Posts tagged with "Vietnam war"

Challenger: The Final Flight

By Cassandra Yany

On Wednesday, Netflix released “Challenger: The Final Flight,” a four-episode docuseries about the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The doc was directed by Daniel Junge and Steven Leckart, and executive produced by JJ Abrams and Glenn Zipper. It provides a complete look at the events leading up to the takeoff and includes interviews with family members of the seven astronauts who died in the explosion.

According to CNN, the series uses archival footage and home videos, along with interviews from officials and crew members to shed light on the poor decision-making and systemic failures that led up to the disaster, as well as the aftermath that followed.

Challenger took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral on January 28, 1986. Just 73 seconds after it launched, the shuttle began breaking apart, due to malfunctioning O-rings in the rocket boosters, which hardened as the temperature decreased. NASA had reportedly known about this damaged hardware for months prior, according to Vanity Fair.

The purpose of mission STS-51-L was to deploy a satellite to study the approaching Halley’s Comet, but it had been delayed multiple times because of technical difficulties.

The crew was one of NASA’s most diverse to date, as reported by the New York Post. One of the astronauts was a teacher, so school children across the country watched in class as the shuttle went down, engulfed by a huge, ominous cloud of smoke. The explosion devastated the nation, especially all of the young children who had watched it live.

Nearly thirty-five years later, we remember the passengers who lost their lives on that dreadful day:

Christa McAuliffe

Christa McAuliffe was a teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire who learned of the Teacher in Space Project— NASA’s plan to fly an educator into space. NASA had hoped that this would help increase public interest in the space shuttle program. 

Along with 11,000 others, McAuliffe applied in 1984 to be the first teacher to communicate with students from space. She was chosen as one of two finalists from New Hampshire, then was selected to be part of the STS-51-L crew by a Review Panel in Washington, D.C.

McAuliffe took a year off from teaching to train for the space shuttle mission. While in orbit, she was planning to conduct experiments in chromatography, hydroponics, magnetism and Newton’s laws. She also would have taught two 15-minute classes— one providing a tour of the spacecraft, the other about the benefits of space travel— which would have been broadcasted to students on closed-circuit TV. 

The nationwide excitement of having McAuliffe in space was a significant reason why the explosion had such a lasting impact on the country, and was especially upsetting for young students who watched the takeoff or extensive coverage in class. 

Gregory Jarvis

Gregory Jarvis was an engineer for Hughes Aircraft who served as Payload Specialist 2 on Challenger. In 1984, he was one of two employees from the company that were selected for the Space Shuttle program. 

Jarvis was originally supposed to make his shuttle flight in April 1985, but was rescheduled to early January 1986, then rescheduled again, landing him a spot on the STS-51-L crew. From space, he planned to conduct experiments on the effects of weightlessness on fluids. 

Dick Scobee

Dick Scobee earned his pilot wings in 1966 and served as a combat aviator in the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

After the war, Scobee graduated from the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School and became an Air Force test pilot. He was the commander on Challenger and died a lieutenant colonel.

Judith Resnik

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Judith Resnik worked as a design engineer in missile and radar projects at RCA (Radio Corporation of America). There, she performed circuit design for the missile and surface radar division. She later developed electronics and software for NASA’s sounding rocket and telemetry systems programs. 

Resnik qualified as a professional aircraft pilot in 1977 and was recruited into the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1978. She was one of six women selected for the program out of 8,000 applicants. At NASA, and piloted the Northrop T-38 Talon, trained intensely, conducted research, and developed different systems and software. 

Resnik served as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of Discovery in 1984 for her first space flight from August to September. During this flight, she operated a shuttle’s robotic arm (which she created), and deployed and conducted experiments on a solar array wing to determine if there was a way to generate additional electric power during missions. She was the second American woman in space and the first Jewish woman in space. 

Resnik was a mission specialist on Challenger. After the explosion, further examination of the cockpit shows that her Personal Egress Air Pack was activated, indicating that she may have been alive after the cockpit separated from the vehicle to activate it. Her body was the first to be recovered from the crash by Navy divers. 

