Sky Is Wide Open

James Lee
• Monday, 17 January, 2022
• 7 min read

In the summer of 1969, Neil Armstrong’s pronouncement reached Earth from across the void: “One small step for man. As an alumna of both the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and North Carolina State University, Koch (seen taking her first spacewalk in the banner image) is a powerful testament to the fact that UNC System institutions have been integral to our exploration of space.

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(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com)


Jim Prim, NC State ’60 (left), helped train astronauts in the Mercury program before becoming a flight crew specialist in the Apollo program. As home to one of the nation’s largest and most distinguished aerospace engineering programs, it’s no surprise that NC State has been giving NASA lift since the beginning. Harold Dragon of Zebulon was an assistant flight director, sitting in the mission control room in Houston while Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.

Tom McPherson helped develop the parachute system on the command capsule that was used to safely return astronauts home for all manned flights. Crucially, when it comes to leading the trek into space, NC State is hardly the only pioneering force in the UNC System.

Numerous institutions across the state contribute to NASA’s work in a variety of ways, helping to propel U.S. space exploration efforts from the ground up. NC State engineering was critical to this process, but the UNC System contributed to this effort in another, less obvious way: before their history-making Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins learned to navigate the stars at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Forehead Planetarium.

For a decade, Forehead helped prepare 62 astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab programs for space flight with star navigation training. Astronauts needed to be able to recognize a constellation of stars just by glancing out the window to steer themselves to safety if the technology failed.

“This was an essential part of the training of our astronaut corps and proved important to their survival on a number of occasions.” Talent produced by the UNC System contributes to ongoing exploration efforts, and it isn’t just coming out of the University’s major engineering and physics programs, either.

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(Source: www.pixelstalk.net)

UNSA alumnus Randy Sees’ career has taken off in a surprising direction. Rees, a 1999 graduate of the School of Design & Production, is an environmental health and safety engineer at SpaceX. Billions of years ago, before plants or animals, before the rise of oxygen, single-cell bacteria and archaea were the only Earthlings.

Students in WSU’s astrobotany lab explore vegetation with interplanetary potential.“When we find really ancient metabolisms, they can tell us a lot about what might have been going on in early Earth,” Yardman has said. Current and future NASA missions count on the ability to recycle waste into potable water.

The Molecular Sequencing and Bio-contaminant Identification Device will allow for the rapid and efficient testing of water for the most common pathogens, ensuring that it is safe to drink. With a simple modification, the system can also test for the presence of extraterrestrial life forms in potable and non-potable water.

At Winston-Salem State University, botany assistant professor Rafael Louvered has been leading efforts to secure an interplanetary food supply. With support from the North Carolina Space Grant New Investigators Program, WSU has established an astrobotany lab to explore which crops might have the potential to grow in Martian soil.

In the spring, Dr. Louvered took a group of students to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where they began a collaborative effort with the scientists in the Vegetable Production System’s main lab. Inside CSU’s state-of-the-art Khan Planetarium. Of course, no venture into space would be possible without larger-than-life ambitions, sparked by the simple gesture of looking up.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

Any first step begins with feet on the ground, and space exploration wouldn’t happen without the dreamers, plotters, and planners planted on terra firma. For more than a half a century, the planetarium has educated students of all ages, provoking amazement and curiosity about the heavens.

The Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope gazes at the stars from nearly 9,000 feet above sea level.UNC System institutions do much more than disseminate what scientists already know about the Universe. Sitting at nearly 9,000 feet above sea level, atop Chile’s Cerro Patron mountain, this telescope is almost literally out of this world.

UNC Asheville’s Lookout Observatory provides western North Carolinians with easy access to the stars and advanced students with valuable research opportunities, working alongside faculty in the university’s Department of Physics. Such Earth-bound efforts matter because they contribute to our understanding of how the Universe works … and they lead student and faculty researchers to transformative accomplishments.

Just ask former Lookout Observatory docent McKenna Bristol, who helped discover a planet while she was still an undergraduate at UNC Asheville. She and University of Chicago graduate student Adana Feinstein set their sights on K2-288Bb, a planet roughly twice the size of Earth located in the constellation Taurus, 226 light years away.

