Two-year-old Kayla tries her darndest to get close enough to the Moon to grab it and take it home with her.
Even rightly so, too often the Apollo program dominates the narrative of early lunar exploration. The Soviet Union ran its own lunar program in the 1960s and '70s, and it was so successful early on that it looked like the Moon would be Soviet territory. The first ever man-made object to land on its surface in 1959 was the Soviet-launched Luna 2. The first image of the lunar far side came during a flyby by Luna 3 the same year. In 1966, Luna 9 transmitted the first pictures from the surface of the Moon, and Luna 10 would enter into its orbit. In 1968, a handful of turtles and other simple organisms even made the first circumlunar voyage aboard Zond 5. But Apollo 8 swept the rug out from the Soviet's feet; three astronauts going into orbit in December of that year all but assured the world that the political victory of landing on the Moon would go to the Americans. So the Soviets reshaped their lunar program, choosing to focus on inexpensive robotic mission that put science goals at the core.
Imagine: you're riding in a spaceship toward the Moon, cresting on the wave of history itself. What happens if you get there is anyone's guess. It's unthinkable that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could ever have done less than the impossible, but President Richard Nixon had a speechwriter prepare for the worst.
Just over forty-three years ago, Neil Armstrong made human history by being the first man to step foot on the moon. Now, at the age of 82, he has died.
It's nothing short of incredible to know that flags placed by astronauts on the moon are still flying after more than 40 years in space. The stunning proof was found in photos taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), and comes just on the heels of the anniversary of the first lunar landing.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong took the photo above 43 years ago to the day on July 20, 1969. It was his first snap after setting foot on the surface of the moon. Soon after, Buzz Aldrin would also climb down from the Apollo 11 lunar module, called Eagle, and the pair would become the first humans to walk on a celestial body other than Earth.
Since the beginning of time, mankind has been bored and annoyed by the moon. It's a big dumb sky booger that inhibits beachfront development with its constant tide shenanigans; is the chief cause of werewolfism; and has a perpetual and unwarranted "O-face." Just horrible. Sadly, scientists have yet to devise a technology capable of pushing the moon into some other unfortunate planetary body's orbit (despite some promising overtures from the political class). So, people of Earth, it looks like Potmarked McCheeseface won't be going anywhere anytime soon. I suppose we might as well try to learn some things about our common global irritation. Here we present some little known facts about the big stupid moon that, if nothing else, you can use to score points in pub trivia and impress strangers with your random and needlessly extensive moon knowledge. Enjoy.
It's official, folks: Brita can start selling lunar water filters. NASA confirmed the presence of lunar agua today with a cheeky: "The argument that the moon is a dry, desolate place no longer holds water." Oh, NASA! One month ago...
Fasten your spacebelts, astronerds, as there's a new destination for Google Earth — and it's everyone's favorite planet, the moon. There are guided tours from Buzz Aldrin and Jack Schmitt, as well as videos and images of all the missions...
Zero to 60? Try zero to 600. If you think a ride up into orbit would be intense, aborting one would be even more so. That's because NASA is making sure that its Orion crew module, which would blast off...