Category Archives: Lunar Exploration

The Surveyor Landers on the Moon


Like so many other point of intersection, soft landing on the Moon with robotic probes proved a venue for Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The Soviets won that competition February 3, … Continue reading

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Homer Newell and the Early Post-War Space Science Program


Homer E. Newell (1915-1983) is one of the NASA leaders I am profiling in a book I have underway. His career was remarkable. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and served as a theoretical … Continue reading

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Covering Apollo: Jules Bergman at ABC News


The son of New York business people Irving and Ruth B. Bergman, Jules Verne Bergman was born to cover the Apollo program in the 1960s and early 1970s. Educated in journalism Bergman went to work for CBS, then Time magazine, … Continue reading

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Apollo 11 and the World’s Reaction


When the Apollo 11 spacecraft lifted off on July 16, 1969, for the Moon, it signaled a climactic instance in human history. Reaching the Moon on July 20, it’s Lunar Module—with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin aboard—landed on … Continue reading

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The Legacy of Apollo: 45 Years On


July 2014 marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the epochal lunar landing of Apollo 11 in the summer of 1969. Although President John F. Kennedy had made a public commitment on May 25, 1961, to land an American on the Moon … Continue reading

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The Apollo Program and the Idea of Progress


It is somewhat trite to suggest that America was founded on the idea of progress and that it remains both an amorphous concept and one central to American national identity. In the 1830s an astute French interpreter of United States … Continue reading

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Extremophiles, Surveyor III, and the Possibility of Life Beyond Earth?


One of the most unusual stories of the U.S. lunar landing program of the 1960s involved the Surveyor III camera that journeyed to the Moon on April 20, 1967, and sat exposed on the lunar surface for 31 months before … Continue reading

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A Chronology of Key Space Anniversaries for 2014


There are many anniversaries every year, some truly significant and others of a more mundane nature. What follows is a short chronology of anniversaries taking place in 2014 relating to the spaceflight community. It is not an exhaustive list, but … Continue reading

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Earthrise: The 45th Anniversary


This is very Cool. My friend and colleague Andy Chaikin has narrated this account of how the astronauts of Apollo 8 in December 1968 took the famous “Earthrise” photograph that is one of the most iconic images of the twentieth … Continue reading

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Humanity and the Extreme Environment of Space


It seems that microbial life is capable of surviving the extreme conditions of space. Even so, for Homo sapien sapiens the space environment remains remarkably dangerous to our lives. Is it a place humans might ultimately move to on a … Continue reading

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