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Apollo 11 anniversary: Watch the historic moon landing 50 years on

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 06:38

This weekend marks 50 years since astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the lunar surface.The landing craft carrying the Apollo 11 Commander and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon on July 20 1969, before Armstrong stepped out and onto the surface, declaring: “That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”Armstrong made history as he placed his left foot on the moon at 3.56am UK time on July 21, making him the first human to ever step on anything that has not existed on or originated from the Earth.Aldrin followed a few moments later, as their colleague Michael Collins waited in the command module in orbit around the moon.As the world marvelled 50 years ago, interest in the moon remains high today with ambitions to return after the last Apollo mission in 1972.US vice president Mike Pence has told Nasa that president Donald Trump wants astronauts back on the moon within five years, while multinational plans are in the works for a new space station around it.The UK Space Agency is bidding to play a part in the communication and refuelling elements of the proposed Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway, a future outpost intended to serve as a laboratory and short-term accommodation post for astronauts exploring the moon.Collins, who attended a celebration at Kennedy Space Centre's Launch Complex 39A in Florida on Tuesday, described it as a “wonderful feeling” to be back at the spot where the Saturn V rocket blasted the trio off into space.“Apollo 11 ... was serious business,” he said.“We, crew, felt the weight of the world on our shoulders. We knew that everyone would be looking at us, friend or foe, and we wanted to do the best we possibly could.”For much of the week, people from all walks of life have been sharing their own memories of Apollo 11, but interest has not stopped at those able to witness the historic feat, with events carried out across the globe.According to a survey by Lego of 1,000 children aged between eight and 12, 90% want to learn more about space, while 87% were able to correctly identify Armstrong as the first person to walk on the moon.Professor Mike Cruise, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, said: “I was a young space scientist when the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed, but the memory of this extraordinary moment has stayed with me throughout my life.“The grand ambitions of the Apollo programme inspired people around the world and the 50th anniversary is a special moment.“It is a time to reflect not only on the heroism of the astronauts and the amazing talents of all those involved in the missions, but to think big once again about exploring space, and the exciting prospects for those considering careers in science.”Agencies contributed to this report.

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Apollo 11 anniversary: Toyota edges closer toward creating a space-traveling moon rover

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 06:24

Toyota teamed up with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to create a new lunar rover that astronauts will use to search the moon for frozen water.

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Conspiracy theorist punched by Buzz Aldrin still insists moon landing was fake

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 06:22

Bart Sibrel, a filmmaker and conspiracy theorist punched by Buzz Aldrin, has centered his career around disproving the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.

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Alphabet-Backed Space Launch Company Wins Pentagon Contract

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 06:03

How big is the contract? When will it launch? And who the heck is "SpinLaunch" anyway?

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One-stop clinics, a rare lifesaver for Zimbabwe's sick

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 04:39

Blessing Chingwaru could barely walk without support when he arrived at the specialist Rutsanana clinic in Harare complaining of chest pains and fatigue. Weighing a skeletal 37 kilogrammes (82 pounds), the HIV-positive motor mechanic knew something was wrong. Dual infection by HIV and TB is a notorious killer.

