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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Voyage of Discovery

You may have heard of those situations when a large museum discovers an unknown dinosaur in its back rooms, stored away in field jackets from some long-past collecting expedition. But what you might not appreciate is that many of the most important fossil discoveries are made in museum collections, not in the field.

Posted in Collections & Research, Geology & Paleontology, Research | Comments closed

Shuttle Discovery’s final flight today

The space shuttle Discovery is on the pad right now, awaiting its launch at 3:50PM Central time. Discovery’s flight has been delayed several times, most recently due to cracks in the massive external fuel tank. The cracks were repaired and strengthened, and the tank has been fueled and is holding pressure, so it looks like it was the right decision. We’ll be updating this blog throughout the preparations for launch.

Posted in Planetarium, Science Gallery & Planetarium, Space News | Comments closed

Fun with Fungus!

It’s that time of the year when I’ve finished writing reports and analyzing data and actually get to look at all the stuff I collected last summer.  I’ve just finished identifying my vascular plants and now I get to look at the fungus!  Using the photographs I took of the fresh mushrooms and the notes I wrote up in the field, I settle down at my desk with a hand…

Posted in Botany, Collections & Research | Comments closed

50 Years Ago Today: Bold steps in space

50 years ago today, during the height of the Cold War, Americans and Russians were head-to-head in a competition to put the first human into space. At the same time, both nations were trying to send robotic probes to the Moon and the other planets. On February 3, 1961 (in North American time zones), the Soviet Union launches a four-stage version of their R-7 rocket. Earlier versions of the R-7 had…

Posted in Exhibits, Science Gallery & Planetarium | Comments closed