Shrouded in clouds today in 1969, this image was taken by the crew of Apollo 10 as they began their lunar journey. From 36,000 nautical miles away, this full disk view of our home planet shows the crew’s vantage point from space.
The crew members on Apollo 10 were astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, commander; John W. Young, command module pilot; and Eugene E. Cernan, lunar module pilot. Astronaut Young remained in lunar orbit, in the Command and Service Module (CSM) “Charlie Brown”, while astronauts Stafford and Cernan descended to within nine miles of the lunar surface, in the Lunar Module (LM) “Snoopy”. Credit: NASA
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On this day in 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly in space when the space shuttle Challenger launched on mission STS-7 from Pad 39A at our Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This high-angle view of the shuttle liftoff, showing a lengthy stretch of Florida Atlantic coastline and a number of large cumulus clouds, was photographed with a handheld 70mm camera by astronaut John W. Young, who piloted the Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) for weather monitoring at launch and landing sites for STS missions.
The STS-7 crew consisted of astronauts Robert Crippen, commander, the first two-time space shuttle astronaut; Frederick H. Hauck, pilot; and three mission specialists — Ride, John M. Fabian and Norman E. Thagard.
One of Sally Ride’s jobs was to call out “Roll program” seven seconds after launch. “I’ll guarantee that those were the hardest words I ever had to get out of my mouth,” she said later.
Image Credit: NASA
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This narrow-angle color image of the Earth, dubbed “Pale Blue Dot,” is a part of the first ever “portrait” of the solar system taken by Voyager 1. The images turned 25 Saturday.
The late Carl Sagan, a member of the Voyager imaging team at the time, had the idea of pointing the spacecraft back toward its home for a last look. Sagan wrote in his “Pale Blue Dot” book: “That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. … There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.” The image of Earth contains scattered light that resembles a beam of sunlight, which is an artifact of the camera itself that makes the tiny Earth appear even more dramatic. Voyager 1 was 40 astronomical units from the sun at this moment. One astronomical unit is 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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Forty-Four Years Ago Today: Apollo 14 Touches Down on the Moon: On Feb. 5. 1971, the Apollo 14 crew module landed on the moon. The crew members were Captain Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. (USN), commander; Major Stuart Allen Roosa (USAF), command module pilot; and Commander Edgar Dean Mitchell (USN), lunar module pilot. In this photo, Shepard stands by the Modular Equipment Transporter (MET). The MET was a cart for carrying around tools, cameras and sample cases on the lunar surface. Shepard can be identified by the vertical stripe on his helmet. After Apollo 13, the commander’s spacesuit had red stripes on the helmet, arms, and one leg, to help identify them in photographs.
Image Credit: NASA
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Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II ventured further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut ever has. This space first was made possible by the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU, a nitrogen jet propelled backpack. After a series of test maneuvers inside and above Challenger’s payload bay, McCandless went “free-flying” to a distance of 320 feet away from the Orbiter. The MMU is controlled by joy sticks positioned at the end of the arm rests. Moving the joy sticks left or right or by pulling them fires nitrogen jet thrusters propelling McCandless in any direction he chooses. A still camera is mounted on the upper right portion of the MMU. This stunning view shows McCandless with the MMU out there amongst the black and blue of Earth and space.
Image Credit: NASA
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We’re 56 years old today! Founded today in 1958, we work to reach for new heights & reveal the unknown. Since our inception, NASA has accomplished many great scientific and technological feats in air and space. NASA technology also has been adapted for many nonaerospace uses by the private sector. NASA remains a leading force in scientific research and in stimulating public interest in aerospace exploration, as well as science and technology in general. Perhaps more importantly, our exploration of space has taught us to view Earth, ourselves, and the universe in a new way. While the tremendous technical and scientific accomplishments of NASA demonstrate vividly that humans can achieve previously inconceivable feats, we also are humbled by the realization that Earth is just a tiny “blue marble” in the cosmos.
Image credit: NASA
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With the #BelmontStakes this Saturday and the #NBAFinals heating up, let’s Throwback Thursday to one of the tallest and one of the shortest professional athletes finding a middle ground on the topic of space technology. They mention scratch-resistant lenses, a popular NASA spinoff. It’s a technology, originally developed to meet NASA mission needs, that has been transferred to the public and now provides benefits for the nation and world as a commercial product or service.
Video credit: NASA
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NASA salutes our country’s veterans this Veteran’s Day. Seen here is John Young, astronaut and Navy veteran, saluting the U.S. flag at the Descartes landing site during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity. Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, jumps up from the lunar surface as astronaut and Air Force veteran, Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, took this picture.
The Lunar Module (LM) “Orion” is on the left. The Lunar Roving Vehicle is parked beside the LM. The object behind Young in the shade of the LM is the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph. Stone Mountain dominates the background in this lunar scene.
Image Credit: NASA, Charles M. Duke Jr.
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