“I have as much muscle as any man and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed and can any man do more than that?” -Sojourner Truth
Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, or National African American History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.
We are beginning by honoring Sojourner Truth, an American abolitionist and women’s rights activist who escaped slavery with her infant daughter in 1826. In 1828, she went to court to get back her son, who had been illegally sold into slavery at the age of 5. She became one of the first black women to go to court against a white man and win the case.
Black history lessons in classrooms shouldn’t be limited to the names of men and only a few women. Especially when there are countless women who’ve made enormous strides for the black community, too.
The revolutionary words Angela Davis spoke, the record-breaking feats of Wilma Rudolph and the glass ceiling-shattering efforts of Shirley Chisolm paved the way for black women and girls across the country to dream big and act courageously.
Here are 28 phenomenal women everyone should acquaint themselves with this black history month.
With only four months left in the mission, Cassini is busy at Saturn. The upcoming cargo launch, anniversaries and more!
As our Cassini spacecraft made its first-ever dive through the gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017, one of its imaging cameras took a series of rapid-fire images that were used to make this movie sequence. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Hampton University
1-3. The Grand Finale
Our Cassini spacecraft has begun its final mission at Saturn. Some dates to note:
May 28, 2017: Cassini makes its riskiest ring crossing as it ventures deeper into Saturn’s innermost ring (D ring).
June 29, 2017: On this day in 2004, the Cassini orbiter and its travel companion the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe arrived at Saturn.
September 15, 2017: In a final, spectacular dive, Cassini will plunge into Saturn - beaming science data about Saturn’s atmosphere back to Earth to the last second. It’s all over at 5:08 a.m. PDT.
4. Cargo Launch to the International Space Station
June 1, 2017: Target date of the cargo launch. The uncrewed Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 39A at our Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The payload includes NICER, an instrument to measure neutron stars, and ROSA, a Roll-Out Solar Array that will test a new solar panel that rolls open in space like a party favor.
July 4, 2017: Twenty years ago, a wagon-sized rover named Sojourner blazed the trail for future Mars explorers - both robots and, one day, humans. Take a trip back in time to the vintage Mars Pathfinder websites:
In an empowering celebration of Black History Month, a mother and daughter teamed up to recreate photos of iconic black women.
Every day in February, Cristi Jones of Kent, Washington, has dressed her daughter, 5-year-old Lola, as an iconic black woman, helped her recreate a photo and shared the results on Twitter. Throughout the month, Lola has channeled modern women making history like ballet dancer Misty Copeland, civil rights leaders like Rosa Parks and more.
We marked the 20th anniversary of Pathfinder’s landing on Mars this week.
We have had an active robotic presence there ever since—in fact, no one under 20 has experienced a day without NASA at Mars—but the Pathfinder mission was the first-ever robotic rover to explore the Red Planet. Below are 10 things to know about this iconic mission as we celebrate two decades of unprecedented science and discovery.
1. A Date to Remember
Pathfinder launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Dec. 4, 1996, and landed at Mars’ Ares Vallis on July 4, 1997. The landing site, an ancient flood plain in Mars’ northern hemisphere, is among the rockiest parts of the planet. Scientists chose it because they believed it was a relatively safe surface to land on and contained a wide variety of rocks deposited during a catastrophic flood.
2. Precious Cargo
Pathfinder delivered to Mars a tiny, 23-pound (11.5 kilogram) rover named Sojourner, which carried scientific instruments to analyze the Martian atmosphere, climate and geology. To put its small size in perspective, the mechanisms at the end of the Curiosity Rover’s robotic arm are heavier than all of Sojourner. You can check out a 360 video of Pathfinder and Sojourner here.
3. Who Named the Rover?
The name Sojourner was chosen after a year-long, worldwide competition in which students up to 18 years old were invited to write about a historical heroine and how she would translate their accomplishments to the Martian environment. Twelve-year-old Valerie Ambroise of Bridgeport, Connecticut, submitted the winning essay on Sojourner Truth, a Civil War-era abolitionist who made it her mission to “travel up and down the land” advocating for the rights of all people to be free and participate fully in society.
