'The Long Space Age'

Photo by Janet Donovan
Alex MacDonald
Alex MacDonald

“We have before us, the foremost expert in commercial space travel and the history thereof. The most interesting thing about this book is that Alex has committed a significant portion of his life to getting this done, and all the proceeds go to Yale University,” said Juleanna Glover while introducing Alex MacDonald, author of  “The Long Space Age: The Economic Origins of Space Exploration from Colonial America to the Cold War” at her Kalorama home in Washington, DC.

 

“What this book is really about is putting into context what we’re seeing today,” responded MacDonald.  “We’re seeing really amazing things. We’re seeing the U.S. Government begin to consider exploring beyond lower orbit for the first time in decades. We’re also seeing billionaires – people like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk – develop fundamentally new capabilities that have the potential to reduce the cost of going into space, and increase our overall capabilities as a nation to explore and develop space. And so, what I started about 12 years ago was to look at the history of this kind of stuff. And when you look at the history actually you find that people like Elon and Jeff are not so unusual, because the people who funded the national observatories of late 19th century or 20th century were essentially Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and the Guggenheim family. Basically, what we’re seeing today is a return to the origins of space exploration in this country. And to give you a sense of how far back space exploration goes, because I could talk forever and what I really want to focus on.”