So I’ve heard somebody wanted to see a gif of that moment when Brian Cox was ran over by Stephen Hawking. Here it is, I hope it loads.
This gif changed my life
what have i just seen???
Sept. 12, 1992: Dr. Mae Jemison Becomes First African American Woman in Space
On this day in 1992, Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to travel through space. She served as Mission Specialist aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47.
WTCI’s Alison Lebovitz discusses the legacy of the first woman of color to travel beyond the stratosphere on “The A List with Alison Lebovitz.” Watch the interview here.
Jemison appeared on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me in 2013 and told host Peter Sagal how she geeked out about Star Trek as a young woman, relished dancing in the Space Shuttle Endeavour, abhorred using diapers in space, and much more.
She also described what it felt like to finally achieve her dream of visiting space:
And I remember one time actually we flew through the Southern Lights… They’re these shimmering curtain of lights. So there’s nothing that you could have ever seen in a science fiction movie that would even come close to seeing that in person.
Salt Lake City’s Sterling Poulson - Chief Meteorologist for KUTV 2News (with a plethora of credentials and a defense background) - served as the moderator for the evening. After a warm welcome to the crowd from Seth Jarvis - Director, Clark Planetarium - David Ruck - director of the film, which was originally his final thesis project upon achieving his MFA from American University - introduced the film and thanked @ClarkPlanet and @ATK for their tremendous support and collaboration toward this event.
Sterling Poulson then introduced the film in no better way than by initiating a countdown sequence, as per NASA space shuttle launches throughout history. At countdown #6, former NASA astronaut Jake Garn - Republican politician and former U.S. Senator for Utah who happens to be the first sitting member of the U.S. Congress to fly in space aboard space shuttle Discovery as a Payload Specialist (more here) and whom was in attendance among the crowd - stood up, put his hands in the air, and said “main engines start!” The countdown continued until the dramatic “launch” of the film.
What a night. Upon the end of the film, Sterling Poulson once again took to the mic and brought out David Ruck, Jake Garn, and fellow (former) NASA astronauts Charlie Precourt (Vice President of ATK) and Kent Rominger (Vice President of ATK’s Advanced Programs and former NASA Chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA JSC) all of whom engaged with the audience for a panel discussion about NASA, the past and developing present/future of space exploration, along with inspiring stories of dedication and commitment to their dreams.
There were children scattered amongst the attendees who donned mock astronaut uniforms, flight suits, and helmets. It was such a beautiful sight. Children and adults alike participated in a live Q&A with David and the astronauts.
As a personal aside, I spent a good portion of my time that evening speaking with Jake Garn and his wife before the screening (in the second to last photo from left to right: Jake, myself, and Melissa); and it’s only reaffirmed in me the assertion that regardless of whatever religious conviction one may have, the primary individuals who should experience spaceflight and acquire "the overview effect" must be politicians. Although I certainly support efficient access to space for all human beings on Earth - serving as our first steps to becoming a global spacefaring civilization - if we are to continue forth along this political trajectory of “business as usual”, it’s necessary for those appointed or interested in running to venture beyond our atmosphere, witness the Earth from space, and grasp the role of stewardship we have to each other, the rich biodiversity of this planet, and to the cosmos itself.
I encourage you all to watch this brief but intimate message from General Garn. Even though Mr. Garn’s opinon of extraterrestrial life in the universe may be slightly anthropocentric, it’s indeed refreshing to hear such an inspiring perspective from an acclaimed Republican Mormon who flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery…the very same spacecraft I witnessed become retired and stowed away as an artifact in the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum.
Ebola has a nasty reputation for damaging the body, especially its blood vessels. But when you look at the nitty-gritty details of what happens after a person is infected, a surprising fact surfaces.
Illustration credit: Lisa Brown for NPR