Headshot of John Logsdon

John M. Logsdon

Board of Directors of The Planetary Society; Professor Emeritus and founder, Space Policy Institute, The George Washington University

Dr. John Logsdon is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. He was the founder in 1987 and long-time Director of GW’s Space Policy Institute. He has also been a faculty member of the International Space University since 1989. He holds a B.S. in Physics from Xavier University (1960) and a Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University (1970).

John’s research interests focus on the policy and historical aspects of U.S. and international space activities. He is author of the forthcoming After Apollo: Richard Nixon and the American Space Program (2015), the award-winning John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon (2010) and The Decision to Go to the Moon: Project Apollo and the National Interest (1970) and is general editor of the multi-volume series Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program. He has written numerous articles and reports on space policy and history. Electronic and print media also frequently consults with John for his views on space issues. 

Latest Articles

When Nixon Stopped Human Exploration

Society Board Member John Logsdon describes how the decisions made by Richard Nixon in late 1969 and early 1970 effectively ended human exploration beyond Earth orbit for the indefinite future.

A True Pioneer of the Science and Art of Flight

Although Neil Armstrong may have passed away, his name will be part of human history forever.

Latest Planetary Radio Appearances

Space Innovations So Incredible, They Just Might Work

Mat Kaplan reports from the 2019 NIAC Symposium, a showcase of NASA-funded technologies hoping to revolutionize space exploration.

Space Policy Edition: Why Apollo Ended (with John Logsdon)

As NASA struggles to return humans to the Moon by 2024, it's worth asking: why did it stop in the first place? Space historian John Logsdon joins the show to discuss the politics behind the decision to abandon the Moon in 1972. Casey and Mat also discuss the proposal to offer a $2 billion prize for sending humans back to the Moon and establishing a base there, and why that's not good public policy.

A Political History of Apollo Episode 4 - Why It Ended

After more than a decade's worth of work and billions of dollars spent, the United States could send humans to the surface of the Moon whenever it wanted. But after landing only six times, the country just walked away, closing down production lines, laying off tens of thousands of workers, and committing humans to low-Earth orbit seemingly indefinitely. Why did it end? And was this inevitable?