Exploration

Astronaut Alan Bean and His “Second” Career

05/29/2018

Updated on 10/09/2018

When Alan Bean retired from NASA and decided to become a full-time professional fine-art artist, he had to shed his aeronautical engineering and astronaut self to allow his inner artistic vision come through to the canvas. Not an easy task for the former Apollo 12 astronaut, one of only 12 men to have walked on the surface of the moon,…read more

The History of K2 — The World’s Second-Highest Mountain

02/22/2018

Updated on 10/09/2018

Attempts to summit K2 begin in Islamabad. From there you will spend a day driving in a rickety bus toward the town of Skardu on the dangerous Karakoram Highway (and they’re using the term “highway” VERY loosely here). You’ll probably have an armed guard wth your party because aside from the road itself being dangerous, there are people on it who…read more

Elite Polish K2 Climbers

01/28/2018

Updated on 10/08/2018

Last May, SM did a blog post on a team of mountain climbers from Poland who were going to attempt a winter ascent on K2, little did anyone know that those same climbers would end up being heroes. A multi-national climbing party was attempting to summit Nanga Parbat, the second-highest peak in Pakistan at 26,660ft (8,125m), and the ninth-highest mountain…read more

Laika the Space Dog

10/24/2017

Updated on 10/13/2018

Sputnik 1 was successfully launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, becoming the first artificial object to reach Earth orbit. Having been launched during the Cold War era, this tiny, beeping, ball-shaped satellite caused great concern among many paranoid red-scared Americans for whom the event was not so much a great moment of scientific achievement, but rather a disconcerting development…read more

Elcano, Drake, or Urdaneta?`

10/11/2017

Updated on 10/08/2018

You’d think that if finding out the first person to do something was relatively easy, then finding the second person to do something would be just as easy, right? SilverMedals finds that this is not the case in many cases, and annoyingly so. For instance who was the second person to circumnavigate the globe? Most of us American kids learned…read more

From K2 to an Album Cover

06/02/2017

Updated on 10/08/2018

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was first released in the U.K. on May 26, 1967, and in the U.S. on June 2 of that year, exactly 50 years before this Second Thoughts entry. Widely regarded as the greatest album of all time, it is also one of the most widely recognized album covers. It features the four band members in their…read more

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