Space > Moon, Apollo program
Galileo Images the Moon
This view of the Moon's north pole
is a mosaic assembled from 18 images
by Galileo's imaging system
through a green filter as the spacecraft flew by
December 7, 1992.
The left part of the Moon
is visible from Earth;
this region includes
lava-filled Mare Imbrium
and Mare Crisium,
the dark circular feature
toward the bottom of the mosaic.
Also visible in this view
are the dark lava plains of the Marginis
Basins at the lower right.
The Humboldtianum Basin,
a 650-kilometer (400-mile) impact structure
filled with dark volcanic deposits,
is seen at the center of the image.
The Moon's north pole
is located just inside the shadow zone,
about a third of
from the top left of the illuminated region.
NASA Center: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Image # : PIA00130
Date : 12/14/1992
August 7, 2006
Scientists Chip Away at Mysteries of the
This detailed geologic map of Schrödinger
which formed when a huge object struck the
reveals a patchwork of lunar material,
including the peak ring (inner brown ring),
recent volcanic activity (red),
and plains material (dark
green and kelly green).
Credit: NASA/Scott Mest
The Moon Puts on Camo
A new geologic map of the
moon's Schrödinger basin
paints an instant, camouflage-colored portrait
of what a mash-up the moon's surface
after eons of violent events.
The geologic record at Schrödinger is still
because the basin is only about 3.8 billion years old;
this makes it the moon's second-youngest
(it's roughly 320 kilometers, or 200 miles, in diameter).
UK / USA
dark side of the moon
UK / USA
A perigee moon is visible
when the moon's orbit position
its closest point to Earth
during a full moon phase,
making the so-called super moon
look larger than
The closest and therefore
the biggest and brightest
full moon of the year.
blood moon USA
super blood moon USA
super blue blood moon UK
super blue blood moon USA
moon's crust UK
sending a humanoid robot to the Moon
Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Map of moon's craters
reveals our satellite's cataclysmic past
Boston Globe > Big Picture USA
Images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO),
launched in June, 2009
Mr. Young moving across the surface
during the Apollo 16
mission, April 1972.
Credit Charles M. Duke Jr./NASA
John Young, Who Led First Space Shuttle Mission, Dies at 87
By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN NYT
JAN. 6, 2018
walk on the moon
Alfred Merrill Worden 1932-2020
While two Apollo 15 crewmen
roamed the lunar surface on a scientific mission,
he took valuable photographs from the space capsule.
John Young 1930-2018
John W. Young (...)
walked on the moon,
the first space shuttle mission
and became the first person
to fly in space six times
Mr. Young joined NASA
in the early years
of manned spaceflight
and was still flying, at age 53,
in the era of space shuttles.
He was the only astronaut
to fly in the Gemini, Apollo
and shuttle programs.
He was also chief of NASA’s
astronauts office for 13 years
and a leading executive
at the Johnson Space Center
astronaut Alan L. Bean
- the fourth man to walk
on the Moon USA
full moon UK
full moon USA
snow moon USA
Apollo missions UK
USA > Nasa's Apollo missions – in pictures
USA > Apollo missions through the astronaut's eyes
NASA > Apollo 17 1972
The lunar landing site
was the Taurus-Littrow highlands
and valley area.
This site was picked for Apollo 17
as a location
where rocks both older and younger
than those previously returned
from other Apollo missions,
as well as from Luna 16 and 20 missions,
might be found.
Apollo 15 mission > July 26, 1971 - August 7
Apollo 15 was the ninth crewed mission
in the United States' Apollo program,
and the fourth to land on the Moon.
It was the first J mission,
with a longer stay on the Moon
and a greater focus on science
than earlier landings.
Apollo 15 saw the first use
of the Lunar Roving Vehicle.
The mission began on July 26, 1971,
and ended on August 7,
the lunar surface exploration
taking place between July 30 and August 2.
Commander David Scott
and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin
landed near Hadley Rille
and explored the local area using the rover,
allowing them to travel further from the lunar module
than had been possible on previous missions.
They spent 181⁄2 hours
on the Moon's surface
on extravehicular activity (EVA),
and collected 170 pounds (77 kg)
of surface material.
Apollo 14 mission 1971
the lunar module Antares (...)
landed on 5 Feb 1971.
Their mission was to deploy
and perform a communications test,
as well as photograph the lunar surface
and any deep-space phenomena,
Mitchell and Shephard
set mission records
for time of the longest distance
traversed on the lunar surface,
the largest payload
returned from the moon,
and the longest lunar stay time,
at 33 hours.