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Why Apollo 11 Matters

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 04:30

In an Oval Office meeting a few days after Soviet Russia launched Sputnik in October 1957, two points emerged. Eisenhower’s deputy defense secretary, Donald Quarles, told the president that “there was no doubt that the Redstone, had it been used, could have orbited a satellite a year or more ago.” The administration had, for whatever reason, chosen to try to put a civilian face on the budding U.S. space program, and the Army’s Redstone rocket didn’t fit the image that Ike wanted to present.More important was Quarles’s point that “the Russians have in fact done us a good turn, unintentionally, in establishing the concept of freedom of international space -- this seems to be generally accepted as orbital space, in which the missile is making an inoffensive passage.” This concept opened the way for America’s spy satellites to pass over the closed Communist empire, providing the U.S. and the West in general with an important, but not decisive, long-term advantage.The politics of space, however, were more complicated. Sputnik gave both the USSR and the Democrats in Congress a great deal of propaganda leverage to use against Eisenhower. The president’s response was to create NASA as a supposedly pure civilian space agency and to put the U.S. into what became known as “The Space Race.” The administration also began development of a million-pound-thrust rocket engine, the F-1, which eventually powered the Saturn V, which took Americans to the moon.When President Kennedy announced that America would “land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth,” the most important tool needed to carry out his vision was already under development. In spite of the negative attitude of his advisers, notably his science adviser Jerome Wiesner (later head of MIT), JFK was convinced that the nation could succeed and that he would benefit politically from the effort.Today, on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, most Americans will just be happy to celebrate the achievement. Some will regret that we have not yet returned people to the moon, or for that matter anywhere outside low earth orbit; a few radicals, including radical environmentalists, will curse the whole idea of space exploration. But for most Americans it will be a vaguely pleasant bit of history.Yet the Apollo program is of vital historical importance. First of all, it was a hard-won Cold War victory at a moment when the long struggle against Soviet imperial Communism was not going at all well, and when U.S. society was looking into the abyss of riots, terrorism, and social disintegration. For just a moment, the nation stopped and watched while two of its truly best and brightest sons became the first humans to walk on another celestial body. Apollo 11 was an antidote to despair, and in the years to come, in the midst of defeat in Vietnam and a scandal that destroyed a president, it reminded many Americans of just what their nation could do when it tried hard enough.It also helped limit the loss of U.S. standing in the world at a time when things looked pretty bad. 1969 was right in the middle of what Paul Johnson called “America’s Suicide Attempt.” All over the world people were convinced that the U.S. was losing the Cold War and that Communism was indeed the wave of the future. The fact that we beat the USSR to the moon made at least a few Europeans and Asians reconsider their pessimism.Domestically, Apollo was the last and greatest of the giant New Deal projects. Like the Tennessee Valley Authority (which led to new developments in explosives) and the Colombia River Project (aluminum), the moon program added directly to America’s overall military strength, building up national expertise in rocketry, computers, space navigation, etc. It also fulfilled the New Deal objective of bringing industrial development to the South, a Democratic-party stronghold.The project could never have succeeded without the obsessive support of Lyndon Johnson, the last pure New Deal president. Aside from LBJ, the presidents most enthusiastic about space have tended to be ones who believed in America’s great destiny: Reagan, both Bushes, and now perhaps Trump. Managerial presidents such as Eisenhower, JFK, and Bill Clinton can be persuaded to support the program for pragmatic reasons. Others, such as Nixon and Obama, natural pessimists, tended to be hostile or at best indifferent to the idea but did not want to be remembered as, in the phrase that Nixon supposedly used, “the president who grounded the astronauts.”Of course any president can propose, but in the end it is Congress, in its collective wisdom, that disposes. Given the circumstances and the political alignments in the 1960s, it is hard to imagine that, even if the GOP had been in control of part or even all of Congress, the Apollo program would have been canceled. Today’s intense partisanship, by contrast, makes it difficult to carry out long-term space projects.The moon landing was also part of a plan for space exploration that was promoted in cartoons by Werner von Braun and Walt Disney. That vision included a reusable rocket plane, a space station, a moon base, and eventually settlements on Mars. It’s amazing to note that a TV show from the pre-Sputnik era is still influencing America’s space policy. If one looks at pictures of the giant rocket ships being built by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, one can see bits of designs that flickered across America’s TV screens in 1955.The dream of turning humanity into a multi-planet species is alive and well. A new, commercially oriented industry is emerging, and it depends more on investors than on politicians. Clusters of small, networked satellites are slowly replacing the large and very costly communications satellites. This is just part of the change that is coming. There are now companies making plans to mine the moon and the asteroids, to build manufacturing facilities in space, and to develop space tourism.With some reluctance, NASA has learned to cooperate with the so-called “New Space” industry. Opening up the International Space Station to tourism, even when the tourists were transported via Russian spacecraft, was a major step in convincing the U.S. space agency that it had no choice but to adapt to a new way of doing business.Technologically and politically, Apollo firmly belongs to the past, but the moon still orbits the Earth and the rest of the solar system is open for human exploration. If we are in a new space race, the moon is still the principal prize, just as it was during the last one. Trump may speak of planting the U.S. flag on Mars, but for the moment his administration is focused closer to home.The great science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, whom no one could have accused of being an American nationalist, wrote that “we realize if any nation has mastery of the Moon, it will determine not merely the fate of the Earth, but the whole accessible universe.” This sounds like hyperbole now, just as it did in the 1960s, but no one should doubt that someday soon it will be an obvious fact of political and economic life.

