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Celebrate Innovators and Changemakers on National Inventors Day! Learn about Aviation Pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright

This post was written by Michelle Cadoree Bradley, a Science Reference Specialist in the Science, Technology and Business Division.

For some years I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man,” wrote Wilbur Wright in a letter to Octave Chanute in May 1900.  (Octave Chanute Papers: Special Correspondence–Wright Brothers, 1900, in Octave Chanute Collection at the Library of Congress).

Wilbur in prone position in damaged machine on ground after unsuccessful trial of December 14, 1903; Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. //www.loc.gov/item/2001696253/

Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright spent years working on powered flight, doing research, and corresponding with others in the field.  The process was not smooth and a record of their progress and failures can be found in their diaries and in photographic evidence, such as the picture of their wrecked plane above. Their hard work and perseverance paid off, and on December 17, 1903, they achieved their dream of powered, sustained flight.

For teachers and students wishing to access primary source materials see:

Explore the Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers at the Library of Congress at //www.loc.gov/collections/wilbur-and-orville-wright-papers/about-this-collection/#overview

For an extensive bibliography see:

Wilbur & Orville Wright: a bibliography commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the first powered flight, December 17, 1903 by Arthur George Renstrom

Wilbur & Orville Wright, pictorial materials: a documentary guide by Arthur George Renstrom

The Parker Solar Probe, Mission to “Touch the Sun”: December 6 NASA Lecture with Dr. Alex Young

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. One of NASA’s most exciting missions, the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) launched from Cape Canaveral on August 12, 2018. The mission’s findings will help researchers improve forecasts of space weather events, which have the potential to damage satellites, […]

The ICESat Man Cometh: Lecture November 8 with NASA’s Tom Neumann

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. On November 8 the Library will welcome cryospheric scientist Tom Neumann, who will speak on “GRACE-FO and ICESat-2:  NASA’s Leadership in Monitoring the Polar Regions from Space.”  Dr. Neumann is deputy project scientist on ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud, and […]

NASA Astrobiologist Melissa Trainer to Speak at the Library October 11 on Titan: An Exotic Ocean World Waiting to be Explored

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. Before the twenty years of the Cassini-Huygens mission, little was known about Saturn’s largest moon Titan, except that it was Mercury-sized and its surface was hidden beneath a thick, nitrogen-rich atmosphere. The Cassini mission mapped Titan’s surface, studied […]

Shadow Science: Using Eclipses to Shed New Light on Heavenly Bodies, September 12 Lecture with NASA’s Chief Scientist, Dr. James L. Green

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. People are still talking about the total solar eclipse of last August, and many of us are already excited about the next one on April 8, 2024.  That will be the only total solar eclipse in the 21st […]

Binge Watching Science Webcasts! Celebrating Twelve Years of the NASA Goddard Lecture Series at the Library of Congress

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference & Research Specialist, in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress. She is also author of the blog posts “Kebabs, Kabobs, Shish Kebabs, Shashlyk, and: Chislic,” “The Potato Transformed,” and “Susan Fenimore Cooper: The First American Woman to Publish Nature Writing.” The Science, […]

Lecture with NASA’s Dr. Sarah Jones, June 7: “The Upper Atmosphere: Where Space Weather Meets Earth Weather”

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. The dance between the ionosphere and the thermosphere is complicated!  At the boundary between Earth and space, charged particles and fields co-exist with Earth’s neutral atmosphere and cause a continual tug of war between the neutral and ionized […]

Using Space-Based Observations for Improved Global Water Security and Sustainability: May 15 Lecture with NASA’s Dr. John Bolten

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. The combined stresses of overpopulation, water pollution, and poor water management practices require new approaches to better assess and manage global water security and sustainability. Dr. John Bolten will review the technological advances in satellite-based remote sensing and numerical […]

NASA Astrophysicist Dr. Scott Guzewich to Discuss ‘Swimming in Martian Lakes: Curiosity at Gale Crater’ on April 25

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission landed the nuclear powered rover Curiosity on the floor of the 96-mile wide Gale Crater on August 6, 2012.  In a complicated maneuver using a sky crane, it touched down near “Mount Sharp,” […]

Finding Our Origins with the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes: Lecture with NASA’s Dr. Jonathan Gardner, March 22

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. The Hubble, the first space-based optical telescope, has been circling the Earth and making observations for nearly 28 years since its launch in April 1990.  Just this week it has had its eye on a relic galaxy, NGC […]