Obit of the Day: NASA’s First Nurse
Rose Church knew an opportunity when she saw one. An employee of McDonnell-Douglas in St. Louis, Missouri, Mrs. Church had heard that the company was hiring an “aerospace physician” and when given a opportunity to speak with company president James McDonnell, she told him “Where there’s a doctor, there’s always a nurse.”
After that conversation there was.
Mrs. Church would serve as the nurse to the Mercury and Gemini astronauts including John Glenn, Alan Shepherd, and Gus Grissom. (She would even bring astronauts their favorite training snack, whether it’s a donut or a beer.)
When McDonnell-Douglas did not receive the contract to build the vehicles for the Apollo missions, Mrs. Church retired.
NASA’s first nurse passed away at the age of 90.
You can find interviews with her here
Random note: Mrs. Church was a guest of NASA for the final space shuttle launch (STS-135, Atlantis) on July 8, 2011. She talks about her excitement here.
(Image of Mrs. Church speaking with an unidentified astronaut is copyright McDonnell-Douglas and courtesy of StLToday.com)
(Movies of jets from young stars at HubbleSite: here)
Pluto is interesting because it’s fixed on its moon, Charon, and they rotate around each other, constantly staring at each other affectionately, which is kind of a beautiful metaphor but I think that’s one of the reasons why it was demoted. Because I think now to be a proper planet you have to command the authority of others and because the moon and Pluto are sort of existentially attached as equals neither of them can be considered a planet. [Pauses] Sad, but true.Sufjan Stevens on why Pluto had to be a dwarf
Look closely and you’ll see two moving objects in this footage. The most obvious one is a meteor however, more subtly in the middle towards the top right, there’s a small object moving slowly up and that is a fuselage of a Russian rocket breaking up in the upper atmosphere.
The Gemini astronauts also took some of the most memorable photos in NASA history. You’d think we would have seen them all by now. But with Nasa’s help and funding, a team of researchers at Arizona State University led by lunar scientist Mark Robinson has retrieved from the archives dozens of outtakes that never made it into wide circulation.
Ed note: Check out our friends at Air & Space for more stunning photos from the Gemini mission.