'Eight Days in a Garbage Can': 50 Years Since Gemini V (Part 1)

Illustrating the cramped nature of their eight-day home, astronauts Pete Conrad (background) and Gordo Cooper are in jubilant spirits ahead of their 21 August 1965 launch. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this week, astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad experienced “the longest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.” Gemini V was the third […]

'A Nation of Quitters': 45 Years Since the Summer Apollo Ended (Part 2)

Training for a mission which, for one of them, would never come to pass, Dick Gordon (left) and Jack Schmitt work with a mockup of the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) during their Apollo 15 backup duties. Schmitt’s importance as a professional geologist assured him a seat on Apollo 17. Gordon was not so lucky. […]

'A Nation of Quitters': 45 Years Since the Summer Apollo Ended (Part 1)

Apollo 15, originally the last of the H-series lunar landing missions, evolved to become the first member of the J-series, following the tumultuous events of 1970. Photo Credit: NASA

In 2011, Hollywood had us believe that the crew of Apollo 18 fell victim to spider-like aliens and a sinister conspiracy, spearheaded by the Department […]

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. 1—'One Small Step'

One of the relatively few images of Neil Armstrong at work on the lunar surface, close to Eagle. Photo Credit: NASA

On Sunday, 20 July 1969, the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC)—later to become the Johnson Space Center (JSC)—in Houston, Texas, was filled with tension and expectant quiet. […]

Top Ten US EVAs of All Time: No. 2—'What We Came For'

Dave Scott works with the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) on the slopes of Hadley Rille during Apollo 15. Photo Credit: NASA

More than four decades have passed since one of the most brilliant missions ever undertaken in the annals of space science. Apollo 15, launched in July 1971, carried U.S. astronauts Dave Scott, Al […]

'Roger, Houston': Mission Control Center (MCC) Celebrates 50 Years of Spaceflight Operations Support

Fifty years ago, today, on 3 June 1965, the Mission Control Center (MCC) in Houston, Texas, provided primary support for its first human spaceflight. In doing so, it placed Houston permanently on the intergalactic map. Image Credit: William Foster/NASA

Over the last 50 years, Houston—the seat of Harris County and the most populous city […]

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 […]

SpaceX Prepares for Latest in Long History of Critical Pad Abort Tests (Part 2)

The launch escape apparatus pulls an Apollo Command Module (CM) to safety during the Pad Abort Test-2 in June 1965. Photo Credit: NASA

Tomorrow, if all goes well, more than 120,000 pounds (54,430 kg) of thrust will rock Space Launch Complex (SLC)-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., as SpaceX stages the long-awaited […]

'We Show You on the Mains': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 4)

Seen later in the mission, the damage to an entire side panel of Apollo 13’s service module is apparent. It remains miraculous that the crew survived. Photo Credit: NASA

By the middle of April 1970, Project Apollo—America’s effort to land a man on the lunar surface—had reached one of its most decisive points of […]