In 1972, Tom Wolfe was assigned to do a piece for Rolling Stone on Apollo 17, NASA's last moon mission
(Google book preview). That turned into a four-part series on the astronauts, written in a frantic three weeks. From there, he thought he could quickly expand the piece into a book
(Gbp). But that book, on what makes an astronaut, ended up taking a much broader scope and more time. In 1979, The Right Stuff
was published, and later was made into a well-regarded 3 hour movie
. A few years later, Andrew Chaikin started on a similar path to Wolfe, more broadly documenting the US moon missions in his book, A Man on the Moon
. The book was published in 1994, and HBO used it as the basis of a 12-part mini-series that they aired in 1998
, titled From the Earth to the Moon
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 26, 2013 -
In April 1961, the Haigazian College Rocket Society
, a group of students at the Lebanese-Armenian Haigazian University
in Beirut, led by 25-year old math teacher Manoug Manougian
(interview [Part 1
]), built and launched the first rocket made in the Middle East, a few months before Israel
. From 1961 to 1966, the group, now called the Lebanese Rocket Society
and assisted by the Lebanese military, launched several multi-stage solid fuel rockets
named Cedar 1 to Cedar 8 (Reuters)
. Lebanon's contribution to the Space Race (or surface-to-surface missile development) ended in 1966, seemingly for political reasons. This story is the subject of a documentary + installation
by Lebanese artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
posted by elgilito
on May 3, 2013 -
In 1964, Zambia joined the Space Race with help from Edward Makuka Nkoloso, an enthusiastic
, if overly optimistic
, primary school teacher (partial transcript, video very much of its time
). Though the rocket never left Lusaka, and there was never any real support from either the Zambian government or UNESCO
, Nkoloso's project
caught the imagination of Spanish artist Cristina de Middel
in her short film, The Afronauts
. Middel explains
, "The images
are beautiful and the story is pleasant at a first level, but it is built on the fact that nobody believes that Africa will ever reach the moon. It hides a very subtle critique to our position towards the whole continent and our prejudices. It's just like saying strong words with a beautiful smile." via.
posted by ChuraChura
on Dec 3, 2012 -
My name is Paul Drye and False Steps is my project blog for a history book of the same name which looks at the Space Race as it might have been. Beginning with what I think to be the very prehistoric beginning of manned space travel (the so-called Magdeburg rocket of 1932) I aim to trace the ways in which people tried to travel to space and came close to accomplishing, all the way through Nazi German rocketry, the post-WWII fallow period, the crazy times of Sputnik through Apollo, the second down time of the 1970s, and the gradual revival of human space programs from then into the present day.
Paul Drye of Passing Strangeness
has a new blog about the roads not taken in the space race.
posted by Chrysostom
on Jul 18, 2012 -
Most of us reading on the blue lived through at least a portion of it. Forty-plus years of tension between the world's two superpowers and their allies. That's right: The Cold War.
Then, they made a documentary
. Aired on CNN in 1998, and never released on DVD,
the 24 episode, 20 hour series features tons of archival footage, along with many interviews with individuals directly involved at some of the highest levels.
You might not be able to see it on DVD, but you can watch the full series on Youtube, starting with Part 1: Comrades (1917-1945).
posted by symbioid
on Mar 27, 2012 -
Fifty years ago today, John Glenn
became the first American to orbit the earth. In an recent interview, he lamented the decline of the manned US space program: "It's unseemly to me that here we are, supposedly the world's greatest space-faring nation, and we don't even have a way to get back and forth to our own International Space Station." [more inside]
posted by dsfan
on Feb 20, 2012 -
The New Frontier-
Preparing the law for settling on Mars. "Like the abandoned launch fields [at Cape Canveral], the Outer Space Treaty [of 1967] needs to have its valuable parts salvaged, and the dangerous ones demolished."
posted by Ty Webb
on Jun 4, 2002 -
Secrets of the Cold War in Space.
Deep Cold is an website with detailed renderings, quicktime movies and information about the ideas and concepts being developed for both U.S. and Soviet presences in space during the cold war.
posted by moz
on Dec 7, 2001 -