'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 […]

'Stronger Than Required': Remembering Skylab's End, 40 Years On

One of the final views of Skylab in orbit, as seen directly by human eyes, during the departure of the third crew in February 1974. The station, which began its slow descent back to Earth 40 years ago, this summer, was the largest single object ever launched into space. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years […]

'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 […]

“We Didn’t Know the Questions”: Remembering Apollo 10, 50 Years On (Part 2)

It was no understatement that Charlie Brown and Snoopy were everywhere in the days leading up to (and during) the Apollo 10 mission. Here Snoopy, clad in bubble helmet and trademark scarf, sits with Charlie on a console in Mission Control. Photo Credit: NASA

Snoopy, the little black-and-white dog from the Peanuts comic strip, […]

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, […]

'To Finish the Paint Job': Remembering Pad 39B, 50 Years After First Rollout

Apollo 10 rolls out in March 1969, becoming Pad 39B’s first occupant. Following the Apollo 10 launch in May 1969, four more Apollo missions would fly from Pad 39B, together with 53 Space Shuttle flights and most recently the Ares I-X test in October 2009. Photo Credit: NASA

For five decades, Pad 39B at […]

'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 […]

'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 […]