Iconic space image of the day

2 10 2011

As anyone who knows me or has visited my home office knows, (where rescued original Douglas, Lockheed, and Aerojet ads from the 1950s and 1960s adorn the walls and beam futuristic optimism from behind protective glass,) I have a deep fascination with the historical presentation of space exploration and space concepts to the public.

Mine is a generation that seems drawn to an older era where public presentation and decorum still meant something and where the slick presentation of ideas in the public arena was truly inspirational (read: success of TV’s Mad Men and Pan Am aesthetic).  It just so happens that this period also coincides with the Space Race.

On this note, I leave you with an image of the day, that of NASA‘s Project Mercury Mission Control:

Mercury Control at Cape Canaveral, 1968. (Credit: NASA)

Worth a thousand words.

In some ways, this feels somewhat more serious to me than our modern mission control centers, which tend to look increasingly like Information Technology departments rather than the central nervous systems for the Greatest Adventures Currently Undertaken by Humankind.

This matters.

One of the greatest aspects of recruiting students to science and engineering is marketing the product, which in this case is space exploration.  So, let’s go ahead and resurrect the heady wording of yesteryear and make people believe that we together have the ingenuity and grit to forge a better future via the “conquest of space” and have a hell of a time getting there.  Let’s go out of our way to make our modern spaceflight workplaces live up to and exceed the bar of visual expectations that modern sci-fi sets in young people’s minds.

Let’s sell the reality of working in the space market.

Something to think about.

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