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 […]

The Day the Saturn V Almost Failed: 50 Years Since Apollo 6

The all-white Apollo 6 spacecraft rises from Pad 39A on 6 April 1968 for the Saturn V’s second unmanned test-flight. Photo Credit: NASA

Throughout its stellar 13-flight career, between November 1967 and May 1973, the mighty Saturn V—which still retains a place as the largest and most powerful rocket ever to reach operational service—never […]

First to the Moon: Upcoming Documentary Film Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8

Due for release later in 2018, “First to the Moon” traces the lives of the Apollo 8 crew and their remarkable voyage to the Moon. Image Credit: Paul Hildebrandt/FirstMoonMovie.com

“If I have seen further,” the great English scientist Sir Isaac Newton once remarked, writing about the Dutch philosopher and physicist René Descartes, “it is […]

Means and the Muscle: Where Does Falcon Heavy Stand Alongside the Heavylifters?

Last week’s launch of the maiden Falcon Heavy has opened a niche in the market for super-heavylift launch vehicles. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

“If you can hear me over the cheering,” intoned SpaceX’s John Insprucker in the seconds after 3:45 p.m. EST Tuesday, 6 February, “Falcon Heavy, heading to space on her test-flight. Building […]

'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 […]

'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 […]

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 […]

'More Confidence Than Ever': Remembering the Trailblazing Mission of Apollo 9 (Part 2)

Apollo 9 marked the first “all-up” flight of the entire Apollo spacecraft, as well as the first mission to feature Extravehicular Activity (EVA). Photo Credit: NASA

Early on 5 March 1969, two men floated through a tunnel from their command ship into a spider-shaped vehicle whose descendants would soon carry astronauts to the surface […]

'Certainly Not Supposed to Happen': Remembering the Trailblazing Mission of Apollo 9 (Part 1)

On the “D” mission, which later became Apollo 9, astronauts Jim McDivitt, Dave Scott and Rusty Schweickart would put the Lunar Module (LM) through its paces for the first time on a piloted space mission. Photo Credit: NASA

The year 1969 was pivotal in so many ways for humanity. At its dawn, American astronauts […]