They were also the first
to transmit colour TV
from the moon.
Apollo 13 April 1970
UK / USA
to be the third
at 1313 Houston time
April 11, 1970
we have a problem'
mission control Houston, Texas
Apollo 12 1969
UK / USA
second moon landing in 1969.
Moon > Apollo 11
First lunar landing
20 July 1969
Moon > Apollo 10
Testing the Lunar Module in lunar orbit
10-18 May 1969
Moon > Apollo 8
First human journey to another world
21-27 December 1968
USA > Apollo flights / The Apollo program
USA > Apollo program
In a speech
to a joint session
of the US Congress
on 25 May 1961,
President John F Kennedy
sets the goal,
"before this decade is out,
of landing a man on the moon
and returning him
to the Earth" UK
Google > Maps > Moon
NASA > Moon > Images
NASA > Images > The mineral Moon
NASA > Moon, Mars and beyond
moon base UK / USA
map / map
moon-mapping probes UK
LCROSS orbiter / probe
UK / USA
lunar lander UK
Boston Globe > Big Picture
Lunar eclipse of December 10, 201
USA December 12, 2011
The longest lunar eclipse
in over ten years
animated the night
on December 10.
The red hue
resulted from the sun's light
passing through the earth's
Viewers in Asia
had the best view of the total eclipse,
while those watching in Europe
saw part of it at moonrise,
and North Americans
caught part of it as the moon set.
It was not visible
in South America or Antarctica.
The next total eclipse
will occur in 2014.
viewed from around the world - in pictures
from Brussels to Beirut
turn their gaze
to the moon
as it turns red
during the eclipse
total lunar eclipse
During the eclipse,
the Earth lined up directly
between the Sun and the Moon,
casting Earth's shadow
over the Moon.
- the earth prevents the sun’s rays
partial lunar eclipse
total lunar eclipse / syzygy
a total lunar eclipse
due to a perfect alignment
of the sun, Earth and the moon,
otherwise known as a syzygy
water on the moon UK /
pop music > lunar tunes
lunar art > iconic works inspired by the moon
New York Times (1857-Current
file); Oct 23, 1968;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers
The New York Times (1851 - 2003)
One Giant Leap to Nowhere
July 19, 2009
The New York Times
By TOM WOLFE
WELL, let’s see now ... That was a small step for Neil
Armstrong, a giant leap for mankind and a real knee in the groin for NASA.
The American space program, the greatest, grandest, most Promethean — O.K. if I
add “godlike”? — quest in the history of the world, died in infancy at 10:56
p.m. New York time on July 20, 1969, the moment the foot of Apollo 11’s
Commander Armstrong touched the surface of the Moon.
It was no ordinary dead-and-be-done-with-it death. It was full-blown purgatory,
purgatory being the holding pen for recently deceased but still restless souls
awaiting judgment by a Higher Authority.
Like many another youngster at that time, or maybe retro-youngster in my case, I
was fascinated by the astronauts after Apollo 11. I even dared to dream of
writing a book about them someday. If anyone had told me in July 1969 that the
sound of Neil Armstrong’s small step plus mankind’s big one was the shuffle of
pallbearers at graveside, I would have averted my eyes and shaken my head in
pity. Poor guy’s bucket’s got a hole in it.
Why, putting a man on the Moon was just the beginning, the prelude, the
prologue! The Moon was nothing but a little satellite of Earth. The great
adventure was going to be the exploration of the planets ... Mars first, then
Venus, then Pluto. Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus? NASA would
figure out their slots in the schedule in due course. In any case, we Americans
wouldn’t stop until we had explored the entire solar system. And after that ...
the galaxies beyond.
NASA had long since been all set to send men to Mars, starting with manned
fly-bys of the planet in 1975. Wernher von Braun, the German rocket scientist
who had come over to our side in 1945, had been designing a manned Mars project
from the moment he arrived. In 1952 he published his Mars Project as a series of
graphic articles called “Man Will Conquer Space Soon” in Collier’s magazine. It
created a sensation. He was front and center in 1961 when NASA undertook Project
Empire, which resulted in working plans for a manned Mars mission. Given the
epic, the saga, the triumph of Project Apollo, Mars would naturally come next.
All NASA and von Braun needed was the president’s and Congress’s blessings and
the great adventure was a Go. Why would they so much as blink before saying the
Three months after the landing, however, in October 1969, I began to wonder ...
