This weekend sees a few days’ worth of anniversaries coming together.
Today was the fiftieth anniversary of the presentation to the press and public of the Mercury 7 to the world. This was NASA’s first astronaut corp. More on the anniversary can be seen here.
Tomorrow will see Yuri’s Night celebrations, as it is the closest Saturday to April 12th, the date he blasted off as the first man in space. The event is traditionally celebrated with parties across the globe.
The weekend will also see the fortieth anniversary of the events of Apollo 13. Already, morbid fascination on whether the stricken craft would’ve floated off into space or come back to Earth and been incinerated has yielded results (along with a debunking of the idea that the phrase “Houston we have a problem” was uttered as such – recordings show “Houston, we’ve a problem” – just one small step for [an] audio specialist, I guess…). NASA will be hosting a series of celebrations all through April (Global Astronomy Month) and the two (out of three) surviving crew members appear in a video describing the moment of impact.
Meanwhile, 365 days of astronomy has a podcast on how NASA is retrieving data from the tapes of old missions and reanalysing the recordings with new techniques to glean new insight from them.