Ellison Onizuka

Ellison Onizuka served as a flight test engineer and test pilot for the U.S. Air Force in the early 1970s. After attending the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School from 1974 to 1975, he became a squadron flight test engineer there and worked as a manager for engineering support in the training resources division. 

In 1978, Onizuka was selected for the astronaut program and later worked in the experimentation team, orbiter test team, and launch support screw for the STS-1 and STS-2. At NASA he also worked on the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory test and revision software team. 

Onizzuka’s first space mission was one year before the Challenger explosion, on the mission STS-51-C on the shuttle Discovery. This was the first space shuttle mission for the Department of Defense, and he became the first Asian American to reach space. 

Onizuka was a mission specialist aboard Challenger. Similar to Resnik, it is speculated that he could have been alive when the cockpit separated from the vehicle because his Personal Egress Air Pack was also activated. When he died, he held the position of lieutenant colonel, but was later promoted to the rank of colonel. 

Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 and became nationally recognized for his work in laser physics. After graduation, he worked as a staff physicist at the Hugh Research Lab in Malibu, CA. 

McNair was one of the ten thousand applicants to be selected in 1978 for the NASA astronaut program. He became the second African American astronaut in 1984 when he flew as a mission specialist for STS-41-B on Challenger from Feb. 3-11. 

McNair later served as a mission specialist for STS-51-L. During this flight, he had planned to record the saxophone solo for a song he had worked on with composer Jean-Michel Jarre for his upcoming album Rendez-Vous. This would have been the first original piece of music to be recorded in space. 

McNair was also supposed to participate in Jarre’s Rendez-Vous Houston concert through a live feed from Challenger. To honor McNair, Jarre dedicated the last song on the album to him and subtitled it “Ron’s Piece.”

Michael J. Smith

Michael J. Smith served in the Vietnam War, then attended U.S. naval Test Pilot School. After graduation, he was assigned to the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, where he worked on the A-6E TRAM and Cruise missile guidance systems. In 1976, later returned to NTPS for 18 months as an instructor. 

Smith was selected for the astronaut program in May 1980, in which he served as a commander in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, the Deputy Chief of Aircraft Operations, the Technical Assistant to the Director, and the Flights Operations Directorate. 

Smith was the pilot for Challenger, and was set to pilot another mission the following fall. His voice was the last heard on the flight deck tape recorder with his final words being “Uh oh.”

All seven passengers were awarded with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004.

PRESIDENT FORD’S PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHER

EXHIBIT BY PRESIDENT FORD’S PERSONAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER

TO BE DISPLAYED AT GERALD R. FORD PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM

Exhibit opens March 25 with ribbon cutting and discussion

featuring David Hume Kennerly and Susan Ford Bales

 

Pulitzer Prize winning and presidential photographer David Hume Kennerly’s exhibit “Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford” will be on display for the first time at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The exhibit is scheduled to open on March 25 with a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. and a presentation at 7 p.m. featuring Kennerly and Ford’s daughter Susan Ford Bales.

 “David’s work not only captured historic images of our father’s presidency, but also the personal side of our family,” said Bales. “We are blessed to have this beautiful photography available and open for the public to view.” 

 “Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford” follows Ford’s presidency from the day he was appointed vice president to the end of his presidency. The exhibit is a collection of behind-closed-door images, including the inner workings of the White House, the Ford family, and the end of Ford’s presidency after losing to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election. 

 “Mr. Kennerly’s unprecedented access to President Ford and his family offers a candid look into historic events surrounding some of our nation’s darkest times while highlighting the president’s efforts to heal the country,” said Elaine Didier, director, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. “We are honored to have these images on display and give the public an opportunity to view history as seen through the eyes of one of the nation’s highest regarded photographers.”

 In 1972, Kennerly was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for a portfolio of his photos from the Vietnam War, the Ali-Frazier fight, refugees from East Pakistan in India, and combat in Cambodia. Two years later, at age 27, he accepted an appointment to serve as Ford’s chief presidential photographer. 

 “I photographed every major event during President Ford’s time in office. I think the most important image that emerged from the thousands of photos was a close-up portrait of the president’s humanity,” said Kennerly. “It is a privilege to bring these images to the home of President Ford and allow the community to experience his presidency and the Ford family’s personal side.”

