Mabus named the future R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28), which will be a Neil Armstrong-class AGOR ship, to honor the memory of Sally Ride, a professor, scientist and an innovator at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. Ride was the first woman and also the youngest person in space. She later served as director of NASA’s Office of Exploration.
Following her death on 23 July 2012, Ride’s obituary was the first public Continue reading →
The tiny object, an intact microfilm of the King James Bible containing all 1,245 pages and measuring 1.5 x 1.5 inches, will be included in the auction by PR Auction on the company’s website beginning Sept. 15.
The miniscule Bible was reportedly a product of the Apollo Prayer League — a group of NASA employees from all fields — and it was created to fulfill Continue reading →
“They say there’s no atheists in foxholes, but there’s probably no atheists in rockets,” said Catholic astronaut Col. Mike Good, who believes his faith in God was solidified by the awe-inspiring views he saw from space.
The article notes the infusion of faith in the local community and NASA:
NASA employees fill pews in churches surrounding Johnson Space Center, including Webster Presbyterian Church, called the “church of the astronauts” when John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Jerry Carr, Charlie Bassett and Roger Chaffee were active members of the congregation. Later this month, the church will honor the anniversary of Aldrin’s Holy Communion on the moon, the first meal ever eaten on its surface.
Nearby, the Catholic Church St. Paul the Apostle in Nassau Bay depicts Hubble images in its stained glass windows, a design collaboration with space-loving parishioners.
NASA has announced that the public has an opportunity to choose the “wake up songs” for the last two Space Shuttle missions. STS-133, which is slated for a November 2010 launch, currently has a list of 40 previously played songs upon which the public can vote. (God of Wonders does not appear to be on the list, nor any of the songs by Newsboys or MercyMe previously played.)
In addition, the public can submit original music for the February 2011 launch of STS-134, which is slated to be the last Space Shuttle launch ever.
While most people know about the stereotypical fighter pilot roles (shoot down the bad guys, drop bombs in support of the Army), few know of the very unique opportunities fighter pilots have. Like seeing a space shuttle launch. From overhead the launch pad.
The X-37B has been in development for years (and was even originally scheduled for a 2008 launch). Various reports indicated that the unmanned vehicle might be intended to stay in orbit for up to 9 months before conducting its own re-entry and landing.
Retired Brig. Gen. Charles Duke Jr, an Apollo astronaut and the 10th man to walk on the moon, was invited to speak at the US Air Force Academy prayer luncheon on February 9th. He spoke on “America’s Godly Heritage,” and noted that he and his wife redirected their energy “toward God.” He is now president of the Duke Ministry for Christ.
In his remarks, General Duke also highlighted the nation’s religious heritage:
“From the beginning, we were a Godly nation. We were conceived as a religious nation with freedom of religion but not free from God,” he said.
The Air Force was proud to point out that Colonel Terry Virts Jr, a 1989 graduate of the US Air Force Academy, was the pilot for the Endeavor STS-130 shuttle mission (originally scheduled for February 7th, weather delayed to the 8th). The announcement allowed the Air Force to highlight an awesome opportunity for Airmen that may motivate them to follow in Virts’ footsteps. Embry Riddle did the same thing, as Virts is an alumnus, allowing Embry Riddle to highlight the success of its graduates and motivate others to attend its courses. Notably, Virts was also a fighter pilot and test pilot.
Ever since Madalyn Murray O’Hair of the American Atheists sued NASA in 1969, the relationship between the space agency and all things religious has been interesting. Even forty years later, as noted here, American Atheists complained about NASA allowing Astronaut Patrick Forrester to carry a piece of Nate Saint’s airplane with him into space.
Still, NASA hasn’t shied away from all things religious. A previous article noted that God of Wonders has been one of the more popular “wake-up songs” broadcast to the shuttle crew in space. (Each crewman’s family can pick a song as the wake-up call for the start of each day.) The most recent trip (STS-129) just ended, with space shuttle Atlantis returning to Earth just after Thanksgiving. During the mission, the shuttle heard MercyMe’s I Can Only Imagine, the Newsboys’ In Wonder, and Bob Carlisle’s Butterfly Kisses, among several other songs for the crew. Continue reading →
Various news outlets (including CNN and Fox) reported that Israeli Defense Force Lt. Assaf Ramon died in an F-16 crash on Sunday. (The Lieutenant was posthumously promoted to Captain.) The Israel National News reports speculation that sounds much like a G-LOC. The aircraft was an F-16A, an older version of the American-made fighter; the crash appears to have occurred during his F-16 training, just a few months after he received his wings from basic pilot training.
Ramon was reported as being either 20 or 21 years old, both of which are young by American standards. Based on entering college Continue reading →
In the vein of the American Atheist’s complaint against NASA, a variety of similarly-minded groups continue to bring accusations of wrongdoing against government-associated religious organizations. For example, the ACLU has criticized the Gideons providing religious materials while in some association with a government entity (including the Gideons’ interaction with the US military).
Controversies notwithstanding, the ubiquitous nature of the Gideons ministry almost inevitably leads to the never-gets-old joke:
How do they get those Bibles in all those locked hotel rooms?
Well, in 1996 evidence arose that the Gideons were successful in getting a Bible into one of the most inaccessible nightstands in the world; in fact, it’s not even in the world. Continue reading →