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The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 10th 16, 11:56 AM posted to sci.space.history
Stuf4
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Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

I've been explaining this for the better part of two decades here on this forum. Well in the wake of John Glenn's death, Miles O'Brien was on PBS News Hour and explains:

"You know, when you think of NASA and what the space program is all about, it was, you know, kind of a Cold War projection of soft power of the United States." - Miles O'Brien

PBS NewsHour full episode Dec. 8, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSA7B-owfw8&t=49m28s


So he hasn't come fully on board, because for whatever reason he felt the need to invent this term "soft power", which I've never heard when referring to nuclear ICBM boosters.


After the many years of continual incredulity here on this forum, it is quite satisfying to see these corrections to history becoming mainstream. Now if we can only convince OK GO to stop using the term "zero gravity"!
One of John Glenn's classic quotes was "Zero-g, and I feel fine."


I expect that even after hearing Miles O'Brien explaining what the Space Race was about, they will still choose to reject this info. So for anyone not wanting to hear about it from a reporter, you can hear John Glenn himself explain it:

"...people forget what much of the impetus was for the astronaut program back in those days..." - John Glenn

That quote is from he
Remembering John Glenn - WCMH, Central Ohio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTT1AmnCnnk&t=2m52s


The bizarre thing is to know that the group of people who vehemently reject this plainly clear understanding include some of the most highly reputed space historians, like Mike Cassutt. In the times that I have met authors Andrew Chaikin, Sy Liebergot and Jim Oberg face-to-face, I have tried to persuade them to this understanding, to no avail. I did not tell them how they know me from this forum, because of the standards maintained here are so low. But in one speech I attended, I was quite surprised to hear him tell the audience about me, and how he rejected my points on his most famous mission.

It appears that it will take a fresh new generation of authors before these gross errors of understanding will finally be corrected. As it is said with the progress in the field of science, it is clear that it also holds true in the field of space history that advancements are made one funeral at a time.

....and I'm not talking about funerals of people like John Glenn. He had a solid understanding of what he was doing and why. Frank Borman is another astronaut who has a clear understanding of history. The brutal irony is to know that if either of these veteran astronauts had come to this forum and posted under a pseudonym, they would have been responded to with waves of vehemently abusive members here.

Well those members, the most negative of the lot, have been dying off as well. Perhaps there is hope for this forum? Who knows what the future of Usenet will become. It sure seems to be on life support in its current state..

But Phoenixes have been known to rise. And that is what Wally wanted as his Apollo callsign. So in that spirit, I will sign off here with the hope that the level of wisdom amongst space historians will rise as well in the coming decades. There have been many signs in recent years that this indeed has been happening. Miles O'Brien's statement is the latest example.

~ CT
  #2  
Old December 10th 16, 07:22 PM posted to sci.space.history
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

In article ,
says...

I've been explaining this for the better part of two decades here on this forum. Well in the wake of John Glenn's death, Miles O'Brien was on PBS News Hour and explains:

"You know, when you think of NASA and what the space program is all about, it was, you know, kind of a Cold War projection of soft power of the United States." - Miles O'Brien

PBS NewsHour full episode Dec. 8, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSA7B-owfw8&t=49m28s


So he hasn't come fully on board, because for whatever reason he felt the need to invent this term "soft power", which I've never heard when referring to nuclear ICBM boosters.


The Space Race absolutely was due to the Cold War. It was a projection
of technological, economic, and ideological power. Capitalism over
communism. Representative democracy over a Marxist?Leninist one party
state.

Just listen to the Kennedy tape where he tells the then NASA
Administrator that Apollo/Saturn was being funded at such high levels to
beat the Soviets to the moon and not for any other reason!

