A great irony of Apollo 1 is that it kicked off the third and final phase of the manned space program, and its most anticipated, with utter tragedy. The deaths of Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee on January 27, 1967, in a command module fire during a launch pad test caused the manned Apollo...
July 16, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
As a five-year-old growing up in Oklahoma in the 1940s, Jerry Elliott had a vision that he'd someday travel into space. His family was amused, but Jerry had the last laugh. He graduated with a physics degree from the University of Oklahoma—the first Native American to do so—then went to work for NA...
July 15, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
A collection of otherworldly paintings goes on display at the National Air and Space Museum.
July 15, 2009 | By The Editors
Those grainy, black and white television images of Neil Armstrong making his one small step onto the lunar surface...Do they fill you with awe? Or maybe, just a little, do they make you want to lean forward, annoyed, and play with the rabbit ears on your 1960s TV set, give it a hard slap on the top...
July 14, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
It's all about the solar beta angle.
July 14, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
It was July 15, 1969, the eve of Apollo 11's launch. There was electricity in the air at a huge banquet at Cape Canaveral in honor of rocketeer Wernher von Braun. The dinner was organized by Fifi Booth, seated at the far end of the table in the photo below. Click here for a larger version. As direc...
July 13, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
The space shuttle glows in photographs taken by one of its own technicians.
July 13, 2009 | By The Editors
Space historian Matthew Hersch writes in:On June 16, 1968, three astronauts left their homes in sunny Houston, and with little fanfare or press attention, quietly voyaged into space. They hadn’t been astronauts for very long: physician Joe Kerwin, selected in 1965, was the first of NASA’s new scien...
July 10, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Random events, improbabilities, the domino effect, good luck, bad luck. It's no secret that these things conspire to engrave names on history. The space program of the 1960s was a great example.Consider the path of Mike Collins, Apollo 11's command module pilot. He was originally assigned to fly on...
July 09, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
Apollo "onboard voice" recordings captured the moon astronauts' conversations -- cussing and all -- when no one else was listening.
July 07, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
...what would you have said as you stepped onto the lunar surface in 1969? The folks at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics in England want your suggestions (but only if you live in the U.K., sorry). They'll choose the five best recorded messages, turn them into radio signals, and bounce them ...
July 06, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Roger Launius, a senior curator in the National Air and Space Museum’s Space History Division, recently gave a talk near the Museum’s newly restored Lunar Module called “Apollo and the So-Called Moon Landing Hoax” (allow pause for an eye-roll). He drew quite a crowd, including many museum employees...
July 03, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
Space historian Matthew Hersch writes in:
It is difficult to imagine it now, but in 1967, Americans and Soviets were literally dying to get to the moon. That year, three American astronauts lost their lives in the Apollo 1 launch pad fire, and a Soviet cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, died when the ree...
July 02, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
You want to rediscover the vibe of 1969? Then rediscover the 1970 film Moonwalk One. With shots of camping, idling, beer-drinking middle America on hand in Florida to witness the launch of Apollo 11, interspersed with images of VIPs like Johnny Carson at the Kennedy Space Center, a box-jawed Wernhe...
July 01, 2009 | By Mike Klesius
We’re about to get a peek at the solar system’s
July 2009 | By Guy Gugliotta
It took 400,000 people, working under extreme pressure, to reach the moon in 1969. Like any army, they suffered casualties.
June 18, 2009 | By The Editors
Three distinct personalities, one goal: reach the moon.
May 21, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
What it was like, in the astronauts’ own words. Excerpts from a new book by Andrew Chaikin.
May 20, 2009 | By Andrew Chaikin with Victoria Kohl
NASA tests the seaworthiness of its new moonship.
April 27, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
In 1959, a group of military pilots became Astronaut Heroes overnight, and created an American icon that survives to this day.
April 07, 2009 | By Matthew Hersch