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 […]

'It's a Beauty': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 3)

Astronauts gather in Mission Control at the height of the crisis. Seated (from left) are Deke Slayton, Jack Lousma and John Young, with Ken Mattingly and Vance Brand standing. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this week, the lives of three humans literally hung in the balance, more than 200,000 miles (320,000 km) from […]

'Main B Bus Undervolt': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 2)

Apollo 13’s Latin motto of “Ex Luna, Scientia” (“From the Moon, Knowledge”) highlighted this mission as a voyage of exploration and scientific endeavor. Image Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, yesterday, on Saturday, 11 April 1970, the third piloted mission to deposit human explorers onto the surface of the Moon got underway, with a spectacular […]

'Bored to Tears': 45 Years Since the Unlucky Voyage of Apollo 13 (Part 1)

Apollo 13’s Jim Lovell and Fred Haise discuss their April 1970 ordeal during last month’s 45th anniversary commemorative event at San Diego Air & Space Museum. Photo Credit: Robert C. Fisher / AmericaSpace

By the spring of 1970, six months had passed since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin triumphantly fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s […]