3, 2, 1, and the Last Shuttle Leaves an Era Behind
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — There was a time, some of us remember, when a countdown at Canaveral stopped the world in its tracks. On television or at the launching, every breath was held at liftoff and every eye followed the fiery plume of ascent, up and away. Godspeed, said someone who was everyone....
“We’ve come full circle since 1961, back to when we had yet to show we could launch people into space,” said Steven J. Dick, a retired NASA chief historian. “We will be hitching rides from the Russians to go to the space station that is mainly ours.”
The irony of having to send our astronauts up in Russian Soyuz capsules is as plain as cold war history. The Soviet Union’s early dominance of space, manifested by the Sputnik surprise in 1957 and subsequent feats, prompted the United States to match and then surpass the Soviets in a program topped off by the Apollo 11 lunar landing in 1969. Human spaceflight would have come along anyway, but not with quite the urgency of the Soviet-American competition....
comments powered by Disqus
- CIA Plans Huge Release of Top-Secret Reports From the 1960s
- South Dakota drops history as a high school requirement
- The Forgotten History Of 'Violent Displacement' That Helped Create The National Parks
- Gospel of Jesus’ Wife May Be Authentic, New Tests Suggest
- Architect Sought for Obama’s Presidential Library Complex
- Historian author Antony Beevor says his new World War 2 book may anger Americans
- Ron Radosh and Allis Radosh plan to defend Warren Harding in a new book
- Historians tackle America’s mass incarceration problem
- Report: Russian studies in crisis
- Ken Burns: Donald Trump’s birtherism — a “politer way of saying the ‘N-word'” — proves America isn’t remotely “post-racial”