Category Archives: Space

Apostles of Apollo


The Apostles of Apollo
The Apostles of Apollo.

I am presently reading a very interesting book that I happened to come across whilst browsing through Amazon.co.uk a week or so back. It is a little known story but one that had to an air of secrecy about it, because of the sensitivity that revolved around the symbolism, politics and religious implications of those who would eventually takes those first steps upon The Moons surface. The title of the book is ‘The Apostles of Apollo’  Carol Mersch. Continue reading Apostles of Apollo

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – NASA is Go!


5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Thunderbirds are GO!! Along with millions of others – both adults and kids alike – I was expectantly ‘glued’ to the family television on a Thursday evening in September 1965, when the first ever episode of Thunderbirds was shown.

The creators of what was to become an iconic television series, were Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, who would later find more success with their ‘Supermarionation’ puppet format, with series such as ‘Captain Scarlet’, ‘Jo 90’ and a hybrid venture incorporating both real life actors and model machines – ‘UFO’, which I personally felt was a very underrated TV series. Continue reading 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – NASA is Go!

“ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS . . . “


We live in incredible times.

Today I checked out the NASA website as I always do and saw a news feature that immediately caught my eye. Under the heading ‘NASA Space Assets Detect Ocean inside Saturn Moon’ the article went on to describe some data which has been returned from the Cassini mission robotic explorer which indicated that it may have detected an ocean underneath the ice that covers one of Saturn’s moons – Enceladus. Continue reading “ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS . . . “

James Irwin: Journeyed to The Moon to discover God


Astronaut James Irwin. Image Courtesy of NASA
Astronaut James Irwin. Image Courtesy of NASA

To most people, March 17th was just another day in the third month of the year. I would have counted myself with the majority of people, thinking that this was the case. That was until I came across a reference in one of the many space related newsletters that I read, that this particular date was the birthday of the eighth man to have walked upon The Moon. Why should this date have had more significance to me, than most others you may well ask? Well on one of the walls in the apartment that I live in, I have a signed print of this particular astronaut standing next to the Apollo 15 Lunar Module ‘Falcon’ along which is parked the Lunar Rover – the first vehicle to ever be driven on another world. The astronaut to whom I am referring was United States Airforce Colonel James B. Irwin. Continue reading James Irwin: Journeyed to The Moon to discover God

“ABANDON IN PLACE”


For those who have read my blogs in the past, will not be surprised to find out that I am a fully paid-up member of the ‘space cadets club’. Being a child of the 60’s and 70’s, my formative years were heavily influenced by the dawn of the Space Age and mankind’s first attempts to fly higher and faster and eventually break free of our Earth’s atmosphere and enter the realm of space itself. Continue reading “ABANDON IN PLACE”

‘Gravity’ – Art Imitating Fact


Art Imitating Reality

I had the pleasure of visiting the cinema recently and viewing the much lauded and Oscar winning film Gravity. This film has won numerous awards including the best director award at the recent Oscar’s ceremony, along with many more for the incredible special effects, which were devised by the UK based company Framestore.

Astronaut Ryan Stone working outside of the ISS.
Image taken from the film Gravity, shows Astronaut Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) working outside of the International Space Station. Image Courtesy of Warner Brothers.

The film is a visual tour-de-force in that the special effects are absolutely immersive, leaving you feeling that you are actually out there in Earth orbit with the two leading actors – Sandra Bullock playing the part of astronaut ‘Ryan Stone and George Clooney playing the part of veteran astronaut, Matt Kowalski for whom this will be his last space flight before retiring. Continue reading ‘Gravity’ – Art Imitating Fact

. . . . thoughts on manned exploration of space . . . .


‘if we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.’

— Astronaut Gus Grissom, 1965

From Mercury to the Moon – Alan Shepard – Part 2


View in Lunar orbit from Lunar Orbit from Lunar Module 'Antares'.
View in Lunar orbit from Lunar Orbit from Lunar Module ‘Antares’. In the distance you can just make out the Earth rising. Image courtesy of NASA.

Part One of this article can be found by clicking here.

Apollo 14 had also had its share of ‘glitches’ on its transit from Earth to The Moon.

A major milestone of the mission was to accelerate the Apollo 14 spacecraft from the 17,500mph orbital velocity to 24,500mph. To achieve this velocity would mean re-igniting the still attached S-IVB third stage engine for 6 minutes. Once the ‘TLI burn’ had successfully occurred, the Apollo Command and Service Module’s would have to detach themselves from the now redundant S-IVB. However at the top end of the now expended third stage was the Lunar Module ‘Antares’, safely encased in the Lunar Module Adapter section. The Command Module Pilot – Stuart Roosa – would now perform a third vital maneuver of the mission; the ‘Transposition and Docking’ maneuver. This required separating the Command and Service Modules from third stage and then revolving the spacecraft so that the front of it was facing the now following S-IVB stage. A command would then be issued to open Lunar Module Adapter panels that encased the Lunar Module. With the panels successfully opened, the Command Module Pilot would apply forward thrust to Command Module and using a docking probe attached to the front of the Command Module, insert this into what was referred to as the drogue at the top of the Lunar Module.

Continue reading From Mercury to the Moon – Alan Shepard – Part 2

For All Mankind: Vintage NASA Photographs 1964 – 1983


There are five things that I own that I covet above all else – other than my wife and family of course.

These possessions are as follows and the order that I commit them to this post, does not in any way place one above the other in my affections.

Continue reading For All Mankind: Vintage NASA Photographs 1964 – 1983

NASA Day Of Remembrance


Today – January 31st 2014 – NASA officially remembers those astronauts who lost there lives whilst engaged in the pursuit of human space exploration.

NASA Centers throughout the United States will be marking this occasion and there will be a wreath laying memorial attended by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington DC.

Continue reading NASA Day Of Remembrance