Sleeping On Alien Shores: The Unquiet Slumbers of the Apollo Moonwalkers

Covered in lunar grime, and clad only in his water-cooled underwear, Gene Cernan manages a grin for Jack Schmitt’s camera, aboard the Lunar Module (LM) Challenger during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. The astronauts’ space suits can be seen, stashed at the back of the cramped cabin. Above the helmets can be […]

The Misfortune of Al Shepard: 50 Years Since Gemini 3 (Part 1)

In addition to carrying the equipment of the prime crew, Gemini 3 backups Wally Schirra (third from the right) and Tom Stafford (second from right) saw to it that they fulfilled the mission’s humor requirements. As a result, Gemini 3 would forever come to be known as “The Corned Beef Sandwich Mission.” Photo Credit: […]

Walking on an Alien World: The First 50 Years of Spacewalking (Part 2)

A mere four years after humanity’s first spacewalk, EVA and space suit technology advanced sufficiently to permit Neil Armstrong’s historic first steps on the Moon. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, yesterday, on 18 March 1965, humanity became an “extravehicular” spacefaring civilization for the first time, when 30-year-old Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov ventured outside […]

84 Days in Space, 84 Years on Earth: The Life and Legacy of Bill Pogue

Bill Pogue (center), pictured with crewmates Gerry Carr (left) and Ed Gibson on 27 July 2013 at the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s 40th anniversary of Skylab. Photo Credit: Emily Carney

Last month, NASA marked the 40th anniversary of the end of the final Skylab mission, and less than four weeks later the agency is mourning the […]

In Search of Cone Crater: 43 Years Since Triumphant Mission of Apollo 14 (Part 2)

Beneath a gloomy sky, Apollo 14 takes flight on the afternoon of 31 January 1971. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-three years ago this week, the sixth team of Apollo lunar explorers—and only the third to accomplish a landing on the Moon’s dusty surface—headed back to Earth after a mission which restored confidence in America’s space […]

Juicing It: 43 Years Since Triumphant Mission of Apollo 14 (Part 1)

 

Bathed by the intense lunar sunlight, Antares sits on the undulating plain of Fra Mauro in February 1971. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-three years ago this week, the sixth team of Apollo lunar explorers—and only the third to accomplish a landing on the Moon’s dusty surface—headed back to Earth after a mission which restored […]

Of Minds & Men: The First Rendezvous in Space (Part 1)

Gemini VII, bearing astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell on a record-breaking 14-day mission, is seen through the windows of Gemini VI-A, with fellow spacefarers Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford. This mission, in December 1965, marked the first ‘true’ rendezvous between two piloted vehicles in orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Two weeks before Christmas in […]

All the King's Horses: The Final Mission to Skylab (Part 2)

Skylab and its Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) was a critical asset in observing Comet Kohoutek in the winter of 1973-74. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years ago this week, in November 1973, NASA launched its third and final crew to the Skylab space station. As recounted in yesterday’s history article, Commander Gerry Carr, Science Pilot […]

'I Hope That Flight Works Out For You': 15 Years Since John Glenn's Return to Space

Fifteen years ago today, at age 77, John Glenn became the oldest person ever to venture into space. It is a record which still stands. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago today (29 October), John Glenn became the oldest human ever to venture beyond the thin veil of Earth and into space. He was […]

Wally, Walt, and Whatshisname: The Three Heroes Who Set Apollo's Course for the Moon

Commander Wally Schirra (center) and crewmates Donn Eisele (left) and Walt Cunningham restored America’s confidence in the Apollo spacecraft and enabled NASA to put its bold plan for a voyage to lunar orbit in motion. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago today, on 22 October 1968, the future began. With the successful return of […]