On Assignment at Kitty Hawk

This week I am out of the studio on assignment in North Carolina. I have been amazed at the complex and time-consuming struggle of the Wright brothers during the dawn of aviation. Much like a Shuttle Launch, the memorial site at Kitty Hawk must be seen in person to be truly understood!

One of the many amazing artifacts hanging in a rather plain spot was a small plaque (pictured on the right). The frame contained a chip of wood and scrap of cloth from the original 1903 Wright Flyer. This alone was worthy of spotlights and a huge sign (both absent!) but the truly remarkable thing to discover was that these pieces had also been to the moon! When Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong set down on the moon, they carried with them these pieces of the first successful aircraft. The artifacts are set between letters authenticating both the pieces and the journey they made into outer space. Amazing!

To learn more about the Wright Brothers and their spirit of scientific discovery, check out a great interactive feature from the Smithsonian Institute or a video lecture from MIT.

We’ll be back soon with tons of updates–including news of the new X PRIZE for space! Check out this Wired article for a preview.

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