George H.W. Bush's Overlooked Legacy in Space Exploration

Space.com | 12/24/2018 | Staff
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This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

On July 20, 1989, the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, President George H. W. Bush stood on the steps of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. and, backed by the Apollo 11 crew, announced his new Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). He believed that this new program would put America on a track to return to the moon and make an eventual push to Mars.

Time - Encounters - Program - Exploration - System

"The time has come to look beyond brief encounters. We must commit ourselves anew to a sustained program of manned exploration of the solar system and, yes, the permanent settlement of space," he said.

On Dec. 24, 1978, Venera 11 landed on Venus. Venera 11 was a robotic mission launched by the Soviet Union to explore Venus along with its sister spacecraft Venera 12. Venera 11 launched in September of 1978 just five days before Venera 12. Three and a half months later, the spacecraft arrived at Venus and dropped off the lander. The descent took about an hour, and Venera 11 made a soft landing on the surface at about 10:30 p.m. EST. The Venera spacecraft had instruments designed to study the planet’s atmosphere and temperatures, as well as the chemical composition of its soil. It even carried a device called Groza that detected lightning on Venus. Although it did have cameras on board, the lander didn't take any photos of Venus because the lens cover failed to pop off.

Scientist - Space - Exploration - Place - Process

As a political scientist who seeks to understand space exploration's place in the political process, I approach space policy with an appreciation of the political hurdles high-cost, long-term and technologically advanced policies face. My research has shown that policy change both in general...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Space.com
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