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #3  
Old December 12th 16, 07:02 AM posted to sci.space.history
[email protected]
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Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

On Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 5:56:54 AM UTC-6, Stuf4 wrote:
I've been explaining this for the better part of two decades here on this forum. Well in the wake of John Glenn's death, Miles O'Brien was on PBS News Hour and explains:

"You know, when you think of NASA and what the space program is all about, it was, you know, kind of a Cold War projection of soft power of the United States." - Miles O'Brien

PBS NewsHour full episode Dec. 8, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSA7B-owfw8&t=49m28s


So he hasn't come fully on board, because for whatever reason he felt the need to invent this term "soft power", which I've never heard when referring to nuclear ICBM boosters.


After the many years of continual incredulity here on this forum, it is quite satisfying to see these corrections to history becoming mainstream. Now if we can only convince OK GO to stop using the term "zero gravity"!
One of John Glenn's classic quotes was "Zero-g, and I feel fine."


I expect that even after hearing Miles O'Brien explaining what the Space Race was about, they will still choose to reject this info. So for anyone not wanting to hear about it from a reporter, you can hear John Glenn himself explain it:

"...people forget what much of the impetus was for the astronaut program back in those days..." - John Glenn

That quote is from he
Remembering John Glenn - WCMH, Central Ohio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTT1AmnCnnk&t=2m52s


The bizarre thing is to know that the group of people who vehemently reject this plainly clear understanding include some of the most highly reputed space historians, like Mike Cassutt. In the times that I have met authors Andrew Chaikin, Sy Liebergot and Jim Oberg face-to-face, I have tried to persuade them to this understanding, to no avail. I did not tell them how they know me from this forum, because of the standards maintained here are so low. But in one speech I attended, I was quite surprised to hear him tell the audience about me, and how he rejected my points on his most famous mission.

It appears that it will take a fresh new generation of authors before these gross errors of understanding will finally be corrected. As it is said with the progress in the field of science, it is clear that it also holds true in the field of space history that advancements are made one funeral at a time.

...and I'm not talking about funerals of people like John Glenn. He had a solid understanding of what he was doing and why. Frank Borman is another astronaut who has a clear understanding of history. The brutal irony is to know that if either of these veteran astronauts had come to this forum and posted under a pseudonym, they would have been responded to with waves of vehemently abusive members here.

Well those members, the most negative of the lot, have been dying off as well. Perhaps there is hope for this forum? Who knows what the future of Usenet will become. It sure seems to be on life support in its current state.

But Phoenixes have been known to rise. And that is what Wally wanted as his Apollo callsign. So in that spirit, I will sign off here with the hope that the level of wisdom amongst space historians will rise as well in the coming decades. There have been many signs in recent years that this indeed has been happening. Miles O'Brien's statement is the latest example.

~ CT


My view is that the space race was an example of a single combat warrior, sort of like David and Goliath. The idea is that instead of having the two countries duke it out on the battlefield, their representatives, David and Goliath in ancient times and astronauts and cosmonauts in modern times, would vie for superiority. Russia won the first round, by getting a man into orbit before the U.S. did, but the U.S. raised the stakes, making a man on the moon the new goal, and in this arena, the American warriors were superior..
  #4  
Old December 12th 16, 11:31 AM posted to sci.space.history
Stuf4
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Posts: 535
Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 1:02:04 AM UTC-6, wrote:
On Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 5:56:54 AM UTC-6, Stuf4 wrote:

snip
Miles O'Brien's statement is the latest example.

~ CT


My view is that the space race was an example of a single combat warrior, sort of like David and Goliath. The idea is that instead of having the two countries duke it out on the battlefield, their representatives, David and Goliath in ancient times and astronauts and cosmonauts in modern times, would vie for superiority. Russia won the first round, by getting a man into orbit before the U.S. did, but the U.S. raised the stakes, making a man on the moon the new goal, and in this arena, the American warriors were superior.


That's an excellent analogy! I must say that is compelling. Thanks for sharing that.

As for people like Jeff who four decades+ on, who refuse to recognize the direct nuclear ICBM driver behind putting humans atop these boosters, here is the most recent quote by Frank Borman:

“The space program was essentially a battle in the Cold War. Vietnam — we lost. Korea — we tied. And the space business — we won,” Borman said.

