'From the Lovely Apollo Room': 50 Years Since Apollo 7 Brought America's Lunar Goal Closer (Part 3)

The final stage of the Saturn IB, the S-IVB also formed the component of the Saturn V which would house the lunar module. On Apollo 7, astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham performed several rendezvous activities with the spent stage. Photo Credit: NASA

Half a century ago, in October 1968, Project […]

'Yabadabadoo': 50 Years Since Apollo 7 Brought America's Lunar Goal Closer (Part 2)

The expended Saturn S-IVB stage as photographed from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during transposition and docking maneuvers. This view is over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this month, Apollo 7—America’s first three-person space mission—launched from Pad 34 at Cape Kennedy and spent almost 11 […]

Riding the 'Big Maumoo': 50 Years Since Apollo 7 Brought America's Lunar Goal Closer (Part 1)

Build-up of the Saturn IB gets underway at Pad 34 in April 1968, ahead of Apollo 7, the giant rocket’s first mission with a human crew. Photo Credit: NASA

Five decades ago, a gigantic rocket—nicknamed “the big maumoo” by Apollo 7 Commander Wally Schirra—stood primed on Pad 34 at Cape Kennedy, ready to […]

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 […]

Dawn of a New Age: 55 Years Since the Troubled Mission of Aurora 7 (Part 1)

Scott Carpenter, America’s fourth man in space and second to orbit the Earth. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty-five years ago, this week, America launched its second man into orbit around the Earth. That man should have been Deke Slayton, but a heart murmur had left him grounded, not in favor of his backup, Wally […]

'Just a Normal Day': Remembering John Glenn's Mercury Flight (Part 2)

Bobbing gently in the waves after a highly successful – though nail-bitingly harrowing – mission, Friendship 7 is readied for winching out of the water. Photo Credit: NASA

On the afternoon of 20 February 1962, millions of Americans listened and watched, transfixed as their countryman, John Glenn, plummeted back to Earth after completing […]

'Fire in the Cockpit': Remembering the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 1 (Part 1)

The Apollo 1 crew consisted of (from left) Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger Chaffee. Photo Credit: NASA

Five decades ago, this month, one of the worst tragedies in the history of U.S. space exploration unfolded with horrifying suddenness on Pad 34 at Cape Kennedy in Florida. […]

'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 […]

The 'No Sense' Mission: 50 Years Since the Rise and Fall of Apollo 2 (Part 2)

North American technicians work inside the Block I Command Module during processing. This craft caused great concern to Apollo 1 Commander Virgil “Gus” Grissom, who followed its progress with mounting distress and anger. Photo Credit: NASA

It is rare to find a space mission which was born, thrived, and ended within a matter […]

The 'No Sense' Mission: 50 Years Since the Rise and Fall of Apollo 2 (Part 1)

The three men who eventually formed the prime crew of Apollo 7 were originally assigned to the short-lived Apollo 2 mission. Left to right, are Walt Cunningham, Donn Eisele, and Wally Schirra. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this month, a space mission which even its commander—veteran Mercury and Gemini astronaut Wally Schirra—described […]