Cigarettes & Rocket Fuel

Cigarettes & Rocket Fuel
As-it-happens coverage of Apollo and the race to the moon

Bonus: ‘I’ve never missed a Holy Week’
Apr 7 • 15 min
We hope you have found the series of Coronavirus Chronicle bonus episodes informative and entertaining. Follow the show on . Click subscribe — it’s free — to receive fresh episodes daily. The Rev. Hannah Atkins Romero, rector of Trinity…
Bonus: Journalist, artist, historian: a photographer’s view of the pandemic
Apr 6 • 14 min
Today, we’re sharing an episode of “Coronavirus Chronicle” with listeners. Previous episodes at available on . Houston Chronicle photojournalist Marie De Jesús illuminates the balancing act between keeping a safe distance and capturing the intimate,…
Bonus: Disaster expert Angela Blanchard on making the Covid crisis visible
Apr 5 • 21 min
Today, we’re sharing an episode of “Coronavirus Chronicle” with listeners. Previous episodes at available on . Houstonians know all about hurricanes: Wind speed, the dirty side, the European models. But what do we need to track the coronavirus? Angela…
Jobs are gone, but the rent is still due
Apr 2 • 14 min
As March turned into April and the Houston stay-at-home order was extended to the start of May, renters who found themselves suddenly unemployed by the coronavirus outbreak have been left to wonder how they will pay for housing. Landlords have their…
Editor Steve Riley: Crisis coverage and the virtual newsroom
Apr 1 • 13 min
As Houston Chronicle executive editor Steve Riley said recently in a letter to readers: Quite suddenly, your lives have changed. Your health, or the health of someone you love, could be at risk. Your job seems shakier than just days ago. Your church…
Mar 19 • 7 min
Listen to the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board’s impassioned plea to Houstonians coping with the coronavirus — “Stay home!” — as expressed by editorial board member Monica Rohr.
Jul 20, 2019 • 22 min
It’s Monday, July 21, 1969 — or is it? Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made historic bootprints on the moon, collected rock samples, took photographs and headed home. But that was 50 years ago. It’s actually 2019, and this is the last show of the…
Tranquility Base
Jul 18, 2019 • 27 min
It’s Sunday, July 20, 1969, and we did it folks! With Michael Collins orbiting above, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin have landed on the moon. After a nail-biting descent to the surface, the heroic duo touched down this afternoon and are preparing to…
Good Luck and Godspeed
Jul 11, 2019 • 29 min
It’s Sunday, July 13, 1969, and the Apollo 11 launch takes place in just three days. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins are reducing their training to ensure they are well rested for the big day, but the topic of germs remains…
Fit to Fly
Jul 4, 2019 • 26 min
It’s Sunday, July 6, 1969, and we have less than two weeks before the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that will attempt to land the first humans on the moon. All three astronauts have been declared fit to fly by a medical examiner, but NASA is taking…
Three Brave Men
Jun 27, 2019 • 24 min
It’s Sunday, June 29, 1969, and today on “Space Talk Sunday,” Alex and Andy discuss the three astronauts who will be aboard Apollo 11 for America’s next trip to the moon and the planned lunar landing attempt: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins.
Cosmonaut Jesus
Jun 20, 2019 • 25 min
It’s Sunday, June 22, 1969, and NASA is moving full steam ahead on a July 16 launch of Apollo 11. Meanwhile, a Soviet philologist says that the Star of Bethlehem was a spaceship, and Jesus Christ was a visitor from another planet.
Moon Buggies and … Mars?
Jun 13, 2019 • 29 min
It’s June 15, 1969, and the country is just 35 days from making history by putting the first men on the moon. But even as NASA continues to prepare for the landing attempt, it is gearing up for the future: a lunar vehicle and travel to Mars.
Odds and Ends
Jun 6, 2019 • 22 min
It’s Sunday, June 8, 1969, and KHCN-AM 4747 has learned a little more about the unexpected spin Gene Cernan and Tom Stafford took in the lunar module just a few miles above the moon’s surface. NASA also is ironing out the communication problems Apollo…
Moon Bugs?!