(ref - http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/201...k-on-the-moon/ )

That puts the US record during that period at 1-1-1, for anyone counting.
And that's a *war* record, as you so aptly compare with D&G.

Terminology I have presented here in the past include identifying astronauts has having been "placebo nuclear warheads". You pull out the nuke, stuff in a person, launch the rocket, and show your might to the world.

THIS is why John Glenn got such a huge tickertape parade. Americans felt that they could sleep better at night knowing that nuclear ICBM technology had reached parity, and therefore reduced the chances that the USSR would start anything. JFK's drive to get people walking on the Moon was a raising of the stakes by orders of magnitude above the Gagarin vs Glenn showdown.

And the result of that was a dramatic display of how the US dominated nuke warfare technology.

For anyone who might be confused by the private words of JFK to the NASA Administrator on that tape, he was saying that human spaceflight was a "test of the system." The system he was referring to was nuclear ICBMs.

Nuclear ICBMs are the only fielded weapon that has NEVER undergone an end-to-end test. They are far too lethal of a weapon to do that. The boosters have been tested, with no warhead. And the warheads have been tested, with no booster (or short range booster). But once you set up a booster with intercontinental range and put a nuke warhead up top and try to launch it, ALL your adversaries around the planet will have no idea of the actual destination of that rocket, so an easy assumption would be that it was headed for their land, and that they would need to retaliate immediately.

By simply *testing* a full-up ICBM, you would be starting a war.

JFK was explaining to James Webb that this was the way we test the system without starting a war.

~ CT
  #5  
Old December 13th 16, 03:00 AM posted to sci.space.history
Scott M. Kozel[_2_]
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Posts: 150
Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 6:31:27 AM UTC-5, Stuf4 wrote:

Nuclear ICBMs are the only fielded weapon that has NEVER undergone an end-to-end test. They are far too lethal of a weapon to do that. The boosters have been tested, with no warhead. And the warheads have been tested, with no booster (or short range booster). But once you set up a booster with intercontinental range and put a nuke warhead up top and try to launch it, ALL your adversaries around the planet will have no idea of the actual destination of that rocket, so an easy assumption would be that it was headed for their land, and that they would need to retaliate immediately.

By simply *testing* a full-up ICBM, you would be starting a war.


How would any other country know that it had a nuclear warhead when it was launched?




JFK was explaining to James Webb that this was the way we test the system without starting a war.

~ CT


  #6  
Old December 14th 16, 11:02 PM posted to sci.space.history
David Spain
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Posts: 2,486
Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 6:31:27 AM UTC-5, Stuf4 wrote:

Nuclear ICBMs are the only fielded weapon that has NEVER undergone an end-to-end test.


Well technically for a "ballistic missile" that is correct. However
historically for a non-ballistic missile or non-ballistic rocket, of
intermediate range (Thor) not true.

Prior to the 1963 Limited Nuclear Test Ban treaty there were a few
documented tests of nuclear devices detonated in space via rocket by the
USAF & Los Alamos in the early 1960's. See the "Starfish Prime" test series:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime



On 12/12/2016 10:00 PM, Scott M. Kozel wrote:
How would any other country know that it had a nuclear warhead when it was launched?


Point taken. There may be historical record of test objects launched as
prototype nuclear warheads that had the mass/design-shape needed for
missilery but without the required nuclear material. I can't document
that fact just now, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. In fact I'm
certain it did, quite a bit...

On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 6:31:27 AM UTC-5, Stuf4 wrote:
By simply *testing* a full-up ICBM, you would be starting a war.


No. As Scott points out without KNOWING in advance the payload is a
nuclear weapon, it is hard to tell a "full-up" ICBM from a "test
article". A missile launch of that range is not necessarily considered
by the military of the world as a hostile (as opposed to provocative)
act. And prior to the 1963 Test Ban treaty, for a "full-up" not even
illegal. It would depend on the trajectory, target and even the tactical
doctrine of a would be adversary. Lots of ICBMs with RVs (re-entry
vehicles) designed to contain a nuclear warhead but minus same have been
tested in ballistic trajectories from the west coast of the US to the
waters just off the Kwajalein Atoll. A distance of roughly 4321 nautical
miles.[1] We presumably have treaty arrangements with the inhabitants
there to permit this. Makes a difference.... This came to prominence in
the late 1960's co-incident to and independent of the Apollo program as
the USAF tested early MIRVs.

