Author Archives: asteitel

About asteitel

Space historian, blogger, and writer.

Updates from Vintage Space

A lot has been going on over at Vintage Space in the last few weeks. Here’s a brief recap of recent articles. (Left, President Kennedy and Wernher von Braun with a model Saturn IV rocket.) On April 12, 1961, Yuri … Continue reading

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Overview of Vintage Space

I’ve added a new page to Vintage Space. The Overview page is meant to give readers who are less familiar with topics in space history a guide to the chronology of the space age. It is not meant to be an all-inclusive … Continue reading

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Gagarin and the Enigmatic Vostok 1

April 12, 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s Vostok 1 flight. Only four years after Sputnik ignited the space age, Gagarin became the first man to venture into space; the mission lasted 108 minutes and he made one orbit … Continue reading

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Landings and Launches

Landing a spacecraft isn’t easy, especially when you’re landing on another planet. Aside from the challenges of a remote landing (i.e. landing without astronauts on board) are the challenges presented by the target planet’s environment.  Mars is a great example. … Continue reading

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Not exactly Rocket Science

Before computers could generate predictions of how various spacecraft designs would fare, say, during a fiery reentry from space, NASA used some more basic methods. In selecting the ultimate design for the Mercury capsule, engineers used now-antiquated techniques. They dropped … Continue reading

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The Space Shuttle Era, Winding Down

The space shuttle Discovery is currently on its final mission. Only two more flight remain for the shuttle program as a whole – it will, in all likelihood, be finished by the end of the year. NASA anticipated great things … Continue reading

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Old Concepts of Life on Venus and Mars

I’ve recently posted about the pre-space age exploration of Venus and Mars. Both planets have an interesting history in the larger picture of man’s  understanding of the cosmos. The Victorian era is especially interesting – telescopes could discern surface features and increased knowledge of … Continue reading

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