News and events

News and events

Apollo 16 Commander John Young on the moon in 1972. Lunar roving vehicle in background. Events

Washington State History Museum talk on 9/19/2019

The History of Space Exploration

Scholarly Selections

September 19, 2019 6:30 PM

Discover the complicated history, politics, and future of space exploration with Aerospace Engineer and UWT Senior Lecturer Emeritus Linda Dawson, who worked on the space shuttle program at NASA’s Houston Control Center.

Then visit the Washington State History Museum’s exhibit “A New Moon Rises,” featuring 51 dramatic, large-scale landscape images of the Moon’s surface.

About Scholarly Selections

A partnership between the UW Tacoma School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and the Washington State History Museum, Scholarly Selections brings UWT scholars’ work to the public in an informal setting. Talks are held on the Third Thursday of the month when admission to the museum is free.


War in Space reviewed by John Brantigan

We’re pleased to share this book review published in August 2019 by John Brantigan, MD, Executive Committee member at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA.

War in Space—The science and technology behind our next theater of conflict by Linda Dawson provides a detailed historical review of the multi-nations dedication to peaceful exploration of space while quietly maximizing their military capability in space. With a M.S. Degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from George Washington University, Ms. Dawson worked at NASA in the development of the Space Shuttle Program. I quibble a bit about the title: War in Space might attract science fiction fans, who will be disappointed. This book is about science and technology. It covers in detail the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 ratified by 104 nations dedicating outer space to be “free for exploration and use by all states” and prohibiting weaponization of space. Ms. Dawson reflects that the 1991 Gulf War was the “first space war” because GPS and other satellite capabilities were used to manage and control military operations. Satellite technology, not ordinarily designed for the average citizen, has now become an indispensable part of our lives. Disruption of GPS and its precision timing functions could quickly disrupt communications, finance, power distribution and other linked networks essential to ordinary daily life. GPS is vulnerable not only to “jamming,” which blocks the signal. GPS is also vulnerable to “spoofing,” a technique that generates a false signal, causing the receiver to indicate a incorrect position.

Ronald Reagan’s proposed space-based anti-missile system called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) nicknamed “Star Wars” was perceived as aggressive by the Soviet Union because it proposed space-based lasers and other weapons to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles. Nevertheless, numerous nations are developing anti-satellite weapons and are competing to achieve dominance in outer space.

Who is this book for? It is for those of us who wish to understand how science and technology of our space program affects not only our national security but also our daily lives. A previous reviewer who described a few technical errors ignored the meticulous detail, expertise, and clarity of writing of this narrative.


John W. Brantigan
Chairman, Space Flight Committee
Museum of Flight
Seattle, Washington


Amazon book review


Politics and Perils reviewed in Journal of Space Operations…

We’re pleased to share this book review published in March 2017 by Joachim J. Kehr, Editor SpaceOps News for the “Journal of Space Operations & Communicator.”

Review: The Politics and Perils of Space Exploration

A wonderful book!

In the introductory chapter the author Linda Dawson predicts:“the future of space exploration is bright.”

Read more “Politics and Perils reviewed in Journal of Space Operations & Communicator”
National Space Society Publicity

National Space Society book review

The first review of Linda’s book, The Politics and Perils of Space Exploration, is now online at the National Space Society.

Her book is simultaneously historical and current, technological and political, domestic and international.

—Loretta Hall

Read the full review



Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth in 1961 (Source: NASA) Credit: ITU Pictures (CC BY 2.0) Events

Speaking Engagement on Yuri’s Night at Museum of Flight

Linda Dawson, author of the newly released The Politics & Perils of Space Exploration, discussed her book on the “New Space” race and paid tribute to Yuri’s Night—the global celebration of humanity’s past, present and future in space honoring the legacy of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight on April 12, 1961.

A book signing and meet and greet with the author followed the presentation.

Details: Celebrate Yuri’s Night!