'The Eagle Has Landed': Celebrating Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Month (Part 3)

Perspective of humanity’s first naked-eye view of the lunar surface at the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, 50 years ago, this week. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this weekend, on Sunday, 20 July 1969, the Mission Operations Control Room (MOCR) at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC)—later to become the Johnson Space Center (JSC)—in Houston, […]

'Distinctly Forbidding': Celebrating Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Month (Part 2)

The Home Planet creeps slowly above the lunar horizon, as viewed from Apollo 11. Only a handful of men have seen this view in more than two million years of human history. Photo Credit: NASA

When Apollo 11 and its three-man crew—Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins and Buzz Aldrin—rose into space 50 years ago, this […]

'Launch Commit': Celebrating Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Month (Part 1)

Illuminated by floodlights, the Saturn V for Apollo 11 stands ready on Pad 39A. Fifty years ago, this month, it delivered the first humans to the lunar surface. Photo Credit: NASA

Early in July 1969, Jan Armstrong called her friend, Lurton Scott, for help. Only a few days remained before her husband, Neil, blasted […]

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 […]

'He Lost His Record': Remembering Apollo 8, 50 Years On (Part 2)

View of Earth from Apollo 8, showing the day-night terminator crossing from Brazil to the north-eastern United States. Photo Credit: NASA

Five decades have now passed since the largest and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status—the gigantic Saturn V—set off from Earth, bound for another world, with a human crew aboard. At […]

'Why Complicate It?' Remembering Apollo 8, 50 Years On (Part 1)

For some time, the exact content of Apollo 8 (whether circumlunar or lunar-orbital) remained undecided. The crew patch, originally sketched by Jim Lovell onto his kneeboard during a cross-country T-38 flight with Frank Borman, illustrates the ambiguity and enormity of their mission. Image Credit: NASA

Since July 1969, astronaut Mike Collins has achieved worldwide […]

Remembering John Young, an 'Astronaut's Astronaut', Gone at Age 87

Apollo 16 Commander John Young gazes across the rugged terrain during humanity’s fifth piloted lunar landing. Photo Credit: NASA

John Young, one of only 12 humans to have walked the dusty surface of the Moon, one of only three of mankind’s sons to have traveled twice to lunar distance, the only astronaut to […]

'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 […]

'Something Fierce': 50 Years Since the Double-Rendezvous, Double-Spacewalk Mission of Gemini X (Part 2)

The Gemini X crew of Command Pilot John Young and Pilot Mike Collins are recovered from their capsule in the Atlantic Ocean by the U.S.S. Guadalcanal on 21 July 1966. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Half a century has now passed since Gemini X astronauts John Young and Mike Collins paved the […]