Hills and Valleys: Remembering Apollo 12's Hair-Raising Ride to the Moon, 50 Years Ago (Part 2)

Alan Bean carries the panniers of the first Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP) across the dusty terrain for installation. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this month, America triumphantly completed the second voyage with humans to the surface of the Moon. As outlined in last weekend’s AmericaSpace history article, the Apollo 12 crew […]

'SCE to Aux': Remembering Apollo 12's Hair-Raising Ride to the Moon, 50 Years Ago (Part 1)

In drizzle and with ominous thunderstorms and lightning in the area, Apollo 12 takes flight on 14 November 1969, 50 years ago this month. Photo Credit: NASA

Look up “1969” on Wikipedia and the image that appears time and again is related in some way, shape or form to Apollo 11, which saw astronauts […]

Moonwalker, Skylab Commander and Lunar Artist Alan Bean Dies, Aged 86

At 2013’s Skylab 40th anniversary event, astronaut Alan Bean (with microphone) talks to crewmate Jack Lousma, flanked by fellow astronauts. Photo Credit: Emily Carney

Alan Bean, the fourth man to set foot on the lunar surface—and the second Moonwalker to pass in 2018—has died, aged 86, after suddenly falling ill while on travel […]

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 […]

Gene Cernan, Last Apollo Moonwalker, Dies Aged 82

Gene Cernan salutes the U.S. flag at Taurus-Littrow in December 1972. Photo Credit: NASA

On 16 January, a day of reflection—the 14th anniversary of the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia on her final mission—the world lost a shining light in the early annals of human space exploration. Retired Navy Capt. Gene Cernan, veteran […]

'Send Up a Tanker': 50 Years Since the High-Flight of Gemini XI (Part 2)

Tethering Gemini XI to Agena-XI was part of an experiment to evaluate the controllability of two vehicles in close proximity without control inputs. Photo Credit: NASA

Half a century ago, this coming week, on 12 September 1966, Gemini XI astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad and Dick Gordon launched from Earth within a two-second-long “window” […]

'Would You Believe M=1?' 50 Years Since the High-Flight of Gemini XI (Part 1)

Fifty years ago, this month, Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon’s Gemini XI mission would carry them to a peak 850 miles (1,370 km), which remains the highest altitude of any Earth-orbital mission. Only the Apollo lunar flights traveled higher on their expeditions to the Moon. Photo Credit: NASA

Not all astronauts get on […]

'An Even Better Friend': 45 Years Since the Apollo 17 Decision (Part 2)

Forty-five years ago, this month, the names of the final crew of lunar explorers of the 20th century were announced. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this month, NASA made the decision which would close out human exploration of the lunar surface for more than two generations: the selection of the final crew […]

'I Didn't Feel Any Obligation': 45 Years Since the Apollo 17 Decision (Part 1)

As Project Apollo wore on, the intensity of lobbying by the scientific community to get geologist-astronaut Jack Schmitt to the Moon increased. Originally assigned to the Apollo 15 backup crew, Schmitt might have flown Apollo 18, prior to a sweeping cancelation of the final missions in the program. Photo Credit: NASA

For almost […]

'A Peaceful, If Temporary Home': 45 Years Since the Mission of Apollo 15 (Part 4)

Jim Irwin works on digging a trench to test the bearing capacity of the lunar soil. He “solved a dog’s job with a dog’s technique.” Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, today, on 7 August 1971, the Apollo 15 crew—Commander Dave Scott, Lunar Module Pilot (LMP) Jim Irwin, and Command Module Pilot (CMP) […]