Up and Away and Cosmic Rays

Physicists in the current world of high energy and particle physics cast their collective gaze in the direction of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Owing to the Lofty duo’s well-documented interest in all things science—and to the fact that one of us, Doug, used to work at Fermilab, home to what was, formerly, the world’s most powerful particle … Continue reading Up and Away and Cosmic Rays

Interview: Mike Coats

This video launches our NEW INTERVIEW FEATURE, which will appear every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month. To mark the end of the space shuttle program this year, we’ll begin with a series of interviews we’ve done with astronauts in that program. We have a lot more in store, including interviews with Apollo astronauts Charlie Duke and Walt Cunningham as well as with the … Continue reading Interview: Mike Coats

The Beginning of the End

Today, a little sleep deprived and somewhat sated, we returned from the Space Coast of Florida to Southern California, where we reside. Upon our return, we headed to our local watering hole for a meet-up with graduate students and colleagues. This evening is a sort of teetering, as will be the next several weeks. Endeavour is in orbit, the shuttle crew is awake, and its … Continue reading The Beginning of the End

A Launch to Remember (Conclusion!)

The past few days have been amazing! We’ve learned a lot, and we’ve had fun. That’s not to say that “A Launch to Remember” was easy for us. In fact, we’ve been running ourselves pretty ragged. Two cross-country trips in two weeks without missing any classes was a bit of a feat for Anna. And the lack of sleep and twelve-hour workdays may be taking … Continue reading A Launch to Remember (Conclusion!)

Guest Blog: Stewart Bailey

Because Lofty Ambitions never stops having fun and because we promise a guest blog every first and third Monday, we have an especially good one for you here. If you’re interested in today’s earlier posts in the series “A Launch to Remember,” CLICK HERE for the video of Endeavour’s launch and CLICK HERE for the photos and commentary on the STS-134 crew walkout. Today’s guest blogger … Continue reading Guest Blog: Stewart Bailey

A Launch to Remember (Part 13)

STS-134 CREW WALKOUT at 5:11a.m. on May 16, 2011 We arrived at the KSC News Center at just after 3a.m. this morning. Within an hour, we had gone through the dog-sniffing security and were on the bus to the astronaut walkout, where we waited about an hour for the STS-134 crew to emerge. The STS-134 mission is commanded by Mark Kelly, about whom we’ve written … Continue reading A Launch to Remember (Part 13)

A Launch to Remember (Part 12)

ARRIVAL IN TITUSVILLE ROLLBACK OF THE ROTATING SERVICE STRUCTURE It’s bedtime now! We have to be back at the KSC News Center at 3:30a.m.! If everything remains on schedule, we’ll see the STS-134 crew in their orange flight suits at 5:11a.m. Then, they’ll make their short drive in the Astrovan to launch pad 39A, where Endeavour awaits. Mechanical problems are in the back of our minds … Continue reading A Launch to Remember (Part 12)

A Launch to Remember (Part 11)

We made our way from California to Florida once again. We’ll head to Kennedy Space Center on Sunday morning. In the meantime, here’s what’s caught our attention. THE ALPHA MAGNETIC SPECTROMETER Even now, comfortably residing in the aft section of space shuttle Endeavour’s bay is a sixteen-ton, three-meter-square instrument that represents a laundry list of significant commitments: 16 years from drawing board to delivery; 600 … Continue reading A Launch to Remember (Part 11)