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Apollo Program

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Thu, January 8 2015

Hands and Gloves in Space

There is a common saying that the hands are where the mind meets the world. In space there is no direct contact between the mind and the world. This transaction is mediated by the artificial structures called gloves.

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Armstrong's Glove Dip Forms
Wed, November 19 2014

Seeing Apollo 12

On November 19, 1969, 45 years ago and three short months after the landing of Apollo 11, Commander Charles “Pete” Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean landed their lunar module “Intrepid” on the Ocean of Storms, just walking distance from the Surveyor III spacecraft. Their near pinpoint landing showed that Moon landings could continue, and with such accuracy that specific objects could be targeted for research. 

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Charles Conrad Jr. examines Surveyor III (3)
Sun, November 9 2014

Seeing Inside Neil Armstrong’s Spacesuit Using CT Scans

Museum staff recently transported Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit to the National Museum of Natural History for a CT scan. Curator Cathleen Lewis shares her experience as one of those staff members and explains how CT scanning can help in preservation efforts.

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Armstrong's Spacesuit in CT Scanner
Thu, July 24 2014

Apollo@45: Technological Virtuosity Remembered

There is no question that the success of Project Apollo in the 1960s helped to create a culture of competence for NASA that translated into a level of confidence in American capability, and especially in the ability of government to perform effectively, to resolve any problem. Something that almost sounds unthinkable in the early twenty-first century but such was indeed the case in the 1960s.  

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Apollo 11 Launch
Sat, December 21 2013

The Unique Flight of Apollo 8

The second Apollo mission to carry astronauts into space provided NASA and the world with an unprecedented view of life on Earth. From the start, with its planned mission to fly three astronauts around the Moon and back, Apollo 8 became a touchstone for how people understood the process of spaceflight.

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Apollo 8 Command Module
Thu, August 29 2013

C. Gordon Fullerton

Widely known as a test pilot extraordinaire, C. Gordon Fullerton fulfilled three distinguished careers centered on aeronautics and spaceflight. He spent 30 years in the U.S. Air Force (1958–1988), retiring with the rank of colonel after serving as a bomber pilot, fighter pilot, and test pilot. During 20 of those years, he was an astronaut in the Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle programs (1966–1986). Then, for more than 20 years, he was a flight research pilot and chief pilot at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (1986–2007).

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Gordon Fullerton
Tue, August 6 2013

A Trip to the International Latex Corporation: How Spacesuit Gloves Are Made

This past month National Air and Space Museum and Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) interns were able to travel to Frederica, Delaware to visit the International Latex Corporation Dover (ILC). It is one of several companies that produces the "soft materials" or non-metal components of spacesuits for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ILC was started in 1932 by Abram Spanel, and eventually made latex products to support the Allied troops in World War II. While today the company creates a range of products from personal protection equipment (PPE) to materials for the pharmaceutical industry, it is probably best known for producing spacesuits for the Apollo program. That means that ILC was responsible for designing and making the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he first stepped on the Moon in 1969.  

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Astronaut "Deke" Slayton's Gloves
Thu, September 6 2012

Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 Extravehicular Gloves and Visor

There is a new display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport.  Along the south wall of the James S. McDonnell Space Hanger, in a large storefront case, are the extravehicular (EV) gloves and visor that Neil Armstrong wore when he first stepped on the surface of the Moon on July 20, 1969. 

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Apollo 11 Extra-Vehicular Gloves and Visor Assembly
Sat, August 25 2012

Remembering Neil Armstrong

I first heard the sad news while having a late lunch with friends at a seafood restaurant on the water in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Apollo 11 Mission image - Neil A. Armstrong inside the Lunar Module after E
Fri, January 27 2012

What do you Make of the "Houston, we have a problem" Film Claiming that a Secret Yugoslavian Space Program was the Source of American Success in the Space Race?

I received a call from Richard Solash, a reporter with Radio Free Europe about ten days ago to discuss a film being made by Slovene director Ziga Virc and writer Bostjan Virc that alleges that Tito's Yugoslavia had a secret space program and secretly sold space knowledge to NASA, in the process making Tito rich and making if possible for the U.S. to achieve its Apollo program.

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Apollo 17: Flag on the Moon

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