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moon

NASA’s Orion spacecraft arrived in Mansfield over the weekend, bringing the organization another step towards its goal of having a manned flight back to the moon in 2024.

Fifty years ago, astronaut Pete Conrad stepped out of the lunar module onto the surface of the moon.

His first words were: "Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that's a long one for me."

Conrad, who stood at just 5 feet 6 inches tall, was only the third human to set foot on the lunar surface. He did it on November 19, 1969, just four months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first lunar landing. However, unlike Armstrong and Aldrin, Conrad and fellow astronaut Alan Bean are not household names.

In the past year or so, scientists have discovered more evidence for liquid water under the surface of Mars. They've found complex organic compounds — the building blocks of life. And they've found that methane levels in Mars' atmosphere vary with the seasons.

"Each of these things adds up to say that the probability of finding life on a world that's not our own is going up," says NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "And Mars, I think, is that best opportunity in our own solar system to find life on another world."

A new exhibit on display at the Dayton Art Institute pays homage to the Apollo 11 moon landing a half-century ago. The Moon Museum exhibit opened at the end of June and features some unique items.

DAI Chief Curator Jerry Smith says he’s thrilled to have the show on display in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

“I’ve wanted to show this [exhibit] for a long time, and so having this opportunity and doing it where it will coincide with July 20th, the anniversary date is just perfect,” he says.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center is playing a key role in the mission to take astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars, Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a visit to Cleveland Monday.

“The moon is our proving ground for how do we live and work on another world, so that we can go to Mars,” Bridenstine said. “And the sooner we can prove that out on the moon, the sooner we can move on to Mars.”

The last person to leave footprints on the moon has died. NASA reported that Gene Cernan died Monday at the age of 82, surrounded by his family.

Gene Cernan flew in space three times, including twice to the moon. Cernan was big, brash and gregarious. And if he hadn't been lucky, he could have missed his chance to walk on the moon.