Rocket technology puts communications satellites into orbit, which means that our phones, televisions, and national security all depend on the research and talent coming out of the UNC System. Closer to home, our institutions’ investment in space helps K-12 students get excited about STEM education.

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(Source: spacetelescope.org)

Parks Drake, a student in UNC Charlotte’s Cato College of Education, was one of this year’s 13 recipients. Before touring the facility, Drake invited students in her student-teacher classroom to write notes to NASA scientists.

She hand-delivered these queries and comments when she visited the research center, and one of her students received a formal response from NASA. Still, there’s a good chance many of them will reimagine their future possibilities and start down the path toward fulfilling careers, all because they’ve grown more curious about STEM education.

In addition to the conversation with Koch, the program will feature moderated discussions with researchers in fields relevant to space exploration and a keynote address by NC State astrophysicist Katie Mack. Co-hosted by NC State and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, it will be much more than a celebration of a rising star.

It will be a poignant reminder of how the UNC System has helped lead the way into space, putting all North Carolinians in closer contact with realms beyond our own. Edit WideOpenSky follows the heart-warming story of an outback Australian children's choir.

Chronicling their journey from auditions to end-of-year concert, the trials of trying to run a children's choir in a remote and disadvantaged region are revealed. Set against a landscape of devastating beauty, WideOpenSky is a moving portrait of the fragile world of possibility that is childhood and reminds us why no child, anywhere, should grow up without music.

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(Source: www.spacetelescope.org)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis Edit Release Date: 14 April 2016 (Australia) See more » Choose an adventure below and discover your next favorite movie or TV show.

He lost his balance, and in a short space of time he could no longer walk. Finley couldn’t always have ­visitors, so Lisa would sometimes walk across the tracks and leave little treats on the doorstep: a lizard in a jar, for example.

Maybe Finley could become her co-author on the book about Vincent and the Grandest Hotel on Earth? She wrote him a letter, asking if he’d like to contribute some ideas and, if not, no problem.

“While every other one of his faculties was being taken away, his beautiful imagination was in full flight,” says Lisa. It was Finley who wanted a Levitation Room, and he came up with the exquisite Baby Memories Room, where guests can recover all the memories of being safe in their mother’s arms.

Finley’s ideas “altered the story so deeply, he became a character, known as the co-author”. Lisa says Finley is “all through the book, making little jokes, and suggestions and asides.

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(Source: news.nationalgeographic.com)

Finley Wright Cur now died at the age of nine on September 15, 2017. Lisa’s book, Vincent and the Grandest Hotel on Earth, was published in July.

It had to have a happy ending … I just wanted to write a book that he would love.” With the blessing of Finley’s parents, a portion of the sales of Vincent and the Grandest Hotel on Earth will go to the Children’s Cancer Institute.

Lisa Nicole and Kate Wright Cur now each already had kids but would end up with three apiece, pretty mu...ch in line with each other. Your Amazon Music account is currently associated with a different marketplace.

You know the kind: a motley array of personalities bands together and work hard en route to a big public performance, like a grand final or a concert, where heart-on-sleeve emotions shoot for the bleachers. Nicole directs a sort of Mrs Carey’s Concert on wheels (or Young Talent Time gone bush) with private school city slickers swapped out for children from disadvantaged rural locations.

The film-maker goes off-road into remote New South Wales to follow the annual recruitment process of conductor and music teacher Michelle Leonard, a pragmatic, inspirational figure who commands an army of singing pipsqueaks. One choir member, Opal, announces to the camera her ideal future: “When I’m older I’d like to be a singer and a naturalist.” Like a lot of docks where children are encouraged to speak candidly, WideOpenSky has a whiff of Kids Say the Darnedest Things.

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(Source: news.nationalgeographic.com)

Like the kid-oriented Australian documentaries Gabby Baby and I Am Eleven, the film probably works best as a perspective-widening educational package informing children of other young lives whose cultural and socioeconomic circumstances differ from their own. Leonard reveals, in a moment given only cursory consideration, that she doesn’t have proper financial support for her altruistic initiative, implying something of a shit fight when it comes to extracting enough money to make the singalong possible year-on-year.

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