In the Footsteps (Part 4)

Last week, we wrote about our visit to the Los Alamos Historical Society Museum. This week, fires have been threatening Los Alamos. Its 12,000 residents have evacuated, and the federal laboratory is closed, with only essential employees still working in the fire zone. But the Historical Society says all the artifacts we wrote about last week are safe. The Environmental Protection Agency is measuring radioactivity … Continue reading In the Footsteps (Part 4)

Interview: Rhea Seddon

Margaret Rhea Seddon is a medical doctor who became an astronaut in 1979, even before the first space shuttle flight in 1981. We met this three-time space shuttle astronaut when we visited Kennedy Space Center in November (click HERE to read how that happened). Like fellow doctor-turned-astronaut Michael Barratt (see his interview HERE), Rhea Seddon is especially interested in the human body and how it … Continue reading Interview: Rhea Seddon

Guest Blog: Debora Rindge

A few weeks ago, we noticed a print called Trust Zone in a temporary exhibition of Chapman University art at Leatherby Libraries, where Doug works. The blue outline of a space suit caught our eye, and then we noticed the map of Kennedy Space Center, a place we had recently visited. The print was of a Robert Rauschenberg lithograph, so we contacted our art historian friend … Continue reading Guest Blog: Debora Rindge

In the Footsteps (Part 2)

To view more photographs (different photographs!) and Part 1 of our series “In the Footsteps,” click HERE. Henry Cullen, Anna’s grandfather, was a Pullman conductor on The Chief, one of the Santa Fe Railway’s famous named trains, its route spanning two-thirds of the country, from Chicago to Los Angeles. During the last two years of World War II, Henry noticed something odd: a steady stream … Continue reading In the Footsteps (Part 2)

Interview: Michael Barratt

Lofty Ambitions interviewed Astronaut Michael Barratt when we visited Kennedy Space Center for the not-launch of Endeavour this year. Barratt had recently retured from space himself, as he was part of the crew on STS-133, Discovery‘s last mission. The News Center was so crowded and noisy that Barratt suggested we slip into the closet off the the employee break room for a cozy conversation. Michael … Continue reading Interview: Michael Barratt

Writing Time & Timeliness

Two weeks ago, in what might be characterized as a frenzy—a state of barely controlled activity, agitation, and emotion—we finished a short article that we pitched to Air & Space Magazine just before we headed to the airport for our research trip in New Mexico. The editor responded positively the next day—the very next day. There existed a few matters to work out, including explaining … Continue reading Writing Time & Timeliness

Guest Blog: Ann Ronald

When we were doing research at the end of last year on the nuclear testing program in the American West, we came across a new book of short stories about the that subject. Having read through newspapers of 1953 ourselves at the Atomic Testing Museum and Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation, we were interested in Ann Ronald’s use of historical fact and details as she … Continue reading Guest Blog: Ann Ronald

In the Footsteps: Los Alamos (Part 1)

We spent this past, very long weekend in New Mexico, doing research on our country’s nuclear history. In future posts, we’ll have more to say about the Manhattan Project and the three New Mexico museums we visited. For now, we’d like to share photos that demonstrate how we walked in the footsteps of those atomic scientists of the mid-1940s. The Guard at the gate on … Continue reading In the Footsteps: Los Alamos (Part 1)