New Website Lets You Relive Early Space Exploration Missions

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For years, NASA has had the transcripts from its epoch-defining early missions online. But their ASCII aesthetic prevented them from gaining wide distribution. Even if you were looking at the dialog from the most exciting moments in the history of science nerdery, it sure didn't feel that way.

Now, a small team has stepped forward to remedy that situation with a new site, Spacelog. Starting with the Apollo 13 and Mercury 6 (when John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth), they've transformed the NASA transcripts into a series of searchable, linkable pages that look like Twitter conversations. It's really a wonderful translation of the original documents, and it was built in just a week.

In any case, go take a look, you're going to like it. Here's the moment when John Glenn begins his first orbit.
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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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