The sacrifices of early astronauts paved the way for Apollo’s successes, and so much more.
In all of history, only 24 humans have ever escaped Earth’s gravity.
From 1968 through 1972, the crews of Apollo 8 through 17 voyaged to the Moon.
Leaving low-Earth orbit didn’t exempt them from customs.
However, seven NASA astronauts perished prior to those celebrated historical events.
From 1964 through 1967, T-38 Talon training accidents killed Theodore Freeman, Charles Basset, Elliot See, and Clifton Williams.
Apollo 1 astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee all perished in 1967’s launchpad fire.
The tragic lessons learned helped ensure the safe return of all subsequent Apollo crewmembers.
All 24 astronauts that journeyed to the Moon — including 12 moonwalkers — survived.
During Apollo 11, Michael Collins became the first person to orbit the Moon solo.
The orbiting module went 45 minutes without human contact during each revolution.
As the only person not on either the Earth or Moon, Collins — the “loneliest human” — took numerous iconic photos.
Astrophotographer and artist J-P Metsavainio created this tribute to astronaut Michael Collins.
This spectacular artwork is made entirely of transcribed audio from the Apollo 11 mission.
With Collins’s recent death, only 10 Apollo astronauts survive.
At age 85, Ken Mattingly is the youngest remaining among them.
Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, visuals, and no more than 200 words. Talk less; smile more.
Starts With A Bang is written by Ethan Siegel, Ph.D., author of Beyond The Galaxy, and Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive.