Following Miles O'Brien's Twitter reminded me that today is the anniversary of the destruction of the Challenger space shuttle, which blew up shortly after liftoff on January 28, 1986. You can read O'Brien's memories of covering the aftermath as a young reporter in Florida.
Me, I was 4 when this happened. My memories aren't so interesting. What really sticks out for me is finding out, years later, about the mechanical malfunctions that caused the explosion, the bureaucratic mismanagement that lead known to malfunctions being ignored—and the good, honest people at NASA and contractor Morton Thiokol who tried to make their bosses fix the problem and, after the disaster happened, brought their stories to the public.
This clip from National Geographic's documentary "Challenger: The Untold Story" introduces Robert Boisjoly, an engineer at Morton Thiokol who spotted problems with the space shuttle's O-Rings in 1985, tried to stop the fatal Challenger launch and later testified before the presidential committee. His efforts earned him a Prize for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Right after astronauts Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969, they were brought aboard the USS Hornet (CVS-12) and immediately entered a Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) along with a NASA flight surgeon and recovery engineer. See below for a […]
The majestic image below of the Eagle Nebula’s “Pillars of Creation,” captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, has become an iconic astronomical photograph. It depicts the visible light, meaning the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that the human eye can see. In this new take above, NASA scientists present the same view of […]
Years ago, I read a bit of advice in The Whole Earth Catalog, which said a great way to get up to speed on a subject you are interested in is to read a children’s book about it. It’s excellent advice, and I’ve made use of it many times over the years. The best children’s […]
Even once stay-at-home orders are lifted, it’s likely many of us will be sticking closer to home, at least for a while. And rather than taking the car out of the garage for a 10-minute-or-less drive to the grocery store or the pharmacy, don’t be shocked if you start seeing a lot more short jaunt […]
If your sleep has been somewhat troubled recently, you’ve got plenty of company. With so much uncertainty, millions of people everywhere are laying in their beds, wrestling with huge life problems while unsuccessfully trying to also get eight hours of rest…or six…or heck, even 30 minutes. If that hits a little close to home, you […]
Believe it or not, you can still score a new job in the midst of the pandemic. There are a bunch of industries under more demand stress than ever that have an immediate need to grow. Regardless of the specific role needed or company that’s hiring, one skill that can only help you score an […]