Space: What Now? Blog
About Tom Hill
The Book
Favorite Links
Space: Read Now
Other Topics
Contact Me

Here's the latest on space, and my opinions on it...
This is the legacy site, with blog entries from November, 2004 through June, 2011.
Updates after June 9, 2011 can be found at

Archive Newer | Older

Monday, July 27, 2009

Space: 1959
It's easy to look to the past and marvel about how smoothly things went back then. I've found that the closer I am to an effort, the more amazed I am that anything gets accomplished. Anyway, in an obscure search today, I came across this article from Time Magazine in 1959. It describes the morass of cross-responsibility and multiple committees that were formed in the post-Sputnik panic. Here's a couple-paragraph teaser:
Pondering the meaning of Sputnik I back in October 1957, the London Express confidently predicted that the result of the Soviet push into space would be a U.S. drive to "catch up and pass the Russians" in space exploration. "Never doubt for a moment that America will be successful." the Express added. The U.S. agreed with that statement: of course it would catch up, and quickly.
But two years later the U.S. is still running a poor second in the two-entry space race. And in high-level Washington last week, there still were no detectable signs of urgency about the U.S.'s space lag. The President, his advisers reported, was convinced that the U.S. space effort must be kept "within reason." Vice President Richard Nixon assured a press conference that the nation's space effort was "moving along at a reasonably good pace." Herbert F. York, the Defense Department's director of research and engineering, dismissed the Soviet lead in the space race as "more a question of acute embarrassment than national survival." Engineer T. Keith Glennan, head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, called for a "sane course"—which in NASA bafflegab seems to mean the same program that has kept the U.S. lagging behind. Roy Johnson, head of the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, could offer no better proposal than the creation of a "psychological warfare department" to "answer" Soviet space feats.
The next paragraph starts talking about lack of vision...
5:22 pm est

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Apollo Thoughts
There are plenty of people on the web reminiscing about Apollo 11's landing. While I tried for tickets to The Air and Space Museum event with the crew and Gene Kranz, I haven't been doing much else related. While 40th anniversaries need to be celebrated because not that many live to see the 50th, I'm spending more time following The Augustine Commission, who released an interesting document for public comment.
7:19 pm est

Looks like Jupiter got clobbered almost 15 years to the day after Shoemaker-Levy 9 gave astronomers a show. My favorite part of the story is the fact that an amateur astronomer caught the impact first, then notified the community and brought about more involved observations. This further blurs the line between 'amateur' astronomers and 'professional' ones.
6:11 pm est

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Has it Been 20 Days Already?
A mix of family fun, TEMPO work, 'real' work, and Mars Society Conference preparation has me swamped, but there's been plenty of cool stuff going on.
6:19 am est

Archive Newer | Older

Space: Search Now! with Google

Tom and Discovery
Taken During a Tour of KSC on 6 Oct 2010

TEMPO³ Update
Click on the picture to go to the Mars Society TEMPO³ Page

Solar System Ambassadors
Click on the image above to see Tom's SSA profile

Email Comments to tom [at]

Latest book! Click on the cover to purchase
I Want to go to Mars is a picture book for beginning readers

More information on I Want to go to Mars can be found in the devoted section of this web site.

Join the Space:What Now? email list for updates on book events or articles published by the author. Email addresses will not be shared.
I kind of wrote this off, thinking I was being spammed, but I'd like to know if people are really signing up. Please enter the text you see below in the second line, and I'll get a warm, fuzzy feeling that people are actually reading and signing up for mail!


Email address:
Text Code:

Now Available!
Clicking here will take you to purchasing options for SWN

Get your SWN Gear!
Image of a Space What Now golf shirt
Powered by CafePress

Space science news
Headlines provided by Moreover


The Updated Past, Present and Possible Futures of Space Activity