Nasa

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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Much More Powerful Than Expected – Kepler’s Supernova

Much More Powerful Than Expected – Kepler’s Supernova

On October 17, 1604, the famous German astronomer Johannes Kepler [5] started his observations of the 1604 supernova, named after him as Kepler’s Supernova or Kepler’s Star. Special about this ‘new’ star was it being the very last observed supernova in our own galaxy, the Milky way. First Sightings The supernova was first observed on 9 October 1604 by Ilario Altobelli in Verona and Raffaello Gualterotti in Florence, a few days before Kepler…
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SpaceShipOne – the first private Spaceship

SpaceShipOne – the first private Spaceship

On September 29, 2004, the Burt Rutan Ansari X Prize entry SpaceShipOne performed a successful spaceflight, the first of two required to win the prize. Thus, SpaceShipOne also officially became the very first commercial spaceship, after achieving the very first space testflight already on June 21, 2004. The Ansari X Prize was proposed in 1995 demanding a demonstration of a private vehicle capable of flying a pilot to the edge of space,…
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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 [4] and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin about 76 hours after they left earth from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” (Neil Armstrong) What once was only science fiction had turned into reality. 6 hours…
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Houston, we have a Problem

Houston, we have a Problem

On April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST Apollo 13 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command Module depended. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water, and the critical need to jury-rig the carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to…
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John Glenn – The First American to orbit the Earth

John Glenn – The First American to orbit the Earth

On July 18, 1921, U.S. astronaut and statesman John Herschel Glenn Jr. was born. In 1962 Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times. Before joining NASA, Glenn was a distinguished fighter pilot in World War II and Korea. In 1998, still a sitting senator, Glenn was the oldest person to fly in space as a crew member of the Discovery space shuttle and the only person…
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Mariner 4 and the First Pictures from Mars

Mariner 4 and the First Pictures from Mars

On July 15, 1965, NASA spaceprobe Mariner 4 performed the first successful flyby of the planet Mars, returning the first pictures of the Martian surface. It captured the first images of another planet ever returned from deep space; their depiction of a cratered, seemingly dead world largely changed the view of the scientific community of life on Mars. The two Soviet probes Marsnik 1 and 2 were launched in October 1960 to fly…
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Hugh L. Dryden and High Speed Aerodynamics

Hugh L. Dryden and High Speed Aerodynamics

On July 2, 1898, physicist and deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Hugh Latimer Dryden was born. Dryden made pioneering studies in the aerodynamics of high speed and some of the earliest studies of air flow around wing surfaces at the speed of sound. Hugh Latimer Dryden was born in Pocomoke City, Maryland, the son of Samuel Isaac Dryden, a school teacher, and his wife Zenovia Hill Culver Dryden. During…
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David Scott – the First Person to Drive on the Moon

David Scott – the First Person to Drive on the Moon

On June 6, 1932, American engineer, test pilot and NASA astronaut David Randolph Scott was born. Scott became the seventh person to walk on the Moon as commander of the Apollo 15 mission, the fourth human lunar landing. Moreover, he was the first to drive a wheeled vehicle on the moon on 31 July 1971. “Man must explore. And this is exploration at its greatest.” — David R. Scott David Scott was…
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