Obtuary: Eugene Cernan

Astronaut Eugene Cernan (b.1934) died on January 16. Cernan was known as the last man on the moon since he was the Commander of Apollo 17 and re-entered the Lunar Module after Harrison Schmitt. His first flight into space was on Gemini 9A, in which he flew with Tom Stafford. He also flew on Apollo 10, piloting the Lunar Module to within 15.6 km of the lunar surface. Cernan retired from NASA and the Navy in 1976 and published his memoirs, Last Man on the Moon in 1999. His book was turned into a documentary in 2016. With Cernan’s death 6 of the 12 Moonwalkers have died.

Space Travel Linked to Heart Disease

Research indicated that the Apollo astronauts, who are the only humans to travel beyond the protective magnetic shielding of Earth, have an increased level of death from cardiovascular problems compared to astronauts who have never flown in space or who have only flown in Low Earth Orbit. The study looked at the 24 Apollo astronauts (including those who died of cancer and accidents) and compared them to 70 other astronauts, divided equally between unflown and LEO astronauts.
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Search for Snoopy

British amateur Astronomer Nick Howes is leading a search to find Snoopy, the lunar module used by the Apollo 10 crew to fly within 8.5 miles of the lunar surface. Following the mission, the module was jettisoned into a solar orbit while the crew returned to Earth in the command module, Charlie Brown.

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Obituary: Joseph Gavin

Joseph G. Gavin, Jr. (b.1920) died on October 30. Gavin was the Director of the Lunar Module Program for Apollo at Grumman for ten years before becoming the company’s President in 1972. He was not only responsible for the Lunar Module’s design, but also headed the program when the Lunar Module was used as a lifeboat for the Apollo 13 mission. He received the NASA Distinguished Public Medal in 1971.

Relive Apollo 11

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum has set up a website which will recreate the Apollo 11 mission in real time on the fortieth anniversary of the event. The website will go live at 8:02 AM ET on Thursday, July 16, ninety minutes before that anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch and will continue throughout the entire mission, which included Armstrong and Aldrin’s first walk on the moon on July 20.

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