NASA

There's South Carolina Gold in Them Thar Rockets

Jul 2, 2019
Spun gold. These shiny bands are actually a fiber soft enough to make space suits with and tough enough to shield firefighters (and astronauts) from flames.
Scott Morgan/SC Public Radio

Forgive yourself if you can’t pronounce “polybenzimidizole,” much less know what it’s used for. But if you ever went to the moon, you were sure glad to have it on your skin.  

Familiarly, polybenzimidizole goes by the much more vocally friendly name of PBI. It’s a twill-like material made by, fittingly, PBI Performance Products in Rock Hill. The company makes polymers, solutions, and films for industrial purposes, but the Rock Hill plant is the only place in the world that manufactures the company’s most visible product, PBI staple fiber.

Chasing the Moon

Jul 1, 2019
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson (left center) and Vice President Spiro Agnew (right center) view the liftoff of Apollo 11.
Courtesy of NASA, July 16, 1969

Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke joins documentary producer/director Robert Stone  to talk with Walter Edgar about the Space Race of the 1960s, and about making the documentary Chasing the Moon.

Courtesy of the Artist

Greenville artist Renato Moncini is a native of Italy, but between his journey from his homeland and his long residence in the South Carolina Upstate, he served more than a decade as what some call the "first artist of space."

Vanessa Wyche
http://women.nasa.gov / NASA

NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Director Mark Geyer recenly announced that Vanessa Wyche was thethe next deputy director of JSC in Houston.

Wyche is a native on Conway and a graduate of Clemson University. As Deputy Director, she will assist Geyer in leading one of NASA’s largest installations (JSC has nearly 10,000 civil service and contractor employees – including those at White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico). It also has a broad range of human spaceflight activities. Wyche talks with South Carolina Public Radio about current and future projects JSC is working.

Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden at the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library. Gen. Bolden has donated his personal archives of papers, personal items and professional artifacts for curation by the University's Caroliniana Library.
Olivia Aldridge/SC Public Radio

Students from three local Columbia high schools got a rare opportunity Monday—to see real life astronaut and former NASA Administrator Major General Charles F. Bolden Jr. speak about space, science, and the future. For Bolden, who hosted the talk at the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library in honor of the gift of his personal archives to the university, it was also an opportunity—to share his journey with students of his own alma mater, C.A Johnson High School.

S.C. Hall of Fame: Col. Charles M. Duke

Oct 10, 2017
Charles M. Duke, Jr.
NASA

On April 20, 1972, Colonel Duke joined the select body of Americans who walked on the surface of the moon. Colonel Duke was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, grew up and graduated from high school in Lancaster, South Carolina. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1957 and was commissioned in the U. S. Air Force. In 1966 NASA selected him for the astronaut program. Colonel Duke was the lunar module pilot for Apollo 16 (April 16-27, 1972). Apollo 16 collected a record 210 pounds of lunar rock and soil samples that provided a wealth of new information for scientists.

Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
NASA

A native of Columbia, General Bolden graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1968 and became a naval aviator. In 1972 and 1973 he flew more than 100 combat missions in Southeast Asia. He earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California in 1977. In 1980 he was selected by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for training as an astronaut. In 1981 he was qualified as a shuttle pilot, subsequently flying four shuttle missions, including the 1990 mission that launched the Hubble telescope, and logging more than 690 hours in space.

Pillars of Creation, 2015
NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA)

South Carolina Focus we talk with NASA head Charles Bolden about the amazing Hubble Space Telescope, which has, for the last quarter-century, provided breathtaking photographs of outer space never before possible. It has opened up so much new information to science it has caused textbooks on astronomy and astrophysics to be rewritten.