I was in Florida, at Cape Kennedy, the space program’s launching facility,
aboard a NASA tour bus. The bus’s Spielmeister was a tall-fair-and-handsome man
in his late 30s ... and a real piece of lumber when it came to telling tourists
on a tour bus what they were looking at. He was so bad, I couldn’t resist
striking up a conversation at the end of the tour.
Sure enough, it turned out he had not been put on Earth for this job. He was an
engineer who until recently had been a NASA heat-shield specialist. A baffling
wave of layoffs had begun, and his job was eliminated. It was so bad he was
lucky to have gotten this stand-up Spielmeister gig on a tour bus. Neil
Armstrong and his two crew mates, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins, were still on
their triumphal world tour ... while back home, NASA’s irreplaceable team of
highly motivated space scientists — irreplaceable! — there were no others!
...anywhere! ... You couldn’t just run an ad saying, “Help Wanted: Experienced
heat-shield expert” ... the irreplaceable team was breaking up, scattering in
nobody knows how many hopeless directions.
How could such a thing happen? In hindsight, the answer is obvious. NASA had
neglected to recruit a corps of philosophers.
From the moment the Soviets launched Sputnik I into orbit around the Earth in
1957, everybody from Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson on down looked
upon the so-called space race as just one thing: a military contest. At first
there was alarm over the Soviets’ seizure of the “strategic high ground” of
space. They were already up there — right above us! They could now hurl
thunderbolts down whenever and wherever they wanted. And what could we do about
it? Nothing. Ka-boom! There goes Bangor ... Ka-boom! There goes Boston ...
Ka-boom! There goes New York ... Baltimore ... Washington ... St. Louis ...
Denver ... San Jose — blown away! — just like that.
Physicists were quick to point out that nobody would choose space as a place
from which to attack Earth. The spacecraft, the missile, the Earth itself, plus
the Earth’s own rotation, would be traveling at wildly different speeds upon
wildly different geometric planes. You would run into the notorious “three body
problem” and then some. You’d have to be crazy. The target would be untouched
and you would wind up on the floor in a fetal ball, twitching and gibbering. On
the other hand, the rockets that had lifted the Soviets’ five-ton manned ships
into orbit were worth thinking about. They were clearly powerful enough to reach
any place on Earth with nuclear warheads.
But that wasn’t what was on President Kennedy’s mind when he summoned NASA’s
administrator, James Webb, and Webb’s deputy, Hugh Dryden, to the White House in
April 1961. The president was in a terrible funk. He kept muttering: “If
somebody can just tell me how to catch up. Let’s find somebody — anybody ...
There’s nothing more important.” He kept saying, “We’ve got to catch up.”
Catching up had become his obsession. He never so much as mentioned the rockets.
Dryden said that, frankly, there was no way we could catch up with the Soviets
when it came to orbital flights. A better idea would be to announce a crash
program on the scale of the Manhattan Project, which had produced the atomic
bomb. Only the aim this time would be to put a man on the Moon within the next
Barely a month later Kennedy made his famous oration before Congress: “I believe
that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade
is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth.” He
neglected to mention Dryden.
INTUITIVELY, not consciously, Kennedy had chosen another form of military
contest, an oddly ancient and archaic one. It was called “single combat.”
The best known of all single combats was David versus Goliath. Before opposing
armies clashed in all-out combat, each would send forth its “champion,” and the
two would fight to the death, usually with swords. The victor would cut off the
head of the loser and brandish it aloft by its hair.
The deadly duel didn’t take the place of the all-out battle. It was regarded as
a sign of which way the gods were leaning. The two armies then had it out on the
battlefield ... unless one army fled in terror upon seeing its champion
slaughtered. There you have the Philistines when Little David killed their
giant, Goliath ... and cut his head off and brandished it aloft by its hair (1
Samuel 17:1-58). They were overcome by a mad desire to be somewhere else. (The
Israelites pursued and destroyed them.)
More than two millenniums later, the mental atmosphere of the space race was
precisely that. The details of single combat were different. Cosmonauts and
astronauts didn’t fight hand to hand and behead one another. Instead, each
side’s brave champions, including one woman (Valentina Tereshkova), risked their
lives by sitting on top of rockets and having their comrades on the ground light
the fuse and fire them into space like the human cannonballs of yore.
