Tag Archives: Apollo Program

The Apollo program, also known as Project Apollo, was the third United States human spaceflight program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1969 to 1972. It was designed to land humans on the Moon and bring them safely back to Earth. Six of the missions (Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17) achieved this goal. Apollos 7 and 9 were Earth orbiting missions to test the Command and Lunar Modules, and did not return lunar data. Apollos 8 and 10 tested various components while orbiting the Moon, and returned photography of the lunar surface. Apollo 13 did not land on the Moon due to a malfunction, but also returned photographs. The six missions that landed on the Moon returned a wealth of scientific data and almost 400 kilograms of lunar samples. Experiments included soil mechanics, meteoroids, seismic, heat flow, lunar ranging, magnetic fields, and solar wind experiments.

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Alan Bean, the fourth person to walk on the Moon has died

Alan Bean, the fourth person to walk on the Moon has died today (May 26, 2018). He was the fourth person to walk on the Moon: in November 1969, he spent 10+ hours on the lunar surface during Apollo 12 mission, the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon.
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Earth as seen by Apollo 4

A crescent-Earth photo, by an automatic camera aboard the unpiloted Apollo 4 command module on November 9, 1967, at an altitude of 11,200 miles (18,000 km). Apollo 4, (also known as AS-501), was the first unmanned test flight of NASA’s mighty Saturn V rocket, which was used by the U.S. Apollo program to send the first astronauts to the Moon.
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Virtual Moon Tour in 4K Ultra HD

Using data provided by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraftNotes 1 since 2009, NASA has published an amazing virtual Moon tour in 4K Ultra HDNotes 2. As the visualization moves around the near side, far sideNotes 3, north and south poles, interesting features, sites, and information gathered on the lunar terrain get highlighted.
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Watch: Apollo 16 Liftoff (April 16, 1972)

46 years ago today, on April 16, 1972, the huge, 363-feet (110.6 meters) tall Apollo 16 (Spacecraft 113/Lunar Module 11/Saturn VNotes 1 SA-511) space vehicle was launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 12:54 p.m. EST. Crewed by Commander John W. Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charles DukeNotes 2, and Command Module Pilot Ken MattinglyNotes 3, it was the tenth manned mission in the United States Apollo space program, the fifth and penultimate to land on the Moon and the first to land in the lunar highlands.
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Watch: Others Will Follow (Short Sci-Fi Film)

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.
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Top 20 Longest Spacewalks in History

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 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.
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There’s a Memorial to Fallen Astronauts on the Moon

On August 2, 1971, during the third EVA (Extravehicular activity) of Apollo 15Notes 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.
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The Earth is 18 Galactic Years Old

How old is the Earth? This question preoccupied first philosophers, then scientists, for many centuries. Today, we know that the age of the Earth is approximately 4.54 billion years, with an error range of about 50 million years (4.54 × 109years ± 1%). This number is based on evidence from radiometric dating of the oldest-known terrestrial rocks as well as lunar rock samplesNotes 1 and meteorites.
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John W. Young, the astronaut who flew 4 different spacecraft, has died

John W. Young, the legendary astronaut has died on January 5, 2018, aged 87. During his 42 years of active NASA service, Young flew in six space missions (with seven launches, counting his lunar liftoff), becoming the first astronaut to achieve that number. He was the only person to have piloted, and been commander of, four different classes of spacecraft: Gemini, the Apollo Command/Service Module, the Apollo Lunar Module, and the Space Shuttle (he was the first astronaut to command the Space Shuttle). He was also the ninth person to walk on the Moon as Commander of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. Young was actually one of only three people to have flown to the Moon twice, others being Jim Lovell and Eugene Cernan.
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Earthrise from Apollo 8: 49th anniversary

49 years ago today, on December 24, 1968, the crew of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon and the second manned spaceflight mission in the United States Apollo space program, took this photo, later dubbed “Earthrise”. During a broadcast that night, pilot Jim Lovell said: “The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth.”
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