The Only Fun Fact About Apollo 13's Dramatic Failure Is This Invoice

I didn’t know about this fun factoid: On March 13, 1970, the Grumman Aerospace Corporation — manufacturers of the Lunar Module — sent a $US312,421.24 bill to North American Rockwell — who made the service module that malfunctioned in the Apollo 13 mission — for towing services. Why, you ask? Here’s the story.

Moon Seismometers From Apollo Are Still Helping Solve Physics Mysteries

When Apollo astronauts landed on the moon, they left flags and footprints, yes, but also dozens of scientific instruments. Among them was a network of seismometers originally meant to study moonquakes. Forty years later, data from these seismometers are still helping physicists understand how to detect elusive gravitational waves — a challenge even with our fancy modern technology.

The Moon Smells Like Spent Gunpowder

Exploring the lunar surface is now a quick click away for desk-bound normals, but there are still some moon mysteries that only those special folks from Apollo missions will ever really experience. Like how it smells. The consensus: spent gunpowder.

NASA Shake Test For The Saturn V Rocket Looked Ridiculous, But It Worked

Video: Sometimes, NASA comes up with incredibly complex solutions to extremely complex problems. Other times they come up with the simplest ones. And then there’s the case of how to test the stability of an entire Saturn V rocket, which is what you can see in this hilarious video from 1966.

Test Your Origami Skills With This Intricate Metal Apollo Lunar Lander

By now, you’ve probably seen those Metal Earth foldable models in toy stores and at checkout stands all over the place. They’re this generation’s flat-packed foam gliders, but as you can see from this incredibly intricate Apollo Lunar Lander model, they require far more patience and skill to assemble.

Buying Pieces Of The Space Race At Bonhams' Space History Auction

This week, Bonhams hosted an auction of historical space items in Manhattan. The Space History Sale featured troves of objects and documents, both American and Soviet, dating back to the heyday of the space race. And Gizmodo got the chance to take a peek.

Being A Celebrity Astronaut Is Tougher Than It Sounds

For a brief period in the American saga, the astronaut was the man of the moment. No profession commanded as much awe and admiration. Widely regarded as the personification of all that was best in the country, the first astronauts were blanketed with the adulation usually accorded star quarterbacks, war heroes, and charismatic movie stars. Yet this was never part of NASA’s agenda.

Monster Machines: This Aluminium Mecha Taught Apollo Astronauts How To Land On The Moon

In the early 1960s, when the Apollo missions were underway and America was hellbent on reaching the moon, NASA researchers faced a nearly endless litany of technical hurdles and engineering obstacles nobody had even dreamed of up to that point. Chief among them: Once you shoot three guys 380,000km across space at an orbiting body with just a fraction of the mass of Earth, how do you put them safely on the surface? That answer: lots and lots of practice in this gangly hardware simulator.

Watch All Six Apollo Moon Landings In One Glorious Video

NASA successfully landed six moon missions from 1969 to 1972 — and had one legendary failure. It was a monumental era for NASA, and thanks to bonkers YouTube user lunarmodule5, now you can ride along on a space video mashup of all six heart-pounding landings at once. It’s breathtaking.

Giz Explains: Four Ways Space Can Kill You

Turns out being blown out of an airlock and turning into a meat ice block after succumbing to hypoxia isn’t so bad. At least not when compared to the multitude of other deadly maladies that await you in the depths of space. Here are just a few ways that interplanetary exploration is conspiring to kill us all.