Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 13


Astronaut Deke Slayton before, during, and after an unexpected dip in the Cocoa Beach Holiday Inn pool, 1961.
(Photo: Ralph Morse)

February 12

Posing for a picture after the flight of Ham are, from left: Robert Gilruth, Charlie Donlan (I think), Wernher von Braun, Walter Williams, Scott Carpenter, and Kurt Debus. 
(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9

Gemini 9A astronauts Gene Cernan and Tom Stafford reenact their spaceflight, 1966.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8

Astronaut Jack Swigert relaxes on his purple shag chaise longue, 1970.
(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7

Astronaut Wally Schirra shortly after being chosen for Project Mercury, 1959.
(Photo: Carl Mydans)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February 5

An alternate take of the famous Mercury Seven spacesuit shot. The biggest differences between this one and the famous version are probably the expressions of Alan Shepard (back row, left) and John Glenn (front row, second from left). 

These group shots are rare and very valuable: According to many space historians, only one picture exists of the Original 7 in their spacesuits together. The above photo - and several more that I'll be posting in the near future - prove them wrong. 

Front row, L-R: Wally Schirra, Deke Slayton, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter. Back row, L-R: Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Gordo Cooper.

(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Friday, February 4, 2011

February 4, Photoset Friday: German Rocket Scientists in El Paso



This week's Photoset Friday is a gem. Shot by Thomas McAvoy in 1946, it is entitled "German Scientist, El Paso." It follows around the Operation Paperclip rocket scientists from Germany and chronicles their new life in America. Among other things, they bowl and eat in the cafeteria.

And of course, there is the titular German scientist, pictured above. Can you guess who he is?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 3


NASA Public Affairs Officer Shorty Powers investigates the Friendship 7 spacecraft at Grand Turk Island, February 1962. The spacecraft - along with its pilot, John Glenn - had just flown the first manned American orbital mission.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 1


Wernher von Braun on the phone at home - Huntsville, Alabama, 1957.
(Photo: Walter Sanders)

Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31 - Launch of Apollo 14

Today also marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 14, which landed on the Moon in Fra Mauro.

January 31 - Ham the Chimp


This year, January 31st also marks the 50th anniversary of the flight of Ham the chimpanzee. Ham flew a suborbital mission on Mercury-Redstone 2.

January 31 - Explorer I


January 31st is a day rife with space anniversaries. On this day in 1958, Explorer I became the first American satellite to reach orbit.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 30

Astronauts Elliot See, Pete Conrad and Neil Armstrong training in a Gemini survival raft.
(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 29

John Glenn and Scott Carpenter, hamming it up after a press conference in 1961.
The LIFE caption is vague, but I believe this was the press conference that announced Glenn as the pilot of MA-5, with Carpenter as his backup.
(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photoset Friday, January 28 - Space Monkeys

A neat photoset featuring "space monkeys" and the scientists who study them, by photographer Grey Villet. Unfortunately the year is not specified, but it's certainly 1961 or earlier.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 24

Bob Gilruth shortly after the Mercury-Atlas 4 mission with Enos the chimpanzee, September 1961.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 23

A technician testing a prototype Moon suit falls down on a simulated lunar surface, 1962.
(Photo: Fritz Goro)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 21 - Photoset Friday


This week's edition of Photoset Friday contains many stunning pictures of the Saturn V rocket and its launch complex. These photos were taken by Yale Joel.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 20

A man on the USS Hornet hoses down the area in front of the Apollo 11 quarantine trailer, July 1969. This was done to kill any "moon germs" that the crew may have brought back from their journey.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19

John Glenn, trying on his Mercury suit.
Unfortunately, I don't know the names of the people with him. Anybody out there know?
(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 13

The first three Americans in space, dressed in desert survival gear in Nevada. From left to right: John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Alan Shepard.

(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11


The Apollo 11 crew in front of their Saturn V rocket, 1969.
(L-R: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin) 
(Photo: Bill Eppridge)

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10

The first seven astronauts pose beside a mockup of a Mercury spacecraft at the McDonnell plant in St. Louis, May 1959.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January 9

Astronaut Gus Grissom during parachute survival training, Ellington Air Force Base, September 1963.
(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January 8


Frank Borman and Jim Lovell watch their helmets float away during weightless training in the KC-135 (or "Vomit Comet"), 1963.

(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Photoset Friday, January 7: Jerri Cobb

Today I'm starting a new Friday tradition called Photoset Friday, in which I showcase a particular photoset from the LIFE archives. This one contains pictures of Jerri Cobb, one of the famed "Mercury 13" members. These were taken in 1960 by photographer Ralph Crane.

Even though she's nearly thirty in these pictures, the photoset is entitled "Girl Astronaut." Stay classy, LIFE.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6


Bob Gilruth, explaining the Project Mercury org chart, 1959.

(Photographer: Hank Walker)

January 5 (belated)

Sorry everyone, Blogger was down last night. Here's a photo of pad leader Guenter Wendt emerging from the Holiday Inn pool, soaking wet, after being thrown in during a post-Freedom 7 celebration party in May 1961.

(Photographer: Ralph Morse)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January 4

Maybe it's just me, but I find it really, really hard to believe that we'll celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mercury-Redstone flights this year.

(Gus Grissom and Alan Shepard, of course)

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3


The Apollo 10 crew, standing on the surface of the Moon.

(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January 2


Gag photo of the second group of astronauts, 1962. That's Life photographer Ralph Morse in the back, next to Frank Borman. Unfortunately I don't know the name of the gentleman sitting on Jim McDivitt's lap; if you do, let us know.

Starting from the top left and going counter-clockwise: Neil Armstrong, Ed White, Elliot See, Jim Lovell, unknown, Jim McDivitt, Pete Conrad, Tom Stafford, John Young, Frank Borman, Ralph Morse.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January 1


Two men watch John Glenn drive around in a toy car.

Clearly, they are jealous.

(Photo: Ralph Morse)

Happy New Year!

Starting today, and continuing until December 31st, I'm going to post one photo a day from the LIFE magazine space archive. 

Two years ago, LIFE magazine published their photo archive - and their countless unpublished pictures from the space program - onto Google Images.  Unfortunately, the archive is poorly organized and difficult to navigate.  I want to display some of LIFE's incredible photos, as well as provide access to some of the harder-to-find pictures.

Why am I doing this? I love the space program and space history, and I think it's important to keep these pictures available. Also, since space aficiandoes frequently see the same pictures over and over again, I want to show some of the rarer photos. I don't care who you are; I promise that you've never seen some of these pictures before.

Also, this blog is not affiliated with LIFE magazine in any way. I figured you knew that, but I just wanted to make that clear.

This site is a works in progress, so be patient with me. (And feel free to give me feedback!)