'Like a Big Ol' Freight Train': 45 Years Since the Launch of Apollo 17

Apollo 17 launches into the night at 12:33 a.m. EST on 7 December 1972. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Forty-five years ago, the combined spacecraft of Apollo 17—the Command and Service Module (CSM), named “America”, and the spider-like Lunar Module (LM), dubbed “Challenger”—slipped smoothly into lunar orbit. In doing so, it represented the […]

Pad 39A, America's Moonport, Celebrates Over 100 Launches in 50 Years of Service

The launch of Apollo 11 on 16 July 1969 was arguably Pad 39A’s finest hour. Photo Credit: NASA

In a strange twist of irony, Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida was not originally meant to be named “39A” at all. Having supported its first launch, 50 years ago, last week, […]

Dick Gordon, Gemini High-Flyer and Solo Lunar Orbiter, Dies Aged 88

Dick Gordon (left) and Pete Conrad await the start of an emergency water egress training exercise in the Gulf of Mexico in July 1966. Photo Credit: NASA

Veteran astronaut Dick Gordon, who passed away on Monday, aged 88, brings to just 14 the number of remaining spacefarers who have traveled to the Moon and […]

'Without Breaking the Shell': 50 Years Since the Saturn V's Maiden Launch

At the stroke of 7 a.m. EST on 9 November 1967, the first Saturn V took flight. Photo Credit: NASA

“T-minus-25…,” came the calm, measured tones of the launch announcer in the pre-dawn darkness of Thursday, 9 November 1967. “Stages reporting Ready for Launch…”

Fifty years ago, the largest and most powerful rocket ever […]

New Evidence Suggests the Moon Holds More Water Than Ever Previously Believed

Illustration depicting how magma in ancient volcanic deposits on the Moon contains more water than expected. Image Credit: Olga Prilipko Huber

To some people, the Moon can seem like a rather boring place – gray, dusty and covered in craters. It is also usually thought to be bone dry, not the first place that […]

Lockheed's Prototype Habitat Plans for NASA's Lunar Orbiting Deep Space Gateway

Artist rendering of the NextSTEP habitat docked with Orion in cislunar orbit as part of a concept for the Deep Space Gateway. Orion will serve as the habitat’s command deck in early missions, providing critical communications, life support and navigation to guide long-duration missions. Credits: Lockheed Martin

Last summer, NASA selected six companies to […]

Intruders in a Foreign Land: 45 Years Since Apollo 16 Almost Didn't Land on the Moon (Part 2)

Apollo 16 Commander John Young salutes the American flag on the surface of the moon. Photo Credit: NASA/Charles Duke

Apollo 16 Commander John Young salutes the American flag on the surface of the moon. Photo Credit: NASA/Charles Duke

Forty-five years ago, this week, Apollo 16 landed late on the surface of the Moon…and a carefully choreographed flight plan was instantly thrown into disarray. As outlined in yesterday’s AmericaSpace history article, a problem had […]

Billy Rubin and Typhoid Mary: 45 Years Since Apollo 16 Almost Didn't Land on the Moon (Part 1)

Apollo 16 Commander John Young gazes across the rugged terrain during humanity’s fifth piloted lunar landing. Two days before this photograph was taken, the chances of Young and Charlie Duke landing on the Moon at all quite literally hung by a thread. Photo Credit: NASA

For anyone born within the last five decades, it […]

Buzz Aldrin Flies with the Thunderbirds over Kennedy Space Center

“Good to get back in the cockpit”, said Buzz Aldrin as he strapped into a Thunderbird F-16 for a flight over NASA’s Kennedy Space Center & nearby Cape Canaveral AFS. Photo Credit: Buzz Aldrin via Facebook

Florida’s Space Coast has been roaring to the sound of rockets and jets this past week; SpaceX successfully […]

'Worth Waiting 16 Years For': Remembering Deke Slayton's Unrealized Mercury Mission (Part 2)

Savoring his first experience of weightlessness, Deke Slayton traverses through the Docking Module during his one and only space mission. Photo Credit: NASA

By the middle of March 1962, Donald “Deke” Slayton—decorated U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and test pilot and veteran of the grueling Project Mercury selection campaign, during which he had proven […]