Episode 54 - Secret NASA Origins

Eric Renderking Fisk and Walt Schnabel discuss the news of the week, including one company that wants to inject RFID chips in all their employees, a Facebook executive talking about Artificial Intelligence and safeguards, and strange archeological discoveries made reciently. They also talk about how Eric’s deep depression about Cassini’s final days.

After the break, we move to the topic of the week. We start with the secrets behind the origins of NASA and the documents that were commissioned by the Eisenhower administration and published in 1960 by The Brookings Institute: Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs.

Thanks for listening, and enjoy the show.

Show Notes...

Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs -

From Wikipedia: "The report has become noted for one short section entitled "The implications of a discovery of extraterrestrial life", which examines the potential implications of such a discovery on public attitudes and values. The section briefly considers possible public reactions to some possible scenarios for the discovery of extraterrestrial life, stressing a need for further research in this area. It recommends continuing studies to determine the likely social impact of such a discovery and its effects on public attitudes, including study of the question of how leadership should handle information about such a discovery and under what circumstances leaders might or might not find it advisable to withhold such information from the public. The significance of this section of the report is a matter of controversy. Persons who believe that extraterrestrial life has already been confirmed and that this information is being withheld by government from the public sometimes turn to this section of the report as support for their view. Frequently cited passages from this section of the report are drawn both from its main body and from its footnotes."

Metaphysical Connection's copy.

Boeing X-37

From Wikipedia: The Boeing X-37, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), is a reusable unmanned spacecraft. It is boosted into space by a launch vehicle, then re-enters Earth's atmosphere and lands as a spaceplane. The X-37 is operated by the United States Air Force for orbital spaceflight missions intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies.[4] It is a 120%-scaled derivative of the earlier Boeing X-40.

The X-37 began as a NASA project in 1999, before being transferred to the U.S. Department of Defense in 2004. It conducted its first flight as a drop test on 7 April 2006, at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The spaceplane's first orbital mission, USA-212, was launched on 22 April 2010 using an Atlas V rocket. Its successful return to Earth on 3 December 2010 was the first test of the vehicle's heat shield and hypersonic aerodynamic handling. A second X-37 was launched on 5 March 2011, with the mission designation USA-226; it returned to Earth on 16 June 2012. A third X-37 mission, USA-240, launched on 11 December 2012 and landed at Vandenberg AFB on 17 October 2014. The fourth X-37 mission, USA-261, launched on 20 May 2015 and is in progress.

Air & Space Magazine: Secret Space Shuttles

What's the X-37 Doing Up There?

Apollo 19 and Apollo 20

Encyclopedia Astronautica Apollo 20: "Apollo 20 was originally planned in July 1969 to land in Crater Copernicus, a spectacular large crater impact area. Later Copernicus was assigned to Apollo 19, and the preferred landing site for Apollo 20 was the Marius Hills, or, if the operational constraints were relaxed, the bright crater Tycho. The planned December 1972 flight was cancelled on January 4, 1970, before any crew assignments were made."


Soviet Space Program


PBS/BBC Documentary: Cosmonauts

Sergei Korolev From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sergei Pavlovich Korolev 12 January [O.S. 30 December 1906] 1907 – 14 January 1966) worked as the lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. He is considered by many as the father of practical astronautics.[4][5]

Although Korolev trained as an aircraft designer, his greatest strengths proved to be in design integration, organization and strategic planning. Arrested for alleged mismanagement of funds (he spent the money on unsuccessful experiments with rocket devices), he was imprisoned in 1938 for almost six years, including some months in a Kolyma labour camp. Following his release he became a recognized rocket designer and a key figure in the development of the Soviet Intercontinental ballistic missile program. He was then appointed[by whom?] to lead the Soviet space program and made a Member of Soviet Academy of Sciences, overseeing the early successes of the Sputnik and Vostok projects including the first human Earth orbit mission by Yuri Alexeevich Gagarin on 12 April 1961. Korolev's unexpected death in 1966 interrupted implementation of his plans for a Soviet manned Moon landing before the United States 1969 mission.

Before his death he was officially identified only as Glavny Konstruktor (Главный Конструктор), or the Chief Designer, to protect him from possible cold war assassination attempts by the United States.[6] Only following his death in 1966 has he received appropriate public recognition as the driving force behind Soviet accomplishments in space exploration during and following the International Geophysical Year.

NASA'S Origins.

NASA - 50 Years of NASA History: 50 Years of NASA History By Steven J. Dick, NASA Chief Historian Fifty years after its founding, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration arguably leads the world in exploration, standing on the shoulders of a long line of explorers throughout history. Its astronauts have circled the world, walked on the moon, piloted the first winged spacecraft, and constructed the International Space Station. Its robotic spacecraft have studied Earth, visited all the planets (and soon the dwarf planet Pluto), imaged the universe at many wavelengths, and peered back to the beginnings of time. Its scramjet aircraft have reached the aeronautical frontier, traveling 7,000 miles per hour, 10 times the speed of sound, setting the world’s record. How did an agency with such varied accomplishments come into existence?

NASA via Wikipedia: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA /ˈnæsə/) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA in 1958[10] with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA's predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

Since that time, most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches.

NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System,[13] advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate's Heliophysics Research Program,[14] exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic spacecraft missions such as New Horizons,[15] and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories and associated programs.[16] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite. Since 2011, NASA has been criticized for low cost efficiency, achieving little results in return for high development costs.[17][18][19]

NASA and Project Paperclip.

NASA: Notes on Project Paperclip - MSFC History Office

Notes on Project Paperclip: The United States was interested in the technical capability of the Germans. A team of American scientists was dispatched to Europe on August 14, 1945, to collect information and equipment related to German rocket progress. As a result, the components for approximately 100 V-2 ballistic missiles were recovered and shipped from Germany to White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico. Also recovered was an invaluable cache of documentation. During October 1945, the Secretary of War approved a plan to bring the top German scientists to the United States to aid military research and development. Near the end of the year, more than 100 Germans, who had agreed to come to the United States under Project Paperclip, arrived at Fort Bliss, Texas. Their assignment was to begin work at nearby White Sands on the V-2 rockets that had already arrived from Germany.

The first American-assembled V-2 was static fired on March 15, 1946, at White Sands. By April 1946, the Americans and Germans were ready to begin flight testing the V-2. June 28, 1946, marked the first successful launch at White Sands of a V-2 rocket fully instrumented for upper-air research. The rocket attained a height of 67 miles. On October 24, rocket number 13 was launched, carrying a camera that took motion pictures of the Earth from an altitude of approximately 65 miles.

The days at White Sands were both important and exciting for the German team and their American associates. One V-2 strayed from its path before impacting harmlessly in Juarez, Mexico. The result was an increased emphasis on safety as the work progressed at the testing site.

At White Sands, the Germans also experimented with a two-stage rocket called the Bumper Wac which was intended to provide data on upper atmospheric research. On February 24, 1949, a without attitude control (WAC) Corporal rocket boosted by a V-2 obtained a peak altitude of more than 240 miles.

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