Andrew Chaikin is a science journalist, space historian and the author of several books on space, including “A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts.”

The latest from Andrew

  • Apollo 11 at 50

    Small Steps and Giant Leaps

    I had never heard of a cavitating venturi valve until Neil Armstrong told me about it. A few years ago, when I was preparing to teach a space history course for NASA engineers, I asked Armstrong to name the engineering contributions to Apollo he most admired.

  • Apollo’s Spirit Alive and Well

    A few weeks ago I got an email from a NASA manager about the whole Space Launch System vs. commercial space controversy. The market to support these commercial players just isn’t there yet, he told me, adding that their only hope is to let NASA blaze a trail and create new assets in space that will need servicing by private companies. As for the notion that a commercial vehicle might achieve routine spaceflight in the foreseeable future, this manager seemed to rule that out. We have reached the limit of what is possible with existing technology, he said; launching people into space will always be risky, and therefore costly.