On This (Holiday) Date: Celebrating Science & Space (Part 2)

Last, week, we wrote an “on this date” post, and we decided to share a few reasons to celebrate science or space this week too. The holidays seems a great time to toast to some perhaps hidden historical gems for nerds. See Part 1, which covers some exciting science and space exploration tidbits from December 24-26, HERE. (And yes, that’s the Anchor holiday beer in the … Continue reading On This (Holiday) Date: Celebrating Science & Space (Part 2)

NASA Social #EarthNow: SMAP

We’ve devoted two previous post to the #EarthNow NASA Social that took place at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on Monday, November 4th. (Start with Part 1 HERE.) This week’s post is all about SMAP, yet another NASA mission acronym, this one standing for Soil Moisture Active Passive. That climate change has some kind of effect on agriculture is obvious. The EPA webpage entitled Climate … Continue reading NASA Social #EarthNow: SMAP

GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (Part 10), Next Stop: The Moon!

In September, Doug spent five days on the Space Coast participating the NASA Tweetup for GRAIL, the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory. We covered this launch extensively (HERE is the link for all GRAIL-tagged posts, or click on the GRAIL title in the tag cloud in the sidebar). Suffice it to say, as with attending most rocket launches, schedules don’t really mean much. Launch windows … Continue reading GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (Part 10), Next Stop: The Moon!

International Geophysical Year and the Cold War

As a group, scientists have a generally deserved reputation for being canny with numbers. Perhaps this perceived facility has also earned them a certain flexibility toward—what a lay person might perceive as casualness with—numbers. On occasion, early estimates of quantities or measurements are said to be correct within an order of magnitude, or a single power of ten. (Powers of ten are ably demonstrated in … Continue reading International Geophysical Year and the Cold War

Writing Apart, Writing Together

Recently, we wrote about the relationship between our collaborative writing projects (writing together) and our individual writing projects (writing apart) as well as what happens when we have written together while being physically apart. You can read “Writing Together, Writing Apart” HERE. We’re learning some lessons as we make our way into our second year of blogging, lessons that apply to the other big projects we … Continue reading Writing Apart, Writing Together

GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (Part 9)

“We organize information on maps in order to see our knowledge in a new way. As a result, maps suggest explanations; and while explanations reassure us, they also inspire us to ask more questions, consider other possibilities.” – Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer by Peter Turchi Less than two weeks ago, NASA was launching GRAIL toward the Moon for its mapping mission. … Continue reading GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (Part 9)

Guest Blog: Kimberly Guodace

Doug met today’s guest blogger during his trip to the Space Coast for “GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest.” We featured her in Part 7 of our ongoing series about GRAIL (see that HERE) because we were captivated by her knowledge of the space shuttle program and her commitment, from childhood, to space exploration. But we also wanted Kim to talk about her life and career in her … Continue reading Guest Blog: Kimberly Guodace

GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (Part 8)

As part of the GRAIL Tweetup activities, Doug, armed with our trusty digital camera, toured Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where United Space Alliance launches the Atlas V, the descendent of the earlier versions of Atlas rockets of the 1960s. Before the Atlas V came along, Titan rockets, with payloads like the Viking probes to Mars and the Voyager probes off … Continue reading GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (Part 8)

GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (Part 7)

We’ve said it before (like HERE and HERE), and we’ll say it here again: Science writing isn’t only about the experiments and technology. It’s about the story and the people. The people we’ve met during our travels to the Space Coast have been amazing. Our latest geek connection is with Kimberly Guodace, a shuttle vehicle engineer until recently. As part of the massive layoffs that … Continue reading GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (Part 7)

GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (LAUNCH PHOTOS!)

This morning, GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) launched aboard a Delta II Heavy rocket at 9:08:52a.m. Doug stood across the water from Launch Pad 17B of Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. Here are our photographs to prove it! TO READ the previous segments in this series, “GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest,” click on the following links: Part 5: U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum Part 4: … Continue reading GRAIL: Another Lofty Quest (LAUNCH PHOTOS!)