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Space History
Part 2: Looking back in space and time...

Astronaut Harrison Schmitt working by the rover
during Apollo 17. Credits: JSC Apollo Project Image Archive

We continue here with various space history resources and reference materials including links to biographies of astronauts and others involved with rocketry and space, to space encyclopedias, etc.

Space Encyclopedias Online

Gunter's Space Page Carefully organized encylopedia-style site with info on areas such as: Astronauts & Cosmonauts Chronology of Space Launches

A Field Guide to American Spacecraft
Created by Jim Gerard as the "The most complete guide to historic spacecraft on the World Wide Web!" To find a museum that holds a particular spacecraft of interest, see his Museum List With Spacecraft
Missile Index
Extensive database on missiles both present and past. Note that missiles are not always used as weapons but also as sounding rockets and even orbital launchers.

Mission and Spacecraft Library -JPL
A large library on spacecraft of all types and nationalities. The library

"provide a general overview of these space missions to the average reader, not just those fluent in aerospace geek speak. "

Mark Wades Encyclopedia Astronautica
Mark Wade created this enormous encyclopedia of space information including lots of historical data on both NASA and Soviet programs, rockets, and spacecraft. Sections include
More sites

Astronaut Biographies
John Glenn   
Jim Lovell and the Flight of Apollo 13
This unofficial web-biography of Jim Lovell by Tanny Web Publishing is based generally on the book Lost Moon - the Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger. Sections include Lovell's experiences not just on Apollo 13 but also on his Gemini missions and Apollo 8.
Alan Shepard
John Young
Dana Holland has put together a fine tribute to John Young's long and varied career in space exploration. The pages include details of his Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions.

More Astronaut Biographical Info

The Greatest Genius of the Space Age: Dr. Robert Goddard
Robert H. Goddard

Jack Parsons: Sex and Rockets
A Salon.com article, unfortunately no longer accessible on line, discussed the amazing life of JPL co-founder and occultist Jack Parsons. Considered one of the fathers of American rocketry, Parsons led a bizarre double life that eventually led to his tragic downfall.

Carl Sagan

Ralph Baldwin
A pioneer in lunar studies.

Gene Schoemaker
Remembrances at the Lunar and Planetary Institute of the famous geologist who made major contributions to the understanding of our solar system.

Tsiolkovsky Museum
This museum in the city of Kaluga, Russia is dedicated to Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), considered by many to be the father of astronautics. While working as a high school teacher, he developed the basic theories of multi-stage rockets, liquid fuel rockets, gyroscope attitude control, and many other techniques for space travel. [The links for this site are dead but I will keep this entry in hopes that the site can be found at another URL.]
Werner von Braun

Sergei Korolyov (Korolev)
The founder and leader of the Soviet rocket and space program until his death in 1966.

Tsien Hsue-shen (or Qian Xuesen)
Widely considered the founder of the Chinese missile and space program.

Abe Silverstein
An engineer at NACA credited with many contributions there who later became an important earlier leader of NASA. He was NASA's first Director of Space Flight operations. Led planning of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. He also was the one who came up with the Mercury and Apollo program names.

He promoted the use of liquid hydrogen/oxygen propellants and took over leadership of the development of the Centaur RL10 when it was suffering many problems and is credited with making it a success.

Women & Space  

NewSpace Notables
There are many strong and interesting personalities in the entrepreneurial New Space arena. Here are articles about people current and past who have contributed to the New Space industry and community:

Other sites & articles devoted to space notables

Unmanned Space Systems

Here we look at the contributions of space probes, communications satellites, spy satellites and other unmanned systems that contributed to the exploration and development of space.

Spy Satellites

"We've spent between thirty-five and forty billion dollars on space...but if nothing else had come from that program except the knowledge that we get from our satellite photography, it would be worth ten times to us what the whole program has cost. Because tonight I know how many missiles the enemy has and...our guesses were way off. And we were doing things that we didn't need to do. We were building things that we didn't need to build. We were harboring fears that we didn't need to have." - President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967

A Selection of Space History
Reports & Articles

The Beginnings of America's Man in Space Program
Space.com bought the SpaceViews site around 2002 and no longer posts the articles listed below. Fortunately, Bruce Cranford notified me that most of the issues are available in the SEDS SpaceViews archive. I've now relinked most of the files.

Other articles in the series include:

Rocketry & Launch Vehicles
Canceled Space Projects
  • Aerospace Projects Review - This site specializes in reports on the many promising aerospace projects that never made it to the production line or even the drawing board.

  • Deep Cold by Dan Roam - Beautiful 3-D displays of several planned spacecraft that never reached the hardware stages such as DynaSoar and the Manned Orbiting Laboratory.

  • RLV History - includes resources about a number of canceled space transport projects

Disney & Space
Walt Disney great;u influenced public opinion about space in the 1950s and early 1960s by broadcasting several special episodes of his weekly show made in collaboration with Wernher von Braun. Disneyland, and later DisneyWorld, also featured various space related exhibits and rides.

International Space Station History
John F. Kennedy & Space
Animals in Space
More Reports & Articles

Japan in Space

China in Space
Misc. Space Hardware
Museums & Space Exhibits
Various NASA History Resources including Online Books

Phil Parker's Space History Pages
Phil Parker posts a number of interesting pages about space history such as

Space History Periodicals
Magazines and journals with emphasis on space history:

Space History for Young People
More Space History Related Sites
Space History Media
Space History Forums
Space Stats
Timelines / Chronologies

More Space History Sites


The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
NewSpace Watch at NSG

















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