On September 17, 1962, Neil Armstrong’s parents, Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel Armstrong joined “I’ve Got a Secret”, a panel game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS television. They had a “secret” that their son just became an astronaut for NASA on that day, one of the nine newly chosen men for the future space missions.
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong whispers the Host Garry Moore’s ears their secret: “Our Son became an astronaut today”.
A few minutes later, Moore asks an incredible question: “Now, how would you feel, Mrs. Armstrong, if it turned out – of course, nobody knows – but if it turns out that your son is the first man to land on the moon? What, how do, how would you feel?” He asks this nearly seven years before it actually happens on July 20, 1969! Neil’s mother’s reply is priceless, “Well, guess I’d just say god bless him and I wish him the best of all good luck.”
Continue reading Watch: Neil Armstrong’s Parents at I’ve Got a Secret
On July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC, two American astronauts, Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module Eagle on the Moon. It was the first time humans set foot on another planetary body than Earth, making the moon landing probably the most monumental event in history.
Vox.com published a beautiful video highlighting the key moments of the Apollo 11 mission.
Continue reading Watch: Apollo 11’s journey to the moon, annotated
The Moon is completely uninhabitable and lifeless today – a dusty, dry rock. It has no atmosphere, there is no liquid water on the surface, and, maybe the most important, it has no magnetosphere to protect its surface from solar wind and cosmic radiation. But, according to a new study published in Astrobiology, it may have looked quite different around four billion years ago: its surface was not as dry as it is today, and conditions to support simple life on the Moon existed twice during the early years.
Continue reading Life on the Moon? New study suggests there was a habitability window 4 billion years ago
NASA has just published Two Years’ Worth of Apollo 11 Mission Audio (the first manned moon landing mission) on their website “Explore Apollo“. That’s more than 19,000 hours of audio.
So now anyone can hear the endless hours of conversations between the Apollo 11 astronauts and Houston. Some recordings are really exciting, for example, the audio of the lunar module landing. When the lunar module enters the lunar orbit some interesting, tensed and nail-biting technical challenges are encountered and are solved.
Continue reading NASA Has Released Apollo 11 Mission Audio
The mighty Saturn V, the rocket that took humans to the moon, remains the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status (as of 2018). It was used by NASA between 1967 and 1973. It was powered by five Rocketdyne F-1 engines. With a thrust of 1,746,000 lbf (7,770 kN) in vacuum (1,522,000 lbf / 6,770 kN at sea level), the F-1 remains the most powerful single combustion chamber liquid-propellant rocket engine ever developed.
Today, private companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and space agencies like NASA trying to build powerful rockets in order to reach Moon and Mars. But, we’ve already built a rocket which took us to the moon, why don’t we simply remake it (and the engines)? In the video below, Youtube user Curious Droid answers this question.
Continue reading Why can’t we Remake the Rocketdyne F-1 Engine, which took humans to the Moon?
A great short science fiction film, “Others Will Follow”, created and directed by Andrew Finch and published on Vimeo, tells the story of a manned Mars mission. An accident occurs and the spacecraft breaks apart, the last survivor (we don’t see what happens to the rest of the crew, but presumably they have died) manages to send an inspirational message back to Earth. A must-watch.
Continue reading Watch: Others Will Follow (Short Sci-Fi Film)
Spacewalking or Extravehicular activity (EVA) is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft beyond the Earth’s appreciable atmosphere (a moonwalk is also an EVA). The first skywalker was the Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov. He became the first human to conduct an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) on March 18, 1965; exiting the capsule during the Voskhod 2 mission for a 12-minute spacewalk. Since this very short EVA, a lot of astronauts/cosmonauts spent many hours outside their spacecraft, mostly for maintenance missions. Here are the top 20 longest spacewalks in history.
Continue reading Top 20 Longest Spacewalks in History
On August 2, 1971, during the third EVA (Extravehicular activity) of Apollo 15 Notes 1 mission, commander David Scott drove the rover away from Lunar Module, where the television camera could be used to observe the lunar liftoff. Then he left a small aluminum statuette called “Fallen Astronaut” next to the rover, which commemorates those astronauts and cosmonauts who lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration. Scott also left a plaque bearing the names of 14 known American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts deceased by that time, along with the statuette. The names of Astronauts and cosmonauts were inscribed in alphabetical order on the plaque.
The “fallen astronaut” statuette was created by the Belgian sculptor, painter, and printmaker Paul Van Hoeydonck. It is an 8.5-centimeter (3.3 in) aluminum sculpture, a small stylized figure, meant to depict an astronaut in a spacesuit. Before the mission, commander David Scott met Van Hoeydonck at a dinner party. It was there agreed that Van Hoeydonck would create a small statuette for Scott to place on the Moon. Scott’s purpose was to commemorate those astronauts and cosmonauts who had lost their lives in the furtherance of space exploration. He also designed and separately made a plaque listing fourteen American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts’ names who lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration. Van Hoeydonck was given a set of design specifications: the sculpture was to be lightweight but sturdy, capable of withstanding the temperature extremes of the Moon; it could not be identifiably male or female, nor of any identifiable ethnic group. According to Scott, it was agreed Van Hoeydonck’s name would not be made public, to avoid the commercial exploitation of the US government’s space program. Scott kept the agreement secret from NASA management prior to the mission, smuggling the statue aboard his spacecraft.Notes 2
Continue reading There’s a Memorial to Fallen Astronauts on the Moon
The historic Apollo mission control room in Houston is set to be fully restored by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in July 2019. It will provide a snapshot of how it looked during the Moon landing on July 20, 1969.
Continue reading Historic Apollo mission control room is set to be fully restored by the 50th anniversary of Moon landing
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first two humans on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) and pilot Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.; January 20, 1930) landed the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. A third astronaut, Michael Collins (born October 31, 1930) piloted the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon’s surface. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface six hours after landing on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC; Aldrin joined him about 20 minutes later. For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Space Center Houston and the Apollo Flight Operations Association (AFOA) decided to restore historic mission control room in Houston. In July 2019, the room will be fully restored.