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Celebrating the Apollo 11 Moon Landing’s 50th Anniversary

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 04:04

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty50 years ago, two astronauts took the very first steps on the moon, as the world watched. Through this gallery, view the incredible moments of the Apollo 11 moon landing.The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) named three astronauts as the prime crew of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Left to right, Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot.NASA/GettyAt the Kennedy Space Center in Florida the S-1C booster for the Apollo 11 Saturn V was erected atop its mobile launcher.Courtesy of NASAOn July 16, 1969, the huge, 363-feet tall Saturn V rocket launched the Apollo 11 mission from Kennedy Space Center.Courtesy of NASASaturn V rocket for the Apollo 11 moon landing expedition. Aboard are astronauts Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin.Bettmann/GettyArmstrong waved to well-wishers in the hallway of the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building as he, Collins and Aldrin Jr. prepared to be transported to Launch Complex 39A for the first manned lunar landing mission.Courtesy of NASAPersonnel in the Launch Control Center watched the Apollo 11 liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at the start of the historic lunar landing mission.Courtesy of NASAThe American flag heralded the launch of Apollo 11, the first Lunar landing mission. Four days later, on July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon's surface.Courtesy of NASACollins practiced in the CM simulator at the Kennedy Space Center.Courtesy of NASAArmstrong's flight training in the lunar module simulator.Bettmann/GettyApollo 11 backup crew members Fred Haise (left) and Jim Lovell before entering the Lunar Module for an altitude test.Courtesy of NASAThis outstanding view of the full moon was photographed from the Apollo 11 spacecraft during its trans-Earth journey homeward. When this picture was taken, the spacecraft was already 10,000 nautical miles away. Courtesy of NASAAldrin Jr. egressed the Lunar Module "Eagle" and descended the steps before walking on the moon.Courtesy of NASAAldrin set up scientific experiments on the surface of the moon.Time & Life Pictures/GettyAldrin walked on the surface of the moon. Armstrong took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. While Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, Collins remained with the command and service modules in lunar orbit.Courtesy of NASAAn Apollo 11 astronaut's footprint in the lunar soil, photographed by a 70 mm lunar surface camera. Armstrong stepped into history on July 20, 1969, by leaving the first human footprint on the surface of the moon. NASA/Getty"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," were Armstrong's famous words as he reached the surface. Science & Society Picture Library/GettyAldrin Jr. posed for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag during an Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the lunar surface. Courtesy of NASAAldrin and Armstrong setup scientific experiments, including the Passive Seismic Experiment Package in the foreground. Courtesy of NASAFrom left, Collins, Armstrong, and Aldrin, Jr. paused for a lunar module mockup.Courtesy of NASATV news anchor Walter Cronkite (left) holds up a copy of the New York Daily News with a headline that read 'Man Lands on the Moon' during his coverage of NASA's Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. Former astronaut Wally Schirra sat beside him.CBS Photo Archive/GettyThe astronauts were subjected to a period of quarantine upon their return to earth. Through the window of their Mobile Quarantine Facility, they hold a conversation with President Richard Nixon.MPI/GettyThe astronauts beside a boiler plate Apollo capsule on the deck of the NASA vessel Retriever during water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Science & Society Picture Library/GettyApollo 10, carrying astronauts Thomas Stafford, Eugene Cernan and John Young was launched on May 18,1969, on a lunar orbital mission as a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 Moon landing mission.Science & Society Picture Library/GettyRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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Apollo 11 was a huge achievement, but unmanned spacecraft did a lot of the heavy lifting

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 04:00

The real promise of space exploration was realized by those ingenious, tireless, economical and endlessly versatile unmanned spacecraft.

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Message to the moon: Celebrating 50 years of Apollo 11

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 04:00

Fifty years ago today, more than 650 million people witnessed one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. It was July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong spoke those now legendary words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as he took his first steps on the moon, while people all over the world stood transfixed by their radios and television sets. It was a surreal vision that captured the hearts and minds of people everywhere when Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin bounced along the gray, alien surface of the moon while Michael Collins orbited above them, the giant Earth looming in the background.

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Are We Heading Toward Extinction?

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 03:45

The Earth's species — plants, animals and humans, alike — are facing imminent demise. How we got here, and how to cope.

