On May 23rd, 1967, the United States Air Force scrambled to ready nuclear missile-laden aircraft for deployment. Radar systems designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles had just been disrupted, in what the military perceived to be an act of war. But before any nukes were launched in retaliation, it seems Air Force…
A flown spacesuit from an ISS mission, a navigational globe from an Soyuz mission in the 1970s, lunar navigation charts from Apollo 11, and a 1963 training module used by astronauts in the Gemini program are just a few of the space history items going up for auction today.
Look at this picture of Saturn. Can you see the biggest ring? Are you sure?
A team of scientists has finished analyzing rocks collected by the Chinese lunar rover Yutu in 2013 — the first geologic sampling effort to hit the Moon in forty years. The regolith is unlike any we’ve seen before, and it suggests that the Moon’s history is far more complex than we realized.
Two spacecraft drifted closer to one another far above planet Earth, as they prepared to dock. It was July 17th, 1975, and they were about to make history. For the first time, a United States Apollo and Soviet Union Soyuz spacecraft would dock with one another, an enormously symbolic mission that served as a small…
After decades of neglect, Venus might just be making a comeback. Late last month, NASA announced five finalists for the next low-cost space probes; two of them are missions to Venus.
George Mueller, the NASA administrator who helped steer the agency during the 1960s and was known as the ‘father of the space shuttle’, died earlier this week at the age of 97.
It’s official. The Smithsonian’s crowdfunding campaign to preserve and display Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit ended early this morning. And it was such a huge success, they’ll be restoring Alan Shepard’s suit as well.
Neil Armstrong (blowing a kiss to his sons) is flanked by Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin on July 27, 1969 at Ellington Air Force base in Houston, Tex. On July 24, the Apollo 11 astronauts returned from their historic trip to the moon, but due to infection fears, they were quarantined for 21 days.
On the 23rd and 24th of January, 1930, a young astronomer working in Flagstaff, Arizona, scanned a small patch of the night sky. He was taking pictures of star positions, looking for anomalies that would signal movement somewhere at the edge of the solar system. He took the pictures then set them aside, not realizing…
Over the last couple of weeks, the Dawn Spacecraft has been beaming back spectacular pictures of Ceres – a world, discovered more than a century before Pluto, about which we know very little. This is the story of its discovery, and humanity's impending visit to one of the last unexplored planetary bodies in the…
In earlier decades, when someone reached for a smoke, they might shake out a cigarette from a box featuring the cosmonaut dog Laika, Sputnik, or the Soyuz. These largely Russian cigarette packages are a retro look at a time when even a quick hit of nicotine would remind us of our spacefaring dreams.
The canine members of Soviet Union's space program were stars, symbols of the nation's technological future. And so, throughout the 1950s and 1960s, these pups appeared on matchbook covers, commemorative boxes, ceramics, and more.
This week, Bonhams hosted an auction of historical space items in Manhattan. The Space History Sale featured troves of objects and documents, both American and Soviet, dating back to the heyday of the space race. And Gizmodo got the chance to take a peek.
A selfie taken on Earth may not be that exciting, but snapped in space, the humble selfie suddenly becomes something pretty special. Here are some of the greatest spaces selfies ever to be snapped, ranging from the majestic, to the comic — even a few from before the selfie officially existed.
Today, we have rovers busily studying the surface of Mars, but 100 years ago, it wasn't uncommon for people to believe that intelligent Martians occupied the Red Planet, and 100 years before that, visions of Moon dwellers danced in many people's heads. Where did these ideas of nearby intelligent extraterrestrials come…
During his 1984 State of the Union speech, President Reagan announced that the U.S. would build a new permanently manned space station within a decade. The Space Shuttle program was underway, and a permanent space station seemed like the next logical step in our bold push into the final frontier. It didn't hurt that…
Are asteroids responsible for the creation of life on Earth? Recent experiments back up a theory that the basic ingredients for life came from beyond the stars... which makes us all aliens. Battlestar Galactica was right!