For decades, the work of NASA has captured the imagination of the American public and the world, sending humans to the moon and unmanned craft even farther.
NASA’s work is documented rich in eye-catching images, videos, as well as lots of primary source documents that are freely available on the Internet — and are public domain.
That’s all great, but this documented history is strewn across NASA’s websites and elsewhere around the Web — hardly an easy way to explore the archive.
In this digital project, I hope to use WordPress or Drupal to create a multimedia portal for Project Gemini, which lasted from 1965 to 1966.
Gemini capsules accommodated two astronauts and the Titan II rocket was used (the Titan was actually developed as an intercontinental ballistic missile). A total of 10 manned flights were flown. Despite some flaws (including a capsule that spun out of control that Neil Armstrong commanded), the program was deemed successful and paved the way for Project Apollo, which sent astronauts to the moon.
NASA’s official website for Project Gemini is clearly stuck in the 1990s and, simply put, is garbage. Something must be done.
Using my Delicious site, I have curated a number of links to sources I would like to incorporate into this website. Additional content can be found on YouTube and other non-NASA.gov websites.
I plan to create a page for each of the 10 Gemini missions, and possibly an additional page to talk about the test flights. Each page will include links (or even embed) the relevant images, videos and primary source documents. The pages will all include a 1-2 paragraph introduction to the mission, and could possibly list the vital information (dates, crew, etc.). The homepage, I think, should be more of a splash design, with each mission’s patch displayed. Clicking on said patch would send the user to that mission’s page. A short introduction to the site will also be included on the homepage.
This project will make accessible historical information that is difficult to find over the vast sprawl of the Internet. NASA’s work interests many people, and I feel this site would do a service to the general public by making this information easier for the public to find. Perhaps it could even be used as a teaching tool in classes.
What do you think? Do you think this idea makes sense? Do you have any specific suggestions for me? Please share your thoughts in the comments. I look forward to hearing from the class.