The Women’s Guide to ID Badge Placement (According to the Government in 1947)

By Amy Shira Teitel | March 19, 2019 1:34 pm
via NASA.

via NASA.

Digging into NASA’s Apollo-era history of nuclear propulsion for manned deep space missions, I found another gem in the history of the government not really knowing how to address women’s clothing. This time, we’re talking beauty and badges. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Uncategorized

The New Apollo 11 Documentary is Jaw-Droppingly Gorgeous

By Amy Shira Teitel | March 6, 2019 12:07 pm

The new Apollo 11 documentary boasts that it is a “cinematic event fifty years in the making.” Which it is. It’s less a documentary and more a compilation of restored 16mm film and rarely-if-ever heard audio records from the first lunar landing mission, and it’s absolutely incredible. (Heads up: this blog contains spoilers, but then again, most of us know what happened on Apollo 11, right? Right.) 

The trailer, just in case you haven’t seen it kicking around yet.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Uncategorized

NASA’s Bold Apollo 9 Plans Made the Moon Landing Possible

By Amy Shira Teitel | March 1, 2019 1:26 pm
The crew of Apollo 9 during a pre-flight test. NASA.

The crew of Apollo 9 during a pre-flight test. NASA.

Apollo 9 launched 50 years ago, on March 3, 1969, and it might be the most important but least celebrated of the early Apollo missions. In fact, it was so important to NASA’s ultimate lunar landing goal that the space agency had a series of contingency missions in place to ensure it could get as much data as possible if something went wrong.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: Apollo 9, History, Moon

NASA Once Made an Official Ruling on Women and Pantsuits

By Amy Shira Teitel | February 12, 2019 12:03 pm
Student Kathy L. Jackson wearing pants as she greets Astronauts and MSFC Personnel(L-R); ASTRONAUTS Rusty Schweickart, Owen Garriott, and MSFC Skylab Program Manager Leland Belew. NASA/MSFC

Student Kathy L. Jackson wearing pants as she greets Astronauts and MSFC Personnel(L-R); ASTRONAUTS Rusty Schweickart, Owen Garriott, and MSFC Skylab Program Manager Leland Belew. NASA/MSFC

In 1970, NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Centre was forced to address a tricky new issue in the realm of women in space: the validity of pants in the workplace.  Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: NASA, Women

The Soviets’ Lunar Program in 1969

By Amy Shira Teitel | January 29, 2019 1:11 pm
6642

Earthrise from Apollo 11 with the Lunar Module in the foreground. NASA.

Last week, I did the first in a series of interviews about Apollo 11 with CBC’s Quirks & Quarks. As a Canadian, this was a big deal for me! I grew up listening to this show every Saturday at 12:06pm with my Dad, usually in the car on the way home from gymnastics. Not only that, it’s an award-winning nationally syndicated show. So to be on the show as an expert was absolutely incredible! You can listen to the whole episode here; I come in at about the 26-minute mark.

Of course, the segment was cut down for length. Bob McDonald and I talked for about 25 minutes about the state of the Apollo program in January of 1969, and among the pieces that didn’t make it into the final podcast was a really interesting chat about where the Soviets. What were the Soviets up to when the Apollo 11 crew was selected? We always talk about the race to the Moon being a race with the Soviets, so where were they? It’s a really interesting point that I thought was well worth diving into as a supplementary little blog post.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics
MORE ABOUT: Apollo 11, Luna, Moon, Soviet, Zond, Zond 6

How Luck Made Neil Armstrong the First Man on the Moon

By Amy Shira Teitel | January 16, 2019 1:50 pm
Neil Armstrong's official portrait. NASA

Neil Armstrong’s official portrait. NASA

We know Neil Armstrong was the first man on the Moon, but how did he end up with this coveted position? Was he chosen on account of his flying background and civilian status? Or was it the luck of the draw? 

It was the luck of the draw. But it’s actually a really interesting and surprisingly convoluted story!

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Uncategorized

Beyond Earthrise: Other Views from Apollo 8

By Amy Shira Teitel | December 24, 2018 12:04 pm
Apollo 8's iconic Earthrise. NASA

Apollo 8’s iconic Earthrise. NASA

“Earthrise” was taken 50 years ago this Christmas, and it’s one of the most — if not the most — iconic images of the 20th century. It’s the image that gave us the idea that we went to the Moon and discovered the Earth. But there are so many other firsts that Apollo 8 brought us, so I thought we ought to take a minute to look at some of the less celebrated but still absolutely incredible images from Apollo 8.  

 

 

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics

Most Apollo Astronauts Had Tattoos

By Amy Shira Teitel | December 15, 2018 11:26 am
My Gemini-Rogallo wing tattoo. Pretty sure none of the Apollo astronauts took this one to the Moon!

My Gemini-Rogallo wing tattoo. Pretty sure none of the Apollo astronauts took this one to the Moon!

When we think of Apollo astronauts, we think of hot-shot pilots who dared to ride rockets to the Moon! But who, at their core, were straight-laced military men who followed the rules. So it might come as a surprise that most Apollo astronauts had tattoos.  Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics
MORE ABOUT: Apollo, NASA, Tattoos

Insight Has Given Us a New View of Mars

By Amy Shira Teitel | November 27, 2018 11:55 am
Insight's first image of Mars. NASA.

Insight’s first image of Mars. NASA.

NASA’s InSight lander reached Mars yesterday. It’s the seventh successful landed mission, and it’s the latest in our continuous presence on the red planet since 1997. Yup, we’ve had a rover or a lander doing science on Mars non stop for over 20 years! But landers like InSight don’t get enough love. They seem less exciting than their roving cousins, but these stationary missions have done some really incredible science. Regardless of the goal of a mission, though, every lander has had a camera on board to show us details of a new part of Mars.

I don’t care how many pictures of Mars I look at, there’s always something amazing about the first picture from a mission. That camera is on a spacecraft that survived a violent launch, a two-year trip through space spanning some 30 million miles, and a fall through the Martian atmosphere. After all that it still managed to turn on and show us what it can see within minutes of reaching the surface. It’s incredible.  So let’s take a quick look at the first views of past landers.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics

A Peek at the Real Neil Armstrong

By Amy Shira Teitel | November 13, 2018 2:19 pm

img456-2“First Man” gave us a look at a side of Neil Armstrong we don’t see too often, focusing on the family side of his life over the science element, but even that only gave us a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes home and family life of the notoriously stoic first man on the Moon. Now, the brand new Armstrong-Engel Family Gallery has published personal, never-before-seen images of Neil and his family beginning in 1955 during his Edwards days gong all the way to 1969 and the Moon landing.

The gallery is the legacy of Neil Armstrong’s mother, Viola Armstrong, née Engel. Family legend has it that Viola researched the best types of film for different of cameras to make sure the prints would stand the test of time, bought a camera from a local shop in Neil’s hometown of Wapakoneta, and took the pictures that show us the real Neil. 

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Uncategorized
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Vintage Space

Vintage Space is all about digging into the minutia of the space age. Rather than retelling glossy stories of astronauts, Vintage Space peels back that veneer to look at the real stories -- the innovations that failed, the unrealized technologies, and the human elements that are less publicity-friendly so often remain buried. Gaining a clear picture of spaceflight's past ultimately helps us understand our present position in space and have a more realistic expectation of what the future might bring.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Collapse bottom bar
+