'We Have Arrived': Remembering Apollo 10, 50 Years On (Part 3)

The rugged, forbidding lunar landscape, seen from Apollo 10. Photo Credit: NASA

Four hours after a bone-jarring launch from Cape Kennedy—marking the first-ever space mission to originate from Pad 39B—and an equally rattling ride through Trans-Lunar Injection (TLI), on 18 May 1969 the crew of Apollo 10 were finally on their way to the […]

To 'Simply' Land: Remembering Apollo 10, 50 Years On (Part 1)

Over the years, many have questioned the need for Apollo 10 and why it could not be retasked to perform a lunar landing. In reality, the mission was critical in clearing up many unknowns before a landing could go ahead. Photo Credit: NASA

Five decades ago, this week, Americans could almost taste the Moon, […]

First on the Moon: Looking Back on the Apollo 11 Decision, 50 Years On

Fifty years ago, this month, after detailed simulations and planning, NASA made a decision that Neil Armstrong (left) would become the first human to set foot on the Moon. His Apollo 11 crewmate Buzz Aldrin (right) would follow shortly afterwards. Photo Credit: NASA

Five decades ago, in the first half of 1969, the United […]

'More Confidence Than Ever': Remembering Apollo 9, Launched 50 Years Ago (Part 2)

Balanced on the Lunar Module porch – with one of the footpads visible ‘below’ him – Rusty Schweickart puts the lunar suit through its paces on Apollo 9, 50 years ago, this month. Photo Credit: NASA

Early on 5 March 1969, two men floated through a tunnel from their command ship into a […]

'Not Supposed To Happen': Remembering Apollo 9, 50 Years On (Part 1)

Apollo 9 was tasked with the first manned test-flight of the Command and Service Module (CSM) and Lunar Module (LM) in low-Earth orbit. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

The year 1969 was pivotal in so many ways for humanity. At its dawn, American astronauts had newly returned from circling the Moon, and […]

'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 […]

'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 […]

'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 […]

'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 […]

'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 […]