Tag Archives: U.S. Civil Space

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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Sputnik and Free Overflight in Space


It came like a shock to the system on October 4, 1957. The Soviet Union launched a beach ball-sized orbital satellite to usher in the “Space Age.” The act in itself proved neither particularly shocking nor threatening but what it … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age”


Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age. By Matthew Brzezinski. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2007. The fiftieth anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, sparked the publication of … Continue reading

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The Surveyor Landers on the Moon


Like so many other point of intersection, soft landing on the Moon with robotic probes proved a venue for Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The Soviets won that competition February 3, … Continue reading

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Gerard K. O’Neill and the Great Disappointment


Disappointments must not be forgotten. One of the great disappointments of those interested in the use and development of human space capabilities has been the inability to colonize the solar system. Emerging from the Apollo program of the latter 1960s … Continue reading

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