The Soviets rocketed off to an early lead. They were the first to put an object
into orbit around the Earth (Sputnik), the first to put an animal into orbit (a
dog), the first to put a man in orbit (Yuri Gagarin). No sooner had NASA put two
astronauts (Gus Grissom and Alan Shepard) into 15-minute suborbital flights to
the Bahamas — the Bahamas! — 15 minutes! — two miserable little mortar lobs! —
then the Soviets put a second cosmonaut (Gherman Titov) into orbit. He stayed up
there for 25 hours and went around the globe 17 times. Three times he flew
directly over the United States. The gods had shown which way they were leaning,
At this point, the mental atmospheres of the rocket-powered space race of the
1960s and the sword-clanking single combat of ancient days became so similar you
had to ask: Does the human beast ever really change — or merely his artifacts?
The Soviet cosmo-champions beat our astro-champions so handily, gloom spread
like a gas. Every time you picked up a newspaper you saw headlines with the
phrase, SPACE GAP ... SPACE GAP ... SPACE GAP ... The Soviets had produced a
generation of scientific geniuses — while we slept, fat and self-satisfied!
Educators began tearing curriculums apart as soon as Sputnik went up,
introducing the New Math and stressing another latest thing, the Theory of
At last, in February 1962, NASA managed to get a man into Earth orbit, John
Glenn. You had to have been alive at that time to comprehend the reaction of the
nation, practically all of it. He was up for only five hours, compared to
Titov’s 25, but he was our ... Protector! Against all odds he had risked his
very hide for ... us! — protected us from our mortal enemy! — struck back in the
duel in the heavens! — showed the world that we Americans were born fighting and
would never give up! John Glenn made us whole again!
During his ticker-tape parade up Broadway, you have never heard such cheers or
seen so many thousands of people crying. Big Irish cops, the classic New York
breed, were out in the intersections in front of the world, sobbing, blubbering,
boo-hoo-ing, with tears streaming down their faces. John Glenn had protected all
of us, cops, too. All tears have to do with protection ... but I promise not to
lay that theory on you now. John Glenn, in 1962, was the last true national hero
America has ever had.
There were three more Mercury flights, and then the Gemini series of two-man
flights began. With Gemini, we dared to wonder if perhaps we weren’t actually
pulling closer to the Soviets in this greatest of all single combats. But we
held our breath, fearful that the Soviets’ anonymous Chief Designer would trump
us again with some unimaginably spectacular feat.
Sure enough, the C.I.A. brought in sketchy reports that the Soviets were on the
verge of a Moon shot.
NASA entered into the greatest crash program of all time, Apollo. It launched
five lunar missions in one year, December 1968 to November 1969. With Apollo 11,
we finally won the great race, landing a man on the Moon before the end of this
decade and returning him safely to Earth.
Everybody, including Congress, was caught up in the adrenal rush of it all. But
then, on the morning after, congressmen began to wonder about something that
hadn’t dawned on them since Kennedy’s oration. What was this single combat stuff
— they didn’t use the actual term — really all about? It had been a battle for
morale at home and image abroad. Fine, O.K., we won, but it had no tactical
military meaning whatsoever. And it had cost a fortune, $150 billion or so. And
this business of sending a man to Mars and whatnot? Just more of the same, when
you got right down to it. How laudable ... how far-seeing ... but why don’t we
just do a Scarlett O’Hara and think about it tomorrow?
And that NASA budget! Now there was some prime pork you could really sink your
teeth into! And they don’t need it anymore! Game’s over, NASA won,
congratulations. Who couldn’t use some of that juicy meat to make the people
happy? It had an ambrosial aroma ... made you think of re-election ....
NASA’s annual budget sank like a stone from $5 billion in the mid-1960s to $3
billion in the mid-1970s. It was at this point that NASA’s lack of a philosopher
corps became a real problem. The fact was, NASA had only one philosopher,
Wernher von Braun. Toward the end of his life, von Braun knew he was dying of
cancer and became very contemplative. I happened to hear him speak at a dinner
in his honor in San Francisco. He raised the question of what the space program
was really all about.
It’s been a long time, but I remember him saying something like this: Here on
Earth we live on a planet that is in orbit around the Sun. The Sun itself is a
star that is on fire and will someday burn up, leaving our solar system
uninhabitable. Therefore we must build a bridge to the stars, because as far as
we know, we are the only sentient creatures in the entire universe. When do we
start building that bridge to the stars? We begin as soon as we are able, and
this is that time. We must not fail in this obligation we have to keep alive the
only meaningful life we know of.
Unfortunately, NASA couldn’t present as its spokesman and great philosopher a
former high-ranking member of the Nazi Wehrmacht with a heavy German accent.
