First New Nine to Command

This week, the space community learned of the passing of Brigadier General James McDivitt at age 93. Born in Chicago, Illinois on June 10, 1929, McDivitt would become an Air Force officer and astronaut commanding two breakthrough missions for NASA. He enlisted as a airman in the US Air Force in 1951 after his draft […]

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Apollo’s Splashdown

July 24, 1975. Apollo command module CM-111 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, west of the Hawaiian Islands. On board were the last astronauts to fly an Apollo mission, CDR (Commander) Tom Stafford, CMP (Command Module Pilot) Vance Brand, and DMP (Docking Module Pilot) Donald “Deke” Slayton. This was Stafford’s fourth space mission (Gemini 6A, […]

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Ready to Rescue a Shuttle Crew

From the days of the Mercury program, NASA recognized the need for some kind of fire rescue vehicles to evacuate astronauts from a compromised rocket that might catch on fire or explode. Ex-US Army M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers for selected for the task and modified to NASA needs. From what I understand, there were 4 […]

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Opossums and Ticks

For the last couple of years, online memes and stories have appeared that claim a single opossum consumes thousands of ticks per year. A hopeful story, often accompanied with a plea to leave them alone (do that anyway, they’re peaceful and cool). Unfortunately, much like the long-lasting “Bats eat thousands of mosquitoes per night” story, […]

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Coloring the Lunar Module

In one of my early blog posts, I discussed The Changing Face of the Lunar Module. For the examples, I used scale models of the vehicles to demonstrate how the thermal protection patterns changed over time, as well as modifications to enhance lunar exploration. In many model groups I follow, questions often come up about […]

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Space Cowboy

My oldest, dim memory is of watching a Gemini launch on a B&W TV located in our off-base mobile home. My father was in the USAF at Moody AFB in south Georgia. I remember that I was three years old, so the memory has to be of Gemini 11 or 12. 55 years later, memory […]

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Ants at War

Sometime around May 2021, variations of the above meme started to circulate on social media. Sadly, this is an example of why we shouldn’t get our philosophy from memes. Not only is the quote misattributed to Sir David Attenborough, the factual basis of the parable is incorrect. While using the simplistic description of red and […]

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Snoopy – The Wandering LM

Apollo 10 was the full rehearsal of lunar approach to the Moon before an attempted landing. Launched on 18 May, 1969, Apollo 10 performed the orbital insertion and lunar approach by the LM Snoopy down to an altitude of 15,000 meters, the point where landing would begin their powered descent. After completion of that part […]

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He Carried the Fire

I lost a childhood hero today. For many children of my cohort, the Apollo astronauts, especially the Apollo 11 crew, we the larger than life heroes that inspired our dreams. Though as an adult, you learn that heroes are as human as the rest of us, Michael Collins remained larger than life for me, though […]

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