Remember those two washing machine sized probes whizzing around the Moon at New Years? Well they have *actual* names now (although I was quite attached to GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B) - Ebb and Flow. These clever names, which are generally used to describe the movement of water, were put forward by fourth grade students at Emily Dickinson Elementary School, Bozeman, Montana. Awesome!
I’ve often wondered how any of the Apollo astronauts, especially those who walked on the moon, dealt with their emotions when they returned to Earth afterall, they have visited another world haven’t they?! Alan Bean, the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 12 in November 1969, seems to have had the right idea. After leaving NASA in 1981 he dedicated his life to painting and you can see some of his works by clicking on the link above.
Today marks the six year anniversary of the Stardust spacecraft returning samples of comet dust. For more information about this epic mission visit NASA’s page dedicated to the journey: http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html
Still, in my opinion, one of the most amazing photos ever taken in Space. This image depicts Buzz Aldrin on the Moon as taken by Neil Armstrong (present in the reflection of Buzz’s visor) with a clarity that you just wouldn’t get on Earth!
The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) programme have put out a call for revolutionary ideas to potentially change the future of Space missions. So if you have an idea whirling round that could make NASA’s head turn, then look no further - you could be exactly what they are waiting for!
Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell has been under scrutiny from NASA to whether or not he should have sold the 70-page flight document that helped guide the damaged spacecraft back to Earth after an oxygen tank exploded on 13 April 1970.
Forty, yes 4-0, years ago today President Nixon announced his approval for NASA to develop the Space Shuttle. He announced that he was asking NASA to develop “an entirely new type of space transportation system designed to help transform the space frontier of the 1970s into familiar territory, easily accessible for human endeavor in the 1980s and ‘90s.”
This partially reusable system launched for the first time in April 1981 with Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-1) and kept on going all the way until the sad day in July 2011 with the final mission (STS-135) using Space Shuttle Atlantis. All in all six different orbiters have flown for NASA over the period, with five of them venturing into space (Enterprise - the test orbiter which never flew in space, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour) and logging more than 500 million miles between them - Madness!
Did you know that 50 years ago today NASA publicly announced the Gemini Programme?
This project lasted for just four years between the Mercury and Apollo Programmes with the main objective of developing Space travel techniques for the upcoming Apollo missions (which had the main goal of landing men on the Moon). In the time between 1962 and 1966, NASA performed missions long enough to enable travel to the Moon and back, accomplished EVAs (Extra Vehicular Activities - outside of the space craft) and completed maneuvers important for docking and rendevouz.