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Don't forget the computer that landed Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 03:30

From the first steps to the leap forward, Mashable is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with a series that examines its significance -- and why we haven't been back.* * *The Soviets launched the first satellite into space. And the first man. Also the first woman. So when NASA astronauts rapidly approached the moon 50 years ago, a lot was riding on a computer with less than 80 kilobytes of memory. By today's standards, it's a dinosaur. The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) weighed 70 pounds. Programs were literally woven into the hardware by hand -- it was called "core rope memory." Read more...More about Mit, Apollo 11, Moon Landing, Moon Landing 50th Anniversary, and Tech

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"Corporate astronaut": How billionaires are joining the space race

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 03:27

Six hundred people have already paid Virgin Galactic $250,000 for a ticket to space

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US bracing for extreme heat as weekend temperatures soar

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 02:42

The United States is bracing for a weekend of extremely hot weather, with major cities including New York and Washington expecting temperatures close to or exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). Nearly 150 million people across the country are facing hazardous temperatures in a heatwave forecast to stretch from the Midwestern plains to the Atlantic coast, the National Weather Service said Friday.

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I Literally Lived 15 Miles from the Apollo Program. It Was Glorious.

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 01:49

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic moon landing, I am not sure that today’s generation quite understands just how exciting this was in 1969. Apollo 11 came before “Star Wars” and a raft of science fiction movies that have since made space travel seem almost mundane.I was in elementary school when Neil Armstrong climbed out of the Apollo 11 lander and stepped onto the moon. I remember watching it live on the local television station (back when there were no cable or satellite channels) like it was yesterday. I would also be willing to bet that was the case for just about everyone else I grew up with. Why? Because I lived in Huntsville, Alabama, known as Rocket City, USA—the home of the Marshall Space Flight Center, where the engineers and scientists who worked for NASA were intimately involved in the Apollo program.In the 1950s, Alabama Sen. John Sparkman, one of the most powerful members of the Senate, helped transform part of Redstone Arsenal, an Army base, into the Marshall Space Flight Center. He was the key to bringing Wernher von Braun and his coterie of German scientists to Huntsville, where they started building our space program.Unlike most kids, whose neighborhoods are populated by parents who work in every kind of profession, the parents of everyone I knew worked as a scientist or an engineer, either for NASA or for the Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal.I met von Braun when I was 10 years old because my parents were part of the social network of scientists and engineers that were designing, building, and testing rockets at Marshall. I attended a high school named for Gus Grissom, one of the three astronauts who tragically died in 1967 during a test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Canaveral.

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50 years ago, humanity's first steps on another world

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 01:28

Fifty years ago on Saturday, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans in history to set foot on the Moon, an event watched on television by half a billion people. On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence is due to deliver a speech from the Kennedy Space Center, from where Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins, the third crew member took off. It is within this charged context, with President Donald Trump publicly questioning NASA's plans to return to the Moon to test technology for Mars, that the US is celebrating the anniversary of the epoch-making Apollo 11 mission.

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James Cameron: We can protect the ocean 'twilight zone' with a new moonshot

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 01:15

The Space Race of the 1960s brought huge investment in space exploration. Today, we must explore and protect Earth's final frontier, its oceans.

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This joint-boosting supplement may help your heart, too

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 00:03

New research has found that joint-boosting supplement glucosamine may do your heart a solid, too. The study's author explains why.

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50 years ago, humanity's first steps on another world

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 00:02

Fifty years ago on Saturday, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans in history to set foot on the Moon, an event watched on television by half a billion people. NASA has been in overdrive for several weeks to mark the anniversary, with exhibits and events nationwide but most notably at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence is due to deliver a speech from the Kennedy Space Center, from where Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins, the third crew member took off.

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Polluted, bike-hostile Brussels to slam on the brakes

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 23:26

Brussels has made its choice: to reduce emissions and encourage greener, two-wheeled transport options, the road speed limit will have to come down. From 2021, any car that escapes the gridlock on the streets of Europe's capital will still be limited to only 30 kilometres per hour -- less than 19 mph.

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Space crew to blast off for ISS on moon landing anniversary

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 19:55

US, Italian and Russian astronauts are set to blast off into space Saturday in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency will travel to the International Space Station at 1628 GMT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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