This week NASA Social invited me to attend the State of NASA 2020 address delivered by Administrator Jim Bridenstine at Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi.

Stennis is home to decades of engine testing including those used in Apollo missions to the moon in the late 60s and early 70s. Now the testing facility is being used to test the core stage of Space Launch System, NASA’s giant rocket being built for upcoming Artemis missions to the moon.

Marshall Ramsey, a writer and cartoonist also based in Mississippi, attended the same event with his iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. With the help of Pip the dog and photography, Ramsey used the iPad and Apple Pencil to add context to what we were seeing.

How long have you been drawing with the iPad?

About a year.

What about the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil appeals as your digital sketchbook?

You have so much flexibility with it (all you need is wifi) and of course, you can undo your mistakes.

How different would your social media coverage for State of NASA be without the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil?

I probably wouldn’t have drawn anything. But with Procreate, I could meld my photos, storytelling and drawings into one package.

What’s the story behind Pip the dog?

She’s our Border Terrier. Banjo, who was featured in my children’s book Banjo’s Dream, died at the same exact moment she was born. She has been a faithful friend of ours for seven years now. I am doing a children’s book based on her next.

Is there anything about drawing with a physical sketchbook that you would like to see come to the iPad?

Just the durability of a sketchbook. I dropped my iPad as I was getting in the car and caused $523 worth of damage.

Check out more of Ramsey’s work at

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About the Author

Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created