4. Quite the Entrance
Pathfinder’s landing was innovative and unprecedented. It entered the thin Martian atmosphere assisted by parachute to slow its descent and with a giant system of airbags to cushion the impact. This mission marked the first time this airbag technique was used. Spirit and Opportunity later used the same method successfully.
5. Mobile Matters
The wireless modem between Pathfinder and Sojourner was a commercial, off-the-shelf product. The project team acquired several and stress-tested them until they found the best ones to send off to Mars.
6. It’s in the Details
Sojourner had bumpers—actual mechanical fenders—painted with black and white stripes. It also had two forward-facing black-and-white cameras, and one rear-facing camera (all one-third of a Megapixel). And Sojourner’s tiny wheels measured just 12.5 centimeters in diameter.
Pathfinder was widely regarded as one of the first “internet sensations.” There was so much web traffic from around the world, the entire internet backbone of France crashed under the load.
8. We’re Getting Warmer
Among the many scientific discoveries from Pathfinder and Sojourner: Rounded pebbles and cobbles at the landing site suggested that Mars might have had running water during a warmer past when liquid water was stable on the planet. Early morning water ice clouds also were seen in the lower atmosphere.
9. Long Live the Mission
The lander and the rover both outlived their design lives—the lander by nearly three times, and the rover by 12 times.
10. Pathfinder’s Photo Album
Go back in time and see historical photographs of Pathfinder’s assembly process here.
Sojourner Truth was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826.
Headcanon that certain members of the League - especially the Lanterns, who are away from Earth for significant quantities of time and can easily lose track of time - actually have no idea how many Robins there have been. Hal will come home from a long sojourn and greet a Robin with “hey Dick” only to be met with:
“I’m Tim. Dick hasn’t been Robin for three years now.”
None of the Green Lanterns can actually keep up with how many children Bruce has. During “We Are Robin,” Guy and Kyle frequently asked Bruce how many of those were his.
He refused to answer, simply because he enjoyed watching them squirm.
Black history month day 9: human rights activist, abolitionist, and speaker Sojourner Truth.
Sojourner Truth was born born Isabella “Bell” Baumfree around the year 1797. She was born into slavery in Ulster County, New York. In 1826, Truth escaped slavery with her infant daughter. Two years later she went back and sued for the custody of her son, a suit she actually won becoming the first black woman to win a case against a white man. She later described her escape “I did not run off, for I thought that wicked. But I walked off, believing that to be right.”
In 1843 she became convinced that God has called her to leave the city and go into the countryside “testifying the hope that was in her.”, and thus changed her name from Isabella Baumfree to Sojourner Truth. In 1851 at the Ohio women’s rights convention, Truth delivered her famous speech “Ain’t I a Woman?”. According to some reports, the speech known today is actually a rewritten variant of her original speech written in a stereotypical southern dialect, as in actuality the NY native Truth’s first language was Dutch and she spoke with a Dutch accent for the remainder of her life. During the Civil War Truth helped recruit forces for the Union army. She remained very active in abolition and other human rights causes, and despite her illiteracy, she toured around with conventions giving speeches and even meeting president Abraham Lincoln.
Every day, our spacecraft and people are exploring the solar system. Both the public and the private sectors are contributing to the quest. For example, here are ten things happening just this week:
1. We deliver.
The commercial space company Orbital ATK is targeting Saturday, Nov. 11 for the launch of its Cygnus spacecraft on an Antares rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. Cygnus is launching on a resupply mission to the International Space Station, carrying cargo and scientific experiments to the six people currently living on the microgravity laboratory.
Our Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) sure does—and from very close range. This robotic spacecraft has been orbiting Earth’s companion since 2009, returning views of the lunar surface that are so sharp they show the footpaths made by Apollo astronauts. Learn more about LRO and the entire history of lunar exploration at NASA’s newly-updated, expanded Moon site: moon.nasa.gov
4. Meanwhile at Mars…
Another sharp-eyed robotic spacecraft has just delivered a fresh batch of equally detailed images. Our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) surveys the Red Planet’s surface daily, and you can see the very latest pictures of those exotic landscapes HERE. We currently operate five—count ‘em, five—active missions at Mars, with another (the InSight lander) launching next year. Track them all at: mars.nasa.gov.
