Tag: Space and Astronomy

One Small Step for Experimental Space Gear. Many Giant Leaps of Imagination.

[Read all Times reporting on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. | Sign up for the weekly Science Times email.] A Chinese philosopher once said that exploration was a form of play. So it is fitting that the early artifacts of the Apollo moon landings, the grandest feat of exploration ever attempted, […]

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The Almost Moon Man

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher There are two stories from the 1960s that America likes to tell about itself — the civil rights movement and the space race. We look at the brief moment when the two collided. [For an exclusive […]

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One Small Step for Man, One Big Step for Moon Boots

ImageBuzz Aldrin became the second man to walk on the moon after he stepped off this ladder on July 20, 1969. CreditNeil Armstrong/SSPL, via Getty Images The most famous shoe print in the world is not on this world at all. It’s on the moon, probably still there in the gray dust. On July 20, 1969, […]

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NASA Practices Space Gardening to Pack Lunchboxes for Mars

Ham salad from a tube. Apricot cereal cubes. Thermostabilized Cheddar cheese spread. These delicacies and more were packed inside Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s lunar lunchbox when Apollo 11 hurtled them into space 50 years ago this month, landing humankind on the moon for the first time. [Read our full coverage of the 50th anniversary […]

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Science Fiction Sent Man to the Moon

Most major achievements, be they personal or collective, arrive after rehearsals. Some unfold as flights of the imagination. The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing provides a great opportunity to examine how an entire branch of speculative fiction — novels, short stories and also feature films — lies behind the first human footprints […]

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Just Before the Eagle Landed, an Alien Arrived in Our Living Room

No one who was alive then can forget the sights and sounds of that weekend in 1969. The drawling voices of “Houston” guiding the lunar module gingerly into its assigned parking place on the face of the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin floating with each step, like kids in one of those aptly named […]

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For 50 Years Since Apollo 11, Presidents Have Tried to Take That Next Giant Leap

WASHINGTON — At his star-spangled Independence Day extravaganza this month, President Trump singled out Gene Kranz, the legendary Apollo flight director. “Gene,” the president said, “I want you to know that we’re going to be back on the moon very soon — and someday soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars.” What could […]

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The Story of 8 Unforgettable Words About Apollo 11

Image It is deceptively simple. It has heft. As he recalled in a recent interview: “That word, the ‘moon.’ It was the code word for inaccessible, unreachable.” This opening sentence, he said, put the amazing shift in humanity’s perception of the moon into terms of everyday life that any reader could relate to: “Not only […]

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Hawaiian Elders Arrested Trying to Block Telescope Construction

Construction was set to begin this week on a giant telescope on the barren summit of Mauna Kea, a volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, considered the best observatory site in the Northern Hemisphere. The project, however, has long drawn the opposition of those who say it would desecrate the mountain’s sacred ground. On Wednesday, that […]

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The Apollo 11 Mission Was Also a Global Media Sensation

[Read all Times reporting on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. | Sign up for the weekly Science Times email.] The television news director Joel Banow absorbed endless hours of “terrible old B movies” filled with extraterrestrials and rocket ships long before he oversaw the production of an authentic space opera. While […]

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Camping on Staten Island, an Outdoor Adventure Without Leaving N.Y.C.

You’re reading Summer in the City, our limited-edition newsletter that rounds up the best things to do in New York City during the hottest season of the year. Sign up here to get future editions delivered to your inbox. The Game Plan What to do The next time someone asks you about your weekend plans, […]

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To Make It to the Moon, Women Have to Escape Earth’s Gender Bias

[Read all Times reporting on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. | Sign up for the weekly Science Times email.] As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, NASA has started Artemis, a program that aims “to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024, including the first […]

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If Algae Clings to Snow on This Volcano, Can It Grow on Other Desolate Worlds?

In Chile’s Atacama Desert, Volcan Llullaillaco is Mars on Earth — or about as close to it as you can get. At 22,000 feet above sea level, it’s the second highest active volcano on Earth. Most of the mountain is a barren, red landscape of volcanic rock and dust, with thin, dry air, intense sunlight […]

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For Apollo 11 He Wasn’t on the Moon. But His Coffee Was Warm.

[Read all Times reporting on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. | Sign up for the weekly Science Times email.] For half a century, Michael Collins has been answering variations of the same question asked by reporters, he says. “Mr. Collins, weren’t you the loneliest man in the whole lonely history of […]

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As New Space Race Beckons, Astronauts Face Identity Crisis

[Read all Times reporting on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. | Sign up for the weekly Science Times email.] First there were the test pilots — men in possession of what Tom Wolfe called “the right stuff” — who took flight in experimental aircraft. It was absurdly dangerous work with a […]

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Ed Dwight Was Set to Be the First Black Astronaut. Here’s Why That Never Happened.

The bone-rattling trip to the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere used to require a steady hand, a powerful jet and the precision of an airman ready to dodge enemy fire. The dangers were immense. You could black out. Gravitational force could pull blood from your eyes, rendering you sightless. Or you could merely end up […]

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