moon

Luna 2 – The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon

Luna 2 – The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon

On September 12, 1959, Soviet spaceprobe Luna 2 was launched. It was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon and was also the first man-made object to land on another celestial body. On September 14, 1959 it successfully impacted with the lunar surface east of Mare Imbrium near the craters Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus. The Soviet Luna Programme Actually, already Lunar 1 was intended as an impactor and was…
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The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

On July 3, 1969, the biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurred when the Soviet N-1 rocket exploded and subsequently destroyed its launchpad. After four unsuccessful launch tries of the Soviet counterpart to the NASA Saturn V rocket the Russian Moon program was cancelled in May 1974. Sergei Korolev Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, the leading Soviet space craft designer and rocket engineer, also known as the father of practical astronautics started directing…
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Johannes Hevelius and his Selenographia

Johannes Hevelius and his Selenographia

On January 28, 1611, German astronomer Johannes Hevelius was born. From four years’ telescopic study of the Moon, using telescopes of long focal power, Hevelius compiled Selenographia (“Pictures of the Moon“, 1647), an atlas of the Moon with some of the earliest detailed maps. Family Background and Early Years Johannes Hevelius‘ father was a succesful merchant and pushed Johannes to follow his footsteps rather than pursue a scientific career. Hevelius was sent to Poland…
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The Great Moon Hoax of 1835

The Great Moon Hoax of 1835

On September 16, 1835, the New York Sun concedes that her serial article about the sensational discoveries of astronomer Sir John Herschel about the Moon was only a hoax to increase their circulation. In the history of newspaper this scandal is referred to as ‘The Great Moon Hoax of 1835‘. “GREAT ASTRONOMICAL DISCOVERIES LATELY MADE BY SIR JOHN HERSCHEL, L.L.D. F.R.S. &c. At the Cape of Good Hope” [From Supplement to the…
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Surveyor 1 Landing on the Moon and the Cold War Space Race

Surveyor 1 Landing on the Moon and the Cold War Space Race

On June 2, 1966, spaceprobe Surveyor 1, the first of NASA‘s unmanned Surveyor program, as the first American spaceprobe achieved a soft landing on the moon about half a year after the first Moon landing by the Soviet Union‘s Luna 9 probe.[5,6,7] Luna 9 and the Cold War Space Race Already on February 3, 1966, the Luna 9 spacecraft had softly landed on the Moon, which also was the first of any…
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Recovering the Lost Lunar Photographs

Recovering the Lost Lunar Photographs

Maybe you remember that we had an article on the very first image of the Earth taken from abroad?[1] It was an image taken in 1966 by one of the Lunar Orbiter space probes, which had the task of taking closeup pictures of the lunar surface to find a well suited landing spot for the upcoming Apollo Moon missions. Well, you might wonder, how these photographs came back to Earth. Well, the…
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Apollo 17 – The Last Men on the Moon…so far

Apollo 17 – The Last Men on the Moon…so far

On December 11, 1972, Apollo 17 with Commander Eugene A. Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald E. Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison H. Schmitt landed in the Taurus-Littrow valley on the lunar surface and were (so far) the last men to set foot on the Moon. Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final mission of the United States‘ Apollo program, the sixth mission to land humans on the Moon. Background While earlier Apollo…
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The Great George Méliès and his Voyage to the Moon

The Great George Méliès and his Voyage to the Moon

On September 1, 1902, the French film pioneer George Méliès presented the very first science fiction movie to the stunning public of the Paris Olympia theater. George Melies – Early Years George Méliès always had the desire to do something creative and innovative. As a young school boy, he could receive a formal education in private schools due to the wealth of his parents, who owned a boot factory. During his lessons, he…
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The First Image from Abroad – Earth Rising and Lunar Orbiter 1

The First Image from Abroad – Earth Rising and Lunar Orbiter 1

On August 23, 1966, the space probe Lunar Orbiter 1 sent the very first images of the earth rising above the moon‘s surface back to earth. Lunar Orbiter 1 was part of the Lunar Orbiter program started in the 1960’s in preparation to the Apollo moon landing. The project consisted of five unmanned spacecrafts, equally built to take pictures of the moon. The purpose was to find a safe landing place for…
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The Eagle has Landed – The First Man on the Moon

The Eagle has Landed – The First Man on the Moon

On July 20, 1969 (for Western Europeans it was one day later, i.e. July 21, 3:56 MEZ) United States‘ space mission Apollo 11 reached the moon with the lunar module Eagle and the two astronauts Neil Armstrong [2] and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin about 76 hours after they left earth from Kennedy Space Center in Florida., while Michael Collins stayed in orbit around the Moon piloting the command module.[4] “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” (Neil Armstrong)…
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