'It's Been A Long Way': Remembering the Return of the Rookie, 50 Years On

“A long way, but we’re here,” were Shepard’s figuratively and literally appropriate words when he became the fifth man to set foot on the Moon. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, as the United States and the world stood on the cusp of launching the first humans to the surface of another world, a […]

The Right Man: Remembering Gordon Cooper's Day-Long Mercury Mission, 55 Years On

The Atlas booster rises from Pad 14 on 15 May 1963, carrying Gordon Cooper on his day-long Faith 7 mission. His was the longest single U.S. piloted spaceflight at that time. Photo Credit: NASA

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

'The Right Man': Remembering Gordon Cooper's Faith 7 Mission (Part 2)

Faith 7 descends to a splashdown on 16 May 1963, after Project Mercury’s longest mission of 34 hours. Photo Credit: NASA

Early on 14 May 1963, a hotshot pilot lay on his back in a tiny capsule, atop a converted ballistic missile, and steeled himself to be blasted into space. On Project Mercury’s […]

'How About Now?' Remembering Gordon Cooper's Faith 7 Mission (Part 1)

Gordon Cooper is extracted from the Faith 7 capsule, on the deck of the USS Kearsarge on 16 May 1963. The astronaut’s 34-hour, 22-orbit mission proved as colorful as Cooper himself. Photo Credit: NASA

More than a half-century ago, on 15 May 1963, America launched astronaut Gordon Cooper on its longest manned space […]

Wally, Walt, and Whatshisname: The Three Heroes Who Set Apollo's Course for the Moon

Commander Wally Schirra (center) and crewmates Donn Eisele (left) and Walt Cunningham restored America’s confidence in the Apollo spacecraft and enabled NASA to put its bold plan for a voyage to lunar orbit in motion. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago today, on 22 October 1968, the future began. With the successful return […]

A Man Who Inspired: The Life and Legend of Scott Carpenter (1925-2013)

Chrysler artist Cece Bibby chats with Scott Carpenter, after stencilling the name “Aurora 7” onto his spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA

Yesterday’s tragic passing of Scott Carpenter—one of America’s “Original Seven” Mercury astronauts and the nation’s second man to orbit Earth—following a recent stroke has deprived the world of yet another pioneer from the […]

Retro Space Images: Looking Down from Gemini 5

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Room with a View: Fantastic view of the Yucatan and British Honduras as photographed by astronauts Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad during the eight-day mission of Gemini 5 in August 1965. The Gemini Program produced a large number of wonderful views of Earth during the 1965-1966 […]

Retro Space Images: Remembering Gemini 5

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Ready to Go: Astronauts Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad were launched from Launch Complex 19 aboard Gemini 5 on this date in 1965. The astronauts spent eight cozy days in their spacecraft while completing the third manned mission in the Gemini Program. Cooper was one of […]

Retro Space Images: Launch Complex 19

Photo Credit: J.L. Pickering

In Better Days: Photo taken in November 1983 showing a late afternoon view of Complex 19 at Cape Canaveral. The blockhouse and erector made famous in the Gemini Program are clearly visible in this photo. Anyone who has visited the pad in recent years will see that […]

'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 […]