June 5th, 2013
04:17 PM ET

Study: Was Neil Armstrong misquoted?

By Josh Levs, CNN

When astronaut Neil Armstrong uttered what became one of the best-known - and most debated - quotes in all of history, he actually might have said it exactly the way he meant to, not the way people heard it.

After Armstrong lowered his left foot from the landing craft to the surface of the moon, people watching around the world heard him call it "one small step for man."

Both he and NASA initially insisted that he said "one small step for a man," and now a new and novel study on the much-analyzed quote backs him up.

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Filed under: In Space • the Moon
May 20th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

Bright explosion on moon visible from Earth, NASA says

By Jason Moon, CNN

A meteoroid struck the surface of the moon recently, causing an explosion that was visible on Earth without the aid of a telescope, NASA reported Friday. But don't be alarmed if you didn't see it; it only lasted about a second.

"It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we've ever seen before," said Bill Cooke, of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.

NASA astronomers have been monitoring the moon for the past eight years, looking for explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. It's part of a program to find new fields of space debris that could hit Earth. NASA says it sees hundreds of detectable lunar meteoroid impacts a year.

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Filed under: In Space • News • the Moon
Saturn V engine parts
March 20th, 2013
02:12 PM ET

Apollo mission rocket engines recovered

By Brian Walker, CNN

A set of giant rocket engines that once propelled astronauts to space have now been recovered from the icy depths of the Atlantic, say a team of researchers led by Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos four decades after they splashed into the ocean.

“What an incredible adventure,” Bezos posted on his website from onboard his recovery ship off the Florida coast.

“We found so much,” the billionaire adventurer says. “We’ve seen an underwater wonderland – an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program.”

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Filed under: Hardware in Orbit • In Space • the Moon
February 27th, 2013
02:50 PM ET

Group aims to send 2 humans on Mars mission in 2018

Follow @CNNLightYears on Twitter for more space and science updates.

By John Zarrella, CNN

If newly unveiled plans pan out, a man and a woman may represent humanity on one journey that has never been attempted before: a mission to Mars.

“It’s incredibly feasible. It’s not crazy talk," Taber MacCallum, CEO of Paragon Space Development Corp., told CNN.

MacCallum and millionaire Dennis Tito announced their plans Wednesday to send a couple of earthlings on a 501-day trip in a spacecraft that would fly by the red planet. The proposal was unveiled at the National Press Club in Washington.

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Filed under: Mars • News • the Moon
January 4th, 2013
11:07 AM ET

Asteroid to fly between Earth, moon

CNN's Chad Myers has the details of an asteroid scientists say will narrowly miss hitting Earth in February.


Filed under: In Space • the Moon
'So long, Ebb and Flow': NASA crashes probes into moon
An artist's depiction of the twin probes Ebb and Flow that comprise NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission.
December 18th, 2012
09:51 AM ET

'So long, Ebb and Flow': NASA crashes probes into moon

A pair of robotic twins that have been diligently mapping the moon this year went out with a bang Monday.

As scheduled, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory probes Ebb and Flow crashed into a mountain on the moon, ending a fruitful mission to study the surface and composition of the celestial body.

"The two probes were sent purposely into the moon because they no longer had enough altitude or fuel to continue science operations," NASA said.

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Filed under: In Space • the Moon
Moon probes to be 'blown apart' in Monday mountain crash
An artist's rendition of the twin GRAIL spacecraft.
December 13th, 2012
03:58 PM ET

Moon probes to be 'blown apart' in Monday mountain crash

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

A pair of robotic twins that have been diligently mapping the moon this year will go out with a bang Monday, around 5:28 p.m. EST.

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) probes Ebb and Flow will crash into a mountain on the moon Monday afternoon, ending a fruitful mission to study the surface and composition of the moon.

"Scientifically we are learning a great deal about not only the moon but about the early evolution of terrestrial planets," said principal investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at a press conference Thursday.

Thanks to GRAIL, scientists now have the "highest-resolution gravity field map of any celestial body," NASA said. That means the probes have been making a high-quality map of the gravitational field of the moon, which give scientists unprecedented insight into what's below the surface and how the moon may have formed.

