"If we can get a man to the moon, why can't we…" is a common phrase to compare a monumental achievement with a much hoped-for one that seems simple but remains out of our grasp.It's a testament to NASA's success with the Apollo moon landing program that it's still the bar by which other human feats are judged. NASA had more than a quarter million Americans working on the project, developing not just spacecraft and space suits but also working out the math necessary to land a spacecraft 240,000 miles away on the moon and safely return it and its crew to Earth. But as we approach the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's historic landing, some still wonder if it was worth the cost, whether we demonstrated anything more than hubris, writes Charles Fishman in One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission that Flew Us to the Moon. Fishman's book, out Tuesday, isn't as much a typical historical recounting of the program as it is an in-depth examination of key moments and people in the lead-up to … [Read more...] about NASA’s Apollo moon missions were a giant leap for all of us
Nasa on moon
Dr. Stephen Hawking, professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and his daughter Lucy Hawking give a speech entitled "Why We Should Go Into Space" on April 21, 2008, in Washington, D.C. Paul E. Alers/NASA/Getty Images In 2008, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) celebrates its 50th anniversary. The organization actually has two reasons to recognize its existence -- although Congress officially created NASA on July 29, 1958, the United States began launching satellites into orbit by Jan. 31 of that same year. This might explain why NASA isn't focusing on one particular date for its celebrations. Instead, it's throwing a yearlong birthday bash in the form of Future Forums, conferences held about once a month in several cities across America, including Seattle; Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis; Miami; San Jose, Calif.; Boston and Chicago. Along with recognizing the 50th anniversary, the programs, according to NASA, "discuss the role of space exploration … [Read more...] about Why is NASA seeking out the MySpace generation?
13 Not 12 Constellations, in the Zodiac, NASA Points Out NASA/Rob Atkins/Olegkalina/Getty Have you noticed you've been feeling a little differently lately? Perhaps you used to be curious and indecisive. Now suddenly you're making rash decisions and not feeling any twinges of curiosity. Two explanations arise. One is that you're a normal person who feels many things and acts in diverse ways. The other is that your astrological sign has changed, and our individual and collective identities have fractured irreparably. It's obviously the latter, because NASA went ahead and recalculated the zodiac to not only change our star signs, but to also add a new one we didn't even know existed. Perhaps that's why you saw the internet freaking out that NASA turned our personalities inside out. Thanks, Obama. For funding NASA. One issue. We don't necessarily have to get into the nitty-gritty of whether astrology is "real" or not, but rest assured that even if it was (it's not), NASA is not … [Read more...] about 13 Not 12 Constellations in the Zodiac, NASA Points Out
Astronaut Image Gallery The broadcast of the first moon landing in 1969 is an example of NASA's impact on the field of television. See more astronaut pictures. NASA/Getty Images On July 20, 1969, viewers witnessed one of the most compelling live news reports in the history of television: American astronauts disembarking Apollo 11 and taking their first steps on the surface of the moon. This broadcast was a product of over a decade of technological development in TV accelerated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Let's look at how NASA has improved TV technology, starting with those early years. World War II spurred significant advancements in television in the United States. When the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, though, the U.S. government was motivated to prove superiority over the Soviets in the space race. President Eisenhower signed into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. Since then, people worldwide have … [Read more...] about How has NASA improved TV technology?
Start the Countdown Astronaut Dale A. Gardner holds up a 'For Sale' sign referring to the two satellites he and another astronaut retrieved from orbit after their Payload Assist Modules (PAM) failed to fire. NASA On any successful space mission, the crew's morale is at the top of the list of priorities. After all, the final frontier can be one high-stress workplace. So it's no wonder that, in the 59 years since it was first established, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has seen a small army of passionate pranksters. Now we're not talking anything too serious of course. That could get dangerous on a NASA mission. These pranks are all relatively mild and silly, but still not necessarily what we'd expect from the crew of astronauts who were the first men to walk on the moon. But when your job consists of being launched into space at 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers per hour), sometimes a little comedy to go with the cosmos isn't a bad thing. … [Read more...] about Ridiculous History: 5 of NASA’s Greatest Pranks