'An Even Better Friend': 45 Years Since the Apollo 17 Decision (Part 2)

Standing near a huge boulder, overlooking the scenic grandeur of the Taurus-Littrow valley, Jack Schmitt became the first - and so far only - professional geologist to visit another world. His selection as a member of the Apollo 17 crew came at the end of a long and difficult process, which saw him overlooked for an assignment time and time again...and eventually resulted in Joe Engle losing his own seat on a lunar voyage. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this month, the names of the final crew of lunar explorers of the 20th century were announced. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this month, NASA made the decision which would close out human exploration of the lunar surface for more than two generations: the selection of the final crew to […]

'I Didn't Feel Any Obligation': 45 Years Since the Apollo 17 Decision (Part 1)

Forty years after Apollo 17, Jack Schmitt remains the only professional geologist to practice his art on another world. Pictured in this view with Old Glory at Taurus-Littrow, he is backdropped by the two celestial bodies upon which he had based his entire career: the Moon and the Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

As Project Apollo wore on, the intensity of lobbying by the scientific community to get geologist-astronaut Jack Schmitt to the Moon increased. Originally assigned to the Apollo 15 backup crew, Schmitt might have flown Apollo 18, prior to a sweeping cancelation of the final missions in the program. Photo Credit: NASA

For almost five […]

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 […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 10—'The Long and the Short'

Jim Voss is pictured at the end of Discovery’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm, during the longest EVA ever undertaken, in March 2001. Photo Credit: NASA

Over the course of five decades, no fewer than 211 individuals from 10 sovereign nations—Russia, the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, China, and Italy—have departed […]

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 […]

Through a Glass, Darkly: Reflections on EFT-1 and Shadows of Apollo (Part 2)

Impressive view of the Kennedy Space Center’s (KSC) new countdown clock. At some point in the next decade, this device will begin counting down to America’s next human adventure in space. Photo Credit: Dave Parrish Photography/AmericaSpace, with additional thanks to Leonidas Papadopoulos

Two days ago, NASA’s Orion spacecraft triumphantly sailed through its maiden shakedown […]

The Space Store Relocates to Florida's Space Coast, Poised for Friday Grand Opening

The Space Store is poised for its grand opening on Friday, Sept. 12, at 5 p.m. Manager and artist Tim Gagnon designed its new logo, pictured here. Image Credit: Tim Gagnon for The Space Store

The Space Store, previously located in Englewood, Colo., has moved to a new location in Brevard County’s Cocoa Village […]

'Miles and Miles and Miles': Opportunity Sets New Off-World Distance Milestone

Simulated image of Opportunity at work in Endurance crater. The “little Mars rover that could” recently surpassed a 41-year-old “off-world” distance record. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad famously quipped as he stepped upon the Moon’s surface, “Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small [step] for Neil [Armstrong], but that’s a long […]

LADEE Sees Zodiacal Light at Moons Horizon Just Prior to Crash

Video caption: A series of star tracker images taken by LADEE on April 12, 2014. The lunar horizon is ahead, a few minutes before orbital sunrise. Click to see gif animation. Credit: NASA Ames

Mere days before its planned mission ending crash on April 17, scientists directing NASA’s wildly successful LADEE lunar orbiter sought […]

Opportunity Rover Celebrates 10th Anniversary Since Arrival on Mars

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was given a 90-day life expectancy; she is currently in her 10th year of Martian exploration. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.

Less than a year after it broke the record for the farthest-driven NASA vehicle on an alien world, the Mars Exploration Rover-B—better known as “Opportunity”—tomorrow celebrates the 10th anniversary of […]