 Kennerly was named “One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography,” by American Photo Magazine. He served as contributing editor for Newsweek for more than a decade and a contributing photographer for Time and Life magazines. Kennerly has published several books of his work: “Shooter,” “Photo Op,” “Seinoff: The Final Days of Seinfeld,” “Photo du Jour,” “Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford,” and “David Hume Kennerly On the iPhone.” He covered the 2016 presidential campaign for CNN, and was a major contributor to the network’s book, “Unprecedented: The Election that Changed Everything.”  His exclusive photo of Trump taken two weeks after he was elected was featured on the cover.

 “Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford” will be on display through Sept. 2, 2019. The March 25 ribbon cutting and presentation are free and open for the public to attend

PBS Primetime Program Highlights + Sept 17-23

Week of September 17-23, 2017

Program photos, releases and videos for selected shows available on PBS PressRoom® (http://www.pbs.org/pressroom).

 

In this week’s highlights:

1. On-air Picks of the Week

2. New and Notable Videos​

3. Local Connections Google Map

4. PBS Primetime Schedule, Sunday-Saturday

 

On-air Picks of the Week

• *NEW* THE VIETNAM WAR. Premieres Sunday-Thursday, September 17-21, 8:00 p.m. ET, with an immediate repeat.

 

New and Notable Video

Full-length programs:

 

BEYOND A YEAR IN SPACE full-length episode. Premieres Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET.

 

WALT DISNEY: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, Part 1 full-length episode and Part 2 full-length episode. Encore broadcasts air Tuesdays, August 29-September 5, 2017, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET.

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET “La Traviata” full-length episode. Premieres August 2017 (check local listings).

Embeddable Clips:

DIANA – HER STORY trailer. Premieres Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET.

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT THE MET “Eugene Onegin” trailer. Premieres in August 2017 (check local listings).
 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

8:00-9:30 PM:

*NEW* THE VIETNAM WAR “Déjà Vu” (VWAR) (#101) (TV-MA, V)

After a century of French occupation, Vietnam emerges independent but divided into North and South.

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS

 

9:30-11:00 PM:

THE VIETNAM WAR “Déjà Vu” (VWAR) (#101) (R) (TV-MA, V)

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS

 
 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2017

8:00-9:30 PM:

*NEW* THE VIETNAM WAR “Riding the Tiger” (VWAR) (#102) (TV-MA, V, L)

As a communist insurgency gains strength, JFK wrestles with American involvement in South Vietnam.

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS

 

9:30-11:00 PM:

THE VIETNAM WAR “Riding the Tiger” (VWAR) (#102) (R) (TV-MA, V, L)

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS


 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

8:00-10:00 PM:

*NEW* THE VIETNAM WAR “The River Styx” (VWAR) (#103) (TV-MA, V, L)

With South Vietnam near collapse, LBJ begins bombing the North and sends US troops to the South.

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS

 

10:00 PM-12:00 AM:

THE VIETNAM WAR “The River Styx” (VWAR) (#103) (R) (TV-MA, V, L)

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS

 
 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

8:00-10:00 PM:

*NEW* THE VIETNAM WAR “Resolve” (VWAR) (#104) (TV-MA, V, L)

U.S. soldiers discover Vietnam is unlike their fathers’ war, while the antiwar movement grows.

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS

 

 

10:00 PM-12:00 AM:

THE VIETNAM WAR “Resolve” (VWAR) (#104) (R) (TV-MA, V, L)

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017

8:00-10:00 PM:

*NEW* THE VIETNAM WAR “This Is What We Do” (VWAR) (#105) (TV-MA, V, L)

President Johnson escalates the war while promising the public that victory is in sight.

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS

 

10:00 PM-12:00 AM:

THE VIETNAM WAR “This Is What We Do” (VWAR) (#105) (R) (TV-MA, V, L)

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/v/Vietnam

#VietnamWarPBS

 
 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017

8:00-8:30 PM:

*NEW* WASHINGTON WEEK (WWIR) (#5712) (EXEMPT)

​Join Robert Costa and noted journalists for a discussion of the big stories from DC.

