On May 22, 2014, I met a legend - Atlantis Space Shuttle Orbiter. Atlantis, or OV-104, was the fourth shuttle orbiter produced by Rockwell. She started her operational flight career on October 3, 1985, launching the STS-51-J mission, carrying a U.S. Department of Defense satellite into orbit. Her final flight, STS-135, concluded the American Space Shuttle Transport System Program. On July 21, 2011, I watched her land after that final, conclusive mission. I felt a lump in my throat as the program ended once our bird’s landing gear grazed the tarmac of the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
After Atlantis’s final flight, I was filled with mixed emotions, saddened that this program that I’d grown up with was actually over. But these feelings were purely fueled by nostalgia. We mustn’t dwell on frustration with regards to the passing of the Shuttle Program, like so many of us do. Instead, it may be a better use of energy to talk about the amazing things are on the horizon of space travel, like NASA’s SLS and the work of SpaceX.
Our space shuttle orbiters cease to fly, but they continue to fill what I believe to be an equally important role, inspiring millions of museum visitors all over the country. And inspire, they do. Frankly, I may be biased, but when I first walked into the room that houses Atlantis, and finally laid eyes upon this giant spacecraft that I’d been seeing on TV my whole life, I cried. The sheer size and enormity of it all is overwhelming. Not just presence of the structure of the spacecraft, but knowing the distance that she traveled, 126,000,000 miles, always safely returning her crew back home to our fragile Planet Earth. If causing visitors to feel these emotions doesn’t help the field of space exploration, nothing will.
This exhibit causes individuals to take ownership of Atlantis, and rightfully so. When you visit a shuttle orbiter, know that as an American taxpayer, she truly belongs to you. No, scratch that. As a member of the human race, she was created for you, to explore the edge between what is known and unknown, which is a practice we call “science”, all to benefit you. Yes, you. We may learn the most about ourselves once we breach the bonds of gravity, but we must remember that we’re all truly in this journey together here on Planet Earth, and this is our bird, and our continued space exploration.
United States Planes in World War II. Illus by Herbert Townsend, from America, the Story of Our Country, 1951
The Disney Revival + concept art
Start on the chores and sweep ‘til the floor’s all clean
Polish and wax, do laundry and mop and shine up
Sweep again and by then it’s like 7:15
And so I’ll read a book
Or maybe two or three
I’ll add a few new paintings
To my gallery
I’ll play guitar and knit
And cook and basically
Just wonder when will my life begin?
Then, after lunch, it’s puzzles and darts and baking
Paper mache, a bit of ballet and chess
Pottery and ventriloquy, candle making
Then I’ll stretch, maybe sketch, take a climb, sew a dress
And I’ll reread the books
If I have time to spare
I’ll paint the walls some more
I’m sure there’s room somewhere
Art on the walls of our hotel. #Duxford #P51 #Mustang (at Holiday Inn Express Duxford)
Watch the first trailer for Guillermo del Toro's The Book of Life.
Red Plenty, Francis Spufford (via hotelsongs)
(X) 'the dear dreadful enormous territory at the edge of Europe'(but a wish country is never a repudiation of homethere is a Russia to be spun in tales: beautiful better and brighterbut always with the gorgeous perilous geography listeners around the fire would know by sight and the feeling of it beneath their feetan embroidered cloth of fantasy laid over an ancient crooked wooden table)ow my heartdenial of Russia in the name of humanity is robbing humanity
Perspective practice with the new art style. Starting to think I’m getting the hang of it.
An ornate 6 shot wheel-lock revolving musket decorated with gold, silver, ivory, and bone. Originates from Russia, 16th century, possibly restored or added onto in the 18th or 19th century.
Tithe swaggest of rifles
So I read this story and just HAD to draw it. I can’t even remember the last time I did a comic… It was so fun! I’ll have to do more. :)
Bad news. A major vulnerability, known as “Heartbleed,” has been disclosed for the technology that powers encryption across the majority of the internet. That includes Tumblr.
We have no evidence of any breach and, like most networks, our team took immediate action to fix the issue.
The Berlin Wall coming down, November 11, 1989