FTV: Columbia

Astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen stared out the aft window of the Space Shuttle Columbia as Crippen opened the two 60-foot-long payload doors.  This was a necessary step designed to expose the aluminum honeycomb radiator panels that would help regulate the spacecraft’s temperature. Beyond the open doors they could see some dark areas on […]

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FTV: New Year, New Tech

      If you are of a certain age, you probably remember when they used to predict what life would be like in the year 2000.  The list of ‘gee whiz’ things would invariably include flying cars, personal jetpacks, or both. Nobody was predicting wristwatch communication devices (that was a little too Dick Tracey for most […]

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FTV: Apollo 8 – Part 2

      In Part 1, we used Robert Kurson’s book ROCKET MEN (Random House 2018) as a reference to examine how NASA stepped away from their normally cautious process of training crews for space missions over an 18 month period.  The idea was to keep ahead of the Russians in the Space Race when intelligence reports […]

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From the Vaults: Apollo 8

      “Are you out of your mind?” he yelled into the phone.  “You’re putting the agency and the whole program at risk!”  The ‘he’ above would be NASA Administrator James E. Webb. On the receiving end of his tirade were his deputy at NASA, Thomas Paine, and the director of the Apollo Manned Lunar Landing […]

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FTV: Pearl Harbor

  Pearl Harbor was attacked by the United States Armed Forces in 1928, 1932, 1933, and 1937.  Of course, these were only training exercises, but just the same, the Navy’s assaults on Pearl had caught the defending forces with their pants down each and every time.  The 1932 attack even saw the ‘enemy’ planes swoop in […]

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FTV: Athletically Speaking

    A while back, I spent four segments of From the Vaults reminiscing about my high school years.  Having discovered my old high school annuals (called The Tatler), it was rather fun thinking back to the things that kept me busy and off the street.  The vast majority of these memories revolved around both high school […]

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