Tag Archive for space

Pluto Demotion Day

Today in 2006, geeks everywhere mourned the loss of Pluto as a planet. The International Astronomical Union voted Pluto off the island, as it were, and reduced it in status from planet to dwarf planet. Today it spins in the same place, waiting for the rest of the planets to drunk-dial it when they feel lonely.

Celebrate today by giving Pluto a nod of appreciation. We’re sure Pluto would like that. You know, if it had feelings.



Amazing Women Day

Today would be Amelia Earhart’s 115th birthday, but since Dr. Sally Ride just passed away, we thought it would be appropriate to celebrate them both.

Earhart and Ride were incredibly smart women who made history. Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1928, and she conquered the Pacific Ocean in 1935. She disappeared in 1937 trying to break another record by flying around the world, and her legend grows stronger every year as investigators attempt to piece together what happened.

Sally Ride came back from her history-making flight as the first American woman in space in 1983, and it was so good she did it again the next year. Her astronaut days were cut short by the Challenger tragedy, so after assisting NASA in finding answers, she went the extra mile here on Earth and founded a company that produces educational materials for kids (girls and boys) to get them stoked about science. She was a physicist, an astronaut and an inspiration to generations of little girls who watched her soar into the sky.

Appropriately enough, a third woman from the world of pop culture and TV has a birthday today: Lynda Carter, the Wonder Woman who thrilled us in the 1970s. She also inspired us with a sweet shot of Girl Power back in the day.

Celebrate our three Wonder Women by going out into the world and doing something amazing. Who knows? We could be singing your praises soon.

Moon Day

Today in 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 landed on the moon aboard the Eagle lunar module, making history as the first men to set foot on non-earthly soil.

They carried with them eons of man’s curiosity about the so-close-yet-so-far-away rock reflecting light in the night sky. That curiosity received a 21-hour indulgence as the two astronauts walked on the moon and collected lunar samples before finally catching a ride with fellow astronaut Michael Collins aboard the Columbia command module.

While Armstrong and Aldrin made history in the dust of the lunar surface, Collins would never have the chance to walk on the moon. After he played carpool mom for the other astronauts and kept the motor running on the command module, he never went into space again. His two space flights (one previously on the Gemini X mission) would earn him some notable bling, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an honor also bestowed upon his crewmates.

To celebrate, re-live those first heady moments during the landing with the video above.

Sally Ride Day

Whatever you do today, you won’t be nearly as awesome as Dr. Sally Ride. She was already a physicist when she applied to NASA in 1978, and was selected over 1,000 other candidates for astronaut training and an eventual trip aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman to go to space and stirred up the out-of-this-world dreams of little girls across the country. She traveled to space again the next year, but it would be her last; all other scheduled trips for astronauts were cancelled when after the Challenger tragedy in January, 1986. Dr. Ride did, however, serve on the committee investigating the tragedy and continued to work with NASA on long-range planning.

While everyone remembers her historic trip to space, few others know her for another significant role: the CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company that produces educational materials to inspire and enable girls and boys to follow their dreams into science.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Ride, and thanks for making beakers just as appealing as Barbies to little girls everywhere.