Fifty years ago on Christmas Eve, a tumultuous year of assassinations, riots and war drew to a close in heroic and hopeful fashion with the three Apollo 8 astronauts reading from the Book of Genesis on live TV as they orbited the moon. To this day, that 1968 mission is considered to be NASA's boldest and perhaps most dangerous undertaking. It also generated one of the most famous photos in history - 'Earthrise,' which shows our blue and white ball - humanity's home - rising above the bleak, gray lunar landscape and 240,000 miles (386 million kilometers) in the distance. Apollo 8 generated one of the most famous photos in history - 'Earthrise,' which shows our planet rising up from the Moon's horizon. The unforgettable moment has since been recreated by NASA in a video which attempts to reconstruct how Earthrise was shot in real time.
NASA has revealed plans to take America back to the moon - but will rely on private firms to run the missions. The space agency plans to work with nine private firms, ranging from small startups to giants like Lockheed Martin, to develop robotic landers and systems to mine the natural resources on the moon. This will help develop the technology need for eventual manned missions, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine pledged to have a manned lunar base within a decade. The first new lunar missions could blast off as early next year. The new missions will see the US return to the lunar surface for the first time since Apollo 17 in December 1972, the final mission of the crewed lunar exploration program (pictured, Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon).
A boot worn by Neil Armstrong has sold for $49,000 (£38,000) as part of an auction of space memorabilia. The prototype Apollo A7L lunar boot never went to the moon with the astronaut but it is believed it was used in a different flight or served as a backup. It is embroidered with'Armstrong' on the inside of the tongue and has a silver, gold and blue exterior. Parts of the shoe are believed to have been re-purposed by the designers and used on other NASA items. A host of other items also sold at the auction including a Soviet space suit, a signed picture of Neil Armstrong and a series of Apollo 11 engineer's manuals.
NASA will finally open a series of samples brought back from the surface of the moon nearly 50 years after they were collected during the Apollo missions. The space agency revealed this week that it has selected two teams to analyze the decades-old materials from Apollo 15 and 17, some of which have never been opened on Earth. Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will investigate the lunar samples to better understand the abundance of organic compounds on the moon, and how these materials withstand the effects of cosmic rays. NASA will finally open a series of samples brought back from the surface of the moon nearly 50 years after they were collected during the Apollo missions. In a statement in March, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine doubled down on plans to send humans first to the moon and then to Mars and said NASA is on track to have humans back on the moon by 2028.
A Satellite grad who says NASA's history is her history, too. Through their eyes, we view how what happened in space in July 1969 changed life in an iconic part of Florida. On July 20, 1969, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, posed for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag during an Apollo 11 moonwalk. The Lunar Module is on the left, and the footprints of the astronauts are clearly visible. Bob Richards remembers watching the gray, ghostly figures bounce across his family's black-and-white TV screen nearly a half-century ago: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first humans walking on the moon.