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Filed under: In Space • News • the Moon
Driving on the Moon
December 11th, 2012
11:03 AM ET

Driving on the Moon

"Forty years ago today on Dec. 11, 1972, astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, commander, makes a short checkout of the lunar rover during the early part of the first Apollo 17 extravehicular activity at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. This view of the 'stripped down' rover is prior to loading up. Equipment later loaded onto the rover included the ground-controlled television assembly, the lunar communications relay unit, hi-gain antenna, low-gain antenna, aft tool pallet, lunar tools and scientific gear.

This photograph was taken by scientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, lunar module pilot. The mountain in the right background is the east end of South Massif. While astronauts Cernan and Schmitt descended in the Lunar Module 'Challenger' to explore the moon, astronaut Ronald E. Evans, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules 'America' in lunar orbit."

Source: NASA

Filed under: Light up the screen • the Moon
DC's National Cathedral to host memorial service for Neil Armstrong
September 4th, 2012
07:41 PM ET

DC's National Cathedral to host memorial service for Neil Armstrong

A memorial service to honor astronaut Neil Armstrong will be held September 13 at the Washington National Cathedral.

The first man on the moon died on August 25, at 82, from complications of a cardiovascular procedure.

According to a statement from NASA and the cathedral, a "very limited number of seats will be made available to the public." People who are interested in attending should contact Christine Peterson at christinepeterson@nasa.gov.

The Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, will officiate at the service, which will begin at 10 a.m. ET, the release said. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and other dignitaries will pay tribute to Armstrong, who also flew combat missions as a Navy pilot during the Korean War.

Armstrong's family held a private memorial service on Friday in Ohio. Memorials were also held around the country, including events at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Armstrong took two trips into space. He made his first journey in 1966 as commander of the Gemini 8 mission, which nearly ended in disaster.

Armstrong kept his cool and brought the spacecraft home safely after a thruster rocket malfunctioned and caused it to spin wildly out of control.

During his next space trip in July 1969, Armstrong and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off in Apollo 11 on a nearly 250,000-mile journey to the moon that went down in the history books.
It took them four days to reach their destination.

The world watched and waited as the lunar module "Eagle" separated from the command module and began its descent.

Then came the words from Armstrong: "Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed."

About six and a half hours later at 10:56 p.m. ET on July 20, 1969, Armstrong, at age 38, became the first person to set foot on the moon.

He uttered the now-famous phrase: "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

After his historic mission to the moon, Armstrong worked for NASA, coordinating and managing the administration's research and technology work.

In 1971, he resigned from NASA and taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati for nearly a decade.

Armstrong largely avoided the public spotlight and chose to lead a quiet, private life with his wife and children.

The cathedral is home to a lunar rock, which the Apollo 11 astronauts presented to church officials in 1974 when they dedicated the church's Space Window.

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Filed under: In Space • News • the Moon
Family remembers Neil Armstrong
August 31st, 2012
02:46 PM ET

Family remembers Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong was memorialized today in a private service held by his family in Ohio. Memorials are also being held around the country, including events at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The first man on the moon died on August 25, at 82, from complications of a cardiovascular procedure.

The loss of this American hero has been felt keenly around the country and the world, prompting responses not only from everyday citizens but also from President Obama, who proclaimed that flags fly at half-staff on the day of his burial, Charles Bolden, the current NASA administrator, and his fellow astronauts and colleagues.

In a YouTube statement, Charles Bolden said, "Neil will always be remembered for taking human's first small step on a world beyond our own, but it was his courage, grace and humility before during and after his historic Apollo 11 mission that has continued to lift him and all of us far beyond that breakthrough achievement."

Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin said in a separate statement, "Whenever I look at the moon it reminds me of the moment over four decades ago when I realized that even though we were farther away from Earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone....I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew....I had truly hoped that in 2019, we would be standing together along with our colleague Mike Collins to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our moon landing."

The Armstrong family also released a pair of statements. Upon his death, they expressed the following: "Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati."

"For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

To that end, the Internet has responded with Wink at the Moon Night, to be marked on August 25th of every year.

For those wishing to honor Neil Armstrong's memory, his family released a list of organizations that they believe are worthy of such an honor, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, saying "The outpouring of condolences and kind wishes from around the world overwhelms us and we appreciate it more than words can express."

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Filed under: News • the Moon
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