AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Space

Neil, Flat Stanley, and Me

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I knew Neil Armstrong, not all that well, but for a very long time. I first met him in July 1972, when the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) opened the Neil Armstrong Museum in the astronaut’s hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio. A 20-something director of education for the OHS, I had planned all of the exhibitions for   …Continue Reading


Alan G. Poindexter (1961–2012)

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Astronaut Alan “Dex” Poindexter joined fellow Space Shuttle commanders and crewmembers at the Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center recently to welcome Discovery to its new home in the Smithsonian. Poindexter commanded the next-to-last Discovery mission, STS-131, in 2010. He also served as pilot on Atlantis for the STS-122 mission in 2008. Both shuttle crews delivered   …Continue Reading


Drive on Curiosity, Drive On!

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“You put an X anyplace in the solar system, and the engineers at NASA can land a spacecraft on it,” so said actor Robert Guillaume in an episode of “Sports Night,” a situation comedy about a team that produced a nightly cable sports broadcast in 2001. Amen brother, the team that landed Curiosity proved the   …Continue Reading


Satisfying Our Curiosity: Mars Science Laboratory and the Quest for the Red Planet

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Mars has long held a special fascination for humans—in no small measure because of the possibility that life either presently exists or at some time in the past has existed there. In his classic work Cosmos, Carl Sagan asks an important question: “Why Martians?” Why do Earthlings not similarly obsess over “Saturnarians” or “Plutonians?” As   …Continue Reading


Sally Ride (1951-2012)

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Unlike many astronauts, Sally Kristen Ride did not dream of going into space since childhood. She was already in her mid-twenties, completing her Ph.D. in physics, when the idea dawned. NASA was recruiting women to apply to become astronauts for a spacecraft that had not yet flown: the Space Shuttle. She was well prepared to   …Continue Reading