On This Date: 5 Anniversaries for April 20

Looking for something to ponder or celebration today, April 20? Here you go! 1862: Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard prove that spontaneous generation doesn’t happen. If you’re still hoping that something can come from nothing, you’re more than 150 years behind the times. 1902: Pierre and Marie Curie radium chloride, the first compound of radium to be isolated in a pure state. In 2013, the FDA approved … Continue reading On This Date: 5 Anniversaries for April 20

Interview: Eileen Collins

Fifteen years ago, on July 23, 1999, Eileen Collins became the first female commander of a U.S. spacecraft. STS-93 launched the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Collins and her crew returned to Earth on July 29. This week, we celebrate that accomplishment. Also this week, Lofty Ambitions celebrates Collins’s command on STS-114, which launched on July 26, 2005, and landed that August 9. Collins was circling the … Continue reading Interview: Eileen Collins

Recap of 2013: 5 Posts to Re-Read

As we begin 2014, we take a look back at Lofty Ambitions over the last year to see where we have been and where we might be going, to see how our interests emerge and shift, to share a few highlights in hopes that our readers take a few minutes to re-read one of our posts. We continue to focus on aviation and spaceflight, science … Continue reading Recap of 2013: 5 Posts to Re-Read

Interview: Gerry Griffin

Gerry Griffin served as a flight director for NASA during the Apollo years and headed up Johnson Space Center in 1982-1986. Since then, this lifelong Texan advised the directors of films such as Apollo 13, Contact, and Apollo 18, which Doug, in a  watched for the first time this past (serendipitous) weekend, before we had decided exactly which video interview to post today. With Gravity now captivating audiences, we … Continue reading Interview: Gerry Griffin

Interview: Mark C. Lee

One of the coolest things we’ve been able to do at Lofty Ambitions is to talk with astronauts. Check out all the VIDEO INTERVIEWS by clicking on the menu bar at the top of the page. This week, we feature four-time Shuttle astronaut Mark C. Lee. His first flight was STS-30 in 1989, only months before the Lofty Duo became a duo. He flew his … Continue reading Interview: Mark C. Lee

Video Interview: Gwynne Shotwell

Recently Gwynne Shotwell, the President of SpaceX, visited Chapman University for TEDx, and Lofty Ambitions had an exclusive video interview with the space exploration maverick. You need to watch this interview below! Forbes has named Shotwell, who joined SpaceX in 2002, a “woman to watch.” Her alma mater, Northwesten University, calls her “Rocket Ma’am.” She’s in the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. In Popular Mechanics, … Continue reading Video Interview: Gwynne Shotwell

Lofty Ambitions at YouTube

We have a Lofty Ambitions YouTube channel where you can find an an array of videos we’ve posted over more than two years. Those videos include space shuttle launches and chats with astronauts. Here are five among our favorites: The Last Launch of a Space Shuttle (July 2011) Dee O’Hara: First Nurse to the Astronauts Michael Barratt: STS-133 Astronaut & Physician Studying Radiation Space Shuttle … Continue reading Lofty Ambitions at YouTube

Interview: Norm Thagard

While we were in Florida for the last journey of space shuttle Atlantis, we met up with some astronauts. This experience reminded us of our happenstance interviews of two years earlier, which you can find at “A Year of Lofty Interviews.” Two weeks ago, we posted our follow-up interview with Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke. Today, we share our conversation with shuttle astronaut Norm Thagard. Thagard flew … Continue reading Interview: Norm Thagard

The End of the End (Part 5: VIDEO INTERVIEW)

On Saturday, we met several astronauts, some of whom agreed to talk with us on camera. We have a yearlong series of video interviews about the U.S. space program that ran ever other Monday from May 23, 2011 through May 7, 2012. We’re excited to build our list of interviews further with Dr. Ken Phillips, a curator at the California Science Center, posted on October … Continue reading The End of the End (Part 5: VIDEO INTERVIEW)

The California Story (Part 1: Video Interview)

It’s Tuesday, October 30, 2012. That’s a very important day for Southern California. Today, the California Science Center opens the doors of its exciting new exhibit to the public. That’s right, the space shuttle Endeavour is a now museum artifact. The orbiter’s ongoing mission is education. Dr. Ken Phillips is the curator of this exhibit, and we interviewed him a couple of weeks ago when we were all waiting … Continue reading The California Story (Part 1: Video Interview)