6 Stories

50 Years Ago Today, 4 Awful Words: 'Fire in the Cockpit!'

3 NASA astronauts perished during testing for an Apollo 1 moon mission

(Newser) - "We have a fire in the cockpit!" were words no one expected during a routine test for what was to be a momentous space mission. But that was what horrified NASA personnel heard on Jan. 27, 1967, as three astronauts prepping for a flight to the moon... More »

NASA Names Treadmill After Colbert

NASA declines to name new nodule after vote-winning Colbert Report host

(Newser) - Steven Colbert missed out on getting the new International Space Station node named after him despite winning a non-binding vote, Space.com reports. NASA decided to call the node Tranquility in honor of Apollo 11's touchdown site 40 years ago, and to console the TV host by naming an astronaut... More »

NASA Sees Minivan for Moon

The shuttle's replacement, due in 2015, will be a utilitarian craft

(Newser) - Engineers are busy at work building America's next spacecraft, the long overdue replacement of the 33-year-old shuttle, and NASA has this advice for those who can't wait to see the finished product: Think minivan, not Ferrari. Fast Company explores the work at Lockheed and finds the Orion to be utilitarian... More »

From Tokyo With Love: Japan Launches 1st Lunar Probe

Mission to rival Apollo program

(Newser) - Japan began its first trip to the moon today, launching a lunar probe that will spend a year orbiting Earth’s natural satellite. In what the Japanese call the most complex moon mission since America’s famous Apollo program, Selene will study the body’s origin and evolution, the BBC... More »

Google Offers $30M for Private Moon Missions

Tech giant bills contest as one small step for private industry

(Newser) - Google announced its own search today: It will award $30 million to private firms whose robotic spacecrafts successfully reach the moon and perform specific lunar tasks. The BBC reports that the search giant hopes to encourage low-cost space exploration. The first-place winner will receive $20 million, second place gets $5... More »

Astronaut Wally Schirra Dies at 84

Schirra the third American to orbit the earth, the fifth in space

(Newser) - Astronaut Wally Schirra, a reporter once said, geared up for space flight with "the ease of preparing for a family picnic." The third American to orbit the earth and the fifth ever to fly into space, Shirra died today. He was 84. More »

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