'The Right Man': A Restoration of Faith (Part 2)

Atop a converted Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile, America launches its fourth man into orbit on 15 May 1963. Gordon Cooper’s 34-hour, 22-orbit voyage aboard Faith 7 would be NASA’s most challenging space mission to date. Photo Credit: NASA

Early on 14 May 1963, a hotshot pilot lay on his back in a tiny […]

'How About Now?' The Faith in Gordon Cooper (Part 1)

Fifty years ago, on 15 May 1963, America launched astronaut Gordon Cooper on its longest manned space mission to date. In doing so, NASA began to take strides toward meeting President John Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the decade. The humiliation of Yuri Gagarin’s orbital flight […]

50 Years Since Sigma 7: A Tale of Turtles

Signed image of Dee O’Hara with Wally Schirra’s enormous urine specimen bottle. Photo Credit: NASA/Wallyschirra.com

Urine samples were part and parcel of an astronaut’s medical regimen in the days and weeks surrounding a mission. For the Mercury Seven, their nurse, Dolores ‘Dee’ O’Hara, was all-powerful. The astronauts feared that the doctors, whilst highly […]

50 Years Since Sigma 7: A Word About Wally

Fifty years ago, Wally Schirra became America’s fifth man in space and only the third to orbit the Earth. His achievement cleared yet another hurdle in the nation’s plan to achieve a piloted lunar landing before the end of the decade. Photo Credit: NASA

On the day that he and six others were […]

“The Best All-Around Group”: NASA’s Astronauts of ‘62

The members of the ‘New Nine’ in comical pose surrounding a model of the Gemini spacecraft. Clockwise from top right are Frank Borman, John Young, Tom Stafford, Pete Conrad, Jim McDivitt, Jim Lovell, Elliot See, Ed White and Neil Armstrong. Two-thirds of them would journey to lunar orbit and one-third of them would […]

“A Nation of Quitters”: NASA’s Lunar Withdrawal

Pictured during their training as the Apollo 15 backup landing team, astronauts Dick Gordon (left) and Jack Schmitt work with a mockup of the Rover. According to Deke Slayton’s manifest predictions, both men should have flown on Apollo 18, but Schmitt’s geological expertise assured him a move to Apollo 17. Sadly, Gordon was […]

Neil Armstrong: The Inspiring Legacy of ‘Muffy’

Pictured in July 1965, Neil Armstrong sits in the simulator during training as backup command pilot for Gemini V. Much has been written over the years about the effect of his daughter’s death upon his future career as an astronaut. Photo Credit: NASA

Three generations of human beings (and countless more yet to […]

Neil Armstrong: Landing on the Earth, Landing on the Moon

At the time of writing, only five Americans – Jim McDivitt, Frank Borman, Neil Armstrong, Gerry Carr and Joe Engle – have commanded a crew on their very first orbital space mission. Armstrong is here pictured shortly before embarking on Gemini VIII – an already complex rendezvous, docking and EVA extravaganza, which quickly […]

Neil Armstrong: The 'First Man' Decision

Photographed by Neil Armstrong, this image reveals the difficulty involved with crawling through the lunar module’s square hatch onto the porch. Buzz Aldrin’s backpack narrowly fits through the narrow aperture. Photo Credit: NASA

Much has been spoken and written in recent days about Neil Armstrong: that he was a quiet man, a thoughtful […]

Neil Armstrong: A Hero “Of All Time”

This ghostly image – captured from a remote camera – records the instant of our species’ first steps into the Universe around us. Even humanity’s first footfalls on the Red Planet or any other world in the years to come can never match the history-making and jaw-dropping audacity of what Neil Armstrong achieved […]