Tag Archives: U.S. Civil Space

Cassini Arrives at Saturn: Happy Anniversary!


Representing the international character of many NASA planetary missions since Voyager, Cassini-Huygens, a joint effort of NASA, the European Space Agency, and Italian Space Agency, has also proved to be an incredible success. It seems appropriate to recall this mission … Continue reading

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Summer Reading: Indispensable Books on the History of the Space Shuttle


When NASA began work on what became the Space Shuttle at the end of the Apollo program, few recognized how important a part of American life it would become over the next thirty-plus years. While not vast, the literature on … Continue reading

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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

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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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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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