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.

Space Suit of the Week

31 05 2011

A quick note today on a very excellent blog series called Space Suit of the Week.  Its weekly contributions feature, unsurprisingly, space suits as they appear in art, culture and history.

While entries vary in style from edgy or morbid to fascinating and  fun, the posts carry readers on a romp through some of the most identifiable imagery in our collective psyche.  It’s quite awesome.

The series is actually a sub-part of the The Fox is Black blog, which is billed as an “art and design website that seeks to discover and share the most interesting, beautiful and inspiring parts of contemporary life.”  I’d say that space exploration definitely fits the bill. 

Check it out if you get a chance.

Book Alert: Spacesuits (from Smithsonian)

15 07 2010

A note on a a recently released book – entitled Spacesuits – by Amanda Young with photos by Mark Avino.  Released by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the book includes never-before-seen images, plain language history, and gripping tales of the clothing that stood between our first off-world explorers and certain death.  A must-have for the coffee table repertoire.  Check it out here.

Spacesuits, a new book from Smithsonian. Credit: powerHouse Books

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