How the U.S. and Carl Sagan planned to nuke the moon the late 1950s, the Untied States was losing the space race. The U.S.S.R. put the first satellite in orbit and successfully completed the first manned space flight. The U.S. needed something to prove it could compete with the Soviet superpower.
So it decided to nuke the moon.
Project A119, also titled “A Study of Lunar Research Flights,” was actually a plan to detonate a nuclear warhead on the lunar surface. The U.S. officials behind the plan hoped it would scare the Soviets and enthuse the American people. (AFP-Getty Images/Handout)
Speaking in Florida, hit hard by the loss of a large number of space-affiliated jobs, Mr. Gingrich said Wednesday that if elected, “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American.”
He said he believed such a project was possible with commercial and private efforts. According to USA Today, Mr. Gingrich said he had “a romantic belief it is really part of our destiny,” adding that the current state of the space program was a “tragedy.” (Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, spacecraft wrapped up 2.6-million-mile journey to put themselves into lunar orbit on Saturday and Sunday.
Over the next two months, the probes’ 34-mile-high orbits will be adjusted to get them into optimal position to measure the pushes and pulls of the moon’s gravity, data that scientists can use to model what is inside the moon.
“Pop the bubbly and toast the moon,” NASA wrote on its Twitter feed after the first GRAIL spacecraft finished a 40-minute braking maneuver at 5 p.m. ET on New Year’s Eve. (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout/Reuters)
The 303-kilogram craft of the U.S. space agency’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, mission have been flying to the moon since their joint launch in September. (Photo: Apollo 16/NASA)
GRAIL A is due to begin a 40-minute braking maneuver to put itself into orbit around the moon at 4:21 p.m. ET on Saturday, with GRAIL B following suit 25 hours later. Both are needed for the intricate gravity-mapping mission scheduled to begin in March.
Photos of the day A Russian Soyuz TMA-21 space capsule carrying International Space Station (ISS) crew members U.S. astronaut Ron Garan and Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyaev, descends in Kazakhstan, Sept. 16, 2011. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Reuters)
Photos: Total eclipse of the Moon — Skygazers with a clear view in North America and Europe were greeted with a celestial treat in the early morning hours Tuesday, as a unique total lunar eclipse transformed the Moon pink, coppery or even a blood red. (Photo: Jewel Samad/Reuters)
Photos: Total eclipse of the Moon — Skygazers with a clear view in North America and Europe were greeted with a celestial treat in the early morning hours Tuesday, as a unique total lunar eclipse transformed the Moon pink, coppery or even a blood red. (Photo: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images)