History of the Delta Launch Vehicle

Delta launch

In 1960, a young NASA launched the first of twelve spacecraft on a small, general-purpose rocket called Delta. Cobbled together from the tested pieces of other, less dependable rockets, Delta was intended as a stopgap until more powerful vehicles could be developed.

For over fifty years, dozens of upgrades, and more than 300 successes, the Delta expendable launch vehicle remained the “magnificent little workhorse” of space. The satellites and space probes it launched have revolutionized several industries and expanded the boundaries of science, and Delta II set a high standard for launch vehicle reliability — upon its last flight in 2018 its record stood at 100 consecutive successes.

This site, the basis for a chapter in the NASA History Office book To Reach the High Frontier, provides:

The latest Delta-related news:

End of an era
Wednesday, 11 July 2018, 08:35 CST

As the era of Delta II comes to a quiet close, a last bit of (sad) thunder: tomorrow morning the launch towers at Cape Canaveral’s SLC-17 will be demolished by controlled detonation.

Here is the Florida Today article.

The final launch of a Delta II is slated for later this year at Vandenberg.

Fun with Maps

Car 55
It's a hundred and six miles to...
Chicago Filming Locations of The Blues Brothers
The Buildings of Louis H. Sullivan – a complete listing, or as complete as possible given the data (and buildings) lost to destruction.
Chicago's Tied Houses – saloons built before Prohibition and owned by breweries as marketing tools, back when such things were allowed.
Historic sites of East Lansing and MSU – structures on the National and State Registers, and others of local significance.
No. 7

Recent updates to kevinforsyth.net:

20-Jan-19 A new article on the Semicentennial celebration of 1907.

14-Jan-19 Converted the Chicago Tied Houses map to use Mapbox, after a certain other mapping site decided to play the role of dope pusher. Other sites to follow.

7-Jan-19 Expanded history of the Harrison family, clarifying and correcting what I believe to be several errata by Towar.

A Brief History of East Lansing, Michigan

City Neighborhoods and the Campus Park, 1850–1925

When Michigan governor Kinsley S. Bingham signed Act 130 into law in 1855, establishing the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, he helped to ignite a spark that continues today as a bright torch of higher education.

The location chosen “for the teaching of scientific agriculture” was an undeveloped area of oak groves and tamarack swamps a few miles east of the state capitol in Lansing. Years of hard work — in both student labor and the political struggles of keeping the school intact — transformed the land into a splendid college campus. Soon, an adjacent college town arose and was chartered as the City of East Lansing.

Today, Michigan State University is the eighth-largest university in the United States by enrollment. East Lansing’s population numbers over 45,000, and it has expanded its role from mere faculty and student housing to become a cultural nexus for the mid-Michigan area.

This site comprises two separate but interconnected histories: a chronology of MSU’s early years, and a compendium of East Lansing’s significant structures, as determined by the city Historical Commission some thirty years ago.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Quite possibly my all-time favourite book, I re-read it every few years and each time I get something more out of it. An investigation into the concepts of truth and quality, sprinkled with commentary on Western academia, it uses the metaphor of a motorcycle to explain logic and rational thought. Though the book uses the narrative framework of a cross-country trip, the motorcycle one is taught to maintain is not the piece of hardware on which the author rides: it is one’s own self. Here’s an odd book report.

More book reviews to come from the armchair.