Apollo 11 lunar landing

20 July 2019 is the fiftieth anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon. Mission Insignia of Apollo 11- Image from NASA   On 21 May 1961 President John F Kennedy made the following address to the United States Congress: 'I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade… Continue reading Apollo 11 lunar landing

Soyuz – What next?

Many of my readers will be aware the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft failed to get into orbit on Thursday 11 October. It was on a mission to take fresh crew to the International Space Station (ISS). Mission patch for Soyuz MS-10 A major fault occurred at an altitude of about 50 km when the booster rocket… Continue reading Soyuz – What next?

The darker mornings.

As I complete this post from my home in Manchester, England, it is 4:30 pm and already  dark outside. Many people think that it will continue to get dark earlier each day in the afternoon until we reach 21 December, the winter solstice. This, however, is not the case. The evenings in fact start to… Continue reading The darker mornings.

The early days of the space race

In my previous post I talked about two significant successes for the Soviet Union in 1957: the first artificial satellite in orbit in October and the first living creature, a dog named Laika, in orbit in November. In December of that year the Americans had a humiliating failure when the Vanguard spacecraft exploded in a… Continue reading The early days of the space race

Soyuz 50 years on

On 23 April 1967, six years after Yuri Gagarin had became the first man to go into space, a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft was launched carrying cosmonaut Vladimir Komorov. It completed 18 orbits and then returned to Earth. Mission patch for the first Soyuz mission Sadly, during its reentry the parachute failed to open properly and the… Continue reading Soyuz 50 years on