NASA should totally build this thing, looks fast. We could probably go, like, 1/1000th of the way to the moon with a space plane like that.
Time travel back to the early days of laboratory science, thanks to this amazing gallery of vintage and historical science labs at io9. So much has changed, and in some ways not that much at all.
Prolific children’s book author and illustrator Jeanne Bendick penned a vision of the future intended to inspire the minds of children to create the world of tomorrow. In 1953, when she wrote The First Book of Space Travel, that world was one where the stars would one day be within reach, despite preceding the space race by nearly a decade.
Maria Popova has collected many of the pages from this out-of-print book at Brain Pickings, and they are equal parts wonderful and sad (I seriously recommend checking them out). They painfully remind us that we have fallen short of these dreams, but maybe we can find hope in Jeanne’s words below:
Questions are more important than answers… If I were a fairy godmother, my gift to every child would be curiosity.
These visions are not yet out of reach. Let’s all exchange more of this gift. Here’s a little curiosity, with a bow on top. Because that’s the best kind of rocket fuel.
(via Brain Pickings)
Covering the Space Program
NASA doesn’t need much help selling the idea that space is super-awesome, but these covers for manuals and press conference notes from the golden age of spaceflight sure don’t hurt. They are going up for auction later this month. I wouldn’t mind having one or two of those hanging in my house, eh?
Modern science just doesn’t have enough monolithic machinery with elegant curves.
This may look like an old science fiction movie set, but this machine actually played a key role in multiple Nobel Prizes. Starting in 1960, Brookhaven Lab’s Cockroft-Walton Accelerator—essentially a multi-level voltage multiplier—provided the initial boost to protons before they raced on into the rings of our Alternating Gradient Synchrotron.
I completely agree that modern science needs to engage a little more proto-Dalek in the design of their machines. I mean, why not put a supercomputer in an attractive shell like this?
That picture doesn’t do the Cockroft-Walton Accelerator justice in terms of just how BIG it is. Another picture I found:
Dreams of Space
A design and space science grand slam, behold these 1965 Looking Into Science textbook supplements. Originating in California, they are a memory of a time perhaps more creative and ambitious, in science and in art.
But as any reader of this or the many other blogs who feature science art knows, the talent evident in today’s works signal that there’s a wave of change coming. Sometimes, the best way to inspire the mind is to inspire the soul, for they never truly act alone.
If you love these, then immerse yourself in Dreams of Space, a blog dedicated solely to nonfiction children’s space flight books from 1945-1975. Especially be sure to check out this Czech pop-up book.