One year after Sputnik (10-21-1958)

On October 4, 1957, the world was stunned by the beep-beep of the first artificial satellite.  Well, maybe stunned is the wrong word, because anyone following the papers throughout the summer saw that the Soviets had announced quite candidly that they had planned to do so.  It didn’t take long for good ol’ American know-how, … Continue reading One year after Sputnik (10-21-1958)

[April 22, 1962] “To ride on the curl’d clouds” (ARIEL ONE)

By Ashley R. Pollard Looking back to October the 4th 1957 when Sputnik was launched, it’s hard to believe that only five years have passed since that fateful day when Russia beat Britain and America into space (perhaps my American readers will say that Britain had no realistic chance of getting into space first, which … Continue reading [April 22, 1962] “To ride on the curl’d clouds” (ARIEL ONE)

[Mar. 10, 1961] Dog and Puppy Show (Sputnik 9)

We are definitely not far away from a person in space.  The Soviets launched another of their five-ton spaceships into orbit.  We’re calling it Sputnik 9; who knows what they call it?  On board was just one dog this time, name of Chernushka, who was recovered successfully after an unknown number of orbits.  It is … Continue reading [Mar. 10, 1961] Dog and Puppy Show (Sputnik 9)

[Nov. 23, 1960] Premature Ejection (Mercury-Redstone 1)

The American manned space program is on a tight schedule if it wants to place an astronaut in orbit before the Soviets.  The Communists already have a striking lead.  They had it three years ago when they launched the first Sputnik, and they’ve maintained it with the recent Sputnik 5, which featured two Muttniks, who … Continue reading [Nov. 23, 1960] Premature Ejection (Mercury-Redstone 1)

[July 29, 1962] What a Diff’rence a Month Made (July 1962 in spaceflight)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!] by Gideon Marcus Sometimes, the future comes so fast, it bewilders. This rushing feeling I’ve had all month must be similar to what my grandparents felt when the Wright Brothers first took off.  For millennia, people have dreamed of flight, envying … Continue reading [July 29, 1962] What a Diff’rence a Month Made (July 1962 in spaceflight)

[Mar. 31, 1962] Read all about it! (What is the Galactic Journey?)

by Gideon Marcus This weekend, the Journey travels to WonderCon, a midlin’-sized fan convention with an emphasis on comics and science fiction.  It’s a perfect opportunity to introduce Galactic Journey to a host of new readers, folks who have a keen interest in what this column has to offer. So what is Galactic Journey?  Quite … Continue reading [Mar. 31, 1962] Read all about it! (What is the Galactic Journey?)

[February 20, 1962] American Made (John Glen and the flight of Friendship 7)

by Gideon Marcus And the Free World exhales.  At long last, an American has orbited the Earth.  This morning, Astronaut John Glenn ascended to the heavens on the back of an Atlas nuclear missile.  He circled the globe three times before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean. It is impossible to understate what this means … Continue reading [February 20, 1962] American Made (John Glen and the flight of Friendship 7)

[September 13, 1961] Dry Run (Mercury-Atlas 4)

by Gideon Marcus It’s is a red-letter day for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and for America as a whole.  For today, we finally got a Mercury space capsule into orbit!  The flight, dubbed “Mercury-Atlas 4,” began this morning in a blast of fire on a Florida launchpad and lasted one hour and … Continue reading [September 13, 1961] Dry Run (Mercury-Atlas 4)

[July 10, 1961] The Last Straw (Campbell’s wrong-headed rant in the August 1961 Analog)

Has John W. Campbell lost his mind? Twenty years ago, Campbell mentored some of science fiction’s greats.  His magazine, Astounding (now Analog), featured the most mature stories in the genre.  He himself wrote some fine fiction. What the hell happened?  Now, in his dotage, he’s used his editorial section to plump the fringiest pseudosciences: reactionless … Continue reading [July 10, 1961] The Last Straw (Campbell’s wrong-headed rant in the August 1961 Analog)

America’s Answer to Lunik: Project Ranger

by Larry Klaes [The Space Race continues to run at an ever-accelerating pace.  To keep up with all the new developments, I’ve tapped my friend and fellow professional space historian to tell us a very special program that just might score for the United States in the next inning…] President Kennedy declared three weeks ago … Continue reading America’s Answer to Lunik: Project Ranger