All of these plaques, with the exception of the Apollo 13 plaque, were left on the moon by Apollo mission astronauts. They are awesome. These images are from NASA’s official website.

Apollo 11 - The first men on the moon

Apollo 11 - The first men on the moon

Apollo 12

Apollo 12

apollo13plaque

Apollo 13

Apollo 14

Apollo 14

apollo15plaque

Apollo 15

Apollo 16

Apollo 16

Apollo 17 - The last men to walk on the moon.

Apollo 17 - The last men to walk on the moon.

I found these amazing photographs of my favorite early satellites in the LIFE photography archive and on the N.S.A.’s official website.  I love the design and shapes of the early satellites.

Scientists at Igy conference viewing Sputnik models - August 1958

Scientists at Igy conference viewing Sputnik models - August 1958

Smithsonian Observatory scientists Fred Whipple and J. Allen Hynek plotting orbit of Sputnik I on globe at MIT - 1957

Smithsonian Observatory scientists Fred Whipple and J. Allen Hynek plotting orbit of Sputnik I on globe at MIT - 1957

Dr. William H. Pickering, Dr. James A. van Allen, & Dr. Wernher von Braun hold a model of the Explorer I satellite which launched 4 months after Sputnik - 1958

Dr. William H. Pickering, Dr. James A. van Allen, & Dr. Wernher von Braun hold a model of the Explorer I satellite which launched 4 months after Sputnik - 1958

Oscilloscope tracking position and speed of Explorer satellite through a pattern made by interaction of signals from the satellite and standard radio signals.

Oscilloscope tracking position and speed of Explorer satellite through a pattern made by interaction of signals from the satellite and standard radio signals.

Dr. A.L. Jones, scientist at Ohio Satellite Tracking Station with analog computer which gives appropriate orbit position of space satellites - 1962

Dr. A.L. Jones, scientist at Ohio Satellite Tracking Station with analog computer which gives appropriate orbit position of space satellites - 1962

Dr. Milton W. Rosen w. John T. Mengel, Project Director J. P. Walsh, Lieut Commander J. W. Salter and Project Director John P. Hagen Scientists working on US man-made satellite.  John P. Hagen is the best with his bowtie and pipe.

Dr. Milton W. Rosen with John T. Mengel, Project Director J. P. Walsh, Lieut Commander J. W. Salter and Project Director John P. Hagen - Scientists working on US man-made satellite. John P. Hagen is the best with his bowtie and pipe.

Scientist Alexander Simkovich working on a US artificial satellite - April 1957

Scientist Alexander Simkovich working on a US artificial satellite - April 1957

Scientist Alexander Simkovich working on a US artificial satellite - April 1957

Scientist Alexander Simkovich working on a US artificial satellite - April 1957

sunlight hitting clouds over central Pacific Ocean - 1959

First image of earth from satellite, from Explorer 6: sunlight hitting clouds over central Pacific Ocean - 1959

Colonel Harold Brown (C) w. Dr. Hans Ziegler (L), John Licht (2R) and Dr. Harold Zahl (R) with US weather satellite ready for launching - 1959

Colonel Harold Brown (C) w. Dr. Hans Ziegler (L), John Licht (2R) and Dr. Harold Zahl (R) with US weather satellite ready for launching - 1959

Iowa State University professor George H. Ludwig placing a tape recorder in a model of an American satellite - May 1957

Iowa State University professor George H. Ludwig placing a tape recorder in a model of an American satellite - May 1957

Scientists with the Transit I-B navigational satellite - April 1960

Scientists with the Transit I-B navigational satellite - April 1960

Dr. William H. Pickering of the Jet Propulsion Lab standing with mock-up of Army satellite - 1957

Dr. William H. Pickering of the Jet Propulsion Lab standing with mock-up of Army satellite - 1957

Dr. Richard W. Porter, of the Natonal Academy of Sciences, at press conference talking about satellite model, Explorer II - March 1958

Dr. Richard W. Porter, of the Natonal Academy of Sciences, at press conference talking about satellite model, Explorer II - March 1958

