Tag Archives: space history

Cold War Nuclear Explosions Freakishly Impacted Space Weather

The overdrawn game of nuclear chicken between the USSR and the United States—now known as the Cold War—lasted about 45 years. While neither superpower ever deployed nukes on each others’ soil, high-altitude bomb testing caused a kerfuffle in Earth’s atmosphere. Though the conflict has (thankfully) long since ended,

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Here Are The Jobs NASA Can’t Fill Because of Trump’s Stupid Hiring Freeze

One of President Trump’s first actions after taking office was to institute a federal hiring freeze, leaving thousands of jobs vacant across the US government. Many of these jobs are in agencies that Trump supposedly values, like NASA. But when you look at the job vacancies that NASA is forbidden from filling, we see…

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Europe’s First Mars Lander Came ‘Excruciatingly Close’ to Success

Artist’s impression of the British Beagle 2 lander, its four solar panels properly deployed, collecting data on the Red Planet’s surface. Image: ESA/Denman productions

Landing on Mars is hard, but the European Space Agency’s first attempt—the Beagle 2 probe—came maddeningly close to being a complete success. In fact, a new 3D modeling analysis shows that the lander’s failure to communicate with the Earth was likely due to a single jammed solar panel.

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A Solar Flare Almost Caused Nuclear War in 1967

On May 23rd, 1967, the United States Air Force scrambled to ready nuclear missile-laden aircraft for deployment. Radar systems designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles had just been disrupted, in what the military perceived to be an act of war. But before any nukes were launched in retaliation, it seems Air Force command was told to stand down.

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The First Time NASA Docked with a Soviet Spacecraft in Orbit

Two spacecraft drifted closer to one another far above planet Earth, as they prepared to dock. It was July 17th, 1975, and they were about to make history. For the first time, a United States Apollo and Soviet Union Soyuz spacecraft would dock with one another, an enormously symbolic mission that served as a small step towards international cooperation between the two superpowers.

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