RIP Leonard Nimoy

Last Friday, actor Leonard Nimoy died. The New York Times reported, “the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut ‘Star Trek,’ died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.” As Anna drove around town that morning, … Continue reading RIP Leonard Nimoy

On This (Holiday) Date: Celebrating Science & Space (Part 1)

It’s been a while since we wrote an “on this date” post to share a few reasons to celebrate science or space, right here, right now. The holidays seems a great time to toast to some perhaps hidden historical gems for nerds. December 24 1955 NORAD—the North American Aerospace Defense Command, made famous to us 40-somethings in the film War Games—began to track Santa’s annual … Continue reading On This (Holiday) Date: Celebrating Science & Space (Part 1)

The Six Million Dollar Man and NASA in the 1970s (Part 2)

To start with Part one of our series on The Six Million Dollar Man, click HERE. A few weeks ago we wrote about our recent opportunity to relive our childhood memories of all that is The Six Million Dollar Man (TSMDM). Our chance reminiscence was enforced by the brutality of the Polar Vortex and the vagaries of any travel that involves Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. … Continue reading The Six Million Dollar Man and NASA in the 1970s (Part 2)

Launch Pad: Astronomy for Writers

FOR ALL THE POSTS FROM LAUNCH PAD, CLICK HERE. George R. R. Martin is wrong. One of his Game of Thrones characters is seven years old and has not yet experienced winter. That’s just not possible. Sure, it’s fiction—it’s a made-up story. But even in fiction, the writer must build an internally consistent world. The term year is a measurement of time equal to one … Continue reading Launch Pad: Astronomy for Writers

Airplane Crashes, Airline Safety, & Risk

On this date in 1942, TWA Flight 3 crashed with twenty-two souls aboard. The aircraft was a DC-3, flying from New York to Burbank. Roughly fifteen minutes after takeoff from Las Vegas, one of several stops on the cross-country trip, the plane slammed into a cliff. The nineteen passengers and three crew were killed. The investigation posited that the pilots mistakenly used the compass heading … Continue reading Airplane Crashes, Airline Safety, & Risk

I Remember California: Recap, Thus Far

It’s been two years since we began following the end of the space shuttle program. On September 18, 2010, we published a piece about I Dream of Jeannie. We hadn’t yet visited Cocoa Beach, the Space Coast town where Jeannie and astronaut Anthony Nelson lived in that television series. We hadn’t yet been to Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) and seen the façade of the … Continue reading I Remember California: Recap, Thus Far

The Cold War: Trinity & Apollo

On this date in 1945, the United States exploded the first nuclear weapon. A test to see whether the concept worked. It did. Two years ago to commemorate this anniversary, only a couple of weeks after we started blogging together as Lofty Ambitions, we posted “A Day with Two Suns.” That’s a relatively brief post that we hope you’ll read along with this one. That … Continue reading The Cold War: Trinity & Apollo

Roswell: 65 Years of Alien Invasion

Today is the sixty-fifth anniversary of the reported crash of an UFO at Roswell, New Mexico. As is often the case, your Lofty duo takes its inspiration from the events that surround us, from the larger world that our lives move with and through. Although we’ve largely ignored Roswell and UFOs—and the oft-related Area 51—when we heard about today’s anniversary (the purported crash didn’t take … Continue reading Roswell: 65 Years of Alien Invasion

On This Date: Ilan Ramon

On this date in 1954, Ilan Ramon was born in Israel. Both his mother and his grandmother survived the concentration camp at Auschwitz, a family history that shaped Ramon’s outlook and goals in life. In 1997, Ramon was chosen for astronaut training by NASA. Like many astronauts, his background was as a military pilot. He graduated from flight school in 1974, then flew for the … Continue reading On This Date: Ilan Ramon