May 30, 2019 • 25 min
It’s Sunday, June 1, 1969, and the Apollo 10 astronauts have returned to Houston after a flawless splashdown near American Samoa. Mission control flight director Glynn Lunney called the mission a “110 percent success.” The astronauts’ return was open…
Wild Ride
May 23, 2019 • 28 min
It’s Sunday, May 25, 1969 and Apollo 10 has almost completed its eight-day mission testing the lunar module in the moon’s orbit. The mission has been so successful that top NASA officials said that if there was enough fuel in the lunar module,…
To Sort Out the Unknowns
May 16, 2019 • 28 min
It’s Sunday, May 18, 1969 and Apollo 10 rocketed out of Earth’s atmosphere flawlessly. Over the next eight days, the spacecraft will fly the same path around the moon as Apollo 11 is scheduled to fly in July. The lunar module Snoopy is intended to…
Dress Rehearsal
May 9, 2019 • 25 min
It’s Sunday, May 11, 1969, and the country is just one week away from the launch of Apollo 10 — the final flight before America tries for the moon in July. Apollo 10 — scheduled for launch on May 18 from Cape Kennedy, Fla. — will be the fourth…
A Space Station, a Missing Astronaut and Thrashing Turtles
May 2, 2019 • 22 min
It’s May 4, 1969 and Alex and Andy have a ton of space news to catch you up on, including plans for a space station orbiting earth, the case of Gordo Cooper and the difficulties astronauts will face walking on the moon.
Taller than Lady Liberty
Apr 25, 2019 • 27 min
It’s April 27, 1969, and we are just three weeks away from the May launch of Apollo 10 — the last dress rehearsal before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin attempt to land on the moon this summer. Today we’re talking about the magnificent feat of…
Swift and Horrifying
Apr 18, 2019 • 26 min
It’s April 20, 1969 and KHCN-AM 4747 remembers the three brave Americans who died in the Apollo 1 fire a little more than two years ago. But these heroes – Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee – did not die in vain. Procedures were changed and…
Gemini: Bridge to Apollo
Apr 10, 2019 • 30 min
It’s April 13, 1969 and, if you folks have been following Space Talk Sunday since the beginning, you know what it’s time to talk about: Project Gemini. Gemini was NASA second human spaceflight program and bridged the Mercury and Apollo projects. It…
Mercury Men
Apr 4, 2019 • 29 min
It’s April 6, 1969: The weeks between Apollo flights gives Alex and Andy time to look back at Project Mercury, America’s first foray into human spaceflight. The goals of the program were: Orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth, investigate a…
We Like Ike
Mar 27, 2019 • 28 min
It’s March 30, 1969 and our beloved president, Dwight Eisenhower, has died. We at KHCN-AM 4747 are deeply saddened by this news, especially since it could be argued that Ike was the father of NASA. Less than a year after the Soviet Union launched…
Welcome to Space City
Mar 21, 2019 • 23 min
It’s March 23, 1969 and with the incredible success of Apollo 9 secured and Apollo 10 being prepped for a May lift-off, Alex and Andy dig into the story behind how the Manned Spacecraft Center came to be located in a south Texas pasture and why…
Victory Cake
Mar 14, 2019 • 26 min
It’s March 16, 1969 and the country is one step closer to beating America’s communist enemies, Russia, to the moon. The Apollo 9 mission, flown to ensure the lunar module works properly, splashed down this past week and was a rip-roaring success….
Dangerous Duet
Mar 7, 2019 • 27 min
It’s March 9, 1969: After a three-day delay, NASA astronauts Rusty Schweickart, Jim McDivitt and David Scott launched out of Earth’s atmosphere on Apollo 9. Their mission? Test the lunar module, which will eventually bring astronauts to the…
Ready, Set … Hold
Feb 28, 2019 • 26 min
It’s March 2, 1969: the Vietnam War is rages on, campus unrest is at an all-time high and America’s new agency, NASA, is racing to put a man on the moon before the year runs out. But, they’ve had a hiccup. The launch of Apollo 9, the first test…
Trailer: Countdown Commences
Feb 19, 2019 • 3 min
*Cigarettes and Rocket Fuel* is a podcast from the past, a show-within-a-show and *that* show is an as-it-happens radio talk show on (fictional) radio station KHCN-AM 4747 — Houston, Texas — covering the 1969 Apollo missions and the final sprint…