5. Always curious.
One of those missions is the Curiosity rover. It’s currently climbing a rocky highland dubbed Vera Rubin Ridge, turning its full array of instruments on the intriguing geology there. Using those instruments, Curiosity can see things you and I can’t.
6. A new Dawn.
Our voyage to the asteroid belt has a new lease on life. The Dawn spacecraft recently received a mission extension to continue exploring the dwarf planet Ceres. This is exciting because minerals containing water are widespread on Ceres, suggesting it may have had a global ocean in the past. What became of that ocean? Could Ceres still have liquid today? Ongoing studies from Dawn could shed light on these questions.
7. There are eyes everywhere.
When our Mars Pathfinder touched down in 1997, it had five cameras: two on a mast that popped up from the lander, and three on the rover, Sojourner. Since then, photo sensors that were improved by the space program have shrunk in size, increased in quality and are now carried in every cellphone. That same evolution has returned to space. Our Mars 2020 mission will have more “eyes” than any rover before it: a grand total of 23, to create sweeping panoramas, reveal obstacles, study the atmosphere, and assist science instruments.
8. Voyage to a hidden ocean.
One of the most intriguing destinations in the solar system is Jupiter’s moon Europa, which hides a global ocean of liquid water beneath its icy shell. Our Europa Clipper mission sets sail in the 2020s to take a closer look than we’ve ever had before. You can explore Europa, too: europa.nasa.gov
9. Flight of the mockingbird.
On Nov. 10, the main belt asteroid 19482 Harperlee, named for the legendary author of To Kill a Mockingbird, makes its closest approach to Earth during the asteroid’s orbit around the Sun. Details HERE. Learn more about asteroids HERE. Meanwhile, our OSIRIS-REx mission is now cruising toward another tiny, rocky world called Bennu.
10. What else is up this month?
For sky watchers, there will be a pre-dawn pairing of Jupiter and Venus, the Moon will shine near some star clusters, and there will be meteor activity all month long. Catch our monthly video blog for stargazers HERE.
They think I’m delusional. Addled by the ravages of an aging and tormented mind. No such place could possibly exist, they said; we would have found it by now. But I know the truth.
There’s only one other person who has made any kind of record of it, just as I remember. Only one other person could possibly know where - or what - it is.
And I’m going to find them.
I was really excited for this prompt! I’ve been super into the idea of the Unworld ever since Hartman talked about it, and Sojourn caught my attention too. I’ve somehow latched onto the idea that Sojourn is the only being that has managed to venture beyond the Ghost Zone, so here are some other things I’ve stuck with since that video:
Sojourn is considered the GZ’s master of space in a similar way Clockwork is by default the master of time.
Sojourn subsequently has ties to Clockwork, and is actually the progenitor of the Observants (as implied by the eye sigil on their notebook and belt in their alternate character design).
Sojourn is the creator of the Infi-map (I think someone else theorized this so shout out to that person, I can’t take credit for this).
Has a bit of a trickster streak. Believe it or not, Clockwork is the responsible one between the two of them.
As for Unworld,
Unworld is not common knowledge. Only the most ancient spirits have ever even heard of it.
It exists in a self-contained space separate from all of the other realms. I like to think of the space in the DPU containing the Ghost Zone, Elsewhereness, human realm and all others as all being different ‘rooms’ on alternate floors in a big building, while Unworld itself isn’t even in the same city.
Because of this, time doesn’t affect the Unworld like the other realms. Mishaps from any and all timelines can end up in Unworld, paradoxes included. For this reason Clockwork has no power over what occurs there.
OOC: This Moon Kitty just arrived on Balmung last night, and is new to the big city of Ul’dah! Though she’ll get by on her own, she’d love to meet folks and follow other FFXIV RP blogs as this is all quite new to her.