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Neil Armstrong
Credit:James Vaughan
James Hansen,to left with Neil Armstrong
credit: James Hansen

Dr. James Hansen is Professor of History at Auburn University and an authority on the history of science and technology. “First Man,” his best-selling biography of Neil Armstrong, has received major awards and is the basis of the Oscar-nominated flm of the same name. “Ad Astra” sat down with Hansen to explore the life and career of the frst man to walk on the Moon.

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Ad Astra
2019 - 2

Other Articles in this Issue

As I certainly need not tell you, this year marks a
A Message FROM THE Incoming Chair of the NSS Executive
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, National Space Society President and “Ad Astra” columnist, Geoffrey Notkin, sat down with his childhood hero, Apollo 11’s Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, for an exclusive NSS interview about spaceflight past, present, and future.
Landing humans on the Moon was an enormous undertaking. The massive Saturn V had to be designed, tested and tamed. The Lunar Module had to be developed from whole cloth, and many other machines and systems perfected before the first mission to the lunar surface could be successful. This is the story of that preparation.
Directed and produced by Douglass Sterwart
The Apollo Command Module was a critical component to the lunar missions, and the story of its development-including the tragic tale of Apollo 1—is central to understanding the story of the Apollo program.
In the race to beat America to the Moon, the Soviet Union developed two different systems for lunar flight–one for landings, and another for lunar flybys. This story explains how the latter were successfully tested, but came too late to bring the Soviets glory in the space race.
What would you do with a surplus Apollo Guidance Computer, a true gem of the space age? Here is one man’s quest to revive one such piece of space race history…with a lot of help from like-minded friends.
Ten Unsung Heroes of Apollo
The mission of Apollo 11 was covered primarily by seasoned, mid-life journalists. But one teenager managed to wrangle a press pass–here is David Chudwin’s account of the events of July, 1969, complete with exclusive photos he took of the events.
Hundreds of things had to go according to plan for Apollo 11 to land astronauts on the Moon and return them to Earth successfully. The flight proceeded mostly generally as planned, but there were a number of potential missionstoppers that the general public only learned about later.
Inspirations from the International Association of Astronomical Artists.
To the children of the Apollo astronauts, growing up in the new suburbs outside the Johnson Space Center seemed normal. Upon later reflection, however, it was anything but ordinary. This book excerpt contains the recollections of Rick Armstrong and Andrew Aldrin.
While we hear much about the astronauts that walked on the Moon, there was a third crewmember on each Apollo mission that was critical to success: the Command Module Pilot, without whom none of the Apollo missions would have accomplished its goals.
Imagine an organization with a name recognized in every country in the world, whose every move was watched by hundreds of millions of people, and whose successes fulfilled the dreams of a nation and inspired awe and admiration around the world. This was NASA in the 1960s. How can the space agency revive it’s “brand” in the 21st century?
The Apollo program encouraged countless young people to enter fields such as engineering, science and math. On this 50th anniversary, it’s time to rekindle that passion.