In 1972, Tom Wolfe was assigned to do a piece for Rolling Stone on Apollo 17, NASA's last moon mission
(Google book preview). That turned into a four-part series on the astronauts, written in a frantic three weeks. From there, he thought he could quickly expand the piece into a book
(Gbp). But that book, on what makes an astronaut, ended up taking a much broader scope and more time. In 1979, The Right Stuff
was published, and later was made into a well-regarded 3 hour movie
. A few years later, Andrew Chaikin started on a similar path to Wolfe, more broadly documenting the US moon missions in his book, A Man on the Moon
. The book was published in 1994, and HBO used it as the basis of a 12-part mini-series that they aired in 1998
, titled From the Earth to the Moon
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 26, 2013 -
Bras in Space: The Incredible True Story Behind Upcoming Film "Spacesuit"
When we think of the Apollo 11 moon landing, what do we think of? President Kennedy’s bold vision. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s heroism (unfortunately we rarely think about Command Module Pilot Michael Collins). Perhaps we even think of the incredible engineers, rocket scientists, astrophysicists and all the other geniuses at NASA who made it possible. Now we want you to think about your grandma’s bra. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A
on Oct 29, 2013 -
Months after the death of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon
, a question arises: when did he think of the infamous quote "One small step for [a]
man, one giant leap for mankind"? His brother Dean says, in a BBC documentary
, it was not made up by Neil after landing on the moon, as the astronaut has said for 40+ years. Instead, Neil asked Dean for his opinion on the quote several months before Apollo 11 even launched.
Newspapers headlines asked "Did Armstrong lie", prompting protest, clarifications and remembrances from space historian Andrew Chaikin
and longtime friend Dudley Schuler
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Jan 7, 2013 -
Designed as "an expeditionary force for a geologic assault1
" on the Moon’s Hadley Rille
, Apollo 15
was a groundbreaking lunar mission. Designed to be devoted entirely to scientific exploration, it included a number of notable firsts: first to land outside of the lunar mare
; first 3 day stay on the moon
; first use of the Lunar Rover
by Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot Jim Irwin; first use of the Scientific Instrument Module
, used by Command Module Pilot Al Worden to study the moon from lunar orbit; and first launch of a subsatellite
, used to map the plasma, particle and magnetic fields of the moon. On top of that, Scott gave a visual proof
of Galileo's theory of objects in gravity fields in a vacuum, showing gravity acts equally on all objects regardless of their mass. Scott and Irwin also discovered of the Genesis Rock
, a piece the moon's primordial crust, formed only 100 million years after the solar system itself.
The mission was a spectacular success, publicly called "One of the most brilliant missions in space science ever flown"
. The crew was lauded and their future with NASA seemed assured.
Then the stamps hit the fan and Apollo 15 became the first US space crew that was ever fired. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Dec 2, 2011 -
Initially the conventional wisdom was that spacesuits “would be like rockets: adamantine, metallic, armored and smooth.” But in practice, rigid spacesuits repeatedly failed under testing. So when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon they were protected from the vacuum of space by flexible spacesuits crafted from twenty-one layers of fabric, “each with a distinct yet interrelated function, custom-sewn for them by seamstresses whose usual work was fashioning bras and girdles” for the Playtex Corporation.
The Spirit of the Spacesuit
, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo [more inside]
posted by Herodios
on Jul 21, 2011 -
For All Mankind
"Al Reinert’s documentary For All Mankind is the story of the twenty-four men who traveled to the moon, told in their words, in their voices, using the images of their experiences. Forty years after the first moon landing, it remains the most radical, visually dazzling work of cinema yet made about this earthshaking event." "For All Mankind is irreplaceable: one of a kind and likely to remain so. It is, formally, among the most radical American films of the past quarter century and, emotionally, among the most powerfully affecting. It makes its impossible title stick. In For All Mankind, we all lift off together, and we all come home the same way, and few movies have captured so well the rhapsodic absurdity of our common voyage." 1
posted by puny human
on Apr 7, 2011 -
, with Alan Shepard
, American's first man in space
, as the Commander, Stuart Roosa
, Command Module
Pilot and Edgar Mitchell
, lunar module
pilot, splashed down
forty years ago today. It was flight of the rookies
(total previous time in space was 15 minutes, all by Shepard). There were several odd things about the flight
, but no need to worry, the moon trees
are doing just fine
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Feb 10, 2011 -
They Were There
is a 30 min video from IBM, who is turning 100 this year. "told by first-hand witnesses—current and retired employees and clients—who were there when IBM helped to change the way world works.
posted by finite
on Jan 22, 2011 -
Built as part of the fifth /dev/fort
developer retreat, Spacelog.org
allows you to explore early space missions via the original NASA transcripts. Currently live are Mercury 6
which made John Glenn the first American in orbit, and the 'successful failure' Apollo 13
(The transcribed key moment
and the original
). Alongside the transcripts are supporting materials from the NASA archives including photography
and descriptions of the mission phases
. The developers are looking for help
to digitise the Gemini 7, Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions.
posted by garrett
on Dec 1, 2010 -
At the mostly abandoned Moffett Field in an abandoned McDonald's, digital archeologists attempt to restore, recover and archive abandoned high resolution imagery and data from previous manned Moon missions, using an abandoned Ampex 2" tape drive found in a chicken coop - the last working machine in the world, restored by the last man alive capable of rebuilding the heads. This is likely only part of their weird story.
posted by loquacious
on May 1, 2009 -
In honor of this morning's impressive lunar eclipse
, another moon-photo post: For decades you had to be a scholar or specialist to get access to the original Apollo flight films, most of which have been stored in freezers at Houston's Johnson Space Center. Now Arizona State University and NASA are scanning the negatives with high-resolution equipment and creating an online digital archive
of downloadable images for the general public.
Here are the first few
, from Apollo 15.
(Similar topics previously: 1
posted by GrammarMoses
on Aug 28, 2007 -
I contend this house-swaying performace
at the Apollo Theater earlier this year, purporting to feature soulful everyman Brad Prowley
("real life homeless man . . . who makes a living singing classic R&B songs on the streets of major cities not just to get by, but out of a true, life-long passion for music"), actually showcases this man
in disguise. You be the judge.
posted by azaner
on Jul 15, 2007 -