The Final Moonwalk of the 20th Century

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 13, 2009 in Science

Apollo 17 in 1972: The last moonwalk of the 20th Century

On this day in 1972 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt went out for their third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) — which is known to us civilians as a moonwalk. The Apollo 17 mission would mark the last time in the 20th Century when humans would walk the surface of the moon. While the close of that century would start a new golden age of astronomy with many planets outside of our solar system being discovered, it’s been a dark age of space exploration. And yet least we forget: The nation that went to the moon was in the middle of an expensive Cold War, was fighting an actual war in Asia and was enacting new healthcare programs — and yet they still had the gumption to go. Read more…

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Restored Video Repaints the Historic Apollo 11 Moonwalk

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 16, 2009 in Science

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first mission to land astronauts on the moon NASA has released a freshly restored video from the July 20, 1969 live television broadcast of the Apollo 11 moonwalk. This initial release is part of a larger Apollo 11 moonwalk restoration project and features 15 key moments from the lunar mission. Read more…

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The Dark Age of Manned Space Exploration: 1969-2009

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 13, 2009 in Science

The rusting hulk of a Saturn V rocket

Above: The rusting hulk of a Saturn V rocket (now under restoration) is a harsh reminder of a lost golden age of manned space exploration.

As a child who spent most of his life after the Apollo project it’s my humble opinion that over the last 40 years we’ve been living a micro-dark age of space exploration. To me the 40th Anniversary of Apollo isn’t a cause for celebration, but is in fact a funeral for NASA which has been a shadow of its former self. Read more…

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40 Years Ago Today: Apollo 10 Flies Within 8.4 Nautical Miles of the Moon

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 22, 2009 in Science

Apollo 10 northwestward view of Triesnecker crater

On this day in 1969 the fourth manned Apollo mission set a record in terms of getting as close as possible to the surface of the moon. Comic fanboys should note that the mission used the callsigns of the Peanuts characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy, who became unofficial mascots of Apollo 10. In fact Charles Schulz even drew some artwork for the mission. So when you look back at photos from this 1969 endeavor every so often you’ll spot a Snoopy or a Charlie Brown hanging around: Read more…

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Earthrise: The 40th Anniversary

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 24, 2008 in Science

1968: The first Earthrise to be witnessed by a human

On Christmas Eve of 1968 for the first time humankind watched the earth rise thanks Apollo 8 reaching the orbit of the Moon:

Happy Birthday Earthrise

“As Apollo 8 nosed its way back from the far side of the Moon for the fourth time, it was Frank Borman who first spotted the view by chance from a window, his reaction captured by the on board tape recorder. “Oh, my God! Look at that picture over there!” he exclaimed. “Isn’t that something…” After a quick joke about the fact that it was not in their flight plan to photograph it, the crew abandoned protocol and scrambled to get a snap of the occasion with their stills camera. The Hasselblad only had a black and white film magazine in, resulting in the image above – the first photograph of Earthrise taken by a human as he watched it happen.”

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