Category Archives: Adventure

GRAVITY and Gravity

In Alfonso Cuarón‘s Oscar-winning 2013 movie GRAVITY, actress Sandra Bullock‘s Dr. Ryan Stone makes an emergency entrance into an abruptly abandoned International Space Station. This month, European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti recreated this scene onboard the space station, as in … Continue reading

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Shackleton’s Valiant Voyage

Although a child of the Apollo program, I was gripped by Alfred Lansing‘s 1962 book Shackleton’s Valiant Voyage, a great tale of endurance, leadership, and survival and an inspiring true story from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration. In the 1910s, shortly after … Continue reading

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Punch it, SpaceX

She’s not looking up at the sky; she’s looking down at it. I am excitedly following the Inspiration4 spaceflight and its diverse all-private crew of Jared Isaacman, Sian Proctor, Christopher Sembroski, and Hayley Arceneaux. Orbiting higher than any humans this millennium and carrying … Continue reading

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Dragon Eye

“Resilience rises! Not even gravity contains humanity when we explore as one for all.” My eyes were glued to NASA-TV last weekend as I followed the flight of the SpaceX Dragon “Resilience” to the International Space Station. Ferrying a diverse … Continue reading

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Flying Silo

Yesterday, SpaceX successfully flew a full-sized Starship tank-section prototype at its launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Standing thirty meters tall without its nosecone, weighing one to two hundred tons with methalox propellant, and made from stainless steel, Starship was … Continue reading

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Stainless Steel Starship

Welders in a Texas swamp have built a starship. But don’t bet against SpaceX. Starship is a prototype upper stage for a next-generation, fully reusable, two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle designed to enable the human exploration of the solar system and the … Continue reading

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After the Moonwalk

Iconic is Neil Armstrong’s photograph of Buzz Aldrin during the first moon walk, with Armstrong reflected in Aldrin’s visor. Much less well-known is this pair of photographs taken just after the moon walk. To my eyes, Armstrong seems exhausted but … Continue reading

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“Contact Light”

Our TV is broken, so Aunt Nora invites us to her apartment. (Aunt Nora isn’t really our aunt, but she introduced our parents to each other, so that’s what we call her.) My brother Jim and I lie on the … Continue reading

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March Meeting — Guest Blog by Katie Shideler ’21

Having never been to a physics conference, or even to the city of Boston, attending the annual American Physical Society’s March Meeting was all around a new and incredible experience. Being able to present my research to physicists from across … Continue reading

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Falcon Heavy

I was supervising Jr IS, but as I circulated around the lab, I watched the clock. Everyone was working quietly. Just before launch, I snuck back to my office and closed the door. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy was surrounded by … Continue reading

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