Space Stories: Sagan as Scripture, Chinese Lunar Plans, and Outer Space in NYC

Credit: Ballantine Books

Here are some recent stories of interest. “New NASA Official Took Her Oath of Office on Carl Sagan’s ‘Pale Blue Dot’”

When Dr. Makenzie Lystrup was sworn in as the new director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center last week, she didn’t take her oath of office on the Bible or the U.S. Constitution, but rather on a tome revered by space enthusiasts everywhere: Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. The book, published in 1994, is named after an iconic image of Earth, snapped by the Voyager I probe, that depicts the planet as a small speck smothered by the emptiness of space. That photo inspired astronomer Carl Sagan to write: “Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.” For many, the book serves as a reminder of humanity’s place in the universe and the need to preserve our home planet, which makes it similar to holy scripture for a newly appointed NASA director.

Time: “In Five Years, China Will Start Building a Lunar Base With Bricks Made From Moon Soil

China plans to start building a lunar base in about five years, kicking off with bricks made of moon soil, according to scientists with ties to the project, the South China Morning Post reported. Ding Lieyun, a top scientist at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, told local media that the first brick would be made from moon soil during the Chang’e 8 mission around 2028.

AFAR: “NASA Teams With NYC Museum on New Immersive Outer Space Exhibit

With its blazing city lights, New York is one of the worst places to go stargazing. But space aficionados will want to visit lower Manhattan this spring—dark skies or not—thanks to a new digital art exhibit created with participation from NASA and CNES (the French space agency) that opened April 7 at Hall des Lumières, the city’s first permanent immersive art center. An earlier iteration of this show premiered at Hall des Lumières’ sister museum in Paris, Atelier des Lumières, in 2021. Destination Cosmos: The Immersive Space Experiencewill run for eight weeks through June 4, 2023, at Hall des Lumières, which opened in 2022 in the former Emigrant Savings Bank across from City Hall.