First Moon Landing Anniversary

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon. Six hours later, on July 21, they stepped out onto the lunar surface, the first humans to do such a thing. Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 astronaut who circled the Moon alone while Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the lunar surface: Far from feeling lonely or abandoned, I feel very … Continue reading First Moon Landing Anniversary

Happy Birthday, Patrick Stewart

    1) Actor Patrick Stewart was born on July 13, 1940. 2) He played Captain Jean-Luc Picard on the television show Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran from 1987 to 1994, and in subsequent films. 3) Picard catch-phrases:  Make it so. Engage. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. 4) Picard words of wisdom: It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Patrick Stewart

End of Shuttle: 5 Photos for 5th Anniversary

Five years ago today, on July 8, 2011, the space shuttle Atlantis launched to space from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. No shuttle has launched since, and Atlantis and the other orbiters are now artifacts in museums telling the story of where we’ve been and who we are. Here, in another of our “5 Things” posts, we share five photos from that last-ever shuttle launch five years ago. For … Continue reading End of Shuttle: 5 Photos for 5th Anniversary

OTD: 5 Tidbits for July 6-ish

  July 6, 1933: Comisky Park in Chicago hosted first Major League Baseball All Star Game as part of the World’s Fair. The next All Star Game is next Tuesday in San Diego. July 6, 1944: In 1942, Jackie Robinson was drafted into the Army. Two years later on this date, he refused to move to the back of the desegregated bus. Less than three years after … Continue reading OTD: 5 Tidbits for July 6-ish

Remembering Mir

On June 29, 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis first docked with the Soviet-then-Russian space station Mir. Though this was the third Shuttle-Mir mission, it was the first docking. Hoot Gibson served as commander, with four crew who flew up and back with him. In addition, two cosmonauts took the trip up, and three other spacefarers returned to Earth to end their longer-term stay aboard Mir. That exchange marked … Continue reading Remembering Mir

This Week: Remembering Ellison Onizuka

Shuttle astronaut Ellison Onizuka was born on June 24, 1946, in Hawaii. He would be 70 years old on Friday. Onizuka was selected for the astronaut corps in 1978 as part of the first class to include women. He was the first Asian American to travel to space, and the first American woman, the first African American, the first Jewish person, and the first mother … Continue reading This Week: Remembering Ellison Onizuka

Reasons to Celebrate This Weekend

Here’s Lofty Ambitions giving you an excuse to party on Friday! June 10, 1929: Gemini 4 and Apollo 9 astronaut Jim McDivitt was born in Chicago. He commanded his first spaceflight, something only a handful of astronauts have done. (As an aside, The Cure are playing in Chicago on Friday–just saying.) June 10, 1929: Biologist and author E.O. Wilson was also born on this date. He has … Continue reading Reasons to Celebrate This Weekend

5 Ideas: What Will You Do This Summer?

Even though we have job obligations over the summer, we live, at some level, on an academic calendar. The semester is over, grades are submitted, and the beginning of June represents an opportunity for thinking about how we want to spend our time and what we want to accomplish, especially as writers, by September 1 and by December 31. Some recent research suggests that it takes … Continue reading 5 Ideas: What Will You Do This Summer?

On This Date: 5 Things

May 25, 1931: Georgy Grechko was born in Leningrad. He grew up to become a cosmonaut who flew on several Soviet missions to space and spent almost a month aboard the Salyut 4 space station in 1975, almost three months aboard Salyut 6 in 1977, and eight days on Salyut 7. May 25, 1961: President John F. Kennedy told a joint session of Congress that the United States … Continue reading On This Date: 5 Things