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

Chinese Moon missions

Like many people, I was very excited to hear the news on 3 January that the Chinese spacecraft, Chang'e 4, had landed as planned in the Von Karman crater on the far side of the Moon. Chang’e 4 in the Von Karman crater. The crater lies in the South Pole-Aitken basin on the far side of… Continue reading Chinese Moon missions

The future of the International Space Station

After the Soyuz spacecraft failed to get into orbit on 11 October 2018, it looked like Soyuz flights to the ISS might be on hold for a period of time and that the ISS would even need to be temporarily abandoned. Fortunately this has proved not to be the case and the next Soyuz will… Continue reading The future of the International Space Station

Space stations past and present

The International Space Station (ISS) is now 20 years old. In this post I’ll talk about the history of the ISS and other space stations, and I’ll also touch on some of the politics involved. Image from NASA   Early space stations   Although America was the first country to put a man on the… Continue reading Space stations past and present

Chinese manned space programme

On 18 November two Chinese astronauts, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, landed back on Earth after spending 33 days in space, an event which was hardly reported in the western media. During their mission they spent 30 days aboard the Tiangong-2 space station. Image from the Chinese National Space Administration Tiangong-2, shown in the mission patch above, is the second… Continue reading Chinese manned space programme