A New York Times Spacecraft Cartoon

spacecraft cartoon

Many readers of The New York Times have voiced displeasure with a cartoon depicting India’s successful launch and landing of its Mangalyaan robotic probe. As a result, the newspaper issued an apology and pledged to review their editorial policy accordingly.

Rocket had been part of Leo’s baby mobile, which would sing. Over time he became so large that it could hold astronauts inside! With clear blue windows and multiple buttons a dashboard had also been added for easy control of his flight path.

Abadzis Laika: The First Living Creature in Space

Dogs have long been seen as beloved members of human societies, their barking and bites keeping predators at bay while their wagging tails signaling home. Yet some dogs go far beyond being domesticated – such as Laika, an abandoned mongrel stray who went on to become the first living creature ever sent into space!

Abadzis’ narration of Laika’s tale is both heart-wrenching and inspiring, weaving narrative with history to shed light on all of her interactions with those involved – such as her handlers, Soviet premier, etc. Her fate ultimately lies with herself but this narrative follows all those involved from beginning to end.

Abadzis’ art is captivating as well, using a simple cartoon style but at times creating three-dimensional images at key points like when Laika sits in her capsule before launch. At other moments, lines seem to blur together to illustrate her dreams.

Hibito and Mutta Nanba: Astronauts

Hibito has achieved his dream of becoming the first Japanese astronaut, while Mutta works as a salaryman at an automotive company. When JAXA accepts Mutta’s resume and invites him to participate in their astronaut selection program, Mutta seizes this chance to fulfill a promise made to his younger brother 19 years earlier: to go into space himself.

Candidates are divided into three teams and live together in an isolated environment for two weeks to determine which two will become astronauts. Through working together, candidates learn more about each other – Mutta is cautious and pessimistic while his teammate Serika desires space travel in order to fulfill her late father’s legacy of developing medicine to cure diseases.

There are multiple references to The Right Stuff throughout, with the lung capacity test appearing as a faithful recreation from that movie – right down to its nurse wearing a white jumpsuit. Furthermore, there’s an homage paid to punk rocker Freddie Mercury through the name of one of the spaceships carrying crew to space station; its name being named after him.

Hopkins and Schoonover: Space Races

After World War II, both nations sought to dominate space flight technologies through what became known as “The Space Race.” Both saw it as essential in order to demonstrate scientific superiority and economic competitiveness.

Beginning on October 4, 1957 with the launch of Sputnik 1, and reaching its zenith by 1960 when John F. Kennedy challenged America to send men and women into space by the end of that decade, astronauts became icons of American patriotism.

Jean Hopkins was one of these astronauts, and is remembered today for her vital contributions to NASA and space exploration. At a time when women couldn’t even run the Boston Marathon or secure credit without cosigners from their husbands, Hopkins worked tirelessly to ensure NASA could safely send men and women into space. Her 30-year career included work calculating expected casualty rate calculations related to forced reentry that played an essential part of Apollo program missions.

Space Explorers

Humans’ fascination with space travel is undeniable, which may explain why professional astronauts, according to Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff (1979), agree at great personal risk to ride rockets like Redstone, Atlas Titan or Saturn and wait until someone ignites them before doing their jobs. Furthermore, this subject matter has long been explored through literature and art.

Space Explorers, an iconic program of Kids for Collaborative Science (KICP), brings urban youth and scientists-mentors together for hands-on explorations of space and science. Since its establishment, this program has offered deep and meaningful experiences for over four hundred young people and over one hundred mentors alike; more than 50% of participants who take part in Space Explorers eventually go on to major in STEM related fields as adults! For more information, visit KICP’s website.

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