Dave

[1] https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclo...es.html?n=2243


On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 6:31:27 AM UTC-5, Stuf4 wrote:

JFK was explaining to James Webb that this was the way we test the system without starting a war.

Cite? JFK may have said that, but that would have been a
misunderstanding on his part. See above. The Air Force & Navy would beg
to differ. Also the Saturn series was never designed to be used as an
ICBM. Atlas and Titan, as a matter of expediency, yes, Saturn, no.

Dave

  #7  
Old December 15th 16, 03:03 PM posted to sci.space.history
Stuf4
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Posts: 535
Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

From David Spain:
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 6:31:27 AM UTC-5, Stuf4 wrote:

Nuclear ICBMs are the only fielded weapon that has NEVER undergone an end-to-end test.


Well technically for a "ballistic missile" that is correct. However
historically for a non-ballistic missile or non-ballistic rocket, of
intermediate range (Thor) not true.


I specifically stated INTER-CONTINENTAL ballistic missiles, and you come back with (paraphrase) "That's not true, there were cases of INTERMEDIATE RANGE..."

Hello? I was operating under the assumption that we were speaking the same language. Maybe I should try putting your reply into Google Translate.


Prior to the 1963 Limited Nuclear Test Ban treaty there were a few
documented tests of nuclear devices detonated in space via rocket by the
USAF & Los Alamos in the early 1960's. See the "Starfish Prime" test series:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime


Yes, I remember my surprise decades ago when I first learned about those tests.


On 12/12/2016 10:00 PM, Scott M. Kozel wrote:
How would any other country know that it had a nuclear warhead when it was launched?


Point taken. There may be historical record of test objects launched as
prototype nuclear warheads that had the mass/design-shape needed for
missilery but without the required nuclear material. I can't document
that fact just now, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. In fact I'm
certain it did, quite a bit...


I do not know the exact protocol, but I would expect that countries be required to register (perhaps with the UN?) any plan to launch any missile or rocket that had the range of impacting other countries.

Or maybe this guess is mistaken, and that instead there is a long tradition of countries unilaterally doing whatever they want. No notice at all.

It seems to me that a spotlight has been shined on a deficient area of space history. One that I myself cannot recall reading about:
How can something like even the Space Shuttle be launched without a country on the other side of the planet not be terrified that the US just launched a nuclear warhead at them?

If a surprise attack was intended, it would be very easy to roll video tape of astronauts being strapped into the cabin while in fact warhead were there.

There was even a Star Trek episode from 1967ish that showed the Saturn V as launching a bunch of nuclear warheads at the Soviet Union.

Have any space historians, the folks who do this as a profession, ever mentioned this a single time? Again, if so, I haven't seen it.


On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 6:31:27 AM UTC-5, Stuf4 wrote:
By simply *testing* a full-up ICBM, you would be starting a war.


No. As Scott points out without KNOWING in advance the payload is a
nuclear weapon, it is hard to tell a "full-up" ICBM from a "test
article". A missile launch of that range is not necessarily considered
by the military of the world as a hostile (as opposed to provocative)
act. And prior to the 1963 Test Ban treaty, for a "full-up" not even
illegal. It would depend on the trajectory, target and even the tactical
doctrine of a would be adversary. Lots of ICBMs with RVs (re-entry
vehicles) designed to contain a nuclear warhead but minus same have been
tested in ballistic trajectories from the west coast of the US to the
waters just off the Kwajalein Atoll. A distance of roughly 4321 nautical
miles.[1] We presumably have treaty arrangements with the inhabitants
there to permit this. Makes a difference.... This came to prominence in
the late 1960's co-incident to and independent of the Apollo program as
the USAF tested early MIRVs.


