'Yabadabadoo': 50 Years Since Apollo 7 Brought America's Lunar Goal Closer (Part 2)

The expended Saturn S-IVB stage as photographed from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during transposition and docking maneuvers. This view is over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this month, Apollo 7—America’s first three-person space mission—launched from Pad 34 at Cape Kennedy and spent almost 11 days […]

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 […]

Attitude Control Game: Remembering Skylab's Fateful Launch, 45 Years Ago

The Saturn V which launched Skylab was visually quite distinct from its predecessors. Although it possessed the S-IC and S-II first and second stages, the place of the third stage (S-IVB) was taken by the inert space station. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this month, America almost lost its first space station. On […]

'Fire in the Hole': 50 Years Since Apollo 5, First Lunar Module Test-Flight

An unusual sight greeted Cape Kennedy spectators at sunset on 22 January 1968, as the “stubby” Saturn IB, bearing only Lunar Module (LM)-1, rose to orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

By a strange quirk of fate, NASA’s Apollo 5 mission—which launched 50 years ago, this week—used the same booster as should have been ridden by […]

Grissom, White, and Chaffee: On 50th Anniversary of Apollo 1 Fire, America Remembers

On the 50th anniversary of their loss, America remembers the sacrifice of (from left) Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. Photo Credit: NASA

At 6:31 p.m. EST on Friday, 27 January 1967, as night fell over Cape Kennedy in Florida, one of the worst disasters ever to befall America’s space program unfolded […]

'Worst Day': Remembering the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 1 (Part 2)

The Apollo 1 prime crew consisted of (from right) Commander Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger Chaffee. Photo Credit: NASA

In the windowless blockhouse at Pad 34 at Cape Kennedy, Deke Slayton heard the call of “rookie” astronaut Roger Chaffee and glanced over to a monitor which showed the hatch […]

'Fire in the Cockpit': Remembering the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 1 (Part 1)

The Apollo 1 crew consisted of (from left) Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger Chaffee. Photo Credit: NASA

Five decades ago, this month, one of the worst tragedies in the history of U.S. space exploration unfolded with horrifying suddenness on Pad 34 at Cape Kennedy in Florida. “The […]

'All Sorts of Planning Problems': 50 Years Since Apollo Took Steps to the Moon (Part 2)

Apollo 8 in December 1968 marked the first occasion on which humans had departed Earth’s gravitational “well,” entered cislunar space, and traveled to the Moon. The flight design originated from the “E-mission” of Apollo 3. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this week—just three days before Christmas 1966—NASA announced the names of a group […]

'The Next Mission in the Schedule': 50 Years Since Apollo Took Steps to the Moon (Part 1)

Targeting a launch as early as August 1967, the Apollo 2 crew of (from left) Rusty Schweickart, Dave Scott, and Jim McDivitt would have performed the inaugural test of the combined command, service, and lunar modules in low-Earth orbit. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Nearly five decades have passed since astronauts Virgil “Gus” […]

The 'No Sense' Mission: 50 Years Since the Rise and Fall of Apollo 2 (Part 2)

North American technicians work inside the Block I Command Module during processing. This craft caused great concern to Apollo 1 Commander Virgil “Gus” Grissom, who followed its progress with mounting distress and anger. Photo Credit: NASA

It is rare to find a space mission which was born, thrived, and ended within a matter of […]