As a result, the space program has been killing time for 40 years with a series
of orbital projects ... Skylab, the Apollo-Soyuz joint mission, the
International Space Station and the space shuttle. These programs have required
a courage and engineering brilliance comparable to the manned programs that
preceded them. But their purpose has been mainly to keep the lights on at the
Kennedy Space Center and Houston’s Johnson Space Center — by removing manned
flight from the heavens and bringing it very much down to earth. The shuttle
program, for example, was actually supposed to appeal to the public by offering
orbital tourist rides, only to end in the Challenger disaster, in which the
first such passenger, Christa McAuliffe, a schoolteacher, perished.
Forty years! For 40 years, everybody at NASA has known that the only logical
next step is a manned Mars mission, and every overture has been entertained only
briefly by presidents and the Congress. They have so many more luscious and
appealing projects that could make better use of the close to $10 billion
annually the Mars program would require. There is another overture even at this
moment, and it does not stand a chance in the teeth of Depression II.
“Why not send robots?” is a common refrain. And once more it is the late Wernher
von Braun who comes up with the rejoinder. One of the things he most enjoyed
saying was that there is no computerized explorer in the world with more than a
tiny fraction of the power of a chemical analog computer known as the human
brain, which is easily reproduced by unskilled labor.
What NASA needs now is the power of the Word. On Darwin’s tongue, the Word
created a revolutionary and now well-nigh universal conception of the nature of
human beings, or, rather, human beasts. On Freud’s tongue, the Word means that
at this very moment there are probably several million orgasms occurring that
would not have occurred had Freud never lived. Even the fact that he is proved
to be a quack has not diminished the power of his Word.
July 20, 1969, was the moment NASA needed, more than anything else in this
world, the Word. But that was something NASA’s engineers had no specifications
for. At this moment, that remains the only solution to recovering NASA’s true
destiny, which is, of course, to build that bridge to the stars.
Tom Wolfe is the author of “The Right Stuff,”
an account of
the Mercury Seven astronauts.
One Giant Leap to
Total lunar eclipse turns Moon red
Thu Feb 21, 2008
LONDON (Reuters) - Thousands of hopeful astronomers around the world tried to
catch a glimpse of the year's only total lunar eclipse -- but those watching
from Britain saw little more than cloud.
Watchers from the eastern United States saw it easily Wednesday night and had
posted dozens of successful pictures on the Internet -- but by mid-morning none
had been posted from Britain, where it should have been most visible between 3
a.m. and 4 a.m. British time Thursday (10 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST Wednesday).
"It's been pretty grim," said John Mason, spokesman for the British Astronomical
Association. "There were a couple of gaps in the cloud for a couple of seconds
from where I was but nothing else."
During the eclipse, the Earth lined up directly between the Sun and Moon,
covering the latter with the Earth's shadow. Depending on atmospheric conditions
on Earth, the moon should have appeared blood red, rusty or grey.
The Royal Astronomical Society had promised a "spectacular sight", saying that
unlike a solar eclipse it could be viewed without any special equipment.
But in the event, special equipment would have been unnecessary anyway. The next
lunar eclipse will not be seen until December 2010.
"It's bad luck," said Royal Astronomical Society spokesman Robert Massey. "But
it's always one of these things when you're watching from the UK."
(Reporting by Peter Apps)
Total lunar eclipse
turns Moon red, R, 21.2.2008,
Total Lunar Eclipse Early Tuesday
August 26, 2007
Filed at 7:48 p.m. ET
The New York Times
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DENVER (AP) -- The Earth's shadow will creep across the moon's surface early
Tuesday, slowly eclipsing it and turning it to shades of orange and red.
The total lunar eclipse, the second this year, will be visible in North and
South America, especially in the West. People in the Pacific islands, eastern
Asia, Australia and New Zealand also will be able to view it if skies are clear.
People in Europe, Africa or the Middle East, who had the best view of the last
total lunar eclipse in March, won't see this one because the moon will have set
when the partial eclipse begins at 4:51 a.m. EDT. The full eclipse will begin an
hour later at 5:52 a.m. EDT.
An eclipse occurs when Earth passes between the sun and the moon, blocking the
sun's light. It's rare because the moon is usually either above or below the
plane of Earth's orbit.
Since the Earth is bigger than the moon, the process of the Earth's shadow
taking a bigger and bigger ''bite'' out of the moon, totally eclipsing it before
the shadow recedes, lasts about 3 1/2 hours, said Doug Duncan, director of the
University of Colorado's Fiske Planetarium. The total eclipse phase, in which
the moon has an orange or reddish glow, lasts about 1 1/2 hours.
