Thu August 30, 2012
Planet Money

What The Apollo Astronauts Did For Life Insurance

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:48 pm

A astronaut cover signed by Neil Armstrong.

This week, Americans have been remembering Neil Armstrong. But before he walked on the moon, he had to solve a much more prosaic problem.

"You're about to embark on a mission that's more dangerous than anything any human has ever done before," Robert Pearlman, a space historian and collector with, told me. "And you have a family that you're leaving behind on Earth, and there's a real chance you will not be returning."

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Wed August 29, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Hurricane Isaac As Seen From The International Space Station

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 10:55 am

Isaac at night.
NASA Earth Observatory

For a bit of perspective on just how big Isaac is, NASA has released a video taken from the International Space Station, yesterday.

It shows the tropical cyclone churning slowly, its outer bands stretching for 200 miles:

Update at 12:47 p.m. ET. Isaac At Night:

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Tue August 28, 2012
Around the Nation

Rover Makes History With Beamed Voice Recording

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 7:32 am

NASA Rover Curiosity has been making history since it descended onto the surface of the Red Planet. At a news conference Monday, the rover made history again when it broadcast from the surface of Mars. NASA sent a data file of the recording up to the rover, and then beamed it back down.


Mon August 27, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Neil Armstrong Comes Home

Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers

About 10,000 people live in Wapakoneta, Ohio — half that in the 1960s. In 1969, the town wanted to honor the most famous Wapakonetan (so far), the first man to step on the moon, Neil Armstrong. So they had a parade. Here's the front page of the paper that day.

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Sun August 26, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

The Eulogy That Wasn't: The Fate Neil Armstrong Evaded

Neil Armstrong casts a shadow in a photograph he took of the lunar lander Eagle near the end of his historic moonwalk.
Neil Armstrong NASA

On July 18, 1969, President Nixon's speechwriter Bill Safire drafted a statement — a just-in-case statement. The manned mission to the Moon was only days away. The White House was preparing for all contingencies. According to Safire, the chances of getting Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin onto the moon were pretty good.

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