2017 Where: United States Space and Rocket Center, Educational Training Facility, 1 Tranquility Base – Huntsville, Alabama 35805 On March 16-17, 2017, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center History Office and the University … Continue reading

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Apollo 13 and Nostalgia for an Earlier Time


A cultural debate has raged during the first part of the twenty-first century over the meaning of the Apollo program. Much of the recollection of Apollo’s legacy revolves around ideas of ‘progress’ for the American nation. At the same time, Apollo … Continue reading

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A Brief on the Apollo 1 (Capsule 204) Fire on its 50th Anniversary


What happened? The Apollo 1 (204) Command Module was on the ground at the Kennedy Space Center on January 27, 1967 when a fire broke out in the capsule.  The three crew members (Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Edward … Continue reading

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A Truly Hilarious Cartoon on the Apollo/Saturn Stack


This cartoon from the XKCD website helps explain with considerable humor the awesomeness of the Saturn V. It uses onlty the most common words in English to rescribe the stack. You may find the original here. Enjoy!

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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

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A Life Well-Lived: “Godspeed, John Glenn”


John Glenn (1921-2016) has left us after a lifetime of service to the nation and his fellow humans on Earth. John H. Glenn Jr. served as the astronaut on the February 20, 1962 ­Mercury-­Atlas 6 (Friendship 7) mission, the first American orbital … Continue reading

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Five Legacies of Space Access Since the 1950s


While a large number of issues could be explored in the now more than fifty years of  space access, here are five central legacies, number three will blow your mind. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). The limitations of chemical rocket technology … Continue reading

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Remembering the Gemini Program


Since it is the fiftieth anniversary of the the end of the Gemini program in 1966, with the flight of Gemini XII on November 12-15, I thought it appropriate to reflect on what I refer to as the middle child … 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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The Federal Government and the Development of Aerospace Technology


Since 1903, the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars developing aerospace technology, on the management of the infrastructure necessary to support its operations, and on the military and other practical applications that it affords. Accordingly, through a … Continue reading

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