The full eclipse will be visible across the United States, but East Coast
viewers will only have about a half-hour to see it before the sun begins to rise
and the moon sets. Skywatchers in the West will get the full show.
In eastern Asia, the moon will rise in various stages of eclipse.
During the full eclipse, the moon won't be completely dark because some light
still reaches it around the edges of the Earth. The light is refracted as it
passes through our atmosphere, scattering blue light -- which is why the sky is
blue -- but sending reddish light onto the moon.
''When someone asks why is it (the moon) red, you can say because the sky is
blue,'' Duncan said.
The next total lunar eclipse occurs Feb. 21, 2008, and will be visible from the
Americas, Europe and Asia.
On the Net:
NASA Lunar Eclipse Page:
Total Lunar Eclipse Early Tuesday,
On This Day - April 18, 1970
From The Times archive
Nasa’s Moon mission became an ordeal
an oxygen tank exploded,
cutting electricity, light and water supplies
craft was 200,000 miles from Earth.
The crew had to use the Sun to navigate,
landing in the Pacific Ocean four days later
Houston, April 17: The three Apollo 13
astronauts, Captain James Lovell, Mr Fred Haise and Mr John Swigart, were last
night on board the recovery ship Iwo Jima after a perfect landing in the
Within three minutes of the capsule landing in the sea helicopters were over it
in what is probably the fastest recovery in the history of the space programme.
After the three men emerged from the helicopter on the ship’s deck a band played
The Age of Aquarius. They will spend the night on board and fly to Samoa today.
They were smiling but looked tired.
At a White House briefing President Nixon, defending the space programme, said
hazards had to be expected. The failure did not cloud the programme’s future.
A review board has been set up to investigate the failure in the spacecraft.
Apollo 13’s emergency return journey to Earth ended with a splashdown at 19 hr
7min 46sec B.S.T. with complete accuracy four miles south of the recovery ship.
The spacecraft entered the atmosphere 400,000 ft above the earth, its heat
shield glowing white hot at 7,000F.
As it hurtled towards Earth at 25,000 miles an hour the command module skipped
twice on the denser layers of the atmosphere like a stone across a pond.
For more than three tense minutes after re-entry the spacecraft was blacked out
of radio contact by the friction it generated in the upper part of the
atmosphere. Controllers at mission control waited anxiously for the first words
that the astronauts had survived.
This Day - April 18, 1970,
On This Day:
March 25, 1965
From The Times archive
American space probe Ranger 9
took some of
the first pictures of the Moon
which were broadcast back to Earth
AMERICA watched today when the Ranger 9 space
probe to the moon sent back live pictures of its descent into the pock-marked
crater Alphonsus, near the centre of the lunar face. For about 15 minutes,
anyone with a television set could have an astronaut’s eye view of the landing,
from 1,300 miles above the point of impact.
It was exciting, if frightening, sensation.
Ranger 9, the last of the photographing moon probes, was launched last Sunday
afternoon from Cape Kennedy, Florida.
This morning it switched on its six television cameras and sent back to earth
between 5,000 and 6,000 photographs and then landed four miles from the target
For the final minutes of its flight its electronic signals were converted into a
form suitable for showing on ordinary television, giving millions of viewers an
opportunity to see things which no human eye had ever before discerned.
The first picture, covering an area 500 miles square, showed three large flat
craters. These were arranged in triangular formation, the crater Ptolemaeus, 85
miles in diameter, at the top; Alphonsus, 50 miles across, on the left and
Albategnius, 60 miles wide, on the right.
At five minutes from impact, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
expert reminded us that “the Ranger spacecraft is falling towards the moon”. At
a distance of 177 miles away, two minutes from impact, the surface looked like
pumice stone, or a magnified view of the human skin. At one minute from impact,
we were only 90 miles away and still the pictures were sharp and clear.
Then suddenly the screen went black. Ranger had done her work, landing 20
seconds later than intended.
On This Day: March 25, 1965,
25 March 2005,
Related > Anglonautes >
Moon > Apollo 11
First lunar landing
20 July 1969
Moon > Apollo 10
Testing the Lunar Module in lunar orbit
10-18 May 1969
Moon > Apollo 8
First human journey to another world
21-27 December 1968
Related > Anglonautes > History > 20th century > USA
Man on the moon - 20 July 1969
/ СССР, Germany,
Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia,
Nicaragua, El Salvador,