When I was gushing enthusiastically about Old Weather, I tried (and failed) to explain what it is that makes it so damn brilliant. I’ve just experienced some of that same brilliance. This time the source is Spacelog:
Read the stories of early space exploration from the original NASA transcripts. Now open to the public in a searchable, linkable format.
You can now read the transcripts from the Apollo 13 and Mercury 6 missions, and every single utterance has a permalink. For example:
Houston, we’ve had a problem.
The beauty of the idea is matched in the execution. Everything about the visual design helps to turn something that was previously simply information into an immersive, emotional experience. It’s one thing to know that these incredible events took place, it’s another to really feel it.
Spacelog shares the spirit of Science Hack Day. It’s a /dev/fort creation, put together in an incredibly short period of time; Norm! has the low-down.
Apollo 13 and Mercury 6 are just the start. If you want to help turn more transcripts into an emotionally engaging work of hypertext, everything is available under a public domain license and all the code is available on Github. Transcripts are available for Gemini 6, Apollo 8, and Apollo 11.
I can’t wait to read Charlie Duke as hypertext.