National Geographic

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The Moon in National Geographic

An overview of moon-related (and lunar spaceflight-related) articles which appeared in the National Geographic magazine, with additional descriptions by Danny Caes
(lots of additional info and links to several online sources are about to be added within days, weeks, and/or months)(- DannyCaes Jan 8, 2011)
Note: several issues of N.G., mentioned in the list below, have nothing moonlike in them, but... they are included to help all the dedicated admirers of space and unmanned/manned spaceflight projects of the pre-eighties (mostly pre-Space Shuttle projects).

The spark to create this page was the book 100 YEARS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 1888-1988

- May 1890:
On the Alleged Observation of a Lunar Eclipse by Bering in 1728-9, by Marcus Baker (see Wikipedia page Vitus Jonassen Bering).
- February 1892:
The Cartography and Observations of Bering's First Voyage (included: Lunar Eclipse), by A.W.Greely.
- January 1953:
First Photographs of Planets and Moon Taken with Palomar's 200-inch Telescope, by Milton L. Humason.
- February 1958:
Exploring our Neighbor World; the Moon, by Donald H. Menzel.
- February 1959:
Reaching for the Moon, by Allan C. Fisher.
- May 1961:
Countdown for Space, by Kenneth F. Weaver (this article describes project Mercury, the United States's first manned spaceflight project).
- September 1961:
The Flight of Freedom 7, by Carmault B. Jackson / The Pilot's Story, with photographs by Dean Conger (the ballistic flight of Alan Shepard's Mercury capsule, launched by a Redstone rocket).
- June 1962:
John Glenn's Three Orbits in Friendship 7, by Robert B. Voas (a minute-by-minute account of America's first orbital space flight).
- October 1962:
Robots to the Moon, by Frank Sartwell. Paintings by Pierre Mion (this article describes the mission of Ranger 5' with its Balsawood Ball which should have impacted on the lunar surface).
- March 1964:
Footprints on the Moon, by Hugh L. Dryden. Paintings by Davis Meltzer and Pierre Mion (this article describes the rendezvous and docking technique which was part of the Gemini program).
- November 1964:
The Moon Close Up, by Eugene M. Shoemaker (this article describes the mission of Ranger 7, with interesting photographs of the Mare Cognitum region near Mons Moro).
- January 1965:
The making of an Astronaut, by Robert R. Gilruth (this article describes the training of NASA's astronaut corps).
- September 1965:
America's 6,000-Mile Walk in Space (this article describes the mission of Gemini 4 and Edward H. White's legendary space walk, illustrated with several classic color photographs which are well-known to all sorts of space enthusiasts).
- April 1966:
Space Rendezvous; Milestone on the Way to the Moon, by Kenneth F. Weaver (a wonderful article, with splendid color photographs made during the historic missions of Gemini 6 and Gemini 7).
- October 1966:
Surveyor: Candid Camera on the Moon, by Homer E. Newell (this article describes the mission of the soft-lander Surveyor 1 at the Flamsteed P ring, with first color photographs of the moon's surface).
- November 1967:
Historic Color Portrait of Earth From Space, by Kenneth F. Weaver (this article shows the first color photographs of our home planet, made by the unmanned spacecraft DODGE (in the three basic colors red, green, and blue). Pages 730 and 731 of this article show the well-known photograph of the crescent Earth above the curved lunar horizon, made by Lunar Orbiter 1).
- February 1969:
That Orbèd Maiden...the Moon, by Kenneth F. Weaver (this is a very interesting article with lots of orbital photographs made by several Lunar Orbiters, this issue also contains a map of the moon which is one of the classics in lunar cartography:
- May 1969:
"A Most Fantastic Voyage": The Story of Apollo 8's Rendezvous with the Moon, by Sam C. Phillips (this is one of the most wonderful spaceflight articles of National Geographic, this issue also contains the article And Now to Touch the Moon's Forbidding Face, by Kenneth F. Weaver).
- December 1969:
First Explorers on the Moon: The Incredible Story of Apollo 11, by Kenneth F. Weaver (this historic issue contains a flexible grammophone disc with sounds of the space age, and additional A-11 related paintings/illustrations by Pierre Mion).
- June 1970:
First Moon Explorers (Apollo 11) Receive the Society's Hubbard Medal.
- July 1971:
The Climb Up Cone Crater (Apollo 14), by Alice J. Hall. Photos by Edgar D. Mitchell and Alan B. Shepard (this article shows interesting panoramic photographs made at the rocky outer slopes of nearby crater Cone).
- February 1972:
Apollo 15 Explores the Mountains of the Moon, by Kenneth F. Weaver (probably THE most extraordinary Apollo-related article in a National Geographic issue, because it contains lots of orbital and surface lunar photographs, and also color photographs of lunar rocks collected by David Scott and James Irwin of Apollo 15).
- December 1972:
Apollo 16 Brings Us Visions From Space (this is a rather poor article, contains some color photographs made in lunar orbit).
- September 1973:
Summing Up Mankind's Greatest Adventure, by Gilbert M. Grosvenor (this is National Geographic's last Apollo issue (Apollo 17), with poster "
Teammates in Mankind's Greatest Adventure", painted by Pierre Mion).
- October 1974:
Skylab, Outpost on the Frontier of Space, by Thomas Y. Canby (this is a wonderful article full of orbital photographs made by the nine Skylab astronauts, one of those photographs (page 492) shows the almost Full Moon above the mountains of the Hindu Kush).
- February 1976:
Apollo-Soyuz: Handclasp in Space, by Thomas Y. Canby (a rather short article with photographs of the rendez-vous and docking of an Apollo and a Soyuz in 1975).
- July 1978:
Voyager's Historic View of Earth and Moon
- 2003 / 2014:
EARTH'S MOON (revised edition of National Geographic's well-known moonmap which appeared in 1969 and was seen in Ed Asner's (
Lou Grants) office in The Mary Tyler Moore Show).

We could only try to guess the National Geographic's reason why they wrote no articles for Apollo 7, Apollo 9, Apollo 10's docking exercises in lunar orbit, Apollo 12's landing near Surveyor 3, and Apollo 13's troublesome Trans Lunar Coast and Trans Earth Coast.
- DannyCaes Jan 8, 2011