I agree that Scott raises an excellent point. There is LOTS more that I would like to see published on this particular issue.


JFK was explaining to James Webb that this was the way we test the system without starting a war.

Cite? JFK may have said that, but that would have been a
misunderstanding on his part. See above. The Air Force & Navy would beg
to differ. Also the Saturn series was never designed to be used as an
ICBM. Atlas and Titan, as a matter of expediency, yes, Saturn, no.


I agree that the exact words used by JFK leave some latitude for interpretation to historians looking back on the event today. But I myself am confident that the two of them were perfectly clear what was meant by a "test of the system".

In another thread I just started this morning, it is explained how this very "test of the [nuclear ICBM] system" was the very reason why JFK pulled a 180 on Apollo after he secured the test ban treaty.

I think you all might like the video posted there, if you haven't seen it yet.

~ CT
  #8  
Old December 15th 16, 03:12 PM posted to sci.space.history
Stuf4
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Posts: 535
Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

From Scott M. Kozel:
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 6:31:27 AM UTC-5, Stuf4 wrote:

snip
By simply *testing* a full-up ICBM, you would be starting a war.


How would any other country know that it had a nuclear warhead when it was launched?


I don't know (more on that in my reply just now to David).

The specific case I was referring to was when a country announces that it will be conducting a test of a nuclear warhead.

Announcing that you're launching an ICBM with a nuclear warhead has never been done.

*Loads* more questions hinge on what you are asking.

~ CT
  #9  
Old December 15th 16, 11:04 PM posted to sci.space.history
Scott M. Kozel[_2_]
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Posts: 150
Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

On Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 10:12:46 AM UTC-5, Stuf4 wrote:
From Scott M. Kozel:
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 6:31:27 AM UTC-5, Stuf4 wrote:

snip
By simply *testing* a full-up ICBM, you would be starting a war.


How would any other country know that it had a nuclear warhead when it was launched?


I don't know (more on that in my reply just now to David).

The specific case I was referring to was when a country announces that it will be conducting a test of a nuclear warhead.

Announcing that you're launching an ICBM with a nuclear warhead has never been done.

*Loads* more questions hinge on what you are asking.


They would not know unless it was announced in advance.

A more basic problem with a test ICBM with a live nuclear warhead, would be what if the missile went awry, no telling whether it might come down in your country or someone else's country. If it had a self-destruct package, that could fail. For those reasons alone, it would not have been a wise test..
  #10  
Old December 21st 16, 08:05 AM posted to sci.space.history
snidely
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Posts: 1,144
Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

Stuf4 submitted this gripping article, maybe on Monday:
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 1:02:04 AM UTC-6,
wrote:
On Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 5:56:54 AM UTC-6, Stuf4 wrote: snip
Miles O'Brien's statement is the latest example.

~ CT


My view is that the space race was an example of a single combat warrior,
sort of like David and Goliath. The idea is that instead of having the two
countries duke it out on the battlefield, their representatives, David and
Goliath in ancient times and astronauts and cosmonauts in modern times,
would vie for superiority. Russia won the first round, by getting a man into
orbit before the U.S. did, but the U.S. raised the stakes, making a man on
the moon the new goal, and in this arena, the American warriors were
superior.


That's an excellent analogy! I must say that is compelling. Thanks for
sharing that.

As for people like Jeff who four decades+ on, who refuse to recognize the
direct nuclear ICBM driver behind putting humans atop these boosters, here is
the most recent quote by Frank Borman:

“The space program was essentially a battle in the Cold War. Vietnam — we
lost. Korea — we tied. And the space business — we won,” Borman said.

We hadn't lost in Vietnam until after the moon landings. In 1969, we
may have still been thinking we could win in Vietnam.

/dps


--
"This is all very fine, but let us not be carried away be excitement,
but ask calmly, how does this person feel about in in his cooler
moments next day, with six or seven thousand feet of snow and stuff on
top of him?"
_Roughing It_, Mark Twain.
 




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