Riding the 'Big Maumoo': 50 Years Since Apollo 7 Brought America's Lunar Goal Closer (Part 1)

Build-up of the Saturn IB gets underway at Pad 34 in April 1968, ahead of Apollo 7, the giant rocket’s first mission with a human crew. Photo Credit: NASA

Five decades ago, a gigantic rocket—nicknamed “the big maumoo” by Apollo 7 Commander Wally Schirra—stood primed on Pad 34 at Cape Kennedy, ready to launch […]

'Launch Commit': The Voyage of Apollo 8 (Part 1)

Watched by a global audience of millions, and seemingly also by a crescent Moon, the first Saturn V ever trusted with human passengers takes flight on the morning of 21 December 1968. Photo Credit: NASA

Since July 1969, astronaut Mike Collins has achieved fame as “the other one” on the first lunar landing crew. […]

'Does Anyone Read Me?' 45 Years Since Apollo 9 (Part 2)

As Rusty Schweickart performed his EVA from Spider, Dave Scott made a “stand-up” EVA in Gumdrop’s hatch. It was always recognized that in an emergency returning lunar crews might need to transfer by “extravehicular” means from the LM back to the CSM. Photo Credit: NASA

Early on 5 March 1969, 45 years ago this […]

'We Were at War': 45 Years Since Apollo 9 (Part 1)

The year 1969 was pivotal in so many ways for humanity. At its dawn, American astronauts had newly returned from circling the Moon, and by July it had produced our first piloted landfall on another world. These astonishing achievements continue to resonate today—particularly following 2012’s untimely loss of Neil Armstrong—but there is one mission, […]

From People on Wheels to People and Wheels on the Moon: The Automotive Lunar Explorers

Jim Irwin works with the lunar rover, backdropped by the grandeur of Hadley, in July-August 1971. Photo Credit: NASA

Chrysler, Delco, Ford, and General Motors are hardly the sort of names—at first glance—that might be associated with Project Apollo, the grandest and boldest adventure of exploration in human history. Since the dawn of the […]