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/w/WASHINGTON-WEEK.aspx

@washingtonweek | #WashingtonWeek

 

8:30-9:00 PM:

*NEW* THIRD RAIL WITH OZY (THIR) (#103) (EXEMPT)

Emmy-winner Carlos Watson moderates a weekly debate on a provocative topic, with input from viewers.

 

9:00-9:30 PM:

*NEW* CHARLIE ROSE – THE WEEK (CRSU) (#511) (EXEMPT)

Join Charlie Rose for highlights of conversations with the week’s guests on his nightly program.

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/c/CHARLIE-ROSE-THE-WEEK.aspx

@CharlieRoseShow

 

9:30-10:00 PM:

TBA

 

 

 

 

 

10:00-11:00 PM:

*NEW* CRAFT IN AMERICA “Borders” (CRIA) (#901)

​Explore the relationships and influences Mexican and American craft artists have on each other.

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/c/CRAFT-IN-AMERICA

​#CraftinAmerica
 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2017

9:00-10:00 PM:

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS “Florence + the Machine/Andra Day” (AUCL) (#4204) (R) (TV-PG)

http://pressroom.pbs.org/Programs/a/AUSTIN-CITY-LIMITS.aspx 

@acltv | #acltv

www.pbs.org

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PBS on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pbspressroom

ROLLS-ROYCE ANNOUNCES ‘THE JOHN LENNON PHANTOM V’ RETURN

Today, Rolls-Royce has announced that it will celebrate the 50th anniversary year of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in its own way by bringing the colourful Rolls-Royce Phantom V, famous for being owned by John Lennon, back home to London for the British public to see.

Currently owned by the Royal British Columbia Museum in Canada, ‘The John Lennon Phantom V’ will travel from Canada to London to join ‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ – A Rolls-Royce Exhibition, at Bonhams on Bond Street, an area visited regularly by Lennon in the late 1960s in this very car.

Members of the public will be able to see ‘The John Lennon Phantom V’ at Bonhams from 29 July to the 2 August.

‘The John Lennon Phantom V’

On June 3, 1965 – the same day that Edward H White left the capsule of his Gemini 4 to become the first American to walk in space – John Lennon took delivery of something rather special. It was a Rolls-Royce Phantom V in Valentine Black. He would later say that he always wanted to be an eccentric millionaire, and the Phantom would become an important step towards that dream.

Lennon had the Phantom V customised in true rock-star style. The rear seat was converted to a double bed, a television, telephone and refrigerator were installed, along with a ‘floating’ record player and a custom sound system (which included an external loud hailer).

Then, in April 1967, just as the recording of the game-changing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was finishing, Lennon asked Surrey coachbuilders, JP Fallon, to give the Phantom a new paint job. The freshly-painted Phantom was unveiled days before the worldwide release of Sgt. Pepper’s on 1 June and it seemed part of the overall concept of the album.

The new colour scheme is often described as ‘psychedelic’ and certainly the colours, particularly the dominant yellow, reflected the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. But look carefully and you will see it is no random swirl, but a floral Romany scroll design, as used on gypsy caravans and canal barges, with a zodiac symbol on the roof. 

The Phantom V was used regularly by Lennon until 1969 (Lennon also owned a slightly less conspicuous all-white Phantom V). Having used it, pre-paint change, to collect his MBE with his bandmates in 1965, he then used it again in 1969 to return his MBE to the Palace, in protest against, among other things, the Vietnam War. The car was shipped to the USA in 1970 when Lennon moved there and was loaned out to ferry other rock stars around such as The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and The Moody Blues. In 1977, after a period in storage, donated by billionaire Jim Pattison to the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ – a Rolls-Royce Exhibition, will take place at Bonhams international flagship saleroom and galleries in New Bond Street, London, from 29 July to the 2 August. You can follow the progress of this story on social media by using http://www.press.rolls-roycemotorcars.com/rolls-royce-motor-cars-pressclub/article/detail/T0272363EN/rolls-royce-announces-the-great-eight-phantoms%E2%80%99-%E2%80%93-a-rolls-royce-exhibition-will-be-at-bonhams-and-sir-malcolm-campbell%E2%80%99s-phantom-ii%E2%80%99-will-be-third-great-phantom-to-join-exhibition