The words above were spoken by John Glenn on February 20, 1962, five minutes and eighteen seconds into the Mercury mission that made him the first American to orbit the Earth. You can read those words at spacelog.org, a new site that offers up text of transcribed NASA mission logs in a slick, interactive presentation. So far the site offers transcripts for Glenn’s Mercury flight and the infamous, nearly-disastrous lunar mission, Apollo 13. Transcript entries appear in a timestamped stream with speakers identified and mission time clearly indicated, and each entry is separately linkable.
What’s so special about spacelogs.org? It’s lovingly made, craft in a spare and effective design that’s brightened with crackling NASA imagery. And while the transcripts of these missions are widely available resources in the public domain, Spacelogs makes them new. Call it a textual dramatization of key moments in the space race.
It’s a subtle and fascinating resource—the professional patois of astronauts and mission controllers contrasts sharply with the singular nature of their work. The development team encourages interested people to offer help. (They did the work in an amazing fort on the Scottish coast—but you might not get to join them there.) I might like to lend a hand putting the Apollo 8 transcripts in order; it was making the first manned orbit of the moon on the day I was born.[thanks, Debbie Chachra!]