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Earth'S Satellite

Earth'S Satellite 1957

Scientist with Earth'S Satellite - 1957

Scientist with Earth'S Satellite - 1957

The GRAB II (Galactic Radiation And Background) satellite and the Poppy satellite models - Launched in 1960

The GRAB II (Galactic Radiation And Background) satellite and the Poppy satellite models - Launched in 1960

Poppy I

Poppy I

Poppy II

Poppy II

AT&T stockholder Mrs. Louise Bucker looking at full-size model of the Telstar experimental communications satellite - AT&T's Bell Laboratories 1960

AT&T stockholder Mrs. Louise Bucker looking at full-size model of the Telstar experimental communications satellite - AT&T's Bell Laboratories 1960

The satellites were so popular in the early 1960’s, that pop group “The Tornados” wrote a song called “Telstar”.  The rumor at the time was that the song included “space-like” sounds because a signal was sent to up the Telstar Satellite and re-recorded on earth.

"The Tornados" with "Telstar" on the cover.  "Telstar" was also the name of their hit song from this album in 1962

"The Tornados" with "Telstar" on the cover of "Ridin" the Wind". "Telstar" was also the name of their hit song from this album in 1962

You can hear the song below along with some great early space exploration images.

Swell Toys of the Space Age

December 17, 2008

The kids growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s must have had a BLAST playing with these toys! Not only are the toys incredible; I love the packaging as well!  I found these on EBay.

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Friction powered Mobile Jet

Space Television toy - Awesome for documenting all those new planets and moons

Space Television toy - Awesome for documenting all those new planets and moons

Alien UFO

Alien UFO

Space Tank

Space Tank

Mr. Machine - Ideal 1960

Mr. Machine - Ideal 1960

Buck Rogers jigsaw puzzle

Buck Rogers jigsaw puzzle

Rolling Astronaut toy; I love the branding with NASA on this guy.

Rolling Astronaut toy; I love the branding with NASA on this guy.

Awesome Space Gun!

Awesome Space Gun!

Space Ranger - Real flying toy!

Space Ranger - Real flying toy!

I found this “Popular Electronics” magazine from December 1958 on Paleo-Future (One of my favorite blogs). I love the cover and the merging of popular culture with Science Fiction. How great it must have been to find this magazine in the mailbox back in 1958.

"Popular Electronics" from December 1958

"Popular Electronics" from December 1958

Speaking of Holiday robots…Here is the perfect gift I’d love to receive. All of these robots are hand crafted  by the artist “Guy Robot“.  He uses found objects, appliances, and electronics to create these one of a kind sculptures:

"Gyro"

"Gyro"

"Cosmo"

"Cosmo"

"Ironman"

"Ironman"

"Euclid"

"Euclid"

Fisher Space Pen

December 7, 2008

The Fisher Space pen is sweet. These pens were originally designed for and used by astronauts on space missions. The Fisher Space Pen is pressurized and can write at extreme temperatures, under water, upside down, and on walls.

The Fisher Space Pen

The Fisher Space Pen

An astronaut using the Fisher Space Pen in Outer Space

An astronaut using the Fisher Space Pen in Outer Space

Richard Nixon's Space Pen (1960's)

Richard Nixon's Space Pen (1960's)

I found these really cool photographs of Mercury Project astronauts Gus & Virgil Grissom with suit technician Joe Schmidt on Apollo Mission Photos. The Mercury Missions were the United States first attempt at putting a man into orbit around the earth. The program ran from 1959-1963. The Mercury-Atlas 6 mission was the first flight to achieve the goal. The astronaut suits along with the undergarments are unbelievable. It must have been a real thrill to have the challenge of designing something with such advanced function and technology.

Astronaut Virgil Grissom suits up with technician Joe Schmitt

Astronaut Virgil Grissom suits up with technician Joe Schmidt. I love the insulation details on the undergarments.

Spacemen Al Shepard and John Glenn in front of the MR-4 Capsul at Mercury Mission Control.  Check out the skinny ties and French cuffs! 

Gus Grissom with suit technician Joe Schmidt

Gus Grissom with suit technician Joe Schmidt. These suits were all full pressure.