Space Shuttle Atlantis’ STS-135 mission launched from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on July 8, 2011. STS-135 was the last Space Shuttle mission. The crew of four delivered supplies to the ISS.
This is an incredible image. Wow.
Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon during the Apollo Program, died today. He was 82.
“Eugene A. Cernan, Commander, Apollo 17 salutes the flag on the lunar surface during extravehicular activity (EVA) on NASA’s final lunar landing mission. The Lunar Module “Challenger” is in the left background behind the flag and the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) also in background behind him. While astronauts Cernan and Schmitt descended in the Challenger to explore the Taurus-Littrow region of the Moon, astronaut Ronald E. Evans, Command Module pilot, remained with the Command/Service Module (CSM) “America” in lunar-orbit.”
“Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 mission commander, makes a short checkout of the Lunar Roving Vehicle during the early part of the first Apollo 17 extravehicular activity (EVA-1) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. This view of the “stripped down” Rover is prior to loadup. This photograph was taken by Geologist-Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, Lunar Module pilot. The mountain in the right background is the East end of South Massif.”
Apollo 17 was the last manned mission to the moon in NASA’s Apollo program. It took place in 1972. No doubt we’ll go again at some point although at the moment its tough to imagine any single country or the world getting focussed enough to make it happen.
Some of us are old enough to remember the Mercury program and John Glenn orbiting the earth, the Gemini program and various astronauts doing the first space walks, and then Apollo and the moon landings. All of that was over in 1972, and then we had Skylab, the Space Shuttle, and now the International Space Station.
This entire arc of space exploration is incredible but nothing has caught my imagination like the moon landings. I’ll never forget Walter Cronkite taking his glasses off and looking awestruck as he announced that Neil Armstrong was on the moon. This video brings some of that feeling back. Zoom it out, its well worth it.
My flickr contact NASA posted this amazing image of Mars taken by the Viking 1 spacecraft in 1976.
“During its examination of Mars, the Viking 1 spacecraft returned images of Valles Marineris, a huge canyon system 5,000 km long, up to 240 km wide, and 6.5 km deep, whose connected chasma or valleys may have formed from a combination of erosional collapse and structural activity. This synthetic oblique view shows Ophir Chasma, the northern most one of the connected valleys of Valles Marineris; north toward top of frame; for scale, the large impact crater in lower right corner is 30 km (18 miles) wide.”
The Lunar Rover on the moon on the Apollo 15 mission
NASA has put another photo archive up on Flickr: the Project Apollo Archive with images from most of the various Apollo missions including all of the moon landings. Wow, it’s a lot of fun to browse through. Not everything is incredible but there are gems buried in over a thousand images. And, the images are free to embed elsewhere if you’re a member of flickr.
My flickr contact NASA posted this fantastic and historic image of Neil Armstrong on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. The image was taken by Buzz Aldrin July 20, 1969, 46 years ago.
My flickr contact NASA HQ PHOTO posted this great aerial image of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft coming down, ferrying astronauts back to earth from the International Space Station.
The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA, Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Elena Serova of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, March 12, 2015. NASA Astronaut Wilmore, Russian Cosmonauts Samokutyaev and Serova are returning after almost six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 41 and 42 crews. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
On December 17, 1903, at 10:30 am at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, this airplane arose for a few seconds to make the first powered, heavier-than-air controlled flight in history. The first flight lasted 12 seconds and flew a distance of 120 feet. Orville Wright piloted the historic flight while his brother, Wilbur, observed. The brothers took three other flights that day, each flight lasting longer than the other with the final flight going a distance of 852 feet in 59 seconds. This flight was the culmination of a number of years of research on gliders.
My flickr contact NASA posted this historic image of Orville Wright making the first powered flight.
The problem with the NASA post is that they’ve failed to include a citation for the photographer, John T. Daniels who took this historic picture.
Alan Taylor has a great collection of images from that first flight which I’ve posted about before here: First Flight with the Wright Brothers.
My flickr contact NASA has posted another historic image. Taken on December 11, 1972. Just incredible.
Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 mission commander, makes a short checkout of the Lunar Roving Vehicle during the early part of the first Apollo 17 extravehicular activity (EVA-1) at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. This view of the “stripped down” Rover is prior to loadup. This photograph was taken by Geologist-Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, Lunar Module pilot. The mountain in the right background is the East end of South Massif.
Even though this morning’s launch of the Orion spacecraft was scrubbed, NASA has posted some nice images of the rocket and the launch site.