Carnival of Space #278

Credit: NASA

It’s time, once again, to see what’s got the Internet buzzing (space-wise) this week with another Carnival of Space! Today’s unrelated spaceflight image is Wally Schirra boarding the gondola at the Navy’s centrifuge in Johnsville, Pennsylvania. This picture was taken on New Year’s Day in 1960. I’m not sure spinning in circles pulling multiple Gs is the best way to ring in a new year, but there are worse ways! [Read more...]

Lesser Known Facets of Apollo 11

Flight controllers applaud the splashdown of Apollo 11, the formal end of the first lunar landing mission. July 24, 1969. Credit: NASA

July 24 stands out to some, mainly space enthusiasts, as the anniversary of Apollo 11’s splashdown – the formal end of the first lunar landing mission. Pictures of celebrations in mission control capture the elation that went through NASA at accomplishing the monumental task. But it wasn’t just getting to the Moon that was worth celebrating, it was overcoming the technological challenges that popped up in designing the lunar mission. A little over a year before taking his small step, Neil Armstrong was nearly killed training in the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle.

It was also a celebration of getting the crew home safely. There was also the possibility of Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin being stranded on the Moon if their LM ascent engine failed. NASA had a plan in place in the event of such a disaster, but happily didn’t have to put it into action. The post splashdown jubilation was incredibly well deserved.