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Apollo 11

— Space Feature

The Gemini program: 50 years on

March 23 marked the 50th anniversary of the launch of Gemini III - the first manned mission of the now legendary Gemini program. Following hot on the heels of the Mercury missions, and only a short time after President Kennedy's famous speech in which he announced his intent to put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade, Gemini was tasked with testing the technologies and techniques that would lead America to victory in the space race. Read More
— Space

Unassuming bag found in Neil Armstrong's closet yields priceless Apollo 11 artifacts

With the death of Neil Armstrong back in August 2012, humanity lost one of its greatest heroes. Whilst his first steps on the Moon were driven by the United States out of competition with its terrestrial rival, the USSR, the words that accompanied his actions spoke of an achievement for all mankind. Upon his death, the Armstrong family donated many of the mementos that Neil had kept to Purdue University, Indiana (his alma mater) and to the National Air and Space Museum, Virginia. However, a bag full of Apollo 11 relics that traveled aboard the Eagle Lunar Module (LM) were unexpectedly discovered months later in an unassuming bag in his closet. Read More

Limited-edition sneakers inspired by Apollo moon boots

As of July 20th, it will be officially 45 years since astronauts first walked on the moon. To mark the occasion, General Electric has teamed up with high-end footwear manufacturer Android Homme and clothing retailer JackThreads to create a limited-edition sneaker known as The Missions. The shoe was inspired by the Apollo 11 crew's moon boots, and incorporates some "spacey" materials. Read More
— Space

Apollo 11 rocket engine recovery confirmed

A lost bit of the Moon landing era isn't lost anymore. founder Jeff Bezos announced on Friday that one of the F-1 rocket engines found by his deep-sea expedition was indeed part of the Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket that sent the first astronauts to land on the Moon in 1969. A conservator at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas, where the engine was being restored, was removing corrosion from the engine when he discovered evidence confirming the significant find. Read More
— Space

Armstrong’s “one small step” EKG among aerospace treasures up for auction

Some of the most desirable items for collectors are those with historical significance that tell a story. RR Auction has a whole raft of such items set to go under the hammer as it hosts a major sale of space and aviation memorabilia from the past century. Each one is a bit of history and each one tells a story, but since we can’t go through over 800 stories, we’ll look at ten of the standout items from the height of the Space Age that you can buy – if your pockets are deep enough. Read More
— Space

Jeff Bezos recovers Apollo F-1 engines from the ocean floor founder and the man behind Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, has recovered parts of the F-1 rocket engines used in the Apollo missions. Recovered by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) from the multi-purpose offshore vessel Seabed Worker, they were brought up from a depth of over 14,000 feet (4,267 m) over a three week period. Bezos has been working on the project for over a year in hopes of recovering the engines used to launch Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. However, the serial numbers for the recovered engines are missing or partly missing, so identifying which mission the rockets are from will be difficult. Read More
— Science

Last mineral thought to be unique to the Moon found in Australia

When the moon-walking Apollo 11 astronauts returned to Earth in 1969, amongst the 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar rocks they brought with them were three minerals from Tranquility Base that were thought to be unique to the Moon or lunar and possibly Martian meteorites. They were armalcolite (named after Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz' Aldrin and Michael Collins), pyroxferroite and tranquillityite. Both armalcolite and pyroxferrite were later found on Earth, leaving tranquillityite as the last mineral believed to have no terrestrial counterpart. Now tranquillityite has also been struck off the list with its discovery in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia. Read More
— Robotics

Astrorobotic rover aims to visit Apollo 11 site after 40 years

Forty years after Apollo 11 touched down on the moon, plans are afoot to revisit the site to see how the remains have stood up to four decades of radiation and micrometeorite bombardment. One vehicle that may well be used for this expedition is the third prototype lunar robot from Lunar X Prize entrant Astrobotic. The rover is one tough nut - it's designed to survive the blistering heat of the lunar ‘noontime extreme’, which sees temperatures reach 270 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as the minus 240 degree Fahrenheit temperatures of the lunar night. Read More
— Aircraft

New ion engine could reach Mars in 39 days

Last week, as the world celebrated the first lunar landing, Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins both called for NASA to make Mars its next goal. But the chemical propulsion system that took them to the moon would take six months, at least, to get a man to Mars and cost hundreds of billions of dollars. However, a new ion plasma rocket being developed by another former astronaut, Franklin Chang-Diaz, could potentially reach Mars in just 39 days using a fraction of the fuel. Read More
— Aircraft

That 'small step for man' still very visible on the moon

Exactly forty years ago today, with fuel running short and alarms buzzing, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set their lunar module Eagle down on the face of the moon, and mankind took its very first step on another celestial body. Last week, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) returned its first imagery of the Apollo moon landing sites. Even after all these years, there’s something truly heroic about seeing those lunar module descent stages sitting silently on the surface, testament to man’s imagination and determination. Read More