It's been 40 years since the first moon landing—the same gap separating Apollo 1 from Lindbergh's 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic.
About Lindbergh's feat, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: "For a moment people set down their glasses in country clubs and speakeasies and thought of their old best dreams." That was pretty much the same effect that Apollo had on the post-World War 2 generation. And for people born after 1969, the fascination continues undiminished, as evidenced by the steady stream of Apollo books and movies still coming out at regular five-year intervals.
Fitzgerald also wrote, "There are no second acts in American lives." Hard to imagine that's true—not with something as open-ended as space exploration. But Apollo was a tough act to follow, and still is, 40 years later.
To mark this anniversary of the first moon landing, we'll be offering photo essays, interviews, and articles examining Apollo from a variety of perspectives, along with a selection of readings from previous coverage in Air & Space. We'll keep adding to the section as we near the July 20 anniversary, so check back.
It took 400,000 people, working under extreme pressure, to reach the moon in 1969. Like any army, they suffered casualties.
What it was like, in the astronauts’ own words. Excerpts from a new book by Andrew Chaikin.
Three distinct personalities, one goal: reach the moon.
Armed with their checklists, the Apollo astronauts literally read themselves to the moon.
As the first lunar explorers prepared to launch, artist Paul Calle was in the room, quietly sketching away.
The myth of the spiritual spaceman.
A collection of otherworldly paintings goes on display at the National Air and Space Museum.
From the A&S Archive
Forty years later, we’re about to see what the moonwalkers left behind.
The Apollo Lunar Module wasn't pretty. But it got the job done.
The lunar Touchrock is one of the most popular objects in the National Air and Space Museum.
Sending Apollo 8 to the moon was a risky mix of cold war politics, bravery, and the faith of one man, George Low, in his engineers.
Veteran space reporter Jay Barbree recalls Apollo's darkest day.
How a clever camera and its irascible inventor captured the lunar surface—but not the hearts of Apollo astronauts.
The Soviets lost the moon race but won a dram of glory with the first robotic craft to roam another world.
The next lunar lander will be a giant leap ahead of the first.