Category Archives: Space History

Space Casualties

…are a necessary tragedy.

My column on this week’s anniversaries, in historical perspective. Actually, it’s a 500-work summary of the book.

[Update a few minutes later]

Right on cue, some idiot comes up in comments with the usual, “End human spaceflight. If you want science, send a robot.”

Of course, the word “science” didn’t appear in the piece.

Another Book Review

Mark Lardas had a review a couple weeks ago in the Galveston Daily News, but it was behind a paywall. But I just learned that he reposted it at Ricochet. It’s an appropriate time to note it, given that today is the 47th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire, and tomorrow is the 28th anniversary of the Challenger disaster.

[Update late afternoon]

Here’s another brief (partial) review, in comments at the same web site. It’s the first one to discuss the quality, as opposed to the content of the book.

Safe Is Not An Option

Jeff Foust has a review of the book (in the context of last week’s release of the 2013 ASAP report, which I’ve been meaning to comment on), over at The Space Review.

[Update a while later]

And of course the server at The Space Review would go down the day that he reviews my book. I must have crashed it with my link. ;-)

Last Week’s Forgotten Anniversary

Jeff Foust has a round up of the scant commentary on the 10th anniversary of Bush’s VSE announcement, including a link to my USA Today piece.

And no, the problem with Constellation was not that it was underfunded. It simply cost more than the planned budgets. Mike hoped that once it was a fait accompli, he’d just get the extra money. It didn’t work out that well.

[Update in the afternoon]

I haven’t read it in detail, but Stephen C. Smith has a lengthy history.

The Diane Rehm Space Discussion

Marcia Smith has a good summary. This amused me:

Rehm exclaimed that she didn’t understand what Gold meant because the “language you’re using” sounds “proprietary” and one cannot own the Moon. Gold began answering, but apparently the show ran out of time for that segment (music began playing) and he was not able to fully respond. Rehm said it “sounds confusing to me,” and cut him off.

Diane Rehm always strikes me as someone who is easily confused. I’ve never understood her popularity, except that a lot of Beltway denizens share her propensity for confusion.

[Update a while later]

Monumental willful ignorance from Mark Whittington:

The cancellation of the SLS, unlikely in the current political climate, would mean the end of any hope of sending American astronauts beyond low Earth orbit for the foreseeable future.

If you can’t see beyond the next five years, perhaps. It’s the lack of propellant storage and transfer technologies, and landers, that is keeping bound to LEO, not lack of heavy life. Money wasted on SLS is trapping us there.

Expect him to show up shortly with his standard, foolish, “But you provide no alternative,” despite the fact that he’s been shown alternatives many times. We can explain it to you, Mark, but we can’t understand it for you.